Sep 19, 2012

Noroviruses Affecting Diverse Populations Dr. Hoonmo L. Koo

SAN FRANCISCO – As the availability of more sensitive diagnostic methods such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing become more widespread, noroviruses are increasingly being recognized as important enteric pathogens in diverse populations.

"In the past, much of our knowledge about noroviruses has been hindered because we don’t have a good animal model or method for culturing norovirus," Dr. Hoonmo L. Koo said at the annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. "The majority of our current understanding has come from studying human outbreaks, volunteer challenge studies, and evaluating surrogate caliciviruses such as feline and murine caliciviruses, which don’t cause human infection but can be cultured."
Courtesy CDC/Charles D. Humphrey

"Each year, noroviruses [pictured] cause about 21 million cases of infection in the United States."

Noroviruses (NoVs) are classified into five genetic groups based on their RNA capsid sequences, with genogroup I (GI) and genogroup II (GII) NoVs causing the most human NoV infections. GII.4 NoV strains are the predominant circulating genotype in the United States and worldwide, said Dr. Koo of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. As reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing (RT-PCR) has become more available in recent years, NoVs "are now recognized as the most definable common cause of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis worldwide," he said. "They account for approximately half of all food-borne illness in the United States.
"Each year, NoVs cause about 21 million cases of infection in the United States. They occur throughout the year, but they peak in the winter season."
NoV outbreaks are common in children, travelers, restaurant patrons, military personnel, patients, and health care staff at hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. Dr. Koo and his associates conducted an 8.5-year surveillance study at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) investigating NoV, rotavirus (RV), and adenovirus prevalence at the facility before and after introduction of the RV vaccine in 2006. The study evaluated 8,173 stool samples from inpatients and outpatients at TCH from February 2002 to June 2010. The samples were evaluated for RV by antigen detection or electron microscopy and adenoviruses by electron microscopy. In addition, a subset of 3,222 stools were evaluated for NoV by RT-PCR (J. Ped. Infect. Dis. 2012 Aug. 3 [doi:10.1093/jpids/pis070]).
"We found that RV prevalence decreased significantly after the introduction of the RV vaccine in 2006,"
 Dr. Koo said at the meeting, which was sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology. "In more recent years, it decreased from about 9% in 2007 to 3% in 2010." At the same time, he continued, "NoV prevalence increased in 2004 and was consistently between 11% and 17% from 2004 to 2010. There was no significant increase in NoV prevalence after the RV vaccine was introduced in 2006."
The researchers concluded that NoVs have emerged as the most common viral gastroenteritis pathogen at TCH, which is one of the largest pediatric hospitals in the United States. "We believe that as RV prevalence continues to decline with vaccination, NoVs will soon eclipse rotaviruses as the most important cause of pediatric gastroenteritis in the United States and other countries where the RV vaccine is successfully administered," Dr. Koo said. Continue 

México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Sep 13, 2012

United Spinal Joins Largest-Ever Web Expo for People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

United Spinal Association’s membership division, National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), will join the Allsup True Help® Disability Web Expo on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 9 am to 4 pm CST.
NSCIA will share resources to empower people with disabilities and chronic illnesses so that they can achieve greater independence and a more active lifestyle.
This free online event is anticipated to be the largest-ever virtual web experience geared to meeting the needs and interests of people with disabilities and chronic illness. Caregivers, healthcare providers and the general public also are invited to attend.
“At the United Spinal booth, attendees will find community resources available through NSCIA and national network of chapters; accessible travel options; advocacy tools; and tips on choosing the right wheelchair and mobility equipment,” said Marlene Perkins, VP of Corporate and Community Relations at United Spinal.
“We are thrilled that United Spinal will join us in providing an educational, entertaining and easily accessible forum for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers,” said Tai Venuti, Allsup manager of Strategic Alliances.
“People regularly reach out to United Spinal for their expert guidance and support on overcoming the challenges of living with spinal cord injuries and disorders. The Allsup True Help Disability Web Expo provides a dynamic and interactive environment to connect individuals with the valuable programs and resources United Spinal offers,” she added.
The Allsup True Help Disability Web Expo will serve as a one-stop, live exhibition of representatives on numerous topics, videos, resources and more. Participants will be able to:
-Interact with experts through live chats, workshops, Q&A sessions and one-on-one discussions.
-Gather information on accessing benefits, community resources and other services from health and financial organizations.
-Share thoughts, ideas and concerns via surveys, chats and message boards.
-Network with fellow United Spinal members.
-Register for prizes.
United Spinal is joined by more than a dozen leading nonprofit organizations and experts in health and wellness, advocacy, disease treatment and support, Social Security Disability Insurance, veterans’ disability, financial planning, disability employment, Medicare and health insurance.
To register for the Allsup True Help® Disability Web Expo, please visit
For additional information, contact Tai Venuti, MPH, at or (618) 236-8573.

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