Navigation Links
Researchers develop new testing methods for potential monkeypox or smallpox outbreak

Researchers at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) at Oregon Health & Science University have developed new diagnostic methods to better detect future monkeypox or smallpox outbreaks. The research also sheds new light on the 2003 monkeypox outbreak in the Midwest -- monkeypox is closely related to smallpox. This new information suggests that the 2003 outbreak was larger than the 72 cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The research was released online this week by the medical journal Nature Medicine. The study will also appear in the September 2005 print edition of the journal.

"The 2003 outbreak of monkeypox provided some incredibly valuable information about the country's level of preparedness for an infectious disease outbreak that is either naturally occurring or an act of terrorism," said Mark Slifka, Ph.D., lead author and an assistant scientist at the VGTI, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine and an assistant scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. "Our research demonstrates that the limitations of currently used technology likely allowed monkeypox cases to slip through the system. This problem was further exacerbated by the two-week delay that occurred during the diagnosis of the first monkeypox cases. If the 2003 outbreak had been smallpox instead of monkeypox, the situation could have been much worse because secondary spread of the virus to other victims would likely have occurred before the outbreak was recognized."

To conduct this research, Slifka and colleagues traveled to Wisconsin to test those who had been exposed to monkeypox in 2003. Although 72 potential cases were reported at that time, only about half of the cases have been officially confirmed. Directly following the outbreak, the CDC released a report that focused on 11 of the 72 cases. Of those 11, six cases were confirmed and the remaining five cases rem ained unconfirmed, until now.

The test the CDC uses to confirm monkeypox cases requires that the virus be directly identified in blood or tissue samples. Because monkeypox virus is eventually cleared by the body, the evidence is quickly wiped out, resulting in a high percentage of unconfirmed cases due to the limited window of opportunity for diagnosis. In comparison, OHSU's research team tested samples using a variety of methods. One such test, called the ELISA test, resulted in very accurate results (95 percent sensitivity, 90 percent specificity.) This high level of accuracy allowed Slifka and colleagues to correctly diagnose previously confirmed cases as well as confirm several probable,suspect cases of monkeypox that had remained unconfirmed for the last two years. Most importantly, Slifka's lab identified and confirmed three new cases of monkeypox that had previously gone undetected by the CDC.

The ELISA test is based on a Slifka lab research finding that specific genes found in the monkeypox virus are recognized by antibodies produced by the human immune system. By testing for this unique immune response, which remains detectable for years, researchers can accurately determine if the patient has been infected with the virus.

"While this research primarily focused on monkeypox, this same technology could also be used to better detect a smallpox outbreak," said Slifka. "This is an active area of further investigation."

The test even works in cases where infection may not be obvious. For instance, three of eight subjects who had previous smallpox vaccinations failed to show any outward signs of viral infection and had no noticeable disease symptoms. The researchers found this particularly interesting because this virulent strain of monkeypox virus resulted in numerous hospitalizations. In one case that has been previously reported, a child remained in a coma for 12 days.

Due to similarities between the monkeypox and smallp ox viruses, the smallpox vaccine likely kept these inoculated people from becoming seriously ill. The researchers believe these people were fully protected against monkeypox because smallpox vaccination can provide cross-protective immunity against this virus.

"In our study, we found one subject who had fully protective immunity that was maintained for 48 years after a single smallpox vaccination," said Slifka. "In a previous study, we predicted that about 50 percent of previously vaccinated people would maintain fully protective immunity against virulent poxvirus infections, and these findings are totally in line with what we expected. What this means is that there are more than 100 million people in the U.S. that have partial or even fully protective immunity that is maintained after childhood vaccinations -- an important point to consider if we were ever to be deliberately attacked with smallpox or other dangerous poxviruses as weapons of bioterrorism".


'"/>

Source:Oregon Health & Science University


Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
5. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
6. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
10. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
11. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum ... , the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced ... of remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. ... raising $2.0 million from private investors. ... based on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ... CeBIT in Hanover next week.   --> ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its ... San Diego to help identify certain ... States . The test, designed to help determine the ... pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder ... several positive developments that position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific ... Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s New ... San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, research ... the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Bethesda, Md. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... a request for information (RFI) issued by the Office of the National Coordinator ... the patient experience, and determines if clinically relevant data were available when and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling ... her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of ... board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: