Thursday 15 April 2010
New adenovirus spotted in Portugal
Genetic recombination leads to more pathogenic adenovirus, prompts warning for HIV vaccine research
A new strain of adenovirus capable of causing severe disease has emerged in Portugal, report medical scientists this month. The recombinant virus was behind an outbreak at a children’s nursery in Lisbon, which left two dead.
“Our data provide new evidence that recombination drives the generation of highly virulent human adenovirus strains with epidemic and lethal potential,” write Helena Rabelo-de-Andrade, of the Portuguese National Institute of Health in Lisbon, and colleagues.
Adenovirus infections are a common cause of respiratory illness. There are seven different ‘families’, or species of adenovirus, labelled A through to G. Those that belong to species B are divided into two subspecies, B1 and B2. At last count, more than 50 strains of adenovirus had been identified.
Medics suspected that adenovirus was to blame when they alerted Portuguese public health authorities to an outbreak of respiratory illness in 2004. Five children were admitted to hospital with viral pneumonia, and two of them later died from their illness, say Rabelo-de-Andrade and colleagues.
A group of scientists and health officials launched an epidemiological investigation into the outbreak, the results of which are published this month in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology...
...Reference and link
Rabelo-de-Andrade H, Pereira C, Gíria M, Prudêncio E, Brito MJ, Calé E, et al. Outbreak of acute respiratory infection among infants in Lisbon, Portugal, caused by human adenovirus serotype 3 and a new 7/3 recombinant strain. J Clin Microbiol 2010, 48:1391–6. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02019-09
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information about adenovirus infection