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HCV homologs in nature - Essay Example

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Viruses are one of the microbes that have caused severe harm to human life and health. Out of the whole pool of viruses, is hepatitis C virus that has infected around 3% of the global population. The question of finding a HCV homolog in other animals is essential to probe deeper into its phylogenetic linkage in nature. This review highlights the homolog Hepatitis C Virus in infected dogs termed as Canine Hepatitis C virus, and in healthy horses as well as bats. …
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HCV homologs in nature
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Download file to see previous pages Viruses are one of the microbes that have caused severe harm to human life and health. Out of the whole pool of viruses, is hepatitis C virus that has infected around 3% of the global population. The question of finding a HCV homolog in other animals is essential to probe deeper into its phylogenetic linkage in nature. This review highlights the homolog Hepatitis C Virus in infected dogs termed as Canine Hepatitis C virus, and in healthy horses as well as bats. A whole array of techniques has been discussed in detail employed by the scientists in these discoveries such as nested PCR, RT- PCR as well as microarray techniques. Recently, rodent models have also been reported using these techniques owing to the ease of handling and ethically appropriate. A comparison of the novel viruses reported by different scientists was also compared in order to assess the similarities and differences between these viruses. With such findings at our disposal, scientists can better understand disease mechanisms and thus conduct quality research in disease prevention in terms of vaccine development as well as cure. Viruses have been the ‘danger microbes’ since centuries. The world has suffered great losses in many pandemics such as 1918 flu pandemic targeting roughly around 50 -100 million people which makes 5% of the world population at that time. (Patterson, 1991) (Johnson, 2002). History has witnessed many such disease disasters such as AIDS pandemic in 1981 killing around 25 million people. (Mawar, 2005). With human life so vulnerable to viruses, it is of utmost importance to study the impact of novel viruses on human health. It is now believed that many animal viruses cause two-thirds of infectious diseases in humans. For example, the Nipah, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Ebola viruses have been found abundantly in bats in a study conducted by researchers in Columbia University and Eco-health Alliance. During a four-year study from 2006 – 2010, hundreds of urine and fecal samples of bats were tested for viral sequences. Results showed the prevalence of nine virus families in the samples and discovery of 50 novel viruses (ten of which had similarity with Nipah virus, and was responsible for many outbreaks in South Asia). (Kupperschmidt, 2013) Hsieh et al discovered a novel strain of swine Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in pigs which was thought to be the causal agent in more than 10% non-A, non-B and non-C hepatitis patients in Taiwan. (Hseih, 1999) Thus, it becomes important to study the origin of novel viruses and the extent of danger they pose to human beings. The scope of this paper describes the connection between these viruses and human disease and the techniques used in identification of such viruses. Key Technologies Used Quan et al applied Unbiased High Throughput Sequencing technique for assessment of the serum specimens collected from 415 healthy bats that represented seven families, 26 genera and 33 species in taxonomic classification; these inhabited five countries - Guatemala, Democratic Republic of China, Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya. (Quan, 2013) Unbiased High Throughput Screening (UHTS) is one of the best techniques known until now that enable the discovery of novel pathogens. Many novel pathogens have been identified using this technique. Palacios et al reported the discovery of novel arena virus that usually causes mild illness but numerous fatal infections have been identified in patients with solid-organ transplantation. (Palacios, 2008) UHTS provides the advantage that it is unbiased by nature and provides full opportunity to probe the entire tree of life. The protocol of novel pathogen discovery involves amplification and sequencing, raw sequences are assorted into non-redundant sequence sets. Sequences that are unique are assembled into contiguous sequences which are then compared against sequence databases using computational softwares. These softwares match these sequences at nucleotide and amino ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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