UN unveils global influenza strategy to prevent ‘real’ threat of pandemic

A new UN-led plan has been unveiled to tackle the estimated one billion cases of influenza which occur each year, and protect against the “real” threat of a global pandemic, the head of the organization’s health agency said on Monday.
Source: UN News Centre - Health, Poverty, Food Security - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

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Background: A/H5N1 influenza virus has significant pandemic potential, and vaccination is the main prophylactic measure. This phase 2, randomized, observer-blind, multicenter study evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of two MF59-adjuvanted, cell culture-derived H5N1 (aH5N1c) vaccine formulations in healthy pediatric subjects 6 months to 17 years old. Methods: Subjects (N = 662) received 2 aH5N1c doses 3 weeks apart, containing either 7.5 μg (full dose) or 3.75 μg (half dose) hemagglutinin antigen per dose. Local reactions and adverse events (AEs) were assessed by age. Antibody responses were measured by hema...
Source: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: Vaccine Reports Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 12 June 2019Source: EpidemicsAuthor(s): Timothy C. Germann, Hongjiang Gao, Manoj Gambhir, Andrew Plummer, Matthew Biggerstaff, Carrie Reed, Amra UzicaninAbstractWe used individual-based computer simulation models at community, regional and national levels to evaluate the likely impact of coordinated pre-emptive school dismissal policies during an influenza pandemic. Such policies involve three key decisions: when, over what geographical scale, and how long to keep schools closed. Our evaluation includes uncertainty and sensitivity analyses, as well as model output uncertainties arising fr...
Source: Epidemics - Category: Epidemiology Source Type: research
Authors: Mammas IN, Theodoridou M, Thiagarajan P, Melidou A, Papaioannou G, Korovessi P, Koutsaftiki C, Papatheodoropoulou A, Calachanis M, Dalianis T, Spandidos DA Abstract This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak on the Greek Aegean Sea island of Skyros, which devastated its population in less than 30 days. According to Constantinos Faltaits's annals published in 1919, the influenza attack on the island of Skyros commenced acutely 'like a thunderbolt' on the 27th of October, 1918 and was exceptionally severe and fatal. At that time, the viral cause of the influenza had not been detec...
Source: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine - Category: General Medicine Tags: Exp Ther Med Source Type: research
In conclusion, we have established reverse genetics to generate a qualified reassortant H5N2 vaccine virus for further development.
Source: Viruses - Category: Virology Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research
Abstract Influenza A viruses, as causative agents of seasonal epidemics and periodic worldwide pandemics, cause enormous mortality loss globally. The PR8 strain cultured in chicken eggs is widely used for scientific research and the production of influenza vaccines. Here, based on Cryo-electron Tomography (CET), we analyzed the morphological and structural characteristics of the influenza virus PR8 strain at different pHs. We found that a large number of defective virions were propagated in embryonated eggs. By comparing virions with/without the matrix layer, it was revealed that the matrix layer played an essenti...
Source: Biochemical and Biophysical Research communications - Category: Biochemistry Authors: Tags: Biochem Biophys Res Commun Source Type: research
Abstract Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) has great prospect in medical therapies and diagnostic applications due to its binding affinity and low immunogenicity. However, the application of scFv is limited by its heterologous expression facing challenges of insoluble aggregation. sfGFP has been developed as fusion tag to facilitate the solubility of fusion partner in Escherichia coli. We designed fusion protein of anti-influenza PB2 scFv at C-terminus of sfGFP and successfully obtained soluble expression of sfGFP-scFv-His in Escherichia coli. The expression level of sfGFP-scFv-His reached at 20 mg/L of b...
Source: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Appl Microbiol Biotechnol Source Type: research
ConclusionBased on high seroprevalence of antibodies against H1N1 virus during pandemic, vaccination of general population is not recommended. However, high-risk groups and HCWs need to be protected with flu vaccine. There is a need to encourage HCWs for accepting vaccination.
Source: Medical Journal Armed Forces India - Category: General Medicine Source Type: research
AbstractInfluenza infection is common worldwide with many individuals affected each year during epidemics and occasionally pandemics. Previous studies in animal models and a few human cases have established an important role of innate type I and III interferon (IFN) for viral elimination and mounting of antiviral responses. However, genetic and immunological determinants of very severe disseminated influenza  virus infection in humans remain incompletely understood. Here, we describe an adult patient with severe influenza virus A (IAV) infection, in whom we identified a rare variant E331V in IFN regulatory factor...
Source: Medical Microbiology and Immunology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research
In “The Pandemic Century” Mark Honigsbaum covers nine outbreaks that shaped how we think and respond to diseases.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Books and Literature The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris (Book) Mark Honigsbaum Epidemics Influenza SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Ebola Virus Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Source Type: news
The high genetic variability of influenza A viruses poses a continual challenge to seasonal and pandemic vaccine development, leaving antiviral drugs as the first line of defence against antigenically different strains or new subtypes. As resistance against drugs targeting viral proteins emerges rapidly, we assessed the antiviral activity of already approved drugs that target cellular proteins involved in the viral life cycle and were orally bioavailable. Out of 15 candidate compounds, 4 were able to inhibit infection by ten- to hundredfold without causing toxicity, in vitro. Two of the drugs, dextromethorphan and ketotife...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
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