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Virus Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Recombinant Lactococcus lactis Expressing Haemagglutinin from a Polish Avian H5N1 Isolate and Its Immunological Effect in Preliminary Animal Trials.

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are Gram-positive, nonpathogenic microorganisms that are gaining much interest as antigen producers for development of live vaccine vectors. Heterologous proteins of different origin have been successfully expressed in various LAB species, including Lactococcus lactis. Recombinant L. lactis strains have been shown to induce specific local and systemic immune responses against various antigens. Our study aimed at constructing a L. lactis strain expressing haemagglutinin of a Polish avian H5H1 influenza isolate and examining its effect on animals. Expression of the cloned H5 gene was achieved using the nisin-controlled gene expression system. Detection of the intracellular H5 antigen produced in L. lactis was performed by Western blot analysis and confirmed using mass spectrometry. The potential of L. lactis recombinant cells to induce an immune response was examined by setting up preliminary immunization trials on chickens and mice. Obtained sera were tested for specific antibodies by ELISA assays. The results of these studies are a promising step toward developing a vaccine against the bird flu using Lactococcus lactis cells as bioreactors for efficient antigen production and delivery to the mucosal surface.

Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2017–2018 northern hemisphere influenza season.

Zoonotic diseases: sharing insights from interdisciplinary research.

Researchers and others involved with the Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) initiative gathered in Tanzania earlier this year to discuss progress with projects being carried out as part of the five- year programme. Mary Ryan and Sarah Cleaveland report.

Identification of Optimal Reference Genes for Normalization of RT-qPCR Data in Cancerous and Non-Cancerous Tissues of Human Uterine Cervix.

This study aimed to identify the most stably expressed reference genes from a panel of 32 candidate genes for normalization of reverse transcription-quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction data in cancerous and non-cancerous tissues of human uterine cervix. Overall, PUM1, YWHAZ, and RPLP0 were identified as the most stably expressed genes in paired cancerous and non-cancerous tissues. The results were further stratified by the state of malignancy of the tissues, histopathological type of the cancer, and the human papillomavirus-type.

A preliminary investigation on single nucleotide polymorphism rs2287622 of bile salt export pump gene in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Hunan, China.

European researchers have underscored associations between single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2287622 of the hepatobiliary bile salt export pump (BSEP) gene and the risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The distributions of SNP rs2287622 are racially specific. This study was aimed to preliminarily investigate the distribution of BSEP gene SNP rs2287622 in the Han patients with chronic HCV-infection (CHC) in Hunan, China.

Trends in Sero-Epidemiology of Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Voluntary Blood Donations in Iran, 2008-2013.

Various strategies are implemented to increase blood safety. However, there is always a small amount of residual risk. The amount of risk is associated with the incidence and prevalence of infection in the community. Since increases in the prevalence and changing the pattern of HIV transmission have been observed in the community, monitoring of HIV prevalence among general population and blood donors is necessary. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of HIV in Iranian blood donations. Demographic status and donation type were also investigated in HIV positive blood donors.

Classifying PML risk with disease modifying therapies.

To catalogue the risk of PML with the currently available disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis (MS).

History of Newcastle disease in South Africa.

Poultry production in South Africa, a so-called developing country, may be seen as a gradient between two extremes with highly integrated commercial enterprises with world-class facilities on one hand and unimproved rural chickens kept by households and subsistence farmers on the other. Although vaccination against Newcastle disease is widely applied to control this devastating infection, epizootics continue to occur. Since the first official diagnosis in 1945, through the sporadic outbreaks of the 1950s and early 1960s, to serious epizootics caused by genotype VIII (late 1960s-2000), genotype VIIb (1993-1999), genotype VIId (2003-2012) and most recently genotype VIIh (2013 to present), South Africa's encounters with exotic Newcastle disease follow global trends. Importation - probably illegal - of infected poultry, poultry products or exotic birds and illegal swill dumping are likely routes of entry. Once the commercial sector is affected, the disease spreads rapidly within the region via transportation routes. Each outbreak genotype persisted for about a decade and displaced its predecessor.

Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. L. Ixodid ticks infesting horses and donkeys.

The aim of the study was to determine the species spectrum of ixodid ticks that infest horses and donkeys in South Africa and to identify those species that act as vectors of disease to domestic livestock. Ticks were collected opportunistically from 391 horses countrywide by their owners or grooms, or by veterinary students and staff at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. Ticks were also collected from 76 donkeys in Limpopo Province, 2 in Gauteng Province and 1 in North West province. All the ticks were identified by means of a stereoscopic microscope. Horses were infested with 17 tick species, 72.1% with Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi, 19.4% with Amblyomma hebraeum and 15.6% with Rhipicephalus decoloratus. Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi was recovered from horses in all nine provinces of South Africa and R. decoloratus in eight provinces. Donkeys were infested with eight tick species, and 81.6% were infested with R. evertsi evertsi, 23.7% with A. hebraeum and 10.5% with R. decoloratus. Several tick species collected from the horses and donkeys are the vectors of economically important diseases of livestock. Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi is the vector of Theileria equi, the causative organism of equine piroplasmosis. It also transmits Anaplasma marginale, the causative organism of anaplasmosis in cattle. Amblyomma hebraeum is the vector of Ehrlichia ruminantium, the causative organism of heartwater in cattle, sheep and goats, whereas R. decoloratus transmits Babesia bigemina, the causative organism of babesiosis in cattle.

B-cell epitopes of African horse sickness virus serotype 4 recognised by immune horse sera.

Identifying antigenic proteins and mapping their epitopes is important for the development of diagnostic reagents and recombinant vaccines. B-cell epitopes of African horse sickness virus (AHSV) have previously been mapped on VP2, VP5, VP7 and NS1, using mouse, rabbit and chicken monoclonal antibodies. A comprehensive study of the humoral immune response of five vaccinated horses to AHSV-4 antigenic peptides was undertaken. A fragmented-genome phage display library expressing a repertoire of AHSV-4 peptides spanning the entire genome was constructed. The library was affinity selected for binders on immobilised polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) isolated from horse sera collected pre- and post-immunisation with an attenuated AHSV-4 monovalent vaccine. The DNA inserts of binding phages were sequenced with Illumina high-throughput sequencing. The data were normalised using preimmune IgG-selected sequences. More sequences mapped to the genes coding for NS3, VP6 and VP5 than to the other genes. However, VP2 and VP5 each had more antigenic regions than each of the other proteins. This study identified a number of epitopes to which the horse's humoral immune system responds during immunisation with AHSV-4.

A super-infection in the cornea caused by Stemphylium, Acremonium, and α-Streptococcus.

Polymicrobial keratitis with fungus and bacteria can lead to blindness and is challenging to treat. Here, we introduce a case of fungal keratitis caused by two different strains in addition to definite bacterial super-infection caused by an α-Streptococcus sp., and describe the importance of microscopic examination.

Comparison of the long-term efficacy between entecavir and tenofovir in treatment- naïve chronic hepatitis B patients.

There have been limited studies directly comparing the long-term efficacy between entecavir (ETV) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). This study was aimed to compare the long-term efficacy between them in treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis B (CHB).

Arboviral diseases and malaria in Australia, 2013-14: Annual report of the National Arbovirus and Malaria Advisory Committee.

This report describes the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases of public health importance in Australia during the 2013-14 season (1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014) and includes data from human notifications, sentinel chicken, vector and virus surveillance programs. The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System received notifications for 8,898 cases of disease transmitted by mosquitoes during the 2013-14 season. The Australasian alphaviruses Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus accounted for 6,372 (72%) total notifications. However, over-diagnosis and possible false positive diagnostic test results for these 2 infections mean that the true burden of infection is likely overestimated, and as a consequence, the case definitions have been amended. There were 94 notifications of imported chikungunya virus infection and 13 cases of imported Zika virus infection. There were 212 notifications of dengue virus infection acquired in Australia and 1,795 cases acquired overseas, with an additional 14 cases for which the place of acquisition was unknown. Imported cases of dengue were most frequently acquired in Indonesia (51%). No cases of locally-acquired malaria were notified during the 2013-14 season, though there were 373 notifications of overseas-acquired malaria. In 2013-14, arbovirus and mosquito surveillance programs were conducted in most jurisdictions. Surveillance for exotic mosquitoes at international ports of entry continues to be a vital part of preventing the spread of vectors of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue to new areas of Australia, with 13 detections of exotic mosquitoes at the ports of entry in 2013-14.

Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance inaugural annual report, 2014.

The Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network is a hospital-based active surveillance system employing prospective case ascertainment of selected uncommon vaccine preventable diseases and potential adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). PAEDS enhances other Australian surveillance systems by providing prospective detailed clinical and laboratory data for the same child.

Surveillance of adverse events following immunisation in Australia annual report, 2014.

This report summarises Australian passive surveillance data for adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) for 2014 reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for 2014 and describes reporting trends over the 15-year period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2014. There were 3,087 AEFI records for vaccines administered in 2014; an annual AEFI reporting rate of 13.2 per 100,000 population. There was a decline of 5% in the overall AEFI reporting rate in 2014 compared with 2013. This decline in reported adverse events in 2014 compared with the previous year was mainly attributable to fewer reports following the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as it was the 2nd year of the extension of the National HPV Vaccination Program to males. AEFI reporting rates for most vaccines were lower in 2014 compared with 2013. The most commonly reported reactions were injection site reaction (27%), pyrexia (18%), rash (16%), vomiting (9%), headache (7%), and syncope (5%). The majority of AEFI reports described non-serious events while 7% (n=211) were classified as serious. There were 5 deaths reported with no clear causal relationship with vaccination found.

Influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant Indigenous women in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at particular risk of severe illness and high attack rates of influenza infection. In Australia, routine seasonal influenza vaccination is currently strongly recommended for all pregnant women and women planning pregnancy, and is provided free of charge for all pregnant women. We sought to determine vaccination coverage, describe the trends and characteristics associated with influenza vaccine uptake and determine the validity of self-reported influenza vaccination in a population of Indigenous pregnant women who were participants of a vaccine trial, prior to and during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Vaccine coverage over the study period was 16% (35/214), increasing from 2.2% (3/136) in the period preceding the pandemic (2006-2009) to 41% (32/78) in the intra-pandemic period (2009-2010). Self-report was not a reliable estimate of verified vaccination status in the pre-pandemic period (κ=0.38) but was reliable in the intra-pandemic period (κ=0.91). None of the socio-demographic characteristics that we examined were associated with vaccine uptake. Whilst the increase in maternal influenza coverage rates are encouraging and indicate a willingness of pregnant Indigenous women to be vaccinated, the majority of women remained unvaccinated. Activities to improve influenza vaccination coverage for Indigenous pregnant women and monitor vaccine uptake remain a priority. Commun Dis Intell 2016;40(3):E340-E346.

Increase in Human Infections with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus During the Fifth Epidemic - China, October 2016-February 2017.

During March 2013-February 24, 2017, annual epidemics of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China resulted in 1,258 avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in humans being reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and other regional sources (1). During the first four epidemics, 88% of patients developed pneumonia, 68% were admitted to an intensive care unit, and 41% died (2). Candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs) were developed, and vaccine was manufactured based on representative viruses detected after the emergence of A(H7N9) virus in humans in 2013. During the ongoing fifth epidemic (beginning October 1, 2016),* 460 human infections with A(H7N9) virus have been reported, including 453 in mainland China, six associated with travel to mainland China from Hong Kong (four cases), Macao (one) and Taiwan (one), and one in an asymptomatic poultry worker in Macao (1). Although the clinical characteristics and risk factors for human infections do not appear to have changed (2,3), the reported human infections during the fifth epidemic represent a significant increase compared with the first four epidemics, which resulted in 135 (first epidemic), 320 (second), 226 (third), and 119 (fourth epidemic) human infections (2). Most human infections continue to result in severe respiratory illness and have been associated with poultry exposure. Although some limited human-to-human spread continues to be identified, no sustained human-to-human A(H7N9) transmission has been observed (2,3).

Confidentiality Issues and Use of Sexually Transmitted Disease Services Among Sexually Experienced Persons Aged 15-25 Years - United States, 2013-2015.

National-level data are limited regarding confidentiality-related issues and the use of sexually transmitted disease (STD) services for adolescents and young adults. Changes in the U.S. health care system have permitted dependent children to remain on a parent's health insurance plan until the child's 26th birthday and required coverage of certain preventive services, including some STD services, without cost sharing for most plans (1,2). Although these provisions likely facilitate access to the health care system, adolescents and young adults might not seek care or might delay seeking care for certain services because of concerns about confidentiality, including fears that their parents might find out (3,4). Therefore, it is important to examine STD services and confidentiality-related issues among persons aged 15-25 years in the United States. CDC analyzed data from the 2013-2015 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 12.7% of sexually experienced youths (adolescents aged 15-17 years and those young adults aged 18-25 years who were on a parent's insurance plan) would not seek sexual and reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents might find out. Particularly concerned were persons aged 15-17 years (22.6%). Females with confidentiality concerns regarding seeking sexual and reproductive health care reported a lower prevalence of receipt of chlamydia screening (17.1%) than did females who did not cite such concerns (38.7%). More adolescents aged 15-17 years who spent time alone with a health care provider (without a parent in the room) reported receipt of a sexual risk assessment (71.1%) and, among females, chlamydia testing (34.0%), than did those who did not spend time alone (36.6% and 14.9%, respectively). The results indicated that confidentiality-related issues were associated with less reported use of some STD services, especially for younger persons and females. Spending time alone with a provider (i.e., without a parent present) during a health care visit has been associated previously with higher reported delivery of sexual health services (5) and has been suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (6). Public health efforts related to confidentiality of STD services might be helpful to increase the use of recommended services among some youths.

Benzimidazole-based derivatives as privileged scaffold developed for the treatment of the RSV infection: a computational study exploring the potency and cytotoxicity profiles.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been identified as a main cause of hospitalisation in infants and children. To date, the current therapeutic arsenal is limited to ribavirin and palivizumab with variable efficacy. In this work, starting from a number of in-house series of previously described anti-RSV agents based on the benzimidazole scaffold, with the aim at gaining a better understanding of the related chemical features involved in potency and safety profiles, we applied a computational study including two focussed comparative molecular fields analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity indices analysis (CoMSIA). The results allowed us to derive useful suggestions for the design of derivatives and also to set up statistical models predicting the potency and selectivity index (SI = CC50/EC50) of any new analogue prior to synthesis. Accordingly, here, we discuss preliminary results obtained through the applied exhaustive QSAR analyses, leading to design and synthesise more effective anti-RSV agents.

"Preliminary Seroepidemiological survey of dengue infections in Pakistan, 2009-2014".

Dengue virus is the causative agent of dengue fever, a vector borne infection which causes self-limiting to life threatening disease in humans. A sero-epidemiological study was conducted to understand the current epidemiology of dengue virus in Pakistan which is now known as a dengue endemic country after its first reported outbreak in 1994.

Insight into live bird markets of Bangladesh: an overview of the dynamics of transmission of H5N1 and H9N2 avian influenza viruses.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H9N2 viruses have been recognized as threats to public health in Bangladesh since 2007. Although live bird markets (LBMs) have been implicated in the transmission, dissemination, and circulation of these viruses, an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of avian transmission of H5N1 and H9N2 viruses at the human-animal interface has been lacking. Here we present and evaluate epidemiological findings from active surveillance conducted among poultry in various production sectors in Bangladesh from 2008 to 2016. Overall, the prevalence of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in collected samples was 24%. Our data show that AIVs are more prevalent in domestic birds within LBMs (30.4%) than in farms (9.6%). Quail, chickens and ducks showed a high prevalence of AIVs (>20%). The vast majority of AIVs detected (99.7%) have come from apparently healthy birds and poultry drinking water served as a reservoir of AIVs with a prevalence of 32.5% in collected samples. HPAI H5N1 was more frequently detected in ducks while H9N2 was more common in chickens and quail. LBMs, particularly wholesale markets, have become a potential reservoir for various types of AIVs, including HPAI H5N1 and LPAI H9N2. The persistence of AIVs in LBMs is of great concern to public health, and this study highlights the importance of regularly reviewing and implementing infection control procedures as a means of reducing the exposure of the general public to AIVs.Emerging Microbes & Infections (2017) 6, e12; doi:10.1038/emi.2016.142; published online 8 March 2017.

Genetic analyses of the fusion protein genes in human parainfluenza virus types 1 and 3 among patients with acute respiratory infections in Eastern Japan from 2011 to 2015.

To genetically explore the fusion protein gene (F) in human parainfluenza virus type 1 (HPIV1) and type 3 (HPIV3) strains, we analysed them in patients with acute respiratory infections in Eastern Japan from 2011 to 2015.

Koala retrovirus genotyping analyses reveal a low prevalence of KoRV-A in Victorian koalas and an association with clinical disease.

Koala retrovirus (KoRV) is undergoing endogenization into the genome of koalas in Australia, providing an opportunity to assess the effect of retrovirus infection on the health of a population. The prevalence of KoRV in north-eastern Australia (Queensland and New South Wales) is 100 %, whereas previous preliminary investigations in south-eastern Australia (Victoria) suggested KoRV is present at a lower prevalence, although the values have varied widely. Here, we describe a large study of free-ranging koalas in Victoria to estimate the prevalence of KoRV and assess the clinical significance of KoRV infection in wild koalas.

Patterns of control beliefs in chronic fatigue syndrome: results of a population-based survey.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) represents a unique clinical challenge for patients and health care providers due to unclear etiology and lack of specific treatment. Characteristic patterns of behavior and cognitions might be related to how CFS patients respond to management strategies.

What kills everyone, gives a high for some-Recreational Snake Envenomation.

There are multiple reports of recreational snake envenomation describing psychotropic effects in absence of any adverse effects. This is in contradiction with known effects of snake venom. We report a case of a young male who subjected himself to repeated envenomation by a snake purported to be 'Indian Cobra' and experienced a 'high'. However, a direct identification of snake revealed it was a benign 'Rat snake'. We attempt to explain the reported psychological effects as a result of high expectation of rewarding experience, strong suggestion, personality traits and most importantly the dangerous nature of willfully receiving snakebites.

Roadmap to elimination standard measles and rubella surveillance.

A Danish nationwide questionnaire study of hepatitis B virus screening before immunosuppressive therapy.

Difficulty in identifying patients who are at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation makes it import-ant to screen for HBV before initiating immunosuppressive therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate screening procedures for HBV infection before initiation of immunosuppressive therapy and to explore HBV treatment strategies.

An unexpected diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus-2 infection in an overseas visitor: a case report.

Human immunodeficiency virus 2 infection is endemic in West Africa but is also found in parts of Europe, North and South America, and India where it is thought to have been introduced secondary to migration and commercial trade ties. It is less common than Human immunodeficiency virus 1, with differences in pathogenicity, lower rates of transmission, longer asymptomatic period and slower progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Human immunodeficiency virus 2 is also associated with diagnostic challenges given the lack of commercially available diagnostic tests, and management challenges given intrinsic resistance to many anti-retroviral therapies.

The Role of Type III Interferons in Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Therapy.

The human interferon (IFN) response is a key innate immune mechanism to fight virus infection. IFNs are host-encoded secreted proteins, which induce IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) with antiviral properties. Among the three classes of IFNs, type III IFNs, also called IFN lambdas (IFNLs), are an essential component of the innate immune response to hepatitis C virus (HCV). In particular, human polymorphisms in IFNL gene loci correlate with hepatitis C disease progression and with treatment response. To date, the underlying mechanisms remain mostly elusive; however it seems clear that viral infection of the liver induces IFNL responses. As IFNL receptors show a more restricted tissue expression than receptors for other classes of IFNs, IFNL treatment has reduced side effects compared to the classical type I IFN treatment. In HCV therapy, however, IFNL will likely not play an important role as highly effective direct acting antivirals (DAA) exist. Here, we will review our current knowledge on IFNL gene expression, protein properties, signaling, ISG induction, and its implications on HCV infection and treatment. Finally, we will discuss the lessons learnt from the HCV and IFNL field for virus infections beyond hepatitis C.

Associations of Adenovirus Genotypes in Korean Acute Gastroenteritis Patients with Respiratory Symptoms and Intussusception.

Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) cause a wide range of diseases, including respiratory infections and gastroenteritis, and have more than 65 genotypes. To investigate the current genotypes of circulating HAdV strains, we performed molecular genotyping of HAdVs in the stool from patients with acute gastroenteritis and tried to determine their associations with clinical symptoms. From June 2014 to May 2016, 3,901 fecal samples were tested for an AdV antigen, and 254 samples (6.5%) yielded positive results. Genotyping using PCR and sequencing of the capsid hexon gene was performed for 236 AdV antigen-positive fecal specimens. HAdV-41, of species F, was the most prevalent genotype (60.6%), followed by HAdV-2 of species C (13.8%). Other genotypes, including HAdV-3, HAdV-1, HAdV-5, HAdV-6, HAdV-31, HAdV-40, HAdV-12, and HAdV-55, were also detected. Overall, 119 patients (50.4%) showed concomitant respiratory symptoms, and 32 patients (13.6%) were diagnosed with intussusception. HAdV-1 and HAdV-31 were significantly associated with intussusception (P < 0.05). Our results demonstrate the recent changes in trends of circulating AdV genotypes associated with gastroenteritis in Korea, which should be of value for improving the diagnosis and developing new detection, treatment, and prevention strategies for broad application in clinical laboratories.