New Virus Identified In Blood Supply
News Sep 25, 2015
Currently, it is unclear whether the virus is harmful or not, but it is related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegivirus (HPgV), the latter of which was formerly known as hepatitis G virus. The new virus, which researchers have named human hepegivirus-1 (HHpgV-1), is described in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
"HHpgV-1 is unique because it shares genetic similarity with both highly pathogenic HCV and the apparently non-pathogenic HPgV. People need to be aware of this new infection in humans," said lead author Amit Kapoor, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Center for Infection and Immunity, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City.
In the new study, researchers performed high-throughput sequencing on blood samples from 46 individuals in the Transfusion-Transmitted Viruses Study, collected between July 1974 and June 1980. They analyzed samples both pre- and post-transfusion and along with a variety of known viruses, they identified a new virus in two individuals. The virus was only present in post-transfusion samples, and additional tests showed that both patients were able to clear the virus. Genetic analysis determined that the virus was related to HCV and HPgV. Genomic testing of 70 additional individuals in the TTVS study failed to detect further cases of the virus.
The researchers also performed high-throughput sequencing on samples from 106 individuals in the Multicenter Hemophilia Cohort Study who received plasma-derived clotting factor concentrates. They identified the new virus in two individuals, one of whom had persistent long-term infection (5.4 years).
"We just don't know how many viruses are transmitted through the blood supply. There are so many viruses out there, and they need to be characterized in order to ensure that transfusions are safe," said Dr. Kapoor. He said the next steps are to determine the prevalence of the virus and whether it causes disease. If it causes disease, then screening the donor blood supply for the virus will be appropriate.
"Ultimately, once we know more about this, we will look for the presence of this virus in people with certain diseases," said Dr. Kapoor. "The unusually high infection prevalence of HCV, HBV, and HIV in hemophilia patients and other transfusion recipients could have been prevented by earlier identification of these viruses and development of accurate diagnostic assays."
"Genetic Jenga" Helps Understand How Our Genes Control Our CellsNews
To fully understand how our cells work, we can't focus on just one gene, but must instead look at combinations of genes. Researchers have published a study which knocked out multiple genes, like removing bricks from a Jenga tower, to better understand how they work together.READ MORE
Southeast Asian Nomads Have Evolved to Hunt Fish UnderwaterNews
The human spleen can release oxygenated blood cells to allow more time underwater without breathing. A new study has identified that the "Sea Nomad" Bajau people of Indonesia have evolved larger spleens that would allow them to remain underwater for longer.READ MORE
Gene Therapy Could End Transfusions for Blood Disorder PatientsNews
Beta-thalassemia patients need a regular dose of red blood cells transfused into their body. A new gene therapy that edits faulty genes in the patients' cells could end this monthly ritual.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
World Congress on Advanced Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Jun 20 - Jun 21, 2018