Scientists have identified the cause of outbreaks of enterovirus, one of the most prevalent types of virus in the world.
We now understand why these outbreaks occur, and that they are actually highly predictable
Dr Margarita Pons-SalortStudy author
The work, funded by the Wellcome Trust, has shown for the first time that the frequency of enterovirus outbreaks over time are linked to birth rates.
Enteroviruses infect mostly children under 10 years old, and strike millions of youngsters every year – 50 million in the U.S. alone.
There are over 100 different types of enterovirus that infect people, causing a range of illnesses, from mild cold-like symptoms such as coughs, sore throat and fever, to more serious conditions such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease, viral meningitis, and encephalitis.
Infections tend to peak during summer and autumn months. Although there are no specific treatments, there is one vaccine available, and others in development.
There have been a number of serious enterovirus outbreaks in recent years. In 2014 a particular strain in the U.S. was linked to severe respiratory illness in young children, and there are thought to be over one million cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease in China each year.
But despite the viruses causing so many infections, scientists still don’t fully understand what causes outbreaks.
Dr Margarita Pons-Salort, co-author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: “There are many different types of enteroviruses that infect humans. Some cause epidemics every year, while others cause epidemics every two or three years. However, until now we didn’t know what determined the frequency of these outbreaks, or why some viruses seemed to cause large outbreaks in certain years.”
Birth rate link
In the study, the team found that outbreaks of a given type of enterovirus were largely determined by the number of children born each year and the development of long-lasting immunity against that type following infection.
Once a child is infected with a specific type of enterovirus, they usually develop immunity to further infections with that virus. The team found that after each outbreak there is a time lag – from the end of the initial outbreak to a new pool of children being born who have not encountered the virus. This second group of children then become infected, and a subsequent outbreak occurs.
The team used a mathematical model to simulate these epidemic patterns for each of the 20 most common types of enterovirus.
To build the model, they used Japanese enterovirus surveillance data. Japan keeps incredibly detailed information on enterovirus outbreaks, and the team used 14 years’ worth of information to build the model (from 2000-2014).
Preparing for an outbreak
They then tested the model, and found that it was able to predict subsequent outbreaks in 2015 and 2016 for most types of enterovirus.
“The accuracy of our model to explain the data means we now understand why these outbreaks occur, and that they are actually highly predictable” said Dr Pons-Salort.
She continued: “This information could allow medical staff to prepare ahead of the outbreak. Our model will also help design vaccination strategies (i.e. who should be vaccinated and when), and anticipate the impact of the vaccine. For instance, it will allow us to calculate the proportion of children that should be vaccinated to avoid a new outbreak.”
The team are now testing their model on data from other countries, to ensure it can be applied to other regions around the world.
Their work also suggested that certain types of enteroviruses can fundamentally change their ‘appearance’ and become more virulent, or more transmissible between people. The team are now working on methods to understand these changes.
The Latest on: Enterovirus
via Google News
The Latest on: Enterovirus
- Taiwanese Health Official Warns Against Reliance on Coronavirus Vaccineson January 13, 2021 at 1:19 am
The Taiwanese health official credited with leading one of the world's most successful COVID-19 control efforts is warning people globally to keep up their guard against coronavirus even as vaccines ...
- Coronavirus shutdowns have quashed nearly all other common viruses. But scientists say a rebound is coming.on January 12, 2021 at 6:17 pm
Veteran virus trackers say they are chronicling something never before seen — the suppression of virtually every common respiratory and gastrointestinal virus besides the novel coronavirus. They ...
- How Viruses "Pack Up" To Infecton January 11, 2021 at 1:57 am
Researchers have for the first time identified the way viruses like the poliovirus and the common cold virus ‘package up’ their genetic code, allowing them to infect cells. The findings, published ...
- Acute Flaccid Myelitis Associated With Enterovirus D68 in Children, Argentina, 2016on January 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm
After a 2014 outbreak of severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68 in the United States, sporadic cases of acute flaccid myelitis have been reported worldwide. We describe a cluster of ...
- Maternal First-Trimester Enterovirus Infection and Future Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in the Exposed Fetuson January 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Previous studies have suggested that enterovirus infections during pregnancy may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes in the offspring. Our aim was to evaluate the role of first trimester ...
- Unravelling the mystery that makes viruses infectiouson January 9, 2021 at 4:56 am
Researchers have for the first time identified the way viruses like the poliovirus and the common cold virus 'package up' their genetic code, allowing them to infect cells.
- Enterovirus Replication in Beta Cell Modelson December 18, 2020 at 3:49 am
We are also investigating enterovirus replication in human enteroid models of gut mucosa. Despite all that is known about enteroviruses, a good deal of mystery surrounds the sites of virus replication ...
- Enterovirus: Our Baby Died From A Common Virus Most People Don’t Know Abouton November 26, 2020 at 2:14 am
What do you know about enterovirus? Eleven days after beautiful baby Billie was born, her parents cuddled their daughter as she took her last breath. It’s a story of heartbreak that mum Candice ...
- Enterovirus surveillance guidelines. Guidelines for enterovirus surveillance in support of the Polio Eradication Initiative (2015)on July 5, 2020 at 1:10 am
This includes combinations of: surveillance for "poliomyelitis cases" and cases of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis, environmental surveillance for polioviruses and/or enterovirus ...
- enterovirus 68on June 17, 2019 at 10:43 am
A few summers ago, adults, but mostly children, were becoming paralyzed after falling ill. This was something that had not been seen in 60 years. It was called acute flaccid myelitis, and while ...
via Bing News