Transmission of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas was first confirmed in May 2015 in northeast Brazil1. Brazil has had the highest number of reported ZIKV cases worldwide (more than 200,000 by 24 December 20162) and the most cases associated with microcephaly and other birth defects (2,366 confirmed by 31 December 20162). Since the initial detection of ZIKV in Brazil, more than 45 countries in the Americas have reported local ZIKV transmission, with 24 of these reporting severe ZIKV-associated disease3. However, the origin and epidemic history of ZIKV in Brazil and the Americas remain poorly understood, despite the value of this information for interpreting observed trends in reported microcephaly. Here we address this issue by generating 54 complete or partial ZIKV genomes, mostly from Brazil, and reporting data generated by a mobile genomics laboratory that travelled across northeast Brazil in 2016. One sequence represents the earliest confirmed ZIKV infection in Brazil. Analyses of viral genomes with ecological and epidemiological data yield an estimate that ZIKV was present in northeast Brazil by February 2014 and is likely to have disseminated from there, nationally and internationally, before the first detection of ZIKV in the Americas. Estimated dates for the international spread of ZIKV from Brazil indicate the duration of pre-detection cryptic transmission in recipient regions. The role of northeast Brazil in the establishment of ZIKV in the Americas is further supported by geographic analysis of ZIKV transmission potential and by estimates of the basic reproduction number of the virus.
The association between coronaviruses and central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating lesions has been previously shown. However, no case has been described of an association between the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) and CNS demyelinating disease so far. SARS-COV-2 was previously detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample of a patient with encephalitis. However, the virus identity was not confirmed by deep sequencing of SARS-COV-2 detected in the CSF. Here, we report a case of a patient with mild respiratory symptoms and neurological manifestations compatible with clinically isolated syndrome. The viral genome of SARS-COV-2 was detected and sequenced in CSF with 99.74-100% similarity between the patient virus and worldwide sequences. This report suggests a possible association of SARS-COV-2 infection with neurological symptoms of demyelinating disease, even in the absence of relevant upper respiratory tract infection signs.
We detected Zika virus in breast milk of a woman in Brazil infected with the virus during the 36th week of pregnancy. Virus was detected 33 days after onset of signs and symptoms and 9 days after delivery. No abnormalities were found during fetal assessment or after birth of the infant.
The COVID-19 (caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)) epidemic started in Wuhan (Hubei Province, China) in mid-December 2019 and quickly spread across the world as a pandemic. As a key to tracing the disease and to implement strategies aimed at breaking the chain of disease transmission, extensive testing for SARS-CoV-2 was suggested. Although nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs are the most commonly used biological samples for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, they have a number of limitations related to sample collection and healthcare personnel safety. In this context, saliva is emerging as a promising alternative to nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 diagnosis and monitoring. Saliva collection, being a non-invasive approach with possibility for self-collection, circumvents to a great extent the limitations associated with the use of nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs. In addition, various salivary biomarkers including the salivary metabolomics offer a high promise to be useful for better understanding of COVID-19 and possibly in the identification of patients with various degrees of severity, including asymptomatic carriers. This review summarises the clinical and scientific basis for the potential use of saliva for COVID-19 diagnosis and disease monitoring. Additionally, we discuss saliva-based biomarkers and their potential clinical and research applications related to COVID-19.
: SARS-CoV-2 quickly spreads in the worldwide population, imposing social restrictions to control the infection, being the massive testing another essential strategy to break the chain of transmission.
: To compare the performance of at-home self-collected samples – saliva and combined nasal-oropharyngeal swabs (NOP) – for SARS-CoV-2 detection in a telemedicine platform for COVID-19 surveillance.
Material and methods
: We analyzed 201 patients who met the criteria of suspected COVID-19. NOP sampling was combined (nostrils and oropharynx) and saliva collected using a cotton pad device. Detection of SARS-COV-2 was performed by using the Altona RealStar® SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Kit 1.0.
Results: There was an overall significant agreement (κ coefficient value of 0.58) between saliva and NOP. Considering results in either sample, 70 patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 were identified, with 52/70 being positive in NOP and 55/70 in saliva. This corresponds to sensitivities of 74.2% (95% CI; 63.7% to 83.1%) for NOP and 78.6% (95% CI; 67.6% to 86.6%) for saliva.
: Our data show the feasibility of using at-home self-collected samples (especially saliva), as an adequate alternative for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This new approach of testing can be useful to develop strategies for COVID-19 surveillance and for guiding public health decisions.
SUMMARYThe objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors associated with HCV infection in a group of HIV seropositive patients. We analyzed the medical records of 1,457 patients. All patients were tested for HCV infection by third generation ELISA. Whenever possible, a sample of the positive patients was also tested for HCV by PCR. HCV positive patients were analyzed according to their risk factors for both infections. The prevalence of anti-HCV positive patients was 17.7% (258 patients). Eighty-two (82) of these patients were also tested by PCR and 81 were positive for HCV virus (98%). One hundred fifty-one (58.5%) were intravenous drug users (IDU); 42 (16.3%) were sexual partners of HIV patients; 23 (8.9%) were homosexual males; 12 (4.7%) had received blood transfusion; 61 (17.5%) had promiscuous sexual habits; 14 (5.4%) denied any risk factor; 12 (4.7%) were sexual partners of IDU. Two hundred four patients mentioned only one risk factor. Among them, 28 (10.9%) were sexual partners of HIVpositive patients. Although intravenous drug use was the most important risk factor for co-infection, sexual transmission seemed to contribute to the high HCV seroprevalence in this group of patients.
SUMMARYThe objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses in a group of HIV infected patients, followed at a single institution since 1996. 1,693 HIV positive patients (1,162 male, 531 female) were tested for HBV infection. Virological markers for HBV included HBsAg and total anti-HBc by ELISA. 1,457 patients (1,009 male, 448 female) were tested for HCV infection. Detection of HCV antibodies was carried out by ELISA. A sample of HCV antibody positive patients was tested for HCV by PCR to confirm infection. Of 1,693 patients tested for HBV, 654 (38.6%) and 96 (5.7%) were anti-HBc and HBsAg positive, respectively. Of 1,457 patients tested for HCV, 258 (17.7%) were anti-HCV positive. 82 of these patients were also tested by PCR and 81 were positive (98%). Of 1,411 patients tested for HBV and HCV 26 (1.8%) were positive for both viruses.
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