Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Going Viral: The Re-Emergence of Preventable Diseases

From the 19 February 2015 post at Policy Interns

From an aging population to the growing threat of pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases as well as the rapid growth of obesity and other chronic illnesses, the most persistent and costly challenges to American health and well-being fall increasingly on the public health system and on public health professionals at all levels. Unlike health care, which often intervenes when an individual is already sick with a costly disease, the focus of public health is prevention rather than treatment of diseases. Public health professionals, working with state and local health departments, laboratories, and other public health organizations, play a vital and increasingly central role in protecting a population’s health. Yet the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health observers have repeatedly identified deficiencies in public health infrastructure and workforce.

Regional interstate planning, preparing for mass vaccination and the distribution of medical supplies, and development of adequate surge capacity are incomplete or insufficient. The Government Accountability Office concluded in 2004 that “no State is fully prepared to respond to a major public health threat,” an assessment that the CDC reiterated in 2008.

PH expenditures

One might look at Figure 1 and think, where are the lines for public health expenditures on federal, state, and local levels? They’re there, almost completely parallel to the x-axis. Federal public health spending underperformed a number of other U.S. health sector expenditure categories overall. As a percentage of all U.S. health expenditures, federal public health spending was lower in 2008 than it was in 1966. To make matters worse, the Fiscal Year 2015 request proposes a $51 million decrease for the immunization program due to an expectation of increased insurance coverage for immunization services in 2015. This is yet another cut to public health spending that will undoubtedly affect population health.

Program operations, which contribute to disease surveillance, public awareness and provider education, took a $14 million cut.

While proponents of the ACA said the majority of the proposed fiscal 2016 cuts again will go toward vaccine purchasing and won’t affect immunization infrastructure funds, this cannot be the whole picture. The families and children currently using these programs will be in jeopardy because insurance coverage alone is not enough to ensure high vaccination rates.

February 22, 2015 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

[News article] Friendly bacteria are protective against malaria

From the 4 December 2014 ScienceDaily article

Date: December 4, 2014
Source: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
Summary:
In a breakthrough study, a research team discovered that specific bacterial components in the human gut microbiota can trigger a natural defense mechanism that is highly protective against malaria transmission. It is estimated that 3.4 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria and WHO data from 2012 reveal that about 460,000 African children died from malaria before reaching their fifth birthday. The present study argues that if one can induce the production of antibodies against alpha-gal in those children one may be able to revert these grim numbers.
Over the past few years, the scientific community became aware that humans live under a continuous symbiotic relationship with a vast community of bacteria and other microbes that reside in the gut. These microbes, know as the gut microbiota, do not necessarily cause disease to humans and instead can influence a variety of physiologic functions that are essential to maintain health. Some of these microbes, including specific strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) that are usual inhabitant of the human gut, express on their surface sugar molecules (known as carbohydrates or glycans). These glycans can be recognized by the human immune system, which results in the production of high levels of circulating natural antibodies in adult individuals. It has been speculated that natural antibodies directed against sugar molecules expressed by the microbiota may also recognize perhaps similar sugar molecules expressed by pathogens, that is, parasites that can cause diseases in humans.
It was well established before these studies, that onlya fraction of all adultindividuals thatare confronted to the bite of mosquitoes in endemic areas of malaria do become infected by the Plasmodium parasite and eventually go on to contract malaria. This argued that adults might have a natural defense mechanism against malaria transmission, which is in sharp contrast with children under 3-5 years old that are much more susceptible to contract malaria. When analyzingindividuals from an endemic area of malaria in Mali,in collaboration with a research team lead by Peter D. Crompton at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Maryland; USA) and at the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (Bamako, Mali), the research team lead by Miguel Soares established that thoseindividuals that have the lowest levels of circulating anti-alpha-gal antibodies are also those that are the most susceptible to contract malaria. In contrast those individuals that have the highest levels of circulating anti-alpha-gal antibodies are less susceptibleto be infected and to develop malaria. They conclude thatthe reason why young infants are so susceptible to contract malaria is probably due to the fact that they have not yet generatedsufficient levels of circulating natural antibodies directed against the alpha-gal sugar molecule….

Miguel Soares adds: “We observed that children under 3 years old do not have sufficient levels of circulating anti-alpha-gal antibodies, which might be one of the reasons for their exquisite susceptibility to malaria. One of the beauties of the protective mechanism we just discovered is that it can be induced via a standard vaccination protocol, leading to the production of high levels of anti-alpha-gal antibodies that bind and kill the Plasmodium parasite. If we can vaccinate these young children against alpha-gal, many lives might be saved.”

December 9, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

[News article] Injectable 3-D vaccines could fight cancer, infectious diseases

From the 8 December 2014 ScienceDaily article

Date:December 8, 2014
 Source:Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Summary:
A non-surgical injection of programmable biomaterial that spontaneously assembles in vivo into a 3-D structure could fight and even help prevent cancer and also infectious disease such as HIV, scientists have demonstrated. Tiny biodegradable rod-like structures made from silica, known as mesoporous silica rods (MSRs), can be loaded with biological and chemical drug components and then delivered by needle just underneath the skin, they explain.

3DVaccine2H-875A

Their findings are reported in Nature Biotechnology.

“We can create 3D structures using minimally-invasive delivery to enrich and activate a host’s immune cells to target and attack harmful cells in vivo,” said the study’s senior author David Mooney, Ph.D., who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member and the Robert P. Pinkas Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard SEAS.

Tiny biodegradable rod-like structures made from silica, known as mesoporous silica rods (MSRs), can be loaded with biological and chemical drug components and then delivered by needle just underneath the skin. The rods spontaneously assemble at the vaccination site to form a three-dimensional scaffold, like pouring a box of matchsticks into a pile on a table. The porous spaces in the stack of MSRs are large enough to recruit and fill up with dendritic cells, which are “surveillance” cells that monitor the body and trigger an immune response when a harmful presence is detected.

December 9, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Why We May Need Viruses More Than Vaccines | The GOLDEN RULE

 

Why We May Need Viruses More Than Vaccines | The GOLDEN RULE.Posted on by

 

An article by Sayer Ji,  Activist Post, provides some thought-provocation and a lateral approach to a science, vaccination, that is currently in the news for its controversial issues concerning adverse reactions.

A groundbreaking study published this month in Nature challenges a century-old assumption about the innate pathogenicity of these extremely small, self-replicating particles known as viruses. 

Titled, “An enteric virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria,” researchers found that an “enteric RNA virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria in the intestine.” Known as murine (mouse) noravirus (MNV), researchers found that infecting germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice infection with MNV “restored intestinal morphology and lymphocyte function without inducing overt inflammation and disease.”

The researchers found:

Importantly, MNV infection offset the deleterious effect of treatment with antibiotics in models of intestinal injury and pathogenic bacterial infection. These data indicate that eukaryotic viruses have the capacity to support intestinal homeostasis and shape mucosal immunity, similarly to commensal bacteria. Despite the commonly held belief that viruses are vectors of morbidity and mortality that must be vaccinated against in order to save us from inevitable harm and death, the new study dovetails with a growing body of research showing that our own genome is 80% viral in origin.

Find the full article here.

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infection Report 5: What you really should be worried about | The Pediatric Insider

Infection Report 5: What you really should be worried about | The Pediatric Insider.

From the 10 October 2014 posting by Roy Benaroch, MD

This week’s posts have all been about infections, new and old—infections newly found, and infections sneaking back. On the one hand, the media is agog with news of Ebola and the mysterious paralysis virus; on the other hand, threats that are far more likely to kill us are being largely ignored.

One infection is on the verge of sneaking back, which is a shame. We had it beaten, and now we’re allowing it to gain a foothold. We’ve got a great way to eradicate measles, but fear and misinformation have led to pro-disease, anti-vaccine sentiment, especially among those white, elite, and wealthy. As we’ve seen, we’re all in this together—so those anti-vaccine enclaves are going to affect all of us.

Measles, itself, is just about the most contagious disease out there.

…..

English: This is the skin of a patient after 3...

English: This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection; treated at the New York – Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to widespread immunization, measles was common in childhood, with more than 90% of infants and children infected by age 12. Recently, fewer than 1,000 measles cases have been reported annually since 1993. 日本語: 麻疹患者の発疹. 中文: 感染了痲疹的皮膚. Українська: Як кір поражає шкіру. עברית: פריחה על עורו של חולה חצבת. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October 17, 2014 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaccine-preventable outbreaks

Eideard

vaccine preventable
Click for interactive map

In what medical century does your nation reside?

Thanks, Mike

View original post

March 13, 2014 Posted by | health care | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busting Common Myths about the Flu Vaccine

From the 8 October 2012 article at Nationwide’s Children

With cold and flu season upon us, many companies have geared up for what is predicted to be a busy flu season producing 150 million doses of the influenza vaccine, up 17 million from last year.

“This is a pretty busy time around here,” said Dennis Cunningham, MD  a physician in Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Our emergency department, urgent care centers and our inpatient numbers always go up because of the flu, although many of those patients could avoid getting sick by practicing just a few simple precautions.”

Dr. Cunningham, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, said that part of the problem is many people buy into the long-held myths about the flu vaccine and miss opportunities to avoid getting sick. He says following about some of the most common myths:

Myth: You can actually catch the flu from the flu vaccine.
“This is probably the most common myth out there, but it’s simply not true,” said Dr. Cunningham. “The vaccine can give you some mild symptoms, you may feel a bit achy and your arm may be a little tender where you first get the shot. But that’s actually a good thing and shows that the vaccine is working. It tells us your body is responding appropriately to the vaccine.”

Dr. Cunningham said that nobody should confuse a few slight symptoms with the actual flu. The vaccine may leave you feeling a bit warm or achy for a day or two, but with true influenza, someone is sick and in bed for a week with high fever.

It is especially important for children to get the flu shot, or flu mist, which works just as well. Because children are around so many people – from peers to teachers, siblings to adults and grandparents – children are the biggest carriers of the flu  and giving them the vaccine can protect a wide range of people.

Myth: You should wait until it is cold outside to get your flu vaccine.
“Some people are worried that if you get the vaccine too soon, it will wear off by the time winter gets here,” said Dr. Cunningham. “The truth is vaccinating people even in August will protect them throughout the entire flu season. This also includes the elderly who typically have been the group people are most worried about.”

Myth: The flu is only spread by sneezing.  
“Germs are pretty easy to pass around and flu is really contagious,” said Dr. Cunningham. “It’s very easy for one child to give it to another child and the next thing you know, they bring it home.”

Because of that, experts say it is important to wash and sanitize your hands often during flu season, and urge children to do the same. The easiest way is to use hand gels, but make sure they contain at least 65 to 95 percent alcohol. If soap and water are nearby, that is even better for protecting against germs. Wash often and lather up. Make sure to completely rinse your hands in order to get the soap and germs off.

Myth: Flu vaccines do not protect you from current strains.  
From the H1N1 scare in 2009 to swine flu and the bird flu, each year it seems there is a new strain making headlines. But researchers track the most recent, most dangerous strains, and work to stay one step ahead of it.

“The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pick the strains they think are most likely to circulate in the coming months so that people are protected against everything that may go around,” said Dr. Cunningham. “Every year there are two A strains and one B strain of influenza included in the vaccine.”

The vaccine may leave you feeling a bit warm or achy for a day or two, but with true influenza, someone is sick and in bed for a week with high fever.

Watch Dr. Dennis Cunningham, infectious disease specialist, explain the truth about some common myths about the flu vaccine.

  • Onset of Flu Season Raises Concerns About Human-To-Pet Transmission(ScienceDaily)

    This concept, called “reverse zoonosis,” is still poorly understood but has raised concern among some scientists and veterinarians, who want to raise awareness and prevent further flu transmission to pets. About 80-100 million households in the United States have a cat or dog.

             This concept, called “reverse zoonosis,” is still poorly understood but has raised concern among some scientists and veterinarians, who want to raise awareness and prevent further flu transmission to pets. About 80-100 million households in the United States have a cat or dog

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Misinformation: Why It Sticks and How to Fix It

From the 19 September 2011 article at Science News Daily

The main reason that misinformation is sticky, according to the researchers, is that rejecting information actually requires cognitive effort. Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true — it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources. If the topic isn’t very important to you or you have other things on your mind, misinformation is more likely to take hold.

And when we do take the time to thoughtfully evaluate incoming information, there are only a few features that we are likely to pay attention to: Does the information fit with other things I believe in? Does it make a coherent story with what I already know? Does it come from a credible source? Do others believe it?

Misinformation is especially sticky when it conforms to our preexisting political, religious, or social point of view. Because of this, ideology and personal worldviews can be especially difficult obstacles to overcome.

Even worse, efforts to retract misinformation often backfire, paradoxically amplifying the effect of the erroneous belief.

“This persistence of misinformation has fairly alarming implications in a democracy because people may base decisions on information that, at some level, they know to be false,” says Lewandowsky….

In their report, Lewandowsky and colleagues offer some strategies for setting the record straight.

  • Provide people with a narrative that replaces the gap left by false information
  • Focus on the facts you want to highlight, rather than the myths
  • Make sure that the information you want people to take away is simple and brief
  • Consider your audience and the beliefs they are likely to hold
  • Strengthen your message through repetition
  • The Penn State Medical Center Library has a great guide to evaluate health information on the Internet.

    The tips include

    • Remember, anyone can publish information on the internet!
    • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
      If the Web site is primarily about selling a product, the information may be worth checking from another source.
    • Look for who is publishing the information and their education, credentials, and if they are connected with a trusted coporation, university or agency.
    • Check to see how current the information is.
    • Check for accuracy. Does the Web site refer to specific studies or organizations?

The Family Caregiver Alliance has a Web page entitled Evaluating Medical Research Findings and Clinical Trials
Topics include

  • General Guidelines for Evaluating Medical Research
  • Getting Information from the Web
  • Talking with your Health Care Provider


Additional Resources

 
And a Rumor Control site of Note (in addition to Quackwatch)
 National Council Against Health Fraud National Council Against Health Fraud is a nonprofit health agency fousing on health misinformation, fruad, and quackery as public health problems. Links to publications, position papers and more.

September 21, 2012 Posted by | Psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Vaccine and antibiotics stabilized (with silk proteins) so refrigeration is not needed — NIH study

English: Woman receiving rubella vaccination, ...

English: Woman receiving rubella vaccination, School of Public Health of the State of Minas Gerais (ESP-MG), Brazil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 10 July 2012 EurekAlert

Could pave way for development of enhanced delivery and storage in third world, save billions in cost

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a new silk-based stabilizer that, in the laboratory, kept some vaccines and antibiotics stable up to temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides a new avenue toward eliminating the need to keep some vaccines and antibiotics refrigerated, which could save billions of dollars every year and increase accessibility to third world populations.

Vaccines and antibiotics often need to be refrigerated to prevent alteration of their chemical structures; such alteration can result in less potent or ineffective medications. By immobilizing their bioactive molecules using silk protein matrices, researchers were able to protect and stabilize both live vaccines and antibiotics when stored at higher than recommended temperatures for periods far longer than recommended….

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines (& related article about bad immunity genes)

Vaccines

Vaccines (Photo credit: www78)

How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines

From the 29 January 2012 Science Daily article

 Genetics has provided surprising insights into why vaccines used in both the UK and US to combat serious childhood infections can eventually fail. The study, recently published in Nature Genetics, which investigates how bacteria change their disguise to evade the vaccines, has implications for how future vaccines can be made more effective…

n spite of the success of the vaccine programmes, some pneumococcal strains managed to continue to cause disease by camouflaging themselves from the vaccine. In research funded by the Wellcome Trust, scientists at the University of Oxford and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta studied what happened after the introduction of this vaccine in the US. They used the latest genomic techniques combined with epidemiology to understand how different serotypes of the pneumococcus bacteria evolve to replace those targeted by the initial vaccine.

The researchers found bacteria that had evaded the vaccine by swapping the region of the genome responsible for making the polysaccharide coating with the same region from a different serotype, not targeted by the vaccine. This effectively disguised the bacteria, making it invisible to the vaccine….

Why bad immunity genes survive -Utah study implicates arms race between genes and germs

 IMAGE: This electron microscope image shows yellow particles of a mouse leukemia virus named Friend virus emerging or “budding ” out of an infected white blood cell known as a T-cell. By…

Click here for more information.

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 6, 2012 – University of Utah biologists found new evidence why mice, people and other vertebrate animals carry thousands of varieties of genes to make immune-system proteins named MHCs – even though some of those genes make us susceptible to infections and to autoimmune diseases.

“Major histocompatibility complex” (MHC) proteins are found on the surface of most cells in vertebrate animals. They distinguish self from foreign, and trigger an immune response against foreign invaders. MHCs recognize invading germs, reject or accept transplanted organs and play a role in helping us smell compatible mates.

“This study explains why there are so many versions of the MHC genes, and why the ones that cause susceptibility to diseases are being maintained and not eliminated,” says biology Professor Wayne Potts. “They are involved in a never-ending arms race that causes them, at any point in time, to be good against some infections but bad against other infections and autoimmune diseases.”

By allowing a disease virus to evolve rapidly in mice, the study produced new experimental evidence for the arms race between genes and germs – known technically as “antagonistic coevolution.” The findings will be published online the week of Feb. 6, 2012, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Potts, the senior author, ran the study with first author and former doctoral student Jason Kubinak, now a postdoctoral fellow in pathology. Other co-authors were biology doctoral student James Ruff, biology undergraduate C. Whitney Hyzer and Patricia Slev, a clinical assistant professor of pathology. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nightmare before Vaccines by Kim Rendfeld

The Nightmare before Vaccines « Kim Rendfeld.

Excerpt from the 30 December blog – Kim Rendfeld~ Outtakes from a Historical Novelist

 am baffled whenever I hear news stories about parents refusing to get their kids vaccinated. With no scientific proof that vaccines cause autism, such a practice can only be called insanity.

Perhaps more people should write a novel set in the Middle Ages or at least do the research of an era before vaccines made smallpox, polio, and diphtheria relics of the past in the West and fodder for a historical novelist to set time and place.

Studies of a couple of medieval cemeteries cited by Julia M.H. Smith inEurope After Rome provide chilling statistics, even to a writer who has accepted the fact that most medieval people died young.

A sixth-century cemetery in Cannington in southwest Britain reveals that 15 percent of babies did not survive their first year, and 64 percent of the population died before the age of 18. Yes. That’s two-thirds.///

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Urgent Need To Fight Diseases Affecting The World’s Poor

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

Image via Wikipedia

From the 22 June 2011 Medical News Today article 

Despite significant advancements in increasing distribution and development of vaccines against childhood killer diseases – including pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, and Haemophilus influenzae Type B – global efforts to reduce the burden of infection from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has greatly lagged, argues Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) President Dr. Peter Hotez in an article for the June edition of Health Affairs.

[Above link is abstract only, for suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here]

NTDs, a group of 17 parasitic infections, represent a significant contributor to global poverty, and have well documented chronic and disabling effects. Yet efforts to develop vaccines for NTDs have not benefitted from larger ongoing initiatives to combat major childhood diseases.

In his article, “A Handful of ‘Antipoverty’ Vaccines Exist for Neglected Diseases, But the World’s Poorest Billion People Need More,” Dr. Hotez cites three critical reasons for the lack of interest in “antipoverty” vaccines:

  • Though NTDs disable, they do not typically cause high levels of mortality leading some in the public health community to misleadingly conclude that NTDs are not a significant public health threat;
  • NTDs predominately occur in rural settings and are largely hidden diseases unknown to the public and infrequently documented; and,
  • Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to make an investment in NTD vaccines because there is no financial incentive.

June 22, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website

From the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) Public Health Partners listerv

HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/03/20110330a.html

vaccines.gov. your best shot at good health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled a new
website, Vaccines.gov, to help parents and other consumers learn about the
most effective way to protect themselves and their children from
infectious diseases and learn about immunization.

Vaccines.gov puts the power of prevention at the fingertips of all Americans,” said Dr. Howard K. Koh, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. “We urge everyone to visit this site and learn more about how vaccines can protect the health of each family member as well as the entire Nation.”

Vaccines.govis the first cross-government website devoted to providing consumer information about vaccines and immunization, combining content and expertise from agencies across the Department. It is the result of unprecedented collaboration among federal health and communications experts to offer online content about vaccine and immunization based on consumer needs.

The site includes content about vaccine recommendations, the diseases that vaccines prevent, important information for getting vaccinated, and tips on travel health. It also links consumers with resources in their states to learn about vaccine requirements for school or child care entry and local community information.

“This website will help ensure that Americans have accurate, Web-based information on immunizations,” said Dr. Bruce Gellin, director of the National Vaccine Program Office at HHS, which led the creation of Vaccines.gov. “It was developed with significant consumer input based on the public’s feedback and is remarkably easy to navigate. It is designed to answer consumers’ questions, educate them about diseases that vaccines prevent, and connect Americans with resources to keep themselves and their families healthy.”

In the coming year, Vaccines.gov will be expanded to include information from other government Departments, grow to include a Spanish version of the site, offer new content on vaccine recommendations and infectious disease outbreaks, and be continually tested to ensure Vaccines.gov addresses the needs and questions of consumers.

April 2, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Common Immune Booster Works: Research May Lead to New and Improved Vaccines

How Common Immune Booster Works: Research May Lead to New and Improved Vaccines

From the March 14 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2011) — Alum is an adjuvant (immune booster) used in many common vaccines, and Canadian researchers have now discovered how it works. The research by scientists from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine is published in the March 13 online edition of Nature Medicine. The new findings will help the medical community produce more effective vaccines and may open the doors for creating new vaccines for diseases such as HIV or tuberculosis…

…Alum is a common grocery store staple used in pickling. It is very effective in inducing antibody responses and is the only human vaccine adjuvant approved for large-scale immunization. It has been in use for 90 years and appears in almost all vaccines we receive as without an adjuvant vaccines in general do not work.

For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost click here

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) today gives its support to the 2011 WHO World Health Day, which this year takes as its theme Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and raises awareness of the problem of antibiotics losing their effectiveness over time as bacteria naturally evolve and mutate to become resistant to drug treatments…


WHO has today called on governments and stakeholders to implement the policies and practices needed to prevent and counter the emergence of highly resistant infections, and also to provide appropriate care to those seriously affected by these microbes. The R&D-based pharmaceutical industry echoes that call and commits to play its part in addressing the challenge of AMR. Specifically, the IFPMA and its member companies and associations pledge the following:

  1. Continue our investment in R&D programs dedicated to the development of new antibacterial agents.
  2. Work in partnership towards a responsible global approach with UN Agencies (principally WHO), national governments, healthcare providers, NGOs and other stakeholders in the areas of education, prevention, innovation, access, financing and capacity-building initiatives.
  3. Support the WHO’s work to advise on the appropriate use of these vital medicines.

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Universal flu vaccine focus for Adelaide scientist

From a November 2, 2010 Eureka news alert

Vaccine partnership between Australia and Indonesia

University of Adelaide researcher is leading a collaboration between Australia and Indonesia on the production of a universal flu vaccine.

“The frequent arising of new influenza strains represents the greatest challenge to health authorities as it renders currently available vaccines ineffective,” says Dr Mohammed Alsharifi, the Head of the Vaccine Research Group at the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide.

“While annual vaccine reformulation appears to be effective against closely matched strains of influenza, the current method is not effective against drifted strains as well as new pandemic strains, as illustrated by the recent H1N1 pandemic. This raises the need for a new technology,” he says.

Dr Alsharifi says the recent experience of swine flu and the continuing fears of the medical, scientific and world health communities of the sudden emergence of a deadly bird flu strain, means that a new approach to flu vaccines needs to be contemplated.

“What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says…

“What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says.

A new technology, invented by Dr Alsharifi (University of Adelaide) and Professor Arno Müllbacher (Australian National University), has helped to generate a new influenza vaccine – GammaFlu™ – that provides cross-protection against current influenza viruses as well as any other unknown strains that may arise in the future.

“Our technology is expected to change the world of vaccination, as it can be implemented to produce many other vaccines,” Dr Alsharifi says.

To translate their basic scientific discoveries into clinical application, both scientists established the company Gamma Vaccines Pty Ltd in July 2009. Gamma Vaccines is now commercializing its gamma-irradiated influenza vaccine to capture part of the global market for flu vaccines, which is estimated at US$4 billion annually….

 

 

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items | , , | 1 Comment

Dartmouth study uses the patient’s tumor to form vaccin

Dendritic cell vaccine induces immune responses in patients

A new process for creating a personalized vaccine may become a crucial tool in helping patients with colorectal cancer develop an immune response against their own tumors. This dendritic cell (DC) vaccine, developed at Dartmouth and described in a research paper [Abstract is here **] published this week in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, was used after surgical resection of metastatic tumors to try to prevent the growth of additional metastases….

** Click here for suggestions to get the full text of this article at little or no cost.

 

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

The History of Vaccines

The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.

The History of Vaccines provides continually updated information to provide a compelling history of vaccine development as well as news about cutting edge technologies in vaccine development and delivery.

The site aims to improve public knowledge through categories as timelines, activities, and articles.
You can also find material through the links at the top of the page: Parents, and also Educators.
Students can find useful material through the links Parents, Educators, Timelines, Activities and also Articles.
Most material is at the high school or early college level.

November 6, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College( | , , , | Leave a comment

History of Vaccines

The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.

The History of Vaccine provides continually updated to provide a compelling history of vaccine development as well as cutting edge technologies in vaccine development and delivery.

Site content can be found through either topics or audience types.

  • The topics include Timelines and a Gallery of over 400 related images. The Articles range from vaccine science to vaccine information to the history of vaccines. Activities provide self-paced active learning opportunities about the past, present, and future of vaccines and infectious diseases.
  • Audience types include Parents and Educators. While there is no student link, students could benefit by going to the Educator, Article, and Activities links. This Web site is written at about a high school or early college level.

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public), Historical Collections, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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