Two studies boost hopes for pandemic flu vaccines

first_imgMar 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Two new studies give reason to hope that vaccines prepared in advance could be of some help in combating an influenza pandemic.A flu pandemic can occur when a flu virus undergoes a significant change in its surface proteins, making it unrecognizable to the immune system. Because such “antigenic shifts” are unpredictable, it is not possible to design a vaccine to precisely match a pandemic flu virus until the virus emerges.Disease experts fear that the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which has become endemic in poultry in Southeast Asia, may trigger a human flu pandemic if it acquires the ability to spread readily from person to person. This week the United States launched the first clinical trial of a vaccine for the H5N1 virus. But there is no guarantee that the vaccine would work if a pandemic erupted, since a change in the virus would probably precede that development.However, two studies recently published online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggest that avian flu vaccines that don’t match up perfectly with the viruses they are intended for may provide some protection.In one study, human volunteers received a vaccine made from a nonpathogenic H5N3 virus isolated from ducks. When H5N1 viruses were added to serum samples from the volunteers, a significant immune response was generated in the form of antibodies.In the other experiment, mice were given one of two vaccines that contained surface proteins from H5N1 viruses isolated from geese and humans. When the mice were subsequently exposed to other H5N1 viral strains, the vaccines protected most of them from dying or getting sick.Immune response in human serumThe human study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chiron Vaccines in Italy, and two laboratories in the United Kingdom. They recruited 65 people in Leicester, UK, and gave them two doses of a vaccine made from an H5N3 duck virus isolated in Singapore in 1997. Some of the volunteers received the vaccine alone, while others received the vaccine with an adjuvant—a compound that helps stimulate immune responses—called MF59. Sixteen months later, 26 of the 65 volunteers received a third dose of the same vaccine they had received before (15 received vaccine with MF59, while 11 received vaccine with no adjuvant).Serum samples were taken before and 3 weeks after vaccination and sent to the CDC, where they were tested for antibody responses to four different H5N1 viruses isolated from humans. These included 1997 and 2003 strains from Hong Kong and 2004 strains from Vietnam and Thailand.The experiment showed that the conventional (no adjuvant) vaccine induced little antibody response to any of the H5N1 viruses, whereas the adjuvanted vaccine generated good responses.After three doses of adjuvanted vaccine, significant antibody responses (seroconversion) to the Hong Kong 1997 virus were seen in 100% of the samples. Seroconversion rates for the other three viruses were 100% for Hong Kong 2003, 71% for Thailand 2004, and 43% for Vietnam 2004. The seroconversion rates for the nonadjuvanted vaccine with respect to the four viruses were 27%, 27%, 0%, and 0%.The researchers write that three doses of the adjuvanted vaccine “induced broadly cross-reactive antibody capable of neutralizing antigenically distinct HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] H5N1 viruses isolated from humans during 1997-2004. . . . The ability of an H5 vaccine to induce broad cross-reactive immune responses could be crucially important in the early response to an emerging pandemic.”The authors acknowledge that a three-dose immunization schedule wouldn’t be practical in the face of a pandemic. However, they suggest that in the early stages of a pandemic it may be possible to provide partial protection for people at high risk, such as healthcare workers, with an adjuvanted vaccine made from an H5 virus strain prepared in advance.Vaccines protect miceThe mouse experiment was conducted by Aleksandr S. Lipatov and four colleagues at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. They injected mice with one of two inactivated vaccines made with the process called reverse genetics. The researchers used genes for the surface proteins—hemagglutinin and neuraminidase (HA and NA)—and internal proteins from several different flu viruses.One vaccine, called delta H5N3, combined the HA gene from a 1999 H5N1 goose virus from Hong Kong with the NA gene from an H2N3 duck virus from Germany. The other vaccine, called delta H5N1/03, used the HA and NA genes from a human H5N1 virus isolated in Hong Kong in 2003. Both vaccines also contained six viral genes encoding internal proteins from an H1N1 virus, along with an adjuvant.After immunization at one of three doses of vaccine, the mice were exposed to one of three H5N1 viruses: human isolates from 1997 and 2003 and an avian virus from 2001. The vaccinated mice responded with high levels of antibodies, which in most cases decreased or prevented viral replication in their lungs.From 90% to 100% of mice injected with the delta H5N3 vaccine survived and had few signs of illness, whereas all of the control mice died. The delta H5N1/03 vaccine provided nearly as high a level of protection. The exception was that mice that received the lowest dose of vaccine were vulnerable to the 2001 avian H5N1 virus.The authors also analyzed and found slight differences among the amino acid sequences of the HAs in the two tested vaccines and the three challenge viruses. They conclude, “The present results demonstrate the cross-protective efficacy of H5N1 vaccine viruses that contain antigenically different HAs. Our data suggest that, at least in the mouse model, the vaccine strain need not match the challenge virus to achieve a high level of cross-protection.”In an editorial accompanying the two reports, Benjamin Schwartz and Bruce Gellin of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) National Vaccine Program Office welcome the studies but cite various limitations. The studies “do provide a good foundation for further work to develop and test candidate pandemic vaccines and assess pandemic vaccination strategies,” they write.Concerning the human study, Schwartz and Gellin state, “The need for 3 vaccine doses, the use of an adjuvant not licensed in the United States, and uncertain levels of protection even in a young and healthy population limit the viability of such a vaccination strategy.”The mouse experiment provides “proof of concept that H5 vaccines produced by use of reverse genetics can be immunogenic and effective in an animal model,” Schwartz and Gellin say. “However, no conclusions can be reached regarding levels of protection in humans, the number of doses needed, the amount of antigen required per dose, the need for an adjuvant, or the degree of protection against all heterologous H5 strains.”Stephenson I, Burgarini R, Nicholson KG, et al. Cross-reactivity to highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses after vaccination with nonadjuvanted and MF59-adjuvanted influenza A/Duck/Singapore/97 (H5N3) vaccine: a potential priming strategy. J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1210-5 [Abstract]Lipatov AS, Webby RJ, Govorkova EA, et al. Efficacy of H5 influenza vaccines produced by reverse genetics in a lethal mouse model. J Infect Dis 2005(Apr 15);191(8):1216-20 Vaccination strategies for an influenza pandemic. J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1216-20 [Abstract]Schwartz B, Gellin B, et al. Vaccination strategies for an influenza pandemic. (Editorial Commentary) J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1207-9 [Full text]last_img read more

Arsene Wenger sends support to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil amid China backlash

first_imgArsene Wenger sends support to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil amid China backlash Advertisement 1 min. story 1/1 Read More SPONSORED Skip Ad Wenger coached Ozil at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil’s freedom of speech after the Arsenal drew the fury of China.Ozil’s Instagram post about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China has sparked a debate about human rights, as reports claim China has detained as many as one million people, mainly Muslims, over the course of several years in what are being branded as prison camps.China reacted furiously to the comments, pulling Arsenal’s game against Manchester City from TV coverage and performing a deep cleanse of Ozil’s internet footprint in the country.Arsenal released a statement distancing themselves from Ozil’s call to action and Wenger has defended the German’s right to speak out.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Video Settings Skip Read More Read More Read More Top articles Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 18 Dec 2019 1:21 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1kShares About Connatix V67539 Read More Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Comment Ozil is a Muslim (Picture: Getty)‘They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men.‘The women are forced to marry Chinese men. But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise.‘They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?’MORE: Yaya Toure takes swipe at Mesut Ozil and tells Arsenal star he was wrong to condemn China’s treatment of UighursMORE: Arsenal respond to Mesut Ozil social media post Advertisement Full Screen / ‘What he says is about himself and not Arsenal,’ said Wenger.‘Mesut Ozil has freedom of speech like everyone else and he uses his notoriety to express his opinions, which are not necessarily shared by everybody.‘What’s important is that Ozil has an individual responsibility. He doesn’t have to carry the word of Arsenal Football Club.‘When you make a comment about your individual opinion you accept the consequences of it.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityChina have threatened further action against Arsenal. Ozil is a Muslim and compelled others to speak out on the human rights violations in China.‘East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion,’ Ozil said in a statement.‘They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. by Metro PLAY Coming Nextlast_img read more

Happy Holidays, Pennsylvania!

first_img December 23, 2016 Hello everyone, I’m Governor Tom Wolf. Today, I’d like to wish all Pennsylvanians a very happy holiday season.Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or the season of giving, this time of year is about celebrating our love for family, friends, and our communities.This time of year is also about our freedom to celebrate our religions and beliefs. William Penn founded Pennsylvania on principles of tolerance and freedom of conscience, and all of us are blessed to live in this great Commonwealth and this great country where we can enjoy these rights.As we celebrate this year, let us remember how lucky we are to be able to spend time with family and friends and let us remember to show the generosity and good feeling of this wonderful season throughout the whole year.From my family to yours, happy holidays! Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Holidays,  The Blog,  Videos HOLIDAYS SHARE TWEETcenter_img By: Governor Tom Wolf Happy Holidays, Pennsylvania! SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Danish pension funds ready for infra investments to back new goal

first_imgDanish pensions lobby group Insurance and Pensions Denmark (IPD) has responded to a new proposal by the government on road traffic emissions reductions by saying the pension industry is ready to invest in the energy infrastructure needed to make it happen.Yesterday, the Ministry of Taxation published a proposal to cut CO2 emissions by one million tonnes in the road transport sector by 2030, employing measures such as changing the way cars are taxed, greener fuel and tolls for lorries.The ministry said the initiative, which it said would mean having 500,000 green cars on Danish roads in 2030 rising to more than a million in 2035, was a step on the way to realising Denmark’s 70% target.At the end of last year, Denmark’s parliament passed a new climate law committing to cut emissions by 70% from 1990 levels by 2030. Kent Damsgaard, IPD chief executive officer, said: “We need to promote far more environmentally-friendly cars, and this requires massive investments in energy infrastructure. The Danish pension industry is ready to look at these investments.”But he said large-scale investments required the establishment of a stable framework.He said his group saw public-private partnership (PPP) investment models as “the way forward,” with private investors contributing capital and execution, and the ownership of the critical infrastructure remaining public.Regardless of the specific goal, IPD said there would be a need for huge investments in the Danish electricity grid to support so many more electric cars.The association also said that better regulation of the electricity grid was one of the recommendations made in the report from the financial sector’s climate partnership.IPD said the government proposal would now go through an intensive round of negotiations with the parliamentary parties.“Whether the goal of the government agreement will be 500,000, 750,000 or even more electric cars is difficult to predict,” Damsgaard said.“One thing is for sure, the energy infrastructure will need massive investments to be able to support the increase, and those investments are interesting for the Danish pension industry,” he said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Rigmar Makes New Appointments

first_imgThe Rigmar Group has been recruiting and re-organising to address the expanding range and complexity of projects being undertaken.Duncan Cuthill, who joined the Group in January 2016, has been promoted to the role of Interocean’s Marine general manager.Cuthill has been responsible for a number of contract awards, as well as launching the company’s Marine Warranty services. Simon Scott, a warranty approved tow master, has been promoted to marine operations manager, and is joined by marine superintendent Peter Ballingall.Two new specialist project engineers have been recruited by Rigmar Services; Sean Emery joins the Specialist Access and Inspection team based in Aberdeen, while Bill Young has joined the Onshore/Civils team in the Sheffield office. Both Emery and Young are highly qualified multi-skilled specialists and will add to the support provided to our customers and project teams.The engineering department has also been strengthened and expanded following the appointment of Graeme Buchan, a chartered engineer, to the role of Group engineering manager. Graeme has several years’ experience gained at Technip, Saipem and DOF Subsea. Matei Kiraly, also a chartered engineer and formerly with DNV, has been appointed to the position of principal engineer, while long-serving team member Madhan Mohan has been promoted to principal naval architect.Rigmar Group’s CEO, Keith W Nelson, said: “We welcome the new appointees and congratulate those being promoted and thank everyone at Rigmar and Interocean for their dedication and support as we continue our recovery following the recent oil and gas industry downturn.”last_img read more

Tottenham star Son begins military training in South Korea

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Trio of signings make instant impact as Everton stun Spurs EPL: Spurs, Everton light up London Tottenham star Heung-min Son has arrived at marines boot camp for the start of his three-week military basic training. The South Korean forward landed on Jeju on Monday, having spent the two weeks in quarantine following his journey from London, and will stay on the island until the middle of May. Son was in 2018 given special exemption from South Korea’s mandatory 21-month military service after captain|ing his country to a gold medal in the Asian Games, but is still required to complete a shortened month-long assignment. The 27-year-old was originally scheduled to complete the service during the summer, but Spurs sanctioned earlier dates with elite football across the glove on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Son has been deployed to the marines, which means a shorter service period of just three weeks rather than the usual month. Tottenham expect Son back in England before the end of May, though the return of Premier League action remains up in the air with the season on pause indefinitely for the time being.Tags: Heung-Min SonMilitary ServiceSouth KoreaTottenham Hotspurlast_img read more

Broward Considers Twice-a-Week School, Other Options for Fall

first_imgBroward students may have the option to attend school just two days a week this fall.The Broward School District has developed a plan of school reopening scenarios, which the School Board plans to discuss this Tuesday.Meanwhile, the Palm Beach County School Board planned to unveil its plans or options at a workshop Wednesday afternoon.According to The South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Broward proposals include:-Continued distance learning. Under this scenario, students would remain online-only in the fall.-Staggered times. Half of the students would attend in the morning and the other half in the afternoon four days a week. The fifth day would be used for cleaning and disinfecting the campus.-Staggered days. Half of the students would go to classrooms two days a week, possibly Monday and Tuesday, and the other half on Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a cleaning day.2020/21 school year calendar – color, black and white, and accessible versions – available at https://t.co/bcu5yhf0il. The first day of school is August 19. pic.twitter.com/XgveRbD9kU— Broward Schools (@browardschools) June 8, 2020 -High school students at home. High schools would be used to provide extra space so that elementary, middle and adult schools could have room for social distancing. In addition, high schoolers would continue virtual learning.-In-person school limited to high-needs students. Students with disabilities, limited English skills, struggling readers in early elementary grades and those taking career and vocational programs would attend school in person. Additionally, distance learning would continue for others.-Limited enrollment. Schools would serve the same students but limit enrollment on the physical campus. Distance learning would continue for others.“The initial feedback suggests a preference for staggered days, with each school having some implementation flexibility,” a draft report says.Another factor that is expected to limit enrollment is parental choice.A recent school district survey of 72,000 Broward families found that 36 percent want students to continue distance learning full-time. On the other hand, 25 percent prefer a full reopening of in-person learning, while another 33 percent want a hybrid of on-campus and at-home learning. The remaining six percent of respondents are unsure.last_img read more

Olympics on mind, India improving with each match: Gurjant Singh

first_imgBhubaneswar: India forward Gurjant Singh has said that every member in the team has Tokyo Olympics on their mind and will thus use the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League fixtures against Belgium to further their preparation and boost their confidence.India had a great start to their FIH Pro League campaign as they defeated the Netherlands in both their matches last month.Ahead of the two matches slated to be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Kalinga Stadium against World No. 1 Belgium, Gurjant expressed that the Indian set-up is improving with each match and is working towards a common goal of performing well at the Olympics this year.“This is a very crucial time for us. Every match is very important for us. We are coordinating and playing well as a unit. However, we have to ensure that we keep putting up good performances consistently. Each and every player in the team has the Olympics in their mind and we are working towards doing well at the tournament,” said the 25-year-old.The forward added that the team is confident ahead of taking on Belgium since India performed brilliantly during their tour of the country last year.“We had a great tour of Belgium last year as we won all our matches there. That result certainly gives us a lot of confidence. All the FIH Hockey Pro League matches will help us prepare for the Olympics. All the top teams in the world are playing this tournament. Now the Indian team is performing well. We beat the Netherlands last month, who are ranked third in the world. So the team’s morale is quite high at the moment,” said Gurjant.India registered an incredible come-from-behind win against the Netherlands in their second FIH Hockey Pro League match in January. The Indians were 1-3 behind and then came back to win the match in the shootout. Gurjant expressed that such victories give a major boost to the side. IANSAlso Read: ‘Coronavirus could throw cold water on 2020 Olympics’ Says Toshiro MutoAlso Watch: CM Sonowal and Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reviews preparations ahead PM Modi’s visitlast_img read more

Broad moves to 3rd spot in Test bowlers’ rankings, Jasprit Bumrah slips to 8

first_imgMANCHESTER: Veteran pacer Stuart Broad has progressed seven places to reach third position among bowlers in the latest ICC Test Rankings after a stellar show in the final Test against the West Indies, which England won by 269 runs to clinch the three-match series 2-1.The formerly top-ranked bowler, who finished with a match haul of 10 for 67 during which he touched the milestone of 500 Test wickets, has reached his best since August 2016 when too he was third. Another England bowler to advance is Chris Woakes, whose five-wicket haul in the second innings has lifted him to 20th position and a career-best rating points tally of 654. Meanwhile, India’s Jasprit Bumrah has dropped down a place and is currently at the eighth spot in bowler’s rankings. West Indies skipper Jason Holder has dropped down by two places and is at the fifth spot. Broad has also gained seven places with the bat after his 62 off 45 balls in the first innings, the joint-third fastest for England in Test history, and risen three places among all-rounders to 11th. England opener Rory Burns has also gained in the latest update, gaining 13 spots to reach 17th position after scores of 57 and 90 at the Old Trafford, the first time the 29-year-old left-hander has moved into the top 20. Ollie Pope is at a career-best 46th position, gaining 24 slots on the back of his 91 in his only innings of the match, while Jos Buttler’s knock of 67 has lifted him from 50th to 44th. (IANS) Also watch: #NewsMakers: Amending EIA Notification, 2020 Impact on NorthEastlast_img read more

47 local and overseas players shortlisted for U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers

first_img… We have a very talented pool of players to choose from – Lady Jags head coachHEAD coach of Guyana Women U-20 side, Dr Ivan Joseph, is anticipating an uphill task in naming his final list of 23 players for the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier in the Dominican Republic. Guyana are drawn in Group D, where they were placed alongside Mexico, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) recently announced a list of 47 players, made up of mostly overseas-based players, who are currently being scrutinised on the training pitch. The best-possible squad will be selected to create history and be one of CONCACAF’s representatives July 3 – 23 at the FIFA World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama.Dr Joseph related that at his disposal, there’s “a very talented pool of players to choose from and that will make our decision very difficult. However, at the end of the day my primary responsibility is to always select the best possible squad from all players available to me for the final team.”In an earlier interview with Chronicle Sport, the Canada-based coach related that he was “lucky enough to have several of our players playing football in the United States universities and a few in Canadian universities and a few who have been playing year-round with their clubs. On top of that, what we’ve done also is put together several of our top players in an indoor league, so they’ll have a continuity of our system.”Stressing on the difficulty of putting together a squad worthy enough of not only competing at the Championship, but also qualifying, Dr Joseph opined, “I would be lying to you if I said it was an easy task, pulling together a national team that’s from multiple countries, from the diaspora, but the good news is, that we’re all committed to the same thing and trying to get better and get fit.”However, with the absence of any meaningful and continuous female football programme in Guyana, Dr Joseph said, “I’m nervous that our Guyana-based players, who don’t have the same level of playing meaningful games, may be missing a step off of speed, but we’ll do the best with what we can.”A release from the GFF noted that assistant coach Akilah Castello has been conducting training sessions for the Guyana-based players, while head coach Joseph is conducting training sessions in Toronto for all of the internationally based players.The Lady Jags will kick things off on February 23 when they come up against Nicaragua, and will then suit up against Puerto Rico on February 25, before facing Mexico on February 27 in their final Group D game.CONCACAF recently announced that their Council had determined that Costa Rica and Panama, as host countries of the World Cup, will automatically qualify to the World Cup and will no longer participate in the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, meaning that the two remaining slots in the World Cup will be determined via the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship.For the group stage of the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, to be played at the Felix Sanchez Stadium and Panamericano Stadium, in Santo Domingo and San Cristobal, respectively, Guyana (top-ranked team in qualifying Group A) and St Kitts and Nevis (top-ranked team in qualifying Group B) will be replacing Costa Rica and Panama for the group stage of the final championship.SHORTLISTED LADY JAGS:Horicia Adams (Foxy Ladies), Tiandi Smith (Fruta Conquerors), Taylor White (Oshawa Kicks OYSL), Stefani Kouzas (Laval FC), Brianne Desa (Durham United FC), Nailah Rowe (Durham United FC), Jade Vyfhuis (Markham SC), Rylee Traicoff (Durham United FC), Makayla Rudder (Unionville SC), Jessica Myers (Durham United FC), Kiana Khedoo (North Mississauga SC), Tori DeNobrega (Durham United FC), Aneesa O’Brien (Durham United FC), Hailey David (Pickering), Audrey Narine (Pickering), Gabriella Salvadore (Erin Mills Eagles), Nyla Oppenheimer (AJAX FC), Sydney Puddicombe (AnB Futbol Academy), Savannah Edwards (Durham United FC) and Serena Mcdonald (Richmond Hill).Asiyah Shakeek (Pickering Green U15), Megan O’Brien (North York Cosmos), Christina Antonopoulos (AnB Futbol Academy), Shanice Alfred (Richmond Hill), Raven Edwards-Dowdall (Senaca College), Nia Collins (Florida Kraze Krush ENCL), Anisa Roberts (Durham United FC), Sonaya O’Neil (North York Cosmos), Jaida Brooks (Durham United FC), Ashaya Doobay (Richmond Hill), Jenea Knight (Durham United FC), Samantha Banfield (United FA OPDL), Mariah Johnson (Pickering Green U15), Rory Scott (Unionville), Inari Moore (Laval FC) and Shacaylah Williams (Unionville).Stefani Kouzas (Laval FC), Jessica Jagdeo (Dixie Girls), Sidney Facey (Unionville-Milliken Soccer Club), Anaya Johnson (Woodbridge Strikers), Alliea Alleyne (Fruta Conquerors), Shamya Daniels (Fruta Conquerors), Amanda McKenize (Fruta Conquerors), Deekola Chester (Fruta Conquerors), Shontel Green (Foxy Ladies), Izannah Rogers (Fruta Conquerors), and Lensey Adolph (Upper Dem FC).last_img read more