Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Newly Discovered Virus Linked to Childhood Lung Disorders and Kawasaki Disease

19.01.2005


A newly discovered virus may be responsible for many respiratory tract illnesses in infants and children, and may be associated with an important multi-organ disease whose cause has remained a mystery for decades, according to articles in the Feb. 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. The virus is one of the numerous coronaviruses, most of which infect animals. In humans, coronaviruses have been known primarily for causing colds or, more recently, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Genetic evidence now suggests that a previously unknown coronavirus may account for some of the many respiratory diseases for which a causative agent is unidentified, and may have a role in Kawasaki disease, the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in developed countries.



In the first of two studies, Jeffrey S. Kahn and co-workers at Yale University used molecular probes targeting a gene that is common in human and animal coronaviruses to screen hundreds of specimens for coronavirus genetic material. Ultimately, two specimens were identified in which the sequence of chemical building blocks of the gene differed from that of known human coronaviruses. The Yale investigators, terming the novel virus indicated by their findings the New Haven coronavirus, then used probes specific for the virus to screen respiratory specimens from 895 symptomatic children under age 5 who had tested negative for other viral infections. They found 79 (9 percent) who were positive for the new virus, nine of whom were subsequently found to have evidence of recent infection with another virus as well. Of the remaining 67 patients for whom clinical data were available, signs and symptoms of infection with the new virus included fever, cough, runny nose, rapid breathing, abnormal breath sounds, and hypoxia; 35 had an underlying condition, such as prematurity (19 patients). Indeed, 11 of those infected with the new coronavirus were newborns hospitalized in intensive care.

Analysis of the New Haven coronavirus’s genetic structure showed many similarities to that of a coronavirus recently identified by two groups in the Netherlands, suggesting that the virus may have worldwide distribution.


That Kawasaki disease may be associated with infection by the newly identified New Haven coronavirus was suggested by findings in the Yale group’s second study, which was initiated when they found evidence of the virus’s genetic structure in respiratory secretions from an infant with classic signs of Kawasaki disease. In addition to heart disease, the signs can include conjunctivitis, redness of the mouth or throat, rash, redness or swelling of the hands or feet, and swollen cervical lymph nodes. The investigators then analyzed respiratory secretions from 11 children diagnosed with Kawasaki disease and 22 children without the disease. Eight (73 percent) of the Kawasaki patients but only one (5 percent) of the comparison group tested positive for the New Haven coronavirus.

In an accompanying editorial, Kenneth McIntosh of Harvard University commented that discovery of a new human respiratory coronavirus would not be surprising, since studies in the 1960s and 1970s had pointed to a number of novel coronavirus strains but the findings were not adequately followed up because methods to do so were unavailable at the time. The statistically strong association with Kawasaki disease, however, was “quite surprising.” Noting that previous attempts to link Kawasaki disease to bacteria or other viruses had failed and thus justified healthy skepticism about the present findings, Dr. McIntosh pointed out some “tantalizing facts”: onset of Kawasaki disease is often preceded by a respiratory syndrome; both the disease and respiratory coronavirus infections are seasonal, peaking in the winter and spring; recent studies have described a powerful immune response in the respiratory tract and other organs in acute cases of Kawasaki disease, suggesting the involvement of a specific microbe, which may enter the body through the respiratory tract; finally, as the emergence of SARS illustrates, coronaviruses “are capable of enormously varied pathogenicity.” Despite these encouraging preliminary observations, Dr. McIntosh noted that the association between this novel coronavirus and Kawasaki disease will require confirmation by others in larger future investigations.

Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>