Navigation Links
New Genetic Technology IDs Virus That Killed Transplant Recipients
Date:2/6/2008

Could be used to help against many illnesses that evade diagnosis, experts say

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new genetic-sequencing technology has enabled the fastest-ever identification of a deadly virus, one that killed three transplant patients, researchers report.

The technique could be used to help against many common illnesses that now evade diagnosis, experts said.

"It is now possible to use this method, which is rapid and comprehensive, to find new pathogens in staggering time," said study senior author Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The virus struck three Australian women who received transplants from one donor -- two kidneys and a liver. All three began to run a high fever and died four to six weeks after the transplants. Researchers in Australia and the United States then used the new technology on samples of RNA, the genetic material used by viruses, taken from the three women.

More than 103,000 RNA sequences were analyzed by the new technology. Fourteen of them were found to be identical with that genetic material of an infectious agent called an arenavirus. Antibodies against that virus were then found in the bodies of the three women.

The study findings were released online Wednesday a month ahead of print in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The genetic-sequencing technology was developed by 454 Life Sciences, a Branford, Conn.-based biotechnology company that was recently bought by Roche Pharmaceuticals. Its speed has been demonstrated before, in more basic scientific work, said Brendon Hill, a spokesman for the company.

The Human Genome Project, the first effort to sequence the entire genetic material in human beings, took years and cost about $2.5 billion, Hill said. The new technology got the complete genetic sequence of James Watson, one of the discoverers of the common genetic material DNA, in less than a month for less than $1 million, he said. The technique has also been used to get a complete genetic sequence of Neanderthal man, he added.

In the case of the transplant infections, the technique compared the sequences of genetic material obtained from the infected women with a huge number of viral sequences until a match was found.

"That use is not just limited to transplants," Lipkin said. "If there is any unexpected outbreak, we can take this particular technique and use it to survey the entire tree of life."

A previous transplant mystery, in which seven U.S. recipients died in 2003 and 2005, was eventually solved with identification of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), which is carried by hamsters and other rodents. The newly identified arenavirus is related to LCMV.

The previous identification "took hundreds of scientists across the world and weeks of work," Lipkin said. "With a technique like this, you can come to a diagnosis in a very few days."

The technology could be used to help solve an ongoing mystery that's being tackled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Unexplained Encephalitis Project, according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. Richard J. Whitley of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

About 40 percent of Americans who have probable infections of the central nervous system never receive a diagnosis that establishes the cause of their illness, Whitley said. The same is true of up to 40 percent of the respiratory infections that kill about two million people worldwide each year, he said.

"This new application of metagenomic pyrosequencing may well aid in the identification of unknown microbial agents that cause human disease," Whitley wrote.

"The real story is the coming-of-age of a sophisticated, highly sensitive mass screening type of molecular diagnosis," added Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "It can be used not only for such things as this isolated mystery of a cluster of infections but also to search for a microbe in an infection in which one has not been detected."

More information

An explanation of genetic sequencing is provided by the Human Genome Project.



SOURCES: W. Ian Likpin, M.D., professor of epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City; Brendon Hill, spokesman, 454 Life Sciences, Branford, Conn.; Anthony Fauci, M.D., director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; March. 6, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. American Academy of Dermatology Research Confirms Genetic Skin Barrier Defect Linked to Eczema
2. Genetics Researcher at Childrens Hospital Selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
3. Genetics researcher at Childrens Hospital selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
4. Medifacts Systems, Inc. Grants Exclusive License for Genetic Test Patent to Mayo Clinic
5. Morphine dependency blocked by single genetic change
6. Study finds genetic link to human herpes susceptibility
7. Interleukin Genetics, Inc. Management to Present at Healthcare Conferences
8. Next Generation of Parents More Likely to Back Genetic Testing
9. Mental and physical exercise delays dementia in fatal genetic disease
10. Genetic difference predicts antidepressant response
11. Genetics May Determine Antidepressants Effectiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Genetic Technology IDs Virus That Killed Transplant Recipients 
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... An intensive search of the medical literature has ... Norins, MD, PhD. He says investigating this possibility, is important because Miami-Dade ... in new infections with HIV. , His findings appear on Analizir.com. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... MA San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... and ISO certified medical imaging core lab with extensive therapeutic experience and operational ... a multi-year phase II immuno-oncology clinical trial for the treatment of non-small cell ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... The Jim ... regional families and business owners, is joining the Teen Recovery Solutions organization in ... area. , A growing number of Oklahoma teens and adolescents face problems from ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... College basketball surges to its peak during the March ... that is, recruiting people to be foster parents. Through a televised spot, Coach Self ... foster care due to abuse, neglect and other family challenges. People who respond to ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... ... Nearly a decade after it was first recommended that men over the ... to stir controversy. The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a recommendation against ... news from a study published in JAMA Oncology suggests that more men ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. , March 22, 2017  Applied ... mechanistic modeling to drug research and development, today ... Day 2017.  QSP Day 2017 is a day ... the quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) community. The focus ... modeling is de-risking and accelerating drug research and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017 Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... the acquisition of Cynosure, Inc., a leader in medical ... cash. "We are pleased to complete our ... Michael Davin and the entire Cynosure team ... growing medical aesthetics market," said Steve MacMillan , ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... YORK , March 22, 2017 ... (EP) market is growing rapidly due to the significant ... report published by Allied Market Research, the global electrophysiology ... expected to reach $8.271 billion by 2022, with a ... and is used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: