RTIs, such as the common cold, are associated with some of the most common viral infections, and increase the risk of an asthma attack in those with the condition. Fifty to 80 percent of asthma exacerbations are precipitated by viral upper RTIs, and yet these viruses are still poorly understood.
The Virochip technique, a DNA microarray or genome chip developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, uses the most conserved sequences of all known viruses of humans, animals, plants, and microbes for its detection system. The new study is the first to employ this strategy to investigate the viruses associated with RTIs in people with and without asthma.
The study, conducted by Amy Kistler, PhD, and colleagues in California, Illinois, and Missouri, used several methods to test 53 asthmatic and 30 non-asthmatic adults for viruses at various stages of health. Compared to the conventional methods of viral culture and the highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, the Virochip had excellent agreement in terms of identifying viral pathogens, and proved to be both highly sensitive and specific.
The method “detected remarkable and unanticipated diversity” of viruses linked with RTIs and identified “a wholly new branch of the phylogenetic tree,” for the human rhinovirus, one of the causative agents of the common cold virus, Dr. Kistler notes, showing that even with a small test group the Virochip enabled detection of new viruses that were not possible to culture. The researchers also detected 30 distinct known species of rhinoviruses and found that only one of the two coronaviruses thought to be responsible for up to 15 percent of all colds in the United States was detectable in this study population. Instead, two newly described strains of coronaviruses dominated.
These findings are particularly important given the poor understanding of the role of viral diversity in RTIs and in asthma exacerbations. As a next step, Kistler suggested that future groups use the Virochip to continue to accumulate knowledge about such viruses. “The range and depth of viral detection [using the Virochip] is significant, since gaining a comprehensive understanding of the viral pathogen diversity associated with asthma exacerbations may enable the development of specific strategies for treating or preventing asthma exacerbations caused by viral respiratory infection.”
In an accompanying editorial, James E. Gern, MD and William W. Busse, MD of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health agreed that the Virochip assay could prove an excellent new tool for future studies looking to detect and understand novel viruses associated with respiratory illnesses.
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology