Deformed wing virus reduces the winter survival of European honeybees (Apis mellifera), and could be a factor in the large colony losses seen in some parts of the world. To find out how the virus became pandemic, Lena Wilfert at the University of Exeter, UK, and her colleagues analysed the virus's genome to reconstruct its evolutionary and geographical history.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
I think human activity is pretty much to blame for nearly ALL outbreaks of infectious disease of recent times?
Vaccinations, long recognized as an excellent investment that saves lives and prevents illness, could have significant economic value that far exceeds their original cost, a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found. In what is believed to be among the first studies to examine the potential return on investment of vaccinations, the researchers assessed the economic benefits of vaccines in 94 low- and middle-income countries using projected vaccination rates from 2011 to 2020. When looking only at costs associated with illness, such as treatment costs and productivity losses, the return was $16 for every dollar spent on vaccines. In a separate analysis taking into account the broader economic impact of illness, vaccinations save $44 for every dollar spent.
In a follow-up story on the monkeypox outbreak in the Central African Republic (CAR), health officials say that no new monkeypox cases have been reported in Bangassou, according to a Journal De Bangui report (computer translated).
“All the patients we have received and which were isolated at the hospital here, are healed and have already returned to their families. So I can confirm that at this time, no cases of ill monkeypox virus is reported in Bangassou “, noted John Paul Ogbia.
The doctor spoke, however, a suspect case. John Paul Ogbia announced the arrival of a verification mission in Bakouma which is part of the disease , “the first two people who had presented this disease had come from Bakouma. We will organize a working mission in the coming days in this location to check the situation in the city “ he said.
Halite is one of the most extreme environments to support life. From the drought of the Atacama Desert to salt deposits up to Permian in age and 2000 meters in burial depth, live microbes have been found. Because halite is geologically stable and impermeable to ground water, the microbes allegedly have a syndepositional origin, making them the oldest organisms known to live on Earth. Recently, our understanding of the microbial diversity inside halite has broadened, and the first genome sequences of ancient halite-buried microbes are now available. The secrets behind prolonged survival in salt are also starting to be revealed.
Virology Journal is now inviting submissions for a new thematic series on “The interplay between the host and HSV-1 infection”. Edited by Chunfu Zheng (Soochow University, China), the collection welcomes research and review articles, and will also include specially commissioned topical reviews, written by leaders in the field.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a typical human-restricted pathogen, which is carried by 50-90% of the population worldwide, with higher frequencies in developing countries. HSV-1 is well known for its ability to establish a lifelong latent infection in neurons and trigger reactivation and lytic infection, mainly in epithelial or mucosal cells.
Although HSV-1 was identified over 100 years ago, the battle between HSV-1 and the host continues, as there is no vaccine yet available, and HSV-1 is still one of the major infectious diseases worldwide.
We will consider articles covering the interplay between the host and HSV-1 infection, including but not limited to:
Virus-host interactionCellular responses to viral infectionPathogenesis and immunity
The aim for this thematic series is to help us not only improve our knowledge of virus-host interactions but also develop novel antiviral approaches and vaccines against HSV-1 infection.
The deadline for submissions is April 30th 2016. To submit your manuscript, please use our online submission system, and indicate in your cover letter that you would like the manuscript to be considered for this thematic series. If you would like to enquire about the suitability of a manuscript for consideration, please email a pre-submission enquiry firstname.lastname@example.org.
COTONOU, Benin, 10 February 2016 – Alarmed by an outbreak of deadly Lassa Fever, UNICEF and World Health Organization officials in Benin are scaling up an emergency response to help prevent further spread of the disease.
The potential link between the Zika virus and brain malformations in babies is terrifying pregnant women around the world. But even in places not hit by the virus, kids are at risk of being born with microcephaly, or a smaller-than-average brain. Many of those cases are caused by a virus you’ve probably never heard of:...
Officials with the Cape Verde Ministry of Health (computer translated) are reporting 7,164 Zika virus cases since first being confirmed in the capital city of Praia last October, while at the same time reporting no occurrences of microcephaly.
Image/CDC Health officials do however report a downward trajectory in cases in the country. Most cases were recorded in Praia (4,837), followed by São Filipe, on Fogo Island (1230) and the island of Maio (501). According to the ministry, the transmission of the virus is now specifically occurring on the islands of Santiago and Fogo, and for the second consecutive week, there were no cases in the Isle of May. Local transmission cases have not been recorded on the islands of Santo Antao, Sao Nicolau, São Vicente, Sal and Brava. Health authorities have no records of complications associated with the virus or cases of neurological disorder. Related:
The “preliminary” final numbers are finally out and the Philippines saw an increase in dengue fever of nearly 65 percent in 2015 compared to the prior year. Through Dec. 31, the archipelago reported 200,415 suspected cases of dengue, including 598 deaths.
African leaders, including ministers of health, finance, and other line ministries from Nigeria and at least 50 other African countries are meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss the potential of developing, manufacturing and implementing effective Zika virus and Lassa virus vaccines on the continent.
With limited laboratory capacity and a lack of experts and funding, an outbreak of the Zika virus in Africa could be problematic.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Yeah...sure. It could be Bad.
BUT: as South African epidemiologists have pointed out, it'll only be a problem IF the mosquito that transmits it elsewhere, comes here - because our local A aegypti doesn't have the same behaviour, and will vastly outnumber and possibly outcompete any import variety.
And it's endemic in tropical Africa - meaning many people are immune already.
So scaremongering about Zika in Africa is possibly a little irresponsible - unless it's being used as a stalking horse for an agenda for setting up continent-wide arbovirus surveillance, or spurring on efforts to set up an African CDC. Which I would heartily endorse.
The stuff about lack of reagents is spot-on: which is why we have a proposal in the works to provide just such, using plants to it. Watch this space....
Until recently, anthropologists drew the human family tree in the same way that my 10-year-old son solves a maze. He finds it much easier to work from the end to the beginning, because blind alleys lead with depressing sameness away from the start...
Ed Rybicki's insight:
We all of us, brothers and sisters...even you Denisovans!
February 3, 2016 | Just over a year ago, Bio-IT World spoke to microbiologist Nick Loman about the recently released MinION DNA sequencer. The three-inch-long device, made by Oxford Nanopore Technologies of the UK, can read DNA in real time on a laptop, and Loman’s lab at the University of Birmingham was one of the first to receive one. Like many other early adopters we spoke to at the time, Loman was itching to try the MinION in real-world clinical contexts, following the genetic traces of an infection as it develops.
A small protein molecule, engineered through computer design, protects against diverse strains of influenza in mice. Its preventive and therapeutic power does not depend on the animals’ own immune response to viral infection. These findings, from a multi-institutional study led by UW Medicine researchers in Seattle, are reported Feb. 4 in PLOS Pathogens. The researchers are trying to address the public health need for better methods to keep flu at bay. Vaccinations can deter flu infections, but they are strain-specific. Flu viruses are notorious for forming new genetic subtypes that can evade vaccines and acquire resistance to antiviral medications.
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