Fast Track cycler handout (pdf, 379KB)
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2018 Article - "Clinical characteristics of influenza virus-induced lower respiratory infection during the 2015 to 2016 season" (limited access)
Background Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infections often manifest severe respiratory symptoms, particularly in patients with a past history of allergic disease. Most of these findings were reported during the 2009 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to detail the clinical characteristics of influenza virus-induced lower respiratory infection (LRI) during the A(H1N1)pdm09-predominant 2015–2016 season. Methods We retrospectively reviewed the clinical characteristics of influenza-induced LRI cases in children admitted to a tertiary children's hospital. Molecular diagnostic evaluation was performed on samples obtained from the most severe cases. Results We identified 66 patients with influenza-associated hospitalization and included 21 patients with influenza virus-induced LRI for analyses. Twelve patients (57%) were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit, seven (33%) required mechanical ventilation, and three (14%) required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Plastic bronchitis (PB) was identified in six patients (29%), among whom a past medical history of asthma or food allergy were noted in all six patients. A past history of allergic disease was more common among patients with, than among those without, PB (p = 0.009). A(H1N1)pdm09 was detected from all the PB cases, and phylogenetic analyses of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes demonstrated that this virus belonged to subclades 6B.1 and 6B.2. In the six PB cases, we found one patient with H275Y mutation in neuraminidase. Conclusion Allergic disease was a risk factor for developing PB due to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection during the 2015–16 season.
Kit used: FTD Respiratory pathogens 21
2018 Article - "Adenovirus types associated with severe respiratory diseases: A retrospective 4-year study in Kuwait" (limited access)
Summary: Human adenovirus (HAdV) infection can result in a severe respiratory disease. The aim of this study was to identify HAdV types detected in patients hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. The study population consisted of 743 patients with severe respiratory disease admitted to four major hospitals in Kuwait between January 2013 and December 2016. Respiratory specimens were retrospectively screened for 20 respiratory viruses by real-time PCR. The HAdV hexon gene was amplified and directly sequenced, and HAdV types were identified by performing Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. HAdV DNA was detected in 27 (3.6%) patients, with peaks in November and March. Most patients were infants and young children suffering from pneumonia or acute bronchiolitis. The detected HAdV types were C1, C2, C5, B3, and B7. Clusters of HAdV C1, C2, and C5 were observed with high posterior probability. All patients infected with HAdV C5 and 50% of patients infected with HAdV C2 or B7 were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Co-infection with other viruses was detected in 44.4% of patients. The most common co-infecting virus was rhinovirus (HRV). HAdV/HRV co-infection was detected in two children who presumably developed disseminated HAdV infection and died. This is the first report describing the circulation of HAdV types associated with severe outcomes in Kuwait. These findings highlight the need for a national surveillance system to monitor changes in predominant HAdV types and increased numbers of severe respiratory infections.
Kit used: FTD Respiratory pathogens 21
2018 Article - "Expression analysis of toll-like receptors of Dengue-infected cornea by real-time polymerase chain reaction" (limited access)
Background: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a significant role based on innate immune mechanism during viral infection. TLR signaling mechanism designates to protect the cells from invading viruses. The expression of TLRs during dengue virus (DENV) infection not yet well explained. This study evaluates the TLR gene expression from DENV-infected patient’s cornea.
Methods: Reverse transcriptase PCR was performed for the detection and genotyping of viral nucleic acid from corneal grafts and DENV-infected cell suspension. TLR expression studies were done on DENV-infected cornea by real-time RT2 Profiler PCR Array.
Results: The reverse transcriptase PCR and genotyping confirmed the presence of DENV-3. TLR expression studies revealed the upregulated expression of TLR4, TLR7, TLR9 and TLR10.
Conclusion: Molecular testing of DENV reveals that serological positivity induces transmission of the virus through cornea and stimulates the expression of TLR4, TLR7, TLR9 and TLR10, which may lead to up-regulation of innate pro-inflammatory response in the cornea.
2018 Article - "Live-Attenuated Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine Candidate With Deletion of RNA Synthesis Regulatory Protein M2-2 is Highly Immunogenic in Children" (limited access)
Background: Live respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate vaccine LIDΔM2-2 is attenuated by deletion of the RSV RNA regulatory protein M2-2, resulting in upregulated viral gene transcription and antigen expression but reduced RNA replication.
Methods: RSV-seronegative children ages 6–24 months received a single intranasal dose of 105 plaque forming units (PFU) of LIDΔM2-2 (n = 20) or placebo (n = 9) (NCT02237209, NCT02040831). RSV serum antibodies, vaccine infectivity, and reactogenicity were assessed. During the following RSV season, participants were monitored for respiratory illness and pre- and post-RSV season serum antibodies.
Results: Vaccine virus was shed by 95% of vaccinees (median peak titers of 3.8 log10 PFU/mL by quantitative culture and 6.3 log10 copies/mL by PCR); 90% had ≥4-fold rise in serum neutralizing antibodies. Respiratory symptoms and fever were common in vaccine (95%) and placebo (78%). One vaccinee had grade 2 rhonchi concurrent with vaccine shedding, rhinovirus, and enterovirus. Eight of 19 vaccinees versus 2 of 9 placebo recipients had substantially increased RSV antibody titers after the RSV season without medically attended RSV disease, indicating anamnestic vaccine responses to wild-type RSV without significant illness.
Conclusion: LIDΔM2-2 had excellent infectivity and immunogenicity, encouraging further study of vaccine candidates attenuated by M2-2 deletion.
Kit used: FTD FTD Respiratory pathogens 21
2018 Article - "The importance of serological and molecular analyses for the diagnosis of measles cases and for meeting elimination targets in Turkey from 2007 to 2015"
Summary: Measles is an important childhood infection targeted to be eliminated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Virus circulation has not been interrupted in the European Region because high vaccination rates could not be achieved among some countries of the WHO European Region including Turkey. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the laboratory findings of measles cases confirmed in the last nine years, to assess the epidemiological data of the cases, to determine the molecular genotyping studies and to emphasise the importance of laboratory-based surveillance in measles. From 2007 to 2010, only 18 imported cases were detected in Turkey. However, this number increased with a local outbreak of 111 cases in 2011, followed by another outbreak in 2012 in Istanbul that spread countrywide in the following two years; a total of 8661 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were reported from 2012 to 2015. After ELISA detection of a measles IgM-positive result in serum samples of potential measles cases, RT–PCR was performed with urine or nasopharyngeal swab samples of patients, and amplicons were subjected to sequencing. In the samples of 2010 and 2011, D4 and D9 genotypes were mainly detected; as of 2012, the D8 genotype has gained importance. Although D8 was also identified in 2014, in the same year genotype H1 viruses were detected in Turkey for the first time. Therefore, it is important to perform a genotypic analysis of the virus causing the outbreak, analyse epidemiological connections of the contact, determine the source of the outbreak and plan measures based on this information.
2018 Article - "New rapid one-step PCR diagnostic assay for Plasmodium falciparum infective mosquitoes" (pdf, 1MB)
Summary: An essential component of malaria vector control programmes is the detection of Plasmodium
falciparum within its mosquito vectors, particularly in the salivary glands where the infective
sporozoites reside. Several protocols have been developed for this purpose; however they require
dissection of mosquito specimens prior to analysis. Here, a novel one-step RT-qPCR TaqMan diagnostic
assay was developed for mosquitoes with infective Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites in the
salivary glands. It is based on detection of the sporozoite-specific Pfslarp and Pfplp1 gene transcripts.
These transcripts were chosen based on bioinformatics analysis, and experimentally verified to be
overexpressed in the salivary gland sporozoite stage of the parasite compared to other mosquito
parasite stages. The proof of principle and the performance of the assay were demonstrated using
RNAlater preserved mosquito samples. Tests of analytical sensitivity showed the novel TaqMan assay to
be 100% accurate, although its performance in the field needs to be further demonstrated. This method
has no requirement for dissection and post-PCR processing and thus is simple and rapid to perform in
individual mosquitoes or mosquito pools. It can be used in single or multiplex formats also targeting
additional markers expressed in different tissues, such as detoxification enzymes associated with
Kit used: Fast Track mastermix
2018 Article - "Randomised controlled trial of rhinothermy for treatment of the common cold: a feasibility study" (pdf, 858KB)
Objective: To determine the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of rhinothermy for the common cold.
Design: Open label, randomised, controlled feasibility study.
Setting: Single-centre research institute in New Zealand recruiting participants from the community.
Participants: 30 adult participants with symptoms of a common cold, presenting within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive either 35 L/min of 100% humidified air at 41°C via high flow nasal cannulae, 2 hours per day for up to 5 days (rhinothermy), or vitamin C 250 mg daily for 5 days (control).
Primary and secondary outcome measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of screened candidates who were randomised.
Secondary outcomes included: proportion of randomised participants who completed the study; modified Jackson scores from randomisation to 10 days after initiation of randomised regimen; time until feeling ‘a lot better’ compared with study entry; time until resolution of symptoms or symptom score at 10 days postrandomisation; proportion of organisms identified by PCR analysis of nasal swabs taken at baseline; the patterns of use of the rhinothermy device; estimated adherence of the control group; and rhinothermy device tolerability.
Results: In all 30/79 (38%, 95% CI 27% to 50%) of potential participants screened for eligibility were randomised. Rhinothermy was well tolerated, and all randomised participants completed the study (100%, 95% CI 88% to 100%). The reduction from baseline in the modified Jackson score was greater with rhinothermy compared with control at days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, with the maximum difference at day 4 (−6.4, 95% CI −9.4 to −3.3). The substantial clinical benefit threshold for modified Jackson score was a 5-unit change.
Conclusions: This study shows that an RCT of rhinothermy compared with low-dose vitamin C in the treatment of the common cold is feasible.
Kit used: FTD Respiratory pathogens 21
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