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Home / Health / Poliomyelitis: Virus could be the cause of AFM, according to a study

Poliomyelitis: Virus could be the cause of AFM, according to a study



Since the first cases were documented in 2012, scientists have discussed how children get AFM, which can lead to weakness and paralysis. Some thought the cause was an autoimmune disease while others suspected a virus. Until recently, detection of a virus was cumbersome and, according to the study, was not found in 98% of AFM patients who tested the spinal fluid.
VirScan, a virus-hunting tool, has enabled scientists to study the spine of patients for an immune response to enterovirus and thousands of other viruses simultaneously. Using this method, the team confirmed the presence of antibodies to enterovirus strains D68 and A71 in nearly 70% of the 42 AFM patients they tested. They found no antibodies to another virus.

"In an infection of the spinal cord, antibody-producing immune cells migrate there and produce more antibodies, and we believe finding antibodies to enteroviruses in the spinal fluid of AFM patients means the virus is actually migrating into the spinal cord Blame for these viruses, "said Dr. Ryan Schubert, a clinical neurologist at the University of California at San Francisco and author of the new study, in an e-mail statement.

Enteroviruses are common; According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they cause about 1

0 to 15 million infections a year in the United States. Typically, enteroviruses cause common cold symptoms such as fever, runny nose, and body aches, and recovery is easy.

It is still unclear why virus strains are associated with paralysis in some children if they do not have the same effect in adults and why less than 1% of infected children have AFM.

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studies. A study published in the journal mBio in August used a different method and found antibodies against enteroviruses in 11 out of 14 AFM patients.
"It's always good to see the reproducibility, it gives more confidence in the results," said Drs. W Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, co-author of the study in mBio. "This gives us more support for what we found."
Together with Dr. Nischay Mishra, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, said in the study that the most affected virus was D68, and research is being conducted there should focus on investment.
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"We are very excited to see why. As if, when a child reaches puberty, almost everyone is exposed to this virus, we want to know why these very few children develop this terrible outcome. " Said Lipkin. "There may be a genetic predisposition, we do not know, we also need to uncover another piece of the puzzle, which is why there is this kind of periodic eruption, it seems to be every two years, we do not understand much." Information about how EV D68 circulates and how we want to know more.

Another paper recently published in the journal Pediatrics states that AFM was probably caused by viruses, including enteroviruses.

The studies are inconclusive. However, further investigation is needed. "Because of the urgency of public health However, to understand the etiology of AFM, it was important to publish these findings. "According to the CDC, since the start of follow-up in 2014, there have been nearly 600 cases [1965-9016] Most patients with AFM start the symptoms between August and October. There were 20 confirmed cases in the US in 2019.

There is no proven treatment for AFM, but knowing how AFM starts can be a first step for scientists to be better diagnostic tools and one day maybe to develop a vaccine Protect children.


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