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Projects

Ongoing Projects (2005 – 2008)

Project Director  S.N. Institutul Pasteur -Dr. Andrei Popovici, 
Partners:
- "St.S. Nicolau" Institute of Virology Principal investigator: Simona Ruţă; Team members: C.N. Zaharia, Gabriela Anton, Constanta Antipa, Irina Alexiu, Neagu Ana, Florica Topirceanu
- Veterianary Faculty of Medicine Bucharest Principal investigator  Danes Doina
. Veterianary Faculty of Medicine Timisoara Principal investigator: Catana Nicolae
. Dexter Com Srl: Savu Lorand
- Biochemistry Institute : Szedlacsek Stefan
- ASI 2000 Srl: Pirlog Cornelia
- Biotehnol: Cornea Petruta
- SC Romsuintest Peris SA: Zeneci Nicolae

The aim of the project is to establish the etiopathogenic differences between the circulating viral strains of human and swine influenza and other major respiratory viral pathogens ( swine viral respiratory reproductive syndrome virus-SRRPV and swine ciroviruses - CVP2). The main objectives are the development of a detection/characterisation and cloning methodology for the orf5 gene of SRRPV, orf2 gene of CVP and NS1 gene of influenza viruses in order to establish their involvement in pathogenesis and in the development of an immune response and the in vivo evaluation of the etiopathogenic behaviour of the viral strains and their pheotypic and genotypic correlates.

 

Past Research Themes

Research on incidence of influenza antibodies in patients with viral diseases
Florica Toparceanu, PhD – principal investigator

A comparative study was performed between the incidence of serum influenza antibodies in patients with viral diseases between January and April 2005 (groups 1A and 1B) and January-April 2006 (groups 2A and 2B). Groups A were formed of patients hospitalized in the Pneumology Department of “Victor Babes” Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Bucharest, while groups B were made up of out-patients.

The reference influenza antigens used in HI tests, on double samples (groups A) and single samples (groups B) were similar to those contained in the composition of the trivalent influenza vaccines VAXIGRIP, according to the WHO recommendations for the cold seasons 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 in the Northern Hemisphere. These antigens were A/New Caledonia/20/1999(H1N1), A/Wyoming/3/2003(H3N2) and B/Jiangsu/10/2003 for the 2004-2005 season [Weekly Epidemiological Record,79(9), 91, 2004] and A/New Caledonia/20/1999(H1N1), A/New York/55/2004(H3N2) and B/Jiangsu/10/2003 for the 2005-2006 season [Weekly Epidemiological Record,81(9), 84, 2006].

The incidence of cases with serum influenza antibodies was four times lower in 2006 than in 2005 (13.3% in groups 2A vs. 55% in group1A). In none of the cases of the 2A group an acute influenza virus infection was detected, whereas in 1A group an acute influenza virus infection was diagnosed in 21 % of the cases.

The titers of anamnestic antibodies were low in the 2006 groups as compared to the 2005 groups (40-80 vs. 40-1280). The type A(H3N2) antibodies prevailed over the type A(H1N1) and B antibodies, but their level was very low in the 2006 groups, in comparison with the 2005 groups [13.3% vs. 51.7% for A(H3N2); 6.7% vs. 13.8% for A(H1N1); and 3.3% vs. 7.5% for B].

These results correlate with the low level of influenza virus circulation in the European area, during the 2005-2006 cold season compared to the previous cold season.

 

Research on the protection provided by the Vaxigrip vaccine to the circulating influenza virus strains during the cold season 2004-2005
Florica Toparceanu, PhD – principal investigator

People including 3 age groups [young (15-18 years), adult (27-50 years) and aged (61-77 years) subjects] had received trivalent inactivated vaccines VAXIGRIP containing the influenza A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1), A/Wyoming/3/2003(H3N2) and B/jiangsu/10/2003 - like antigens during the 26.11.2004 - 8.01.2005 period. Antibodies to haemagglutinin (HA) were measured by haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) tests in their sera before and 13-15 days after vaccination. All subjects displayed post- immunization antibodies to HA at titers ≥320 to the influenza A(H1N1) vaccine virus and ≥40 to the influenza A(H3N2) vaccine virus. However, the vaccine induced a lower synthesis of antibodies to influenza B vaccine virus comparison with influenza A vaccine virus. Only 50% of young subjects exhibited postimmunization antibodies to HA at titers ≥40 to the influenza B vaccine virus, while the rate among adults and aged subjects was 80%, 100% respectively.

Of the cases with acute respiratory diseases hospitalized during 31.01.2005 - 10.04.2005 period, 20.67% were diagnosed with an acute influenza virus infection, respectively: 10.34% with the A(H3N2) virus, 6.88% with the A(H1N1) virus and 3.44% with the B virus. Prevalence of antibodies to A(H3N2) antigen over those to B and A(H1N1) antigens was confirmed also in the outpatients investigated during the 1.11.2004 – 10.04.2005 period. In comparison with November 2004, during December 2004 / March 2005 period a progressive increase tendency of antibodies was recorded up to 31% for A(H3N2), 26% for B and 20% for A(H1N1) viruses. The VAXIGRIP efficacy was analyzed by testing the specificity of the vaccine induced antibodies to the circulating influenza viruses during the cold season 2005.

Study of circulating influenza virus strains in the south-east of Roumania during the period february 2 – april 4, 2002
Florica Toparceanu, PhD – principal investigator

At the National Centre of Influenza and Respiratory Virus Disease in the Institute of Virology- Bucharest, systematic research on the circulation of influenza viruses in the South-East area of Romania. In the present work are set the results obtained by the investigation of the biological samples (nasopharyngeal secretions and blood) taken from 168 patients in the epidemic influenza foci recurred during the period February 2 – April 4, 2002, in Bucharest and in the Tulcea, Constanza and Buzău Districts. The study consisted in the isolation of 20 influenza virus strains, 18 of which were identified as being of the A/Panama/2007/99-like (H3N2) type, the 2 others belonging to the A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) type, and resulted in the finding of the prevalence of influenza serum antibodies to the A/Panama/2007/99 (H3N2) antigen as compared with the A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) and B/Yamanashi/166/98 antigens. These results demonstrate the circulation predominence of type A(H3N2) influenza virus strains in the course of the influenza epidemic occurred during the investigated period.

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