A forthcoming paper in the international, open-access journal PLoS Medicine makes the strongest association yet between a newly identified virus and the pediatric respiratory disease commonly known as croup. Following their recent description of the coronavirus HCoV-NL63, Lia van der Hoek and colleagues suggest this is one of the most frequently detected viruses in children with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs). These infections are estimated by the World Health Organization to be responsible for one fifth of all deaths in children under five years old.
The team, including researchers from University Medical Centres in Amsterdam, Bochum and Freiberg, determined the incidence of this novel virus in a sample of children under three years old with such respiratory infections. Nine hundred and forty nine samples of nasopharyngeal secretions were collected from both hospitalized patients and outpatients in four different regions of Germany. The study found that forty-nine samples (5.2%) were positive for the virus HCoV-NL63 overall, with a greater incidence in outpatients (7.9%) than hospitalized patients (3.2%). Co-infection with two other viruses also known to be prominent in the cause of LRTIs, was also frequently observed.
The researchers also investigated the occurrence of HCoV-NL63 in cases of respiratory disease where no other virus could be detected. Here, a strong relationship with the clinical symptoms associated with croup was apparent: 43% of the HCoV-NL63 positive patients with high HCoV-NL63 load and absence of co-infection had croup, compared with 6% of HCoV-NL63 negative patients. Previous studies have reported trends in croup, such as the relative susceptibility of boys to the disease, its peak occurrence in the second year of life and its predominance in late autumn and earlier winter, that are matched by patterns of HCoV-NL63 occurrence.
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
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