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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 102-103

Research snippets

Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 038, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission12-Mar-2013
Date of Acceptance12-Mar-2013
Date of Web Publication15-Mar-2013

Correspondence Address:
P Desikan
Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Karond, Bhopal - 462 038, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Desikan P. Research snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol 2013;31:102-3

How to cite this URL:
Desikan P. Research snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jan 26];31:102-3. Available from:

Fungal infections linked to steroid injections have been reported across 19 states in the United States of America ( A study investigated a previous outbreak of fungal meningitis in many locations in the United States following administration of epidural steroid injections (ESIs) with contaminated methylprednisolone (Ann Intern Med. 2013 Feb 5;158(3):154-61) . Findings on MRI included ventriculitis, leptomeningeal enhancement, infarction, hemorrhage, and arachnoiditis. Exserohilum rostratum and Cladosporium species were isolated on culture from clinical samples.

Omadhiya, a village near the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital in the Oshikoto Region, Namibia, became the centre of attention after a woman and her 20-year-old son died of what was earlier suspected to be poisoning. However, autopsy results of the mother and son confirmed the cause of death as anthrax ( A study investigating the effects of a dose dependent treatment of mice with  Lactobacillus gasseri Scientific Name Search ing the PA-DCpep fusion protein on intestinal and systemic immune responses found that L gasseri expressing PA-DCpep can induce humoral and T cell-mediated immune responses upon oral administration and may be used as a safe oral vaccine against anthrax challenge(PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55143).

Two people lost their lives on the 30th of Jan, 2013, in a recent outbreak of Lassa fever in Plateau State, Nigeria ( The virulence of Soromba-R, a Lassa virus strain recently isolated from southern Mali, was assessed in 2 animal models of Lassa fever: inbred guinea pigs and cynomolgus macaques. (J Infect Dis. 2013 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]). The results suggest that the strain of Lassa virus circulating in Mali might be less pathogenic than strains circulating in the historical region of endemicity and may result in an atypical presentation of Lassa fever.

Northeast England has seen a serious outbreak of measles, with more than 100 confirmed or suspected cases and 29 patients needing hospital treatment. The Health Protection Agency said that there had been 56 confirmed cases in the region and a further 49 suspected cases since the beginning of September last year. This compares with a total of 18 confirmed cases in 2011 and 11 cases in 2010. (BMJ 2013; 346 doi: .Published 31 January 2013). Levels of maternal antibodies decrease more quickly in preterm than term infants, leaving them unprotected against measles. In order to protect premature infants from measles, an early vaccination trial was examined. It was found that early immunization at 6 months of ageeffectively protected preterm infants in an outbreak setting (Pediatr Int. 2013 Feb 4. doi: 10.1111/ped.12064. [Epub ahead of print]).

For the first time, scientists have found evidence of the African Ebola virus in Asian fruit bats, suggesting that the virus is far more widespread around the world than had been previously known. ( In order to understand Ebola virus replication, a study used a biologically contained Ebola virus system to characterize the spatio-temporal distribution of Ebola virus proteins and RNA during virus replication(Sci Rep. 2013;3:1206. doi: 10.1038/srep01206. Epub 2013 Feb 4). It found that viral nucleoprotein (NP), the polymerase cofactor VP35, the major matrix protein VP40, the transcription activator VP30, and the minor matrix protein VP24 were distributed in cytoplasmic inclusions. These inclusions enlarged near the nucleus, became smaller pieces, and subsequently localized near the plasma membrane. GP was distributed in the cytoplasm and transported to the plasma membrane independent of the other viral proteins. It was also found that viral RNA synthesis occurred within the inclusions. Newly synthesized negative-sense RNA was distributed inside the inclusions, whereas positive-sense RNA was distributed both inside and outside.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and Beijing Capital Medical University found that the genetic variant rs12252-C was present in 69 per cent of Chinese patients with H1N1 swine flu [influenza A/(H1N1)pdm09]. People with this specific genetic variant are 6 times more likely to suffer from severe influenza infection than those without ( The particular variant rs12252-C is occasionally found in Caucasian populations and was already known to be associated with more severe influenza disease. This finding could help identify those at high risk of severe infection and help prioritise those in highest need of treatment.

Much information is available about the immune response to 2009 H1N1 influenza, but little is known about the the response to seasonal influenza before and during the novel influenza A pandemic. Hence, a cross-sectional serological survey of 4 types of major seasonal influenza in March and September 2009 was carried out to investigate immune response to seasonal influenza before and during the outbreak of the sH1N1 influenza in Shenzhen, China (PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53847. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053847. Epub 2013 Jan 29). It was found that the 0-5 year age group had an increased antibody level for all types of seasonal influenza during the pandemic as compared to the pre-outbreak level, in contrast with almost all other age groups, where the antibody levels decreased. The results suggest that the antibodies against the 2009 sH1N1 cross-reacted with seasonal H1N1, and that, the 0-5 year age group was susceptible to both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza during the pandemic. It was therefore felt that vaccination merely against a new strain of flu might not be enough to protect the youngest group.

Twenty cholera cases were detected in the Papar district of Sabah State, Borneo, in January 2013. ( The diverse bacterial communities colonizing the gut of infants are known to alter due to diarrhea. A metagenomic profiling of gut microbiota in children during cholera and recovery found that cholera resulted expulsion of major commensal bacteria of phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. Proteobacteria colonize the gut during the acute and convalescence states (Gut Pathog. 2013 Feb 1;5(1):1. [Epub ahead of print]).

An epidemic of hepatitis E is escalating across refugee camps in South Sudan's Maban county. Till January this year, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) had treated 3991 patients in its health facilities in the camps and had recorded 88 deaths ( For a long time, hepatitis E virus (HEV) was described as one of the leading causes of acute viral hepatitis in tropical and subtropical countries, whereas in developed countries hepatitis E was considered an imported disease from HEV hyperendemic countries. Data from studies conducted during the past decade show that contrary to previous beliefs, hepatitis E is also an endemic disease in several developed countries, particularly in Japan and in Europe, as evidenced by reports of high anti-HEV immunoglobulin G prevalence in healthy individuals and an increasing number of non-travel-related acute hepatitis E cases. A porcine reservoir and growing evidence of zoonotic transmission have also been reported in these countries (Intervirology. 2013 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print]).

Tattoos are cool. But tattoos are dangerous, too. This is brought home by the case of a 46-year-old man, who, after undergoing a modified version of traditional Samoan tattooing for 5 days, was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe septic shock due to poly-microbial bacteremia with Group A Streptococcus and Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus Scientific Name Search  (Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2013 Jan;72(1):5-9).


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