Since the first case of epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) in Spain was detected in cattle in November 2022, it has spread among farms in several autonomous communities in dozens of outbreaks. The mosquito-borne disease does not affect humans, but has the potential to cause economic losses.
A team of scientists led by the Catholic University of America in Washington has designed new artificial vectors based on viruses to improve gene therapy processes. The main novelty is that they are constructed from viruses that infect bacteria. Among other advantages, this would make it possible to avoid the possible memory of our defences against them and have a greater capacity. According to the authors, who publish their results in the journal Nature Communications, these nanoparticles "have the potential to transform gene therapies and personalised medicine".
An international team of scientists, led by Stanford University (United States), has designed a study to analyse the relationship between herpes zoster virus infections and the development of dementia. To do so, they took advantage of the introduction of the Zostavax vaccine against this virus in 2013 in Wales (UK), which people over the age of 80 could not receive. After reviewing data from people around this age over the following seven years, they concluded that the vaccine reduced the relative risk of dementia by 20%. According to the authors, their study, which is in prepublication form and has not been peer-reviewed, "leads to the conclusion that shingles vaccination is most likely an effective way to prevent or delay the onset of dementia".
Analysis of the two asymptomatic cases of H5N1 avian influenza detected in Spain in autumn 2022 in workers at a poultry farm in Guadalajara has confirmed the theory that no actual infections occurred, but that both were in contact with genetic material of the virus found in the environment. Spain has recently modified its protocols, according to the analysis published in Eurosurveillance.
After the World Cup in Qatar, National Microbiology Centre researcher María Iglesias wonders where the social alarm about an alleged outbreak of MERS came from and takes the opportunity to explain some concepts of the virus and its surveillance.
Several media outlets are reporting cases of "camel flu" or MERS-CoV at the World Cup in Qatar, including three French national team players. However, no cases have been confirmed and the news reports speak of non-specific symptoms that could be due to any other infectious condition. This coronavirus, discovered in 2012, has a high case fatality rate and before the start of the competition, the WHO had already asked fans travelling to the country to watch out for possible symptoms.
In a briefing organised by the Science Media Centre Spain, Amparo Larrauri and Francisco Pozo, researchers at the Health Institute Carlos III, explained how three respiratory viruses are coexisting this autumn: influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (responsible for most bronchiolitis) and SARS-CoV-2.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting marketing authorisation for the tetravalent dengue vaccine (live, attenuated) Takeda. The vaccine is intended to prevent disease caused by dengue virus serotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in people aged four years and older. Although an approved vaccine already exists, according to the EMA, this quadrivalent vaccine shows increased protection in children and people over 45 years of age.
A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases analyses the response of seven monkeypox patients diagnosed in the UK between 2018-2021, treated with the antivirals brincidofovir and tecovirimat.
On 18 May, the Ministry of Health confirmed to SMC Spain that eight suspected cases "clinically compatible" with monkeypox had been detected. The same afternoon, the Consejería de Sanidad de la Comunidad de Madrid reported that it had detected 23 possible cases of infection. These cases need to be confirmed after testing. At least 7 cases have been confirmed in the UK and Portugal. This is a rare zoonotic viral disease and there is no vaccine or specific treatment available. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Most cases are resolved favourably.