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HIV increasing in the Middle East and North Africa

HIV increasing in the Middle East and North Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it

More than 85 per cent of people who need life-saving HIV treatment in the Middle East do not receive it, as stigma and limited access to testing remain strong barriers to combating the virus.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Religion and custom getting in the way of HIV prevention AGAIN: learn from South Africa, people!!

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Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, November 11, 2014 2:17 PM

In my geography class we learned of the HIV rate in North Africa and the promotions that they have in the countries that lack the true meaning of potentially getting HIV. It is important with great branding that can really show the risk of having unprotected sex and catching HIV. Although there medical technology isn't as strong as it is here in the US, with the lack of medical technology over there it can kill a person slowly by having HIV. Hopefully they can better teach the use of having safe sex and always protecting yourself.

Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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World Health Organization gets first leader from Africa

World Health Organization gets first leader from Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to head agency amid calls for reform.
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Patterns of prevalent HPV and STI co-infections and associated factors among HIV- young South African women

OBJECTIVE:
To estimate the prevalence and describe the patterns of concurrent human papillomavirus (HPV) and STIs and associated factors among HIV-negative young Western Cape, South African women participating in the Efficacy of HPV Vaccine to Reduce HIV Infection (EVRI) trial.
METHODS:
HIV-negative women aged 16-24 years old were enrolled in the EVRI trial (NCT01489527) and randomised to receive the licensed four-valent HPV vaccine or placebo. At study entry, participants were clinically evaluated for five STIs: herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and disease-causing HPV genotypes (6/11/16/18/31/33/35/39/45/51/52/56/58/59/68). Demographic and sexual history characteristics were compared among women with STI co-infections, single infection and no infection using Pearson χ2 and Mann-Whitney tests. ORs were calculated to evaluate factors associated with STI co-infection prevalence.
RESULTS:
Among 388 young women, STI co-infection prevalence was high: 47% had ≥2 concurrent STIs, 36% had a single STI and 17% had none of the five evaluated STIs. HPV/HSV-2 (26%) was the most prevalent co-infection detected followed by HPV/HSV-2/Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) (17%) and HPV/CT (15%). Co-infection prevalence was independently associated with alcohol use (adjusted OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.00 to 4.06) and having a sexual partner with an STI (adjusted OR=6.96, 95% CI 1.53 to 30.08).
CONCLUSIONS:
Among high-risk young women from underserved communities such as in Southern Africa, a multicomponent prevention strategy that integrates medical and behavioural interventions targeting both men and women is essential to prevent acquisition of concurrent STI infections and consequent disease.
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Why GM mosquitoes might not work against malaria - Futurity

Why GM mosquitoes might not work against malaria - Futurity | Virology News | Scoop.it
Using CRISPR to genetically alter insects that harm crops or carry disease—such as malaria—may not be as easy as once thought.
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Global Influenza Vaccine Industry Expected To Reach US$ 2.5 Billion by 2022

MarketReportsOnline.com adds “United States Influenza Vaccine Market, Vaccination Analysis, Distribution, Production, Pipeline Insights, Clinical Trials
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Life expectancy for HIV patients is now 'near normal'

Life expectancy for HIV patients is now 'near normal' | Virology News | Scoop.it

HIV, which can lead to Aids if left untreated, was once considered a certain death sentence
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Does prior infection with varicella-zoster virus influence risk of adult glioma?

To evaluate a possible association between varicella-zoster virus infection and glioma, the authors asked adults with glioma (n = 462) whose tumors were diagnosed between August 1, 1991, and March 31, 1994, and age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched controls (n = 443) about their histories of chickenpox or shingles. Cases were significantly less likely than controls to report a history of either chickenpox (odds ratio = 0.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3-0.6) or shingles (odds ratio = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.8). To obtain serologic support for these findings, the authors conducted double-blind enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for immunoglobulin G antibodies to varicella-zoster virus among 167 self-reporting subjects for whom blood samples were available. Cases and controls reporting no history of chickenpox were equally likely to test positive (73% vs. 75%), but among those reporting a positive history, cases were less likely than were controls to test positive (71% vs. 85%). Despite the misclassification, an odds ratio of 0.6 was obtained using either serologic data (95% CI 0.3-1.3) or reported history of chickenpox (95% CI 0.3-1.1) in this subgroup of subjects. This suggests that adults with glioma were less likely than controls either to have had prior varicella-zoster virus infection or to have an immunoglobulin G antibody response adequate to indicate positivity. Since either explanation suggests novel mechanisms for brain tumor pathogenesis, these findings require corroboration and elaboration.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Answer: a qualified "maybe"
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 ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Flaviviridae

The Flaviviridae is a family of small enveloped viruses with RNA genomes of 9000–13 000 bases. Most infect mammals and birds. Many flaviviruses are host-specific and pathogenic, such as hepatitis C virus in the genus Hepacivirus. The majority of known members in the genus Flavivirus are arthropod borne, and many are important human and veterinary pathogens (e.g. yellow fever virus, dengue virus). This is a summary of the current International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) report on the taxonomy of the Flaviviridae, which is available at www.ictv.global/report/flaviviridae.

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ICTV Taxonomy Profiles

The Journal of General Virology ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles are a freely available series of concise, review-type articles that provide overviews of the classification, structure and properties of individual virus orders, families and genera.

ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles are written by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) study groups, comprised of leading experts in the field. The profiles summarise the individual chapters from the ICTV’s online 10th Report on Virus Taxonomy, and provide the latest taxonomic information on viruses.

The Microbiology Society is publishing these citable profiles online, while the full chapters are available to all through the ICTV website, thanks to a five-year Biomedical Resources grant from the Wellcome Trust.
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A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice 

The balance between detrimental, pro-aging, often stochastic processes and counteracting homeostatic mechanisms largely determines the progression of aging. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the latter system because it modulates the physiological processes underlying aging1,2. The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the brain tissues of older animals3–5 and the levels of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lower6. However, a direct link between endocannabinoid tone and aging symptoms has not been demonstrated. Here we show that a low dose of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months. The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC. Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments
Ed Rybicki's insight:
I want to be an old mouse B-)
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First three round the Moon 

Roger Launius on a valentine to the astronauts behind Apollo 8 and Earthrise.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
I remember hanging on every news broadcast to find out what had happened. Stirring times!
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Analysis of feces from coronary heart disease patients reveals the genetic diversity of the Microviridae

Recent studies have declared that members of the ssDNA virus family Microviridae play an important role in multiple environments,as they have been found taking a dominant position in the human gut.The aim of this study was to analyze the overall composition of the gut virome in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients,and try to discover the potential link between the human gut virome and CHD.Viral metagenomics methods were performed to detect the viral sequences in fecal samples collected from CHD inpatients and healthy persons as controls.We present the analysis of the virome composition in these CHD patients and controls.Our data shows that the virome composition may be linked to daily living habits and the medical therapy of CHD. Virgaviridae and Microviridae were the two dominant types of viruses found in the enteric virome of CHD patients.Fourteen divergent viruses belonging to the family Microviridae were found,twelve of which were grouped into the subfamily Gokushovirinae,while the remaining two strains might represent two new subfamilies within Microviridae,according to the phylogenetic analysis.In addition,the genomic organization of these viruses has been characterized.
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Geneticists enlist engineered citrus tristeza virus to battle citrus disease

Geneticists enlist engineered citrus tristeza virus to battle citrus disease | Virology News | Scoop.it

he citrus greening Desperate farmers hope scientists can beat the citrus greening pathogen that is wrecking the US orange harvest.

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Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Americas

Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Americas | Virology News | Scoop.it
22532 suspected cases (22532 in Central and South America, 0 in the Caribbean, 0 in North America), 7358 confirmed cases (14 North America, 5 Caribbean, 7336 Central and South America) (7350 autochthonous transmission and 8 travel related imported cases)
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Influenza vaccination modifies disease severity among community-dwelling adults hospitalized with influenza

Conclusions: Influenza vaccination during 2013−14 influenza season attenuated adverse outcome among adults that were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Vaccinate!!  OK??
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This Week in HIV Research: Vitamin D May Protect Against HIV; and Protease Inhibitor Monotherapy

This Week in HIV Research: Vitamin D May Protect Against HIV; and Protease Inhibitor Monotherapy | Virology News | Scoop.it
This week, a study examines how two precursor forms of vitamin D may help protect against HIV infection. Another study supports the idea of proteas
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What is the deadly 'Brexit virus' and how can you avoid catching it?

What is the deadly 'Brexit virus' and how can you avoid catching it? | Virology News | Scoop.it

Brexit may not have happened officially just yet, but thousands of people in the UK have already been struck down by what’s being called the ‘Brexit virus’. A new strain of hepatitis E (HEV) which has been linked to pig farms in continental Europe has invaded Britain, health officials say. 

Ed Rybicki's insight:
So no European sossies for true Brits, then??
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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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A Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Inducing Antibodies Strongly Enhancing In Vitro Infection Is Protective in Pigs.

The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is responsible for zoonotic severe viral encephalitis transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. Although birds are reservoirs, pigs play a role as amplifying hosts, and are affected in particular through reproductive failure. Here, we show that a lentiviral JEV vector, expressing JEV prM and E proteins (TRIP/JEV.prME), but not JEV infection induces strong antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) activities for infection of macrophages. Such antibodies strongly promoted infection via Fc receptors. ADE was found at both neutralizing and non-neutralizing serum dilutions. Nevertheless, in vivo JEV challenge of pigs demonstrated comparable protection induced by the TRIP/JEV.prME vaccine or heterologous JEV infection. Thus, either ADE antibodies cause no harm in the presence of neutralizing antibodies or may even have protective effects in vivo in pigs. Additionally, we found that both pre-infected and vaccinated pigs were not fully protected as low levels of viral RNA were found in lymphoid and nervous system tissue in some animals. Strikingly, the virus from the pre-infection persisted in the tonsils throughout the experiment. Finally, despite the vaccination challenge, viral RNA was detected in the oronasal swabs in all vaccinated pigs. These latter data are relevant when JEV vaccination is employed in pigs.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
So: while ADE is possible, it's probably T-cell responses that result in immunity here?
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Why HIV Awareness Campaign Should Target Health Workers Too

Why HIV Awareness Campaign Should Target Health Workers Too
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 ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Geminiviridae

The geminiviruses are a family of small, non-enveloped viruses with single-stranded, circular DNA genomes of 2500–5200 bases. Geminiviruses are transmitted by various types of insect (whiteflies, leafhoppers, treehoppers and aphids). Members of the genus Begomovirus are transmitted by whiteflies, those in the genera Becurtovirus, Curtovirus, Grablovirus, Mastrevirus and Turncurtovirus are transmitted by specific leafhoppers, the single member of the genus Topocuvirus is transmitted by a treehopper and one member of the genus Capulavirus is transmitted by an aphid. Geminiviruses are plant pathogens causing economically important diseases in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the Geminiviridae which is available at www.ictv.global/report/geminiviridae.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
You KNOW y'all are interested in geminivirus taxonomy...B-)
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Journal of General Virology – Introduction to ‘ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles’

Ed Rybicki's insight:
For anyone who actually WANTS to check on the taxonomic status of their favourite virus?
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Busting myths of origin

New studies show that there is no such thing as "pure" European—or anyone else. Almost all of us are the children of repeated ancient migrations, according to researchers who study ancient human origins. Indigenous Europeans, for example, descend from at least three major migrations in the past 15,000 years, including two from the Middle East. Those migrants swept across Europe, mingled with previous immigrants, and then remixed to create the peoples of today. Using revolutionary new methods to analyze DNA and the isotopes found in bones and teeth, scientists are exposing the tangled roots of peoples around the world, as varied as Germans, ancient Philistines, and Kashmiris. Few of us are actually the direct descendants of the ancient skeletons found in our backyards or historic homelands. Only a handful of groups today, such as Australian Aborigines, have deep bloodlines untainted by mixing with immigrants.
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A novel mosquito-borne reassortant orbivirus isolated from Xishuangbanna, China 

In this study, we report a novel mosquito-borne reassortant Orbivirus species, which we named Banna orbivirus (BAOV). The virus was isolated from a Culex tritaeniorhynchus pool collected in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China in 2007. Whole genome and phylogenetic analyses revealed that BAOV is a reassortant of several Tibet orbivirus strains. It has a double-stranded RNA genome of 19, 270 bp, containing ten segments (S1–S10) of various lengths. The 10 segments of BAOV had high nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity with segments of either Fengkai orbivirus or Tibet orbivirus (TIBOV, XZ0906 strain). Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the novel BAOV is a reassortant derived from XZ0906 and Fengkai orbiviruses, and is a Tibet orbivirus. This is the first report of a novel genomic reassortment of Tibet orbivirus isolated in China; these findings contribute to our understanding of the diversity of orbiviruses.
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Discovery of novel astroviruses, caliciviruses and rotaviruses in Kenyan bats

Abstract: This is the first country-wide surveillance of bat-borne viruses in Kenya spanning from 2012–2015 covering sites perceived to have medium to high level bat-human interaction. The objective of this surveillance study was to apply a non-invasive approach using fresh feces to detect viruses circulating within the diverse species of Kenyan bats. We screened for both DNA and RNA viruses; specifically, astroviruses (AstVs), adenoviruses (ADVs), caliciviruses (CalVs), coronaviruses (CoVs), flaviviruses, filoviruses, paramyxoviruses (PMVs), polyomaviruses (PYVs) and rotaviruses. We used family-specific primers, amplicon sequencing and further characterization by phylogenetic analysis. Except for filoviruses, eight virus families were detected with varying distributions and positive rates across the five regions (former provinces) studied. AstVs (12.83%), CoVs (3.97%), PMV (2.4%), ADV (2.26%), PYV (1.65%), CalVs (0.29%), rotavirus (0.19%) and flavivirus (0.19%). Novel CalVs were detected in Rousettus aegyptiacus and Mops condylurus while novel Rotavirus-A-related viruses were detected in Taphozous bats and R. aegyptiacus. The two Rotavirus A (RVA) strains detected were highly related to human strains with VP6 genotypes I2 and I16. Genotype I16 has previously been assigned to human RVA-strain B10 from Kenya only, which raises public health concern, particularly considering increased human-bat interaction. Additionally, 229E-like bat CoVs were detected in samples originating from Hipposideros bats roosting in sites with high human activity. Our findings confirm the presence of diverse viruses in Kenyan bats while providing extended knowledge on bat virus distribution. The detection of viruses highly related to human strains and hence of public health concern, underscores the importance of continuous surveillance.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Good work - and needed for a lot wider spectrum of animals in Africa.
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In situ structure of the Legionella Dot/Icm type IV secretion system by electron cryotomography

Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are large macromolecular machines that translocate protein and DNA and are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple human diseases. Here, using electron cryotomography (ECT), we report the in situ structure of the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system (T4BSS) utilized by the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila. This is the first structure of a type IVB secretion system, and also the first structure of any T4SS in situ. While the Dot/Icm system shares almost no sequence similarity with type IVA secretion systems (T4ASSs), its overall structure is seen here to be remarkably similar to previously reported T4ASS structures (those encoded by the R388 plasmid in Escherichia coli and the cag pathogenicity island in Helicobacter pylori). This structural similarity suggests shared aspects of mechanism. However, compared to the negative‐stain reconstruction of the purified T4ASS from the R388 plasmid, the L. pneumophila Dot/Icm system is approximately twice as long and wide and exhibits several additional large densities, reflecting type‐specific elaborations and potentially better structural preservation in situ.

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