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New virus discovered in patients with central nervous system infections: an infection from livestock?

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Patients in Vietnam and other locations with central nervous system infections may well be suffering from the effects of a newly discovered virus. Researchers have detected a virus they're calling CyCV-VN in spinal fluid from 4% of 642 patients with central nervous system infections of unknown cause, and in an average of 58% of fecal samples from pigs and poultry, suggesting animals may serve as reservoirs for transmission to humans. The virus belongs to the Cyclovirus genus, a group that has never before been implicated in human or animal disease.
"The detection of CyCV-VN in a usually sterile material like cerebrospinal fluid is remarkable and may point to a pathogenic role of this virus as a single or a co-infecting pathogen," says corresponding author Tan Le Van of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The results in this study, Van cautions, amount to correlation, not causation, and further work is needed to see whether they can fulfill Koch's postulates and confirm that it poses a threat to human and animal health.
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