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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 357-359

Research snippets

Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Karond Bhopal, Bhopal, India

Date of Web Publication10-Jul-2014

Correspondence Address:
P Desikan
Department of Microbiology, Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Karond Bhopal, Bhopal
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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 2014;32:357-9

How to cite this URL:
Desikan P. Research snippets. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Feb 28];32:357-9. Available from:

An anthrax scare gripped Koraput district in Odisha state after three people died and 18 others showed symptoms of the disease at Jangaljadi village under Boipariguda block. Preliminary reports indicated that they had consumed contaminated beef.

( Anthrax is a vaccine-preventable disease. However, whether to restart or continue the series when anthrax vaccine doses are missed is a frequent medical management problem. A study applied the non-inferiority analysis model to a study comparing the  Bacillus anthracis Scientific Name Search protective antigen IgG antibody response and lethal toxin neutralisation activity at day 28 to the anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA; Biothrax ® ) administered on schedule or delayed. The study concluded that it is not necessary to restart the series when doses of the anthrax vaccine are delayed as long as 5 or more years. (Vaccine. 2014 May 13. pii: S0264-410X (14) 00457-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine. 2014.03.076. [Epub ahead of print]).

Iran's Health Ministry has reported two cases with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the country's Kerman Province ( confirms- two-cases-of-mers/).

A study investigated a case of human infection with MERS-CoV after exposure to infected camels. Analysis of the whole human-derived virus and 15% of the camel-derived virus sequence yielded nucleotide polymorphism signatures suggestive of cross-species transmission. It was concluded that camels may act as a direct source of human MERS-CoV infection. (Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Jun; 20 (6):1012-5. doi: 10.3201/eid2006.140402).

Five people have died in Sierra Leone's 1 st confirmed outbreak of ebola virus (EBOV) as of 26 May 2014. EBOV disease has killed more than 100 people in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia since March 2014 (

Marburg virus (MARV) and EBOV, members of the family Filoviridae, represent a significant challenge to global public health. Currently, no licensed therapies exist to treat filovirus infections, which cause up to 90% mortality in human cases. To facilitate development of antivirals against these viruses, a research group established two distinct screening platforms based on MARV and EBOV reverse genetics systems that express secreted Gaussia luciferase (gLuc). The first platform was a mini-genome replicon to screen viral replication inhibitors using gLuc quantification in a biosafety level (BSL)-2 setting. The second platform was complementary to the first and expressed gLuc as a reporter gene product encoded in recombinant infectious MARV and EBOV, thereby allowing for rapid quantification of viral growth during treatment with antiviral compounds. They characterised these viruses by comparing luciferase activity to virus production, and validated luciferase activity as an authentic real-time measure of viral growth. The group anticipates that both approaches will prove highly useful in the development of anti-filovirus therapies, as well as in basic research on the filovirus life cycle. (Antiviral Res. 2014 Jun; 106:86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral. 2014.03.018. Epub 2014 Apr 5).

A 'disproportionate number of cases' of pertussis in the Black Hills, South Dakota, USA, has led officials at a local medical clinic to stop seeing children for routine well-baby visits in order to be able to care for those affected and to keep healthy children from being exposed from pertussis ( A recent increase in pertussis cases prompted the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (AICP) in USA to recommend administering the combined tetanus-diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during each pregnancy. A retrospective study to understand uptake of Tdap and identify predictors of vaccination in pregnancy found a high overall Tdap vaccination rate following implementation of the ACIP guidelines. Black women, however, had significantly lower vaccine uptake than other women. Women who delivered prematurely also had a decreased rate of Tdap vaccination. (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 May 22. pii: S0002-9378 (14) 00497-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog. 2014.05.029. [Epub ahead of print]).

The placenta, long thought to be sterile, has been found to be home to a bacterial community. The microbes are generally non-pathogenic, but variations in their composition could be at the root of common but poorly understood pregnancy disorders such as preterm birth. Researchers found that caesarean or vaginal delivery did not seem to influence the make-up of the placental microbiome. The researchers also compared the placental microbiomes to those found in the vagina, gut, mouth and on the skin of non-pregnant women. They found that the placental microbiome was most similar to that of the mouth. It was speculated that the microbes travel to the placenta from the mouth via the blood. This reinforces data suggesting a link between periodontal disease in the mother and the risk of preterm birth. The team is now studying how women's microbial communities change during pregnancy. The aim is to identify women at risk of preterm birth, and develop ways to prevent it or deal with its complications in newborns-possibly by using dietary changes to enhance the healthy microbes in the placenta, vagina or the mouth and gut. (Nature doi: 10.1038/nature. 2014.15274).

As of 22 May 2014, a total of 429 human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) were confirmed in Mainland China. The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health in China has been closely monitoring reports of Mainland health authorities about additional human casesof avian influenza ( In an attempt to investigate the extent to which reliable epidemiologic inferences could be made from publicly available epidemiologic data of human infection with influenza A (H7N9) virus, a study group collated and compared six different line lists of laboratory-confirmed human cases of influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in the 2013 outbreak in China, including the official line list constructed by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention plus five other line lists by HealthMap, Virginia Tech, Bloomberg News, the University of Hong Kong and FluTrackers, based on publicly available information. They characterised clinical severity and transmissibility of the outbreak, using line lists available at specific dates to estimate epidemiologic parameters, to replicate real-time inferences on the hospitalization fatality risk and the impact of live poultry market closure. They found that analysis of publicly available data on H7N9 permitted reliable assessment of transmissibility and geographical dispersion while assessment of clinical severity was less straightforward. (BMC Med. 2014 May 28;12 (1):88. [Epub ahead of print]).

With more than 25,000 cases of measles and 321 attributable deaths last year {2013}, measles infections are becoming a growing concern for the health-care system in Pakistan ( Molecular assays allow identification of the possible sources of measles viruses imported from neighboring countries. A phylogenetic analysis of measles viruses circulating in Iran over the period 2010-2012 found that genotypes B3 and D8, H1 and D4 were detected mainly in unvaccinated toddlers and young children. A majority of the Iranian D4 strains during 2010-2012 outbreaks were linked to the D4 strain identified in the Pakistan in 2007. A single case in 2010 was found to belong to D8 genotype with 99.7% identity to Indian isolates. (PLoS One. 2014 Apr 15;9 (4):e94846. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone. 0094846. eCollection 2014).

On 22 May 2014, public health officials stated that a San Luis Valley [Colorado] resident had been hospitalised after developing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Earlier in May 2014, a Saguache County [Colorado] resident had died after being exposed to the virus in Rio Grande County [Colorado] ( Rodents have long been recognised as the principal reservoirs of hantaviruses. However, with the discovery of genetically distinct and phylogenetically divergent lineages of hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews, moles and insectivorous bats from widely separated geographic regions, a far more complex landscape of hantavirus host distribution, evolution and phylogeography is emerging. Detailed phylogenetic analyses, based on partial and full-length genomes of previously described rodent-borne hantaviruses and newly detected non-rodent-borne hantaviruses, indicate an Asian origin and support the emerging concept that ancestral non-rodent mammals may have served as the hosts of primordial hantaviruses (Trends Microbiol. 2014 May 19. pii: S0966-842X (14) 00090-0. doi: 10.1016/j.tim. 2014.04.008. [Epub ahead of print]).

At the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), three patients believed to have Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) died at PIMS in April and May this year {2014). One patient was an Afghan national who came to Peshawar [Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province] from Afghanistan and then travelled to Islamabad where he fell ill and was admitted to PIMS ( diseases-two- die-of-hiv- congo-fever- at-pims/). CCHF is an emerging zoonotic disease in India and requires immediate diagnosis for preventing further transmission and for controlling the infection. An Indian group has developed, optimised and evaluated a novel molecular beacon-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for rapid, sensitive and specific diagnosis of CCHF virus (CCHFV). The assay was found to be a better alternative to the TaqMan assay for routine diagnosis of CCHF. (Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:496219. doi: 10.1155/2014/496219. Epub 2014 Apr 27).

At least four people in the Wichita [Kansas] area have been diagnosed with  Escherichia More Details coli infection after a private event, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. One of them was treated for haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) ( diagnosed.html). Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) has been responsible for several outbreaks of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) worldwide. A research group attempted the development of an oral vaccine against EHEC by optimising the expression of EspB in L. lactis. Oral immunisation of mice with the EspB-secreting strains successfully induced specific mucosal and systemic antibody responses. These responses were associated with mixed Th1/Th2 cell responses in Peyer's Patches and mesenteric lymph nodes. Immunised mice exhibited significant protection against E. coli O157:H7 colonisation, as indicated by the reduced amount and/or duration of the bacterial fecal shedding. (Vaccine. 2014 May 27. pii: S0264-410X (14) 00730-0. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine. 2014.05.054. [Epub ahead of print]).


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