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Recently discovered virus associated with pediatric respiratory tract infection in Germany
Date:11/20/2007

November 20, 2007Using a rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive diagnostic tool called MassTag PCR, scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Healths Center for Infection and Immunity implicated a new human rhinovirus as the cause of severe pediatric respiratory tract infections in Europe. Their findings are published in the December 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases (currently available online).

The research team used MassTag PCR to investigate 97 samples, collected over a three-year period, from children with hospital-admitted, acute respiratory illness wherein no pathogen was identified through routine laboratory testing. Human rhinoviruses were the most frequent viruses detected in the sample set representing 75% of the identified viruses.

Human rhinoviruses are frequent causes of respiratory illness worldwide. Although they are most commonly associated with self-limited upper respiratory tract disease, lower respiratory tract infections related to HRV are being increasingly reported in infants, elderly persons, and immunocompromised patients. HRVs are also implicated in exacerbations of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and acute bronchiolitis.

Acute respiratory infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. Accurate identification of causative agents is critical to case management and to prioritization in vaccine development, stated W. Ian Lipkin, MD, professor of Epidemiology, Neurology, and Pathology at Columbia University, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author of the paper.

In up to 50% of cases of severe respiratory disease, a causative agent is not identified, despite the application of PCR assays as well as classical diagnostic methods including culture, antigen tests, and serology. Broad-range molecular systems pioneered by this team including MassTag PCR, GreeneChips and high throughpu
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Contact: Randee Sacks Levine
rs363@columbia.edu
212-305-8044
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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