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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, July 2008, Vol.51(2), pp.96-100
    Description: Background: Dengue fever (DF), one of the main emerging virus diseases, also increases in German travellers, due to the increasing number of travellers to tropical regions. Methods: We determined antibodies against DF virus in a group (n = 149) of long-distance travellers in order to evaluate the risk of acquiring DF. Serum samples were collected at the travel vaccination centre in Frankfurt/Main and DF seroprevalence in serum samples was determined using different antibody assays with particular attention to flavivirus cross-reactivity. So, antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis and previous flavivirus vaccination of the travellers were checked. Results: Depending on the test system, 8.7–19.5% of the screened travellers were found to be DF virus IgG antibody positive, significantly more than in previous investigations. Remarkably, younger adults and women are more often affected. Conclusions: These data imply that the risk for travellers to acquire DF has been underestimated. Nevertheless, dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome are still rare in travellers, but those with a history of dengue should be advised to protect themselves well from mosquitoes when travelling to endemic areas.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; Travel Medicine ; Dengue Fever Virus ; Seroprevalence ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, February 1998, Vol.41(1), pp.24-34
    Description: SummaryQuantitative determination of viral load using nucleic acid amplification techniques represents the most accurate prognostic marker for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, independently of CD4+ cell count. Overall, the different methods for HIV-1 RNA determination (RT-PCR, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, branched DNA) show a good reproducibility (0.5 log), however for low copy numbers and in HIV-1-infected children the variability may exceed 0.7 log. In non-HIV-1 subtype B infections the copy number is underestimated. While serology permits an accurate follow-up of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, HBV DNA quantification is used for monitoring of antiviral therapy, determination of infectiosity and in combination with serological markers for the resolution of unusual profiles, i.e. isolated anti-HBc reactivity. The prognostic relevance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA determination is of limited value for the long-term prognosis of chronic hepatitis C, however the viral load may predict the outcome of antiviral therapy. Genetic diversity represents a challenge for HCV RNA quantification.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; Nucleic Acid Sequence-Basedamplification ; Branched DNA ; Genetic Variability ; Antiviral Therapy Monitoring ; Prognostic Marker ; Polymerase Chain Reaction ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, August 2000, Vol.43(2), pp.71-76
    Description: Although isolated antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) is frequently nonspecific or may be the only serological marker of past self-limiting hepatitis B, where antibodies against the surface antigen have disappeared, isolated anti-HBc seropositivity is frequently associated with chronic hepatitis B in HIV- and HCV-infected individuals. Of 5,520 samples that tested positive for anti-HBc (IMx and AxSYM CORE, Abbott, Delkenheim, Germany) at the Institute of Virology, University Clinic Frankfurt during the time interval from January 1994 to February 1996, 643 (11.6%) were isolated anti-HBc-reactive in the IMx and AxSYM CORE assays (inhibition values 〉90%). There was a statistically significant association between isolated anti-HBc seropositivity and HCV and HIV/HCV coinfection (p 〈 0.05). A total of 190 samples were available for further testing. Six (3.2%) of 190 isolated anti-HBc-positive samples were considered false-positive since they were only positive in the AxSYM or IMx CORE assay and a linear decrease of the measured signal could not be observed in dilution series. Of 184 serum samples tested with nested PCR using primers of the S genome region, only 6 (3.3%) were HBV DNA-positive. Anti-HBc-IgM antibody could be detected in 3 (1.6 %) of the tested samples using the IMx CORE-M. With the more sensitive VIDAS HBc IgM specific IgM antibody was detected in 15 (8.5%) of 177 samples at concentrations ranging from 10 to 〉200 Paul Ehrlich Institute U/ml. HIV or HCV coinfection was present in 28.1% and 37.5% of isolated anti-HBc-positive individuals, respectively. We conclude from our observations that only a limited proportion of anti-HBc-isolated individuals are potentially infectious, however anti-HBc-IgM which is detectable in any form of liver disease associated with HBV infection was present in more than 8% of the individuals. Of isolated anti-HBc-positive sera 37% were positive for anti-HCV, suggesting that anti-HCV antibody testing should be performed in isolated anti-HBc-positive individuals.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; HIV ; Hbv ; Pcr ; Viral Load ; Anti-Hbc ; Anti-Hbc-Igm ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, June 1998, Vol.41(2-3), pp.55-62
    Description: SummaryA variable rate of false-positive results may be observed with commercial enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for the detection of rotavirus and adenovirus antigen in stool specimens, depending on the quality of the reagents and the presence of potentially interfering substances in stool samples. The present study was performed in an attempt to improve the specificity of current commercial rotavirus and adenovirus EIAs without significant loss of sensitivity by optimizing the cut-off value. A collective of 174 stool samples obtained from children suffering from acute gastroenteritis was tested. Electron microscopy (EM) and PAGE were used as reference methods for rotavirus detection. For the evaluation of the adenovirus kits, virus isolation in cell culture and the polymerase chain reaction served as reference standards. The highest sensitivity for rotavirus and adenovirus detection was achieved by the Ridascreen® Rotavirus and Ridascreen® Adenovirus. However, the Ridascreen® Rotavirus and Ridascreen® Adenovirus produced the highest number of false-positive results (n = 9) for each rotavirus and adenovirus detection. Cross-reactivities to coronaviruses and reoviruses were observed with the rotavirus antigen EIAs. For Rotazyme II, Ridascreen Rotavirus and Ridascreen Adenovirus, the specificity could be markedly increased without loss of sensitivity by doubling the cut-off value. For the alternative immunoassays, which were overall more specific, it was not possible to significantly decrease the rate of false-positive results without impairment of sensitivity by raising the cut-off value. In conclusion, at least for some rotavirus and adenovirus antigen EIAs, the cut-off value set by the manufacturer may not permit an optimal differentiation between true-positive and -negative samples. By raising the cut-off value from 50 to 100%, the specificity of two rotavirus antigen and one adenovirus antigen EIA can be improved markedly without significant loss of sensitivity.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; Reovirus ; Coronavirus ; Electron Microscopy ; Page ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, 1997, Vol.40(4), pp.263-270
    Description: The serum levels of the β-chemokine RANTES and, albeit less, MIP-1β were found to be increased in 37 HIV-1 infected compared to seronegative individuals. In contrast the serum levels of IL-16 were only sporadically elevated in seropositives as well as in seronegatives. Concomitantly, the RANTES gene expression increased about tenfold in seropositives, whereas the MIP-1β and IL-16 mRNA levels were not elevated. No correlation between the increase of the MlP-1β and RANTES serum concentrations and the plasma virus load, the number of the peripheral CD4+ T cells or the therapy status of the patients was found. However, the increased proportion of activated CD8+CD38+ T cells in the peripheral blood of all seropositives paralleled the increased RANTES serum levels detected indicating that immune activation in HIV-1-infected individuals may contribute to increased RANTES serum levels.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; Activation ; Chemokines ; Il-16 ; CDA ; Cd8 ; Cd38 ; Cellular Factors/Cytokines ; Disease Progression ; Anti-Viral Therapy ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Intervirology, May 1999, Vol.41(6), pp.272-277
    Description: SummaryThis survey summarises the observations of physicians who prospectively recorded clinically relevant data on their patients with an episode of herpes zoster. These included demography of patients, signs and symptoms during the prodromal phase, relevant history, description of disease at the first visit, therapeutic measures and description of disease, and occurrence of postherpetic neuralgia (pain 4–5 weeks after crusting) at the second visit. A total of 2,063 patients were reported to the data management centre. The age distribution resembles that reported in the literature including the notable increase in zoster frequency with advancing age. Almost 20% of the patients, however, were 30 years old or less, and this contrasts markedly with the published literature. Age modifies the frequency of the dermatome afflicited: more cranial and less thoracic manifestations were observed with increasing age. Almost all patients reported symptoms which may be attributed to a prodromal phase, especially pain in the affected dermatome (82%). The incidence of postherpetic neuralgia was 28%. A complicated disease course such as visceral, ocular, or otological involvement, or progression to additional dermatomes was seen in almost 10% of the patients.
    Keywords: Original Paper ; Herpes Zoster ; Epidemiology ; Symptomatology ; Demography ; Prodromal Phase ; Complications ; Survey ; Biology
    ISSN: 0300-5526
    E-ISSN: 1423-0100
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