May 21, 2024

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What Caused Sudden Silence and Resurgence of Gastrointestinal Viruses?

What Caused Sudden Silence and Resurgence of Gastrointestinal Viruses?



 

What Caused Sudden Silence and Resurgence of Gastrointestinal Viruses?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, following the US government’s “stay-at-home” orders, gastroenteric viruses such as norovirus and adenovirus nearly vanished from California for almost two years, only to re-emerge towards the end of 2022.


Research indicates that the resurgence of these viruses is attributed to a decline in community immunity due to reduced viral exposure during the pandemic.


This study was published in the “Journal of Clinical Microbiology,” a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

 

What Caused Sudden Silence and Resurgence of Gastrointestinal Viruses?

 

 

Dr. Niaz Banaei, a professor of Pathology and Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Stanford University, and the Medical Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Stanford Health Care, commented, “Interestingly, these viruses surged back to pre-epidemic levels by the end of 2022. Adenovirus F40/41, which is most commonly associated with gastroenteritis, was actually twice as abundant as pre-epidemic levels.”

Banaei speculated that the increase in viral infections was due to a weakened collective immunity caused by reduced contact during the pandemic. He stated, “A similar description was observed in the increased cases of respiratory syncytial virus infections in 2022.”

To determine changes in the prevalence of gastrointestinal pathogens, researchers compared the rates of community-acquired gastrointestinal pathogen detection in California before, during, and after COVID-related local sheltering.

For this purpose, they utilized a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay kit called BioFire FilmArray GI panel, capable of detecting 22 of the most common pathogens causing diarrhea, analyzing around 18,000 tests conducted between January 2018 and December 2022.

Banaei highlighted that the motivation behind the study was the variability in positivity rates of certain pathogens during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We immediately recognized that the lockdowns and local sheltering during the pandemic created a natural experimental setting to study the dynamics of the spread of gastroenteritis-causing pathogens.”

Banaei stated that this research provides a unique window into understanding the biological characteristics of gastrointestinal pathogens, while also raising new research questions. “Why did some pathogens disappear during the lockdown period while others remained unaffected? Why have some pathogens now surged to levels we’ve never seen before? Deepening our understanding of these phenomena can lead to methods to interrupt pathogen transmission, particularly in middle- and low-income countries, where gastroenteritis remains a major cause of disease and death, especially in children. It can also aid us in preparing for unforeseen future pandemics.”

 

 

What Caused Sudden Silence and Resurgence of Gastrointestinal Viruses?

(source:internet, reference only)


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