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Australia quarantines farm to contain H7 bird flu outbreak

Australia quarantines farm to contain H7 bird flu outbreak | Virology News | Scoop.it

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's first outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by a cull of 50,000 chickens, authorities said on Friday, although they do not know what caused the case at an egg farm.

 

Poor damn chickens...B-(

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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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Meditation or exercise for preventing acute respiratory infection: a randomized controlled trial

PURPOSE:
This study was designed to evaluate potential preventive effects of meditation or exercise on incidence, duration, and severity of acute respiratory infection (ARI) illness.

METHODS:
Community-recruited adults aged 50 years and older were randomized to 1 of 3 study groups: 8-week training in mindfulness meditation, matched 8-week training in moderate-intensity sustained exercise, or observational control. The primary outcome was area-under-the-curve global illness severity during a single cold and influenza season, using the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS-24) to assess severity. Health care visits and days of missed work were counted. Nasal wash collected during ARI illness was assayed for neutrophils, interleukin-8, and viral nucleic acid.

RESULTS:
Of 154 adults randomized into the study, 149 completed the trial (82% female, 94% white, mean age 59.3 ± 6.6 years). There were 27 ARI episodes and 257 days of ARI illness in the meditation group (n = 51), 26 episodes and 241 illness days in the exercise group (n = 47), and 40 episodes and 453 days in the control group (n = 51). Mean global severity was 144 for meditation, 248 for exercise, and 358 for control. Compared with control, global severity was significantly lower for meditation (P = .004). Both global severity and total days of illness (duration) trended toward being lower for the exercise group (P=.16 and P=.032, respectively), as did illness duration for the meditation group (P=.034). Adjusting for covariates using zero-inflated multivariate regression models gave similar results. There were 67 ARI-related days of-work missed in the control group, 32 in the exercise group (P = .041), and 16 in the meditation group (P <.001). Health care visits did not differ significantly. Viruses were identified in 54% of samples from meditation, 42% from exercise, and 54% from control groups. Neutrophil count and interleukin-8 levels were similar among intervention groups.

CONCLUSIONS:
Training in meditation or exercise may be effective in reducing ARI illness burden.

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Surprising spoiler: may help??
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Kenya: Late Diagnosis Causing More Deaths in HIV-Positive Children

Kenya: Late Diagnosis Causing More Deaths in HIV-Positive Children | Virology News | Scoop.it
By Elgar Machuka A new study is raising concern that more children infected with HIV are dying early in hospitals in spite of anti-retroviral therapy (ART)…
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Google backs $27M launch round for Holy Grail R&D work on two targets: a cancer vaccine and a universal flu jab

Google backs $27M launch round for Holy Grail R&D work on two targets: a cancer vaccine and a universal flu jab | Virology News | Scoop.it
Vaccitech isn’t just going after one of the Holy Grails in biotech R&D. It’s taking aim at two of them. A spinout from some leading vaccine experts at Oxford’s Jenner Institute, the startup has been following up on new research to go after both a universal flu vaccine as well
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ART Therapy Appears to Lower HPV, Cervical Cancer Rates

ART Therapy Appears to Lower HPV, Cervical Cancer Rates | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new meta-analysis suggests ART therapy has a positive impact on HPV and cervical cancer rates.
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Acquisition of functions on the outer capsid surface during evolution of double-stranded RNA fungal viruses

Acquisition of functions on the outer capsid surface during evolution of double-stranded RNA fungal viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Author summary Most fungal RNA viruses are transmitted by cytoplasmic interchange without leaving the host. We report the cryo-electron microscopy structure, at near-atomic resolution, of the double-stranded RNA Rosellinia necatrix quadrivirus 1 (RnQV1); this virus infects the fungus Rosellinia necatrix, a pathogenic ascomycete to a wide range of plants. At difference most dsRNA viruses, whose capsid is made of protein homodimers, RnQV1 is based on a single-shelled lattice built of 60 P2-P4 heterodimers. Despite a lack of sequence similarity, P2 and P4 have a similar α-helical domain, a structural signature shared with the dsRNA virus lineage. In addition to organizing the viral genome and replicative machinery, P2 and P4 have acquired new functions by inserting complex domains in preferential insertion sites. Whereas the P2 insertion domain has a fold like that of actin-binding proteins, the structure of the P4 insertion domain indicates proteolytic activity. Understanding the structure of a fungal virus capsid with enzyme activities could allow its development as nanoreactors for biotechnological application.
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Templated co-assembly into nanorods of polyanions and artificial virus capsid proteins

Soft Matter. 2017 Dec 8. doi: 10.1039/c7sm02012k. [Epub ahead of print]
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Epidemic influenza and vitamin D

Epidemic influenza and vitamin D | Virology News | Scoop.it
In 1981, R. Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a ‘seasonal stimulus’ intimately associated with solar radiation explained the remarkable seasonality of epidemic influenza. Solar radiation triggers robust seasonal vitamin D production i
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Study Finds Significant Survival Disparities in HPV-related Cancer

Study Finds Significant Survival Disparities in HPV-related Cancer | Virology News | Scoop.it
Younger patients, women, and white patients with HPV-related cancers had superior survival at 5 years, indicating that increased HPV vaccination and better access to cancer screening and treatment are likely needed to reduce survival disparities
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Marburg cases in Uganda: the lowdown about Ebola's 'sister' virus

Marburg cases in Uganda: the lowdown about Ebola's 'sister' virus | Virology News | Scoop.it

What is the Marburg virus and why is it considered dangerous? The Marburg virus is probably most easily introduced as the sister of the infamous Ebola virus. The viruses are similar in their genetic and structural makeup, they’re transmitted from human-to-human and their clinical presentation in humans is similar. But there are some marked differences. For example, apart from overlapping in two countries, they have been detected in different parts of the African continent. Marburg virus has been reported in sporadic outbreaks in eastern and southern Africa – including Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. A case of Marburg virus disease in South Africa was traced back to potential exposure in Zimbabwe. For its part, Ebola has also been reported in the DRC and Uganda, as well as Sudan, Gabon, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. There are also differences in the natural ecology of the two viruses. Current evidence supports the hypothesis of circulation of Marburg virus in cave dwelling bats such as Rousettus aegyptiacus (or Egyptian fruit bat), while most believe that the Ebola virus are associated with forest dwelling bat species.

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Bird flu in Uganda highlights gaps in Africa's plans to manage pandemics

Bird flu in Uganda highlights gaps in Africa's plans to manage pandemics | Virology News | Scoop.it

The strain of avian influenza detected in wild and domestic birds in Uganda recently is the same virus that has spread through Asia and Europe over the past four months. Revealed as the H5N8 avian influenza strain, it is thought to have spread across continents via wild migratory birds. In Africa, aside from Uganda, the H5N8 outbreak has also been recorded in Nigeria and Tunisia this year. The risk of humans being infected by H5N8 is low, but should this happen, the virus can cause severe illness and death. Since the outbreak in Uganda was reported, a number of East African countries have increased their monitoring while the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Tanzania have imposed a ban on poultry from Uganda. But African countries face challenges in detecting such outbreaks because they have weak avian influenza surveillance systems.

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This is the kind of shit that kills people. "Biafra Today:  How IPOB Curtailed The Spread Of Monkeypox Virus"

This is the kind of shit that kills people. "Biafra Today:  How IPOB Curtailed The Spread Of Monkeypox Virus" | Virology News | Scoop.it

Complete HORSESHIT from start to finish - and this sort of thing keeps coming out of Nigeria. And Kenya, BTW.

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Health care workers refused to get vaccinated. Now they're out of jobs

Health care workers refused to get vaccinated. Now they're out of jobs | Virology News | Scoop.it
A Midwest health system fired 50 people who refused to get flu shots. Doctors say mandatory vaccination against influenza protects patients.
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Excellent!
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Bat cave solves mystery of deadly SARS virus — and suggests new outbreak could occur

Bat cave solves mystery of deadly SARS virus — and suggests new outbreak could occur | Virology News | Scoop.it

Chinese scientists find all the genetic building blocks of SARS in a single population of horseshoe bats.

After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world. The killer strain could easily have arisen from such a bat population, the researchers report in PLoS Pathogens1 on 30 November. They warn that the ingredients are in place for a similar disease to emerge again.

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Effect of Prophylactic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination on Oral HPV Infections Among Young Adults in the United States

Purpose The incidence of human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancers has risen rapidly in recent decades among men in the United States. We investigated the US population-level effect of prophylactic HPV vaccination on the burden of oral HPV infection, the principal cause of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of men and women 18 to 33 years of age (N = 2,627) within the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 to 2014, a representative sample of the US population. Oral HPV infection with vaccine types 16, 18, 6, or 11 was compared by HPV vaccination status, as measured by self-reported receipt of at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. Analyses accounted for the complex sampling design and were adjusted for age, sex, and race. Statistical significance was assessed using a quasi-score test. Results Between 2011 and 2014, 18.3% of the US population 18 to 33 years of age reported receipt of at least one dose of the HPV vaccine before the age of 26 years (29.2% in women and 6.9% in men; P < .001). The prevalence of oral HPV16/18/6/11 infections was significantly reduced in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals (0.11% v 1.61%; Padj = .008), corresponding to an estimated 88.2% (95% CI, 5.7% to 98.5%) reduction in prevalence after model adjustment for age, sex, and race. Notably, the prevalence of oral HPV16/18/6/11 infections was significantly reduced in vaccinated versus unvaccinated men (0.0% v 2.13%; Padj = .007). Accounting for vaccine uptake, the population-level effect of HPV vaccination on the burden of oral HPV16/18/6/11 infections was 17.0% overall, 25.0% in women, and 6.9% in men. Conclusions HPV vaccination was associated with reduction in vaccine-type oral HPV prevalence among young US adults. However, because of low vaccine uptake, the population-level effect was modest overall and particularly low in men.

Ed Rybicki's insight:
Spoiler alert: works - but low incidence of vaccination limits efficacy
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Production of highly and broad-range specific monoclonal antibodies against hemagglutinin of H5-subtype avian influenza viruses and their differentiation by mass spectrometry

Production of highly and broad-range specific monoclonal antibodies against hemagglutinin of H5-subtype avian influenza viruses and their differentiation by mass spectrometry | Virology News | Scoop.it
The highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5 subtype, such as the H5N1 viral strains or the novel H5N8 and H5N2 reassortants, are of both veterinary and public health concern worldwide. To combat these viruses, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against H5 hemagglutinin (HA) play a significant role. These mAbs are effective diagnostic and therapeutic agents and powerful tools in vaccine development and basic scientific research. The aim of this study was to obtain diagnostically valuable mAbs with broad strain specificity against H5-subtype AIVs. We applied the hybridoma method to produce anti-HA mAbs. The cloning and screening procedures resulted in the selection of 7 mouse hybridoma cell lines and their respective antibody clones. Preliminary immunoreactivity studies showed that these newly established mAbs, all of the IgG1 isotype, had high specificity and broad-range activities against the H5 HAs. However, these studies did not allow for a clear distinction among the selected antibodies and mAb-secreting hybridoma clones. To differentiate the analyzed mAbs and determine the exact number of hybridoma clones, peptide mapping of the Fc and Fab fragments was performed using a Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometer. Detailed analyses of the acquired MS and MS/MS spectra confirmed that the Fc fragments constituted highly conserved species- and isotype-immunoglobulin components, whereas the Fab fragments exhibited considerable variation in the sequences that determine antibody specificity. This approach enabled unambiguous characterization of the selected mAbs according to their peptide composition. As a result, 6 different clones were distinguished. Our work provided a unique panel of anti-H5 HA mAbs, which meets the demand for novel, high-specificity analytical tools for use in serologic surveillance. Applications of these mAbs in areas other than diagnostics are also possible. Moreover, we demonstrated for the first time that peptide mapping of antibody fragments with mass spectrometry is an efficient method for the differentiation of antibody clones and relevant antibody-producing cell lines. The method may be successfully used to characterize mAbs at the protein level.
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During a hepatitis A emergency, there’s a nationwide shortage of vaccine

During a hepatitis A emergency, there’s a nationwide shortage of vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
"Current supply is not sufficient to support demand for vaccine," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a written statement.
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Arabidopsis RNA Polymerase V Mediates Enhanced Compaction and Silencing of Geminivirus and Transposon Chromatin During Host Recovery from Infection. - PubMed - NCBI

J Virol. 2018 Jan 10. pii: JVI.01320-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01320-17. [Epub ahead of print]
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Immunotherapy HPV Protein Used in Cervical Cancer Shows Low Response Rate But Overall Improvement of Over 50%

Immunotherapy HPV Protein Used in Cervical Cancer Shows Low Response Rate But Overall Improvement of Over 50% | Virology News | Scoop.it
Don Dizon, MD of Massachusetts General Hospital discusses the use of immunotherapy in cervical cancer treatment. He explains a clinical trial where an HPV protein was used for treatment and although there was a low response rate, there was overall improvement of over 50%. This was recorded at the 2017 Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer® in National Harbor, MD.
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HIV/AIDS is no longer the leading cause of death in Africa

HIV/AIDS is no longer the leading cause of death in Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
The World Health Organization’s most recent data on global deaths has good news for the African continent, including fewer people dying of HIV/AIDS and malaria.
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Canadian doctor suggests 'man flu' is real

Canadian doctor suggests 'man flu' is real Canadian doctor suggests 'man flu' is real. t's a term mocking a man's ability to handle the flu, but a Canadia
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Of course it is!
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Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer | Virology News | Scoop.it
A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new study.
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Weed: good for many things B-)
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An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC has been contained. What went right this time?

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC has been contained. What went right this time? | Virology News | Scoop.it

The World Health Organisation recently declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). By the time the outbreak was contained, eight people had been infected. Four survived. The first patient diagnosed in the outbreak (the index case) – a middle aged man who died on his way to hospital - got ill in April. It’s not clear how he became infected. But those who helped transport him to the hospital also became sick. This outbreak had the second lowest number of patients among all the eight Ebola outbreaks in DRC since 1976. The last one in 2014 lasted for three months and three quarters of the 66 people diagnosed with the disease died. The outbreak was traced back to a pregnant woman who had slaughtered a monkey brought home by her husband. The disease spread when she underwent a traditional surgical operation after becoming ill.

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Sanofi updates information on dengue vaccine | Sanofi

New analysis of long-term Dengvaxia® data found differences in vaccine performance based on prior dengue infection Company will ask regulators to update product

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WHO supports the immunization of 874 000 people against yellow fever in Nigeria

WHO supports the immunization of 874 000 people against yellow fever in Nigeria | Virology News | Scoop.it
The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on vaccine provision for yellow fever has provided 1.4 million vaccine doses for an immunization campaign that starts on Saturday (2 December) to help control an ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria.
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UN voices alarm about spread of HIV in Egypt | African Independent

UN voices alarm about spread of HIV in Egypt | African Independent | Virology News | Scoop.it
The UN is voicing alarm over the spread of HIV in Egypt, where the number of new cases is growing by up to 40 percent a year.
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