What happens if the next big influenza mutation proves resistant to the available anti-viral drugs? This question is presenting itself right now to scientists and health officials this week at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, as they continue to do battle with H1N1, the so-called swine flu, and prepare for the next iteration of the ever-changing flu virus.
Promising new research announced by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could provide an entirely new tool to combat the flu
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as of 1600 GMT, 3 May 2009, 18 countries have officially reported 898 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection.
Mexico has reported 506 confirmed human cases of infection, including 19 deaths. The higher number of cases from Mexico in the past 48 hours reflects ongoing testing of previously collected specimens. The United States Government has reported 226 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
Since news of swine flu in the United States first broke last week, Science reporters have been keeping tabs on the latest developments. Virus expert Jon Cohen is at the scene of some of the early cases in San Diego, California, while Paris-based Martin Enserink, an expert in pandemics, is tracking the latest on the biology of the virus
In 1989, The Lancet carried a curious report on a dog that kept licking a mole on her owner's leg. The mole turned out to be a malignant melanoma. Since then, scientists have observed similar "disease sniffing" abilities in mice and rats, which tend to avoid sickly members of their own species. Now researchers think they have figured out how these animals do it.
Medarex, MBL to get upfront payment of $60 million. Merck gains rights to develop, commercialize drugs.
Biotechnology company Medarex Inc signed a licensing agreement with Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories, to develop a treatment for patients suffering from a hospital-acquired infection.
Under the terms, Merck gained worldwide rights to develop and commercialize CDA-1 and CDB-1, while Medarex and MBL will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and may receive payments of up to $165 million if certain milestones are achieved.
Climate change can take the blame for many dim prospects: rising sea levels, more frequent droughts and disappearing glaciers, to name just a few. But perhaps the warming trend should be absolved of responsibility for a predicted bump in the global burden of infectious disease.
A paper in the April issue of Ecology suggests that, while warming temperatures will likely cause disease bearers to shift in range, these ranges may not significantly increase in size. The data are primarily concerned with malaria and yellow fever
This potential treatment for HIV may one day help people who are not responding to anti-retroviral therapy, suggests research due to be published tomorrow in the Journal of Immunology. Scientists looking at monkeys with the simian form of HIV were able to reduce the level of virus in the bloodstream to undetectable levels by adding a molecule called D-1mT to the monkeys' anti-retroviral therapy (ART).
Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is very similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and it is used to study the condition in animal models
1. It's a protein that interferes with HIV in human cell studies, probably by binding to the virus's surface. Unlike non-protein microbicides, it actually seems to work.
2. It was grown in plants. This means it would be cheap. Proteins of this kind are usually very expensive to mass-produce.
The genes coding for the protein were introduced into a type of tobacco plant called Nicotiana benthamiana using the tobacco mosaic virus. The protein itself is called griffithsin (GRFT), and is found in red algae
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved TYGACIL(R) (tigecycline), for the treatment of adult patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) caused by susceptible strains of indicated pathogens. TYGACIL was first approved by the FDA in 2005 for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) and complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) caused by susceptible strains of indicated pathogens in adults.
A new computerized testing method could help world health officials better identify those flu vaccines that are most effective against multiple strains of influenza. Rice University scientists who created the method say tests using data from bird flu and seasonal flu outbreaks suggest their method can better gauge the efficacy of proposed vaccines than tests used today can.
Rice's Michael Deem, the lead scientist on the project, will present the group's results March 19 at the American Physical Society's 2009 meeting in Pittsburgh
Rutgers AIDS researchers Gail Ferstandig Arnold and Eddy Arnold may have turned a corner in their search for a HIV vaccine. In a paper just published in the Journal of Virology, the husband and wife duo and their colleagues report on their research progress.
With the support of the National Institutes of Health, the Arnolds and their team have been able to take a piece of HIV that is involved with helping the virus enter cells, put it on the surface of a common cold virus, and then immunize animals with it
Before the advent of antibiotics, pneumonia claimed so many lives and was so feared that it was called the “captain of the ship of death.” Now, at a time when new antibiotics have proved futile against resistant strains of bacteria, researchers at Rockefeller University are using a different tactic to keep this ship at bay.
For twenty years, AIDS researchers have searched for a vaginal microbicide that can block HIV, but they have made little progress. One gel has shown hints of working in a large-scale human study, but the rest have failed or even caused harm. Now a new monkey study suggests that a microbicide containing a compound that many investigators would consider old-fashioned may have the power to thwart the AIDS virus
Glycerol monolaurate, a microbicide often used as an additive in foods and cosmetics, has been shown to protect female monkeys from contracting SIV, the simian equivalent of HIV. Ironically, it seems to work by suppressing the immune system.
During the early stages of HIV infection, the body musters an immune response to fight it off. Unfortunately for us, this immune response contains a significant does of CD4+ helper T-cells--the virus's favorite food. Suppress this immune response, and it may become harder for HIV to gain a foothold
A new study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Oxford University in England describes the human immunodeficiency virus's ability to adapt and avoid the human immune system. It spells out at least fourteen different changes, called escape mutations, that help keep itself alive after interacting genetically with the immunity molecules that would normally attack it.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) adapts so well to the body's defense system that any successful AIDS vaccine must keep pace with the ever-changing immunological profile of the virus