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Source: Thailand Medical News  Oct 25, 2019  3 years ago
Singaporean Researchers Discover 4 New Strains Of Adenovirus
Singaporean Researchers Discover 4 New Strains Of Adenovirus
Source: Thailand Medical News  Oct 25, 2019  3 years ago
Singaporean Researchers from the Duke-NUS Medical School conducted the first large-scale study to systematically identify adenovirus strains in Singapore and in doing so, have discovered four new strains and found an increase in two strains linked to severe diseases.



Human adenovirus infections in Singapore and Malaysia have caused severe respiratory disease among children and adults in recent years, but medical researchers did not know at that stage whether these outbreaks were caused by new or re-emerging virus strains.

Adenoviruses are a family of viruses with over 50 known strains that can infect people of all ages and most commonly infect the respiratory system. The common cold, sore throat and fever are among the symptoms brought about by different adenovirus strains. In some cases, adenoviruses can cause severe respiratory symptoms, including pneumonia, or more life-threatening conditions, like organ failure, in patients with weakened immune systems.

They mimic the flu virus but are not the same as flu virus and in children, elderly and those with immune compromised systems, when infected, the virus can be dangerous and even fatal.

Utilizing a genotyping algorithm to study human adenovirus (HAdV) infections among patients from two large public hospitals in Singapore, the researchers tested more than 500 clinical samples from pediatric and adult patients.

Dr Kristen Coleman Ph.D., from the Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School and lead author commented in a phone interview with Thailand  Medical New, "We detected four new HAdV strains closely related to a strain isolated from an infant in Beijing during an epidemic in 2012–2013"Our results also highlight an increase in HAdV types 4 and 7 among the pediatric population over time. Patients with weakened immune systems and those with HAdV types 2, 4 or 7 were more likely to experience severe disease.”

Dr. Gregory Gray, a professor in the EID Programme at Duke-NUS and member of the Duke Global Health Institute and a team member further commented, “The high prevalence and severity of HAdV type 4 infections identified in our study is intriguing.

Taking into considerations the study results, the authors suggest public health officials and clinicians in Singapore consider using antiviral therapies and adenovirus vaccines. They also recommend Singapore and other countries considering new HAdV treatment and control measures should conduct periodic and routine adenoviral genotype surveillance to collect the data needed to make informed, evidence-based decisions.

Dr. Gregory Gray further commented,"Upon its discovery in the 1950s, HAdV type 4 was largely considered restricted to and controlled by vaccine in the U.S. military population, with rare detections among civilians. Singapore would benefit from more frequent studies of clinical HAdV genotypes to identify patients at risk for severe disease   and help guide the use of new antiviral therapies."

Adenovirus infections have increased globally over the last few years and its becoming more virulent. Its accounts for almost 2 to 5 per cent of all respiratory problems globally. However not much attention in terms of studies etc have been paid to it. This new study after decades could pave the way for more attention and further research.
 
Reference: : Kristen K Coleman et al. Adenoviral Infections in Singapore: Should New Antiviral Therapies and Vaccines Be Adopted?, The Journal of Infectious Diseases (2019). DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiz489
 

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