Multicenter comparison of the digene hybrid capture CMV DNA assay (version 2.0), the pp65 antigenemia assay, and cell culture for detection of cytomegalovirus viremia.
We compared the Digene Hybrid Capture CMV DNA Assay version 2.0, the pp65 antigenemia assay, traditional tube culture, and shell vial culture for the detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia in several patient populations at three centers. Of 561 blood specimens collected from 402 patients, complete clinical and laboratory data were available for 489. Using consensus definitions for true positives and true negatives, the sensitivities of the Hybrid Capture assay, antigenemia, shell vial, and tube culture were 95, 94, 43, and 46%, respectively. The specificities of the Hybrid Capture assay and antigenemia were 95 and 94%, respectively. At all three study sites, the detected level of CMV viremia was significantly higher with the Hybrid Capture assay or antigenemia than with shell vial and tube culture. In a group of 131 healthy nonimmunosuppressed volunteers, the Hybrid Capture assay demonstrated a specificity of over 99%. The Hybrid Capture assay is a standardized assay that is simple to perform and can utilize whole blood specimens that have been stored for up to 48 h. The high sensitivity and specificity of the Hybrid Capture assay along with its simplicity and flexibility make it a clinically useful assay for the detection of CMV viremia in immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients. Further evaluation to determine its role in predicting CMV disease and for monitoring the therapeutic response to anti-CMV therapy is needed. (+info)
Comparison of levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA in plasma as measured by the NucliSens nucleic acid sequence-based amplification and Quantiplex branched-DNA assays.
This study compared levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA in plasma as measured by the Quantiplex branched-DNA and NucliSens nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assays. RNA was detectable in 118 of 184 samples (64.13%) by the Quantiplex assay and in 171 of 184 samples (92.94%) by the NucliSens assay. Regression analysis indicated that a linear relationship existed between the two sets of values (P < 0.0001), although the Quantiplex and NucliSens values were significantly different (P < 0.001), with the NucliSens values being approximately 0.323 log higher. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the overall changes in patient viral load patterns were highly correlative between the two assays: r = 0.912, P < 0.0001. The lower limits of sensitivity were determined to be approximately 100 copies/ml and 1,200 to 1,400 copies/ml for the NucliSens and Quantiplex assays, respectively. (+info)
A double-selective tissue culture system for isolation of wild-type poliovirus from sewage applied in a long-term environmental surveillance.
We describe a simple, cost-efficient, double-selective method for isolation of wild-type poliovirus from sewage samples containing vaccine polioviruses and other enteroviruses, with a detection limit of 18 to 50 PFU per 1 to 2 liters of sewage. By this method we were able to process 1,700 sewage samples collected between 1991 and 1996, from which 10,472 plaques were isolated, 41 of them being identified as wild-type polioviruses. (+info)
Milestones in the research on tobacco mosaic virus.
Beijerinck's (1898) recognition that the cause of tobacco mosaic disease was a novel kind of pathogen became the breakthrough which eventually led to the establishment of virology as a science. Research on this agent, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), has continued to be at the forefront of virology for the past century. After an initial phase, in which numerous biological properties of TMV were discovered, its particles were the first shown to consist of RNA and protein, and X-ray diffraction analysis of their structure was the first of a helical nucleoprotein. In the molecular biological phase of research, TMV RNA was the first plant virus genome to be sequenced completely, its genes were found to be expressed by cotranslational particle disassembly and the use of subgenomic mRNA, and the mechanism of assembly of progeny particles from their separate parts was discovered. Molecular genetical and cell biological techniques were then used to clarify the roles and modes of action of the TMV non-structural proteins: the 126 kDa and 183 kDa replicase components and the 30 kDa cell-to-cell movement protein. Three different TMV genes were found to act as avirulence genes, eliciting hypersensitive responses controlled by specific, but different, plant genes. One of these (the N gene) was the first plant gene controlling virus resistance to be isolated and sequenced. In the biotechnological sphere, TMV has found several applications: as the first source of transgene sequences conferring virus resistance, in vaccines consisting of TMV particles genetically engineered to carry foreign epitopes, and in systems for expressing foreign genes. TMV owes much of its popularity as a research mode to the great stability and high yield of its particles. Although modern methods have much decreased the need for such properties, and TMV may have a less dominant role in the future, it continues to occupy a prominent position in both fundamental and applied research. (+info)
Beijerinck's work on tobacco mosaic virus: historical context and legacy.
Beijerinck's entirely new concept, launched in 1898, of a filterable contagium vivum fluidum which multiplied in close association with the host's metabolism and was distributed in phloem vessels together with plant nutrients, did not match the then prevailing bacteriological germ theory. At the time, tools and concepts to handle such a new kind of agent (the viruses) were non-existent. Beijerinck's novel idea, therefore, did not revolutionize biological science or immediately alter human understanding of contagious diseases. That is how bacteriological dogma persisted, as voiced by Loeffler and Frosch when showing the filterability of an animal virus (1898), and especially by Ivanovsky who had already in 1892 detected filterability of the agent of tobacco mosaic but kept looking for a microbe and finally (1903) claimed its multiplication in an artificial medium. The dogma was also strongly advocated by Roux in 1903 when writing the first review on viruses, which he named 'so-called "invisible" microbes', unwittingly including the agent of bovine pleuropneumonia, only much later proved to be caused by a mycoplasma. In 1904, Baur was the first to advocate strongly the chemical view of viruses. But uncertainty about the true nature of viruses, with their similarities to enzymes and genes, continued until the 1930s when at long last tobacco mosaic virus particles were isolated as an enzyme-like protein (1935), soon to be better characterized as a nucleoprotein (1937). Physicochemical virus studies were a key element in triggering molecular biology which was to provide further means to reveal the true nature of viruses 'at the threshold of life'. Beijerinck's 1898 vision was not appreciated or verified during his lifetime. But Beijerinck already had a clear notion of the mechanism behind the phenomena he observed. Developments in virology and molecular biology since 1935 indicate how close Beijerinck (and even Mayer, Beijerinck's predecessor in research on tobacco mosaic) had been to the mark. The history of research on tobacco mosaic and the commitments of Mayer, Beijerinck and others demonstrate that progress in science is not only a matter of mere technology but of philosophy as well. Raemaekers' Mayer cartoon, inspired by Beijerinck, artistically represents the crucial question about the reliability of our images of reality, and about the scope of our technological interference with nature. (+info)
Burnet Oration: living in the Burnet lineage.
Scientific discoveries are not made in isolation. Innovation depends on resources, both intellectual and physical. A primary requirement is the development and maintenance of appropriate institutions. Such structures do not emerge by chance, but arise from opportunity, political will and the continued efforts and commitment of many people over long periods. Suitable buildings, laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment are obviously necessary, but hardware alone is of little value in the absence of a vibrant research culture. The key characteristics of the latter are intellectual foment, open debate and a body of wisdom and knowledge about the particular subject area. Rolf Zinkernagel and 1 played a part in triggering a paradigm shift in the understanding of T cell recognition, a contribution recognized by the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. In our Nobel lectures, we both discussed briefly why it was that the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) of 1973-75 provided a milieu that facilitated the emergence of the underlying experiments and ideas. My intention here is to discuss in more detail the scientific lineages that put this physical and intellectual environment in place, focusing particularly on the influence of Sir Frank Macfarlane (Sir Mac) Burnet as we celebrate his centenary year. (+info)
Effect of multiple freeze-thaw cycles on hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis C virus RNA quantification as measured with branched-DNA technology.
Quantification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA often is performed in specimens that have been frozen and thawed more than once. To ensure optimal therapeutic and prognostic value, it is important to establish whether viral load measurements are affected by repeated freeze-thaw (FT) cycles. We therefore evaluated the effect of multiple FT cycles on HBV DNA and HCV RNA quantification by testing serum specimens subjected to one (baseline), two, four, and eight FT cycles with the appropriate Chiron Quantiplex assay. Linear regression analysis showed minor increases of 1.7% per FT cycle for both HBV DNA and HCV RNA. The rise in HCV RNA levels was more pronounced among low-concentration samples, since further analysis revealed an increase of 3.2% per FT cycle among samples with 0.2 to 3.86 Meq of HCV RNA per ml. Given that the coefficient of variation for the Quantiplex assays is generally 10 to 15%, the minor increases in HBV DNA and HCV RNA levels with progressive FT cycles for the specimens tested were recognized only because analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant trend (P < 0.05). Due to the minor statistical trend, the clinical impact for individual patient specimens is likely to be limited, but it may deserve further study. In conclusion, the concentration of HBV DNA and HCV RNA in serum specimens subjected to up to eight short-term FT cycles was stable. (+info)
Direct Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) typing on peripheral blood mononuclear cells: no association between EBV type 2 infection or superinfection and the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
In the literature, a correlation has been suggested between the occurrence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) type 2 infection. To further investigate a possible role for EBV type 2 infection in the development of AIDS-NHL, we developed a sensitive and type-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and analyzed EBV types directly on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in three subgroups of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infected individuals: 30 AIDS-NHL patients, 42 individuals progressing to AIDS without lymphoma (PROG), either developing opportunistic infections (AIDS-OI) or Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS), and 18 long-term asymptomatic individuals (LTA). Furthermore, EBV type analysis was performed on PBMC samples obtained from AIDS-NHL patients in the course of HIV-1 infection. The results showed that: (1) direct analysis of PBMC is superior to analysis of B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCL) grown from the same PBMC samples; (2) in HIV-1 infected individuals, there is a high prevalence of EBV type 2 infection (50% in LTA, 62% in progressors, and 53% in AIDS-NHL) and superinfection with both type 1 and 2 (24% in LTA, 40% in progressors, and 47% in AIDS-NHL); (3) EBV type 2 (super)infection is not associated with an increased risk for development of AIDS-NHL; (4) type 2 infection can be found early in HIV-1 infection, and neither type 2 infection nor superinfection correlates with a failing immune system. (+info)