Virology News
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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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Despite CDC's recommended age for HPV vaccine, only about half of teenage girls receive it at the approved age

Despite CDC's recommended age for HPV vaccine, only about half of teenage girls receive it at the approved age | Virology News | Scoop.it
It's a virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer but a new study by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers indicates that only about half of the girls receive the vaccine at the recommended age to best...
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How an Ebola campaign in Nigeria discouraged bushmeat consumption

How an Ebola campaign in Nigeria discouraged bushmeat consumption | Virology News | Scoop.it

Bushmeat trade is a regular feature in many parts of Africa. People rely on it for livelihoods and, more importantly, for food. Trade in bushmeat is particularly common in west and central Africa where people regularly eat antelope, wild pigs and boars, large rodents, fruit bats and monkeys. But bushmeat presents a problem for public health. Research has linked the consumption of bushmeat to the Ebola outbreak that spread across west African countries in 2014 and 2015, and led to over 11 000 deaths. According to most authorities fruit bats were involved in the contagion. Since the Ebola outbreak has been brought under control a number of governments in countries affected by Ebola have launched massive media and propaganda campaigns to curb the consumption of bushmeat. These include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The campaigns have included distributing information door-to-door as well as promotions on radio, newspapers and television. The campaign in Nigeria was particularly well planned. It involved broadcasting messages about the dangers of bushmeat on television and radio. Newspapers were also used to spread the message. I was involved in a research project to assess the impact of the campaign. We found that it had a dramatic effect on the trade in bushmeat. This could provide useful lessons for other countries.

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How an 'urban zoo' project in Kenya is helping unpack the spread of disease

How an 'urban zoo' project in Kenya is helping unpack the spread of disease | Virology News | Scoop.it
Africa's cities are melting pots of activity and interaction. There are fears that the continent's next major modern disease crisis will emerge from them.
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Can transmissible vaccines have a major role in eradicating disease?

Can transmissible vaccines have a major role in eradicating disease? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Vaccines are powerful, but they are not perfect. In some cases, communities struggle to vaccinate enough individuals to stop the spread of a pathogen.

But suppose that instead of vaccinating most of a population, it were possible to vaccinate just a few individuals. In theory, a benign yet infectious vaccine could effortlessly and silently pass protection from one individual to another.

In a new mathematical model, researchers demonstrate that a weakly transmissible vaccine significantly lowers the incidence of infectious disease and paves the way toward eradication. The work was published October 26th in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Researchers have long been interested in the idea of transmissible vaccines, and the idea has becoming increasingly viable over the last five years, says Leor Weinberger, a virologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Gladstone Institutes, who was not involved in the research. For example, several recombinant, transmissible vaccines are in development for wild animal populations, including one to protect wild rabbits against a fatal viral infection and another to prevent deer mice from carrying a virus responsible for a deadly human pulmonary disease.

But any discussion about a transmissible vaccine ultimately comes down to risk—in particular, the risk of the vaccine reverting to a pathogenic virus. This occurred accidentally with the oral polio vaccine in the early 1960s and again in the 2000s: On a few, rare occasions, the vaccine—a live, attenuated strain of poliovirus—reverted to virulent, neuron-attacking strains of the virus and caused polio infections.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Yes.
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West Nile's Long-Term Death Toll May Be Higher Than Thought

West Nile's Long-Term Death Toll May Be Higher Than Thought | Virology News | Scoop.it
Texas study estimates mortality rate from the mosquito-borne disease at 13 percent
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Quest to map Africa’s soil microbiome begins

Quest to map Africa’s soil microbiome begins | Virology News | Scoop.it
Sub-Saharan project could one day help ecosystems to resist climate change and improve agriculture.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Go Don Cowan et al....!
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'Serial' flu shots may limit body's ability to fight virus in future

'Serial' flu shots may limit body's ability to fight virus in future | Virology News | Scoop.it
Although doctors maintain that flu shots are life-savers that everyone should receive, some researchers are uncovering hints that 'serial vaccination' -- that is, consistently receiving annual flu shots -- may in fact limit one's ability to fight...
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CDC approves the two-dose HPV vaccine, instead of three

CDC approves the two-dose HPV vaccine, instead of three | Virology News | Scoop.it
In a move that could boost HPV vaccination rates, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said younger adolescents need only two doses of the vaccine, rather than three as previously recommended.
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Has a new mutation in the Ebola virus made it deadlier?

Has a new mutation in the Ebola virus made it deadlier? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Two new studies raise the possibility that an adaptation to humans speeded up transmission
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Whoops...
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A novel porcine circovirus is associated with porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome 

J Virol. 2016 Oct 26. pii: JVI.01879-16. [Epub ahead of print]
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'Lab in a suitcase' set to improve Ebola virus control

'Lab in a suitcase' set to improve Ebola virus control | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists working in the field who need to diagnose Ebola face challenging conditions. They have to send samples to labs far away, hope they get there safely, and then wait days for results.
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Genetic fossil-hunters dig through HIV’s long history for clues to treatments

Genetic fossil-hunters dig through HIV’s long history for clues to treatments | Virology News | Scoop.it
Paleovirology studies how viruses and their hosts have evolved together for millions of years, which could provide clues to fighting them.
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New vaccine for Ebola found to provide long-lasting immunity

New vaccine for Ebola found to provide long-lasting immunity | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists have a developed a new vaccine that can provide long-lasting immunity against Ebola virus and could potentially be used to reduce infection from the virus among wild African ape populations.
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Ebola: bats get a bad rap when it comes to spreading diseases

Ebola: bats get a bad rap when it comes to spreading diseases | Virology News | Scoop.it

One of the greatest global health threats lies in emerging diseases, which have never been seen before in humans or — as with Ebola — appear sporadically in new locations. Most emerging diseases are zoonoses, meaning they are caused by pathogens that can jump from animals into people. Out of more than 300 emerging infections identified since 1940, over 60% are zoonotic, and of these, 72% originate in wildlife. Whereas some zoonotic infections, such as rabies, cannot be transmitted between human patients, others can spread across populations and borders: in 2003, SARS, a coronavirus linked to bats, spread to several continents within a few weeks before it was eliminated, while HIV has become, over several decades, a persistent pandemic. The unpredictable nature and novelty of zoonotic pathogens make them incredibly difficult to defend against and respond to. But that does not mean we are helpless in the face of emerging ones. Because we know that the majority of zoonoses pass from wildlife, we can start to identify high-risk points for transmission by determining which wildlife species may pose the greatest risk.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
...even though I still think they're furry flying cockroaches...
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A common virus could help fight liver cancer and hepatitis C

A common virus could help fight liver cancer and hepatitis C | Virology News | Scoop.it

A promising new immunotherapy to treat liver cancer has been discovered.


Reovirus, a common virus that causes mild cases of respiratory infection, mainly in children, could be harnessed as an immunotherapy to fight primary liver cancer and hepatitis C. Viruses cause around 20% of all human cancer. While only a handful are known to be tumour-promoting, this is a particular problem for liver cancer, where around three-quarters of cases are caused by either hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV). These cause long-lived infections within the liver that in some people eventually give rise to tumours. But in our latest study, we show that our immune systems can be coerced into targeting both the tumour and the underlying HCV infection that is driving it to grow. We persuaded the immune system to target both the tumour and the underlying HCV infection by administering a benign virus – reovirus – as an immunotherapy. Mice with liver cancer caused by hepatitis C responded well to this therapy. The therapy could also be extended to other virus-driven malignancies, including Epstein Barr virus blood cancers.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Now to make them in plants...B-)
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Biotechnology: A growing field in the developing world

Biotechnology: A growing field in the developing world | Virology News | Scoop.it
A detailed new report surveys a broad cross-section of biotechnology work across developing countries, revealing steady growth in fields tied to human well-being worldwide.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Us poor folk can do biotech...I mean, just look at Cuba!
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Scientists Are Building an HIV Vaccine From the Molecule Up

Scientists Are Building an HIV Vaccine From the Molecule Up | Virology News | Scoop.it

New technology is changing the way vaccines get made, and HIV researchers are leading the way.


AN HIV DIAGNOSIS is a nightmare, but it is no longer a death sentence. Someday, vaccines might bat the virus out of your system without you ever knowing you’d been exposed. If successful, such a vaccine would effectively cure AIDS. Someday, maybe. So scientists are working on it. Like yesterday: Researchers published results to a promising study on primates infected with SIV, a monkey version of HIV. The study, published in Nature, used a special drug to awaken the virus, which made it easier for their novel vaccine to detect and snuff it out. This study is part of a new wave of HIV-focused vaccinology powered by troves of genetic data and atomic-scale engineering.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Although, and although...there is NO vaccine that has ever been made this way previously; there is literally NO good model to guide the work - although there is an inordinate amount of hand-waving and invoking of structures.

I am cynical about this approach, to be honest: I think it is a damn good excuse for a lot of people to spend a LOT of money doing good molecular biology - but not actually furthering vaccinology a lot. I think there may be simpler things to do, things to do better that have already shown faint promise - because that, historically, is how vaccines have been arrived at.

Trial and error, people, trial and error - and there is NO substitute for clinical trials.
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FDA Approves Clinical Trials to Test Cuban Cancer Vaccine 

FDA Approves Clinical Trials to Test Cuban Cancer Vaccine  | Virology News | Scoop.it
An early-stage study of the effectiveness of a lung-cancer vaccine developed by scientists in Cuba could start as early as next month.
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New Lancet figures show vaccine could save 600,000 women's lives from cervical cancer

New Lancet figures show vaccine could save 600,000 women's lives from cervical cancer | Virology News | Scoop.it
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FAO Report Promotes Biotechnology as Key Tool in Facing Climate Change

FAO Report Promotes Biotechnology as Key Tool in Facing Climate Change | Virology News | Scoop.it
FAO Report Promotes Biotechnology as Key Tool in Facing Climate Change: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its annual report on The State of Food and Agriculture focusing on impact...
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Ebola was just the beginning. A big epidemic is coming and the world must be ready

Ebola was just the beginning. A big epidemic is coming and the world must be ready | Virology News | Scoop.it
Peter Piot spoke at WIRED2016 to explain how we can prepare for the next big virus outbreak
Ed Rybicki's insight:
There is always a Big One coming. And there always will be.
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Fiocruz Joins Sanofi-Walter Reed Zika Vaccine Collaboration 

Fiocruz Joins Sanofi-Walter Reed Zika Vaccine Collaboration  | Virology News | Scoop.it
The collaboration builds on one launched over the summer by Sanofi Pasteur and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
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Scientists uncover why Hepatitis C virus vaccine has been difficult to make

Scientists uncover why Hepatitis C virus vaccine has been difficult to make | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers have been trying for decades to develop a vaccine against the globally endemic hepatitis C virus (HCV).
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Nano-decoy lures human influenza A virus to its doom

Nano-decoy lures human influenza A virus to its doom | Virology News | Scoop.it
To infect its victims, influenza A heads for the lungs, where it latches onto sialic acid on the surface of cells.
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