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Infectious Diseases

Researchers Identify Biomarkers of Acute Flaccid Myelitis

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The biological signature of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) found in cerebrospinal fluid has been identified by researchers, according to a presentation at IDWeek 2019. The findings also helped researchers distinguish between the specific enteroviruses that have been associated with AFM.

Benjamin J. Briggs, MD, PhD and colleagues analyzed approximately 130 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, including RNA sequencing to examine host responses. Patients were classified based on the potential cause of AFM, including enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68), EV-A71, West Nile virus and Powassan virus.

In 21 CSF samples, a specific AFM signature was found that predicted potential viral links to AFM with > 80% accuracy in blinded test samples.

Protein targeting, viral transcription, viral gene expression, and translation initiation pathways were the factors that most accurately differentiated between EV-D68- and EV-A71-associated AFM.

The researchers concluded that this test could potentially aide in early diagnosis of AFM.


Briggs BJ, et al. Abstract LB14. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 2-6, 2019; Washington.

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