Tag Archives: Virology

How herpes virus tricks the immune system

With over half the U.S. population infected, most people are familiar with the pesky cold sore outbreaks caused by the herpes virus. The virus outsmarts the immune system by interfering with the process that normally allows immune cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. How exactly the herpes simplex 1 virus pulls off its nifty […]

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Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and discovery of a recombinant swine enteric coronavirus, Italy

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been detected sporadically in Italy since the 1990s. We report the phylogenetic relationship of swine enteric coronaviruses collected in Italy during 2007–2014 and identify a drastic shift in PEDV strain variability and a new swine enteric coronavirus generated by recombination of transmissible gastroenteritis virus and PEDV. Porcine epidemic diarrhea […]

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Dogs and opossums positive for vaccinia virus during outbreak affecting cattle and humans

During a vaccinia virus (VACV) outbreak in São Paulo State, Brazil, blood samples were collected from cows, humans, other domestic animals, and wild mammals. Samples from 3 dogs and 3 opossums were positive for VACV by PCR. Results of gene sequencing yielded major questions regarding other mammalian species acting as reservoirs of VACV. Since the […]

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Detection of influenza D virus among swine and cattle, Italy

Recent studies have identified a new genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family. The virus, distantly related to human influenza C virus, has been provisionally designated as influenza D virus. This novel virus was identified for the first time in pigs with influenza-like illness, but subsequent serologic and virologic surveys have suggested cattle as a possible reservoir. […]

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* Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease

While most West Nile Virus (WNV) infections in humans are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, the virus causes serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness in some people. A study published on January 21st in PLOS Pathogens suggests that an exaggerated and abnormal immune response contributes to the development of neurologic symptoms following West Nile virus infection. […]

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Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause infectious gastroenteritis or diarrhea in humans. “If you are a bat, you have bat astrovirus, but if you […]

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Evidence of probable transmission of bird flu virus between two unrelated individuals

Previous reports of person to person transmissions have all occurred in family clusters, suggesting that either common exposures or genetic susceptibility might contribute to the infection. The study describes two patients who shared the same ward in a district hospital in Zhejiang Province, China in February 2015. The first (index) case was a 49 year […]

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Ancient viral molecules essential for human development

Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They’ve identified several noncoding RNA molecules of viral origins that are necessary for a fertilized human egg to acquire the ability in early development to become all the cells and tissues of the body. […]

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West Nile virus killing millions more birds than previously thought

Many people remember the arrival of West Nile in North America in 1999, if only because the initial outbreak killed not just wild crows but also exotic birds in the Bronx Zoo. In the following years, a trail of dead crows marked the spread of the virus from the East through the Midwest on to […]

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Monkey model discovery could spur CMV vaccine development

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading infectious cause of birth defects worldwide, but scientists have been frustrated in their efforts to develop a vaccine to protect against infections. Among the most confounding problems is the lack of animal models that aptly mimic CMV passing from mother to unborn child, as it does in humans. Aside from […]

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New SARS-like virus can jump directly from bats to humans, no treatment available

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered a new bat SARS-like virus that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans without mutation. However, researchers point out that if the SARS-like virus did jump, it is still unclear whether it could spread from human to human. The discovery, reported […]

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Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research

An experiment that created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus — one related to the virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) — has triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks. In an article published in Nature Medicine1 on 9 November, scientists […]

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Cancer-fighting viruses win approval

US regulators clear a viral melanoma therapy, paving the way for a promising field with a chequered past. An engineered herpesvirus that provokes an immune response against cancer has become the first treatment of its kind to be approved for use in the United States, paving the way for a long-awaited class of therapies. On […]

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Camels test positive for respiratory virus in Kenya

A team of scientists surveyed 335 dromedary – single humped – camels from nine herds in Laikipia County, Kenya and found that 47% tested positive for MERS antibodies, showing they had been exposed to the virus. A new study has found that nearly half of camels in parts of Kenya have been infected by the […]

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Viruses are alive, science shows

A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today, the researchers say. The new findings appear in […]

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US plan to assess risky disease research takes shape

The US government is considering whether to continue its ban on funding ‘gain-of-function’ studies that make viruses more dangerous. Manipulating a virus to make it more deadly or transmissible can help scientists to answer important questions about how the microbe evolved or how to kill it. But it is tricky to determine when the risk […]

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* Canine influenza: Veterinarian explains what every dog owner should know about disease

Because of recent cases of canine influenza in the Chicago area, a Kansas State University veterinarian is recommending dog owners educate themselves on the respiratory disease and pay attention to where the cases are occurring. No positive cases of canine influenza, also known as dog flu, have been submitted to the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic […]

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* Virus in cattle linked to human breast cancer

A new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers establishes for the first time a link between infection with the bovine leukemia virus and human breast cancer. In the study, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE and available online, researchers analyzed breast tissue from 239 women, comparing samples from women who had breast […]

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Scientists reveal how stem cells defend against viruses

Scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, have uncovered the mechanisms which embryonic stem cells employ to inhibit virus expression. The ground-breaking discovery could potentially advance stem cell therapeutics and diagnostics. Several stem cell types including embryonic and haematopoietic […]

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* Virus re-engineered to deliver therapies to cells

Stanford researchers have ripped the guts out of a virus and totally redesigned its core to repurpose its infectious capabilities into a safe vehicle for delivering vaccines and therapies directly where they are needed. The study reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences breathes new life into the field of targeted […]

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Viruses join fight against harmful bacteria

In the hunt for new ways to kill harmful bacteria, scientists have turned to a natural predator: viruses that infect bacteria. By tweaking the genomes of these viruses, known as bacteriophages, researchers hope to customize them to target any type of pathogenic bacteria. To help achieve that goal, MIT biological engineers have devised a new […]

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* Primates have been infected with viruses related to HIV for 16 million years

Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distant history of host-virus interactions. A study published on August 20th in PLOS Pathogens […]

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Ebola virus can survive in wastewater

The historic outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa that began in March 2014 and has killed more than 11,000 people since, has raised new questions about the resilience of the virus and tested scientists’ understanding of how to contain it. The latest discovery by a group of microbial risk-assessment and virology researchers suggests […]

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* Hepatitis A-like virus identified in seals

Scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have discovered a new virus in seals that is the closest known relative of the human hepatitis A virus. The finding provides new clues on the emergence of hepatitis A. The research appears in the July/August issue of mBio, […]

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Successful Ebola vaccine provides 100% protection in trial

An experimental Ebola vaccine seems to confer total protection against infection in people who are at high risk of contracting the virus, according to the preliminary results of a trial in Guinea that were announced today and published in The Lancet. They are the first evidence that a vaccine protects humans from Ebola infection “We […]

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Prevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in pigs at the time of slaughter, United Kingdom, 2013

Since 2010, reports of infection with hepatitis E virus (HEV) have increased in England and Wales. Despite mounting evidence regarding the zoonotic potential of porcine HEV, there are limited data on its prevalence in pigs in the United Kingdom. We investigated antibody prevalence, active infection, and virus variation in serum and cecal content samples from […]

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* Virus-like particle vaccine protects mice from many flu strains

Each year, scientists create an influenza (flu) vaccine that protects against a few specific influenza strains that researchers predict are going to be the most common during that year. Now, a new study shows that scientists may be able to create a ‘universal’ vaccine that can provide broad protection against numerous influenza strains, including those […]

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* Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses

Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus such as the one that causes Marek’s disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and […]

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* Rapidly expanding range of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

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The movement of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) virus across Eurasia and into North America and the virus’ propensity to reassort with co-circulating low pathogenicity viruses raise concerns among poultry producers, wildlife biologists, aviculturists, and public health personnel worldwide. Surveillance, modeling, and experimental research will provide the knowledge required for intelligent policy and management decisions. […]

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Rapid Ebola diagnostic successful in field trial

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A new test can accurately diagnose Ebola virus disease within minutes, providing clinicians with crucial information for treating patients and containing outbreaks. Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Partners In Health and Boston Children’s Hospital have shown that a new commercially developed rapid diagnostic test performed at bedside was as sensitive as the conventional laboratory-based method […]

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