Scientists discover new virus responsible for deaths of 3 transplant recipients from single donor in Victoria, Australia
(22 April 2007: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- Scientists in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues in the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia and 454 Life Sciences have discovered a new virus that was responsible for the deaths of three transplant recipients who received organs from a single donor in Victoria, Australia.
The previously unknown virus, which is related to lymphocytic choreomeningitis virus (LCMV), was found using rapid sequencing technology established by 454 Life Sciences and bioinformatics algorithms developed in the Greene Laboratory with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Known strains of LCMV have been implicated in a small number of cases of disease transmission by organ transplantation, however, the newly discovered virus is sufficiently different that it could not be detected using existing screening methods.
Over 30,000 organ transplants are performed in the U.S. each year. Knowledge of the genetic sequence of this virus will enable improvements in screening that will enhance the safety of transplantation.
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