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Adenoviruses

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Posted by on Friday, January 28, 2011, 4:51
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Adenoviruses
Adenoviruses

ADENOVIRUS
Adenoviruses — a group of viruses that infect the membranes (tissue linings) of the respiratory tract, the eyes, the intestines, and the urinary tract — account for about 10% of acute respiratory infections in kids and are a frequent cause of diarrhea.
OCCURRENCE
Adenoviral infections affect infants and young children much more frequently than adults. Childcare centers and schools sometimes experience multiple cases of respiratory infections and diarrhea that are caused by adenovirus.Although these infections can occur at any time of the year, respiratory tract disease caused by adenovirus is more common in late winter, spring, and early summer. However, conjunctivitis and pharyngoconjunctival fever caused by adenovirus tend to affect older kids mostly in the summer.The majority of the population will have experienced at least one adenoviral infection by age 10. Although adenoviral infection in kids can occur at any age, most take place in the first years of life. Since there are many different types of adenovirus, repeated adenoviral infections can occur.
SYMPTOMS
•    Febrile respiratory disease
An infection of the respiratory tract that includes a fever, is the most common. Other symptoms include inflammation of the pharynx, or sore throat, inflammation of nasal membranes, or a congested, runny nose, cough, swollen lymph nodes and illness similar to the flu. The infection can also cause bronchitis and in children under 3 years old, adenovirus can affect the lower respiratory tract, causing bronchiolitis, croup, or viral pneumonia.
•    Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
It is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the eye and inner surfaces of the eyelids. Symptoms are red eyes, discharge, tearing, and a feeling that something is in the eye. Keratoconjunctivitis is a more severe infection that involves both the membranes and cornea.
•    Pharyngoconjunctival fever
It happens when adenovirus affects the lining of the eye and the respiratory tract. Symptoms are red eyes and a sore throat, sometimes with a fever, rhinitis, and swollen lymph nodes.
•    Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach and the intestines, large and small.
Wet diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, and stomach cramps accompany this variety. Adenovirus is sometimes linked to urinary tract infections, which causes urinary frequency, burning pain, or blood in the urine.
TRANSMISSION
•    inhaling airborne viruses
•    getting the virus in the eyes by swimming in contaminated water, using contaminated eye solutions or instruments, wiping the eyes with contaminated towels, or rubbing the eyes with contaminated fingers
•    not washing the hands after using the bathroom and then touching the mouth or eyes
IT IS A VIRAL VECTOR
Adenoviral DNA does not integrate into the genome and is not replicated during cell division. This limits their use in basic research, although adenoviral vectors are occasionally used in in vitro experiments. Their primary applications are in
•     gene therapy
•     vaccination.
Since humans commonly come in contact with adenoviruses, which cause respiratory, gastrointestinal and eye infections, they trigger a rapid immune response with potentially dangerous consequences. To overcome this problem scientists are currently investigating adenoviruses to which humans do not have immunity
WHAT IS VIRAL VECTOR
Viral vectors are a tool commonly used by molecular biologists to deliver genetic material into cells. This process can be performed inside a living organism (in vivo) or in cell culture (in vitro)
DIAGNOSIS
Although symptoms may suggest the presence of adenovirus, distinguishing these infections from other viruses can be difficult. A definitive diagnosis is based on culture or detection of the virus in eye secretions, sputum, urine, or stool.The extent of infection can be estimated from the results of blood tests that measure increases in the quantity of antibodies the immune system produces to fight it. Antibody levels begin to rise about a week after infection occurs and remain elevated for about a year.
TREATMENT
Treatment of adenovirus infections is usually supportive and aimed at relieving symptoms of the illness. Bed rest may be recommended along with medications to reduce fever and/or pain . (Aspirin should not be given to children because it is associated with Reye’s syndrome.) Eye infections may benefit from topical corticosteroids to relieve symptoms and shorten the course of the disease. Hospitalization is usually required for severe pneumonia in infants and for keratoconjunctivitis (to prevent blindness). No effective antiviral drugs had been developed as of 2004.
PREVENTION FROM ADENOVIRUS

Strict handwashing is important to prevent the spread of adenoviruses to other infants, children, and adults. If your child is in the hospital, healthcare workers will wear special isolation apparel, such as gowns and gloves, when they enter your child’s room.

COMPLICATIONS
•    Children who develop pneumonia from adenovirus may develop chronic lung disease. This is very rare, but this strain of the virus has a 10 percent mortality rate.
•    Children with weakened immune systems are at risk for developing a more severe infection from adenoviruses.
•    A severe complication of intestinal adenovirus is intussusception (an intestinal blockage that occurs when one part of the intestine slides over another section like a telescope). This is a medical emergency and most often occurs in babies. The symptoms of intussusception may include bloody stool, vomiting, abdominal swelling, knees flexed to chest, loud cries from pain, weakness, and lethargy.
•    A child may retain the adenovirus for a long time without major symptoms. Sometimes, this lingering condition causes chronic infection of the tonsils and adenoids (a lymph-like gland that is located in the back of the nose and throat).

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