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PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - Indonesia (02): (MU) canine, human

PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - Indonesia (02): (MU) canine, human | Virology News | Scoop.it

At least 50 people have died of rabies in the recent weeks in a reported outbreak in the south west district of Indonesia's Maluku province, local officials said on Monday [5 Mar 2012]. "Rabies has killed at least 50 people, and hundreds of others have been infected [that is, exposed to the risk of the disease]," Bernabas Orno said, adding that the outbreak has been reported to Maluku governor Karel Albert Ralahalu.

The deadly virus has hit this remote province hard in recent weeks.  The rabies virus is spread through contact with infected animals, who carry the virus in their saliva. Those bitten by an infected animal can avoid contracting the deadly disease if they clean the wound and receive a rabies vaccination within hours of contact. But rabies  vaccine supplies in the remote Southwest Maluku district have run out, Barnabas said. No hospitals in the district have the vaccine, and efforts to control the spread of the virus have failed to make an impact, he added. "We are badly in need of the provincial government's help," Barnabas said. Without help, Barnabas feared that the rabies epidemic in the Southwest Maluku district would only get worse.

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Novel Picornavirus Associated with Avian Keratin Disorder in Alaskan Birds

Avian keratin disorder (AKD), characterized by debilitating overgrowth of the avian beak, was first documented in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska. Subsequently, similar deformities have appeared in numerous species across continents. Despite the widespread distribution of this emerging pathology, the cause of AKD remains elusive. As a result, it is unknown whether suspected cases of AKD in the afflicted species are causally linked, and the impacts of this pathology at the population and community levels are difficult to evaluate. We applied unbiased, metagenomic next-generation sequencing to search for candidate pathogens in birds affected with AKD. We identified and sequenced the complete coding region of a novel picornavirus, which we are calling poecivirus. Subsequent screening of 19 AKD-affected black-capped chickadees and 9 control individuals for the presence of poecivirus revealed that 19/19 (100%) AKD-affected individuals were positive, while only 2/9 (22%) control individuals were infected with poecivirus. Two northwestern crows (Corvus caurinus) and two red-breasted nuthatches (Sitta canadensis) with AKD-consistent pathology also tested positive for poecivirus. We suggest that poecivirus is a candidate etiological agent of AKD.

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NIH launches early-stage yellow fever vaccine trial | PressReleasePoint

NIH launches early-stage yellow fever vaccine trial | PressReleasePoint | Virology News | Scoop.it
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has begun an early-stage clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against yellow fever virus. The Phase 1 study is evaluating whether an experimental vaccine developed by the Danish biopharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic is safe, tolerable and has the potential to prevent yellow fever virus infection.
“Yellow fever has recently re-emerged as a major public health threat in parts of Africa.”
—Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID
Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. It caused an estimated 84,000 to 170,000 severe cases of disease and 29,000 to 60,000 deaths in 2013, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Mild cases of infection can cause fever, back pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. Most people recover, but approximately 15 percent of those infected develop severe disease manifested as yellow eyes and skin (jaundice), hemorrhage and shock, resulting in potentially fatal kidney, liver or heart conditions.
Yellow fever has recently re-emerged as a major public health threat in parts of Africa. Although a vaccine exists to prevent this serious disease, it is currently in short supply, and it is not recommended for certain populations, such as pregnant women and people older than 60 years,“Yellow fever has recently re-emerged as a major public health threat in parts of Africa. Although a vaccine exists to prevent this serious disease, it is currently in short supply, and it is not recommended for certain populations, such as pregnant women and people older than 60 years,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “We must develop new options for preventing this terrible disease.”
As of July 21, 2016, the WHO has reported a total of 3,682 suspected yellow fever cases with 361 deaths in the African country of Angola. Meanwhile, another 1,798 suspected cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of The Congo (DRC), including 85 deaths. Cases with links to Angola have also been reported in Kenya and China.
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China reports 7 additional human H7N9 avian influenza cases, 4 deaths 

China reports 7 additional human H7N9 avian influenza cases, 4 deaths  | Virology News | Scoop.it
China reports 7 additional human #H7N9 avian #influenza cases, 4 deaths - Outbreak News Today : https://t.co/a92WruivW8
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Inactivated Polio Virus Vaccine (IPV) Introduced in Ethiopia

Inactivated Polio Virus Vaccine (IPV) Introduced in Ethiopia | Virology News | Scoop.it
ADDIS ABABA, 16 December 2015 | Ethiopia joins over 130 countries to introduce Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV) vaccine against poliomyelitis
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Pathogenic Chikungunya Virus Evades B Cell Responses to Establish Persistence

Pathogenic Chikungunya Virus Evades B Cell Responses to Establish Persistence | Virology News | Scoop.it
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and related alphaviruses cause epidemics of acute and chronic musculoskeletal disease. To investigate the mechanisms underlying the failure of immune clearance of CHIKV, we studied mice infected with an attenuated CHIKV strain (181/25) and the pathogenic parental strain (AF15561), which differ by five amino acids. Whereas AF15561 infection of wild-type mice results in viral persistence in joint tissues, 181/25 is cleared. In contrast, 181/25 infection of μMT mice lacking mature B cells results in viral persistence in joint tissues, suggesting that virus-specific antibody is required for clearance of infection. Mapping studies demonstrated that a highly conserved glycine at position 82 in the A domain of the E2 glycoprotein impedes clearance and neutralization of multiple CHIKV strains. Remarkably, murine and human antibodies targeting E2 domain B failed to neutralize pathogenic CHIKV strains efficiently. Our data suggest that pathogenic CHIKV strains evade E2 domain-B-neutralizing antibodies to establish persistence.

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Vaccine-Induced Antibodies that Neutralize Group 1 and Group 2 Influenza A Viruses

Vaccine-Induced Antibodies that Neutralize Group 1 and Group 2 Influenza A Viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Antibodies capable of neutralizing divergent influenza A viruses could form the basis of a universal vaccine. Here, from subjects enrolled in an H5N1 DNA/MIV-prime-boost influenza vaccine trial, we sorted hemagglutinin cross-reactive memory B cells and identified three antibody classes, each capable of neutralizing diverse subtypes of group 1 and group 2 influenza A viruses. Co-crystal structures with hemagglutinin revealed that each class utilized characteristic germline genes and convergent sequence motifs to recognize overlapping epitopes in the hemagglutinin stem. All six analyzed subjects had sequences from at least one multidonor class, and—in half the subjects—multidonor-class sequences were recovered from >40% of cross-reactive B cells. By contrast, these multidonor-class sequences were rare in published antibody datasets. Vaccination with a divergent hemagglutinin can thus increase the frequency of B cells encoding broad influenza A-neutralizing antibodies. We propose the sequence signature-quantified prevalence of these B cells as a metric to guide universal influenza A immunization strategies.

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Egypt reports 3 human H5N1 avian influenza cases

Egypt reports 3 human H5N1 avian influenza cases | Virology News | Scoop.it
Egypt reports 3 human H5N1 avian influenza cases.
https://t.co/iKaqIsJ7lO https://t.co/JWY53xkNrZ
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The Legacy of Past Pandemics: Common Human Mutations That Protect against Infectious Disease

The Legacy of Past Pandemics: Common Human Mutations That Protect against Infectious Disease via @PLOSPathogens https://t.co/nn95TSW4WD
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New Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins

Scientists at Oxford University have begun immunising healthy volunteers with a new ebola vaccine.
 
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What Have We Learned about the Microbiomes of Indoor Environments?

The advent and application of high-throughput molecular techniques for analyzing microbial communities in the indoor environment have led to illuminating findings and are beginning to change the way we think about human health in relation to the...
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Merck VSV-based Ebola vaccine wins speedier reviews by regulators

Merck VSV-based Ebola vaccine wins speedier reviews by regulators | Virology News | Scoop.it
Merck has been granted speedier review in the US and Europe for its potential Ebola vaccine.
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Archaeal Virus Highlights Conserved Elements in Icosahedral Membrane-Containing DNA Viruses from Extreme Environments

Despite their high genomic diversity, all known viruses are structurally constrained to a limited number of virion morphotypes. One morphotype of viruses infecting bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes is the tailless icosahedral morphotype with an internal membrane. Although it is considered an abundant morphotype in extreme environments, only seven such archaeal viruses are known. Here, we introduce Haloarcula californiae icosahedral virus 1 (HCIV-1), a halophilic euryarchaeal virus originating from salt crystals. HCIV-1 also retains its infectivity under low-salinity conditions, showing that it is able to adapt to environmental changes. The release of progeny virions resulting from cell lysis was evidenced by reduced cellular oxygen consumption, leakage of intracellular ATP, and binding of an indicator ion to ruptured cell membranes. The virion contains at least 12 different protein species, lipids selectively acquired from the host cell membrane, and a 31,314-bp-long linear double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). The overall genome organization and sequence show high similarity to the genomes of archaeal viruses in the Sphaerolipoviridae family. Phylogenetic analysis based on the major conserved components needed for virion assembly—the major capsid proteins and the packaging ATPase—placed HCIV-1 along with the alphasphaerolipoviruses in a distinct, well-supported clade. On the basis of its virion morphology and sequence similarities, most notably, those of its core virion components, we propose that HCIV-1 is a member of the PRD1-adenovirus structure-based lineage together with other sphaerolipoviruses. This addition to the lineage reinforces the notion of the ancient evolutionary links observed between the viruses and further highlights the limits of the choices found in nature for formation of a virion.
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Cold virus fares better a bit below body temp

Cold virus fares better a bit below body temp | Virology News | Scoop.it
New research shows how body temperature can affect the immune system's response to the common cold virus.
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Hepatitis C: Debilitating virus on the verge of being eradicated in Australia

Hepatitis C: Debilitating virus on the verge of being eradicated in Australia | Virology News | Scoop.it
Australia is leading the world in curing a debilitating virus that affects thousands of Australians following a medical breakthrough in antiviral treatment.
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CDC - Cancers Associated with Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

CDC - Cancers Associated with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) | Virology News | Scoop.it
Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer. Some cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are also HPV-associated.
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Vaccine for Celiac Disease

Vaccine for Celiac Disease | Virology News | Scoop.it
A vaccine for celiac disease is set to start clinical trials in Victoria, Australia in the next few months.  Nexvax2 is supposed to give those with celiac disease the ability to overcome their auto… (via: trendolizer.com)...
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The Soviet Biological Warfare Program and Its Uncertain Legacy

For several decades, 1928 through 1972, Soviet scientists applied classical microbiology techniques to enhance certain properties of well-known pathogens and better adapt them for weapons applications. Subsequently, Soviet scientists reorganized those efforts to take advantage of new recombinant DNA techniques and also disguised them as civilian biotechnology research and development (R&D). Before Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin halted the Soviet offensive biological warfare (BW) program in 1992, it employed tens of thousands of scientists and support personnel working in some 40 facilities. In 1992, Yeltsin disclosed to foreign governments, the United Nations, and reporters that the Soviet Union had operated an offensive BW program in violation of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). Despite such disclosures, there are lingering doubts among some observers about Vladimir Putin's plans for applied biosciences in today's Russia.

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The Human Immune Response to HIV and the Potential Development of an Inactivated HIV Vaccine

There is evidence that the transmission and acute phase of HIV infection triggers an immune response capable of controlling HIV subverted by the process of virus integration, essential to the replicative cycle of retroviruses. We review here two aspects that deserve consideration in light of recent developments concerning HIV transmission and vaccine development: vaccines directed against transmitted/founder viruses, and a reconsideration of inactivation as a viable means to obtain a preventive HIV vaccine. Since 80% of sexually transmitted HIV infections are caused by a single transmitted/founder variant, it is appropriate to target transmitted/founder viruses for vaccine development. Transmitted/founder virus transmission is subject to strong natural selection based on conserved signatures present in all forms of transmitted/founder HIV viruses. This provides an opportunity to pursue inactivation methods of vaccine development that allow antigenic preservation of HIV transmitted/founder viruses. The presentation to the immune system of an inactivated but antigenically preserved transmitted/founder virus should allow the development of an effective immune response against transmitted/founder viruses. This could be the base for an inactivated transmitted/founder virus HIV vaccine. We have devised a method of inactivation of HIV reverse transcriptase through the use of a novel photo-labeling procedure based on the use of photo-labeled analogs of antiretroviral compounds with specific affinity for HIV reverse transcriptase. We believe this method fulfills the required conditions for an effective preventive vaccine development: inactivation and antigenic preservation.

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Genetically modified yeasts: the next battleground in wine making

Genetically modified yeasts: the next battleground in wine making | Virology News | Scoop.it
GM yeasts: the next big controversy in wine
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...and of course, it shouldn't really be controversial at all. IF PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD THE SCIENCE!!!
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Low influenza vaccination rates among nursing home employees put residents at risk

Influenza is associated with as many as 7,300 deaths annually in nursing home residents, but the vaccination rate for nursing home staff is only 54 percent, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control, the official...
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As I get older, I start worrying about stuff like this....
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How To Protect Against The West Nile Virus 

How To Protect Against The West Nile Virus  | Virology News | Scoop.it
The west nile virus is spreading, but there are some precautions we can take today that will make our outdoor activities much more safer. Don't let mosquitoes turn you into a prisoner of your own house, take action to protect your family from WNV.
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The U.S. Blew $1.4 Billion on Abstinence Education in Africa

The U.S. Blew $1.4 Billion on Abstinence Education in Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
The effort was supposed to prevent the spread of HIV—but it didn’t work, according to the most comprehensive study of the program
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Phage on tap–a quick and efficient protocol for the preparation of bacteriophage laboratory stocks

Phage on tap–a quick and efficient protocol for the preparation of bacteriophage laboratory stocks | Virology News | Scoop.it
A major limitation with traditional phage preparations is the variability in titer, salts, and bacterial contaminants between successive propagations. Here we introduce the Phage On Tap (PoT) protocol for the quick and efficient preparation of homogenous bacteriophage (phage) stocks. This method produces homogenous, laboratory-scale, high titer (up to 1010–11 PFU·ml−1), endotoxin reduced phage banks that can be used to eliminate the variability between phage propagations and improve the molecular characterizations of phage. The method consists of five major parts, including phage propagation, phage clean up by 0.22 μm filtering and chloroform treatment, phage concentration by ultrafiltration, endotoxin removal, and the preparation and storage of phage banks for continuous laboratory use. From a starting liquid lysate of > 100 mL, the PoT protocol generated a clean, homogenous, laboratory phage bank with a phage recovery efficiency of 85% within just two days. In contrast, the traditional method took upwards of five days to produce a high titer, but lower volume phage stock with a recovery efficiency of only 4%. Phage banks can be further purified for the removal of bacterial endotoxins, reducing endotoxin concentrations by over 3,000-fold while maintaining phage titer. The PoT protocol focused on T-like phages, but is broadly applicable to a variety of phages that can be propagated to sufficient titer, producing homogenous, high titer phage banks that are applicable for molecular and cellular assays.
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Biochemists feed 'poison pill' to coxsackievirus

Biochemists feed 'poison pill' to coxsackievirus | Virology News | Scoop.it
It has a funny name -- coxsackievirus -- but there's nothing funny about how this tiny germ and its close relatives sicken their hosts. Colorado State University researchers led by Professor Olve Peersen have designed a genetic modification to one type of coxsackievirus that strips its ability to replicate, mutate and cause illness. They hope their work could lead to a vaccine for this and other viruses like it.
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