sabato 24 maggio 2014

Low-Cost Mobile Phone Microscopy with a Reversed Mobile Phone Camera Lens

The increasing capabilities and ubiquity of mobile phones and their associated digital cameras offer the possibility of extending low-cost, portable diagnostic microscopy to underserved and low-resource areas. However, mobile phone microscopes created by adding magnifying optics to the phone's camera module have been unable to make use of the full image sensor due to the specialized design of the embedded camera lens, exacerbating the tradeoff between resolution and field of view inherent to optical systems. This tradeoff is acutely felt for diagnostic applications, where the speed and cost of image-based diagnosis is related to the area of the sample that can be viewed at sufficient resolution. Here we present a simple and low-cost approach to mobile phone microscopy that uses a reversed mobile phone camera lens added to an intact mobile phone to enable high quality imaging over a significantly larger field of view than standard microscopy. We demonstrate use of the reversed lens mobile phone microscope to identify red and white blood cells in blood smears and soil-transmitted helminth eggs in stool samples (read more)

Herpes Zoster Involving the S1 Dermatome

A 19-month-old female infant presented with a 1-week history of ascending linear erythematous eruptions on the left calf. She showed no indications of immune disturbances and was a full-term infant with a healthy rate of weight gain and development. She had been immunized with the varicella vaccine 7 months before presentation. Physical examination revealed a vesicular rash in the S1 dermatome of the left leg (Panel A). A scraping from the base of several vesicles was obtained, and a direct immunofluorescence antigen assay was performed; the results were positive for the varicella–zoster virus (read more)

sabato 17 maggio 2014

Movement of Chikungunya Virus into the Western Hemisphere

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus transmitted in an urban epidemic cycle by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti andAe. albopictus. CHIKV outbreaks are characterized by rapid spread and infection rates as high as 75%; 72%–93% of infected persons become symptomatic. The disease manifests as acute fever and potentially debilitating polyarthralgia. In a variable proportion of cases, polyarthritis and fatigue can persist for 2 years or longer. During outbreaks, the large percentage of symptomatic infections places a considerable strain on resources of local health care providers and hospitals. Fortunately, death from chikungunya is rare (read more)

giovedì 8 maggio 2014

Antibodies for Middle East virus

Two independent teams have identified antibodies that can vanquish a deadly virus first reported in the Middle East. Since it appeared in 2012, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus has caused disease in at least 261 people and killed nearly 100 in Asia, North Africa and Europe as of 26 April 2014 (read more)

Taming the Transplantation Troll by Targeting Terminase

The immunosuppressive drugs required after stem-cell transplantation render patients susceptible to opportunistic infections. The most important of these infections, in terms of both abundance and severity, is cytomegalovirus (CMV), which has been dubbed the “troll of transplantation.” Fortunately, the clinical effects of CMV infection have been reduced by preemptive therapy. Levels of CMV DNA in the blood (viremia) are monitored with the use of polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assays and, if viremia is detected, patients receive ganciclovir (or its prodrug valganciclovir) until viral DNA is no longer detectable (read more)

Ebola — A Growing Threat?

The recent emergence of Zaire ebolavirus in West Africa1 has come as a surprise in a region more commonly known for its endemic Lassa fever, another viral hemorrhagic fever caused by an Old World arenavirus. Yet the region has seen previous ebolavirus activity. In the mid-1990s, scientists discovered Côte d'Ivoire ebolavirus (now known as Taï Forest ebolavirus) as a cause of a single reported nonfatal case in a researcher who performed a necropsy on an infected chimpanzee. The episode initiated a major research investigation in and around the Taï Forest region — an effort that failed to identify the reservoir of this new Ebola species. Since that incident, West African countries have not reported any evidence of the presence of ebolavirus (read more)

venerdì 2 maggio 2014

Novel Reassortant Influenza A(H5N8) Viruses in Domestic Ducks, Eastern China

Domestic ducks are natural reservoirs of avian influenza viruses and serve as reassortant hosts for new virus subtypes. We isolated 2 novel influenza A(H5N8) viruses from domestic ducks in eastern China, sequenced their genomes, and tested their pathogenicity in chickens and mice. Circulation of these viruses may pose health risks for humans (read more)

Novel Human Bufavirus Genotype 3 in Children with Severe Diarrhea, Bhutan

We identified a new genotype of bufavirus, BuV3, in fecal samples (0.8%) collected to determine the etiology of diarrhea in children in Bhutan. Norovirus GII.6 was detected in 1 sample; no other viral diarrheal pathogens were detected, suggesting BuV3 as a cause of diarrhea. This study investigates genetic diversity of circulating BuVs (read more)

Variola virus archives: a new century, a new approach

Eradication of smallpox was the signature public health achievement of the 20th century—the result of relentless collective action by the global community. Although the disease is long gone, variola virus, which causes smallpox, still exists in two WHO-approved laboratories. 35 years after eradication of smallpox and following immense progress on development of medical countermeasures, destruction of variola virus once more returns to the World Health Assembly (WHA) agenda in May, 2014 (read more)