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Bacteria Boost Vaccine Effectiveness | The Scientist Magazine®

Bacteria Boost Vaccine Effectiveness | The Scientist Magazine® | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers are looking to microbes to improve immune responses to a wide range of vaccines.
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Adjuvants rule, OK?!

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
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Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus in migratory birds

Abstract: A novel Clade 2.3.2.1c H5N1 reassortant virus caused several outbreaks in wild birds in some regions of China from late 2014 to 2015. Based on the genetic and phylogenetic analyses, the viruses possess a stable gene constellation with a Clade 2.3.2.1c HA, a H9N2-derived PB2 gene and the other six genes of Asian H5N1-origin. The Clade 2.3.2.1c H5N1 reassortants displayed a high genetic relationship to a human H5N1 strain (A/Alberta/01/2014). Further analysis showed that similar viruses have been circulating in wild birds in China, Russia, Dubai (Western Asia), Bulgaria and Romania (Europe), as well as domestic poultry in some regions of Africa. The affected areas include the Central Asian, East Asian-Australasian, West Asian-East African, and Black Sea/Mediterranean flyways. These results show that the novel Clade 2.3.2.1c reassortant viruses are circulating worldwide and may have gained a selective advantage in migratory birds, thus posing a serious threat to wild birds and potentially humans.

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Exploring the virome of diseased horses

Exploring the virome of diseased horses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Metagenomics was used to characterize viral genomes in clinical specimens of horses with various organ-specific diseases of unknown aetiology. A novel parvovirus as well as a previously described hepacivirus closely related to human hepatitis C viru

Via Bradford Condon, Chris Upton + helpers
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HIV Vaccine Trials Network - Working Towards an AIDS-free Generation

Researchers at the HIV Vaccine Trials Network are working toward the goal of welcoming an AIDS-free generation - and they're doing it by developing a
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Anti-vaxxers will probably be down on this too!
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Singapore confirms 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus

Singapore confirms 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Singapore has confirmed 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus, mostly among foreign construction workers, and said it expected more cases to be identified.
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A Novel Bunyavirus-Like Virus of Trypanosomatid Protist Parasites

A Novel Bunyavirus-Like Virus of Trypanosomatid Protist Parasites | Virology News | Scoop.it
We report here the sequences for all three segments of a novel RNA virus (LepmorLBV1) from the insect trypanosomatid parasite Leptomonas moramango. This virus belongs to a newly discovered group of bunyavirus-like elements termed Leishbunyaviruses (LBV), the first discovered from protists related to arboviruses infecting humans.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
OK, seriously interesting viruses - BECAUSE "...The L. moramango virus thus resembles a group of related viruses discovered recently in the closely related human parasite Leishmania"...which I will note, whose phylogenetic affinity to other higher eukaryotes is via a relationship to trypanonosomes, and then - Euglena??  Which is an alga....

Seriously: a bunya-like virus found in a protozoan whose closest affinity to other hosts of bunyaviruses is via algae??  

This pushes the possible evolutionary origin of bunyaviruses faaaaaar back, to possibly a billion years or so, when fungi were separating from protists from algae.....

There is another option, however: I note the Leptomonas sp. is a parasite of insects. It is of course worth noting that the Leishmania and other related parasites infecting mammals are also all arthropod-vectored - which could imply an origin in arthropods.

Which makes good sense, considering these beasties date back less than 600 million years or so - which is still pretty good for a virus?!
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Virus hunters search for the next deadly outbreak

Virus hunters search for the next deadly outbreak | Virology News | Scoop.it
Meet the researchers who enter the depths of the earth in search of deadly pathogens with the potential to cause outbreaks.

Via Ian M Mackay, PhD
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And here in South Africa, what's more!! Although as a former explorer of bat-infested caves, I think rats may be a better target?
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Zika Virus: Two or Three Lineages?

Zika Virus: Two or Three Lineages? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ed Rybicki's insight:
This is interesting for a number of reasons: one, because it nails down slightly more convincingly where Zika came from; two, because it introduces the concept of a wider range of genotypes than we knew about; three, because vaccines that might be expected to protect against Asian and African 1 types, might conceivably not protect against African II. And given the lesson of dengue types and vaccines and the potential for ADE, that might not be a good thing....
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Is Virology Dead? No - no, it's not!

Mark Twain once remarked that the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. So too, the death of virology.

In certain quarters, it is now fashionable to declare the passing of virology. “Viruses are retro,” a faculty colleague once told me, deadly serious.

We have heard this before. In 1967, the U.S. Surgeon General allegedly proclaimed, “The time has come to close the book on infectious disease. We have basically wiped out infection in the United States” (1). This was before the arrival of AIDS and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the discovery of hepatitis C virus, before the fear of an avian flu pandemic and bioterrorism.

Virology was once held in high esteem. In the first half of the 20th century, plant viruses held center stage. Studies of mosaic disease of tobacco revealed the existence of a new class of infectious agents smaller than bacteria, and tobacco mosaic virus taught us that viruses could be crystallized, disassembled, and reassembled into an infectious form: “life” could be studied with chemical approaches (2, 3). In the 1950s and 1960s, viruses that infect bacteria played a central role in the biological sciences. They formed the basis of the Hershey-Chase experiment, the first widely accepted evidence that DNA is the genetic material (4). Bacteriophage also led to the discovery of mRNA and the triplet nature of the genetic code and played a leading role in the birth of molecular biology (5). The 1970s and 1980s were a golden age for animal virology. The small genomes of many animal viruses and the ease of introducing them into cells made them the model organisms of choice to study eukaryotic cells. mRNA splicing, transcriptional enhancers, oncogenes, tumor suppressor proteins, antiapoptotic proteins, cellular trafficking signals and pathways, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restriction, and much fundamental cell biology and biochemistry were discovered through studies of animal viruses (6). The roster of Nobel Prizes awarded for studies of viruses is long and unequaled.

The success of virology enabled the ascendancy of other fields. Restriction mapping, gene transfer into animal cells, directed mutagenesis, and whole-genome sequencing were developed to analyze small viral genomes (7–14). These powerful methods ushered in the recombinant DNA era and were in turn applied to studying cellular genes as well. In fact, much of genetic engineering, at least in the early days, centered on converting the much larger cellular genomes into virus-sized bits of genetic information, which could then be analyzed by the methods used so successfully on the viruses themselves. With the adoption of molecular cloning techniques by cell biologists and geneticists, virologists no longer had a monopoly on insights into the innermost workings of cells. Now that we can clone and study cellular genes and have sophisticated methods to analyze cells and whole organisms, so the argument goes, why settle for studying viruses?

To the cognoscenti, the real attraction of viruses was not only these methodological advantages but also the intimate relationship of viruses with their host cells. Because viruses depend on cellular machinery to replicate, they need to manipulate crucial regulatory nodes of cells to reprogram them into virus-producing factories (or into safe havens while waiting for the signal to replicate). By studying how viruses work the levers that control cell growth and behavior, and how cells fight back to maintain their sovereignty, important cellular processes are revealed. Thus, many aspects of signal transduction, cell cycle control, regulation of gene expression, immunology, and carcinogenesis were elucidated by studies of viruses and their interactions with host cells. Indeed, with their large population sizes, short generation times, and high rate of mutation, viruses are ideal evolutionary probes of cells. We may pride ourselves on the power of functional genomics screens, next-generation DNA sequencing, and sophisticated bioinformatics and proteomic analysis to dissect cellular activities, but these tools are no match for millions of years of fast-track viral evolution.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Interesting article, albeit a couple of years old. Viruses are way too important for virology to be dead B-)
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Vaccination evokes gender-dependent protection against tularemia infection in C57BL/6Tac mice

Vaccination evokes gender-dependent protection against tularemia infection in C57BL/6Tac mice | Virology News | Scoop.it
Highlights

Gender bias is demonstrated in vaccination and protection against Ft challenge.

Following vaccination, female mice are better protected than male mice.

Ab, cytokine, and bacterial clearance studies are consistent with the above.

Gender bias is apparent with both Ft LVS and highly virulent Ft SchuS4.

Gender must be considered to accurately evaluate vaccine efficacy.
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Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified - possibly

Two Zika proteins responsible for microcephaly identified - possibly | Virology News | Scoop.it
USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere -- taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers..
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One of the biggest vaccination drives ever is underway to beat yellow fever

One of the biggest vaccination drives ever is underway to beat yellow fever | Virology News | Scoop.it

What makes this vaccination campaign different or unique? This is one of the largest vaccination efforts to contain an ongoing outbreak ever undertaken. The response to the yellow fever outbreak in Angola, which started in December 2015, has already been remarkable. More than 10 million people have been vaccinated in Luanda Province and other affected areas of the country since February. The effect is already evident. No new cases in the area were recorded in July and the first weeks of August. But the outbreak has spread to the DRC. The current concern is for the evolving situation there as well as to prepare for possible flare ups of the disease in the coming rainy months. The vaccination campaign has been expanded to increase coverage in Angola in the areas that border the DRC in particular, and then in the DRC’s affected areas. These are regarded as high risk areas for the transmission of the virus.

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Development of a Zika vaccine

Currently, there is no approved vaccine against the Zika virus (ZIKV). However, several organizations are actively developing vaccines using various platforms and technologies. While many of these are in the early stages, several are based upon previously approved platforms and designs against dengue and other infectious disease agents. In March 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a list of organizations describing for approaches toward Zika vaccine development. This short editorial describes the overview of ZIKV and vaccine development.

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Smallpox could be about to return! Or - not, maybe?

Smallpox could be about to return! Or - not, maybe? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Smallpox – a deadly disease eradicated from the world in 1977 – could return as the frozen tundra of Siberia melts and releases the virus from the corpses of people who died in a major epidemic about 120 years ago, experts have warned.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
This is alarmism at its insidious best: shouting out a headline, based on flimsy evidence, that says "We're all going to die!" or similar nonsense.
Really: this IS nonsense.  Some corpses were found in the permafrost in Siberia, that MAY have had smallpox-like lesions on them, and from some of which which smallpox virus DNA could be recovered - presumably by PCR.
This does NOT constitute a threat of live virus being present, or escaping from the corpses even if it WERE there.
I can believe you could get live anthrax: those spores are incredibly tough, and can last for many years in soil, let alone in ice. I could also believe that one could find live megaviruses - the so-called pitho- and molliviruses - in permafrost, because their putative hosts are unicellular protozoans and because they are also seriously stable.
But smallpox? The virus is probably not as stable as the megaviruses mentioned; it relies for infection on its structure, which has membranes integral to it - AND it infects people, who, when they die, don't cool down very quickly, and whose cells release all sorts of nasty enzymes (lipases, proteases) as they die. Which could be expected to chew up most things, including poxviruses.
Oh, sure, poxviruses CAN survive for years at a pinch - in the form of dried secretions or scabs, which, because they are dehydrated and full of protein, tend to stabilise virus particles. This is how the old variolators and vaccinators (literally: people who used variola or "vaccine" to vaccinate against smallpox) used to preserve their inocula, when they weren't using fresh material.
Melting tundra is not like that, I will note: bodies with intact virions in them will thaw and rot all over again, and that rotting will reduce what little virus there may be even further.
So I am not a believer in Death From The Permafrost!
And nor should you be.
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Virus like particle-based vaccines against emerging infectious disease viruses

Abstract: Emerging infectious diseases are major threats to human health. Most severe viral disease outbreaks occur in developing regions where health conditions are poor. With increased international travel and business, the possibility of eventually transmitting infectious viruses between different countries is increasing. The most effective approach in preventing viral diseases is vaccination. However, vaccines are not currently available for numerous viral diseases. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are engineered vaccine candidates that have been studied for decades. VLPs are constructed by viral protein expression in various expression systems that promote the self-assembly of proteins into structures resembling virus particles. VLPs have antigenicity similar to that of the native virus, but are non-infectious as they lack key viral genetic material. VLP vaccines have attracted considerable research interest because they offer several advantages over traditional vaccines. Studies have shown that VLP vaccines can stimulate both humoral and cellular immune responses, which may offer effective antiviral protection. Here we review recent developments with VLP-based vaccines for several highly virulent emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases. The infectious agents discussed include RNA viruses from different virus families, such as the Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Caliciviridae, Coronaviridae, Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, and Togaviridae families.

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Swine flu virus in India 'has become more virulent' since 2009 outbreak

Swine flu virus in India 'has become more virulent' since 2009 outbreak | Virology News | Scoop.it
Since December 2014, swine flu has claimed the lives of over 1,300 people in India, making it the worst outbreak of the virus in the country since 2009.
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Video Debate: Brave New Horizon - Where will technology lead the human race?

Video Debate: Brave New Horizon - Where will technology lead the human race? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Science fiction author Richard Morgan, first UK user of a bionic arm Nicky Ashwell and Oxford Fellow Anders Sandberg debate the future of humanity.
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South African academics warn of universities on the brink

South African academics warn of universities on the brink | Virology News | Scoop.it
Over 1,200 sign open letter to President Jacob Zuma warning universities are at a tipping point.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Yup...it could all so easily go south from here (pardon the pun).
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CCHFV, Pakistan

The authorities of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) have issued Congo [Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, CCHF] emergency in the city and have assigned teams to check the sacrificial animals coming from other districts of Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan for the presence of Congo virus, Daily Times learnt on [Sun 21 Aug 2016].

After the death of Bahawalpur's animal trader due to CCHF in Karachi last week [week of 15 Aug 2016], authorities have finally taken notice. On [Sun 21 Aug 2016], through a letter, teams of veterinary doctors were constituted to examine the animals at cattle market. The animal trader is said to get affected by the virus in the Karachi cattle market.

In a letter written by Karachi Commissioner to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator, it was asked to constitute teams of veterinary doctors of KMC to examine these animals at the cattle market and direct the officers concerned to make immediate arrangements to keep them away from the other animals/cattle to prevent any untoward situation. However, in the letter, the commissioner has not mentioned what exactly the teams would be doing with the animals at the cattle market.

According to Dr Zafar Mehdi, focal person on the government facility for prevention of _Naegleria_ and CCHF, a 22-year-old man from Bahawalpur had brought sacrificial animals in the city to sell ahead of Eidul Azha [or Eid al-Adha, Festival of the Sacrifice] died at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) after being inflicted with the Congo fever, taking the toll of victims of the disease in the city to 4 this year [2016].

The trader's death alarmed the local authorities to make sure that the hundreds of thousands of animals, already brought to the animal market off the Superhighway, were safe from the tick that transfers the lethal disease to humans.

CCHF is a widespread tick-borne viral disease that is endemic in Africa, Balkans, the Middle East, and Asia. The virus is a member of the _Bunyaviridae_ family of RNA viruses.

The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10-40 percent.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
And that's a TICK-borne bunyavirus...B-)
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Fc receptors in antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infections

Fc receptors in antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infections | Virology News | Scoop.it

Via Gilbert C FAURE
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History of Vaccines — A Vaccine History Project of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

History of Vaccines — A Vaccine History Project of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia | Virology News | Scoop.it
The History of Vaccines explores the role of immunization in the human experience and examines its continuing contributions to public health.
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REALLY useful resource
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Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Who Helped End Smallpox, Dies at 87

Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Who Helped End Smallpox, Dies at 87 | Virology News | Scoop.it
Starting in 1966, Dr. Henderson, known as D.A., led the World Health Organization’s war on the smallpox virus, and achieved success astonishingly quickly.
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Great article on Henderson.
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Common cold viruses originated in camels - just like MERS 

Common cold viruses originated in camels - just like MERS  | Virology News | Scoop.it
There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to..
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Camel kissing obviously has a looooooong history...B-)
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Brazil Scientists Find Zika Traces in Different Mosquito Species

Brazil Scientists Find Zika Traces in Different Mosquito Species | Virology News | Scoop.it
Culex mosquitoes are more common and hardier than Aedes aegypti , which is known to transmit the virus
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Role of small biotechnology companies in biodefence vaccines

Role of small biotechnology companies in biodefence vaccines | Virology News | Scoop.it
Since Edward Jenner introduced immunization with cowpox in the late eighteenth century for smallpox prevention, vaccines have saved countless lives and trillions of dollars in public health and related expenditures. At the same time, a 40-billion-dollar-worldwide vaccine market has been created that is dominated by a few large pharmaceutical companies [1 Global vaccine market revenues in 2005, 2009 and 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) [Internet]. 2015. [cited 2016 Apr 5]. Available from: http://www.statista.com/statistics/265102/revenues-in-the-global-vaccine-market/]. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists 80 licensed vaccine products [2 Complete List of Vaccines Licensed for Immunization and Distribution in the US [Internet]. Silver Spring (MD): U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 2015. [cited 2016 Apr 5]. Available from: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm093833.htm], the number of diseases (22 pathogens or their toxic products) targeted is much smaller due to multiple competing products for high-value markets. This is a sobering reminder that successful vaccine development is a colossal undertaking plagued with risks and requires companies with a strong financial backbone as well as extensive experience and infrastructure.
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Deadly African virus 'on brink of spreading to Europe and Americas'

Deadly African virus 'on brink of spreading to Europe and Americas' | Virology News | Scoop.it
A deadly African virus is on the brink of spreading to Europe and the Americas amid the largest outbreak in more than 30 years, a charity has warned. Yellow fever can cause bleeding from the ears, eyes and nose, organ failure, jaundice and death in the most severe cases, and is considered such a threat that many African nations refuse entry to anyone who has not been vaccinated. Yet despite those regulations, thousands of suspected cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the disease crossed the border from Angola. 
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"Yellow fever can cause bleeding from the ears, eyes and nose, organ failure, jaundice and death in the most severe cases, and is considered such a threat that many African nations refuse entry to anyone who has not been vaccinated."

And you folk worry about Zika?
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