Herbert Schmitz

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BACKGROUND The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has recently been identified as a new clinical entity. SARS is thought to be caused by an unknown infectious agent. METHODS Clinical specimens from patients with SARS were searched for unknown viruses with the use of cell cultures and molecular techniques. RESULTS A novel coronavirus was identified(More)
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are acute infections with high case fatality rates. Important VHF agents are Ebola and Marburg viruses (MBGV/EBOV), Lassa virus (LASV), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), dengue virus (DENV), and yellow fever virus (YFV). VHFs are clinically difficult to diagnose and to distinguish;(More)
In this population-based study, we correlated possible risk factors for rodent-to-human transmission of Lassa virus with markers of Lassa fever in two different regions of the Republic of Guinea (Prefectures of Pita and Gueckedou). Antibody prevalence was 2.6% (6 of 232) in Pita compared with 14.0% (105 of 751) in Gueckedou, with up to 35.0% seropositivity(More)
In consecutive serum samples from 25 tourists with acute dengue fever, virus-specific RNA was detected by using fully automated TaqMan reverse transcriptase PCR. For this amplification technique new primers and special fluorochrome-labeled probes had to be synthesized. During amplification the increasing amount of viral DNA could simultaneously be measured(More)
This study sought to assess the risk of secondary transmission after import of Lassa fever into Europe. A total of 232 persons exposed to a case of Lassa fever imported into Germany were identified. The level of exposure was determined for 157 persons (68%), and 149 (64%) were tested serologically. High-risk or close contact was reported by 30 (19%) of 157(More)
In Europe, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome results mainly from infection with Puumala virus (PUUV) or Dobrava virus. For 31 patients from a hantavirus disease outbreak in Lower Bavaria, a district in southeast Germany, serodiagnosis was undertaken by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence assay, and immunoblot analysis. In a few of(More)
We have studied infectivity and neutralization of X4, R5, and R5X4 tropic HIV-1 mutants, which are lacking N-linked glycosylation sites for glycans g13, g14, g15, and g17 in the V3 loop region of gp120. X4-tropic NL4-3 mutants lacking combinations of g14/15 or g15/17 showed markedly higher infectivity in CXCR4-specific infection. The role of g15 in(More)
We describe mutants of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) strain NL4-3, which are lacking the thirteenth, fifteenth, or seventeenth sites for N-linked glycosylation (g13, g15, g17) of the envelope protein gp120. All three sites are located within the hypervariable V3 loop region of gp120. Those mutants lacking carbohydrates g15 or combinations of(More)
We describe the isolation and characterization of a new Lassa virus strain imported into Germany by a traveler who had visited Ghana, Côte D'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. This strain, designated "AV," originated from a region in West Africa where Lassa fever has not been reported. Viral S RNA isolated from the patient's serum was amplified and sequenced. A(More)
Our routine tests for tropical viruses document that several hundreds of Dengue fever cases are imported into Germany every year. In contrast, hemorrhagic fever cases are rarely diagnosed in Germany. Our investigations suggest that this low number is due to the different living conditions of the local population in the tropics compared with that of(More)