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Archive for September, 2009

Viruses that make you Healthy!

The results presented in this report demonstrated not only
efficient removal of the bacterial load in infected mice vir-
tually devoid of major functional phagocytes, by prophy-
lactic administration of specific phages, but also revealed
accompanying, beneficial effects on the immune system,
mediated by S. aureus phage preparation in the described
model. It appeared that application of phages in infected
mice may accelerate renewal of cells depleted by CP treat-
ment, both of the myelocytic and lymphocytic lineages.
The first type of cells has significance in the first-line
defense against bacteria as phagocytes and the latter dif-
ferentiate to mature, immunocompetent cells, giving rise
to adaptive, antigen-specific immune response.

Effects of Prophylactic Administration of Bacteriophages to Immunosuppressed Mice Infected With Staphylococcus aureus

This is the title of a paper that came out recently, I have been reading some papers and reviews about phages and phage therapy, but I think this one was the first one that I came by alluding to “Immunosuppression”, I think that this could actually open a very wide new venue for phage therapy, think of all those under radio or chemo therapies fighting cancer, think of HIV patients, organ transplant patients …

On the other hand there is something that I always ask myself during reading papers or reviews about phage therapy, why after all these papers and sometimes really “astonishing” results phage therapy is not in the right “place” in the word of bacterial therapeutics!, I have no any conclusive opinion on this issue but I think this is the fate of anything that comes initially from the ‘east’ to the west! And not the reverse! (think of it), what if we changed the names of authors on the phage therapy publications and replaced them with American names from famous American institutes! (I think the picture will be completely different)

Let’s get back to science J, the paper states “The results presented in this report demonstrated not only efficient removal of the bacterial load in infected mice virtually devoid of major functional phagocytes, by prophylactic administration of specific phages, but also revealed accompanying, beneficial effects on the immune system, mediated by S. aureus phage preparation in the described model. It appeared that application of phages in infected mice may accelerate renewal of cells depleted by CP (cyclophosphamide – immunosuppressant) treatment, both of the myelocytic and lymphocytic lineages. The first type of cells has significance in the first-line defense against bacteria as phagocytes and the latter differentiate to mature, immunocompetent cells, giving rise to adaptive, antigen-specific immune response.”

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Why AIDS Vaccine Is Difficult!

An Interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci (Audio)

Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Bethesda, MD.

An HIV Vaccine — Challenges and Prospects [NEJM review on why AIDS vaccine is difficult (pdf)]

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Watch your FLU-Shot Needle!

This is a paper that came out 2 days ago at PLoS One, entitled “Stabilization of Influenza Vaccine Enhances Protection by Microneedle Delivery in the Mouse Skin

A MicroNeedle Array

Where ” Solid microneedle arrays coated with inactivated influenza vaccine were prepared for simple vaccine delivery to the skin. However, the stability of the influenza vaccine, as measured by hemagglutination activity, was found to be significantly damaged during microneedle coating. The addition of trehalose to the microneedle coating formulation retained hemagglutination activity, indicating stabilization of the coated influenza vaccine. For both intramuscular and microneedle skin immunization, delivery of un-stabilized vaccine yielded weaker protective immune responses including viral neutralizing antibodies, protective efficacies, and recall immune responses to influenza virus. Immunization using un-stabilized vaccine also shifted the pattern of antibody isotypes compared to the stabilized vaccine. Importantly, a single microneedle-based vaccination using stabilized influenza vaccine was found to be superior to intramuscular immunization in controlling virus replication as well as in inducing rapid recall immune responses post challenge.

pone.0007152.g002

It was also stated in the paper that “Vaccines delivered intradermally were effective against rabies, BCG, hepatitis B, and influenza antigens [15,47]. These vaccines were delivered in liquid formulations using hypodermic needles, hollow microneedle, or jet injector devices. In contrast, our study used microneedles coated with inactivated virus in a dry state for vaccination to the skin. Use of solid state vaccine may affect antigen uptake and presentation, in addition to providing a stable formulation that does not require reconstitution before administration simple vaccine delivery to the skin.

Finally here is a fine summary of the conclusions of the study the results show that a solid formulation of an enveloped virus antigen with biologically active glycoproteins can be at least as effective as a liquid form of vaccine if an optimized stabilizer is used. In addition to possible immunologic advantages, solid microneedle vaccination may offer logistic advantages such as possible self-administration, less dependence on a cold-chain and highly trained medical personnel, and less pain compared to the conventional intradermal or intramuscular delivery of liquid form vaccines.

Immunization using un-stabilized vaccine also shifted the pattern of antibody isotypes compared to the stabilized vaccine.
Importantly, a single microneedle-based vaccination using stabilized influenza vaccine was found to be superior to
intramuscular immunization in controlling virus replication as well as in inducing rapid recall immune responses post
challenge

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Magazine Cover 16

Peace be Upon You All … and welcome to the new post of  ViroMag – The Weekly Virology Magazine

This week’s post is about MEASLES

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses.

One of the earliest written descriptions of measles as a disease was provided by an Arab physician in the 9th century who described differences between measles and smallpox in his medical notes.

Al-RaziInGerardusCremonensis1250

Transmission

Measles spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any child who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, “pink eye,” and a rash. The rash usually lasts 5 – 6 days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck, and proceeds down the body.

Complications

About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. About one out of 1,000 gets encephalitis, and one or two out of 1,000 die. Other rash-causing diseases often confused with measles include roseola (roseola infantum) and rubella (German measles).

Measles can be especially severe in persons with compromised immune systems. Measles is more severe in malnourished children, particularly those with vitamin A deficiency. In developing countries, the case-fatality rate may be as high as 25%.

Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of premature labor, miscarriage, and low-birth-weight infants. Birth defects have not been linked to measles exposure.

Is there a treatment for measles?

There is no specific treatment for measles. People with measles need bed rest, fluids, and control of fever. Patients with complications may need treatment specific to their problem.

If I think my child has been exposed to measles, what should I do?

You should contact your doctor immediately if you believe you or your child has been exposed to measles. If your child has not been vaccinated, measles vaccine may prevent disease if given within 72 hours of exposure. Immune globulin (a blood product containing antibodies to the measles virus) may prevent or lessen the severity of measles if given within 6 days of exposure.

What kind of vaccine is it?

Measles vaccine is a live, attenuated (or weakened) strain of the measles virus grown in chick embryo tissue culture. In the United States, it is recommended that it be given as part of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella

(German measles) or the MMRV vaccine (MMR plus varicella (chickenpox) vaccine) when age-appropriate (licensed for use only from age 12 months through age 12 years).

DOES THE MMR VACCINE CAUSE AUTISM?

I am leaving the answer for this question for an upcoming post, till then I’d be happy to hear your comments about this inquiry

Read More about Measles: Department of Health (State of Connecticut), CDC, WikiPedia

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A New “promising” HIV Trial

An experimental HIV vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection, researchers say

The vaccine – a combination of two earlier experimental vaccines – was given to 16,000 people in Thailand, in the largest ever such vaccine trial

The vaccine was a combination of two older vaccines that on their own had not cut infection rates.

The results found that the chances of catching HIV were 31.2% less for those who had taken the vaccine – with 74 people who did not get the vaccine infected and 51 of the vaccinated group infected.

hiv_test_res

‘Encouraging’

“This result is tantalisingly encouraging. The numbers are small and the difference may have been due to chance, but this finding is the first positive news in the Aids vaccine field for a decade,” said Dr Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet medical journal.

… For more info you can visit the article link at BBC – Health, read also at Reuters (AIDS vaccine protects people,shocks researchers)

Actually I chose this article to share with you to ask you the following question: How do people contract HIV after being counselled about HIV prevention?! (this is stated in the article about the trial, that all people sharing in the trial were counselled about HIV prevention), simply you should not make illegitimate sexual relations, and screen blood before transfusion!!!, I think these are so simple things for people to take care of, from where come these infections!

Waiting for your comments and Replies

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ROSS RIVER VIRUS – AUSTRALIA (02): (NORTHERN TERRITORY)

Date: Mon 21 Sep 2009

This was the title of a ProMED-Mail post that I wanted to share with you; and here is the virus info in the comment section after the post

“Epidemics of benign polyarthritis were recorded in Australia as early as 1927, and the etiologic agent was isolated in 1963.

Ross River virus was shown to be a mosquito-transmitted virus belonging to the genus _Alphavirus_ of the family _Togaviridae_. Ross River virus is endemic in most coastal regions of Australia and since the 1980s appears to have extended its geographical range to include most of the island communities of the South Pacific. The animal reservoir species are various, and humans exhibit a significant viraemia such that some epidemics are maintained in a human-mosquito-human transmission cycle. The mosquito vectors vary according to the local environment. Fortunately, illness in humans — although occasionally prolonged and painful — is not fatal, and recovery is complete.”

This transmission electron micrograph shows Ross River virus prepared using the ‘grid cell culture’ technique. Viruses can be observed leaving the cell surface. Insert shows Ross River virus incubated with anti-Ross River virus and colloidal gold.

Image produced by Electron Microscopy Unit, Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

Date added to scienceimage
09/01/2004

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