The research team used MassTag PCR to investigate 97 samples, collected over a three-year period, from children with hospital-admitted, acute respiratory illness wherein no pathogen was identified through routine laboratory testing. Human rhinoviruses were the most frequent viruses detected in the sample set representing 75% of the identified viruses.
Human rhinoviruses are frequent causes of respiratory illness worldwide. Although they are most commonly associated with self-limited upper respiratory tract disease, lower respiratory tract infections related to HRV are being increasingly reported in infants, elderly persons, and immunocompromised patients. HRVs are also implicated in exacerbations of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and acute bronchiolitis.
“Acute respiratory infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. Accurate identification of causative agents is critical to case management and to prioritization in vaccine development,” stated W. Ian Lipkin, MD, professor of Epidemiology, Neurology, and Pathology at Columbia University, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author of the paper.
In up to 50% of cases of severe respiratory disease, a causative agent is not identified, despite the application of PCR assays as well as classical diagnostic methods including culture, antigen tests, and serology. Broad-range molecular systems pioneered by this team including MassTag PCR, GreeneChips and high throughput metagenomic sequencing, enable pathogen discovery, surveillance and medical diagnostics. Recent application of these technologies led to diagnosis of viral hemorrhagic fevers in Africa, a new virus causing transplant deaths, and detection of Israel Acute Paralysis Virus in honey bees with Colony Collapse Disorder.
To detect pathogens, MassTag PCR uses small molecular tags to detect up to 30 different pathogens simultaneously in one test. Genetic material from a throat swab or other sample is extracted and then mixed with PCR primers—short pieces of DNA that recognize specific nucleic acid sequences within the genomes of the target viruses or bacteria. If a throat swab contains pathogens with nucleic acid sequences that match those of the primers, then the primers will copy the target DNA several million times. Likewise the molecular tags, different in mass for each of the primers, are also amplified making them easily detectable by mass spectrometry, a technology that identifies molecules based on their masses.
“The results of the study confirm our earlier findings in New York, namely, that these viruses represent a clinically significant but previously unappreciated species within the entero-/rhinoviruses, one of the longest known and most intensely studied virus groups,” stated Thomas Briese, PhD, associate professor of clinical Epidemiology, who coordinated the study. “We urgently need drugs and vaccines to address the challenges they pose to child health.”
In an editorial commentary in the December 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Anne Moscona, MD, departments of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, states that the work of Dr. Lipkin’s team with MassTag PCR, “provides a paradigm for new detection strategies for early recognition and containment of a wide range of respiratory pathogens.”
Randee Sacks Levine | EurekAlert!
Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences