Human parechovirus may trigger type 1 diabetes
Men with facial scars are more attractive to women seeking short-term relationships, scientists at the University of Liverpool have found. It was previously assumed that in Western cultures scarring was an unattractive facial feature and in non-Western cultures they were perceived as a sign of maturity and strength. Scientists at Liverpool and Stirling University, however,
Full Post: Men with facial scars more attractive to women
Human parechovirus is a harmless virus which is encountered by most infants and displays few symptoms.
Suspected of triggering type 1 diabetes in susceptible people, research methods need to take this “silent” virus into consideration. This comes from findings in a study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
This study was part of a long-term project at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to investigate if environmental risk factors affect type 1 diabetes. Faecal samples and questionnaires about the health of 102 children were sent in monthly by their parents for closer study.
Researchers wanted to see how common human parechovirus infections were among Norwegian infants. Existing research indicates that a related virus which only affects rodents, Ljungan virus, has been linked to the development of rodent diabetes.
By studying stool samples from 102 infants and comparing feedback from parents about their child’s health over three years, no significant link could be found between infection episodes and typical symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhoea or fever. By the age of two, 86 percent of the infants had evidence of parechovirus in their faeces, and 94 percent by the age of three. Human parechovirus 1 was the most prevalent type (76 percent) followed by human parechoviruses 3 and 6 (13 percent and 9 percent respectively).
The researchers also noticed an increase in parechovirus infection between the ages of 6 and 18 months. This could be due to the loss of maternal antibodies by 6 months of age or the exposure to nursery/play groups that often begins at this age in Norway. Most infections occurred during September to December.
The 102 infants were recruited from babies born in 2004, with half from the high risk group for diabetes type 1 and the rest from a low risk group. The “high-risk” group included babies who had been identified at birth to carry the HLA genotype conferring the highest known risk for type 1 diabetes. The group not carrying the high-risk genotype included babies born at the same time and in the same area to the high risk babies.
The researchers conclude that most infants are infected by human parechovirus without displaying symptoms and so the total number of previous infections should be considered when looking for triggers for type 1 diabetes among those who are genetically at risk. Perhaps too few infections or infection at a too late time point could be important.
Babies born to HIV-positive mothers and given the antiretroviral drug nevirapine through the first six weeks of life to prevent infection via breast-feeding are at high risk for developing drug-resistant HIV if they get infected anyway, a team of researchers report. But the investigators highlight the proven superiority of the six-week regimen in preventing mother-to-child
Full Post: Prolonged nevirapine in breast-fed babies prevents HIV infection but leads to drug-resistant HIV
Screening for a panel of gene variants associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes can identify adults at risk for the disorder but is not significantly better than assessment based on traditional risk factors such as weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. A multi-institutional research team, led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
Full Post: Genetic screening no better than traditional risk factors for predicting type 2 diabetes
After a doctor at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital tested positive for tuberculosis (TB), authorities say as many as 300 babies have been identified who may have come into contact with the doctor and could be at risk. About 75 of the children are too young to be tested but have been given preventive
Full Post: As many as 300 children could be at risk of TB from hospital doctor
It is said that timing is everything, and that certainly appears to be true for autumn infants. Children who are born four months before the height of cold and flu season have a greater risk of developing childhood asthma than children born at any other time of year, according to new research. The study analyzed
Full Post: Children born four months before height of cold and flu season have a greater risk of developing childhood asthma
A virus that causes cold-like symptoms in humans originated in birds and may have crossed the species barrier around 200 years ago, according to an article published in the December issue of the Journal of General Virology. Scientists hope their findings will help us understand how potentially deadly viruses emerge in humans. “Human metapneumovirus may
Full Post: Common cold virus originated in birds