Eastern equine encephalitis

A second person in Massachusetts has died after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis
By Jen Christensen and Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN
September 20, 2019

Mosquito-borne virus victim went brain-dead in 9 days


Zoonotic spillover from mammals

Host and viral traits predict zoonotic spillover from mammals
Kevin J. Olival, et al.
Nature 546, 646–650 (29 June 2017)
bats harbour a significantly higher proportion of zoonotic viruses than all other mammalian orders

Spillover Beasts: Which Animals Pose The Biggest Viral Risk?
June 21, 2017

“We expect there are hundreds of thousands of mammalian viruses out there,” says Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist at EcoHealth Alliance, who led the study.

Zika virus’ risk to …: It’s deja vu

Lessons From Rubella Suggest Zika’s Impact Could Linger
March 23, 2016

As researchers try to figure out how much risk Zika virus poses to a fetus, Plotkin says it’s deja vu for folks who lived through that extensive rubella outbreak.

“It enabled the virologists, among them myself, to describe in detail what the virus was doing and to show beyond any doubt that the virus was infecting the fetus and causing the abnormalities,” says Plotkin.

rubella also pushed the federal government to create new programs for special education.

Metagenomics: crAssphage

A highly abundant bacteriophage discovered in the unknown sequences of human faecal metagenomes
Bas E. Dutilh, et al.
Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4498 Published  24 July 2014

Metagenomics, or sequencing of the genetic material from a complete microbial community, is a promising tool to discover novel microbes and viruses.
Viral metagenomes typically contain many unknown sequences.

Here we describe the discovery of a previously unidentified bacteriophage present in the majority of published human faecal metagenomes, which we refer to as crAssphage.
Its ~97 kbp genome is six times more abundant in publicly available metagenomes than all other known phages together; it comprises up to 90% and 22% of all reads in virus-like particle (VLP)-derived metagenomes and total community metagenomes, respectively; and it totals 1.68% of all human faecal metagenomic sequencing reads in the public databases.
The majority of crAssphage-encoded proteins match no known sequences in the database, which is why it was not detected before.
Using a new co-occurrence profiling approach, we predict a Bacteroides host for this phage, consistent with Bacteroides-related protein homologues and a unique carbohydrate-binding domain encoded in the phage genome.

Subject terms: Biological sciences


Zoster Sine Herpete

Herpesvirus infections of the nervous system
Donald H Gilden, et al.
Nature Clinical Practice Neurology (2007) 3, 82-94

VZV-associated viremia and lymphotropism have been documented during varicella, herpes zoster, PHN and zoster sine herpete, and even in normal healthy adults.

The detection of VZV DNA [40, 41] and VZV-specific proteins42 in blood MNCs of some patients with PHN and zoster sine herpete, [43, 44, 45] as well as in tissue of patients with chronic VZV ganglionitis, [46] might reflect low-level productive infection in ganglia—a hypothesis that is supported by favorable clinical responses in some PHN patients treated with antiviral agents. [47, 48]

After varicella, the varicella zoster virus (VZV) becomes latent in ganglia along the entire neuraxis; its reactivation can lead to herpes zoster, vasculopathy, myelitis, necrotizing retinitis or zoster sine herpete

see also:
Zoster sine herpete
It would be rash to ignore it
Neurology February 1, 2011   vol. 76  no. 5  416-417

6. Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection
Donald H. Gilden
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
2003. pp 10

A case of neuropathic brachioradial pruritus caused by cervical disc herniation http://www.nature.com/nrneurol/journal/v4/n6/full/ncpneuro0807.html

Molecular mechanisms of varicella zoster virus pathogenesis
Nature Reviews Microbiology 12, 197–210 (2014)

Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus

Stephen Crohn, a New York artist and editor, carried a genetic mutation that protected him against HIV.

In Life, Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus
September 21, 2013

Scientists ultimately figured out that one of those receptors on Stephen Crohn’s cells was shortened and not accessible to the virus. Without the receptor, HIV could’t infect his cells.

This genetic change is called the delta 32 mutation.
Its discovery has helped researchers develop the anti-viral drug maraviroc and devise the first experimental strategy for curing HIV.

Stephen Crohn’s death was tragic. It was a suicide. And his sister has said that he may have been overwhelmed by survivor’s guilt.

It is very traumatic.
I think he told me once that he had lost 80 or 90 good friends.
Week after week, you’re going to memorials, you’re going to funerals.
That’s just daunting. That’s a daunting task.

see also:
A human ‘knockout’ confers resistance to HIV infection
Chemokine receptors: multifaceted therapeutic targets
Nature Reviews Immunology 2, 106-115 (February 2002)


The annual tab for Truvada ranges from about $11,000 to $14,000.

Emergence of H7N9 avian flu hints at broader threat

Samples taken from ducks in Chinese poultry markets revealed the presence of H7 influenza viruses.

Emergence of H7N9 avian flu hints at broader threat
21 August 2013

The H7N9 influenza virus did not emerge alone.
Researchers have traced the evolution of the deadly avian flu currently spreading in China, and have found evidence that it developed in parallel with a similar bird flu, H7N7, which can infect mammals.

… H7 avian viruses are constantly mixing and exchanging genetic material — a process known as reassortment — in Asian poultry markets. This raises the threat that H7N7 will reassort and become able to spread to humans.

Dolphin Deaths Alarm Scientists

Morbillivirus virion

Dolphin Deaths Alarm Scientists
August 17, 2013

… we do have some potential suspects. One of those is the morbillivirus and that was the causative agent, we feel, in the 1987 event. And that has been found in some of the animals to date.

Morbilli is a group or family of viruses and it includes things such as measles and distemper.

see also:


The structure and natural reservoirs of HeV.

The structure and natural reservoirs of Hendra virus (HeV).

Receptor-binding domains of spike proteins of emerging or re-emerging viruses as targets for development of antiviral vaccines
Shibo Jiang, et al.

A number of emerging and re-emerging viruses have caused epidemics or pandemics of infectious diseases leading to major devastations throughout human history.
Therefore, developing effective and safe vaccines against these viruses is clearly important for the protection of at-risk populations.
Our previous studies have shown that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a key target for the development of SARS vaccines.