Daily Kos Elections 2020 downballot liveblog thread #2

first_imgIt’s very early in the evening, and thus far, the downballot results have been mostly a wash. Democrats are currently leading in two GOP-held districts (KY-06 and IN-05), while Republicans claim a lead in one Democratic-held district (FL-26). But we have many, many miles to go. – Advertisement –last_img


Shares in Asia-Pacific higher as investors wait for U.S. election result

first_imgSearch quotes, news & videos Shares in Asia-Pacific higher as investors wait for U.S. election resultlast_img


Children Produce Weaker Coronavirus Antibodies, Study Finds

first_imgNeither group of children had antibodies to a viral protein called the nucleocapsid, or N, that is entangled with the genetic material of the virus. Because this protein is found within the virus and not on its surface, the immune system would only see it and make antibodies to it if the virus were widely disseminated in the body, she said.“You don’t really see any of that in the children, and that suggests that there’s really a reduced infection course if these kids are getting infected,” she explained.The finding could undermine the results from tests designed to pick up antibodies to the N protein of the virus. Many antibody tests, including those made by Abbott and Roche and offered by Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, are specific to the N antibodies and so may miss children who have successfully cleared the virus. “That’s absolutely an interesting implication of that finding,” Dr. Brodin said.Lower levels of virus in the body would also explain why children seem generally to transmit the virus less efficiently than adults do. Children infected with the coronavirus produce weaker antibodies and fewer types of them than adults do, suggesting they clear their infection much faster, according to a new study published Thursday.Other studies have suggested that an overly strong immune response may be to blame in people who get severely ill or die from Covid-19. A weaker immune response in children may paradoxically indicate that they vanquish the virus before it has had a chance to wreak havoc in the body, and may help explain why children are mostly spared severe symptoms of Covid, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It may also show why they are less likely to spread the virus to others.- Advertisement – The study looked at children’s antibody levels at a single point in time, and was too small to provide insights into how the levels may vary with age. But it could pose questions for certain antibody tests that may be missing children who have been infected.Dr. Farber and her colleagues analyzed antibodies to the coronavirus in four groups of patients: 19 adult convalescent plasma donors who had recovered from Covid without being hospitalized; 13 adults hospitalized with acute respiratory distress syndrome resulting from severe Covid; 16 children hospitalized with multi-system inflammatory syndrome, the rare condition affecting some infected children; and 31 infected children who did not have the syndrome. About half of this last group of children had no symptoms at all.Individuals in each group had antibodies, consistent with other studies showing that the vast majority of people infected with the coronavirus mount a robust immune response.- Advertisement – “This further emphasizes that this viral infection in itself, and the immune response to this virus, is not that different from what we would expect” from any virus, said Petter Brodin, an immunologist at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. “They may be infectious for a shorter time,” said Donna Farber, an immunologist at Columbia University in New York who led the study reported in the journal Nature Immunology.Having weaker and fewer antibodies does not mean that children would be more at risk of re-infections, other experts said. But the range of antibodies differed between children and adults. The children made primarily one type of antibody, called IgG, that recognizes the spike protein on the surface of the virus. Adults, by contrast, made several types of antibodies to the spike and other viral proteins, and these antibodies were more powerful at neutralizing the virus.Children had “less of a protective response, but they also had less of a breadth of an antibody response,” Dr. Farber said. “It’s because those kids are just not getting infected as severely.”center_img Another possibility is that the children have some protection — in the form of immune cells called memory T cells — from previous encounters with common cold coronaviruses.“Is it all innate? Or could there actually be some pre-existing memory?” Dr. Bhattacharya said. “I think those are both possible.” “You don’t really need a huge, overly robust immune response to maintain protections over some period of time,” said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “I don’t know that I would be especially worried that kids have a little bit lower antibody response.”- Advertisement – But experts urged some caution in interpreting the results because they represent samples taken from people at a single point in time.Samples from the more severely affected children and adults were collected within 24 to 36 hours of being admitted or intubated for respiratory failure; those from children with mild or no symptoms were banked after medical procedures.The type of antibodies produced by the body varies over the time course of an infection. This was a limitation of this study because the researchers may have been comparing people at different points in their infection, Dr. Brodin said. “You risk comparing apples and oranges.”Other experts cautioned that the study was too small to draw conclusions about how the immune response may vary in children of different ages. The children in the study ranged in age from 3 to 18 years, with a median age of 11. But some studies have suggested that teenagers may be just as much at risk from the coronavirus as adults.“It’s very important to understand what happens in children,” to understand the nature of their illness, but also how they contribute to spread of the virus in the community, said Dr. Maria L. Gennaro, an immunologist at Rutgers University. But “to try and stratify by age, it’s a little bit of a stretch in the analysis,” she said.The researchers were also not able to explain why children have a more limited antibody response.Having fewer types of antibodies may seem like a bad thing, but “having a ton of antibody isn’t necessarily a marker of a good thing,” said Dr. Bhattacharya. “It usually means that something went wrong early in the response.”At least one other study has suggested that children have a powerful inborn immune system, intended to combat the many new pathogens they encounter, and that this first line of defense may clear the infection early without needing to rely on later antibodies. – Advertisement –last_img read more


Tesla valuation doesn’t reflect ‘real world’ business

first_imgToyoda noted that his company makes and sells a much higher volume and variety of cars than Tesla, referring to 100 million Toyota vehicles out on the road owned by individual, fleet and other customers today. Toyota expects to sell about 7.5 million vehicles during its 2021 fiscal year, which kicked off Apr. 1, 2020.Tesla expects to sell 500,000 electric vehicles in 2020.Toyoda called Toyota’s offering a “full menu lineup,” referring to the company’s mix of internal combustion engine, hybrid, pure battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles.Toyota popularized hybrid electric vehicles with its Prius line, which started selling in 1997. It also made a very limited number of battery electric RAV-4’s, including a second generation electric RAV-4 which it produced in a partnership with Tesla.But Toyota didn’t commit to making a high volume of pure battery-powered electric vehicles until late last year. That’s when the company announced a joint venture with one of Tesla’s biggest competitors on the global stage, battery turned electric vehicle producers BYD in China.Although Toyota’s profits fell in its most recent quarter, the company has seen 3% higher sales growth than the broader autos industry, which is recovering after the pandemic dampened sales in China through the first half of the calendar year.With signs of a recovery on the horizon, Toyota also more than doubled its full-year forecast. The company now expects to generate an operating profit of 1.3 trillion yen, or about $12.6 billion, for the year through March 2021. (It previously expected a 500 billion yen profit.) During a Toyota Motors earnings call on Friday, executives answered questions about how they plan to compete in the expanding field of electric vehicles, and took a potshot at Tesla’s sky-high valuation.Toyota President Akio Toyoda acknowledged that Tesla’s valuation of around $400 billion is sky high, exceeding that of all seven Japanese automakers combined.He also said Toyota could learn from Tesla’s success with investors, and its business model, which includes revenue from electric vehicles, regulatory credits, software and renewable energy products. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img But, the exec went on to compare Tesla’s business to a restaurant still promoting its recipes, while Toyota is more like a restaurant already serving a huge number of customers.“I am hesitant to say this — Tesla’s business, if you want to use the analogy, is like that of a kitchen and a chef,” Toyoda said. “They have not created a real business in the real world yet. They are trying to trade recipes. The chef is saying ‘Our recipe is going to become the standard of the world in the future!’ At Toyota, we have a real kitchen and a real chef too, and are creating the dishes already. There are customers, who are very picky about what they like to eat, sitting in front of us, and eating our dishes already.”- Advertisement – The logo of Toyota Motor is displayed at a company’s car showroom in Tokyo on February 6, 2019.Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Imageslast_img read more


FA Cup first round: Colchester, Port Vale, Swindon among EFL casualties | Football News

first_imgRuthless Bradford cruised into the second round of the FA Cup after thrashing non-league Tonbridge Angels 7-0.Defender Anthony O’Connor gave the League Two a sixth-minute lead with a close-range header from Connor Wood’s left-wing cross before Billy Clarke bent a superb free-kick from 25 yards over the defensive wall after he had been fouled. Clarke got his second just before the break when he headed another excellent cross by Wood past Jon Henly.The visitors stretched their lead in the 55th minute when Clayton Donaldson swept home a low cross from Callum Cook. Cook hit the post before finding Austin Samuels, who is on loan from Wolves, and the substitute scored his first senior goal with a composed finish after 68 minutes.Harry Pritchard made it 6-0 in the 84th minute after good work by Samuels before Wood got Bradford’s seventh from close range in stoppage time.Dominic Samuel inspired Gillingham to a memorable FA Cup comeback as the League One side came from 2-0 down to beat National League Woking 3-2 at Priestfield.The semi-professional visitors took the lead midway through the first half when former Wycombe midfielder Max Kretzschmar spectacularly fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.Sitting 44 places higher than the Surrey club in the league pyramid, Charlton loanee Josh Davison appeared to put the Cards on the verge of the second round for the fourth time in five years when he pounced on a loose ball to double their advantage early in the second half.However, the deficit was halved just four minutes later as Samuel met Jordan Graham’s cross to head past Ross before the Gills fortuitously equalised on 68 minutes – Declan Drysdale’s header hitting the bar and deflecting off an unaware Samuel into the net.Substitute Vadaine Oliver completed the quickfire turnaround 11 minutes from time as he met another Graham delivery to head past the helpless Ross, and only the woodwork denied Kyle Dempsey a fourth late on. National League South side Concord Rangers agonisingly missed out on reaching the second round for the first time in their history after they were defeated by Stevenage on penalties following a thrilling 2-2 draw.Exeter squeezed through to the second round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory but they were made to work hard for their win by AFC Fylde. Alfie May scored twice as Cheltenham overcame the spirited challenge of South Shields with a 3-1 win.Dagenham and Redbridge knocked out Grimsby with a 3-1 victory as Stockport saw off the challenge of Rochdale with a 2-1 win. Bristol Rovers also won by the same scoreline against Walsall.Lincoln were big winners against Forest Green, beating them 6-2, as were Doncaster, who beat FC United of Manchester 5-1. Richie Wellens needed extra time to nab his first win as Salford City manager, eventually winning 2-0 against Hartlepool after a 0-0 draw in normal time.Portsmouth also won in extra time, beating Ipswich 3-2 at Portman Road, while Crewe were also 3-2 winners against Bolton. Shrewsbury beat Cambridge 2-0 while Plymouth beat in-form Charlton 1-0 at The Valley.Newport were 2-1 winners away at Leyton Orient, as were Peterborough at Oxford United. Mansfield also won on their travels, beating Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, while Hull won 2-0 at home to Fleetwood. Tranmere also won their fixture 2-1 against Accrington.Academy product Gabby Rogers struck the winner in stoppage time of extra-time as Yeovil progressed with a 1-0 victory at 10-man Bromley.Rogers volleyed in his first senior goal just when it seemed penalties would decide this crazy cup tie. Bromley were reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute as Harry Forster was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Luke Wilkinson.National League North side Brackley Town needed penalties to see off a spirited Bishop’s Stortford after the Isthmian League side fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in regular time.Elliott Ronto’s timely drive fired Canvey Island into the second round for the first time in 19 years in a 2-1 win at Banbury United. The winner came three minutes after the higher-ranked hosts, who had hit the woodwork twice late in the first half, had levelled the tie.FA Cup first round factsBradford’s 7-0 win at Tonbridge was their biggest ever competitive away win as a Football League side, while it was the first time they’ve scored 7+ in an away match since October 1928 (8-2 vs Ashington in Third Division North).Following their 4-1 win against Skelmersdale on Friday night, Harrogate Town have reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012-13.King’s Lynn earned their first FA Cup win against Football League opposition since beating Coventry 2-1 in November 1961.Sunderland have been eliminated from the FA Cup at the first round stage in consecutive seasons, having last been eliminated at this round in 1923-24.Lincoln City scored 6+ goals in an FA Cup match (excluding qualifying rounds) for the first time December 1976 (6-0 vs Nuneaton Borough).Dagenham and Redbridge picked up their first FA Cup victory as a non-league side since January 2003 (2-0 vs Plymouth, excluding qualifying rounds).Canvey Island have reached the FA Cup second round for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign.Charlton have lost their last three FA Cup home matches, as many as they had in their previous 19 at the Valley.FA Cup dates The full schedule for this season’s FA Cup has been confirmed, with the final due to take place on Saturday May 15, 2021.Replays have been scrapped – for this season only – to ease pressure on the football schedule.November 28: Second roundJanuary 9 2021: Third roundJanuary 23 2021: Fourth roundFebruary 10 2021: Fifth roundMarch 20 2021: Quarter-finalsApril 17 2021: Semi-finalsMay 15 2021: Final Sixty-five places separated the sides before kick-off but Campbell’s double put the team who are 15th in the National League North in the draw for the second round for the first time since 2007.National League side Boreham Wood shocked League Two Southend, winning 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.Boreham Wood seemed set for a comfortable victory when Jamal Fyfield headed them in front after just eight minutes. Luke Garrard’s side doubled their lead in the 51st minute with Mark Ricketts firing home.But the Shrimpers, who are bottom of League Two without a victory to their name, got back in the game in the 59th minute with Brandon Goodship scoring from a narrow angle. Substitute Terrell Egbri brought Southend back level three minutes later with a close-range finish.The Wood regained the lead three minutes into extra-time with Kabongo Tshimanga scoring from the spot and Southend equalised seven minutes later with an excellent effort from James Olayinka.But Boreham held on and secured victory on penalties despite seeing their first spot-kick, from Shaquile Coulthirst, saved by Mark Oxley. Southend substitute Matt Rush saw his effort kept out by Nathan Ashmore before skipper Jason Demetriou fired wide of the left post to see the non-league side progress. Colchester equalised in the 64th minute when Harry Pell found the net after Noah Chilvers’ long-range effort had only been parried by Marine keeper Bayleigh Passant and not cleared.Passant denied Josh Bohui and Michael Folivi had an effort cleared off the line as it went to penalties and, after Bohui’s effort went wide, Howard converted to send Marine into ecstasy.Substitute Sonny Carey’s late winner sent National League side King’s Lynn into the second round for the first time in their history as they recorded a 1-0 shock victory against League Two Port Vale.- Advertisement – Adam Campbell scored twice as non-league Darlington caused a first-round upset by winning 2-1 at managerless Swindon.- Advertisement – The game looked to be heading for extra-time when teenager Carey pounced in the 82nd minute after latching on to a pass from Adam Marriott.Another youngster, goalkeeper Archie Mair, had pulled off a number of stunning saves to deny Vale, who were left cursing their missed opportunities. – Advertisement – Bishop's Stortford lost on penalties in their FA Cup first round tieImage:Bishop’s Stortford lost on penalties in their FA Cup first round tie Exeter beat AFC Fylde in their encounterImage:Exeter beat AFC Fylde in their encounter Braford were big winners in the FA Cup first roundImage:Braford were big winners in the FA Cup first round Michael Howard scored the all-important spot-kick as non-league Marine stunned Sky Bet League Two side Colchester by knocking them out of the FA Cup 5-3 on penalties, after the first-round tie had finished 1-1.Marine, of Northern Premier League Division One North West, took a shock 21st-minute lead when Anthony Miley followed up to score from close range after Josh Hmami’s free-kick had rattled a post.- Advertisement –last_img read more


Man City 1-1 Liverpool: Pep Guardiola’s side will now find it ‘very difficult’ to win Premier League, says Roy Keane | Football News

first_img“I think no team this season has looked anywhere near their best. It’s a strange season, the lack of pre-season, City were still in Europe and their season was prolonged last season…“But I would say in these early stages there are probably more signs of Liverpool getting back to their best of last season than there has of City.“I think of the first half hour here, and the Chelsea game, and Arsenal, and Everton. Whereas Man City, there’s just been a couple of real performances and you’re sort of just waiting to see City really click and get back to where they have been in the past.“Or is this City team that won the league with 100 points sort of slightly on the decline, and maybe they won’t get those points again?“I don’t think any team is going to get the points we saw in the last couple of years and that’s what gives everyone in this league a shout.” 1:33 “I know there were other positions they wanted to fill, a centre-half I suppose was a priority. They’ve got nobody but themselves to blame for being short on strikers. You have to have strength in depth – particularly if you’re expected to challenge for all the major trophies. I don’t see City winning the league this year.”Striker Gabriel Jesus was on target for City against Liverpool but Keane believes it is Aguero who is the key frontman for Guardiola, and says the Argentina international’s fitness concerns are a major issue.- Advertisement – In these early stages there are probably more signs of Liverpool getting back to their best of last season than there has of City.Jamie Carragher Roy Keane gives an amusing response when asked if he would rather have played for Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola “I think the big worry for City is they’re always brilliant to watch and they control most games but that lack of goal threat, lack of goals they’ve got in the team,” said Keane.“They’ve got Aguero to come back but when he came back from his last injury he looked like he was carrying a bit of weight. You’re thinking, ‘has he still got that hunger and desire?’ And Jesus, you can’t hang your hat on him.” Roy Keane believes Manchester City lack the firepower needed to win the Premier League this season, after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool. Pep Guardiola’s side were a distant second to the Reds last season and eight games into the 2020/21 campaign they already trail Liverpool by five points, sitting 11th in the table, six off early leaders Leicester City.- Advertisement – “City, when you look at their squad, and the players they’ve lost, but also to go into the season where they’re expected to challenge for every competition they’re in, to have two strikers – and Aguero being 32, having one or two problems – and then just hanging your hat on one striker, they’d have to be critical of themselves, why they didn’t strengthen in the summer with a striker. You have to have strength in depth – particularly if you’re expected to challenge for all the major trophies. I don’t see City winning the league this year.Roy Keane – Advertisement – Interestingly, Man City have scored 17 goals fewer than they had at the same stage of last season, and Keane believes with Sergio Aguero struggling with injuries, they aren’t able to make their dominance count in matches – and criticised them for not investing in a striker in the summer.“I think it’s going to be very difficult for City to win the league this year,” he told Sky Sports.“There was no way they were going to keep up what they’ve done over the last two or three years, the same for Liverpool.- Advertisement – Carra: Liverpool look more likely than CityJamie Carragher, meanwhile, pointed out there have been more examples of Liverpool looking on track to return to their best levels this season than City – with the first 30 minutes of the clash at the Etihad an example, when the visitors were on top.However, he also believes the demands of this condensed season make it challenging for all clubs and the astronomical points hauls we’ve seen in recent years from Liverpool and City could be out of reach anyway, opening the door for other challengers.“I think last season, the big debate was – ‘was that almost like a blip for City? The points they got. And not just City, Pep Guardiola as a manager’,” said Carragher.“Every season he’s had with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, almost, he’s got 90+ points in every one. It was a big drop off last season.“You’re thinking again this season, ‘is that just a freak and City will go back?’last_img read more


Storm Iota: Preparations under way in Honduras and Nicaragua

first_imgForecasters say Tropical Storm Iota will strengthen to a hurricane as it hits Honduras and Nicaragua.- Advertisement –last_img


Tesla, Walgreens, DraftKings, Square and more

first_imgHome Depot — Shares of the home improvement stock ticked 3% lower after the company reported higher costs and a plan to spend $1 billion to make permanent its Covid-era worker pay increases. Though the home-improvement retailer saw healthy same-store revenue growth of 24%, the elevated sales also sparked higher costs.Charles Schwab — Shares of the e-broker rose nearly 2% after Citigroup upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. The Wall Street firm said the stock could get a boost as earnings normalize. Citi also hiked its 12-month price target on Schwab to $54 per share from $44 per share.Kohl’s — The retail stock jumped 5.6% after the company reported a surprise adjusted profit for the last quarter. Kohl’s reported adjusted earnings of 1 cent per share and $3.78 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a loss of 43 cents per share and $3.86 billion in revenue. The company said it had positive sales growth in athleisure, lounge and sleepwear categories despite net sales falling 13% year over year.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.Tesla — Tesla shares rallied nearly 10% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said it would add the electric car maker’s stock to the S&P 500 index, effective Dec. 21. This “speaks to the sustained profit trajectory that Tesla is now finally getting into this elusive club after much noise on the Street,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid — Drug store stocks tumbled on Tuesday after Amazon announced its new pharmacy venture that allows for online ordering and delivery of prescription drugs. Shares of Rite Aid sank more than 13%, while Walgreens fell 9.3% and CVS Health lost 7.4%. Amazon’s stock rose 0.8%.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Farfetch— Shares of Farfetch gained 2% after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on the luxury online fashion retailer with an overweight rating. The bank said Farfetch’s “unique” marketplace model is well positioned to take share from both brick and mortar e-commerce players.DraftKings — Shares of DraftKings jumped 5% after Loop initiated coverage on the fantasy sports betting company with a buy rating. Loop said DraftKings would emerge as the “undisputed share leader” and the “biggest beneficiary” of the online gaming industry.Moderna — Shares of Moderna lost 4% on Tuesday after BMO Capital Markets downgraded the biotech company to market perform from outperform. The Wall Street firm said it now sees “limited upside” as shares have priced in the vaccine news.Square — Shares of the payments company rose more than 5%, on pace for its best day since November 11. Square got a boost from positive commentary from Mizuho Securities analysts.— with reporting from CNBC’s Fred Imbert, Jesse Pound and Yun Li. CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk reacts following the company’s initial public offering at the NASDAQ market in New York June 29, 2010Brendan McDermid | Reuterslast_img read more


Global BSE cases declining fast, FAO says

first_img The FAO announcement comes 10 days after US authorities confirmed the nation’s third BSE case in a cow in Alabama. The cow, which couldn’t walk, was euthanized and buried on the farm, after samples were taken for testing, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “It is quite clear that BSE is declining and that the measures introduced to stop the disease are effective,” said Andrew Speedy, an FAO animal production expert quoted in the announcement. “But further success depends on our continuing to apply those measures worldwide.” The United States is working on a voluntary national cattle identification system but has not yet implemented it. Mar 23 FAO statement on mad cow disease See also: Mar 23, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Worldwide cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, have declined about 50% per year over the last three years, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today. USDA investigators have found a 6-week-old calf belonging to the BSE-infected cow and are looking for a bull calf that was born to the cow last year, the agency said in recent updates. The 6-week-old calf has been moved to the USDA’s national laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for observation. In today’s FAO statement, Speedy said a vital part of BSE detection and control is “a tracking system that allows animals to be identified all the way from birth to shopping basket. This has been adopted across Europe but has yet to be implemented partially or fully in a number of other countries.” Deaths caused by the human form of BSE, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), have also been dropping, the FAO said. There were five deaths in 2005, compared with 9 in 2004 and 18 in 2003. All the deaths occurred in the United Kingdom, the country hit hardest by both BSE and vCJD. Mar 16 USDA update on Alabama BSE case After the cow tested positive, USDA officials dug up the animal to verify its age and determined that it was at least 10 years old. That meant it had been born before the 1997 US ban on putting cattle protein into cattle feed, considered the most likely transmission pathway for BSE, the USDA said in a Mar 16 update. “In 2005, just 474 animals died of BSE around the world, compared with 878 in 2004 and 1,646 in 2003, and against a peak of several tens of thousands in 1992,” the FAO said. The figures were compiled by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Mar 9 USDA update on its National Animal Identification System read more


Researchers report new species of deadly Ebola virus

first_img Nov 21 PLoS press release During the midst of the 2007 outbreak the World Health Organization announced Nov 30 that a new subtype of the virus was sickening people in Bundibugyo district. Researchers published a detailed account today on the discovery and an analysis of genetic findings of the new subtype in the Public Library of Science Pathogens (PLoS Pathogens). Nov 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers from the United States and Uganda today released the first full scientific report on a new Ebola species that struck western Uganda late last year and was linked to 149 suspected cases and 37 deaths, at least 4 of them healthcare providers. Unknown drug susceptibilityThe group concluded that researchers who are developing vaccines against the Zaire and Sudan Ebola viruses will probably want to do cross-protection studies to determine of the vaccines can be designed to protect against the Bundibugyo subtype. Using a less sensitive but more broadly reactive filovirus RT-PCR assay on one of the specimens, the scientists found more evidence of infection, which suggested the genetic sequence was distinct from the four known Ebola subtypes. In all, 9 of the 29 blood samples were positive for Ebola virus infection, the group reported. Before comparing the new subtype with other known filoviruses, the research team had to complete the entire genome of the new Ebola subtype as well as that of the Cote D’Ivoire Ebola virus. When comparing all of the species, they found that the newly discovered subtype—which they proposed naming the Bundibugyo Ebola virus—differed from the four existing types. Unusual symptoms point to new speciesDuring the 2007 outbreak, officials were puzzled because patients had unusual initial symptoms such as vomiting and others that resembled malaria, according to previous reports. Officials didn’t suspect Ebola right away, because some of the early case patients didn’t have external bleeding. See also: Using a new metagenomics pyrosequencing method developed by 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company based in Branford, Conn., the researchers were able to rapidly sequence 70% of the virus genome to develop a draft sequence that allowed them to quickly develop real-time PCR assays specific to the new virus subtype, according to the report. Towner JS, Sealy TK, Khristova ML, et al. Newly discovered Ebola virus associated with hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uganda. PLoS Pathog 2008 Nov;4(11) (published online Nov 21)[Full text]center_img The investigators reported that the closest relative to the new species is the Cote d’Ivoire subtype, which shows a 32% nucleotide difference. The new assays were quickly sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute to assist with diagnosis of Ebola patients during the rest of the outbreak. They said more studies are needed to determine the pathogenicity of the new virus and if antivirals are effective against it. According to initial findings from the outbreak, the case-fatality rate for Bundibugyo Ebola was about 36%, lower than that of the Zaire (80% to 90%) or Sudan (50% to 55%) subtypes. Dec 6, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Suspected cases rise as new Ebola strain strikes Uganda” Initial symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some patients have both internal and external bleeding. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease. In late November, health officials in Uganda sent 29 blood samples from suspect patients to the CDC. Using a broadly reactive Ebola virus antigen capture assay, the lab determined that eight specimens showed evidence of Ebola infection. However, earlier real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays for all known Zaire and Sudan Ebola viruses and Marburg viruses had shown that the specimens were negative. Four Ebola subtypes have previously been identified—Zaire, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Reston—but only the Zaire and Sudan subtypes have been associated with large hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in people in Africa. The Ebola virus is highly contagious and is lethal in about 50% to 90% of cases. Identification of the new virus highlights how quickly powerful molecular detection and characterization tools can identify new pathogens, the group wrote. However, they cautioned against solely relying on molecular techniques such as real-time PCR assays for detecting novel biodefense pathogens or conducting surveillance for emerging diseases.last_img read more