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Virus Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE): a global strategy, 2017–2026.

Impact of body condition on influenza A virus infection dynamics in mallards following a secondary exposure.

Migratory waterfowl are often viewed as vehicles for the global spread of influenza A viruses (IAVs), with mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) implicated as particularly important reservoir hosts. The physical demands and energetic costs of migration have been shown to influence birds' body condition; poorer body condition may suppress immune function and affect the course of IAV infection. Our study evaluated the impact of body condition on immune function and viral shedding dynamics in mallards naturally exposed to an H9 IAV, and then secondarily exposed to an H4N6 IAV. Mallards were divided into three treatment groups of 10 birds per group, with each bird's body condition manipulated as a function of body weight by restricting food availability to achieve either a -10%, -20%, or control body weight class. We found that mallards exhibit moderate heterosubtypic immunity against an H4N6 IAV infection after an infection from an H9 IAV, and that body condition did not have an impact on shedding dynamics in response to a secondary exposure. Furthermore, body condition did not affect aspects of the innate and adaptive immune system, including the acute phase protein haptoglobin, heterophil/lymphocyte ratios, and antibody production. Contrary to recently proposed hypotheses and some experimental evidence, our data do not support relationships between body condition, infection and immunocompetence following a second exposure to IAV in mallards. Consequently, while annual migration may be a driver in the maintenance and spread of IAVs, the energetic demands of migration may not affect susceptibility in mallards.

Comorbidities of rheumatoid arthritis: Results from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of comorbidities in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with the non-RA population. The 2010-2012 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), which assesses the general health status of populations in South Korea using interviews and basic health assessment, was analyzed retrospectively. Weighted prevalence and odds ratio (OR) of comorbidities were analyzed in patients with RA compared with the non-RA population. The overall weighted (n = 37,453,158) prevalence of RA was 1.5%. Patients with RA were older and more female predominant than subjects without RA. The prevalence of living in an urban area, college graduation, alcohol consumption and smoking was lower in patients with RA than non-RA. Patients with RA had more comorbidities including hypertension, dyslipidemia, myocardial infarction (MI) or angina, stoke, osteoarthritis, lung cancer, colon cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, asthma, diabetes, depression, thyroid disease and chronic kidney disease. After adjusting socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics, RA was associated with an increased prevalence of MI or angina (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.17-2.96, p = 0.009), pulmonary TB (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.24-3.09, p = 0.004), asthma (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.05-3.71, p = 0.036), thyroid disease (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.05-2.77), depression (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.47-3.85, p < 0.001) and hepatitis B (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.15-4.80, p = 0.020) compared with the non-RA population. Prevalence of solid cancer was not significantly associated with RA after adjustment.

Characterization of rotavirus infection in children with acute gastroenteritis in Bengo province, Northwestern Angola, prior to vaccine introduction.

Rotavirus group A (RVA) is considered the leading cause of pediatric diarrhea, responsible for the high burden of diarrheal diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite recent studies, the existent data are scarce for some African countries like Angola, a country with one of the highest RVA-related death estimates. The aim of this study was to determine the RVA detection rate and circulating genotypes in children less than five years of age with acute gastroenteritis attended at the Bengo General Hospital in Caxito, Bengo province, Angola, before vaccine introduction.

Tissue tropisms, infection kinetics, histologic lesions, and antibody response of the MR766 strain of Zika virus in a murine model.

The appearance of severe Zika virus (ZIKV) disease in the most recent outbreak has prompted researchers to respond through the development of tools to quickly characterize transmission and pathology. We describe here another such tool, a mouse model of ZIKV infection and pathogenesis using the MR766 strain of virus that adds to the growing body of knowledge regarding ZIKV kinetics in small animal models.

Effects of host restriction factors and the HTLV-1 subtype on susceptibility to HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis.

Although human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is a prerequisite for the development of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), specific provirus mutations in HAM/TSP have not yet been reported. In this study, we examined whether HAM/TSP patients had the disease-specific genomic variants of HTLV-1 by analyzing entire sequences of HTLV-1 proviruses in these patients, including familial cases. In addition, we investigated the genetic variants of host restriction factors conferring antiretroviral activity to determine which mutations may be related to resistance or susceptibility to HAM/TSP.

Global Transmission Dynamics of Measles in the Measles Elimination Era.

Although there have been many epidemiological reports of the inter-country transmission of measles, systematic analysis of the global transmission dynamics of the measles virus (MV) is limited. In this study, we applied phylogeographic analysis to characterize the global transmission dynamics of the MV using large-scale genetic sequence data (obtained for 7456 sequences) from 115 countries between 1954 and 2015. These analyses reveal the spatial and temporal characteristics of global transmission of the virus, especially in Australia, China, India, Japan, the UK, and the USA in the period since 1990. The transmission is frequently observed, not only within the same region but also among distant and frequently visited areas. Frequencies of export from measles-endemic countries, such as China, India, and Japan are high but decreasing, while the frequencies from countries where measles is no longer endemic, such as Australia, the UK, and the USA, are low but slightly increasing. The world is heading toward measles eradication, but the disease is still transmitted regionally and globally. Our analysis reveals that countries wherein measles is endemic and those having eliminated the disease (apart from occasional outbreaks) both remain a source of global transmission in this measles elimination era. It is therefore crucial to maintain vigilance in efforts to monitor and eradicate measles globally.

Combinations of L-N(G)-monomethyl-arginine and oseltamivir against pandemic influenza A virus infections in mice.

L-N(G)-monomethyl-arginine (L-NMMA) is an experimental compound that suppresses nitric oxide production in animals. The compound was combined with oseltamivir to treat lethal influenza A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) pandemic virus infections in mice. Treatments were given twice a day for five days starting 4 h (oseltamivir, by oral gavage) or three days (L-NMMA, by intraperitoneal route; corresponding to the time previously reported for nitric oxide induction in the animals) after infection. Low doses of oseltamivir were used in order to demonstrate synergy or antagonism. Oseltamivir monotherapy protected 70% of mice from death at 1 mg/kg/day. L-NMMA (40 and 80 mg/kg/day) was ineffective alone in preventing mortality. Compared to oseltamivir treatment alone, L-NMMA combined with oseltamivir was synergistically effective (as evaluated by three-dimensional MacSynergy analysis), resulting in survival increases from 20 to 70% when 40 or 80 mg/kg/day of L-NMMA was combined with 0.3 mg/kg/day of oseltamivir, and from 70 to 100% survival increases when these doses were combined with 1 mg/kg/day of oseltamivir. These data demonstrate that a nitric oxide inhibitor such as L-NMMA has the potential to be beneficial when combined with oseltamivir in treating influenza virus infections.

Progress in vaccination towards hepatitis B control and elimination in the Region of the Americas.

Over recent decades, the Region of the Americas has made significant progress towards hepatitis B elimination. We summarize the countries/territories' efforts in introducing and implementing hepatitis B (HB) vaccination and in evaluating its impact on HB virus seroprevalence.

Acceptability and feasibility of early infant male circumcision for HIV prevention in Malawi.

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been successfully implemented in 14 countries as an additional HIV prevention intervention. As VMMC programs mature in most countries, the focus is now on how to sustain the HIV prevention gains realised from VMMC. As part of preparations for the sustainability phase, countries are either piloting or preparing to pilot early infant male circumcision (EIMC). This qualitative study explored the acceptability and feasibility of EIMC in Malawi in order to inform pilot implementation.

Sensitive quantification of the HIV-1 reservoir in gut-associated lymphoid tissue.

The implementation of successful strategies to achieve an HIV cure has become a priority in HIV research. However, the current location and size of HIV reservoirs is still unknown since there are limited tools to evaluate HIV latency in viral sanctuaries such as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). As reported in the so called "Boston Patients", despite undetectable levels of proviral HIV-1 DNA in blood and GALT, viral rebound happens in just few months after ART interruption. This fact might imply that current methods are not sensitive enough to detect residual reservoirs. Showing that, it is imperative to improve the detection and quantification of HIV-1 reservoir in tissue samples. Herein, we propose a novel non-enzymatic protocol for purification of Lamina Propria Leukocytes (LPL) from gut biopsies combined to viral HIV DNA (vDNA) quantification by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of viral reservoir measurements (LPL-vDNA assay).

Reduction in the copy number and expression level of the recurrent human papillomavirus integration gene fragile histidine triad (FHIT) predicts the transition of cervical lesions.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in females worldwide, especially in developing countries. High risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection causes cervical cancer and precancerous cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Integration of the HR-HPV genome into the host chromatin is an important step in cervical carcinogenesis. The detection of integrated papillomavirus sequences-PCR (DIPS-PCR) allowed us to explore HPV integration in the human genome and to determine the pattern of this integration. We performed DIPS-PCR for 4 cell lines including 3 cervical cancer cell lines and 40 tissue samples. Overall, 32 HR-HPV integration loci were detected in the clinical samples and the HeLa and SiHa cell lines. Among all the integration loci, we identified three recurrent integration loci: 3p14.2 (3 samples), 13q22.1 (2 samples and a SiHa cell line) and 8q24 (1 sample and a HeLa cell line). To further explore the effect of HR-HPV integration in the 3p14.2 locus, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to determine the copy number of the 3p14.2 locus and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to determine the protein expression levels of the related FHIT gene in the clinical samples. Both the 3p14.2 locus copy number and FHIT protein expression levels showed significant decreases when CIN transitioned to cervical cancer. HPV copy number was also evaluated in these clinical samples, and the copy number of HPV increased significantly between CIN and cervical cancer samples. Finally, we employed receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) analysis to evaluate the potential of all these indexes in distinguishing CIN and cervical cancer, and the HPV copy number, FHIT copy number and FHIT protein expression levels have good diagnostic efficiencies.

Barriers and facilitators for men to attend prenatal care and obtain HIV voluntary counseling and testing in Brazil.

Providing HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) to men who attend their partner's prenatal care is an intervention with potential to reduce HIV transmission to women and infants during the vulnerable period of pregnancy. Little is known about the acceptability of this intervention in global settings outside of Africa.

Evolution of EBV seroprevalence and primary infection age in a French hospital and a city laboratory network, 2000-2016.

According to rare studies, the age at EBV primary infection (PI) has recently risen in some developed countries. A later age at infection is generally considered a risk factor for severe EBV PI, although few studies exist on this subject. Our investigation aimed to determine whether EBV seroprevalence and EBV PI epidemiology have evolved in France, and to what extent age and infection intensity (regarding biological parameters) are correlated.

Serine protease Bm-SP142 was differentially expressed in resistant and susceptible Bombyx mori strains, involving in the defence response to viral infection.

Bm-SP142 is a 35 kDa protease in the silkworm, but its exact functions remain unknown. In this study, sequence alignment revealed that the His-Asp-Ser catalytic triad is embedded in the TAAHC-DIAL-GDSGGP sequence motif, establishing Bm-SP142 as a serine protease. Soluble recombinant GST-BmSP142 was expressed and purified, and serine protease activity was confirmed in vitro. RT-qPCR results indicated that Bm-SP142 was mainly expressed in the middle part of the silkworm midgut, and Bm-SP142 transcripts were significantly up-regulated at 24 hours post infection (hpi) in BmBDV-resistant strains (798) inoculated with BmBDV and BmNPV-resistant strains (NB) inoculated with BmNPV, but not in BmBDV-susceptible strains (306). Surprisingly, transcripts were significantly down-regulated at 12 hpi in BmNPV-susceptible strains (HuaBa 35) inoculated with BmNPV, compared with healthy silkworms. Recombinant BmNPV treated with purified Bm-SP142 effectively impaired its ability to infect BmN cells, and Bm-SP142 decreases the efficiency of BmNPV and BmBDV propagation in silkworms. Furthermore, overexpression of Bm-SP142 in BmN cells inhibited viral propagation.

"Support Your Client at the Space That They're in": HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Prescribers' Perspectives on PrEP-Related Risk Compensation.

Despite the demonstrated effectiveness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and evidence that most PrEP users do not engage in risk compensation (i.e., increased risk behavior due to a perceived decrease in HIV susceptibility), some healthcare providers report patient risk compensation to be a deterrent to prescribing PrEP. Overcoming this barrier is essential to supporting PrEP access and uptake among people at risk for HIV. To inform such efforts, this qualitative study explored PrEP-related risk compensation attitudes among providers with firsthand experience prescribing PrEP. US-based PrEP providers (n = 18), most of whom were HIV specialists, were recruited through direct outreach and referral from colleagues and other participants. Individual 90-min semistructured interviews were conducted by phone or in person from September 2014 through February 2015, transcribed, and thematically analyzed. Three attitudinal themes emerged: (1) providers' role is to support patients in making informed decisions, (2) risk behavior while taking PrEP does not fully offset PrEP's protective benefit (i.e., PrEP confers net protection, even with added behavioral risk), and (3) PrEP-related risk compensation is unduly stigmatized within and beyond the healthcare community. Participants were critical of other healthcare providers' negative judgment of patients and reluctance to prescribe PrEP due to anticipated risk compensation. Several providers also acknowledged an evolution in their thinking from initial ambivalence toward greater acceptance of PrEP and PrEP-related behavior change. PrEP providers' insights about risk compensation may help to address unsubstantiated concerns about PrEP-related risk compensation and challenge the acceptability of withholding PrEP on these grounds.

Zika virus: an epidemiological update.

Viral exanthems: An update on laboratory testing of the adult patient.

Although classic viral exanthems of childhood are well described, they are rarely differentiated in adults. Laboratory techniques for viral identification have advanced without substantial literature to suggest how a dermatologist ought to conduct a cost-effective and diagnostic viral panel. Certain clinical features such as petechiae, vesicles, and dusky macular or morbilliform exanthems point strongly toward a viral exanthem. Differentiation of drug and viral causes of morbilliform eruptions has proven difficult. It is possible that with further diagnostic refinement that unnecessary and fruitless workups of an exanthem and unneeded discontinuation of drugs can be avoided. We review viral exanthems based on clinical features and discuss the available and optimal laboratory techniques to assist the dermatologist in a targeted workup.

Overview of cancer incidence and mortality among people living with HIV/AIDS in British Columbia, Canada: Implications for HAART use and NADM development.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the incidence of non-AIDS defining malignancies (NADMs) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in British Columbia, focusing on clinical correlates, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use, and survival, in order to elucidate mechanisms for NADM development.

The cobas® HCV GT is a new tool that accurately identifies Hepatitis C virus genotypes for clinical practice.

We aimed to evaluate the correct assignment of HCV genotype/subtypes 1a and 1b by cobas® HCV genotyping (GT) assay (Roche Molecular Diagnostics) compared with nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B) sequencing.

Evolution of the neuraminidase gene of seasonal influenza A and B viruses in Thailand between 2010 and 2015.

The neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) oseltamivir and zanamivir are commonly used for the treatment and control of influenza A and B virus infection. However, the emergence of new influenza virus strains with reduced susceptibility to NAIs may appear with the use of these antivirals or even naturally. We therefore screened the neuraminidase (NA) sequences of seasonal influenza virus A(H1N1), A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2), and influenza B virus strains identified in Thailand for the presence of substitutions previously reported to reduce susceptibility to NAIs. We initially examined oseltamivir resistance (characterized by the H275Y mutation in the NA gene) in 485 A(H1N1)pdm09 strains circulating in Thailand and found that 0.82% (4/485) had this substitution. To further evaluate the evolution of the NA gene, we also randomly selected 98 A(H1N1)pdm09, 158 A(H3N2), and 69 influenza B virus strains for NA gene amplification and sequencing, which revealed various amino acid mutations in the active site of the NA protein previously shown to be associated with reduced susceptibility to NAIs. Phylogenetic analysis of the influenza virus strains from this study and elsewhere around the world, together with the estimations of nucleotide substitution rates and selection pressure, and the predictions of B-cell epitopes and N-linked glycosylation sites all provided evidence for the ongoing evolution of NA. The overall rates of NA evolution for influenza A viruses were higher than for influenza B virus at the nucleotide level, although influenza B virus possessed more genealogical diversity than that of influenza A viruses. The continual surveillance of the antigenic changes associated with the NA protein will not only contribute to the influenza virus database but may also provide a better understanding of selection pressure exerted by antiviral use.

Factors influencing postnatal Option B+ participation and breastfeeding duration among HIV-positive women in Lilongwe District, Malawi: A qualitative study.

To ensure the health of mothers and children, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programs test women for HIV, engage HIV-positive women in care, and promote recommended breastfeeding practices. Under Malawi's Option B+ PMTCT program, ~20% of women are lost-to-follow-up (LTFU) and little is known about their breastfeeding practices. The purpose of this study is to describe facilitators and barriers to Option B+ participation and how participation influences breastfeeding duration. We conducted in-depth interviews with HIV-positive women in Option B+ (n = 32) or LTFU from Option B+ (n = 32). They were recruited from four government clinics in Lilongwe District and had a child aged 0-23 months. Women in Option B+ had better disclosure experiences and more social support than LTFU women. The most common reasons for LTFU were fear of HIV disclosure, anticipated or experienced stigma, and insufficient social support. Other reasons included: non-acceptance of HIV status, antiretroviral therapy (ART) side effects, lack of funds for transport, and negative experiences with clinic staff. Worries about possible transmission, even while on ART, influenced timing of weaning for some women in Option B+. Despite their knowledge of the risk of HIV transmission to the child, most LTFU women continued to breastfeed after stopping ART because they considered breastmilk to be an important source of nutrients for the child. Given that HIV-positive Malawian women LTFU from Option B+ breastfeed in the absence of ART, efforts are needed to use evidence-based strategies to address the barriers to Option B+ participation and avert preventable transmission through breastmilk.

Zika Virus: Common Questions and Answers.

Since local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus was first reported in Brazil in early 2015, the virus has spread rapidly, with active transmission reported in at least 61 countries and territories worldwide, including the United States. Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies. The virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, but other routes of transmission include sexual, mother-to-fetus during pregnancy, mother-to-infant at delivery, laboratory exposure, and, possibly, transfusion of blood products. Most persons with Zika virus infection are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms; hospitalizations and deaths are rare. When symptoms are present, maculopapular rash, fever, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis are most common. Zika virus testing is recommended for persons with possible exposure (those who have traveled to or live in an area with active transmission, or persons who had sex without a condom with a person with possible exposure) if they have symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease. Testing is also recommended for pregnant women with possible exposure, regardless of whether symptoms are present. Treatment is supportive, and no vaccine is currently available. The primary methods of prevention include avoiding bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes and reducing the risk of sexual transmission. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission, and men and women who are planning to conceive in the near future should consider avoiding nonessential travel to these areas. Condoms can reduce the risk of sexual transmission.

Genomic characterization of two novel pathogenic avipoxviruses isolated from pacific shearwaters (Ardenna spp.).

Over the past 20 years, many marine seabird populations have been gradually declining and the factors driving this ongoing deterioration are not always well understood. Avipoxvirus infections have been found in a wide range of bird species worldwide, however, very little is known about the disease ecology of avian poxviruses in seabirds. Here we present two novel avipoxviruses from pacific shearwaters (Ardenna spp), one from a Flesh-footed Shearwater (A. carneipes) (SWPV-1) and the other from a Wedge-tailed Shearwater (A. pacificus) (SWPV-2).

Defective HIV-1 Proviruses Are Expressed and Can Be Recognized by Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes, which Shape the Proviral Landscape.

Despite antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1 persists in memory CD4(+) T cells, creating a barrier to cure. The majority of HIV-1 proviruses are defective and considered clinically irrelevant. Using cells from HIV-1-infected individuals and reconstructed patient-derived defective proviruses, we show that defective proviruses can be transcribed into RNAs that are spliced and translated. Proviruses with defective major splice donors (MSDs) can activate novel splice sites to produce HIV-1 transcripts, and cells with these proviruses can be recognized by HIV-1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Further, cells with proviruses containing lethal mutations upstream of CTL epitopes can also be recognized by CTLs, potentially through aberrant translation. Thus, CTLs may change the landscape of HIV-1 proviruses by preferentially targeting cells with specific types of defective proviruses. Additionally, the expression of defective proviruses will need to be considered in the measurement of HIV-1 latency reversal.

Epigenetically repressing human cytomegalovirus lytic infection and reactivation from latency in THP-1 model by targeting H3K9 and H3K27 histone demethylases.

Human Cytomegalovirus (hCMV) infects a broad range of the population and establishes life-long latency in the infected individuals. Periodically the latently infected virus can reactivate and becomes a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals. In latent infection, the viral genome is suppressed in a heterochromatic state and viral gene transcription is silenced. Upon reactivation, the repressive chromatin is remodeled to an active form, allowing viral lytic gene transcription, initiated by the expression of viral Immediate Early (IE) genes. During this process, a number of histone modification enzymes, including histone demethylases (HDMs), play important roles in driving IE expression, but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. To get a better understanding of these mechanisms, we focused on two HDMs, KDM4 and KDM6, which reverse the repressive histone H3-lysine 9 and lysine 27 methylation, respectively. Our studies show that in lytic infection, both demethylases are important in the activation of viral IE gene expression. Simultaneous disruption of both via genetic or chemical methods leads to severely impaired viral IE gene expression and viral replication. Additionally, in an experimental latency-reactivation model in THP-1 cells, the KDM6 family member JMJD3 is induced upon viral reactivation and its knockdown resulted in reduced IE gene transcription. These findings suggest pharmacological inhibition of these HDMs may potentially block hCMV lytic infection and reactivation, and control the viral infection associated diseases, which are of significant unmet medical needs.

Expanded antiretroviral treatment, sexual networks, and condom use: Treatment as prevention unlikely to succeed without partner reduction among men who have sex with men in China.

To project the impact of partner reduction on preventing new HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) under varying conditions of enhanced HIV testing and treatment (T&T) and condom use in Beijing, China.

Novel decay dynamics revealed for virus-mediated drug activation in cytomegalovirus infection.

Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised hosts and globally is one of the most important congenital infections. The nucleoside analogue ganciclovir (GCV), which requires initial phosphorylation by the viral UL97 kinase, is the mainstay for treatment. To date, CMV decay kinetics during GCV therapy have not been extensively investigated and its clinical implications not fully appreciated. We measured CMV DNA levels in the blood of 92 solid organ transplant recipients with CMV disease over the initial 21 days of ganciclovir therapy and identified four distinct decay patterns, including a new pattern exhibiting a transient viral rebound (Hump) following initial decline. Since current viral dynamics models were unable to account for this Hump profile, we developed a novel multi-level model, which includes the intracellular role of UL97 in the continued activation of ganciclovir, that successfully described all the decline patterns observed. Fitting the data allowed us to estimate ganciclovir effectiveness in vivo (mean 92%), infected cell half-life (mean 0.7 days), and other viral dynamics parameters that determine which of the four kinetic patterns will ensue. An important clinical implication of our results is that the virological efficacy of GCV operates over a broad dose range. The model also raises the possibility that GCV can drive replication to a new lower steady state but ultimately cannot fully eradicate it. This model is likely to be generalizable to other anti-CMV nucleoside analogs that require activation by viral enzymes such as UL97 or its homologues.

Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in adult population in the Czech Republic - time for birth cohort screening.

Chronic hepatitis C is curable disease. Low detection rate could be one of the reasons of poor treatment uptake. It is important to identify HCV prevalence and anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive patients in population by effective screening strategy such as risk-based or birth cohort screening programs. There are no national population-based estimates of the HCV prevalence in the Czech Republic (CZ). The most recent seroprevalence survey determined a prevalence of positive anti-HCV antibodies of 0.2% (in 2001). The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of HCV, HCV viraemia and HCV genotype in the CZ adult population. We also estimated the number of persons living with chronic hepatitis C in CZ. The examined group included 3000 adults, 18-90 years of age enrolled in 2015. All serum samples were examined to determined anti-HCV antibodies positivity, HCV-RNA positivity and genotypes. Of the 3000 samples, 50 were found to be anti-HCV-positive, for a seroprevalence of 1.67% (2.39% in males, 0.98% in females). The overall prevalence of positive HCV RNA was 0.93%: 1.5% in males, 0.39% in females. HCV genotype (GT) 1a was determined in 25%, GT 1b in 25% and GT 3a in 46%. Since 2001, the HCV seroprevalence has increased 8-fold. The highest HCV seroprevalence occurred in males aged 30-44 years. We can estimate that there are more than 140,000 people with HCV antibodies and more than 80,000 people with chronic hepatitis C living in the CZ. The introduction of birth cohort HCV screening could be beneficial for the country.

HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of persons with and without disabilities from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2011: Differential access to HIV/AIDS information and services.

Uganda is among the first to use the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability to identify persons with disabilities in its Demographic and Health Survey. In this paper, we review the HIV Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour component of the 2011 Ugandan Demographic and Health Survey, analysing a series of questions comparing those with and without disabilities in relation to HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices. We found comparable levels of knowledge on HIV/AIDS for those with and those without disabilities in relation to HIV transmission during delivery (93.89%, 93.26%) and through breastfeeding (89.91%, 90.63%), which may reflect increased attention to reaching the community of persons with disabilities. However, several gaps in the knowledge base of persons with disabilities stood out, including misconceptions of risk of HIV infection through mosquito bites and caring for a relative with HIV in own household (34.39%, 29.86%; p<0.001; 91.53%, 89.00%; p = 0.001, respectively). The issue is not just access to appropriate information but also equitable access to HIV/AIDS services and support. Here we found that persons with multiple disabilities were less likely than individuals without disabilities to return to receive results from their most recent HIV test (0.60[0.41-0.87], p<0.05). HIV testing means little if people do not return for follow-up to know their HIV status and, if necessary, to be connected to available services and supports. Additional findings of note were that persons with disabilities reported having a first sexual encounter at a slightly younger age than peers without disabilities; and persons with disabilities also reported having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) within the last 12 months at significantly higher rates than peers without disabilities (1.38[1.18-1.63], p<0.01), despite reporting comparable knowledge of the need for safer sex practices. This analysis is among the first to use HIV/AIDS-related questions from Demographic Health Surveys to provide information about persons with disabilities in Uganda in comparison to those without disabilities. These findings present a more complex and nuanced understanding of persons with disabilities and HIV/AIDS. If persons with disabilities are becoming sexually active earlier, are more likely to have an STD within the preceding 12 month period and are less likely to receive HIV test results, it is important to understand why. Recommendations are also made for the inclusion of disability measures in Uganda's AIDS Indicator Survey to provide cyclical and systematic data on disability and HIV/AIDS, including HIV prevalence amongst persons with disabilities.