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Vaccine Development
Tracking Swine Flu Vaccination Rates And Attitudes Via Twitter PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 October 2011 18:22

A unique and innovative analysis of how social media can affect the spread of a disease has been designed and implemented by a scientist at Penn State University studying attitudes toward the H1N1 vaccine. Marcel Salathe, an assistant professor of biology, studied how users of Twitter - a popular microblogging and social-networking service - expressed their sentiments about a new vaccine.

Flu Vaccines for Nursing Home Workers Effective in Reducing Outbreaks, Study Finds PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 September 2011 21:00
Higher flu vaccination rates for health care personnel can dramatically reduce the threat of flu outbreak among nursing home residents, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The study, which focused on nursing homes in New Mexico, found that when a facility had between 51 and 75 percent of its health care personnel with direct patient care vaccinated, the chances of a flu outbreak in that facility went down by 87 percent.

Fine-Tuning the Flu Vaccine for Broader Protection PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 22:24
An antibody that mimics features of the influenza virus's entry point into human cells could help researchers understand how to fine-tune the flu vaccine to protect against a broad range of virus strains. Such protection could potentially reduce the need to develop, produce, and distribute a new vaccine for each flu season.

A multi-institutional team led by Stephen C. Harrison, PhD, chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, report their work and its implications for improving influenza vaccination this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Future Swine Flu Vaccination Shortages Could Be Reduced By Breath Test PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 21:12

A novel breath test, measuring the immune response to the H1N1 flu virus, could help to ease future vaccine shortages by identifying the people who have already been infected with the flu virus.

In a study published 15 July 2011, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Breath Research, researchers have investigated an easy, non-invasive breath test to measure biomolecules that accumulate in response to the H1N1 strain.

Research published last month claimed that over half of the people in Glasgow vaccinated during the 2009 swine flu pandemic were already infected with the flu virus, meaning they were vaccinated unnecessarily. It is thought that similar patterns would have been found throughout the UK.

Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy Protects Newborns, Study Suggests PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 July 2011 07:47
Infants born to mothers who received the influenza (flu) vaccine while pregnant are nearly 50 percent less likely to be hospitalized for the flu than infants born to mothers who did not receive the vaccine while pregnant, according to a new collaborative study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends influenza vaccination for anyone older than 6 months of age, but specifically singles out target groups, including pregnant women, who have a greater risk of influenza-related complications.

Health System Achieves High Flu Vaccination Rates by Mandating Masking PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:30
Optimizing employee influenza vaccination rates has become a health care focus. Geisinger Health System vaccinated more than 92% of all employees against influenza this season, with a modification of a mandatory program. On average, fewer than half of all healthcare workers receive flu vaccinations.

In an article published in July's Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Dr. Lisa Esolen demonstrated the effectiveness of Geisinger's influenza vaccination that helped achieve high rates of vaccine compliance for two consecutive years.

Fraunhofer USA CMB Announces Positive Phase 1 Interim Results For Its Plant-Produced H1N1 Influenza Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 June 2011 08:11

Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB), a not-for-profit, Delaware-based organization focused on developing a proprietary plant-based protein production platform and its applications in vaccine and therapeutic fields, today announced positive interim results from the first human trial of plant-produced H1N1 influenza vaccine (HAC1) that began on September 13, 2010. This Phase 1, single-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation study was conducted to assess the safety and reactogenicity and immunogenicity of CMB's HAC1.

Patients With RA Receive Less Protection From Pandemic Influenza With H1N1 Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 June 2011 07:36

A Brazilian hospital-based study assessed responses to flu vaccines in 340 RA patients in regular follow-up compared to 234 healthy patients. Measures of protection obtained by vaccination (seroprotection rate (SP)) after immunization was over 20% lower for RA patients compared to healthy individuals (60.1% vs. 82.9% comparatively (p<0.001)). Tests to determine levels of detectable antibodies to microorganisms in the blood serum as a result of infection and immunization with the flu virus (seroconversion rate (SC)) showed a similar pattern with 53.4% of RA patients and 76.9% of healthy controls having antibodies present respectively (p<0.001).

African-Americans With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus More Responsive to Flu Vaccine Than Patients of European Descent PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 May 2011 06:49
New research shows that African Americans with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had a higher antibody response to influenza vaccination than European American patients. Treatment with prednisone, a history of hemolytic anemia, and increased disease flares were also linked to low antibody response in SLE patients who received the flu vaccine according to the study now available in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a peer-reviewed journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
Scientists Design New Anti-Flu Virus Proteins Using Computational Methods PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 May 2011 06:54
A research article May 12 in Science demonstrates the use of computational methods to design new antiviral proteins not found in nature, but capable of targeting specific surfaces of flu virus molecules.

One goal of such protein design would be to block molecular mechanisms involved in cell invasion and virus reproduction.

Computationally designed, surface targeting, antiviral proteins might also have diagnostic and therapeutic potential in identifying and fighting viral infections.

Expanding Flu Vaccinations to Older Children Reduces Emergency Visits for Flu-Like Illnesses by 34 Percent, Study Suggests PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 20:40
Vaccinating children aged two to four years against seasonal influenza resulted in a 34% decline in flu-like illnesses, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Preschool-aged children have influenza infection rates of 25%-43%, higher than other age groups. Vaccinating healthy children can help prevent spread of infection in the home and the community.

In 2006/2007, the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices expanded its recommendations to give the seasonal flu vaccine to children beyond the current target group of 6 months to 23 months of age.

H1N1 Flu Vaccine Safe In Patients With Kidney Failure Or Transplant PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 August 2011 23:46

When the influenza A (H1N1) virus swept around the world in spring 2009, infection was presumed to be more common in immunosuppressed patients, such as those who have had a kidney transplant. Later that year, the International Societies of Transplantation recommended that transplant recipients receive at least one dose of the H1N1 vaccine, although there was no information on the efficacy of the vaccine in that population.

Single-Dose H1N1 Vaccine Not Reliable Protection for Pediatric Liver Transplant Patients PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 19:51
Researchers from Australia determined that pediatric liver transplant patients who received a single-dose of the H1N1 vaccine were not adequately protected against the virus compared to healthy children. This study appearing in the August issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, found that a second vaccination was needed to elicit an effective immune response in children 10 and older who had recently received a liver transplant.
Potential New Means Of Overcoming Antiviral Resistance In Influenza Could Aid Development Of Drugs Exploiting Flu Protein 'Pockets' PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 July 2011 18:26

UC Irvine researchers have found a new approach to the creation of customized therapies for virulent flu strains that resist current antiviral drugs.

Using powerful computer simulations, UCI's Rommie Amaro and Robin Bush created a method to predict how pocket structures on the surface of influenza proteins promoting viral replication can be identified as these proteins evolve, allowing for possible pharmaceutical exploitation.

BiondVax Announces Positive Phase IIa Results For Universal Flu Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 June 2011 09:45

BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (TASE: BNDX) today announced positive results from its first Phase II clinical trial of the Multimeric-001 Universal Influenza Vaccine. The vaccine was found to be safe and well tolerated, and induced robust immune responses, successfully meeting both the primary safety and immunogenicity endpoints, as well as additional secondary immunogenicity endpoints. It was also found that the Multimeric-001, when used in conjunction with a commercially available strain-dependant seasonal influenza vaccine (trivalent inactivated vaccine, or TIV), enhances the performance of the TIV by increasing the rates of Hemagglutination Inhibition (HI) seroconversion to influenza strains both included, and not-included, in the TIV itself.

Adjuvant Combo Shows Potential for Universal Influenza Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 06:49
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered how to prime a second arm of the immune system to potentially boost influenza vaccine effectiveness. A combination of two adjuvants, chemicals used to boost the effectiveness of some vaccines, induced CD8, or killer, T cells to join antibodies in response to influenza infection. Since the killer T cells targeted a highly conserved protein that does not change from year to year, the adjuvant strategy suggests potential for a universal flu vaccine.
IBio Announces Positive H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Clinical Trial Results PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 June 2011 08:08

iBio, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: IBIO) today announced positive interim results from a Phase 1 clinical trial of an iBioLaunch™ platform-produced subunit vaccine directed against Influenza A/California/04/09 (H1N1). The vaccine demonstrated strong induction of dose correlated immune responses, with or without adjuvant, as assessed by virus microneutralization antibody assays and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) responses. The vaccine was safe and well tolerated at all doses when administered with and without adjuvant.

Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Receive Less Protection from Pandemic Influenza With H1N1 Vaccine, Study Shows PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 05:35
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis taking disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, showed significantly less protection from pandemic influenza after receiving the H1N1 vaccine compared to healthy individuals, according to data presented at the EULAR 2011 Annual Congress.

A Brazilian hospital-based study assessed responses to flu vaccines in 340 RA patients in regular follow-up compared to 234 healthy patients. Measures of protection obtained by vaccination (seroprotection rate (SP)) after immunization was over 20% lower for RA patients compared to healthy individuals (60.1% vs. 82.9% comparatively (p<0.001)).

Study Evaluates Parents' Reluctance to Vaccinate Asthmatic Kids PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 May 2011 05:19
Concern over vaccine safety is one of the primary factors preventing parents from having their asthmatic children vaccinated for influenza, or flu, according to Michigan researchers. Parents who do not vaccinate their children are also less likely to view flu as a"trigger" for their child's asthma, the researchers noted.

The study was presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

Understanding Low Acceptance Rates Of Pediatric Flu Vaccination Could Help Increase Coverage PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 April 2011 05:07

A study of H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccination in a sample of black and Hispanic children in Atlanta found a low rate of vaccine acceptance among parents and caregivers. Only 36 percent of parents and caregivers indicated they would immunize children against H1N1, and 22 percent indicated their children received the seasonal influenza vaccine in the previous three months. The majority of children in the sample (71 percent) were from households with less than $40,000 in annual income.

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