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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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Call for HPV vaccination to be extended to young gay men - Pulse

Call for HPV vaccination to be extended to young gay men - Pulse | Virology News | Scoop.it
Call for HPV vaccination to be extended to young gay men Pulse The team argues targeting young gay men would be cost effective even though a small proportion of young, identifying men who have sex with men (MSM) may already be infected with HPV 16...

 

HPV disease graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Stands to reason: at-risk populations would certainly benefit.

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Death toll from the American anti-vaccine movement

Death toll from the American anti-vaccine movement | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Anti-Vaccine Body Count site reminds us that since celebrities like Jenny McCarthy took the cause of scaring parents into avoiding life-saving vaccines, thousands of preventable illnesses and deaths have struck.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Funny thing - that in an educated society, transmissible diseases can come BACK because of stupidity and wilfull dissemination of misinformati

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WHO To Convene MERS Virus Panel

WHO To Convene MERS Virus Panel | Virology News | Scoop.it
An expert committee will decide whether to escalate efforts to combat the novel coronavirus that is spreading throughout the Middle East.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

This is turning into a more drawn-out, possibly more low-key saga than the SARS CoV outbreak - but with all of the potential to be at least as serious.  I remember travelling by air across Canada with SARS in Toronto, with my face buried in my sleeve every time the person behind tried yet again to cough their lungs out.  I don't want to do that again....

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Vaccinations: when the state stabs the people

Vaccinations: when the state stabs the people | Virology News | Scoop.it
The question of mandatory childhood vaccinations raises thorny philosophical questions, if you’re inclined to liberty. Does the desirability of “herd immunity” to dangerous diseases justify imposing coercive measures upon parents and their children?
Ed Rybicki's insight:

To save you the trouble of reading the article, the answer is "yes!".

But, and this surprised me coming from Ivo Vegter, this is a great and well-thought out article - and I enthusiastically second his conclusions.

 

Even if the damn site won't let me comment on anything...B-(

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Deadly Virus Makes Muslim Hajj Unsafe

Deadly Virus Makes Muslim Hajj Unsafe | Virology News | Scoop.it
Elderly and chronically ill Muslims should not perform the hajj pilgrimage to curb the spread of the MERS coronavirus, Saudi Arabian health officials warned over the weekend.
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Virus that turns tigers into man-eaters is spreading

Virus that turns tigers into man-eaters is spreading | Virology News | Scoop.it

Virus that turns tigers into man-eaters is spreading The New Indian Express An incurable pathogen named canine distemper virus, (CDV) is spreading fast from dogs to tigers, making them fearless and in the process possibly...

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Ed Rybicki's comment, July 18, 2013 4:03 AM
"Zombie tigers", as someone commented. Just right for "The [short] Life of Pi II".
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Vaccines: Defence policy

Vaccines: Defence policy | Virology News | Scoop.it
There is an array of vaccin­es. Some are essent­ial for your child. We ask expert­s about the best way to space them.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Nice graphic!

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Czech scientists discover fast way of diagnosing flu - Prague Daily Monitor

Czech scientists discover fast way of diagnosing flu - Prague Daily Monitor | Virology News | Scoop.it
Czech scientists discover fast way of diagnosing flu Prague Daily Monitor Brno, June 28 (CTK) - Czech scientists have discovered a fast and cheap way of diagnosing flu via filter paper with two quantum dots, or artificially produced nanoparticles,...
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First complete genome of HCV-1a form Pakistani isolate and its Phylogenetic analysis with complete genome of rest of world

Here, we report the first patient derived hepatitis C virus (HCV) complete genome from Pakistan. Comprehensive evolutionary and phylogenetic analyses were conducted. The comparison was made in order to identify evolutionary and molecular phylogenetic relationships among HCV strains belonging to genotype 1a. The evolutionary divergence analysis for nucleotide and amino acid sequences, conducted by equal input model, suggested that evolutionary nucleotide and amino acid distances showed that the HCV Pakistani strain was genetically far [sic] from Denmark strain (0.29400 nt, 0.819646 aa) and near [sic] to German strain (0.06557 nt, 0.139449 aa), respectively. The current study will help to understand phylogenetic [sic] of Pakistani isolates.

 
Ed Rybicki's insight:

OK, and I could admit to being ashamed of Virology Journal at this point: while this may be a perfectly good paper in terms of results, the English is bad enough to require a complete rewrite.  STARTING with the TITLE!

 

"HCV-1a form Pakistani..."?? "...analysis with complete genome of rest of world"??  WTF??

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World War Z: Could a Zombie Virus Happen?

World War Z: Could a Zombie Virus Happen? | Virology News | Scoop.it
In the new movie World War Z, a zombie pandemic sweeps the world. But what would it take for such a virus to arise?

How would a “zombie virus” arise? One possibility is that two viruses could join together and form a hybrid.

Viruses work by copying their genetic material within human cells. If there are two viruses in the same cell, one virus may accidentally jump on a genetic copy that belongs to the other virus. The progenitor to the human HIV virus may have arisen this way in Africa when a chimpanzee and monkey virus combined...

Ed Rybicki's insight:

I HAVE to see this movie....

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Orally fed seeds producing designer IgAs protect weaned piglets against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection

Oral feed-based passive immunization can be a promising strategy to prolong maternal lactogenic immunity against postweaning infections. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)-caused postweaning diarrhea in piglets is one such infection that may be prevented by oral passive immunization and might avert recurrent economic losses to the pig farming industry. As a proof of principle, we designed anti-ETEC antibodies by fusing variable domains of llama heavy chain-only antibodies (VHHs) against ETEC to the Fc part of a porcine immunoglobulin (IgG or IgA) and expressed them in Arabidopsis thaliana seeds. In this way, four VHH-IgG and four VHH-IgA antibodies were produced to levels of about 3% and 0.2% of seed weight, respectively. Cotransformation of VHH-IgA with the porcine joining chain and secretory component led to the production of light-chain devoid, assembled multivalent dimeric, and secretory IgA-like antibodies. In vitro analysis of all of the antibody-producing seed extracts showed inhibition of bacterial binding to porcine gut villous enterocytes. However, in the piglet feed-challenge experiment, only the piglets receiving feed containing the VHH-IgA–based antibodies (dose 20 mg/d per pig) were protected. Piglets receiving the VHH-IgA–based antibodies in the feed showed a progressive decline in shedding of bacteria, significantly lower immune responses corroborating reduced exposure to the ETEC pathogen, and a significantly higher weight gain compared with the piglets receiving VHH-IgG producing (dose 80 mg/d per pig) or wild-type seeds. These results stress the importance of the antibody format in oral passive immunization and encourage future expression of these antibodies in crop seeds.

 
Ed Rybicki's insight:

And thanks Vikram Virdi for pointing this out!  With the comment "Spotted Porcinised-camelids, running in PNAS press."  Clever...B-)  More going green - how sensible!

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Viruses and neurodegeneration

Viruses and neurodegeneration | Virology News | Scoop.it
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are chronic degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), which affect 37 million people worldwide.

Viruses induce alterations and degenerations of neurons both directly and indirectly. Their ability to attack the host immune system, regions of nervous tissue implies that they can interfere with the same pathways involved in classical NDs in humans. Supporting this, many similarities between classical NDs and virus-mediated neurodegeneration (non-classical) have been shown at the anatomic, sub-cellular, genomic and proteomic levels suggesting that viruses can explain neurodegenerative disorders mechanistically. The main objective of this review is to provide readers a detailed snapshot of similarities viral and non-viral neurodegenerative diseases share, so that mechanistic pathways of neurodegeneration in human NDs can be clearly understood. Viruses can guide us to unveil these pathways in human NDs. This will further stimulate the birth of new concepts in the biological research, which is needed for gaining deeper insights into the treatment of human NDs and delineate mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration.

 
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Timely and interesting review.

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AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN: TAIWAN, H6N1

AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN: TAIWAN, H6N1 | Virology News | Scoop.it

On 20 May 2013, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) received a report from a hospital concerning a case of human infection with unsubtypable influenza A virus in a 20-year-old female presenting with mild pneumonia who resides in central Taiwan. The virus isolated from the respiratory specimen from the case was then submitted to Taiwan CDC for further identification. After conducting whole genome sequencing, the National Influenza Center (NIC) at Taiwan CDC identified the virus to be a novel avian-origin influenza A (H6N1) virus. A total of 36 close contacts of the case have been traced for follow-up. Four of them experienced influenza-like illness symptoms, but none of them has been found to be infected with influenza A (H6N1) virus. Taiwan CDC continues to closely monitor influenza activity and advises the public to seek immediate medical attention when experiencing any influenza-like illness with respiratory distress.

According to the epidemiological investigation, the case works at a breakfast shop. She has not traveled out of the country and has not been exposed to any poultry or birds. On [5 May 2013], she developed symptoms, including fever, cough, headache and muscle ache. On [8 May 2013], when her fever persisted and she developed shortness of breath, she sought medical attention at a hospital and was hospitalized for treatment. Her chest X-ray showed mild pneumonia. After administering Oseltamivir, her symptoms improved the next day. On [11 May 2013], she was discharged from the hospital. As of now, she has fully recovered.

Influenza A (H6N1) virus was isolated from the respiratory specimen collected from the case on [7 May 2013]. The case was found to have an antibody titer of 1:20 in the serum specimen collected on [24 May 2013]. Another serum specimen was collected from the case on [8 Jun 2013], and the antibody titer in this specimen was found to be 1:40. Besides testing the respiratory specimen collected from the case for influenza viruses, the NIC also tested the specimen for 23 other common respiratory viruses such as adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, coronavirus, enterovirus and rhinovirus, and the specimen tested negative for all these viruses. The agricultural authority has collected specimens from the poultry from the 2 poultry farms located within the one-km perimeter of the case's residence. No avian influenza A (H6N1) virus has been detected in any of the specimens.


Avian influenza graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Add ANOTHER HA type to the list known to infect humans!

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Pork prices [in the US] could increase significantly due to deadly virus

Pork prices [in the US] could increase significantly due to deadly virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Pork prices could increase significantly due to deadly virus
WECT-TV6
(WECT) - Farmers across the country are worried that a deadly virus may wipe out their pigs.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Turns out it's a coronavirus - like MERS or SARS - and we are not the only ones threatened by an emergent virus.

http://www.thepigsite.com/diseaseinfo/83/porcine-epidemic-diarrhoea-ped

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Inferring the causes of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic

Inferring the causes of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic | Virology News | Scoop.it

Past influenza pandemics appear to be characterized by multiple waves of incidence, but the mechanisms that account for this phenomenon remain unclear. We propose a simple epidemic model, which incorporates three factors that might contribute to the generation of multiple waves: (i) schools opening and closing, (ii) temperature changes during the outbreak, and (iii) changes in human behaviour in response to the outbreak. We fit this model to the reported influenza mortality during the 1918 pandemic in 334 UK administrative units and estimate the epidemiological parameters. We then use information criteria to evaluate how well these three factors explain the observed patterns of mortality. Our results indicate that all three factors are important but that behavioural responses had the largest effect. The parameter values that produce the best fit are biologically reasonable and yield epidemiological dynamics that match the observed data well.

 Influenza graphic by RussellKightley Media
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Amazing that one can still get usable information out of records from nealry 100 years ago.  Sobering that "The 1918 influenza pandemic was the deadliest pandemic in history. An estimated 50–100 million people were killed worldwide, and one-third of the world's population is estimated to have been infected".


Thanks @burkesquires!

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An Ocean of Viruses

An Ocean of Viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Viruses abound in the world’s oceans, yet researchers are only beginning to understand how they affect life and chemistry from the water’s surface to the sea floor.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

...and we have just got our first dataset back from a Southern Ocean trawl, with more to come from SA West Coast and other samplings...life is going to fun and busy for the next few months - for Maya and the Oceanic Viromics team, anyway!

 

Thanks to Chris Upton for the heads up.

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Govt indifference to new SARS-like virus puts airlines in a fix

Govt indifference to new SARS-like virus puts airlines in a fix | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Middle East Respiratory Virus has so far claimed 40 lives in Gulf states. With over 1,000 passengers arriving in Mumbai every day, airline crews are worried.
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Viruses in commercial cell lines

Viruses in commercial cell lines | Virology News | Scoop.it

Cryopreserved primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTEC) were obtained from a commercial supplier for studies of Simian virus 40 (SV40). Within twelve hrs after cell cultures were initiated, cytoplasmic vacuoles appeared in many of the RPTEC. The RPTEC henceforth deteriorated rapidly. Since SV40 induces the formation of cytoplasmic vacuoles, this batch of RPTEC was rejected for the SV40 study. Nevertheless, we sought the likely cause(s) of the deterioration of the RPTEC as part of our technology development efforts.

 

 


Via Chad Smithson
Ed Rybicki's insight:

ALWAYS check your reagents....

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Scientists close in on vaccine for stomach flu

Scientists close in on vaccine for stomach flu | Virology News | Scoop.it

TOKYO — As a new strain of stomach flu leaves a trail of stomach-clenching illness from Sydney to San Diego, scientists are moving closer to thwarting it for good.

Early-stage human studies on a vaccine against norovirus, the top source of gastroenteritis in the United States, are set to finish this year. A course of shots may confer lifelong protection against 95 percent of strains, said Rajeev Venkayya, who heads Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.'s vaccines unit.

A norovirus vaccine would be a boon to cruise ships, schools and nursing homes struggling to deal with a highly contagious, untreatable scourge. Of the 21 million people infected in the United States annually, about 800 die, mostly the very young and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Read more: http://triblive.com/usworld/world/4282816-74/norovirus-vaccine-stomach#ixzz2XnX3JFVg 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Ed Rybicki's insight:

...but there's a green option coming: check out ViroBlogy for Charles Arntzen's news on a plant-produced intranasal norovirus vaccine.

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Muslim hajj pilgrimage in focus amid virus fears

Muslim hajj pilgrimage in focus amid virus fears | Virology News | Scoop.it

Virologists are casting a worried eye on this year's Islamic hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia as they struggle with the enigmatic, deadly virus known as MERS

 

SARS coronavirus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

It was already shown previously that poliovirus was spread from Nigeria, via Saudi Arabia, to Indonesia and elsewhere - so this is a very reasonable fear.

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WHO: Treat people with HIV early to stop disease's spread

Young children and certain other people with the AIDS virus should be started on medicines as soon as they are diagnosed, the World Health Organization says in new guidelines that also recommend earlier treatment for adults.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

...if it can be afforded...South Africa currently has the world's largest number of people in any one country on ARVs; 1.7 million out of 6 million infected, in a population of 48-odd million.  Treating more people is effectively unsustainable - which is what would have to happen with these guidelines!

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Celebrating Julius Richard Petri: A Man, A Dish, A Google Doodle

Celebrating Julius Richard Petri: A Man, A Dish, A Google Doodle | Virology News | Scoop.it

Julius Richard Petri is a name you might not recognize at first glance. But think back to your high school biology lab—his last name probably sounds more familiar. Petri’s invention—a shallow dish used to grow and identify bacterial strains—revolutionized the world of microbiology and the way we culture microorganisms.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Nice little story - and I had no idea who Petri was!

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HPV Vaccine Cuts Number of Infections in Teen Girls by Half

“The prevalence of the most common STD — and the leading cause of cervical cancer — among teenage girls has been cut in half, thanks to the HPV vaccine. Margaret Warner talks with Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control for more on a new study.” (Source: PBSNewsHour)

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Great video.

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Medicago successfully produces plant-based Rotavirus VLP vaccine candidate

Medicago successfully produces plant-based Rotavirus VLP vaccine candidate | Virology News | Scoop.it

Medicago Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced the successful production of a Rotavirus VLP vaccine candidate comprising all four structural antigens of rotavirus (VP2, VP4, VP6 and VP7) using Medicago's plant-based manufacturing platform.

Medicago also announced today that an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) that broadly covers plant-produced Rotavirus VLPs has been filed.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

Going green: how very sensible!

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Novel Cyclovirus in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid, Malawi, 2010–2011

Novel Cyclovirus in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid, Malawi, 2010–2011 | Virology News | Scoop.it
To identify unknown human viruses, we analyzed serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with unexplained paraplegia from Malawi by using viral metagenomics.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

...and found another cyclovirus - not closely related at all to teh one found in Viet Nam, apparently.

Meaning there is probably a wealth of 'em out there.

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