Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Recently discovered virus associated with pediatric respiratory tract infection in Germany

Using a rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive diagnostic tool called MassTag PCR, scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s Center for Infection and Immunity implicated a new human rhinovirus as the cause of severe pediatric respiratory tract infections in Europe. Their findings are published in the December 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases (currently available online).

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!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>