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Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Date:11/16/2010

f negative results are accurate). By comparison, the conventional alternative, culture, is nearly 100 percent specific, but only 70 percent sensitive.

Influenza virus infects millions annually. It is typically associated with infections of the upper respiratory tract and can cause mild to severe illness. RSV can cause severe symptoms in infants, young children, and immunocompromised individuals, and is the leading cause of hospitalization of children under five years of age. In the most vulnerable individuals, children less than six months old, people with chronic lung disease, and immunocompromised individuals, RSV can migrate from the initial site of infection in the upper airway to the smaller bronchioles of the lower airway, where it can cause life-threatening bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

(P. J. Jannetto, B.W. Buchan, K. A. Vaughan, J. S. Ledford, D. K. Anderson, D. C. Henley, N. B. Quigley, N. A. Ledeboer. 2010. Real-Time Detection of Influenza A, Influenza B, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus A and B in Respiratory Specimens by Use of Nanoparticle Probes. Journal of Clinical Microbiology; 48.11: 3997-4002.)


Upending Conventional Wisdom, Certain Virus Families are Ancient

Certain families of single-stranded DNA virus are more than 40 to 50 million years old, according to investigators from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. The investigators found remnants of circoviruses and parvoviruses in the genomes of diverse vertebrates from fishes to birds and mammals that had been integrated into their genomes at different times from the recent past to more than 50 million years ago. The research upends the conventional wisdom that most virus families are of very recent origin, and is published in the December Journal of Virology.

"Until recently, age estimates for all viruses except retroviruses were in the thousands of years, and n
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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