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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2010, Vol.199(1), pp.45-51
    Description: Coxsackie A16 (CA16) and Enterovirus 71 (EV71) are members of the picornaviridae family and are associated with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), in rare cases also to acute neurological diseases. HFMD outbreaks have been reported from many parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia. The objective of the study was to analyze CA16 and EV71 seroepidemiologically in the population of Frankfurt/M., Germany. A total of 696 individuals (349 males and 347 females, divided into seven different age groups, 1–4, 5–9, 10–14, 15–19, 20–39, 40–59 and 〉60 years) were tested for serum antibodies against CA16 and EV71 by the use of a microneutralization test. Sera were collected at the Frankfurt university hospital from patients suffering from other diseases between March and September 2006. CA16 and EV71 infections were observed to be widely present in the population. The age-adjusted seroprevalence for individuals ≥1 year was found to be 62.9% for CA16 and 42.8% for EV71 without a gender-specific significant difference. Only 12.0 and 27.0% of the children aged 1–4 had antibodies to EV71 and CA16, respectively – indicating that 88 and 73% of the children in this age group were susceptible to the infection. A total of 213 individuals (30.6%) was seropositive for both viruses, 303 (43.5%) showed neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) to at least one of the two viruses. A total of 180 individuals (25.9%) revealed no antibodies. High CA16 and EV71 antibody titers were found especially in the age group of the 10- to 14-year-olds, without gender-specific difference. The seroprevalence study demonstrates a common spread of CA16 and EV71 in Germany, but a relatively high susceptibility of the younger population to CA16 and EV71. Obviously, the manifestation rate, i.e., distinct disease of these infections is low.
    Keywords: Hand, foot and mouth disease ; Seroprevalence ; Coxsackie A16 ; Enterovirus 71 ; Neutralization assay
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2010, Vol.199(1), pp.53-60
    Description: Since the dynamics of transmission of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) have not been clarified yet, we assessed a possible change in HCMV seroprevalence in Frankfurt am Main, Germany during the past twenty years and tried to detect variables with an impact on epidemiology. Between 1/1/1988 and 10/15/2008, a total of 54443 serum samples were collected for routine diagnostics and analyzed using Enzygnost Anti HCMV-IgG enzyme immunoassay (Siemens/Dade Behring, Marburg, Germany). Two decades, 1/1/1988–12/31/1997 and 1/1/1998–10/15/2008, and several groups (type of health insurance, gender, age, HIV-status) were evaluated to assess changes in seroprevalence. Regarding both decades, the overall age-adjusted prevalence of HIV-negative patients dropped from 63.70% (confidence interval (CI) 95% 63.15–64.25) to 57.25% (CI 95% 56.57–57.93; P  〈 0.0001). Private health insurance (PHI) patients showed significant lower HCMV seroprevalences than members of obligatory health insurances (OHI) in both decades (1988–1997: PHI = 55.79%, OHI = 64.27%; P  〈 0.0001; 1998–1908: PHI = 47.02%, OHI = 58.74%; P  〈 0.0001). Furthermore, comparing the two decades, there was generally a gender-specific statistically significant decrease in HCMV seroprevalence for males (63.54–55.54%) and females (63.83–58.73%) as well as for members of PHI and OHI (PHI males: 57.59% to 47.19%, PHI females 54.10–46.80%; OHI males: 64.00–57.06%, OHI females 64.50–60.11%). Also, while female HIV-positive patients showed significant difference in HCMV seroprevalence between the two decades (83.17 and 87.80%, P  = 0.023), there was no significant difference in male patients with HIV (88.76 and 87.32% in the first and second decade, respectively ( P  = 0.196). The cumulative HCMV prevalence of all HIV-negative patients tested in the past 20 years demonstrates a biphasic, age-related rise of HCMV seroprevalence throughout all age-groups. The seroprevalence of HCMV has declined between 1988–1997 and 1998–2008 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The decline varied between different age-groups. HCMV prevalence correlates with the type of health insurance, gender, age, and HIV-status.
    Keywords: Cytomegalovirus ; Seroepidemiology ; HCMV ; Germany ; Prevalence
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(3), pp.151-155
    Description: Measles virus infection as well as measles vaccination induces a long-lasting immune protection. Specific antibodies have been proven to be associated with this immune protection, since measles immunity can be transferred by immune globulin application (passive immunisation). The neutralisation test (NT) is regarded as the gold standard method for measles immunity because it measures functional neutralising antibody, while with the ELISA, which is often based on cell culture grown native virus antigens, predominantly antibodies to the nucleoprotein antigen were detected. To compare the results of NT and ELISA 199 individual sera and 364 gamma globulin samples, which were made from plasma pools, were tested. Qualitative results showed that the sensitivity of the ELISA was 141/144 (97.9%) and specificity was 48/55 (87.3%) when compared to the NT and focused to the patient samples. For the gamma globulin samples the sensitivity and specificity was 100%. As expected no measles NT negative plasma pool samples were found. The present study showed that with increasing NT-titre, the ELISA-values also rise. False negative ELISA results were obtained in 1.5% of patient sera, mainly containing low levels of neutralising antibody. In both antibody tests seropositive specimens revealed a quite good to moderate correlation. Taken together, the measles IgG ELISA is adequately for immunity testing and identifying of seronegative individuals for vaccination.
    Keywords: Measles virus ; Immunity ; Neutralisation test ; ELISA antibody titres ; Gamma globulin preparations
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(3), pp.145-150
    Description: In the course of clinical training medical students are in particular exposed to infectious diseases. Therefore, the present study was performed to investigate the immunity status of 223 medical students in their first clinical semester to job-related diseases. Specific serological antibody testing of hepatitis B-virus (HBV), hepatitis C-virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), varicella zoster- (VZV), measles-, mumps-, rubella and polioviruses’ type 1, 2 and 3 were performed. The results yielded, that 69.5% of the students had an anti-HBs-level ≥10 IU/l and 54.7% ≥100 IU/l. Neither HCV infection nor HIV infection were found, but one student showed an active HBV infection. Virus specific immunity rates were found in 91.5% for measles, 80.3% for mumps, 90.1% for rubella and 96.9% for varicella. Furthermore the medical students demonstrated neutralizing antibodies to polioviruses: 95.1% (type 1), 96.9% (type 2) and 70% (type 3). 68.2% had antibodies (titer 1:≥10) against all three virus types. The partly significant gaps of immunity in the students need to be closed prior to the first contact with patients.
    Keywords: Virus serology ; Vaccination ; Medical students ; Immune status
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2001, Vol.190(3), pp.129-134
    Description: In the present study we evaluated the performance of the new LCx HIV RNA quantitative kit (Abbott Laboratories, Delkenheim, Germany) for the quantitative detection of HIV-1 RNA in human plasma in comparison to the Cobas Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor assay (Roche Diagnostics, Branchburg, N.J.), including samples containing a variety of HIV-1 subtypes. LCx and Cobas were compared using archived EDTA plasma samples collected from HIV-infected patients. Considering the lower limit of the linear range of 50 copies/ml, the detection rate of the LCx was 139 out of 174 (79.9%) versus 131 out of 174 (75.3%) of the Cobas. Overall agreement was 95.4% (166/174) at a cut-off of 50 copies. LCx and Cobas results on clinical samples were found linearly associated ( r 2 =0.900) and strongly correlated ( r =0.949). The mean viral load in the 174 frozen patient samples was 3.25 log 10 copies/ml by LCx compared to 2.71 log 10 copies/ml by Cobas. Considering only samples with a viral load ≥50 copies/ml, the average difference was –0.132 log copy/ml. Using a panel consisting of 9 plasma samples spiked with 9 different HIV-1 cultured isolates (A-H, and O) LCx detected the 9 subtypes with a high degree of precision, i.e., 9–33% coefficient of variation. As expected, the Cobas failed to detect the group O isolates. The results of the remaining samples showed a higher degree of variation (when testing four replicates of the subtype panel) than the LCx of 14.2–40.3%. Nevertheless, the results were comparable with the LCx data.
    Keywords: Quantitative Viral load HIV subtype LCx
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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