News //
Message by the Paediatric Virology Study
Group on the recent COVID-19 threat
 

11 March 2020. In the light of the recent threat of COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak, we would like to express our support to the health personnel, medical and nursing, which has been called in every hospital, medical and health unit, worldwide, to offer its services with self-sacrifice in the fight against SARS-CoV-2. Health professionals on the front line have been requested to manage, counsel, reassure, inform and guide their patients having as a principal aim the effective protection of public health. In anticipation of the required new therapeutic and preventative tools against this new virus, their key contribution, sense of responsibility and dedication to humanity has been exemplary, indeed, and should be highlighted as an outstanding example of the implementation of the values of humanitarianism and solitarity into clinical practice.

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The statute of the IPV was presented 
at the 5th WPV
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12 October 2019. The statute of the Institute of Paediatric Virology was presented at the 5th workshop on Paediatric Virology, which was held on Saturday, October 12th, 2019, in Mystras, Sparta, Greece. The statute describes in detail the formation, the administration and the supervision of the newly founded institute under the Hellenic Law. It was designed by Dr Ioannis N. Mammas, Consultant Paediatrician and Coordinator of the Paediatric Virology Study Group (PVSG) since 2007 and two of the most distinguished academic teachers in medicine in Greece, Professor Maria Theodoridou, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Athens School of Medicine (Greece) and Chair/President of the Hellenic National Vaccination Committee and Professor Demetrios A. Spandidos, Professor of Clinical Virology at the University of Crete School of Medicine (Greece) and Chair/President of the World Academy of Sciences (WAS).

 
Focusing on Respiratory Syncytial Virus

12 October 2019. New advances on the epidemiology, clinical management and prevention of RSV infection in childhood were presented during the recent “5th Workshop on Paediatric Virology”. RSV is a single-stranded RNA virus, which represents the most frequent viral cause of acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRTI) in infants with worldwide distribution and seasonal occurrence. Currently, several clinical trials are completed, underway or in development on the management and prevention of RSV-positive bronchiolitis. We are living a rapid expansion of RSV vaccine development activity and there is hope that an effective RSV disease prevention is possible in the near future. 

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Stress and viral infections
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12 October 2019. The role of stress in the development of viral infections in children was the theme of the inspirational lecture by Professor George P. Chrousos, Professor of Paediatrics and Endocrinology at the University of Athens School of Medicine (Athens, Greece), during the recent “5th Workshop on Paediatric Virology”. The workshop took place on Saturday, October 12th, 2019, in Mystras, Sparta, Greece in the context of the “24th World Congress on Advances in Oncology” and the “24th International Symposium on Molecular Medicine”. “Viruses interact with the host endocrine signalling pathways and alter human homeostasis. We have concrete evidence for some viruses, which have studied for this interaction. For instance, HIV-1 has two accessory proteins, Vpr and Tat, which interact with the glucocorticoid and PPAR-γ signalling pathways and participate in the immunosuppression of the host by HIV-1, insulin resistance and lipodystrophy of the infected individual. We are only cognizant of the very tip of the iceberg regarding viral elements interfering in our signalling systems” Professor Chrousos said and added: “Generally, stress triggers acutely an early inflammatory response termed neurogenic inflammation. Soon after, however, stress suppresses innate immunity and causes a shift from T-helper 1- to T-helper 2- driven immunity. The catecholamines norepinephrine and epinephrine and the glucocorticoids represent key hormones involved in the regulation of immunity and inflammation”.

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Announcement of Professor Anne Greenough
as the Chair of the AAB

11 September 2019. During the recent meeting of the Paediatric Virology Study Group (PVSG) in London, UK, on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019, Professor Anne Greenough, Professor of Neonatology and Clinical Respiratory Physiology at King’s College London (UK), was announced as the Chair/President of the Advisory Academic Board (AAB) of the newly founded Institute of Paediatric Virology. Professor Greenough accepted this honorary post with enthusiasm and she expressed her will to supervise and support the scientific efforts of the newly founded Institute of Paediatric Virology, a global initiative devoted to medical education on the rapidly increasing education challenge of viral infections occurring in neonates and children.

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Meeting with Nobelist Professor of Virology
Harald zur Hausen
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23 September 2018. Nobel Laureate Professor of Virology Harald zur Hausen met with members of the Paediatric Virology Study Group (PVSG) on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018, in Zappeion Megaron in Athens, Greece. During this meeting, young Greek paediatricians had the chance to discuss with him about the role of human breast milk feeding in the prevention of viral infections, the necessity of male vaccination against HPVs, the future of Paediatric Virology and the contribution of Dr George N. Papanicolaou in modern medicine. At the end of the meeting, Professor Harald zur Hausen was awarded by the PVSG with the Paediatric Virology Award and the George N. Papanicolaou Humanitarian Award.

 
100 years after the Skyros island
Spanish flu outbreak

22 September 2018. Ιn 1918, on the island of Skyros in Greece, approximately one third of the whole island's population died of the Spanish flu outbreak in less than 30 days. According to Constantinos Faltaits, a prominent writer and journalist of the last century, who in 1919 wrote a unique report on Spanish flu in the whole Hellenic literature, including descriptions with extremely touching details, the influenza attack on Skyros island began on the 27th of October, 1918, acutely “like a thunderbolt” and among the 3,200 inhabitants of the island almost 2,000 were infected and 1,000 died. The “4th Workshop on Paediatric Virology”, which was held in Athens on Saturday, September 22th, 2018, was dedicated to the 100 years of the Spanish flu outbreak on Skyros island.

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At the crossroad of Paediatrics and Virology
 
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7 October 2017. The aim of the “3rd Workshop on Paediatric Virology” is aim to encourage the collaboration between virologists and paediatric health professionals. This year the Paediatric Virology Study Group (PVSG) will welcome two of the world’s most well-known experts on Virology and Paediatrics. The first is Nobelist Professor Harald zur Hausen, Professor of Virology at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg, Germany, who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of HPVs causing cervical cancer. The second is Professor Anne Greenough, Professor of Neonatology and Clinical Respiratory Physiology at King’s College London, UK and vice President of Science and Research at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). Their plenary lectures will focus on “paediatric virology and oncology: virus persistence and the important first years of life”, and on “the impact of viral infections on the long term outcomes of prematurely born infants”, respectively. This “crossroad” meeting will take place in Athens, Greece, a city which has hosted new ideas, new sciences and new knowledge for more than 4,000 years.

 
An idea, an aim, a workshop
on Paediatric Virology

10 October 2015. The first “Workshop on Paediatric Virology” took place on Saturday, October 10th, 2015, in Athens, Greece focusing on viral infections in neonates and children. It was co-chaired by Professor Anne Greenough, Professor of Neonatology and Clinical Respiratory Physiology at King's College London in London (UK) and vice-President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), Professor Anna Kramvis, Professor of Molecular Virology and Director of the Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Professor Maria Theodoridou, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Athens Shcool of Medicine (Greece) and Presιdent of the Hellenic Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (HELLESPID). The workshop was organized by the Paediatric Virology Study Group (PVSG) and it was included in the official programme of the “20th World Congress on Advances in Oncology” and the “18th International Symposium on Molecular Medicine”, which were attended by more than 500 scientists from all over the world.   

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