Other viruses

3

Dec, 2016

Prolonged shedding of Zika virus associated with congenital infection

 

Authors: Oliveira DB, Almeida FJ, Durigon EL, et al.

Published in: N Engl J Med. 2016. 22;375(12):1202-4

The presence of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with microcephaly in multiple studies, although little is known about ZIKV shedding in congenitally infected infants. We report a case of a newborn who had continued viremia with ZIKV for at least 67 days after birth.

 

3

Dec, 2016

Unravelling the paediatric and perinatal Zika virus epidemic through population-based research

 

Authors: Christie CD, Giaquinto C

Published in: West Indian Med J.2016;65(1):239-242

Abstract Zika virus epidemic now involves 72 countries, worldwide. Transmission is multimodal through mosquito bites and blood and body fluids. Zika virus causes Guillain Barre Syndrome syndrome and pregnancy complications including perinatal microcephaly. Diagnosis is complicated by subclinical infection in 80%, co-circulation with dengue and chikungunya fevers with similar presentations and cross-reactivity in serological tests. There is no cure, or preventive vaccine. Large population-based studies will help to elucidate ZIKV epidemiology, vertical transmission, risks to the fetus of maternal ZIKV infection and natural history of congenital and non-congenital ZIKV infection as provided by the activities in the “ZIKAction” research consortium in Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean, which was recently funded by the European Commission.

 

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3

Dec, 2016

Zika virus infection in pregnant women in Barcelona, Spain

 

Authors: Bocanegra C, Sulleiro E, Soriano-Arandes A, et al.

Published in: Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016;22(7):648-50

This case series of two pregnant women infected with the Zika virus in Barcelona, Spain and provides an algorithm for diagnosing pregnant women with suspected ZIKV infection in non-endemic areas.

 

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3

Dec, 2016

Data sharing – A code of conduct for data on epidemics

 

Authors: Capua I

Published in: Nature. 2016;16;534(7607):326

This correspondence urges Brazil to speed up reforms to current biosecurity legislation, enabling sharing of vital Zika virus samples and information.

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3

Dec, 2016

Zika virus outbreak in Haiti in 2014: molecular and clinical data

 

Authors: Kednicky J, Beau De Rochars VM, El Badry M, et al.

Published in: PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016;10(4):e0004687

Background Zika virus (ZIKV), first isolated in Uganda in 1947, is currently spreading rapidly through South America and the Caribbean. In Brazil, infection has been linked with microcephaly and other serious complications, leading to declaration of a public health emergency of international concern; however, there currently are only limited data on the virus (and its possible sources and manifestations) in the Caribbean.

Methods From May, 2014-February, 2015, in conjunction with studies of chikungunya (CHIKV) and dengue (DENV) virus infections, blood samples were collected from children in the Gressier/Leogane region of Haiti who presented to a school clinic with undifferentiated febrile illness. Samples were initially screened by RT-PCR for CHIKV and DENV, with samples negative in these assays further screened by viral culture.

Findings Of 177 samples screened, three were positive for ZIKV, confirmed by viral sequencing; DENV-1 was also identified in culture from one of the three positive case patients. Patients were from two different schools and 3 different towns, with all three cases occurring within a single week, consistent with the occurrence of an outbreak in the region. Phylogenetic analysis of known full genome viral sequences demonstrated a close relationship with ZIKV from Brazil; additional analysis of the NS5 gene, for which more sequences are currently available, showed the Haitian strains clustering within a monophyletic clade distinct from Brazilian, Puerto Rican and Guatemalan sequences, with all part of a larger clade including isolates from Easter Island. Phylogeography also clarified that at least three major African sub-lineages exist, and confirmed that the South American epidemic is most likely to have originated from an initial ZIKV introduction from French Polynesia into Easter Island, and then to the remainder of the Americas.

Conclusions ZIKV epidemics in South America, as well as in Africa, show complex dissemination patterns. The virus appears to have been circulating in Haiti prior to the first reported cases in Brazil. Factors contributing to transmission and the possible linkage of this early Haitian outbreak with microcephaly remain to be determined.

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3

Dec, 2016

Zika virus and neurological disease—approaches to the unknown

 

Authors: Solomon T, Baylis M, Brown D.

Published in: Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(4):402-404

This article comments on the origins and consequences of recent Zika virus outbreaks, highlighting the urgent need to address several key gaps in knowledge regarding this virus.

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3

Dec, 2016

Brazil’s scientists scramble to solve the Zika puzzle

 

Author: Bispo A

Published in: Bull World Health Organ. 2016;94:165–166

In this interview, Anna Bispo describes the history of Zika virus in Brazil, including its potential links to an increase in microcephaly cases, and describes groundbreaking work in Zika virus diagnostics and virology at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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18

Jun, 2015

Treating hepatitis C virus in children: time for a new paradigm

 

Authors: Thorne C, Indolfi G, Turkova A, Giaquinto C, Nastouli E.

Published in: J Virus Erad. 2015 Jul 1;1(3):203-5.

Abstract Hepatitis C virus infection is a leading cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. In the paediatric population, HCV infection is underdiagnosed and undertreated in the absence of robust screening policies worldwide, and a lack of tolerable, effective treatment. The recent advances in HCV drug development allow for optimism, a change in outcomes for the millions of children infected with this virus and a unique opportunity for strategies aiming at HCV eradication. The rapid development of the new compounds has been followed by a welcome shift in the regulatory processes; however, strategies aiming at improving diagnosis, selecting the best combinations and addressing mother-to-child transmission issues are required for the new therapeutic agents to be introduced safely and effectively in the paediatric population and to contribute to the goal of virus eradication.

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18

Jun, 2015

HCV treatment in children and young adults with HIV/HCV co-infection in Europe.

 

Authors: Turkova A, Giacomet V, Goetghebuer T, et al.

Published in: J Virus Erad. 2015;1(3):179-184

Objectives To describe use of treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HIV/HCV co-infected children and young people living in Europe and to evaluate treatment outcomes.

Methods HCV treatment data on children and young people aged <25 years with HIV/HCV co-infection were collected in a cohort collaboration of 11 European paediatric HIV cohorts. Factors associated with receipt of HCV treatment and with sustained virological response 24 weeks after treatment completion (SVR24) were explored.

Results Of 229 HIV/HCV co-infected patients, 22% had a history of AIDS and of 55 who were treated for HCV, 47 (85%) were receiving combined antiretroviral therapy. The overall HCV treatment rate was 24% (n=55) but it varied substantially between countries, with the highest rate being in Russia at 61% (30/49). Other factors associated with treatment receipt were older age [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 5.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–14.4, for 18–24-year-olds vs 11–17-year-olds, P=0.001] and advanced fibrosis (AOR 5.5, 95% CI 1.3–23.7; for ≥9.6 vs ≤7.2 kPa, P=0.02). Of 50 patients with known treatment outcomes, 50% attained SVR24. Of these, 16 (80%) had genotype (GT) 2,3 and 8 (29%) had GT 1,4 (P<0.001). After adjusting for genotype (GT 1,4 vs GT 2,3), females (P=0.003), patients with non-vertical HCV acquisition (P=0.002) and those with shorter duration of HCV (P=0.009) were more likely to have successful treatment outcomes.

Conclusion Only half of the HIV/HCV co-infected youth achieved an HCV cure. HCV treatment success appears to be lower in the context of HIV co-infection than in HCV mono-infection, underscoring the urgent need to speed up approvals of new direct-acting antiviral combinations in children.

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