Archive for February 1st, 2013

ViroBlogy: 2012 in review

1 February, 2013

So: thank you, anyone who clicked in, and regular visitors.  You make it worthwhile!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 33,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

CCHFV in South Africa

1 February, 2013

I am indebted to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg for their very informative newsletter, from which I culled this.

I would also like to very sincerely congratulate Professor Barry Schoub, a long-time former Director of the NICD, on his  African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) Lifetime Achievement Award!  Very well deserved.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Two cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)  acquired in South Africa have been laboratory confirmed  in January 2013.

On 1 January 2013, a 31-year-old male working as a  game warden on private game ranch near Jagersfontein  (Free State Province) presented with clinical features  suggestive of CCHF. The patient did not report any tick  bites or direct exposure to unprocessed meat or  slaughtering of animals. The Centre for Emerging and  Zoonotic Diseases of the NICD/NHLS confirmed infection  with CCHF virus by PCR and serology testing.

A second case of CCHF was laboratory confirmed on 12  January 2013 in a 44-year-old male hospitalised in  Bloemfontein, Free State Province. He had been on a  farm in Pomfret, North West Province (situated ±5 km  from the border with Botswana), where he was bitten by  a tick. Three days later he developed symptoms, and  presented with fever, rash, conjunctivitis and pharyngitis.  No laboratory-confirmed cases were identified in 2011- 2012.

Human CCHF cases have been reported annually  from South Africa since 1981, when it was first  recognised in the country; between 0 and 20 cases of  CCHF are diagnosed each year. Through nearly thirty  years of passive surveillance, a total of 187 cases has  been laboratory confirmed. Although cases have been  reported from all of the nine provinces, more than half of  the cases originate from the semi-arid areas of Northern  Cape Province (31.5% of cases) and Free State Province  (23% of cases).

CCHF infection is generally asymptomatic in many species  of wildlife (including antelope) and livestock animals  (including cattle, sheep, goats, hares and ostriches).  Humans  become  infected  sporadically  by  ticks,  particularly  Hyalomma ticks, which are both reservoirs  and vectors for CCHF virus. Other modes of transmission  include direct contact with blood/tissues of infected  animals, and in the case of healthcare workers, through  direct contact with the blood/tissue of infected patients;  nosocomial outbreaks are well described and have been  associated with high mortality rates. Disease may be  severe in people, with case-fatality rates reported as 3 –  30% across various studies.

Detailed information for healthcare workers regarding  CCHF can be found on the NICD website  http:// http://www.nicd.ac.za/ (see General Public FAQ, or Health Workers FAQs here).

Aging cells lose their grip on DNA rogues | News | R&D Magazine

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Transposable elements are mobile strands of DNA that insert themselves into chromosomes with mostly harmful consequences.

Cells have evolved ways to defend themselves, but in a new study, Brown University researchers describe how cells lose this ability as they age, possibly resulting in a decline in their function and health.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

Yet ANOTHER reason not to get old…B-(

See on www.rdmag.com

Patients can emit small, influenza-containing particles into the air during routine care

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

A new study suggests that patients with influenza can emit small virus-containing particles into the surrounding air during routine patient care, potentially exposing health care providers to influenza.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

…so not just sneezing, and larger particles, then!  Sounds like a good justification for barrier nursing especially for severely infected patients.

See on www.sciencedaily.com

Why Death for Distributing Polio Vaccine in Pakistan?

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Vaccine News Daily (blog)
Why Death for Distributing Polio Vaccine in Pakistan?
Global Voices Online
The huge rise in militancy across Pakistan (pdf), is also creating a number of hazards for aid workers.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

I have three little letters for you: C.I.A.  Oh, and throw in the big bad Osama.

See on globalvoicesonline.org

Genetically modified version of herpes virus ‘can block spread of ovarian and breast cancer’

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

A genetically modified type of herpes has been created by scientists at the University of Bologna to limit the spread of breast and ovarian cancer.

Scientists believe the virus, which has been reprogrammed so it no longer harms humans, could form the basis of a potent new cancer treatment.

The ‘oncolytic’ herpes simplex virus (HSV) attacks especially aggressive tumours that have an over-active Her-2 gene.

 

The HSV virus attacks aggressive breast cancer tumours and limits how much they spread

Breast cancer drug Herceptin was designed to target the same cell sub-group.

When the modified virus was injected into mice growing human breast and ovarian tumours, it strongly inhibited the spread of cancer cells.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2271532/Genetically-modified-version-herpes-virus-block-spread-ovarian-breast-cancer.html#ixzz2JeAqvAP7 ;
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

I do so like the idea of putting viruses to work – another piece of good news for today using viral vectors for other purposes!

See on www.dailymail.co.uk

Virus study may signal trouble for animal populations facing climate change

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

A new study suggests that some organisms, such as manatees, polar bears or cheetahs, may be in for a rough time as they try to adapt to climate change.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

Fascinating stuff, and a tour de force in in vitro virology – but extrapolating from vesicaulr stomatitis virus to polar bears??  Bit of a stretch!

See on www.sciencedaily.com

‘Universal HPV vaccination’ call

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

School boys in the UK should receive the HPV vaccine to protect against throat cancer, a charity has urged.

The jab was introduced in 2008 for girls, to immunise them against the virus that causes cervical cancer.

The Throat Cancer Foundation says the vaccine protects against other cancers and has urged the government to extend the programme to all 12-year-olds.

So far Australia is the only country to routinely offer universal vaccination to boys and girls.

The measure has also been recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

Too true – but not ONLY for oropharyngeal cancer; men are the other half of the sexually-transmitted HPV equation, after all.

See on www.bbc.co.uk

INSIGHT-Revived search for a TB vaccine may be about to pay off

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

CHICAGO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – After nearly 100 years,researchers could be on the verge of finding a vaccine thatwould eradicate tuberculosis infections, a scourge that kills1.4 million people a year.Global…

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

OK, it’s not a virus, but it’s an honorary member of the nasties club.  And big news is just around the corner – out of South Africa!

See on www.reuters.com

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever in South Africa

1 February, 2013

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

Nice little info sheet on a potentially big problem

See on www.nicd.ac.za


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 594 other followers