• Carlow virus, a 2002 GII.4 variant Norovirus strain from Ireland.

      Kearney, Karen; Menton, John; Morgan, John G; Lab 439, Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. kearney_karen@hotmail.com (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Noroviruses are the leading cause of infectious non-bacterial gastroenteritis in Ireland (population 4 million). Due to the number of outbreaks, its massive impact on the Irish health service and its seasonality, Norovirus has gained public notoriety as The Winter Vomiting Bug. The increase in cases in Ireland in the 2002-2003 season coincided with the emergence of two new Genogroup II genotype 4 variant clusters of Norovirus worldwide. RESULTS: Little research has been done on the epidemiology or molecular biology of Norovirus strains in Ireland. In an effort to combat this discrepancy, we cloned a full length human norovirus genome as a cDNA clone (J3) which can produce full length transcripts in vitro. A polymerase mutant cDNA clone (X1), in addition to a sub genomic cDNA clone (1A) were produced for use in future work. Carlow virus (Hu/NoV/GII/Carlow/2002/Ire) genome is 7559 nts in length, excluding the 3-end poly A tail and represents the first Norovirus strain from Ireland to be sequenced. CONCLUSION: Carlow virus is a member of the Farmington Hills variant cluster of Genogroup II genotype 4 noroviruses.
    • Development of a real-time RT-PCR and Reverse Line probe Hybridisation assay for the routine detection and genotyping of Noroviruses in Ireland.

      Menton, John F; Kearney, Karen; Morgan, John G; Lab 439, Food Science Building, Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland. j.menton@ucc.ie (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Noroviruses are the most common cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis. Improved detection methods have seen a large increase in the number of human NoV genotypes in the last ten years. The objective of this study was to develop a fast method to detect, quantify and genotype positive NoV samples from Irish hospitals. RESULTS: A real-time RT-PCR assay and a Reverse Line Blot Hybridisation assay were developed based on the ORF1-ORF2 region. The sensitivity and reactivity of the two assays used was validated using a reference stool panel containing 14 NoV genotypes. The assays were then used to investigate two outbreaks of gastroenteritis in two Irish hospitals. 56 samples were screened for NoV using a real-time RT-PCR assay and 26 samples were found to be positive. Genotyping of these positive samples found that all positives belonged to the GII/4 variant of NoV. CONCLUSION: The combination of the Real-time assay and the reverse line blot hybridisation assay provided a fast and accurate method to investigate a NoV associated outbreak. It was concluded that the predominant genotype circulating in these Irish hospitals was GII/4 which has been associated with the majority of NoV outbreaks worldwide. The assays developed in this study are useful tools for investigating NoV infection.
    • Friedreich's ataxia cardiomyopathy: case based discussion and management issues.

      Hanley, A; Corrigan, R; Mohammad, S; MacMahon, B; Monaghan General Hospital, Co Monaghan. alanhanley@gmail.com (2010-04)
      Cardiac involvement is common in Friedreich's Ataxia and is a common cause of premature death. Evidence regarding treatment of congestive heart failure in patients with Friedreich's Ataxia is lacking. The case of a 31-year-old male with advanced Friedreich's Ataxia who presented with an acute diarrhoeal illness and features of acute heart failure is discussed. We then review the reported cardiac manifestations of Friedreich's Ataxia and discuss management options.