Paternalism Versus Autonomy: A Case Report of Knowledge Versus Perception About Influenza Medication
by Amy Reese, PharmD, MA. Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is a neuraminidase inhibitor which decreases the viral spread of Influenza A and B. It was a revolutionary drug when it was approved by the FDA in December 2000 because it was indicated to reduce the duration and severity of both influenza viruses. It was also proven to prevent a patient from being infected with either influenza virus. The only stipulation with the medication was that its efficacy was only shown within the first 48 hours of influenza symptoms.… (Source: blog.bioethics.net)
Source: blog.bioethics.net - December 10, 2019 Category: Medical Ethics Authors: Keisha Ray Tags: Decision making Featured Posts Health Care Health Policy & Insurance Pharmaceuticals Source Type: blogs

Beyond Vaccination: New Measures Needed to Protect Hospitals and the Public Against the Flu
By MARC M. BEUTTLER, MD Every year at this time, you hear warnings that flu season has arrived. New data from the CDC indicates the season is far from over. So, you are urged by health authorities to get a flu shot. What you may not realize is how the flu can affect the hospitals you and your loved ones rely on for care.   In January, the large urban hospital where I am an intern faced the worst flu outbreak it has ever seen. Nearly 100 staff members tested positive for the flu. Residents assigned to back-up coverage were called to work daily to supplement the dwindling ranks of the sick. Every hospital vis...
Source: The Health Care Blog - March 22, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Christina Liu Tags: Hospitals Medical Practice Marc Beuttler Vaccination Source Type: blogs

Baloxavir (Xofluza): A new antiviral drug for the flu
A new drug for the treatment of influenza was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2018, just in time for the 2018–19 flu season. Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) works against the two types of influenza virus that cause disease in humans, influenza A and B. This new drug works differently than currently available drugs, including oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir (Rapivab). These older drugs inhibit the virus by blocking a viral enzyme called neuraminidase. In contrast, baloxavir inhibits a subunit of the viral polymerase, the enzyme responsible for influenza virus rep...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - January 2, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Daniel Kuritzkes, MD Tags: Cold and Flu Health Source Type: blogs

A new drug for influenza
A new drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of influenza. Called Xofluza (baloxavir carboxyl), it is the first influenza drug approved in 20 years with a new mechanism of action. How does Xofluza work? Influenza virus particles contain (-) RNAs, which means that they cannot be translated […] (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - October 25, 2018 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information antiviral Baloxavir carboxyl cap dependent endonuclease influenza oseltamivir virus viruses Xofluza Source Type: blogs

How behavioral finance can be used in medicine
While I was reading an issue of New England Journal of Medicine, I came across an interesting perspective article. Usually, I skip these articles and focus on clinical studies, images in medicine and review articles that usually have higher yield information that I can apply to help care for my patients. However, Dr. Jerry Avorn’s article, “The Psychology of Clinical Decision Making- Implications for Medication Use,” caught my attention. Essentially, he discusses how a lot of clinical decision making in medical education is based on the assumption that both clinicians and patients “behave rationally...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - April 27, 2018 Category: General Medicine Authors: < a href="https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/post-author/samuel-plost" rel="tag" > Samuel Plost, MD < /a > Tags: Conditions Infectious Disease Primary Care Source Type: blogs

10 Lessons of the Recent Flu Season
The recent winter flu season of 2017-2018 witnessed numerous news headlines warning of terrible flu outbreaks and countless deaths. With these warnings came stern recommendations for Americans to get their flu shots, followed by suggestions to take prescription Tamiflu if recommended by one’s physician. Many Americans followed and preached this advice to others. The news […] VacTruth.com (Source: vactruth.com)
Source: vactruth.com - March 8, 2018 Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Michelle Goldstein Tags: Diseases & Outbreaks flu season Flu Vaccine Guillain-Barré Syndrome US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vitamin C Source Type: blogs

Investigative Epidemiology: Putting your head above the parapet
LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog LITFL • Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog - Emergency medicine and critical care medical education blog Part of the joys of studying at the Liverpool Tropical School of Medicine is the weekly Wednesday lunchtime lectures. This week we were treated to investigative journalist Deborah Cohen (@deb-cohen), an award winning medically qualified TV, print and radio reporter, as well as being an editor on the British Medical Journal. Dr Cohen gives us a glimpse of her dark world, interviews ‘on’ and ‘off’ the record; brown envelopes; the manipulation...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - February 20, 2018 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Neil Long Tags: Investigative Epidemiology Bawa-Garba MVA85A Tamiflu Source Type: blogs

The flu is here — and so is a new advisory from the CDC
In conclusion… Maybe this year’s flu season will be milder than expected. But I wouldn’t count on it. I’ve had the flu and it’s not pleasant. Do what you can to lessen your risk. It’s worth the effort. The post The flu is here — and so is a new advisory from the CDC appeared first on Harvard Health Blog. (Source: Harvard Health Blog)
Source: Harvard Health Blog - January 10, 2018 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Cold and Flu Infectious diseases Source Type: blogs

Kermit ’ s urumi
Frogs don’t get flu (as far as I know) but their skin contains a peptide that inhibits the replication of influenza virus (link to paper). Frog skin contains host defense peptides (HDPs), part of the innate immune defenses of many species. They were first found in amphibians by Michael Zasloff, who, as part of his research, performed surgery on frogs and then returned them to an aquarium – which was not sterile. He wondered why the frogs always healed without signs of infection, which lead him to discover the antimicrobial peptides, called magainins, in frog skin. HDPs had been first discovered years earli...
Source: virology blog - July 27, 2017 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information amphibian antiviral compound defensin HDP host defense peptide influenza virus magainin urumin viruses Source Type: blogs

Trust and Medical Science
Concerned citizens will march this weekend to defend science. Standing up for science is a worthy cause. Look at what medical science has accomplished in recent times: serious diseases, HIV, heart attack, many forms of cancer, have been tamed by the advance of science. We need more not less science. It’s nuts to cut funding to the NIH. But science, especially medical science, has a trust problem. My editor at theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology asked me to write a piece exploring the broken trust. The title of the essay is: Want More Trust in Medical Science? Embrace Uncertainty and Cut the Hype The essay has three se...
Source: Dr John M - April 21, 2017 Category: Cardiology Authors: Dr John Source Type: blogs

Nobody wants the flu. But what happens if you get it and you ’ re pregnant?
First…   It’s strongly recommended that pregnant women get the flu shot.  The flu vaccine is safe throughout pregnancy and is the first step to protecting you and your baby from it. Of course even if you get the vaccine it is still possible to get the flu so make sure to get plenty of rest and use your frequent trips to the bathroom to wash your hands often throughout the day. Second… If you think you have the flu contact your doctor right away. Most healthy adults with the flu become mildly ill, and start to feel better in 7 to 10 days. However, if you catch the flu early, your doct...
Source: Cord Blood News - February 15, 2017 Category: Perinatology & Neonatology Authors: Maze Cord Blood Tags: babies pregnancy flu pregnancy health Source Type: blogs

TWiV 296: Influenza viruses with Peter Palese
Vincent speaks with Peter Palese about his illustrious career in virology, from early work on neuraminidases to universal influenza virus vaccines, on episode #396 of the science show This Week in Virology. You can find TWiV #396 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 396 (54 MB .mp3, 74 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - July 3, 2016 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology aerosol transmission ferret Flu gain of function H5N1 influenza influenza virus neuraminidase relenza swine flu tamiflu universal vaccine viral viruses Source Type: blogs

TWiV 396: Influenza viruses with Peter Palese
Vincent speaks with Peter Palese about his illustrious career in virology, from early work on neuraminidases to universal influenza virus vaccines, on episode #396 of the science show This Week in Virology. You can find TWiV #396 at microbe.tv/twiv, or listen below. Click arrow to play Download TWiV 396 (54 MB .mp3, 74 min) Subscribe (free): iTunes, RSS, email (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - July 3, 2016 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology aerosol transmission ferret Flu gain of function H5N1 influenza influenza virus neuraminidase relenza swine flu tamiflu universal vaccine viral viruses Source Type: blogs

The Latest Health Wonk Review
Jaan Sidorov’s latest A Presidential Politics-Free edition of the Health Wonk Review on The Population Health Blog includes the Health Affairs Blog post by Peter Doshi, Kenneth Mandl, and Florence Bourgeois on Tamiflu For All? Evidence Of Morbidity In CDC’s Antiviral Guidelines. Peggy Salvatore hosts the next edition at Health System Ed on April 21. (Source: Health Affairs Blog)
Source: Health Affairs Blog - April 8, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Tracy Gnadinger Tags: Elsewhere@ Health Affairs Health Wonk Review Source Type: blogs

Tamiflu For All? Evidence Of Morbidity In CDC’s Antiviral Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has boiled down its public health campaign against influenza to a single slogan: “Take 3.” Vaccines, everyday preventive actions like handwashing, and influenza antivirals. Last year, because of a mismatch between the vaccine and circulating virus, the message was reduced to—essentially—“Take 1,” as the CDC emphatically promoted oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for treating disease. The agency has stated: “Antiviral flu medicines are underutilized. If you get them early, they could keep you out of the hospital and might even save your ...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 31, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Peter Doshi, Kenneth Mandl and Florence Bourgeois Tags: Drugs and Medical Technology Featured Global Health Health Professionals Public Health Quality CDC clinical trials drug safety FDA influenza Physicians Prevention Research vaccines Source Type: blogs

Data Sharing Should Be In Everyone’s Interest
One of the most important developments in medicine has been an increasing push for transparency about clinical trials and their underlying data. Among many examples, the National Institutes of Health are about to issue a new rule mandating greater disclosure of clinical trial results, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering ways to allow greater access to the clinical trial data it possesses. And in a surprise announcement on January 20, 2016, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors—representing all the top medical journals in the world—issued a joint proposal to require any aut...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - March 10, 2016 Category: Health Management Authors: Stuart Buck Tags: Drugs and Medical Technology Featured Health Professionals clinical trials data sharing Research Source Type: blogs

An ounce of influenza vaccine is worth at least a few tons of Tamiflu
It’s still flu season, although the flu gods have shown a bit more mercy than in years past.  So many variables determine whether each winter brings a relatively mild flu season, a “flunami,” or something in between.  I’m a country boy doing primary care in the city, and I have only a modest understanding of which influenza strain is circulating, the concepts of antigenic drift and shift, and how the big brains decide which antigens to include in the yearly vaccine. It sure seems that scientists have done a great job this year predicting which strains to vaccinate against, and for this I a...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - March 6, 2016 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Tags: Conditions Infectious disease Source Type: blogs

Ben Goldacre writes in the BMJ - How medicine is broken, and how we can fix it
The chief medical officer’s review on statins and oseltamivir may look for answers in the wrong placesLast week there was extensive news coverage of a leaked letter written by the chief medical officer to the Academy of Medical Sciences. This letter focused especially on concerns around statins and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and asked the academy for an “authoritative independent report looking at how society should judge the safety and efficacy of drugs.”1 The academy has since announced that it is convening a working group on the subject.With any such report there are two major risks. The first is a focus on...
Source: PharmaGossip - June 23, 2015 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

Research and Reviews in the Fastlane 079
This article is a meta-analysis looking at a relatively new technique: POC Ultrasound. This review found that for ED intubations, US had a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 94%. The question, however, should be whether this technique is faster than End Tidal CO2, which is extremely reliable.Recommended by: Anand SwaminathanRead More: Ultrasound for Verification of Endotracheal Tube Location (ALiEM)The R&R iconoclastic sneak peek icon keyThe list of contributorsThe R&R ARCHIVER&R Hall of famer You simply MUST READ this!R&R Hot stuff! Everyone’s going to be talking about thisR&R Land...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - April 16, 2015 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Anand Swaminathan Tags: Airway Emergency Medicine Infectious Disease Intensive Care Pediatrics Respiratory Toxicology and Toxinology Trauma critical care Education literature R&R in the FASTLANE recommendations research and reviews Source Type: blogs

Dad Has the Flu and There’s a Baby at Home
By PHILIP LEDERER, MD At 6:30 AM, I kissed my 14-week-old son Joe on the forehead and headed off to work at the hospital. By 3 PM I was back in bed with a hacking cough and a fever.  I had influenza. As a doctor training in infectious diseases, I knew that the flu can be […] (Source: The Health Care Blog)
Source: The Health Care Blog - March 4, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: THCB CDC CDC Foundation infectious diseases Lenzer Pediatrics Philip Lederer Tamiflu Source Type: blogs

LITFL Review 171
Welcome to the 171th LITFL Review. Your regular and reliable source for the highest highlights, sneakiest sneak peeks and loudest shout-outs from the webbed world of emergency medicine and critical care. Each week the LITFL team casts the spotlight on the blogosphere’s best and brightest and deliver a bite-sized chuck of FOAM.The Most Fair Dinkum Ripper Beauts of the WeekInterested in Free Ultrasound Ebooks? Not sure where to find them? Kasia Hampton from Sonokids has an entire list for you right here! [SO]The Best of #FOAMed Emergency MedicineShould we treat all sore throats with antibiotics in fear of Fusobacterium...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - March 2, 2015 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Marjorie Lazoff, MD Tags: Education LITFL review Source Type: blogs

Does Tamiflu work and what are the side effects?
The flu season has really gotten into gear now with 46 of our 50 states reporting widespread influenza activity as of January 3, 2015. Influenza is a virus that infects the respiratory tract, causing sore throat, runny nose, fever, and cough. Rarely people with the flu will have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but this is not “stomach flu” which is a term some of us use to describe any one of a number of viruses that give us intestinal symptoms. Influenza is the one where you hurt all over, you have a high fever and cold symptoms, then you start coughing and you can barely get out of bed for days. Sometimes it&r...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - February 20, 2015 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Tags: Meds Infectious disease Source Type: blogs

Should we give more Tamiflu for influenza? A look at the evidence.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that people who received this season’s influenza vaccine were only 23 percent less likely to be diagnosed with influenza than unvaccinated persons, CDC director Tom Frieden was publicly urging high-risk patients and their physicians to use antiviral medications to prevent complications and disease transmission: People who are sick with flu, if they’re very sick in the hospital or if they have underlying, chronic medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, women who are pregnant, children under two and people over the a...
Source: Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog - February 18, 2015 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Tags: Meds Infectious disease Medications Source Type: blogs

Public trust, the CDC and Tamiflu
Why do doctors lose credibility? Consider the few public doctors out there with millions of followers. The majority of the stuff they recommend is perfect: eat good food, exercise, be nice. and sleep. Check. No problem. Everyone is good with that until they shatter the sense with nonsense. One miracle cure or stupid supplement or financial conflict ruins everything. That goes, too, for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These guys must have the highest of the moral ground. For if we are to believe them about public health matters, there can be no conflicts of interest. The public good, pure evidence, that is all. I rec...
Source: Dr John M - February 13, 2015 Category: Cardiology Authors: Dr John Source Type: blogs

Research and Reviews in the Fastlane 056
Welcome to the 56th edition of Research and Reviews in the Fastlane. R&R in the Fastlane is a free resource that harnesses the power of social media to allow some of the best and brightest emergency medicine and critical care clinicians from all over the world tell us what they think is worth reading from the published literature. This edition contains 10 recommended reads. The R&R Editorial Team includes Jeremy Fried, Nudrat Rashid, Soren Rudolph, Anand Swaminathan and, of course, Chris Nickson. Find more R&R in the Fastlane reviews in the R&R Archive, read more about the R&am...
Source: Life in the Fast Lane - November 4, 2014 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Soren Rudolph Tags: Cardiology Education Emergency Medicine Infectious Disease Intensive Care Neurology Neurosurgery R&R in the FASTLANE Resuscitation Wilderness Medicine acute coronary syndrome airway blood transfusion critical care ENT Review Source Type: blogs

Emergency Medicine Literature of Note: The tPA Cochrane Review Takes Us For Fools
  Posted by Ryan Radecki It’s been 5 years since the last Cochrane Review synthesizing the evidence regarding tPA in acute ischemic stroke.  Clearly, given such a time span, in an area of active clinical controversy, a great deal of new, important, randomized evidence has been generated!Or, sadly, the only new evidence available to inform practice is IST-3 – a study failing to demonstrate benefit, despite its pro-tPA flaws and biases.  So, it ought not be a very exciting update, considering the 2009 version included 26 trials, and the 2014 update now includes only 27 trials.  Their summ...
Source: GruntDoc - August 5, 2014 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: GruntDoc Tags: Emergency Source Type: blogs

Reconstruction of 1918-like avian influenza virus stirs concern over gain of function experiments
The gain of function experiments in which avian influenza H5N1 virus was provided the ability to transmit by aerosol among ferrets were met with substantial outrage from both the press and even some scientists; scenarios of lethal viruses escaping from the laboratory and killing millions proliferated (see examples here and here). The recent publication of new influenza virus gain of function studies from the laboratories of Kawaoka and Perez have unleashed another barrage of criticism. What exactly was done and what does it mean? According to critics, virologists should not be entrusted to carry out gain of function studie...
Source: virology blog - June 20, 2014 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information 1918 pandemic aerosol transmission avian influenza ferret gain of function H5N1 viral virus Source Type: blogs

Things that make you go hmmm! EMA policy on transparency is “strikingly” similar to deal struck with drug company, say experts
Peter Doshihttp://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3852?sso=A US drug company seems to have influenced the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) draft policy on access to clinical trial data, which academics have claimed keeps too much information hidden.Documents obtained by The BMJ under a freedom of information request showed a significant overlap between what the US drug giant AbbVie had agreed with the EMA could be released about its drug adalimumab (marketed as Humira) and the agency’s draft policy on providing public access to drug company data.In 2012 the EMA announced a new, “proactive” t...
Source: PharmaGossip - June 12, 2014 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

TWiV 282: Tamiflu and tenure too
On episode #282 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiV team reviews a meta-analysis of clinical trial reports on using Tamiflu for influenza, and suggestions on how to rescue US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. You can find TWiV #282 at www.twiv.tv. (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - April 27, 2014 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: This Week in Virology antiviral biomedical research Cochrane collaboration influenza meta-analysis NIH grant oseltamivir PhD student postdoctoral scientist systemic flaws tamiflu virus Source Type: blogs

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: a review
This is a web version of a review of Peter Gotzsche’s book. It appeared in the April 2014 Healthwatch Newsletter. Read the whole newsletter. It has lots of good stuff. Their newsletters are here. Healthwatch has been exposing quackery since 1989. Their very first newsletter is still relevant. Most new drugs and vaccines are developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The industry has produced huge benefits for mankind. But since the Thatcherite era it has come to be dominated by marketing people who appear to lack any conscience. That’s what gave rise to the Alltrials movement. It was founded in January 2013...
Source: DC's goodscience - April 16, 2014 Category: Science Authors: David Colquhoun Tags: Academia badscience Big Pharma blogosphere Martin Keller Peter Gotzsche Pharmaceutical Industry Richard Eastell Source Type: blogs

I'm baaaaaack . . .
It was just too painful to type for a few days so I decided not to bite the bullet. People ask me what I do for a living and I say I'm a medical sociologist, but now I realize that a better job description is typist. Anyway . . .Millions of people are locked up for shoplifting and smoking pot and shooting dope, but if you steal $20 billion you're cool. I don't know how much of this you can read, but the new BMJ has a theme issue on the latest fraud of the century. The story is that in 2006, one Tom Jefferson led a Cochrane review* of neuraminidase inhibitors -- these are drugs to treat influenza, most notably oseltamavir (...
Source: Stayin' Alive - April 14, 2014 Category: American Health Source Type: blogs

Yet another avian influenza virus, H10N8, infects humans
To the collection of avian influenza viruses known to sporadically infect humans – H5N1, H7N9, H7N2, H7N3, H7N7, H9N2, and H10N7 – we can now add H10N8, recently found in two individuals in China. Avian influenza virus H10N8 was first detected in tracheal aspirates from a 73 year old woman who was hospitalized in November 2013 for severe respiratory illness. The patient, who died, had previously visited a live poultry market. A second infection with this virus was detected in January 2014. Virus isolated from tracheal aspirates on day 7 of illness was named A/Jiangxi-Donghu/346/2013(H10N8). Nucleotide sequence ...
Source: virology blog - February 10, 2014 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information avian influenza China H10N8 H5N1 h7n9 HA viral virus zoonosis zoonotic Source Type: blogs

It's coming. It's coming for all of us.
At this point, it doesn't matter whether it's a mismatch between this year's flu shot and this year's virus, or a secret government plot, or just plain crappy luck: everybody I know, practically, has the flu.We have nine full-time nurses in our unit. Two of them have pneumonia. A third is out for another week, until the Tamiflu and chicken soup kick in. The remaining half-dozen of us are bathing in alcohol foam, refusing to get too close to each other (I swear; it's like Sweden up in there), and running away from anybody with the slightest hint of a cough. I myself have taken to bathing daily in boiling bleach and wrapping...
Source: Head Nurse - February 5, 2014 Category: Nurses Authors: Jo Source Type: blogs

Some additional thoughts on systematic reviews
This article has been read over 8,500 times and has opened up numerous separate discussions around systematic reviews and the nature of evidence.  It's still a topic I find fascinating and have moved my thinking on further.This post follows my presentation at the Rethinking Evidence-Based Medicine: from rubbish to real meeting a short while ago....In 2005 Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ wrote the article Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies in Plos Medicine.  It starts with a quote from the editor of The Lancet, Richard Horton, "Journals have devolved int...
Source: Liberating the literature - February 4, 2014 Category: Technology Consultants Source Type: blogs

What's A Rhino Got To Do With It?
So it would of course be par for the course so to speak that as I attempt to get this up and running again I would be hit with illness. Usually my hospital visits entail being told that I have a virus of some unknown origin never given a name. I've come to accept that as reality. However, when I called out of work on Tuesday and decided that since I am in Management now I probably should have an excuse from a doctor when I call off I made the trek downtown to see my doctor on Tuesday. I got in his office, he finished the exam, politely excused himself came back a few minutes later and told me that he felt admission to the ...
Source: Still arriving. - February 2, 2014 Category: HIV AIDS Source Type: blogs

Cutting through mucus with the influenza virus neuraminidase
Neuraminidase is one of three different viral proteins embedded in the lipid membrane of influenza virus (NA is blue in the illustration at left). This enzyme has a clear and proven role in virus release from cells. NA is also believed to be important during virus entry, by degrading the mucus barrier of the respiratory tract and allowing virus to reach cells. This role is supported by the finding that treatment of mucus-covered human airway epithelial cells with the NA inhibitor Tamiflu substantially suppresses the initiation of infection.  Further evidence comes from the recent finding that influenza virus binds to ...
Source: virology blog - January 9, 2014 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information influenza mucus NA neuraminidase oseltamivir tamiflu viral virus Source Type: blogs

Poison dew drops
Last night I dreamed of airplanes. Again. Every night I dream of airplanes. Every night for the last seven nights, anyway. Big ones. Little ones. New ones. Old ones. But my dream planes aren’t soaring high and wild in blue skies like they were built to do. There’s always something wrong with them. They’re broken down. Out of fuel. Victims of weather. My dream planes are trapped, barred from their natural environment. In my dreams, they are prisoners of the ground. This morning as the fog of dreams lifted, I put it all together. My subconscious is processing the fact that I, too, am a prisoner.Oh, Lord, wh...
Source: LifeAfterDx--The Guardian Chronicles - January 5, 2014 Category: Diabetes Authors: Wil Source Type: blogs

Drug firms accused of holding back complete information on clinical trials
A review of 20 existing studies into Tamiflu by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded it 'did not reduce influenza-related lower respiratory tract complications'. Photograph: Clive Gee/PAClinical trial results are being routinely withheld from doctors, undermining their ability to make informed decisions about how to treat patients, an influential parliamentary committee has claimed.MPs have expressed "extreme concern" that drug manufacturers appear to only publish around 50% of completed trial results and warned that the practice has "ramifications for the whole of medicine".Their conclusions have emerg...
Source: PharmaGossip - January 3, 2014 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

Hilarious Tamiflu side-effect
Okay, it’s not hilarious, it’s funny that it’s included as a side effect of Tamiflu (treatment for influenza): I’m not a huge fan of Tamiflu (for the neuropsychiatric side effects), but I saw this last night on my pocket brain, and had to look today to see if it’s really listed. It is, that’s off the Tamiflu full-download of the medication information (Link on the official Tamiflu page). So you know, when patients are in studies, basically everything that happens while the subject is taking the medication has to be reported to the FDA, which is how all that oddness gets enshrined as les...
Source: GruntDoc - November 27, 2013 Category: Emergency Medicine Doctors Authors: GruntDoc Tags: Amusements Emergency Source Type: blogs

Changing influenza virus neuraminidase into a receptor binding protein
The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of the influenza virus particle serve distinct functions during infection. The HA binds sialic acid-containing cellular receptors and mediates fusion of the viral and cell membranes, while the NA removes sialic acids from glycoproteins. Apparently this division of labor is not absolute: influenza viruses have been identified with NA molecules that serve as receptor binding proteins. An influenza virus was created that could not bind sialic acid by introducing multiple mutations into the HA gene. This mutant virus was not expected to be infectious, but nevertheless...
Source: virology blog - November 21, 2013 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information evolution HA hemagglutinin influenza mutation NA neuraminidase receptor binding sialidase tamiflu viral virus Source Type: blogs

The neuraminidase of influenza virus
This article is part of Influenza 101, a series of posts about influenza virus biology and pathogenesis. (Source: virology blog)
Source: virology blog - November 5, 2013 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information glycoprotein influenza neuraminidase relenza sialic acid spread tamiflu viral virus Source Type: blogs

Incidence of asymptomatic human influenza A(H5N1) virus infection
When virologists Fouchier and Kawaoka were isolating avian influenza H5N1 viruses that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol, there was consternation from some quarters that such viruses might escape from the laboratory and cause a pandemic in humans. Part of the fear came from the fact that the case fatality ratio for human infections with the H5N1 virus exceeds 50%. This number could be substantially higher than the lethality ratio, which is the number of symptomatic cases divided by the total number of infections. Divining the latter number has been difficult. Results of a meta-analysis published in 2012 suggest ...
Source: virology blog - October 1, 2013 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information asymptomatic avian Bangladesh case fatality ratio fouchier influenza A(H5N1) kawaoka mortality ratio viral virus Source Type: blogs

Incidence of asymptomatic human influenza A(H5N1) virus infection
When virologists Fouchier and Kawaoka were isolating avian influenza H5N1 viruses that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol, there was consternation from some quarters that such viruses might escape from the laboratory and cause a pandemic in humans. Part of the fear came from the fact that the case fatality ratio for human infections with the H5N1 virus exceeds 50%. This number could be substantially higher than the lethality ratio, which is the number of symptomatic cases divided by the total number of infections. Divining the latter number has been difficult. Results of a meta-analysis published in 2012 suggest ...
Source: virology blog - October 1, 2013 Category: Virology Authors: Vincent Racaniello Tags: Basic virology Information asymptomatic avian Bangladesh case fatality ratio fouchier influenza A(H5N1) kawaoka mortality ratio viral virus Source Type: blogs

Why Big Pharma is bad for your health
Just take one and you’ll feel better. Promise (Image from shutterstock).On Wednesday I came down with a stinking cold. Loaded up with all the cold and ‘flu medication I could find on the pharmacist’s shelves I headed into the office where I found on my desk a pre-ordered copy of Ben Goldacre’s new book Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients.I had read and enjoyed Goldacre’s previous book ‘Bad Science‘, an accessible and entertaining exploration of the world of medicine. I have not touched a homeopathic sugar pill or written an ill-informed scient...
Source: PharmaGossip - September 22, 2013 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

Big Pharma’s data sharing principles “weak and filled with loopholes”
Campaigners for greater transparency of clinical trial data for medicines have criticised a set of principles published by the pharma industry aimed at improving access to study information.Led by pressure group AllTrials, numerous critics have said that the commitments, published by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the US' Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), go nowhere near far enough in allowing independent researchers to determine if a drug is as effective as its manufacturer claims.Among the most damning comments were those from AllTrials c...
Source: PharmaGossip - July 26, 2013 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

Do Clinical Trials Work? - NYT
EVERY spring, some 30,000 oncologists, medical researchers and marketers gather in an American city to showcase the latest advances in cancer treatment.But at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology last month, much of the buzz surrounded a study that was anything but a breakthrough. To a packed and whisper-quiet room at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Mark R. Gilbert, a professor of neuro-oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, presented the results of a clinical trial testing the drug Avastin in patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma multi...
Source: PharmaGossip - July 15, 2013 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs

Castellani vs Goldacre
Are clinical trial data shared sufficiently today? YesThe AllTrials campaign asks for all trials to be registered and their results published. Ben Goldacre (doi:10.1136/bmj.f1880) says we need the evidence to make informed decisions about medicines. John Castellani says mandatory disclosure could affect patient privacy, stifle discovery, and allow competitors or unscrupulous actors to use the informationClinical trials are essential for the successful development of new medicines that save and improve lives and provide hope for millions of patients. Biopharmaceutical companies are committed to the conti...
Source: PharmaGossip - July 9, 2013 Category: Pharma Commentators Authors: insider Source Type: blogs