The authors of the report said they presumed that she had been infected through sex. The woman told her doctors that she had sexual partners in Cameroon after her husband’s death, but there was no information about whether any were infected — or, if they were, how they had contracted the virus. The amount of virus in her blood is high, reported the French and British scientific team, which was led by Jean-Christophe Plantier of the University of Rouen in France. But the number of CD-4 blood cells, a key laboratory measure of the progression of AIDS, is stable at about 300 per cubic millimeter. The scientists suspect that there are additional undetected cases because the patient lived in a semiurban area of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and she said she had no contact with apes or their meat. More studies are needed to determine how often the new virus infects people. The discovery was part of continued monitoring for new viruses. The goal is to identify a simian or other virus before it can cause another epidemic like AIDS, which has affected more than 33 million people worldwide. The new virus may escape detection by standard blood and laboratory tests for H.I.V.-1. New testing methods developed in recent years have allowed scientists to detect subtypes of H.I.V.-1. The three others are known as H.I.V.-1 Groups M, N and O. Dr. Plantier’s team calls the new one H.I.V.-1 Group P.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
A medical breakthrough that prevents the spread of the human form of mad cow disease via blood transfusions may be denied to NHS patients because it costs too much.
More than 60 adults having surgery have received blood free of the risk of variant CJD in trials overseen by the National Blood and Transplant Authority.
The advance centres on a filter that can remove the rogue vCJD protein, called a prion, from blood in just 30 minutes - eliminating the patient’s risk of catching the brain disease.
The filter could restore faith in British blood supplies which are proven to be tainted with vCJD after several deaths related to transfusions.
But documents reveal it has been branded ‘not cost-effective’ and experts warn it will double the price of producing red blood cells, leaving a bill for an extra £100million.
Donors who do not realise they are carrying the disease, which can have an incubation period of up to 50 years before showing symptoms, risk passing on vCJD when they give blood. It is feared as many as one in 4,000 could be carriers. There is no reliable way of testing stored blood to see if it is infected.
The filter simply clips on to the blood collection bag and red cells are slowly dripped through it into an empty bag underneath. Any prions are captured in a mesh containing resins that are designed to ‘attract’ amino acids found on the surface of vCJD proteins.
Animal studies have proved it prevents transmission of the deadly disease through blood transfusions.
The risk of dying during heart surgery is increased five-fold by infections carried in blood transfusions, according to research published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The Research (click Thumbnail below) reports a 0.13% increase in predicted infection rates for every 1% increase in the frequency of blood transfusions.
Infections included those of the urinary system, lungs, bloodstream, digestive tract and skin, as well as a significant number of Clostridium difficile cases.
The small minority of patients receiving ‘autologous’ transfusions - their own stored blood - fared far better, as did those who had no blood transfusion at all.
Says study leader Dr Mary Rogers, from the University of Michigan: ‘The safety of patients undergoing a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) will likely be improved if hospitals … institute interventions to reduce inappropriate use of blood transfusions.’
The infection rate among those receiving donor blood was 18% compared with 9.7% of patients only receiving their own blood, and 6.6% when no transfusion was carried out. Overall, 16.2% suffered a hospital infection.