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Citation information in Europe Pubmed Central

Nucleic acid amplification methods such as the PCR have had a major impact on the diagnosis of viral infections, often achieving greater sensitivities and shorter turnaround times than conventional assays and an ability to detect viruses refractory to conventional isolation methods. Their effectiveness is, however, significantly influenced by assay target sequence variability due to natural diversity and rapid sequence changes in viruses that prevent effective binding of primers and probes. This was investigated for a diverse range of enteroviruses (EVs; species A to D), human rhinoviruses (HRVs; species A to C), and human parechovirus (HPeV) in a multicenter assay evaluation using a series of full-length prequantified RNA transcripts. RNA concentrations were quantified by absorption (NanoDrop) and fluorescence methods (RiboGreen) prior to dilution in buffer supplemented with RNase inhibitors and carrier RNA. RNA transcripts were extremely stable, showing minimal degradation after prolonged storage at temperatures between ambient and -20°C and after multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Transcript dilutions distributed to six referral laboratories were screened by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assays using different primers and probes. All of the laboratories reported high assay sensitivities for EV and HPeV transcripts approaching single copies and similar amplification kinetics for all four EV species. HRV detection sensitivities were more variable, often with substantially impaired detection of HRV species C. This could be accounted for in part by the placement of primers and probes to genetically variable target regions. Transcripts developed in this study provide reagents for the ongoing development of effective diagnostics that accommodate increasing knowledge of genetic heterogeneity of diagnostic targets.

Harvala H , Gaunt E , McIntyre C , Roddie H , Labonte S , Curran E , Othieno R , Simmonds P , Bremner J . 2012. Epidemiology and clinical characteristics of parainfluenza virus 3 outbreak in a Haemato-oncology unit. J Infect , 65 (3), pp. 246-254. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVES: We describe molecular investigations of a large hospital outbreak of parainfluenza virus type 3 (PIV3), in which 32 patients became infected. We outline infection control measures that successfully limited further spread of PIV3 in a Haemato-oncology unit. METHODS: Clinical retrospective review of infected haemato-oncology patients was undertaken. PIV3 haemagglutinin sequences from each case (n = 32) and local epidemiologically unlinked controls (n = 53) were compared to identify potential linkage. RESULTS: PIV3-infected patients presented with upper (n = 18) and lower (n = 11) respiratory tract infections, 3 showed pyrexia only and one was asymptomatic. All symptomatic patients received antibiotics; bacterial co-infection was confirmed in eleven patients. PIV3 infections were associated with lower mortality than documented previously; three of the PIV3-infected patients died (3/32; 9%). All deaths were associated with relapsed malignancies, and PIV3 was not believed to be the primary cause of death in any of these patients. Sequences from 27 cases clustered closely together, consistent with nosocomial infections from PIV3 circulating within the ward. Factors favouring transmission were high patient turnaround between the day treatment unit and in-patient ward, and limited isolation facilities for immunocompromised and infected patients, especially within the day treatment unit. New infections reduced to baseline levels three days after enhanced infection control interventions were introduced. CONCLUSIONS: Molecular epidemiological analysis provided evidence for nosocomial transmission of PIV3 infection that facilitated effective implementation of infection control measures. These were instrumental in restricting further spread of the virus among high-risk patients.

Citation information in Europe Pubmed Central

The RNA structure and long-range interactions of the SL9266 cis-acting replication element located within the NS5B coding region of hepatitis C virus (HCV) were determined using selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analysed by primer extension. Marked differences were found in the long-range interactions of SL9266 when the two widely used genotype 2a JFH-1 (HCVcc) and genotype 1b Con1b sub-genomic replicon systems were compared. In both genomes, there was evidence for interaction of the sub-terminal bulge loop of SL9266 and sequences around nucleotide 9110, though the replication phenotype of genomes bearing mutations that disrupted this interaction was fundamentally different. In contrast, a 'kissing loop' interaction between the terminal loop of SL9266 and sequences in the 3'-untranslated X-tail was only detectable in JFH-1-based genomes. In the latter, where both long-range interactions are present, they were independent, implying that SL9266 forms the core of an extended pseudoknot. The presence of the 'kissing loop' interaction inhibited the formation of SL9571 in the 3'-X-tail, an RNA structure implicated in genome replication. We propose that, SL9266 may contribute a switch function that modulates the mutually incompatible translation and replication events that must occur for replication of the positive-strand RNA genome of HCV.

Julie, can you write a post in the future about what types of things you are planning to purchase for baby #2? I am also pregnant with #2 and would love some advice I love your blog!



Ahhh! I need to think through this more!!! YES!

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Suzy says

What age was Chase when you felt like he could comfortably eat raw carrots, apples, and nuts with limited supervision? My son is almost 2 but I’m still terrified he’ll choke. Also, does Chase face forward in his carseat? We are thinking about when to turn our son around and wondering if that will help him when we go on road trips!

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Hmmm I’m not exactly sure but it was definitely after two! Maybe like 26ish months? And Chase is still facing back but it’s mainly because he’s still such a tiny guy.


Katie @ Live Half Full says

I’m flying with my 2 1/2 year old tomorrow and these were great tips!!! I am trying little mini toys wrapped in tin foil (suggestion by a friend)- I’m hoping it revealing them will keep him busy for awhile. I also brought stickers, a grab and go pack from the dollar spot and TONS of snacks.

Katie @ Live Half Full


The Curious Frugal says

I’m definitely going to be looking into those wow water books. They look so perfect for a road trip. I think the idea of starting the drive when it works best for your toddler is a good one. I would way prefer to set out first thing in the morning after breakfast. But my little tornado daughter does better with some active playtime (anywhere really, but running needs to be involved!) before being strapped into a car seat so that’s what we do.

The Curious Frugal


Dana L says

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