The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: Novel H3N1 swine influenza virus identified in pigs in Korea; New treatment using human antibodies to target harmful toxins may protect against C. cifficile; and Guinea pig aerosol challenge presents new model for Q fever research in humans.
As public health officials around the world keep a nervous eye on the spread of avian influenza, the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) has uncovered a key step in how the influenza virus causes infection.
With the help of some high tech equipment, well-defined mouse models and analytical know how, researchers are trying to understand why a flu virus kills some people but not others. Studies to be presented at “Physiological Genomics and Proteomics of Lung Disease” found that a strain of mice more likely to die of influenza infection mounts a dramatically enhanced immune response in the lungs compared to a strain of mice that generally develops milder disease.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that health care providers in Canada not prescribe amantadine to treat and prevent influenza during the current flu season. This recommendation is based on test results from the 2005-2006 flu season and initial results from the 2006-2007 season.
AVI BioPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVII), presented data and analysis from four NeuGene? antisense clinical studies at the second annual meeting of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society at Rockefeller University in New York. The studies showed that AVI-4557 inhibited the metabolic enzyme cytochrome P450 (CYP), a liver enzyme responsible for the metabolism or breakdown of approximately half of currently marketed drugs.
New data released today demonstrate significantly better immune responses in the age range 65 and above when vaccinated with GSK?s new generation (adjuvanted) seasonal flu vaccine compared to a traditional seasonal flu vaccine. These new data are highly important, since the disease burden and death toll is highest among the elderly in each flu season. The data, presented at the Influenza Vaccines for the World (IVW) 2006 Congress, showed the seroprotection rate (90.5%) achieved by the new adjuvanted vaccine in the elderly to be more than 25% higher than that reported in the age matched comparator group.
A fast, sensitive and inexpensive diagnostic tool called MassTag PCR has been developed that can identify the specific pathogen that causes a particular case of respiratory infection, according to a new study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research team ? headed by scientists in the Jerome L. and Dawn Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and their colleagues at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health ? used MassTag PCR to identify previously undiagnosed pathogens that caused influenza-like illnesses in New York State during the winter of 2004.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) for prevention (prophylaxis) of seasonal influenza (“flu”) in children 1 to 12 years of age who had close contact with an infected individual. This is the first drug approved for prevention of both influenza A and B in pediatric patients.