Virology News
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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like Led Zeppelin. And zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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Microneedle vaccine patch boosts flu protection through robust skin cell immune response

Recent research found that microneedle vaccine patches are more effective at delivering protection against influenza virus in mice than subcutaneous or intramuscular inoculation.

 

Again, intelligent use of the largest organ of immunity of the human body - the skin

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Amateur Biologists Are New Fear in Making a Mutant Flu Virus

Amateur Biologists Are New Fear in Making a Mutant Flu Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists are sharply divided over how easy it might be to make a virulent form of the bird flu virus.

 

Really?  Anyone who actually understands just how much training it takes to do the kind of mol biol AND virus culture AND animal experiments, thinks it would be easy for amateurs to make mutant flu viruses?  Scare mongering continues...!

AJCann's comment, March 6, 2012 4:38 AM
Sigh.
AJCann's comment, March 6, 2012 10:46 AM
To be fair, if you read right to the end of the article, Zimmer eventually gets round to that.
Ed Rybicki's comment, March 6, 2012 10:48 AM
...after he scare-mongered. Gratuitously. Glow-in-the-dark E colis do not a plague virus make.
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MicrobeWorld - Video from the H5N1 Research Discussion at ASMBiodefense

MicrobeWorld - Video from the H5N1 Research Discussion at ASMBiodefense | Virology News | Scoop.it
Video from the discussion of NSABB’s publication recommendations for the NIH-funded research on the transmissibility of H5N1 at ASMBiodefense conference.
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PAHO, CDC Publish Guide on Preparing for Chikungunya Virus Introduction in the Americas

PAHO, CDC Publish Guide on Preparing for Chikungunya Virus Introduction in the Americas | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have published new guidelines on chikungunya, a mosquito-transmitted virus transmitted that causes fever and severe joint pain. The Guidelines for Preparedness and Response for Chikungunya Virus Introduction in the Americas aims to help countries throughout the Americas improve their ability to detect the virus and be prepared to monitor, prevent, and control the disease, should it appear.

Hundreds of people who have traveled from the Americas to Asia and Africa in the past five years have become infected with the chikungunya virus. While the virus has not spread locally in the Western Hemisphere, experts say there is a clear risk of its introduction into local mosquito populations. Local transmission could occur if mosquito populations in the United States or elsewhere in the Americas became infected with the virus and began spreading it to people in that area.

 

First we gave you West Nile, now chikungunya.  The Third World is spreading....

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Rotavirus Vaccine Is Safe, Study Finds | dailyQi

Rotavirus Vaccine Is Safe, Study Finds | dailyQi | Virology News | Scoop.it
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in babies worldwide. The pathogen kills more than 500,000 children each year, according to data f...

 

My students were always horrified when I told them just how many people died of rotavirus infections every year.  But it's not in our EPI bundle yet....

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Drake Cancels Show Due To Stomach Flu - Starpulse.com

Drake Cancels Show Due To Stomach Flu - Starpulse.com | Virology News | Scoop.it
Rapper Drake struggled through a show in Texas on Friday night after falling sick with stomach flu. "The Best I Ever Had" star, who is currently on tour in the U.S., began feeling ill this week, b...

 

Do the Soggy Bottom rap, y'all...B-)  No respecters of persons, are viruses.

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HIV transmission to KZN children down - Pretoria News | IOL.co.za

HIV transmission to KZN children down - Pretoria News | IOL.co.za | Virology News | Scoop.it

The rate of HIV transmission from mother to child in KwaZulu-Natal has dropped from 22 percent to 2.8 percent in the past four years, Premier Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

“While KwaZulu-Natal has been known as the epicentre of the HIV and Aids pandemic, there are signs that the battle is being won, albeit slowly,” he said in his state of the province address in Pietermaritzburg.

The province was slowly winning the battle against the pandemic because of the work of the provincial council on HIV/Aids, he said.

The council includes government at all levels, civil society, labour, churches, the media and traditional leaders.

Mkhize said more than 500 000 HIV patients were on antiretroviral treatment in the province.

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Skin-Deep Immunity | The Scientist

Skin-Deep Immunity | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it
The smallpox vaccine was the first, and arguably most successful, vaccine ever put into practice, and it was scratched into the skin of individuals. With the invention of syringes and hypodermic needles, vaccination shifted toward administration directly into the muscle, under the assumption that it is better to get a vaccine straight into the body. But it turns out scientists may have had it right the first time.
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Reintroduction of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus by migratory water birds, causing poultry outbreaks in the 2010–2011 winter season in Japan

H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) was reintroduced and caused outbreaks in chickens in the 2010–2011 winter season in Japan, which had been free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) since 2007 when HPAI outbreaks occurred and were controlled. On 14 October 2010 at Lake Ohnuma, Wakkanai, the northernmost part of Hokkaido, Japan, H5N1 HPAIVs were isolated from faecal samples of ducks flying from their nesting lakes in Siberia. Since then, in Japan, H5N1 HPAIVs have been isolated from 63 wild birds in 17 prefectures and caused HPAI outbreaks in 24 chicken farms in nine prefectures by the end of March in 2011. Each of these isolates was genetically closely related to the HPAIV isolates at Lake Ohnuma, and those in China, Mongolia, Russia and Korea, belonging to genetic clade 2.3.2.1.

 

Add something new to the list of vectors of viruses: ducks.  Much more impressive than a mosquito.

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First influenza vaccine protecting against 4 strains approved by FDA

First influenza vaccine protecting against 4 strains approved by FDA...two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B, and is approved for people ages 2 to 49. Similar to the previously approved FluMist, the new vaccine is a nasal spray that delivers weakened strains of the virus.
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Dion awaits word on respite's length - Las Vegas Review - Journal

Dion awaits word on respite's length - Las Vegas Review - Journal | Virology News | Scoop.it
CBC.caDion awaits word on respite's lengthLas Vegas Review - JournalCeline Dion will find out in 10 days how she's progressing in her battle with a virus that wiped out her entire February and March engagement at Caesars Palace.

 

Go virus...!

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Herbal Supplement for HIV/AIDS is Successful in Clinical Trial

Herbal Supplement for HIV/AIDS is Successful in Clinical Trial | Virology News | Scoop.it
A clinical trial using a herbal mix of oleander and suthrelandia frutescens is 100 percent successful in stabliizing and reversing HIV symptoms...

 

At first sight, just snake oil.  And yet...double-blinded placebo controlled trials are difficult to fake.

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Productive Replication of Ebola Virus Is Regulated by the c-Abl1 Tyrosine Kinase

Here, we report that productive replication of Ebola virus is modulated by the c-Abl1 tyrosine kinase. Release of Ebola virus–like particles (VLPs) in a cell culture cotransfection system was inhibited by c-Abl1–specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) or by Abl-specific kinase inhibitors and required tyrosine phosphorylation of the Ebola matrix protein VP40. Expression of c-Abl1 stimulated an increase in phosphorylation of tyrosine 13 (Y13) of VP40, and mutation of Y13 to alanine decreased the release of Ebola VLPs.

 

My favourite "scare the children" virus, becoming better understood

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Bulawayo24 NEWS | People 'healed' of HIV-AIDS after visiting Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua

Bulawayo24 NEWS | People 'healed' of HIV-AIDS after visiting Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua | Virology News | Scoop.it

Warning: bullshit alert....

 

HUNDREDS of people from across Africa have said they were healed of HIV/AIDS after visiting Nigerian Prophet TB Joshua.

In testimonies beamed live on Emmanuel TV on Sunday, three of the many Christians showed the world their HIV tests which changed from positive to negative after being prayed for by Prophet TB Joshua.

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Cuba to test new AIDS vaccine on humans

Cuba to test new AIDS vaccine on humans | Virology News | Scoop.it

HAVANA — Cuba's top biotech teams have successfully tested a new AIDS vaccine on mice, and are ready to soon begin human testing, a leading researcher told a biotechnology conference in Havana on Monday.
"The new AIDS trial vaccine already was tested successfully (on mice) and now we are preparing a very small, tightly controlled phase one clinical trial" with HIV-positive patients who are not in the advanced stages of disease, researcher Enrique Iglesias said.

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Influenza H5N1 is not lethal in ferrets after airborne transmission

Influenza H5N1 is not lethal in ferrets after airborne transmission | Virology News | Scoop.it

Yesterday Ron Fouchier discussed his controversial influenza H5N1 experiments in ferrets at an ASM Biodefense Conference....Next Fouchier indicated that because the work has not yet been published, and the press has ‘picked up on it’, there are many misconceptions about what can or cannot be concluded. For example, it has been suggested that this virus would spread ‘like wildfire’ if it were to get out of his facility. He presented data indicating that this would not be the case. Although his results demonstrate aerosol transmission of H5N1 among ferrets, the assay is not quantitative, and therefore the efficiency of transmission cannot be deduced. He showed results of ferret transmission studies using the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus strain. This virus spreads to all ferrets by aerosol and replicates to high titers in the respiratory tract. In comparison, the mutH5N1 virus does not transmit to all ferrets, virus titers are lower, and shedding does not begin until later in infection. He concluded that the mutH5N1 virus does not transmit among ferrets as does a pandemic or seasonal influenza virus.

 

I hate to say "I told you so" - but I did.  Thanks Vincent!

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Influenza update - 02 March 2012, Update number 154 (WHO, edited)

Influenza update - 02 March 2012, Update number 154 (WHO, edited) | Virology News | Scoop.it

Influenza activity in the northern hemisphere increased overall but has already peaked in a few countries of Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Whereas in some regions it appears to be a mild season, particularly in the United States of America (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) in other countries activity has reached levels similar to previous years.

 

Image: Russell Kightley Media

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Law requiring condoms on porn shoots takes effect Monday

Law requiring condoms on porn shoots takes effect Monday | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new city ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms during filming takes effect Monday. The Los Angeles City Council approved the ordinance in January, following several high-profile instances of porn performers becoming infected by HIV.
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Will Schmallenberg virus outbreak cause UK livestock export ban?

Will Schmallenberg virus outbreak cause UK livestock export ban? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Laura Sandys, a Conservative MP for Kent, has called for a ban on the export of UK livestock due to a recent outbreak of the Schmallenberg virus.

Sandys argues that quick action now could prevent the virus from spreading. The BBC quoted her as saying, "There is no treatment or preventative vaccine available, nor are we are clear on how the virus is being transmitted."
To date, 92 UK farms have reported cases of Schmallenberg. The virus is named after the area in Germany where early cases were first reported. Schmallenberg is thought to be spread by biting insects like ticks and mosquitoes, and experts believe the virus entered the UK via small insects that were blown with the winds across the Channel. The first cases were identified in the UK in January.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/320628#ixzz1oF81hPmi

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Sun-dried tomatoes hepatitis link

Sun-dried tomatoes hepatitis link | Virology News | Scoop.it

UK health experts believe sun-dried tomatoes could be the cause of a recent outbreak of hepatitis A.  Four of the patients in this latest outbreak in England said they had consumed sun-dried tomatoes.  Officials are on the alert for further cases. But they say they do not know which brands of sun-dried tomatoes might be involved. This is because there is no reliable test to find the virus in food.

 

Welcome to the developing world, folks...B-)

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The Subcellular World Revealed, 1945 | The Scientist

The Subcellular World Revealed, 1945 | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it

Using a new culture technique developed by Claude’s Rockefeller colleague, Keith Porter, the team prepared chicken fibroblasts that were stretched thin enough to be penetrated by the microscope’s electron beam, but that were not distorted or greatly altered by the process. In 1945 the trio published a description of their technique along with the first electron micrograph of an intact cell in the Journal of Experimental Medicine

 

Great slideshow of early EM

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Rubella virus-like replicon particles: analysis of encapsidation determinants and non-structural roles of capsid protein in early post-entry replication

This study describes development and use of a trans-encapsidation system for the assembly of infectious RUBV-like replicon particles (VRPs) containing RUBV replicons (self replicating genomes with the SP-ORF replaced with a reporter gene). First, this system was used to map signals within the RUBV genome that mediate packaging of viral RNA. Mutations within a proposed packaging signal did not significantly affect relative packaging efficiency. The insertion of various fragments derived from the RUBV genome into Sindbis virus replicons revealed that there are several regions within the RUBV genome capable of enhancing encapsidation of heterologous replicon RNAs

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Haight-Ashbury Avian Swine Flu

Eclectic and nothing obviously to do with viruses at all.  Haight Ashbury: still far out, man....

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Lab-engineered bird flu virus may be less deadly than thought — or not

Lab-engineered bird flu virus may be less deadly than thought — or not | Virology News | Scoop.it
The engineered bird flu virus may not be as lethal as originally reported, a conference is told.

 

Ron A.M. Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam... said the team infected six ferrets with wild virus and six with engineered virus by spraying the bug directly down their throats into their windpipes. All of the animals in both groups died. The team then sprayed an unusually high dose of each virus into the nasal passages of ferrets. Two animals that got the wild virus by this route died, but the engineered virus was fatal to only one in eight animals. The team then put ferrets infected with the engineered virus next to caged, uninfected animals. Seven animals became infected, but none died....

 

And round and round we go, again.  I thank Russell Kightley Media for the image.

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Presentation of vaccine against Hepatitis in Biotechnology Havana 2012 | Cuba News Headlines. Cuban Daily News

Presentation of vaccine against Hepatitis in Biotechnology Havana 2012 | Cuba News Headlines. Cuban Daily News | Virology News | Scoop.it

Several developments in Congress will present Cuba Biotechnology Havana 2012, among them is the therapeutic vaccine against hepatitis B infection (Nasvac) that scored well in the last phase of clinical trials.
Read more: http://www.cubaheadlines.com/2012/03/04/34731/presentation_of_vaccine_against_hepatitis_in_biotechnology_havana_2012.html#ixzz1o9SEjWzz
Original article here!

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