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Virus Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Phlebotomine sand fly-borne pathogens in the Mediterranean Basin: Human leishmaniasis and phlebovirus infections.

Pathogens transmitted to humans by phlebotomine sand flies are neglected, as they cause infectious diseases that are not on the priority list of national and international public health systems. However, the infections caused by protozoa of the Leishmania genus and viruses belonging to the Phlebovirus genus (family Phenuiviridae)-the most significant group of viruses transmitted by sand flies-have a relevant role for human pathology. These infections are emerging in the Mediterranean region and will likely spread in forthcoming decades, posing a complex threat to human health. Four species and 2 hybrid strains of Leishmania are pathogenic for humans in the Mediterranean Basin, with an estimated annual incidence of 239,500-393,600 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis and 1,200-2,000 cases of visceral leishmaniasis. Among the phleboviruses, Toscana virus can cause neuroinvasive infections, while other phleboviruses are responsible for a typical "3-day fever"; the actual incidence of Phlebovirus infections in the Mediterranean area is unknown, although at least 250 million people are exposed. Here, we reviewed the current literature on epidemiology of sand fly-borne infections in the Mediterranean Basin, with a focus on humans. Our analysis indicates the need for increased public health activities directed to determine the disease burden of these infections as well as to improve their surveillance. Among the emerging challenges concerning sand fly-borne pathogens, the relationships between sand fly-borne protozoa and viruses should be considered in future studies, including epidemiological links between Leishmania and phleboviruses as well as the conditional capacity for these pathogens to be involved in interactions that may evolve towards increased virulence.

Notes from the Field: Zika Virus-Associated Neonatal Birth Defects Surveillance - Texas, January 2016-July 2017.

On November 28, 2016, the Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas DSHS) reported its first confirmed case of local mosquitoborne Zika virus transmission in the city of Brownsville, located in south Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to adverse congenital outcomes including microcephaly, neural tube defects, early brain malformations, structural eye abnormalities, congenital deafness, and limb contractures (1). On January 1, 2016, Texas DSHS established enhanced surveillance to identify women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy and suspected cases of Zika virus-associated birth defects among completed pregnancies.

Recommendations for HIV Screening of Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men - United States, 2017.

CDC's 2006 recommendations for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing state that all persons aged 13-64 years should be screened for HIV at least once, and that persons at higher risk for HIV infection, including sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), should be rescreened at least annually (1). Authors of reports published since 2006, including CDC (2), suggested that MSM, a group that is at highest risk for HIV infection, might benefit from being screened more frequently than once each year. In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found insufficient evidence to specify an HIV rescreening interval but recommended annual screening for MSM as a reasonable approach (3). However, some HIV providers have begun to offer more frequent screening, such as once every 3 or 6 months, to some MSM. A CDC work group conducted a systematic literature review and held four expert consultations to review programmatic experience to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to change the 2006 CDC recommendation (i.e., at least annual HIV screening of MSM in clinical settings). The CDC work group concluded that the evidence remains insufficient to recommend screening more frequently than at least once each year. CDC continues to recommend that clinicians screen asymptomatic sexually active MSM at least annually. Each clinician can consider the benefits of offering more frequent screening (e.g., once every 3 or 6 months) to individual MSM at increased risk for acquiring HIV infection, weighing their patients' individual risk factors, local HIV epidemiology, and local testing policies.

Current status of hepatitis C virus infection and countermeasures in South Korea.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related mortality. The new antiviral drugs against HCV, direct acting antivirals, result in >90% cure rate. This review aimed to summarize the current prevalence, clinical characteristics, outcomes, and treatment response associated with HCV infection, and countermeasures for optimal HCV control in South Korea. Based on a literature review, the current anti-HCV prevalence in the Korean population is 0.6 to 0.8%, with increasing prevalence according to age. The major HCV genotypes in Korean patients were genotype 1b and genotype 2. Successful antiviral treatment leads to significantly reduced liver related complications and mortality. However, only about one third of the individuals with HCV infection seem to be managed under the current national health insurance system, suggesting a remarkable rate of underdiagnoses and subsequent loss of opportunity to cure. A recent study in South Korea showed that targeted population screening for HCV infection is cost-effective. To prevent recently developed clusters of HCV infection in some clinics, mandatory surveillance rather than sentinel surveillance for HCV infection is required and governmental countermeasures to prevent reuse of syringes or other medical devises, and public education should be maintained. Moreover, one-time screening for a targeted population should be considered and a cost-effectiveness study supporting an optimal screening strategy is warranted.

Increasing airline travel may facilitate co-circulation of multiple dengue virus serotypes in Asia.

The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia and the Americas with substantial transmission in 2014-2015. Yet the mechanisms underlying the spatio-temporal circulation of dengue virus (DENV) serotypes at large geographical scales remain elusive. Here we investigate the co-circulation in Asia of DENV serotypes 1-3 from 1956 to 2015, using a statistical framework that jointly estimates migration history and quantifies potential predictors of viral spatial diffusion, including socio-economic, air transportation and maritime mobility data. We find that the spread of DENV-1, -2 and -3 lineages in Asia is significantly associated with air traffic. Our analyses suggest the network centrality of air traffic hubs such as Thailand and India contribute to seeding dengue epidemics, whilst China, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Singapore may establish viral diffusion links with multiple countries in Asia. Phylogeographic reconstructions help to explain how growing air transportation networks could influence the dynamics of DENV circulation.

Notes from the Field: Preliminary Results After Implementation of a Universal Treatment Program (Test and Start) for Persons Living with HIV Infection - Lesotho, October 2015-February 2017.

Lesotho, a small, mountainous country completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa, has a population of approximately 2 million persons with an estimated gross national income of $1,280 per capita; 73% of the population resides in rural areas (1). Lesotho has a generalized human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic (2). In 2014, the prevalence of HIV infection among persons aged 15-49 years was 24.6%, with an incidence of 1.9 new infections per 100 person-years of exposure (3). As the leading cause of premature death, HIV/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) has contributed to Lesotho's reporting the shortest life expectancy at birth among 195 countries and territories (4). In 2015, antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage among HIV-positive persons in Lesotho was estimated to be 42% (5). In April 2016, Lesotho became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to adopt the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for universal initiation of antiretroviral therapy for all HIV-positive persons, regardless of CD4 count (known as the "Test and Start" program or approach), with nationwide implementation occurring in June 2016 (6,7). Before implementation of Test and Start, many persons living with HIV infection in Lesotho were not eligible to initiate treatment until their CD4 count was <500 cells/mm(3).

Metabolic reprogramming during hepatitis B disease progression offers novel diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities.

Metabolic remodeling occurs in immune cells during an infection. Host cells must upregulate energy production for growth, proliferation, and effector functions to limit the damage imposed by pathogens. One example, the hepatitis B virus, induces hepatic injury in human hepatocytes through dysregulation of aerobic glycolysis and lipid metabolism. Increased glycolytic metabolism mediated by elevated expression of Glut1, glucose influx, and lactate secretion is associated with this Warburg phenotype, a classic metabolic signature also observed in cancer cells. This article brings into focus the tight interaction between HBV infection and metabolic dysfunction and how these processes facilitate the progression of end-stage liver diseases, such as hepatocellular carcinoma. We also provide evidence and models by which other viruses such as HIV and Zika disrupt their host metabolic machinery. The emergence of the immunometabolism field provides novel opportunities to take advantage of intermediary metabolites and key metabolic pathways for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

HIV-Associated Complications: A Systems-Based Approach.

Persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection often develop complications related directly to the infection, as well as to treatment. Aging, lifestyle factors, and comorbidities increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. HIV-associated neurologic complications encompass a wide spectrum of pathophysiology and symptomatology. Cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions are common among persons with HIV infection. Although some specific antiretroviral medications have been linked to disease development, traditional risk factors (e.g., smoking) have major roles. Prevention and management of viral hepatitis coinfection are important to reduce morbidity and mortality, and new anti-hepatitis C agents produce high rates of sustained virologic response. Antiretroviral-associated metabolic complications include dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and loss of bone mineral density. Newer options generally pose less risk of significant systemic toxicity and are better tolerated. Family physicians who care for patients with HIV infection have a key role in identifying and managing many of these chronic complications.

Pig empire under infectious threat: risk of African swine fever introduction into the People's Republic of China.

Pig production and pork consumption are very important to the People's Republic of China for both economic and cultural reasons. The incursion and spread of a disease such as African swine fever (ASF), which emerged in Eastern Europe in 2007, could have devastating socioeconomic consequences for both the Chinese and the global pig industry. The Chinese government consequently attributes a very high priority to ASF and is actively seeking to improve its preparedness. This paper discusses different drivers and pathways of potential emergence of ASF in China in light of the country's specificities, including international movements of people, pigs and pig products, swill feeding practices and wild boar populations. It suggests that effective ASF risk management in China will require a comprehensive and integrated approach linking science and policy and will need to involve all relevant stakeholders to develop realistic policies.

Diagnosis of equine influenza.

During the summer months, there will be increased movement and, therefore, increased mixing of the horse population, leading to a higher risk of disease transmission and subsequent clinical cases. It is important that both vets and owners remain vigilant for equine influenza infection. Here, Adam Rash, of the Animal Health Trust, discusses the diagnosis of this disease.

Methyltransferase SETD2-Mediated Methylation of STAT1 Is Critical for Interferon Antiviral Activity.

Interferon-α (IFNα) signaling is essential for antiviral response via induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Through a non-biased high-throughput RNAi screening of 711 known epigenetic modifiers in cellular models of IFNα-mediated inhibition of HBV replication, we identified methyltransferase SETD2 as a critical amplifier of IFNα-mediated antiviral immunity. Conditional knockout mice with hepatocyte-specific deletion of Setd2 exhibit enhanced HBV infection. Mechanistically, SETD2 directly mediates STAT1 methylation on lysine 525 via its methyltransferase activity, which reinforces IFN-activated STAT1 phosphorylation and antiviral cellular response. In addition, SETD2 selectively catalyzes the tri-methylation of H3K36 on promoters of some ISGs such as ISG15, leading to gene activation. Our study identifies STAT1 methylation on K525 catalyzed by the methyltransferase SETD2 as an essential signaling event for IFNα-dependent antiviral immunity and indicates potential of SETD2 in controlling viral infections.

Participation of women and children in hunting activities in Sierra Leone and implications for control of zoonotic infections.

The emergence of infectious diseases of zoonotic origin highlights the need to understand social practices at the animal-human interface. This study provides a qualitative account of interactions between humans and wild animals in predominantly Mende villages of southern Sierra Leone. We conducted fieldwork over 4 months including participant and direct observations, semi-structured interviews (n = 47), spontaneously occurring focus group discussions (n = 12), school essays and informal interviews to describe behaviours that may serve as pathways for zoonotic infection. In this region, hunting is the primary form of contact with wild animals. We describe how these interactions are shaped by socio-cultural contexts, including opportunities to access economic resources and by social obligations and constraints. Our research suggests that the potential for exposure to zoonotic pathogens is more widely distributed across different age, gender and social groups than previously appreciated. We highlight the role of children in hunting, an age group that has previously not been discussed in the context of hunting. The breadth of the "at risk" population forces reconsideration of how we conceptualize, trace and monitor pathogen exposure.

The Role of Screening and Treatment in National Progress Toward Hepatitis C Elimination - Georgia, 2015-2016.

Georgia, a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, has a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In April 2015, with technical assistance from CDC, Georgia embarked on the world's first program to eliminate hepatitis C, defined as a 90% reduction in HCV prevalence by 2020 (1,2). The country committed to identifying infected persons and linking them to care and curative antiviral therapy, which was provided free of charge through a partnership with Gilead Sciences (1,2). From April 2015 through December 2016, a total of 27,595 persons initiated treatment for HCV infection, among whom 19,778 (71.7%) completed treatment. Among 6,366 persons tested for HCV RNA ≥12 weeks after completing treatment, 5,356 (84.1%) had no detectable virus in their blood, indicative of a sustained virologic response (SVR) and cure of HCV infection. The number of persons initiating treatment peaked in September 2016 at 4,595 and declined during October-December. Broader implementation of interventions that increase access to HCV testing, care, and treatment for persons living with HCV are needed for Georgia to reach national targets for the elimination of HCV.

Update: Temporary Total Depletion of U.S. Licensed Yellow Fever Vaccine for Civilian Travelers Addressed by Investigational New Drug Use of Imported Stamaril Vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of the only yellow fever vaccine (YF-VAX) licensed in the United States, has announced that their stock of YF-VAX is totally depleted as of July 24, 2017. YF-VAX for civilian use will be unavailable for ordering from Sanofi Pasteur until mid-2018, when their new manufacturing facility is expected to be completed. However, YF-VAX might be available at some clinics for several months, until remaining supplies at those sites are exhausted. In anticipation of this temporary total depletion, in 2016, Sanofi Pasteur submitted an expanded access investigational new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration to allow for importation and use of Stamaril. The Food and Drug Administration accepted Sanofi Pasteur's application in October 2016.

Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women with Possible Zika Virus Exposure - United States (Including U.S. Territories), July 2017.

CDC has updated the interim guidance for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure in response to 1) declining prevalence of Zika virus disease in the World Health Organization's Region of the Americas (Americas) and 2) emerging evidence indicating prolonged detection of Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies. Zika virus cases were first reported in the Americas during 2015-2016; however, the incidence of Zika virus disease has since declined. As the prevalence of Zika virus disease declines, the likelihood of false-positive test results increases. In addition, emerging epidemiologic and laboratory data indicate that, as is the case with other flaviviruses, Zika virus IgM antibodies can persist beyond 12 weeks after infection. Therefore, IgM test results cannot always reliably distinguish between an infection that occurred during the current pregnancy and one that occurred before the current pregnancy, particularly for women with possible Zika virus exposure before the current pregnancy. These limitations should be considered when counseling pregnant women about the risks and benefits of testing for Zika virus infection during pregnancy. This updated guidance emphasizes a shared decision-making model for testing and screening pregnant women, one in which patients and providers work together to make decisions about testing and care plans based on patient preferences and values, clinical judgment, and a balanced assessment of risks and expected outcomes.

Announcement: Monitoring Selected National HIV Prevention and Care Objectives.

CDC monitors progress on selected national human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and care objectives using surveillance data (1) and has released two HIV care continuums for 2014: a diagnosis-based continuum and a prevalence-based continuum (2,3).

Preventing Enteric Infections from Contact with Animals.

Precautions when visiting petting zoos and state fairs.

Anal Pap Tests to Decrease Anal Cancer Burden in HIV-Infected Patients.

Usually HPV related, the cancer is increasingly common in this population.

Factors associated with immunovirologic dissociation in HIV-1-infected patients under highly active antiretroviral therapy in the Ambulatory Treatment Center (ATC) in Dakar.

The objective of this work is to evaluate the different factors associated with immunovirologic dissociation despite highly active and effective antiretroviral treatment.

Intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma patients with a high HBV-DNA load may benefit from postoperative anti-hepatitis B virus therapy.

Liver resection may be beneficial in intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), though the benefit of postoperative anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapy in these patients remains unclear. In this study, we sought to evaluate the efficacy of postoperative anti-HBV for intermediate-stage HCC patients who underwent radical liver resection.According to inclusion and exclusion criteria, this study enrolled 202 HCC patients who underwent liver resection and had a high HBV-DNA load. The patients were divided into 2 groups on the basis of postoperative anti-HBV therapy: group A included patients undergoing postoperative anti-HBV therapy, whereas group B patients did not receive any postoperative anti-HBV therapy. Factors including baseline demographics, tumor characteristics, overall long-term survival, tumor-free survival, and tumor recurrence rate were compared between the 2 groups. Moreover, univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify risk factors of HCC recurrence.Baseline demographics and tumor characteristics were comparable between the groups. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates in group A were 91.3%, 80.9%, and 66.1%, respectively, values that were significantly increased compared with group B (91.7%, 60.7%, and 52.4%, respectively, P = .019). Group A patients also exhibited enhanced 1-, 3-, and 5-year tumor-free survival compared with group B patients (87.0%, 67.0%, and 62.6%, respectively, in group A; 82.1%, 50.0%, and 42.9% in group B, P = .002). In addition, the tumor recurrence rate in group B was significantly increased compared with group A (P < .01). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated lack of postoperative anti-HBV therapy [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.882; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.712-0.938; P = .042] to be a predictor of tumor recurrence.For intermediate-stage [Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage B] HCC with a high HBV-DNA load, postoperative anti-HBV therapy after curative resection should be routine adjuvant therapy.

Direct-acting antiviral agent efficacy and safety in renal transplant recipients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection: A PRISMA-compliant study.

The efficacy and safety of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for treating hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected renal transplant recipients (RTRs) has not been determined.

Nuclear domain 10 components upregulated via interferon during human cytomegalovirus infection potently regulate viral infection.

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous betaherpesvirus that causes life-threatening disease in immunocompromised and immunonaïve individuals. Type I interferons (IFNs) are crucial molecules in the innate immune response to HCMV and are also known to upregulate several components of the interchromosomal multiprotein aggregates collectively referred to as nuclear domain 10 (ND10). In the context of herpesvirus infection, ND10 components are known to restrict gene expression. This raises the question as to whether key ND10 components (PML, Sp100 and hDaxx) act as anti-viral IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) during HCMV infection. In this study, analysis of ND10 component transcription during HCMV infection demonstrated that PML and Sp100 were significantly upregulated whilst hDaxx expression remained unchanged. In cells engineered to block the production of, or response to, type I IFNs, upregulation of PML and Sp100 was not detected during HCMV infection. Furthermore, pre-treatment with an IFN-β neutralizing antibody inhibited upregulation of PML and Sp100 during both infection and treatment with HCMV-infected cell supernatant. The significance of ND10 components functioning as anti-viral ISGs during HCMV infection was determined through knockdown of PML, Sp100 and hDaxx. ND10 knockdown cells were significantly more permissive to HCMV infection, as previously described but, in contrast to control cells, could support HCMV plaque formation following IFN-β pre-treatment. This ability of HCMV to overcome the potently anti-viral effects of IFN-β in ND10 expression deficient cells provides evidence that ND10 component upregulation is a key mediator of the anti-viral activity of IFN-β.

Wetlands, wild Bovidae species richness and sheep density delineate risk of Rift Valley fever outbreaks in the African continent and Arabian Peninsula.

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging, vector-borne viral zoonosis that has significantly impacted public health, livestock health and production, and food security over the last three decades across large regions of the African continent and the Arabian Peninsula. The potential for expansion of RVF outbreaks within and beyond the range of previous occurrence is unknown. Despite many large national and international epidemics, the landscape epidemiology of RVF remains obscure, particularly with respect to the ecological roles of wildlife reservoirs and surface water features. The current investigation modeled RVF risk throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as a function of a suite of biotic and abiotic landscape features using machine learning methods. Intermittent wetland, wild Bovidae species richness and sheep density were associated with increased landscape suitability to RVF outbreaks. These results suggest the role of wildlife hosts and distinct hydrogeographic landscapes in RVF virus circulation and subsequent outbreaks may be underestimated. These results await validation by studies employing a deeper, field-based interrogation of potential wildlife hosts within high risk taxa.

Epidemiology, clinical features and risk factors for human rabies and animal bites during an outbreak of rabies in Maputo and Matola cities, Mozambique, 2014: Implications for public health interventions for rabies control.

In Mozambique, the majority of rabies outbreaks are unreported and data on the epidemiological features of human rabies and animal bites are scarce. An outbreak of human rabies in adjacent Maputo and Matola cities in 2014 prompted us to investigate the epidemiology, clinical features and risk factors of human rabies and animal bites in the two cities.

Evolutionary changes in the capsid P2 region of Australian strains of the norovirus GII.Pe_GII.4.

The protruding (P) 2 region of the norovirus capsid is thought to include hypervariable sites involved in receptor binding. This study examines the changes that occurred in the P2 region of GII.Pe_GII.4 norovirus in the course of its evolution from a precursor phase (2008-2009), to an intermediate phase (2010) and finally to an epidemic phase (2012-2015).


Dengue is considered as an important arboviral disease. Safe, low-cost, and effective drugs that possess inhibitory activity against dengue virus (DENV) are mostly needed to try to combat the dengue infection worldwide. Medicinal plants have been considered as an important alternative to manage several diseases, such as dengue. As authors have demonstrated the antiviral effect of medicinal plants against DENV, the aim of this study was to review systematically the published research concerning the use of medicinal plants in the management of dengue using the PubMed database.

Study of Preoperative Antiviral Treatment of Patients with HCC Negative for HBV-DNA.

To study preoperative HBV-DNA negative HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which was reactivated after surgery and could influence liver function and HCC recurrence.

Collision of Lymphoepithelioma-like Carcinoma with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma of the Stomach: A Case Report.

Collision of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the stomach is extremely rare.

Progress towards measles elimination in Bangladesh, 2000–2016.

Zika Virus Infection.

In less than 2 years since entry into the Americas, we have witnessed the emergent spread of Zika virus into large subsets of immunologically naïve human populations and then encountered the devastating effects of microcephaly and brain anomalies that can arise from in utero infection with the virus. Diagnostic evaluation and management of affected infants continues to evolve as our understanding of Zika virus rapidly advances. The development of a safe and effective vaccine holds the potential to attenuate the spread of infection and limit the impact of congenital infection.