Science & Technology

West Nile Virus Might Be Linked to Kidney Problems


As of September of this yr, there have been greater than 2,600 new instances of West Nile virus within the USA, together with 118 deaths, which had been reported to the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.

Whereas most individuals haven’t any signs of West Nile, some have life-threatening mind irritation, which leaves survivors with long-term disabilities together with paralysis and fatigue. Researchers are investigating the speculation that even gentle infections would possibly go away one other lasting downside, kidney illness. The scientists printed their findings within the journal PLoS ONE.


It might be a worrisome improvement, states Kristy Murray, an epidemiologist on the Baylor School of Drugs in Houston, Texas, who hasn’t but confirmed that kidney illness persists lengthy after a West Nile an infection. She hopes to discover a hyperlink quickly, as she has moved her analysis to a brand new biosecurity stage 3 laboratory close to the Texas Kids’s Hospital.

The declare wants to be investigated and if Murray’s findings are true, it might be a significant downside having to cope with all of those folks with gentle infections. In one other examine, Murray collected urine samples from 25 West Nile survivors and located that 5 had viral RNA of their urine, effectively after that they had been contaminated, suggesting that the virus might need established itself within the kidneys.

So as to look at whether or not the virus really harms the kidneys over time, the researchers regarded for indicators of long-term kidney illness in urine samples of 139 folks. In July she reported that 40% of that group confirmed the indicators of long-term kidney illness.

Murray’s newest examine didn’t embody a management group, and a CDC examine of some West Nile survivors in Colorado discovered no proof of viral RNA within the topics’ urine. A number of labs want to discover the identical outcomes from the identical blinded samples so as to affirm this speculation.

Murray claims that the single-stranded fragments of RNA are simply damaged aside by enzymes within the fluid, and freezing in addition to thawing samples doesn’t assist issues. Nevertheless, her personal topics traveled for simply on hour to the College of Texas Medical Department in Galveston.

At her new lab, Murray plans on utilizing a four-year grand from the NIH to recruit 440 folks, half of whom had West Nile, so as to lastly affirm her findings.

[via Nature]

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