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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Are Russian Scientists Aware that American Scientists May Have Renamed African Swine Fever, Calling it HHV-6?

John Beldekas on African Swine Fever Virus and Gallo's peculiar "discovery" of HHV-6

In August, 1986, John Beldekas was invited to go to the NCI and present his findings on the link between ASFV [African Swine Fever virus] and AIDS, which he did. Beldekas gave samples of all his lab work to Gallo. Later, the government asked Beldekas to turn over all his reagents and lab work to the government, which he did. Beldekas had found ASFV presence in nine of 21 AIDS patients using two standard procedures. At the meeting, Gallo was reported saying: “we know it is not ASFV.” How could Gallo know this as he hadn’t done any of his own tests to look for ASFV?
Two months later, Gallo published an article in Science (Oct 31, 1986) that he discovered a new possible co-factor in AIDS, a virus he called Human B Cell Lymphotropic Virus which he named HBLV. Like ASFV, HBLV infected B cells and also lived in macrophages. Did Gallo steal Beldekas’s ASF virus he found in AIDS patients and rename it HBLV? Later on, when Gallo found that HBLV could also infect other immune cells, he changed the name of HBLV to HHV-6. Eventually, Gallo identified his HBLV as the variant A strain of HHV-6 and called it a human herpesvirus.
--Mark Konlee

In a landmark legal case that has received little attention outside the United States, the highest military court in the US recently overturned decades of judgements regarding the likelihood of spreading HIV through unprotected sex


Are Russian Scientists Planning on Breaking News about the Relationship between HHV-6 and African Swine Fever Virus Ahead of the CDC?

Russian Scientist: ASF could become a human health risk

"The African swine fever (ASF) virus, may in the future become dangerous for humans, according to the head of the Russian Epidemiology Service, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko, at the press-conference in St. Petersburg. According to him almost all viruses from time to time go through mutation processes which can give them some additional functions."



Background on African Swine Fever Virus as a human pathogen:

"African Swine fever is an endemic disease in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the developing world. It is caused by the African Swine virus that primarily replicates in macrophages and monocytes leading to the impairment of the structure and function of the immune system of the infected organisms. Until now the African Swine epidemic continues to spread despite all efforts to contain it. Thus, there is an objective need for effective, safe and affordable preventive and therapeutic approaches, in particular for effective vaccines, to control and eventually eradicate this disease. Since the characteristic feature of the African Swine virus is to impair the immune system and to cause immune deficiencies in its hosts the development of vaccines and other therapeutic approaches against the African Swine virus has implications for other immune deficiencies or diseases. Several other viruses are also known to cause immunodeficiency-like syndromes in humans, including cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr Virus and others. Moreover, a series of cases of so-called "idiopathic" immunodeficiencies have been documented that display CD4+T-lymphocytopenia with opportunistic infections, but show no evidence of HIV infection. Since antibodies for the African Swine virus have been detected in humans, the possibility of human infection with the African Swine virus exists and may thus far have escaped any systematic screening. Thus, any preventive and therapeutic approach to African Swine fever can have far-reaching implications to control immune deficiency conditions in humans."

Detection of Novel Sequences Related to African Swine Fever Virus in Human Serum and Sewage.

Loh J, Zhao G, Presti RM, Holtz LR, Finkbeiner SR, Droit L, Villasana Z, Todd C, Pipas JM, Calgua B, Girones R, Wang D, Virgin HW.

Departments of Pathology & Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

"The family Asfarviridae contains only a single virus species, African swine fever virus (ASFV). ASFV is a viral agent with significant economic impact due to its devastating effects on populations of domesticated pigs during outbreaks, but has not been reported to infect humans. We report here the discovery of novel viral sequences in human serum and sewage which are clearly related to the Asfarvirus family, but highly divergent from ASFV. Detection of these sequences suggests that greater genetic diversity may exist among Asfarviruses than previously thought, and raises the possibility that human infection by Asfarviruses may occur."

African Swine Fever Virus (Asfarviridae) sequences found in people with febrile illnesses

Virus Identification in Unknown Tropical Febrile Illness Cases Using Deep Sequencing
Dengue virus is an emerging infectious agent that infects an estimated 50–100 million people annually worldwide, yet current diagnostic practices cannot detect an etiologic pathogen in ∼40% of dengue-like illnesses. Metagenomic approaches to pathogen detection, such as viral microarrays and deep sequencing, are promising tools to address emerging and non-diagnosable disease challenges. In this study, we used the Virochip microarray and deep sequencing to characterize the spectrum of viruses present in human sera from 123 Nicaraguan patients presenting with dengue-like symptoms but testing negative for dengue virus. We utilized a barcoding strategy to simultaneously deep sequence multiple serum specimens, generating on average over 1 million reads per sample. We then implemented a stepwise bioinformatic filtering pipeline to remove the majority of human and low-quality sequences to improve the speed and accuracy of subsequent unbiased database searches. By deep sequencing, we were able to detect virus sequence in 37% (45/123) of previously negative cases. These included 13 cases with Human Herpesvirus 6 sequences. Other samples contained sequences with similarity to sequences from viruses in the Herpesviridae, Flaviviridae, Circoviridae, Anelloviridae, Asfarviridae, and Parvoviridae families. In some cases, the putative viral sequences were virtually identical to known viruses, and in others they diverged, suggesting that they may derive from novel viruses. These results demonstrate the utility of unbiased metagenomic approaches in the detection of known and divergent viruses in the study of tropical febrile illness.

Detection of African swine fever virus-like sequences in ponds in the Mississippi Delta through metagenomic sequencing

" . .. further study is needed to characterize their potential risks to both public health and agricultural development."

ASF virus, adapted to grow in VERO cells, produces a strong cytopathic effect in human macrophages leading to cell destruction.

The human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) and its spread in Russia.


Detection and quantification of human herpes viruses types 4–6 in sperm samples of patients with fertility disorders and chronic inflammatory urogenital tract diseases


Acute and chronic infections of the seminal tract are among the most common causes of male infertility. As at least half of male infertility cases are classified as idiopathic, some of these cases might be attributed to asymptomatic infection. The detection and quantification of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and human herpes virus type 6 (HHV-6) DNA in semen samples were performed. A total of 232 patients were divided into five groups: (i) infertile men with varicocoele; (ii) men with idiopathic infertility; (iii) infertile men with chronic inflammatory urogenital tract diseases (IUTD); (iv) fertile men with IUTD and (v) men whose partners had a history of pregnancy loss. In the study population, the prevalence of viral DNA was 17.7, 3.4% for EBV, 5.2% for CMV, 6.5% for HHV-6, 0.43% for EBV + CMV, 0.87% for EBV + HHV-6 and 1.3% for CMV + HHV-6. The median viral loads for EBV, CMV and HHV-6 were 500, 2250 and 250 copies/mL respectively. Of the sperm cell fractions, derived from infected samples 87.5% contained viral DNA. No association between EBV and fertility disorders or IUTD was found. CMV detection was much higher in the group of patients with infertility and concomitant IUTD compared with the other groups combined (18.5% vs. 5.4%, p = 0.03) and associated with reduced sperm cell count (39.5 × 106/mL vs. 72.5 × 106/mL, = 0.036). Immunostaining of spermatozoa from infected samples and in vitro–infected cells detected CMV in sperm heads, tails and connecting pieces and revealed attachment to sperm membrane and intracellular localization. HHV-6 was the more common in fertile men with chronic IUTD than in the other groups combined (19% vs. 6.3%, = 0.018) and had no effect on sperm parameters. The results suggest that both CMV and HHV-6 may contribute to the aetiology of IUTD and, moreover, CMV-associated IUTD can lead to male sterility.


Fight with ASF intensifies in Russia and Eastern Europe

By Vladislav Vorotnikov , 08-Apr-2015

Several outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been identified recently in Russia, Poland and Lithuania, which suggests that the potential impact of the disease this year remains very unclear, according to statements from the veterinary authorities in those countries.

Do Picornoviruses and HHV-6 link Acute Encephalopathy in Children to Pigs?

A child with acute encephalopathy associated with quadruple viral infection

"Pediatric acute encephalopathy (AE) was sometimes attributed to virus infection. However, viral infection does not always result in AE. The risk factors for developing infantile AE upon virus infection remain to be determined. Here, we report an infant with AE co-infected with human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and three picornaviruses, including coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6), Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), and human parechovirus (HPeV). EV-D68 was vertically transmitted to the infant from his mother. CVA6 and HPeV were likely transmitted to the infant at the nursery school. HHV-6 might be re-activated in the patient. It remained undetermined, which pathogen played the central role in the AE pathogenesis. However, active, simultaneous infection of four viruses should have evoked the cytokine storm, leading to the pathogenesis of AE. Conclusion: an infant case with active quadruple infection of potentially AE-causing viruses was seldom reported partly because systematic nucleic acid-based laboratory tests on picornaviruses were not common. We propose that simultaneous viral infection may serve as a risk factor for the development of AE"

Diversity of picornaviruses in rural Bolivia

"The family Picornaviridae is a large and diverse group of viruses that infect humans and animals. Picornaviruses are among the most common infections of humans and cause a wide spectrum of acute human disease. This study began as an investigation of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in a small area of eastern Bolivia, where surveillance had identified a persistently high AFP rate in children. Stools were collected and diagnostic studies ruled out poliovirus. We tested stool specimens from 51 AFP cases and 34 healthy household or community contacts collected during 2002–2003 using real-time and semi-nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays for enterovirus, parechovirus, cardiovirus, kobuvirus, salivirus and cosavirus. Anecdotal reports suggested a temporal association with neurological disease in domestic pigs, so six porcine stools were also collected and tested with the same set of assays, with the addition of an assay for porcine teschovirus. A total of 126 picornaviruses were detected in 73 of 85 human individuals, consisting of 53 different picornavirus types encompassing five genera (all except Kobuvirus). All six porcine stools contained porcine and/or human picornaviruses. No single virus, or combination of viruses, specifically correlated with AFP; however, the study revealed a surprising complexity of enteric picornaviruses in a single community."

 pigs, african swine fever viru, hhv-6, aids, chronic fatigue syndrome, hhv-8, hhv-7

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