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Kuhs K.A.L.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Kuniholm M.H.,Yeshiva University | Pfeiffer R.M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Chen S.,Information Management Services | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

IFNL4-δG/TT (rs368234815) genotype is associated with hepatitis C virus clearance and may play a role in other infections. IFN-ë4 protein is generated only in individuals who carry the IFNL4-δG allele. The IFNL4 rs12979860-T allele, which is in strong linkage disequilibrium with IFNL4-δG, was recently reported to be associated with more frequent and severe oral herpes episodes. We investigated the association of IFNL4-δG/TT with herpes simplex virus (HSV)-related outcomes among 2,192 African American and European American participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). WIHS is a prospective cohort study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)'infected and at-risk women that began in 1994. This report includes follow-up through 2013. Available data included: HSV'1 and HSV'2 antibodies at study entry; bi-annually ascertained episodes of (self-reported) oral herpes, (self-reported) genital sores and (clinician-observed) genital ulcers; HSV'2 DNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) specimens. IFNL4-δG/TT genotyping was determined by Taq- Man. We compared women with IFNL4-δG/δG or IFNL4-TT/δG genotypes (i.e., IFNL4-δG carriers) to those with the IFNL4-TT/TT genotype, adjusting for age, race and HIV status. For outcomes with repeated measurements, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 95% confidence interval [CI] and p-value were determined using a generalized estimating equations approach. Median participant age at enrollment was 36 years; 81% were African American, 74% were HIV-infected. Among 1,431 participants tested for antibodies, 72.8%were positive for HSV'1 and 79.0% were positive for HSV'2. We observed no association between IFNL4-δG/TT genotype and any outcome: HSV'1 or HSV'2 antibody prevalence (p>0.1, all comparisons); oral herpes (aOR, 1.2; p = 0.35); genital sores (aOR, 1.0; p = 0.71); genital ulcers (aOR, 1.1; p = 0.53); detectable HSV'2 DNA in CVL (N = 322; aOR, 0.71; p = 0.49); HSV'2 DNA level (p = 0.68). In this large prospective study, IFNL4-δG/TT genotype was not associated with HSV-related outcomes, including episodes of oral or genital herpes. Source

Edlin B.R.,New York Medical College | Edlin B.R.,Institute for Infectious Disease Research | Eckhardt B.J.,New York Medical College | Shu M.A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2015

Data from the 2003-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that about 3.6 million people in the United States have antibodies to the hepatitis C virus, of whom 2.7 million are currently infected. NHANES, however, excludes several high-risk populations from its sampling frame, including people who are incarcerated, homeless, or hospitalized; nursing home residents; active-duty military personnel; and people living on Indian reservations. We undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature and sought out unpublished presentations and data to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C in these excluded populations and in turn improve the estimate of the number of people with hepatitis C in the United States. The available data do not support a precise result, but we estimated that 1.0 million (range 0.4 million-1.8 million) persons excluded from the NHANES sampling frame have hepatitis C virus antibody, including 500,000 incarcerated people, 220,000 homeless people, 120,000 people living on Indian reservations, and 75,000 people in hospitals. Most are men. An estimated 0.8 million (range 0.3 million-1.5 million) are currently infected. Several additional sources of underestimation, including nonresponse bias and the underrepresentation of other groups at increased risk of hepatitis C that are not excluded from the NHANES sampling frame, were not addressed in this study. Conclusion: The number of US residents who have been infected with hepatitis C is unknown but is probably at least 4.6 million (range 3.4 million-6.0 million), and of these, at least 3.5 million (range 2.5 million-4.7 million) are currently infected; additional sources of potential underestimation suggest that the true prevalence could well be higher. © 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Source

Aka P.V.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Kuniholm M.H.,Yeshiva University | Pfeiffer R.M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Wang A.S.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Interferon lambda 4 protein can be generated in IFNL4-ΔG carriers but not IFNL4-TT homozygotes. We studied 890 anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Among blacks (n = 555), HCV was more often cleared for those with genotype IFNL4-TT/TT (32.6%; odds ratio [OR], 3.59; P = 3.3 × 10-5) than IFNL4-TT/ΔG (11.3%; OR, 0.95; P =. 86) or IFNL4-ΔG/ΔG (11.9%; referent). Pooling these data with published results in blacks (n = 1678), ORs were 3.84 (P = 8.6 × 10-14) for IFNL4-TT/TT and 1.44 (P =. 03) IFNL4-TT/ΔG, and the area under the curve was 0.64 for IFNL4-ΔG genotype and 0.61 for rs12979860 (IL28B). IFNL4-ΔG is strongly associated with impaired spontaneous HCV clearance. © 2013 The Author. Source

News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

The findings address the longstanding debate among scientists about whether or not the bacterium Yersinia pestis –responsible for the Black Death—remained within Europe for hundreds of years and was the principal cause of some of the worst re-emergences and subsequent plague epidemics in human history. Until now, some researchers believed repeated outbreaks were the result of the bacterium being re-introduced through major trade with China, a widely-known reservoir of the plague. Instead, it turns out the plague may never have left. "The more plague genomes we have from these disparate time periods, the better we are able to reconstruct the evolutionary history of this pathogen" says evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of McMaster University's Ancient DNA Centre and a principal investigator at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. Poinar collaborated with Edward Holmes at the University of Sydney, Olivier Dutour of the École Pratique des Hautes Études in France, and Kirsti Bos and Johannes Krause at the University of Tubingen, and others, to map the complete genomes of Y.pestis which was harvested from five adult male victims of the 1722 Plague of Provence. To do so, they analyzed the dental pulp taken from the five bodies, originally buried in Marseille, France. Researchers were able to extract, purify and enrich specifically for the pathogen's DNA, and then compare the samples with over 150 plague genomes representing a world wide distribution as well as from other points in time, both modern and ancient. By comparing and contrasting the samples, researchers determined the Marseille strain is a direct descendant of the Black Death that devastated Europe nearly 400 years earlier and not a divergent strain that came, like the previous pandemic strains Justinian and Black Death, from separate emergences originating in Asia. More extensive sampling of modern rodent populations, in addition to ancient human and rodent remains from various regions in Asia, the Caucasus and Europe, may yield additional clues about past ecological niches for plague. "There are many unresolved questions that need to be answered: why did the plague erupt in these devastating waves and then lay dormant? Did it linger in the soil or did it re-emerge in rats? And ultimately why did it suddenly disappear and never come back? Sadly, we don't have the answer to this yet," says Poinar. "Understanding the evolution of the plague will be critically important as antibiotic resistance becomes a greater threat, particularly since we treat modern-day plague with standard antibiotics. Without methods of treatment, easily treatable infections can become devastating again," he says. The research was published online today in the bioarchive bioRXIV, and is under review at the journal eLife. Explore further: Researchers reconstruct genome of the Black Death

Moroz E.,Cornell College | Moroz E.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Albrecht R.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Aden B.,Cornell College | And 6 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2016

Background: Influenza vaccination is recommended for vulnerable individuals, including active drug users, to prevent influenza complications and decrease influenza spread. Recent studies suggest that opioids negatively regulate immune responses in experimental models, but the extent to which opioid use will affect the humoral responses to influenza vaccine in humans is unknown. This information is critical in maximizing vaccination efforts. Objective: To determine whether there is a difference in antibody response after influenza vaccination in heroin or methadone users compared to control subjects. Methods: We studied active heroin users, subjects on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and subjects that did not use any drugs before and 1 and 4 weeks after vaccination with trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV). We measured hemagglutination inhibition and microneutralization titers, and we compared geometric mean titers (GMT), and rates of seroprotection and seroconversion for each of the vaccine strains among the 3 groups of subjects. Results: Heroin users, subjects on MMT and non-user controls mount a similarly robust serologic response to TIV. GMT and rates of seroprotection and seroconversion were not significantly different among groups. Conclusion: Our results suggest that opioid use do not significantly alter antibody responses to influenza vaccine supporting the vaccination effort in these populations. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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