Browsing by Subject "ENCEPHALITIS"

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  • Nokireki, Tiina; Jakava-Viljanen, Miia; Virtala, Anna-Maija; Sihvonen, Liisa (2017)
    Background: Rabies is preventable by pre-and/or post-exposure prophylaxis consisting of series of rabies vaccinations and in some cases the use of immunoglobulins. The success of vaccination can be estimated either by measuring virus neutralising antibodies or by challenge experiment. Vaccines based on rabies virus offer cross-protection against other lyssaviruses closely related to rabies virus. The aim was to assess the success of rabies vaccination measured by the antibody response in dogs (n = 10,071) and cats (n = 722), as well as to investigate the factors influencing the response to vaccination when animals failed to reach a rabies antibody titre of = 0.5 IU/ml. Another aim was to assess the level of protection afforded by a commercial veterinary rabies vaccine against intracerebral challenge in mice with European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) and classical rabies virus (RABV), and to compare this with the protection offered by a vaccine for humans. Results: A significantly higher proportion of dogs (10.7%, 95% confidence interval CI 10.1-11.3) than cats (3.5%; 95% CI 2.3-5.0) had a vaccination antibody titre of <0.5 IU/ml. In dogs, vaccination with certain vaccines, vaccination over 6 months prior the time of antibody determination and vaccination of dogs with a size of > 60 cm or larger resulted in a higher risk of failing to reach an antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml. When challenged with EBLV-2 and RABV, 80 and 100% of mice vaccinated with the veterinary rabies vaccine survived, respectively. When mice were vaccinated with the human rabies vaccine and challenged with EBLV-2, 75-80% survived, depending on the booster. All vaccinated mice developed sufficient to high titres of virus-neutralising antibodies (VNA) against RABV 21-22 days post-vaccination, ranging from 0.5 to 128 IU/ml. However, there was significant difference between antibody titres after vaccinating once in comparison to vaccinating twice (P <0.05). Conclusions: There was a significant difference between dogs and cats in their ability to reach a post vaccination antibody titre of = 0.5 IU/ml. Mice vaccinated with RABV-based rabies vaccines were partly cross-protected against EBLV-2, but there was no clear correlation between VNA titres and cross-protection against EBLV-2. Measurement of the RABV VNA titre can only be seen as a partial tool to estimate the cross-protection against other lyssaviruses. Booster vaccination is recommended for dogs and cats if exposed to infected bats.
  • Sormunen, Jani Jukka; Kulha, Niko; Klemola, Tero; Makela, Satu; Vesilahti, Ella-Maria; Vesterinen, Eero Juhani (2020)
    Most tick-related studies in Europe have been conducted in nonurban areas, but ticks and tick-borne pathogens also occur in urban green spaces. From a public health perspective, risks regarding tick-borne infections should be studied in these urban areas, where contacts between infected ticks and humans may be more frequent than elsewhere, due to high human activity. We examined the risk of encountering an infected tick in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland. We collected ticks at nine sites throughout Helsinki, recorded the prevalence of several pathogens and identified areas with a high potential for contacts between infected ticks and humans. Moreover, we explored the relationship between the density ofBorrelia burgdorferisensu lato-infected ticks and locally diagnosed cases of borreliosis and compared the potential for human-tick encounters in Helsinki to those in nonurban areas in south-western Finland. During 34.8 km of cloth dragging, 2,417Ixodes ricinuswere caught (402 adults, 1,399 nymphs and 616 larvae). From analysed nymphs, we found 11 distinct tick-borne pathogens, with 31.5% of nymphs carrying at least one pathogen. Tick activity was highest in August and September, leading to the density of nymphs infected withB. burgdorferis.l., and concurrently infection risk, to also be highest during this time. Nymph densities varied between the sampling sites, with obvious implications to spatial variation in infection risk. While ticks and tick-borne pathogens were found in both Helsinki and nonurban areas in south-western Finland, the estimates of human activity were generally higher in urban green spaces, leading to a higher potential for human-tick contacts therein. The presence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens and high local human activity in urban green spaces suggest that they form potential foci regarding the acquisition of tick-borne infections. Risk areas within cities should be identified and knowledge regarding urban ticks increased.
  • Jakava-Viljanen, Miia; Tiina, Nokireki; Sironen, Tarja; Vapalahti, Olli; Sihvonen, Liisa; Anita, Huovilainen (2015)
    Among other Lyssaviruses, Daubenton's and pond-bat-related European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) can cause human rabies. To investigate the diversity and evolutionary trends of EBLV-2, complete genome sequences of two Finnish isolates were analysed. One originated from a human case in 1985, and the other originated from a bat in 2009. The overall nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence identity of the two Finnish isolates were high, as well as the similarity to fully sequenced EBLV-2 strains originating from the UK and the Netherlands. In phylogenetic analysis, the EBLV-2 strains formed a monophyletic group that was separate from other bat-type lyssaviruses, with significant support. EBLV-2 shared the most recent common ancestry with Bokeloh bat lyssavirus (BBLV) and Khujan virus (KHUV). EBLV-2 showed limited diversity compared to RABV and appears to be well adapted to its host bat species. The slow tempo of viral evolution was evident in the estimations of divergence times for EBLV-2: the current diversity was estimated to have built up during the last 2000 years, and EBLV-2 diverged from KHUV about 8000 years ago. In a phylogenetic tree of partial N gene sequences, the Finnish EBLV-2 strains clustered with strains from Central Europe, supporting the hypothesis that EBLV-2 circulating in Finland might have a Central European origin. The Finnish EBLV-2 strains and a Swiss strain were estimated to have diverged from other EBLV-2 strains during the last 1000 years, and the two Finnish strains appear to have evolved from a common ancestor during the last 200 years.
  • Perelygina, Ludmila; Hautala, Timo; Seppänen, Mikko; Adebayo, Adebola; Sullivan, Kathleen E.; Icenogle, Joseph (2017)
    Persistent rubella virus (RV) infection has been associated with various pathologies such as congenital rubella syndrome, Fuchs's uveitis, and cutaneous granulomas in patients with primary immune deficiencies (PID). Currently there are no drugs to treat RV infections. Nitazoxanide (NTZ) is an FDA-approved drug for parasitic infections, and has been recently shown to have broad-spectrum antiviral activities. Here we found that empiric 2-month therapy with oral NTZ was associated in the decline/elimination of RV antigen from lesions in a PID patient with RV positive granulomas, while peginterferon treatment had no effect. In addition, we characterized the effects of NTZ on cell culture models of persistent RV infection. NTZ significantly inhibited RV replication in a primary culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and Vero and A549 epithelial cell lines in a dose dependent manner with an average 50% inhibitory concentration of 0.35 mu g/ml (1.1 mu M). RV strains representing currently circulating genotypes were inhibited to a similar extent. NTZ affected early and late stages of infection by inhibiting synthesis of cellular and RV RNA and interfering with intracellular trafficking of the RV surface glycoproteins, E1 and E2. These results suggest a potential application of NTZ for the treatment of persistent rubella infections, but more studies are required.
  • Evander, Magnus; Putkuri, Niina; Eliasson, Mats; Lwande, Olivia Wesula; Vapalahti, Olli; Ahlm, Clas (2016)
    The mosquito-borne Inkoo virus (INKV) is a member of the California serogroup in the family Bunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus. These viruses are associated with fever and encephalitis, although INKV infections are not usually reported and the incidence is largely unknown. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of anti-INKV antibodies and associated risk factors in humans living in northern Sweden. Seroprevalence was investigated using the World Health Organization Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease study, where a randomly selected population aged between 25 and 74 years (N = 1,607) was invited to participate. The presence of anti-INKV IgG antibodies was determined by immunofluorescence assay. Seropositivity for anti-INKV was significantly higher in men (46.9%) than in women (34.8%; P <0.001). In women, but not in men, the prevalence increased somewhat with age (P = 0.06). The peak in seropositivity was 45-54 years for men and 55-64 years for women. Living in rural areas was associated with a higher seroprevalence. In conclusion, the prevalence of anti-INKV antibodies was high in northern Sweden and was associated with male sex, older age, and rural living. The age distribution indicates exposure to INKV at a relatively early age. These findings will be important for future epidemiological and clinical investigations of this relatively unknown mosquito-borne virus.
  • Hautala, Timo; Hautala, Nina; Mahonen, Saara-Mari; Sironen, Tarja; Paakko, Eija; Karttunen, Ari; Salmela, Pasi I.; Vainio, Olli; Rytky, Seppo; Pljusnin, Aleksandr; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli; Kauma, Heikki (2011)