Congratulations to Emma Filtz and Jenn Grimm who were recently awarded UROP grants. Emma will be studying the shedding of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the daycare setting. Jenn will be using line immunoblot technology to investigate evolution of EBV-specific antibodies during the incubation period of primary EBV infection. We are very proud of our undergraduate research students!
Dr. Balfour gave an invited talk about monitoring Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections after hematopoietic cell transplantation at the 39th annual meeting of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation on April 8, 2013 in London. He suggested whom to monitor, for how long, and what the threshold for intervention should be. At the same session, monitoring of cytomegalovirus and aspergillus infections were also discussed.
A research study on age-specific prevalence of EBV infections among children 6 to 19 years old has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The major findings of this study were that (1) antibody prevalence (indicative of a previous EBV infection) in whites was significantly lower than in non-whites, and (2) antibody prevalence has been declining over time, meaning that more children could be susceptible to Mono (most commonly caused by EBV) in the future . To accomplish this research, the team tested surplus serum samples from 9,400 children who participated in the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 2003 and 2010.
Our Mono 5 surveillance study will be published in the January 1, 2013 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. In an accompanying editorial, British investigators Rickinson and Fox stated that our research “is likely to become the definitive study identifying the true burden of acute disease caused by [the Epstein-Barr virus]” and called our study “heroic.” Dr. Tony Epstein, co-discoverer of EBV, commented: “Outstanding …results. Congratulations! This is clearly a milestone.”
We owe a great deal of thanks to our loyal subjects who stayed with us throughout their undergraduate years and made more than 2,500 visits to our research clinic.
WCCO-AM 830 broadcast a news report about our findings on 12/17/12. You can listen by clicking the link below.
We screened 279 freshmen this past September and found that 135 were naive to EBV because they had no antibodies against the virus. 87 of the EBV-naive freshmen have remained on study in the prospective surveillance phase and have made 545 visits to our Clinical Virology Research Clinic to date. Ten primary EBV infections have been documented. Nine of the 10 have been sick, while one subject remained entirely asymptomatic.
The Class of 2016 Mono Study screened 279 freshmen this past September and found that 135 were naive to EBV because they had no antibodies against the virus. 87 of the EBV-naive freshmen have remained on study in the prospective surveillance phase. So far, 8 cases of primary EBV infection have occurred. Six students have had mono while 2 remained completely asymptomatic. The study will continue through the spring semester and we’ll keep you updated on its progress. Students in the study have been incredibly faithful about their clinic appointments. Hats off to our loyal study participants!
279 freshmen volunteered to be screened for this study and 91 enrolled in the surveillance phase. Of 88 subjects in active surveillance, 3 have been found to have EBV infections. We are further characterizing these infections with lab assays. At least two appear to be primary EBV infections.
Clinical Virology Programs had 2 abstracts accepted for oral presentation on September 11, 2012 at the annual meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). This conference is the premier infectious diseases meeting in the US and is actually an international affair. Both talks focus on EBV antibody prevalence in US Children. An EBV vaccine is currently under development and such data are needed to decide the ideal age to administer a prophylactic EBV vaccine. Dr. Larry Condon of HealthPartners presented the interim results of a study of Minneapolis-St. Paul children 18 months to 19 years of age and Dr. Hank Balfour showed new EBV antibody data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey spanning the years 2003-2010. To view the NHANES presentation please click on the link below.
1. 279 freshmen have been screened and the Step 1 screening phase closed on 9/21/12.
2. 87 subjects have enrolled in Step 2 (surveillance phase). Three more subjects are scheduled to enroll.
So many freshmen enrolled in the Mono study residence hall screening program that we now have a sufficient number of volunteers. We have finished screening in the residence halls but screening will remain open for freshmen who come to our research clinic in Mayo G255 any time between 8 AM and 10:30 AM Monday through Friday. Great participation Class of 2016!