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Solna, Sweden

Escadafal C.,Robert Koch Institute | Escadafal C.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Avsic-Zupanc T.,University of Ljubljana | Vapalahti O.,University of Helsinki | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2012

Hantaviruses are endemic throughout the world and hosted by rodents and insectivores. Two human zoonoses, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), are caused by hantaviruses and case fatality rates have reached 12% for HFRS and 50% for HPS in some outbreaks. Symptomatic hantavirus infections in Europe are summarised as HFRS mainly due to Puumala, Dobrava-Belgrade and Saaremaa virus. While HFRS has an overall low incidence in Europe, the number of cases varies from 100 per year in all Eastern and Southern Europe up to 1,000 per year only in Finland. To assess the quality of hantavirus diagnostics, the European Network for the Diagnostics of "Imported" Viral Diseases (ENIVD) organised a first external quality assurance (EQA) in 2002. The purpose of this second EQA study is to collect updated information on the efficiency and accurateness of hantavirus serological methods applied by expert laboratories. A serum panel of 14 samples was sent to 28 participants in Europe of which 27 sent results. Performance in hantavirus diagnosis varied not only on the method used but also on the laboratories and the subclass of antibodies tested. Commercial and in-house assays performed almost equally. Enzyme immunoassays were mainly used but did not show the best performances while immunoblot assays were the less employed and showed overall better performances. IgM antibodies were not detected in 61% of the positive IgM samples and IgM detection was not performed by 7% of the laboratories indicating a risk of overlooking acute infections in patients. Uneven performances using the same method is indicating that there is still a need for improving testing conditions and standardizing protocols. © 2012 Escadafal et al.

Pounder K.C.,University of Liverpool | Watts P.C.,University of Liverpool | Watts P.C.,University of Oulu | Niklasson B.,Apodemus AB | And 8 more authors.
Infection, Genetics and Evolution | Year: 2015

Ljungan virus (LV) (family Picornaviridae, genus Parechovirus) is a suspected zoonotic pathogen with associations to human disease in Sweden. LV is a single-stranded RNA virus with a positive sense genome. There are five published Ljungan virus strains, three isolated from Sweden and two from America, and are classified into four genotypes. A further two strains described here were isolated from wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus) caught in Västmanlands county, Sweden in 1994. These strains were sequenced using next generation pyrosequencing technology on the GS454flx platform. Genetic and phylogenetic analysis of the obtained genomes confirms isolates LV340 and LV342 as two new putative members of genotype 2 along with LV145SL, with 92% and 99% nucleotide identities respectively. Only two codon sites throughout the entire genome were identified as undergoing positive selection, both situated within the VP3 structural region, in or near to major antigenic sites. Whilst these two strains do not constitute new genotypes they provide evidence, though weakly supported, which suggests the evolution of Ljungan viruses to be relatively slow, a characteristic unlike other picornaviruses. Additional genomic sequences are urgently required for Ljungan virus strains, particularly from different locations or hosts, to fully understand the evolutionary and epidemiological properties of this potentially zoonotic virus. © 2015.

Blixt M.,Uppsala University | Niklasson B.,Uppsala University | Niklasson B.,Apodemus AB | Sandler S.,Uppsala University
Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Bank voles develop glucose intolerance/diabetes mellitus when kept in captivity.We have characterized β-cell function of glucose intolerant/diabetic animals, and found that this animal model has features of both human type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to study the functional alterations of islets isolated from glucose tolerant bank voles after a prolonged exposure to various glucose concentrations in vitro. For this purpose, pancreatic islets from normal (glucose tolerant) male and female bank voles were cultured at different glucose concentrations (5.6, 11.1 (control), or 28 mM) whereupon islet functions were examined. Overall, islet insulin outputwas lowered at 5.6 mMglucose, and similar to control, or enhanced after culture in 28 mM glucose. High glucose culture led to decreased insulin contents, but therewas no change in islet DNA content and in morphological assessments of cell death, with the latter findings suggesting that the so-called glucotoxicity had not evolved. A slight gender difference was observed in that islets isolated from females exhibited a glucose-regulated (pro)insulin biosynthesis rate and insulin gene expression. In conclusion, we have found that islets isolated from female and male bank voles are affected by glucose concentrations in vitro in that some signs of dysfunction were observed upon high glucose exposure. A minor gender difference was observed suggesting that the islets of the females may more readily adapt to the elevated glucose concentration than islets of the male bank voles. It could be that these in vitro gender differences observed may represent a mechanism underlying the gender difference in diabetes development observed among bank voles. © 2010 Society for Endocrinology.

Apodemus Ab | Date: 2010-01-22

The present invention relates to a Ljungan virus with improved replication characteristic and the use of this Ljungan virus, amongst other thing, in the production of a vaccine.

Hauffe H.C.,Research and Innovation Center | Niklasson B.,Apodemus AB | Niklasson B.,Uppsala University | Olsson T.,Apodemus AB | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2010

Identified in 1998, Ljungan virus (LV; Picornaviridae) causes type 1 diabeteslike symptoms and myocarditis in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from Sweden and Denmark, and may be a zoonotic agent of several important diseases (e.g., intrauterine fetal death, type 1 diabetes, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and myocarditis). Using a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay and sequence analysis, we detected LV in bank voles, and for the first time, in yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) collected during 2006 from a site in northern Italy. The global distribution of LV and its role as a mammalian pathogen deserve further attention. © Wildlife Disease Association 2010.

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