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Galveston, TX, United States

Madani T.A.,King Abdulaziz University | Azhar E.I.,King Abdulaziz University | Abuelzein E.T.M.E.,King Abdulaziz University | Kao M.,King Abdulaziz University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Infection | Year: 2011

Objective: After its first appearance in Alkhumra district of Jeddah in 1994-1995, and then in Makkah in 2001-2003, the new hemorrhagic fever virus, known as Alkhumra (misnamed as Alkhu. rma) virus (ALKV), has subsequently been reported from Najran, in the south border of Saudi Arabia. Methods: This is a descriptive cohort study summarizing the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of ALKV infected patients diagnosed in Najran from 1 August 2003 through 31 December 2009. Results: A total of 148 suspected cases were reported, of which 78 (52.7%) cases were laboratory confirmed; 2 cases in 2003, 1 case in 2004, 4 cases in 2005, 1 case in 2007, 12 cases in 2008, and 58 cases in 2009. The cases were reported year round but 64.1% (50/78) of them occurred in the summer time. Twenty-five (32.1%) cases occurred as clusters in 5 families. The virus seemed to be transmitted from livestock animals to humans by direct contact with these animals and likely by mosquito bites. Ticks did not seem to be involved in the transmission of infection from animals to humans. Clinical and laboratory features included fever (100%), headache (85.9%), malaise (85.9%), arthralgia (83.3%), anorexia (82.1%), myalgia (82.1%), backache (71.8%), nausea and vomiting (71.8%), chills (60.3%), retro-orbital pain (55.1%), diarrhea (51.3%), abdominal pain (48.7%), hemorrhagic manifestations (25.6%), central nervous system manifestations (23.1%), leucopenia (87.7%), elevated liver enzymes (85.7%), prolonged partial thromboplastin time (52.6%), thrombocytopenia (46.2%), elevated creatine kinase level (45.7%), and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (25.0%). Conclusion: ALKV infection has now been recognized outside its original boundaries in Saudi Arabia which may herald its identification in other countries. © 2010 The British Infection Association.

MacNeil A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Farnon E.C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Morgan O.W.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Gould P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

The first outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) due to Bundibugyo ebolavirus occurred in Uganda from August to December 2007. During outbreak response and assessment, we identified 131 EHF cases (44 suspect, 31 probable, and 56 confirmed). Consistent with previous large filovirus outbreaks, a long temporal lag (approximately 3 months) occurred between initial EHF cases and the subsequent identification of Ebola virus and outbreak response, which allowed for prolonged person-to-person transmission of the virus. Although effective control measures for filovirus outbreaks, such as patient isolation and contact tracing, are well established, our observations from the Bundibugyo EHF outbreak demonstrate the need for improved filovirus surveillance, reporting, and diagnostics, in endemic locations in Africa. © 2011 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

Homaira N.,Institute of Epidemiology | Homaira N.,International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research | Rahman M.,Institute of Epidemiology | Hossain M.J.,International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research | And 15 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2010

In February 2007 an outbreak of Nipah virus (NiV) encephalitis in Thakurgaon District of northwest Bangladesh affected seven people, three of whom died. All subsequent cases developed illness 7-14 days after close physical contact with the index case while he was ill. Cases were more likely than controls to have been in the same room (100% vs. 95%, OR undefined, P<0001) and to have touched him (83% vs. 0%, OR undefined, P<0001). Although the source of infection for the index case was not identified, 50% of Pteropus bats sampled from near the outbreak area 1 month after the outbreak had antibodies to NiV confirming the presence of the virus in the area. The outbreak was spread by person-to-person transmission. Risk of NiV infection in family caregivers highlights the need for infection control practices to limit transmission of potentially infectious body secretions. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Shavkunov A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Panova N.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Prasai A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Veselenak R.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 5 more authors.
Assay and Drug Development Technologies | Year: 2012

Protein-protein interactions are critical molecular determinants of ion channel function and emerging targets for pharmacological interventions. Yet, current methodologies for the rapid detection of ion channel macromolecular complexes are still lacking. In this study we have adapted a split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) for detecting the assembly of the voltage-gated Na + (Nav) channel C-tail and the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a functionally relevant component of the Nav channelosome that controls gating and targeting of Nav channels through direct interaction with the channel C-tail. In the LCA, two complementary N-terminus and C-terminus fragments of the firefly luciferase were fused, respectively, to a chimera of the CD4 transmembrane segment and the C-tail of Nav1.6 channel (CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc) or FGF14 (CLuc-FGF14). Co-expression of CLuc-FGF14 and CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc in live cells led to a robust assembly of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex, which was attenuated by introducing single-point mutations at the predicted FGF14:Nav channel interface. To evaluate the dynamic regulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex by signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of kinase inhibitors on the complex formation. Through a platform of counter screenings, we show that the p38/MAPK inhibitor, PD169316, and the IκB kinase inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, reduce the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complementation, highlighting a potential role of the p38MAPK and the IκB/NFκB pathways in controlling neuronal excitability through protein-protein interactions. We envision the methodology presented here as a new valuable tool to allow functional evaluations of protein-channel complexes toward probe development and drug discovery targeting ion channels implicated in human disorders. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Thangamani S.,Galveston National Laboratory | Thangamani S.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Bente D.,Galveston National Laboratory | Bente D.,University of Texas Medical Branch
Pathogens and Disease | Year: 2014

Tick-borne diseases continue to emerge and have a great impact on public health and agriculture. In addition, many of the agents of tick-borne diseases, which are classified as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) viruses, have the potential to be used as biothreat agents. In spite of the known importance of these pathogens, there is an acute shortage of facilities and trained personnel to study the pathogenesis of tick-borne diseases and to assess vaccine as well as other therapeutic interventions against tick-borne diseases as they are transmitted in nature. We, at the Galveston National Laboratory, have developed facilities and protocols to safely work with BSL4 virus-infected ticks. This capability adds tremendous value to the Nation's training and research endeavors. In this report we describe the procedures and protocols to establish tick work in a BSL4 laboratory. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

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