TWiV 939: From lizards to Lassa with Tom Monath
Tom Monath joins TWiV to discuss his wide-ranging career that includes medicine, field work and vaccine development while working for the US government, the US military, and multiple biotechnology companies. Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, and Rich Condit Guest: Tom Monath Click arrow to playDownload TWiV 939 (73 MB .mp3, 121 min)Subscribe (free): Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RSS, email […] (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - September 25, 2022 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology Acambis COVID-19 dengue vaccine ebola virus Lassa virus NewLink Genetics vaccine platform viral viruses yellow fever virus Source Type: blogs

“Under the radar” – Ongoing Lassa Fever Outbreak
By Dr. Stephen A. Berger Nigeria is battling the largest recorded Lassa Fever outbreak to-date   Lassa Fever in Nigeria is a paradigm for Infectious Disease outbreaks that continue to threaten massive populations “under the radar” during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of October 3, 2020, a total of 1,112 fatal cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Nigeria. In terms of population size, the statistical likelihood of dying from this disease in Nigeria – or in Singapore – is exactly the same. But then…nobody in Singapore is dying these days from Lassa Fever.     WHAT IS LASSA FEVER? The disease was ...
Source: GIDEON blog - October 13, 2020 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Kristina Symes Tags: Epidemiology News Outbreaks Source Type: blogs

TWiV 625: Fred Murphy, virologist for all seasons
Vincent and Rich visit Fred Murphy to hear about his wide-ranging career in virology, spanning many institutions, involving dangerous viruses like rabies virus, Ebolavirus (he took that famous iconic image), Marburg virus, Lassa virus, coronaviruses, and later writing a history of the field. Click arrow to playDownload TWiV 625 (60 MB .mp3, 100 min)Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email […] (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - June 12, 2020 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology ebolavirus Fred Murphy histopathology marburg virus rabies virus viral virology history viruses Source Type: blogs

Neglected Diseases – Neglected Once Again
written by Dr. Stephen A. Berger For several years, the World Health Organization has been following a group of twenty-or-so Neglected Tropical Diseases. In the Developed World, these conditions are largely unknown to the general public, and even to physicians working in fields outside of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases. In only three months, the list of neglected diseases has grown to include more than 360 infectious conditions – all because of a single new viral disease called COVID-19. As of this morning, 287 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) resulting in 23 deaths. H...
Source: GIDEON blog - April 17, 2020 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Kristina Symes Tags: Diagnosis Epidemiology Outbreaks Source Type: blogs

Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever
In 2019, a small outbreak of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever was reported at a hospital in La Paz, Bolivia.  The following background data on Bolivian hemorrhagic fever are abstracted from Gideon and the Gideon e-book series. [1,2]  Primary references are available from the author. Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF) is caused by Machupo virus (Arenaviridae, Tacaribe complex, Mammarenavirus).  The disease was initially described in 1959 as a sporadic hemorrhagic illness in rural areas of Beni department, eastern Bolivia; and the virus itself was first identified in 1963.  BHF is most common during April to...
Source: GIDEON blog - July 5, 2019 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Dr. Stephen Berger Tags: Ebooks Epidemiology Outbreaks ProMED Source Type: blogs

TWiV 548: Mice, shrews, and caterpillars
Vincent travels to the European Congress of Virology in Rotterdam and with local co-host Marion Koopmans speak with Martin Beer, Stephan Gunther, and Vera Ross about their careers and their work on Lassa virus, Borna virus, and insect viruses. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 548 (43 MB .mp3, 72 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV! Show […] (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - May 19, 2019 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology baculovirus Borna virus encaphalitis European Congress of Virology Lassa virus metagenomics nigeria outbreak response transplant recipient viral virus behavior modification viruses zombie caterpillar Source Type: blogs

TWiV 542: Inside Microbiotix
Vincent travels to Microbiotix, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company in Worcester, MA to speak with four members of the company about their discovery and development of small molecule drugs that target serious infectious diseases. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 542 (40 MB .mp3, 65 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, Google Podcasts, RSS, email Become a patron of TWiV! Show notes at (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - April 7, 2019 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology adenovirus biotech cytomegalovirus drug development ebolavirus herpesvirus influenza Lassa virus Microbiotix small molecule drugs viral viruses Source Type: blogs

To Improve Pandemic Preparedness, Update The Priority Review Voucher Program
Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would add the Zika virus to the list of diseases in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) priority review voucher (PRV) program. The Senate HELP Committee has also recently advanced similar legislation. This is a positive step that would help incentivize needed research and development (R&D) to fight the disease. However, it also illustrates the fact that the PRV platform could be used far more proactively to help address future pandemics before they strike. Incentive For Innovation In 2007 the US government created the PRV as an incentive to dri...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 22, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Kenneth Gustavsen Tags: Drugs and Medical Technology Featured Global Health Congress Ebola FDA outbreaks pandemic priority review Research Zika Source Type: blogs

A promising Ebolavirus antiviral compound
A small molecule antiviral compound has been shown to protect rhesus monkeys against lethal Ebolavirus disease, even when given up to three days after virus inoculation. The compound, called GS-5734, is a nucleoside analog. After uptake into cells, GS-5734 is converted to a nucleoside triphosphate (illustrated, bottom panel) which is incorporated by the viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase as it copies the viral genome. However, the nucleoside is chemically different from ATP (illustrated, top) and no further nucleotides can be incorporated into the growing RNA strand. RNA synthesis ceases, blocking production of infect...
Source: virology blog - March 3, 2016 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information antiviral compound chain terminator ebolavirus nucleoside analog RNA polymerase rna synthesis viruses Source Type: blogs

Lassa virus origin and evolution
I have a soft spot in my heart for Lassa virus: a non-fictional account of its discovery in Africa in 1969 inspired me to become a virologist. Hence papers on this virus always catch my attention, such as one describing its origin and evolution. Lassa virus, a member of the Arenavirus family, is very different from Ebolavirus (a filovirus), but both are zoonotic pathogens that may cause hemorrhagic fever. It is responsible for tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths each year, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. Most human Lassa virus outbreaks are caused by multiple exposure...
Source: virology blog - August 13, 2015 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information arenavirus ebolavirus evolution genome sequence hemorrhagic fever Lassa virus Mastomys natalensis nigeria reservoir Sierra Leone viral zoonosis Source Type: blogs

Long-term effects of Ebolavirus infection
This study only included adults; children who have recovered should also be examined as their health care needs may be different. These results confirm that there are long-term sequelae of Ebolavirus infection. The basis for the complications is not known, but is likely a consequence of tissue damage due to viral replication and the immune response. Whether or not virus was present in the patients was not determined. However it is known that Ebolavirus can persist in the testicles and eye long after it is absent from serum. Other serious viral infections are also accompanied by long term health effects. For example, 29% of...
Source: virology blog - June 19, 2015 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information acute arthralgia Ebola ebolavirus long term myalgia persistent symptoms uveitis viral Source Type: blogs

TWiV 339: Herpes and the sashimi plot
On episode #339 of the science show This Week in Virology, tre TWiV amici present three snippets and a side of sashimi: how herpesvirus inhibits host cell gene expression by disrupting transcription termination. You can find TWiV #339 at (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - May 31, 2015 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Uncategorized cancer Chikungunya virus exon herpesvirus host shutoff intron IRF7 Lassa fever mosquitoes splicing transcription termination translation viral virology West Nile virus Source Type: blogs

Lassa Fever and Travel
As of 2015, at least 57 cases of Lassa virus infection associated with travel have been reported.  The following chronology is abstracted from Gideon  (I’ve also included a 2008 episode involving Lujo virus, a related pathogen).  Primary references are available on request 1969 – Lassa fever was first described when three American nurses working at Lassa, Nigeria contracted the illness.  Two died and the third was flown to America for treatment. 1971 – A nurse and physician from United Kingdom developed nonfatal Lassa fever in Sierra Leone. 1972 – A nurse from United King...
Source: GIDEON blog - May 26, 2015 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Dr. Stephen Berger Tags: Epidemiology ProMED Lassa fever Source Type: blogs

Whole issues of Genome Biology/Genome Medicine on "Genomics of Infectious Disease"
Wow this has really got some nice papers: BioMed Central | Article collections | Genomics of infectious diseases special issue.  I note - this goes well as a follow up to the series I co-coordinated in PLOS a few years back: Genomics of Emerging Infectious Disease - PLOS CollectionsFrom their site:Infectious diseases are major contributors to global morbidity and mortality, and have a devastating impact on public health. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 deaths worldwide are due to an infectious disease, with a disproportionate number occurring in developing regions. While the completi...
Source: The Tree of Life - November 23, 2014 Category: Medical Scientists Authors: Jonathan Eisen Source Type: blogs

Could the Ebola virus epidemic have been prevented?
The cover of this week’s issue of Businessweek declares that ‘Ebola is coming’ in letters colored like blood, with the subtitle ‘The US had a chance to stop the virus in its tracks. It missed’. Although the article presents a good analysis of the hurdles in developing antibody therapy for Ebola virus infection, the cover is overstated. Why does Businessweek think that Ebola virus is coming to the US? (there is no mention of this topic in the article). Are we sure that antibody therapy would have stopped the outbreak? (no, as stated in the article). How the U.S. Screwed Up in the Fight Against Ebola is an analysi...
Source: virology blog - September 30, 2014 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Commentary Information antiviral ebola virus ebolavirus epidemic monoclonal antibody therapy outbreak vaccine West Africa ZMapp Source Type: blogs