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See detailCoinfection of hepatitis B and hepatitis Delta virus in Belgiumy: a multicenter BASL Study. Prospective epidemiolog and comparison with HBV mono-infection
Ho, E; Deltenre, P; Nkuize, M et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2013), 85

Epidemiological data on hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection in Belgium are lacking. A multicenter questionnaire-based registry on HDV infection was collated between March 1, 2008 and February 28, 2009 ... [more ▼]

Epidemiological data on hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection in Belgium are lacking. A multicenter questionnaire-based registry on HDV infection was collated between March 1, 2008 and February 28, 2009. It consisted of patients coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HDV. The data samples were compared to those of a concurrent registry on HBV infection. Prospective data of patients with HBV–HDV coinfection were collected. Active HBV replication is defined as HBeAg positivity or HBV DNA > 2,000 IU/ml. Forty-four patients from 15 centers were registered. A comparison of 29 patients infected with HDV (registered in the concurrent HBV registry) was made against 785 HBV mono-infected patients. The seroprevalence of patients coinfected with HBV and HDV in Belgium is reported to be 3.7% (29/785), consisting solely of the HBV–HDV coinfected patients in the HBV registry. This rises to 5.5% (44/800) if all patients infected with HDV from the two registries combined are included. The patients coinfected with HBV and HDV had higher (P < 0.05) ALT values and more advanced liver disease (Metavir score F2), but had less active HBV replication and lower HBV DNA titers when compared with the patients infected only with HBV. Additionally, the majority of HBV– HDV coinfected patient was male, and 13.6% (6/ 44) of the patients that were coinfected HBV and HDV were also infected with HCV. In conclusion, this study provided much needed epidemiological data on the current state of HDV infection in Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailEfficacy of interferon-based antiviral therapy in patients with chonic hepatitis C infected HCV genotype 5: a meta-analysis of two large prospective clinical trials
D'Heygere, F.; George, C.; Van Vlierberghe, H. et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2011), 83(5), 815-819

The characteristics and response rate to pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PEG-INF + RBV) of patients with chronic hepatitis C infected with genotype 5 are poorly documented. A meta-analysis of two ... [more ▼]

The characteristics and response rate to pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PEG-INF + RBV) of patients with chronic hepatitis C infected with genotype 5 are poorly documented. A meta-analysis of two large phase III/IV prospective randomized clinical trials conducted in Belgium in patients with chronic hepatitis C (n = 1,073 patients) was performed in order to compare the response to antiviral therapy of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 5 with that of other HCV genotypes. A subset of HCV-1 infected patients selected from within the study database were selected to match the HCV-5 sample for known prognostic factors. In Belgium HCV-5 is responsible for a significant minority of cases of chronic hepatitis C CHC (4.5%) and is characterized by a more advanced age (58.4 years), a high frequency of cirrhosis (27.7%), a specific mode of HCV acquisition, and a particular geographic origin (66.7% of patients from West Flanders). The primary comparative analysis showed that response to treatment with PEG-INF + RBV of HCV-5 is similar to HCV-1 and lower compared to HCV-2/3. The analysis of the matched patient subgroup demonstrates that the HCV-5 "intrinsic sensitivity" to PEG-IFN + RBV therapy is identical to HCV-1, with a sustained virological response of 55% in both groups. In contrast to previous publications, this meta-analysis suggests that HCV-5 response to treatment is closer to HCV-1 than to HCV-2/3 and suggests that in Belgium HCV-5 infection should be treated with the same antiviral regimen as HCV-1. [less ▲]

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See detailExceptional genetic variability of hepatitis B virus indicates that Rwanda is east of an emerging African genotype E/A1 divide
Hubschen, J M; Mugabo, J; Peltier, C A et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2009), 81(3), 435-40

In Western Africa, hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype E predominates throughout a vast crescent spanning from Senegal to Namibia and at least to the Central African Republic to the East. Although from most ... [more ▼]

In Western Africa, hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype E predominates throughout a vast crescent spanning from Senegal to Namibia and at least to the Central African Republic to the East. Although from most of the eastern parts of sub-Saharan Africa only limited sets of strains have been characterized, these belong predominantly to genotype A. To study how far the genotype E crescent extends to the East, a larger number of HBV strains from Rwanda were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis of 45 S fragment sequences revealed strains of genotypes A (n = 30), D (n = 10), C (n = 4), and B (n = 1). Twelve genotype A sequences formed a new cluster clearly separated from the reference strains of the known sub-genotypes. Thus, with four genotypes and at least six sub-genotypes and a new cluster of genotype A strains, HBV shows an exceptional genetic variability in this small country, unprecedented in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this exceptional genetic variability, not a single genotype E virus was found indicating that this country does not belong to the genotype E crescent, but is east of an emerging African genotype E/A1 divide. [less ▲]

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See detailCoxsackievirus B4 Infection of Murine Foetal Thymus Organ Cultures
Brilot, F.; Jaidane, H.; Geenen, Vincent ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2008), 80(4), 659-66

The infection of foetal thymus with coxsackievirus B4 (CV-B4) E2 has been studied ex vivo by using CD-1 mice on foetal day 14, as a ready source of organs for experimentation to investigate the hypothesis ... [more ▼]

The infection of foetal thymus with coxsackievirus B4 (CV-B4) E2 has been studied ex vivo by using CD-1 mice on foetal day 14, as a ready source of organs for experimentation to investigate the hypothesis of the role of thymic viral infections in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. The replication of CV-B4 E2 in murine foetal thymus organ cultures has been demonstrated by evaluating the levels of positive- and negative-stranded viral RNA in cells by using a real-time quantitative RT-PCR method and by determining titres of infectious viral particles in culture supernatants for 7 days post-infection (p.i.). Staining of tissue sections with an anti-cytokeratin antibody and haematoxylin-eosin showed that CV-B4 infection had no visible effect on cell survival and organ integrity. Cell counts in mock- and virus-infected foetal thymus organ cultures increased from day 1 through day 7, and live cell numbers were comparable in both conditions as shown by Trypan blue exclusion test and 7-amino-actinomycin D staining of thymocytes. Compared with controls on day 7 p.i., cytofluorometric analyses on cells from CV-B4 E2-infected foetal thymus organ cultures displayed a marked increase in the percentage of the most immature CD3(-)CD4(-)CD8(-) thymocytes, and a decrease in the percentage of immature CD3(-)CD4(+)CD8(+) cells, together with an increase in the percentage of mature CD3(+)CD4(+) and CD3(+)CD8(+) cells. These data show that CV-B4 E2 disturbs T-cell maturation and differentiation processes in infected murine foetal thymus organ cultures and provide evidence of a suitable system to investigate the effect of viruses in T-cell differentiation. J. Med. Virol. 80:659-666, 2008. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-risk human papillomavirus infection of the genital tract of women with a previous history or current high-grade vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia
Goffin, Frédéric ULg; Mayrand, Marie-Hélène; Gauthier, Philippe et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2006), 78(6), 814-819

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with high-grade vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN-3). The prevalence of anogenital HPV infection in women with previously treated VIN-3 has not been ... [more ▼]

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with high-grade vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN-3). The prevalence of anogenital HPV infection in women with previously treated VIN-3 has not been documented yet. This cross-sectional study compared high-risk HPV DNA detection rates in women with past (n = 30) and current (n = 22) VIN-3 to those without current or past VIN (n = 86). HPV DNA was detected in vulvar and cervical samples with Hybrid Capture 2 (HC-2). Smoking was associated in multivariate analysis with current VIN-3 (odds ratio (OR) 8.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-8.2) and any VIN-3 history (OR 6.5, 95% CI 2.5-16.5). High-risk HPV DNA was found on the vulva of 64%, 33%, and 20% of women with current VIN-3, past VIN-3, and without previous or current VIN, respectively. After controlling for age and smoking, high-risk HPV vulvar infection was associated with cervical high-risk HPV infection (OR 8.6, 95% CI 2.8-26.5; P = 0.001). After controlling for age, HPV infection was more often multifocal in women with current VIN-3 compared to women with previous but no current VIN-3 lesion (OR 17.6, 95% CI 1.4-227.2). Multifocal vulvar HPV infection was detected in women with previous or active VIN-3. Longitudinal studies are required to determine if the multifocality of HPV infection on the vulva could explain the high recurrence rate of VIN-3. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolution over a 10 year period of the epidemiological profile of 1,726 newly diagnosed HCV patients in Belgium.
Gerard, Christiane ULg; Delwaide, Jean ULg; Vaira, Dolorès ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2005), 76(4), 503-10

In order to evaluate the future burden of hepatitis C, there is a need to quantify the evolution with time of some crucial parameters such as disease frequency and age, modes of infection and infecting ... [more ▼]

In order to evaluate the future burden of hepatitis C, there is a need to quantify the evolution with time of some crucial parameters such as disease frequency and age, modes of infection and infecting genotypes of patients presenting for the first time at consultation. The yearly evolution of these parameters was analyzed retrospectively in a cohort of 1,726 patients living in Belgium, who were diagnosed as hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) between 1992 and 2002. The epidemiological profile of HCV patients showed significant changes during this period. The number of new patients increased with time. The proportion of patients under 50 increased linearly at a rate of 3% per year. The rate of newly presenting patients infected by transfusion before 1990 decreased, but only by 2.7% per year. The proportion of intravenous (IV) drug users increased by 2.5% per year. Patients presenting "undefined" risk factors increased by 2.1% per year. Nosocomial acquisition of HCV infection exhibited a disturbing relative stability in time whereas dialysis tended to disappear as a cause of infection. There was a significant linear annual decrease of 2.3% in the frequency of genotype 1b, which was counterbalanced by a significant increase of 0.7% for genotype 1a and 1.1% for genotype 4. Genotypes 2 and 3 did not vary significantly with time. Such figures are useful for evaluating the epidemiological changes of C virus infection and for anticipating the future economical cost of hepatitis C treatment in the next few years. [less ▲]

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See detailNeurological complications of acute and persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection in paediatric patients
Häusler, M.; Ramaekers, Vincent ULg; Doenges, M. et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (2002), 68(2), 253-263

Neurological complications of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have been reported almost exclusively in the course of acute primary infections. The role of EBV in paediatric neurological disease was investigated ... [more ▼]

Neurological complications of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have been reported almost exclusively in the course of acute primary infections. The role of EBV in paediatric neurological disease was investigated prospectively over a 2-year period, searching for acute primary, chronic, and reactivated EBV infections. Active EBV infections were diagnosed in 10/48 patients, including two with acute primary EBV infections (cranial neuritis and cerebellitis), one with chronic active infection (T/NK cell lymphoma with cranial neuritis), and seven with reactivated infections. Among these seven patients, three showed "Alice in Wonderland" syndrome, one facial nerve palsy, one progressive macrocephaly, and two prolonged encephalitic illness. The prognosis was good except for the patient with lethal T/NK cell lymphoma and the two girls with encephalitic illness. Despite steroid treatment, these girls suffered prolonged cognitive impairment and epileptic seizures. Both developed left-sided hippocampal atrophy, and one of them hippocampal sclerosis. Like primary infections, reactivated EBV infections cause neurological complications in a considerable number of paediatric patients, lead to serious long-term complications, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of hippocampal lesions. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhancement of Varicella-Zoster virus infection in cell lines expressing ORF4- or ORF62-encoded proteins
Schoonbroodt, Sonia; Piette, Jacques ULg; Baudoux, Laurence et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (1996), 49(4), 264-273

Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) open reading frames 4 (ORF4) and 62 (ORF62) encode putative immediate-early proteins (ORF4p and ORF62p, respectively) which are strong transactivators of other VZV genes and ... [more ▼]

Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) open reading frames 4 (ORF4) and 62 (ORF62) encode putative immediate-early proteins (ORF4p and ORF62p, respectively) which are strong transactivators of other VZV genes and are involved in the very early stages of viral infection. ORF4p and ORF62p transactivate immediate-early and early gene promoters but have little or no effect on late gene promoters. To investigate the effect of ORF4p or ORF62p overexpression on the viral replication cycle, we constructed Vero cell lines expressing those genes under the control of the human cytomegalovirus major immediate-early promoter. VZV OKA infection of these stably transformed cell lines was followed-up using VZV glycoprotein E (gE) antigen quantification and virus titration. Upon serial passaging of infection in these cell lines expressing functionally active ORF4p or ORF62p, a 5- to 10-fold increase in viral gE antigen production was observed. Viral titers also demonstrated a 2- to 5-fold increase in viral production in these transformed cell lines. These results emphasize the role that both ORF4p and ORF62p play in enhancing the VZV replicative cycle. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution of varicella-zoster virus gpI and gpII and corresponding genome sequences in the skin
Nikkels, Arjen ULg; Delvenne, Philippe ULg; Debrus, S. et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (1995), 46(2), 91-96

In the course of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, some viral capsid antigens are found in the epidermis and dermis. The aim of this study was to investigate the localisation of two major VZV ... [more ▼]

In the course of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, some viral capsid antigens are found in the epidermis and dermis. The aim of this study was to investigate the localisation of two major VZV glycoproteins (gpI and gpII) and of their respective genes in the skin. The distribution of VZV gpI and II in 27 formalin fixed paraffin embedded skin biopsies from herpes tester eruptions were compared by immunohistochemistry. Double immunostaining was carried our to identify infected cells. The presence of viral nucleic acids coding for gpI and gpII was examined by in situ hybridisation. The distribution of gpI and gpII and their corresponding genome sequences was similar in the epidermis, gpI and gpII were also detected in dermal FXIIIa positive dendrocytes, in Mac 387 and CD68 positive macrophages, and in perineural and endothelial cells. However, the corresponding viral nucleic acids were rarely and barely detected in these cells of the dermis. It is concluded that VZV infection of epithelial cells follows a different course than in dermal cells. (C) 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailImmunohistochemical identification of varicella-zoster virus gene 63-encoded protein (IE63) and late (gE) protein on smears and cutaneous biopsies: implications for diagnostic use.
Nikkels, Arjen ULg; Debrus, S.; Sadzot-Delvaux, Catherine ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (1995), 47(4), 342-7

Early and specific recognition of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection is of vital concern in immunocompromised patients. The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of histochemical ... [more ▼]

Early and specific recognition of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection is of vital concern in immunocompromised patients. The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of histochemical and immunohistochemical identification of the VZV ORF63 encoded protein (IE63) and of the VZV late protein gE on smears and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin sections taken from lesions clinically diagnosed as varicella (n = 15) and herpes zoster (n = 51). Microscopic examinations of Tzanck smears and skin sections yielded a diagnostic accuracy of Herpesviridae infections in 66.7% (10/15) and 92.3% (12/13) of varicella, and 74.4% (29/39) and 87.8% (43/49) of herpes zoster, respectively. Immunohistochemistry applied to varicella provided a type-specific virus diagnostic accuracy of 86.7% (13/15; IE63) and 100% (15/15; gE) on smears, and of 92.3% for both VZV proteins on skin sections. In herpes zoster, the diagnostic accuracy of immunohistochemistry reached 92.3% (36/39; IE63) and 94.9% (37/39; gE) on smears, and 91.7% (44/48; IE63) and 91.8% (45/49; gE) on skin sections. These findings indicate that the immunohistochemical detection of IE63 and gE on both smears and skin sections yields a higher specificity and sensitivity than standard microscopic assessments. [less ▲]

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See detailMeningoradiculoneuritis due to acyclovir-resistant varicella zoster virus in an acquired immune deficiency syndrome patient
Snoeck, R.; Gérard, M.; Sadzot-Delvaux, Catherine ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (1994), 42(4), 338-347

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is recognized as one of the major viral pathogens reactivated in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). We report the case of meningoradiculoneuritis in ... [more ▼]

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is recognized as one of the major viral pathogens reactivated in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). We report the case of meningoradiculoneuritis in an AIDS patient, associated with the isolation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a thymidine kinase (TK)-deficient, acyclovir (ACV)-resistant strain of VZV. Although the virus was sensitive in vitro to phosphonoformate (PFA), the patient did not improve during PFA therapy and finally died. Several VZV strains isolated from this patient (including two isolates from the patient's CSF) were analyzed for their TK activity and subsequently the viral TK gene was sequenced showing a major deletion leading to a truncated protein. Their susceptibility to several antiviral agents including ACV, PFA, (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine (BVDU), 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosyladenine (vidarabine), (S)-1-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl) cytosine (HPMPC), and (S)-9-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)adenine (HPMPA) was evaluated. All the virus strains isolated from this patient remained sensitive to HPMPA and HPMPC, pointing to the potential usefulness of these acyclic nucleoside phosphonates for the treatment of ACV-resistant VZV infections in immunocompromised patients. (C) 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-rate of multiple genital HPV infections detected by DNA hybridization
Lauricella-Lefèbvre, M. A.; Piette, Jacques ULg; Lifrange, Eric ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Virology (1992), 36(4), 265-270

Cervical smears collected from 450 patients involved in a clinical follow-up of cervical human papillomaviruses (HPV) infections were screened for the presence of HPV 6b, 11, 16, and 18 DNA by both dot ... [more ▼]

Cervical smears collected from 450 patients involved in a clinical follow-up of cervical human papillomaviruses (HPV) infections were screened for the presence of HPV 6b, 11, 16, and 18 DNA by both dot blot and southern blot hybridization methods. Using very high stringency hybridization assays, the four HPV types could be easily distinguished by dot blotting. After a preliminary clinical sorting, 42.9% of the samples were found to be HPV-positive. Among the samples infected by a single HPV, type 16 was the most frequent (25.4% of the positive samples) followed by 6b (19.7%), 11 (8.3%), and 18 (7.2%). Double or even multiple infections by the different HPV types were detected at a very high rate (39.4% of the positive samples). [less ▲]

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