1 Apr 2015

#Vaccins pour #bébés contre des #gastros : deux #décès et des effets indésirables "préoccupants" (TF1News, April 1 2015)

[Source: TF1, full page: (LINK).]

Vaccins pour bébés contre des gastros : deux décès et des effets indésirables "préoccupants" [      ]

Les vaccins Rotarix et RotaTeq pour prévenir les infections dues à un virus responsable de diarrhées chez les bébés entraînent un nombre "préoccupant" d'effets indésirables graves, dont deux décès, selon un bilan arrêté à fin 2014 remis à l'agence du médicament ANSM.




#Australia, #Volunteers recruited to trial #treatment to #Hendra #virus (ABC, April 1 2015)

[Source: ABC, full page: (LINK).]

Volunteers recruited to trial treatment to Hendra virus [      ]

A human trial of a treatment for the potentially deadly Hendra virus is about to begin in Brisbane.




Five #US #health #workers released after #Ebola monitoring in #Nebraska (Channel NewsAsia, April 1 2015)

[Source: Channel News Asia, full page: (LINK).]

Five US health workers released after Ebola monitoring in Nebraska [      ]

Five U.S. healthcare workers who underwent monitoring at a Nebraska medical center after possible exposure to the Ebola virus in West Africa have completed their quarantine periods and were symptom-free, the hospital said on Tuesday.




#British #Ebola #patient cured by Chinese-made #drug released from #hospital (Xinhua, April 1 2015)

[Source: Xinhua, full page: (LINK).]

British Ebola patient cured by Chinese-made drug released from hospital [      ]   / 2015-03-31 12:47:32

LONDON, March 31 (Xinhua) -- A British Ebola patient who was successfully treated with an experimental drug MIL 77 developed by Chinese scientists has been released from hospital on Friday, local media reported. A.C., a 25-year-old British army nurse, is the first Ebola patient to have received treatment with the Chinese-made drug MIL77. It's uncertain how much credit the drug should take in the recovery (…)




New #Technology Helps Identify #Dispersal of #Avian #Flu #Virus between #Asia and #Alaska (#USGS, April 1 2015)

[Source: USGS, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

New Technology Helps Identify Dispersal of Avian Flu Virus between Asia and Alaska [      ]

Released: 3/31/2015 1:00:00 PM

Contact Information: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Communications and Publishing, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119, Reston, VA 20192 / Andy Ramey, Phone: 907-786-7174  / Paul Laustsen, Phone: 650-329-4046


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In a new study published today, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service harnessed a new type of DNA technology to investigate avian influenza viruses in Alaska

Using a “next generation” sequencing approach, which identifies gene sequences of interest more rapidly and more completely than by traditional techniques, scientists identified low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in Alaska that are nearly identical to viruses found in China and South Korea.

The viruses were found in an area of western Alaska that is known to be a hot spot for both American and Eurasian forms of avian influenza.

“Our past research in western Alaska has shown that 70 percent of avian influenza viruses isolated in this area were found to contain genetic material from Eurasia, providing evidence for high levels of intercontinental viral exchange,” said Andy Ramey, a scientist with the USGS Alaska Science Center and lead author of the study.  “This is because Asian and North American migratory flyways overlap in western Alaska.”

The new study, led by the USGS, found low pathogenic H9N2 viruses in an Emperor Goose and a Northern Pintail.  Both of the H9N2 viruses were nearly identical genetically to viruses found in wild bird samples from Lake Dongting, China and Cheon-su Bay, South Korea.

“These H9N2 viruses are low pathogenic and not known to infect humans, but similar viruses have been implicated in disease outbreaks in domestic poultry in Asia,” said Ramey.

There is no commercial poultry production in western Alaska and highly similar H9N2 virus strains have not been reported in poultry in East Asia or North America, so it is unlikely that agricultural imports influenced this result.

The finding provides evidence for intercontinental movement of intact avian influenza viruses by migratory birds. The USGS recently released a publication about the detection of a novel highly pathogenic H5N8 virus in the U.S. that is highly similar to the Eurasian H5N8 viruses. This suggests that the novel re-assortment may be adapted to certain waterfowl species, enabling it to survive long migrations. That virus, and associated strains, have now spread from early detections in wild and domestic birds in Pacific states to poultry outbreaks in Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas.

“The frequency of inter-hemispheric dispersal events of avian influenza viruses by migratory birds may be higher than previously recognized,” said Ramey.

While some of the samples for the project came from bird fecal samples collected from beaches at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, most of the samples came from sport hunters.

“For the past several years, we’ve worked closely with sport hunters in the fall to obtain swab samples from birds and that has really informed our understanding of wildlife disease in this area,” said Bruce Casler, formerly a biologist with the USFWS Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and a co-author of the study. None of the viruses found in harvested birds from Izembek Refuge are known to infect humans, but hunters should always follow safe meat handling and cooking guidelines when processing wild game.

The paper, “Dispersal of H9N2 influenza A viruses between East Asia and North America by wild birds” was published today in the journal Virology. A summary of all samples collected at the Izembek Refuge will be described in a subsequent publication.

Additional information about avian influenza can be found at the following web sites:


Alaska is an international crossroads for millions of migratory birds that spend winter in Asia, Oceania, South America, and the lower-48 United States.


Alaska is an international crossroads for millions of migratory birds that spend winter in Asia, Oceania, South America, and the lower-48 United States. (High resolution image 3 MB)



#Xylella fastidiosa – #Questions and #Answers (#EFSA, April 1 2015)

[Source: European Food Safety Agency, full page: (LINK). Edited.]

Xylella fastidiosa – Questions and Answers [      ]


  • What work has EFSA done in this area?
    • Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogenic bacterium, was detected in olive trees in Lecce province in Apulia, Italy, in October 2013, the first outbreak under field conditions in the European Union.
    • The European Commission asked EFSA to provide urgent scientific and technical assistance on X. fastidiosa. In November 2013 EFSA published a Statement in which it reviewed the host plant range and vectors of the pathogen, the pathways for entry and spread, and the risk reduction options.
    • This was followed in January 2015 by a comprehensive assessment of the risks to plant health of X. fastidiosa for the EU and the identification and evaluation of risk reduction options.
    • In March 2015 EFSA published a searchable electronic list of host plants of X. fastidiosa.
  • What were the main findings of EFSA’s risk assessment work?
    • EFSA’s Panel on Plant Health concluded that X. fastidiosa presents a major risk to the EU territory because host plants and vectors are present throughout the EU and there are regions with favourable environmental conditions.
    • Outbreaks of this pathogen have led to severe losses of citrus in South America and grapes in North America.
    • X. fastidiosa has a very broad host range, including many cultivated and common plants in Europe.
    • The organism may affect several crops in Europe, such as citrus, grapevine and stone fruits (almond, peach, plum), but also tree species and ornamental plants, such as oak, sycamore and oleander.
    • The strain of X. fastidiosa present in olive trees in Lecce province in Italy is very homogeneous, and identical to a variant infecting oleander in Costa Rica.
    • X. fastidiosa has been associated in Lecce province with the quick decline syndrome of olive. 
    • Investigations showed that symptomatic olive trees were generally affected by a complex of pests and pathogens including X. fastidiosa, several fungal species belonging to the genera Phaeoacremonium and Phaemoniella, and Zeuzera pyrina (leopard moth).
    • All xylem sap-feeding insects in Europe are considered to be potential vectors of X. fastidiosa.
    • Members of the insect families Cicadellidae, Aphrophoridae and Cercopidae are vectors in the Americas and, hence, should also be considered as potential vectors in Europe.
    • The spittlebug Philaenus spumarius has been identified as a vector in Lecce province in Italy.
    • The two main pathways for entry of X. fastidiosa into a previously unaffected area are through trade of infected plants for planting, and the presence of infectious insects in plant consignments.
  • What were the recommendations of the EFSA Plant Health Panel?
    • The Panel recommended the continuation and intensification of research activities on the host range, epidemiology and control of the Apulian outbreak of X. fastidiosa.
    • Based on the knowledge acquired by this research, uncertainties could be substantially reduced and a more thorough assessment of the risk and of the mitigation measures could be conducted for the Apulian strain of X. fastidiosa.
  • What is EFSA's role?
    • EFSA’s Panel on Plant Health provides independent scientific advice on the risks posed by plant pests to plants, plant products or biodiversity in the EU.
    • The Panel reviews and assesses those risks with regard to the safety and security of the food chain.
    • The Panel carries out risk assessments – based on available scientific information and data – to produce scientific opinions and advice for risk managers in EU Member States or at the European Commission and the European Parliament.
  • Is further work being carried out?
    • EFSA has responded to all requests for scientific advice that have been made on this subject by the European Commission and is on stand-by to answer any further questions.
    • Addressing the threat posed by Xylella fastidiosa to Europe’s plants and environment is a priority for us.
    • EFSA is maintaining and keeping up to date a database of plant species reported as hosts of Xylella fastidiosa.
    • EFSA is also funding outsourced research projects aimed at reducing the uncertainties identified in its risk assessment.
    • The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in the UK has explored the possibility of using a model to assess the potential spread of X. fastidiosa from the outbreak area in Lecce, as part of an EFSA-funded project aimed at producing an inventory of mathematical models to predict the spread of exotic plant pests in the EU.
    • This model could be further developed once the results of epidemiological research on X. fastidiosa in Apulia become available.
    • This study will be published in April 2015 on the EFSA website.
    • An EFSA-funded pilot project by the National Research Council in Bari is studying the host range of the Apulian strain of Xylella fastidiosa. This will be concluded and published on the EFSA website by the end of 2015.

Last updated: 30 March 2015



#Brasil, Norte e Nordeste debatem #dengue e #chikungunya (MoH, April 1 2015)

[Source: Ministry of Health of Brazil, full page: (LINK).]

Data de Cadastro: 31/03/2015 as 16:03:26 alterado em 31/03/2015 as 16:03:26  / VIGILÂNCIA

Norte e Nordeste debatem dengue e chikungunya [      ]

Promovida pelo Ministério da Saúde, o evento reúne representantes das secretarias estaduais e municipais de saúde para discutir as ações de prevenção, assistência e planos de contingência

Para fortalecer e aprimorar as ações contra dengue e chikungunya no Brasil, o Ministério da Saúde promove reuniões com objetivo de discutir as medidas de prevenção, controle e combate da doença nos estados e municípios. A Reunião Macrorregional Norte e Nordeste sobre dengue e chikungunya realizada em Brasília nesta terça-feira (31) e quarta-feira (01) reúne representantes, gestores e técnicos das secretarias estaduais e municipais de saúde das duas regiões. Na semana passada, o encontro, realizado no Rio de Janeiro e discutiu estratégias para as Regiões Sudeste, Sul e Centro-Oeste.

As reuniões Macrorregionais são fundamentais para o planejamento e fortalecimento das ações de combate à dengue. Além dos estados, participam representantes de municípios com mais de 100 mil habitantes. O objetivo é discutir os aspectos clínicos, de vigilância e de diagnóstico das doenças, além de abordar os desafios e perspectivas da vigilância epidemiológica.

“Apesar das regiões Norte e Nordeste estarem com uma menor incidência comparada às outras regiões, alguns estados encontram-se em situação de epidemia, então é de extrema importância mantermos as medidas de intensificação para controle e combate à dengue, para evitar novos casos e também que ocorram óbitos. Por isso a importância de uma reunião como essa, onde é possível fazer este alerta aos estados e municípios”,  informou o coordenador do Programa Nacional de Controle da Dengue, Giovanini Coelho.

Um dos aspectos essenciais a serem debatidos é a assistência prestada aos pacientes com dengue e chikungunya. O manejo e atendimento adequados do paciente impactam diretamente na redução dos casos graves e óbitos. Para auxiliar os profissionais de saúde no atendimento adequado dos pacientes com dengue e chikungunya, o Ministério da Saúde possui diversas publicações sobre o tema.

Até 7 de março, foram notificados 224,1 mil casos de dengue no país. O aumento é de 162%, comparado ao mesmo período do ano passado, quando foram registrados 85,4 mil casos. Na comparação com 2013, houve redução de 47%, ano em que foi registrado 425,1 mil casos da doença. Embora tenha ocorrido aumento de casos na comparação do período, o número de óbitos caiu 32%, passando de 76 mortes, em 2014, para 52, neste ano. Também houve redução de 9,7% nos registros de casos graves. Em 2015, foram confirmados 102 casos de dengue grave, contra 113 em 2014. O Ministério registrou 913 casos confirmados de dengue com sinais de alarme.



O Ministério da Saúde registrou 1.049 casos autóctones confirmados de febre chikungunya, até 7 de março, sendo 459 na Bahia e 590 no Amapá. Em 2014, foram confirmados 2.773 casos autóctones da doença, ou seja, de pessoas sem registro de viagem para países com transmissão da doença, como República Dominicana, Haiti, Venezuela e Ilhas do Caribe. Os casos foram registrados nos estados do Amapá, Bahia, Distrito Federal, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul e Roraima. Entre 2014 e 2015, foram confirmados 100 casos importados da doença, de pessoas que viajaram para estes países.

LIRAa - O novo mapa da dengue mostra que 340 municípios brasileiros estão em situação de risco para a ocorrência de epidemias e 877 estão em alerta. O Levantamento Rápido de Índices para Aedes aegypti (LIRAa), divulgado no dia 12 de março, revela ainda que outras 627 cidades apresentam índice satisfatório. No total, 1.844 municípios brasileiros realizaram o levantamento, entre janeiro e fevereiro deste ano, um aumento de 26,38% em relação aos participantes de 2014. No ano passado, 1.459 municípios fizeram a pesquisa no mesmo período do ano.

O LIRAa é um instrumento fundamental para orientar as ações de controle da dengue e chikungunya. O levantamento identifica os bairros onde estão concentrados os focos de reprodução do mosquito e proporciona informação qualificada para atuação das prefeituras nas ações de prevenção e controle, permitindo a mobilização de outros setores como os serviços de limpeza urbana e abastecimento de água. A região Nordeste concentra a maioria dos municípios com índices de risco de epidemia de dengue (171); seguido do Sudeste (54); Sul (52); Norte (46); e Centro-Oeste (17).

CAMPANHA – Desde novembro de 2014, o Ministério da Saúde e as secretarias municipais de saúde veiculam a campanha de combate à dengue e ao chinkungunya, que tem como slogan “O perigo aumentou. E a responsabilidade de todos também”. Nela são divulgadas orientações à população sobre como evitar a proliferação dos mosquitos causadores das doenças e alertar sobre a gravidade das enfermidades. O Ministério da Saúde recomenda algumas medidas de prevenção, entre elas: manter as caixas d’água e outros recipientes de armazenamento de água fechados; colocar as garrafas com a boca para baixo; não deixar água acumulada sobre a laje ou calhas; manter a lixeira fechada; colocar areia nos pratos das plantas, entre outras.

Para qualificar as ações de combate aos mosquitos transmissores da dengue e do chikungunya, o que inclui a contratação de agentes de vigilância, o Ministério da Saúde repassou um recurso adicional de R$ 150 milhões a todos os estados e municípios brasileiros. Deste total, R$ 121,8 milhões foram para as secretarias municipais de saúde e R$ 28,2 milhões para as secretarias estaduais. O valor representa um subsídio de 12% do valor anual do Piso Fixo de Vigilância e Promoção da Saúde de R$ 1,25 bilhão.



31 Mar 2015

Discordant #correlation between #serological assays observed when measuring heterosubtypic responses against #avian #influenza #H5 and #H7 viruses in unexposed individuals (Biomed Res Int., abstract, edited)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:231365. doi: 10.1155/2014/231365. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Discordant correlation between serological assays observed when measuring heterosubtypic responses against avian influenza H5 and H7 viruses in unexposed individuals. [   R   ]

Molesti E1, Ferrara F1, Lapini G2, Montomoli E2, Temperton N1.

Author information: 1Viral Pseudotype Unit, Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Chatham ME4 4TB, UK. 2Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 3, 53100 Siena, Italy.



The human population is constantly exposed to multiple influenza A subtypes due to zoonotic spillover and rapid viral evolution driven by intrinsic error-prone replication and immunological pressure. In this context, antibody responses directed against the HA protein are of importance since they have been shown to correlate with protective immunity. Serological techniques, detecting these responses, play a critical role for influenza surveillance, vaccine development, and assessment. As the recent human pandemics and avian influenza outbreaks have demonstrated, there is an urgent need to be better prepared to assess the contribution of the antibody response to protection against newly emerged viruses and to evaluate the extent of preexisting heterosubtypic immunity in populations. In this study, 68 serum samples collected from the Italian population between 1992 and 2007 were found to be positive for antibodies against H5N1 as determined by single radial hemolysis (SRH), but most were negative when evaluated using haemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralisation (MN) assays. As a result of these discordant serological findings, the increased sensitivity of lentiviral pseudotypes was exploited in pseudotype-based neutralisation (pp-NT) assays and the results obtained provide further insight into the complex nature of humoral immunity against influenza A viruses.

PMID: 25013769 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID: PMC4071775

Free PMC Article



#Human microRNA-24 modulates highly pathogenic #avian-origin #H5N1 #influenza A virus #infection in A549 cells by targeting secretory pathway furin. (J Gen Virol., abstract, edited)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

J Gen Virol. 2015 Jan;96(Pt 1):30-9. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.068585-0. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Human microRNA-24 modulates highly pathogenic avian-origin H5N1 influenza A virus infection in A549 cells by targeting secretory pathway furin. [   R   ]

Loveday EK1, Diederich S2, Pasick J3, Jean F4.

Author information: 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3M4, Canada. 3National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3M4, Canada. 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada



A common critical cellular event that many human enveloped viruses share is the requirement for proteolytic cleavage of the viral glycoprotein by furin in the host secretory pathway. For example, the furin-dependent proteolytic activation of highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A (infA) H5 and H7 haemagglutinin precursor (HA0) subtypes is critical for yielding fusion-competent infectious virions. In this study, we hypothesized that viral hijacking of the furin pathway by HP infA viruses to permit cleavage of HA0 could represent a novel molecular mechanism controlling the dynamic production of fusion-competent infectious virus particles during the viral life cycle. We explored the biological role of a newly identified furin-directed human microRNA, miR-24, in this process as a potential post-transcriptional regulator of the furin-mediated activation of HA0 and production of fusion-competent virions in the host secretory pathway. We report that miR-24 and furin are differentially expressed in human A549 cells infected with HP avian-origin infA H5N1. Using miR-24 mimics, we demonstrated a robust decrease in both furin mRNA levels and intracellular furin activity in A549 cells. Importantly, pretreatment of A549 cells with miR-24 mimicked these results: a robust decrease of H5N1 infectious virions and a complete block of H5N1 virus spread that was not observed in A549 cells infected with low-pathogenicity swine-origin infA H1N1 virus. Our results suggest that viral-specific downregulation of furin-directed microRNAs such as miR-24 during the life cycle of HP infA viruses may represent a novel regulatory mechanism that governs furin-mediated proteolytic activation of HA0 glycoproteins and production of infectious virions.

© 2015 The Authors.

PMID: 25234642 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



C-terminal elongation of #NS1 of #H9N2 #influenza #virus induces a high level of inflammatory #cytokines and increases #transmission. (J Gen Virol., abstract, edited)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

J Gen Virol. 2015 Feb;96(Pt 2):259-68. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.071001-0. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

C-terminal elongation of NS1 of H9N2 influenza virus induces a high level of inflammatory cytokines and increases transmission. [   R   ]

Kong W1, Liu L1, Wang Y1, He Q1, Wu S1, Qin Z1, Wang J1, Sun H1, Sun Y1, Zhang R1, Pu J1, Liu J2.

Author information: 1Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China. 2Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China



H9N2 avian influenza viruses are enzootic around the world and can infect many different avian and mammalian hosts, including humans. Unlike the H9N2 viruses, which mainly originated in other countries and possess a non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of 230 aa, 98 % of the H9N2 viruses isolated in China lack the 13 aa at the C terminus of NS1 (217 aa in total). The biological significance of NS1 elongation remains elusive. To examine the effect of NS1 C-terminal elongation in the influenza virus, we used reverse genetics to generate a wt avian influenza H9N2 virus containing a 217 aa NS1 (H9N2NS1217) and two mutant viruses with elongated NS1s of 230 and 237 aa (H9N2NS1230 and H9N2NS1237). C-terminal elongation of NS1 did not have a significant impact on virus replication in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells or DF-1 cells. The three variants exhibited similar replicability in mice; however, the H9N2NS1230 and H9N2NS1237 variants exhibited an upregulation in the level of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, both the H9N2NS1230 and H9N2NS1237 viruses increased replication and induced a high level of inflammatory cytokines and transmission in chickens, compared with the wt virus. These findings suggest that the NS1 extension conferred a gain of fitness to some extent.

© 2015 The Authors.

PMID: 25326314 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]