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Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people. And other things.
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EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO | Virology News | Scoop.it

EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (16): (ORIENTALE)
********************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
<http://www.promedmail.org>
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
<http://www.isid.org>

Date: Thu 27 Sep 2012
Source: News24 Africa, Agence France-Presse report [edited]
<http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Ebola-claims-more-lives-in-DRC-20120927>;

Ebola claims more lives in DRC
- ------------------------------

An outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] may have killed up to 33 people, while the number of suspected cases has risen, the health ministry said on Thursday [27 Sep 2012]. A total of 79 cases have been recorded, including 19 confirmed positive after laboratory analysis, 32 probable cases and 28 suspected cases, while 33 deaths were registered by 25 Sep 2012, the Ministry announced. 17 of the deaths were confirmed to be caused by Ebola virus infection. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the fatality rate was almost 42 percent. The WHO added that a baby born prematurely in the isolation centre in Isiro -- the epicentre of the epidemic in northeastern DRC -- to a mother infected by Ebola virus had died on Thursday, the statement said. In DRC, it was the 1st time a pregnant Ebola disease patient had given birth, because "Ebola disease and pregnancy are almost incompatible," Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said after the baby was born.

 

To date, there is no treatment nor vaccine for Ebola disease, which kills between 25 percent and 90 percent of patients depending on the strain of the virus. There have been 8 outbreaks in the DRC. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood, faeces and sweat, by sexual contact and by unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. Currently, 167 people who have been in contact with the 79 reported cases are under surveillance.

 

"We need to manage to follow all the contacts closely and regularly and to that end, we need to strengthen awareness among the population," Benoit Kebela, the head of the health ministry's unit to fight infectious diseases told Agence France-Presse. Among the 79 reported cases, 24 concern health workers. "We are in control of the situation, because we were able to make efforts in hospital measures -- we have protective equipment," added Dr Kebela, who was on a mission to Isiro.

 

An epidemic was declared in mid-August in Orientale province, but the international committee for the fight against Ebola has carried out research and dated the outbreak back to May [2012]. The ministry of health, the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres) are working in close collaboration to combat the outbreak.

 

- -- Communicated by: ProMED-mail Rapporteur Kunihiko Iizuka

 

[The number of suspected cases continues to increase. Since the previous WHO report of 24 Sep 2012 (Ebola virus disease - Congo DR (15): (OR) WHO 20120927.1312872) the number of reported cases has increased from 46 to 79, although the actual numbers of confirmed and suspected cases remain 19 and 32 respectively. The number of fatalities has increased from 19 (6 confirmed) to 33 (17 confirmed). All the cases identified so far remain confined to the health zones of Isiro and Viadana in Haut-Uele district in Orientale Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

A map of the provinces of DRC is available at: <http://www.mapsofworld.com/democratic-republic-of-congo/democratic-republic-of-congo-political-map.html>, and the interactive ProMED-mail/HealthMap can be accessed at:

http://healthmap.org/r/1Ahy. - Mod.CP]

 

Ebola virus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

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using bacteriophages to fight acne

http://www.livescience.com/23425-zit-zapping-virus-acne-treatment.html

 

Sounds like a good one to me...B-)  Thanks Natalie Prigozhina!

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The hidden threat of West Nile virus

The hidden threat of West Nile virus | Virology News | Scoop.it

"This year is on track to be the worst on record for West Nile virus in the United States. As of 11 September, more than 2,600 new cases, including 118 deaths, had been reported from across the country to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease range from none (in most people) to life-threatening brain inflammation, and it can leave survivors with long-term disabilities including paralysis and fatigue. Researchers are now investigating suggestions that even mild infections may leave another lasting burden — kidney disease."

 

Why don't they look in Africa?  A lot more people getting it here - for a lot longer.  Thanks @AJCann!

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Could a Vaccine Torpedo 'Cruise Ship Virus'? - Stomach Flu Article by Deborah Ross

Could a Vaccine Torpedo 'Cruise Ship Virus'? - Stomach Flu Article by Deborah Ross | Virology News | Scoop.it

"There’s a nasty bug that has ruined many a cruise ship vacation, and it goes by the name of norovirus.

No doubt many cruise aficionados wish that the highly contagious stomach illness stemming from norovirus would just sail off into the sunset.

Well, a norovirus vaccine could be in the works, thanks to successful clinical trials at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Researcher John Treanor told a September 2012 conference of scientists in San Francisco that his study participants quickly built antibodies against norovirus when given the experimental vaccine."

 

But we should wait for the plant-produced one....

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Zombie Apocalypse Training To Take Place At HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit, CDC To Issue Survival Guide Comic

Zombie Apocalypse Training To Take Place At HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit, CDC To Issue Survival Guide Comic | Virology News | Scoop.it
While the mass amount of zombie apocalypse stories that have dominated recent headlines are not convincing many people of the actual existence of the species, the Security firm HALO Corp. has decided to not take any chances.

HALO Corp., a California based organization founded by former Special Operations, National Security, and Intelligence personnel, has announced plans to have approximately 1,000 of its military personnel, police officials, medical experts and federal workers learn the ins and outs of a potential zombie apocalypse.

 

It really is time to write that story on the ZA virus...B-)

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Pepfar Grant to Benefit HIV Positive Children - AllAfrica.com

Pepfar Grant to Benefit HIV Positive Children - AllAfrica.com | Virology News | Scoop.it
Pepfar Grant to Benefit HIV Positive ChildrenAllAfrica.comA Lusaka-based Catholic orphanage says it intends to spend the United States (US) grant on HIV and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) for this year on its newly implemented project...
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Rabid animals on the rise as human vaccine supply tightens

Rabid animals on the rise as human vaccine supply tightens | Virology News | Scoop.it
It’s been a wild year for rabies in the U.S, with rising reports of the disease in animals -- think rabid skunks, bats, even beavers -- just as supplies of the vaccine used to treat humans for the deadly virus are down.
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Maize cells produce enzyme-replacement drug

Maize cells produce enzyme-replacement drug | Virology News | Scoop.it

"A genetic tweak keeps problematic plant sugars off therapeutic proteins.

...the rare lysosomal storage disease mucopolysaccharidosis I is treated using enzyme-replacement therapy. The enzymes must be made in cells, and the high production costs mean that the drugs can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So Allison Kermode, a plant biologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, whose husband works with people who have lysosomal storage disorders, decided to develop a way to manufacture the necessary enzymes in maize (corn)."

 

Going green: the right thing to do.

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Virology - Plant virus expression vectors set the stage as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins

Virology - Plant virus expression vectors set the stage as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins | Virology News | Scoop.it

"Transgenic plants present enormous potential as a cost-effective and safe platform for large-scale production of vaccines and other therapeutic proteins. A number of different technologies are under development for the production of pharmaceutical proteins from plant tissues. One method used to express high levels of protein in plants involves the employment of plant virus expression vectors. Plant virus vectors have been designed to carry vaccine epitopes as well as full therapeutic proteins such as monoclonal antibodies in plant tissue both safely and effectively. Biopharmaceuticals such as these offer enormous potential on many levels, from providing relief to those who have little access to modern medicine, to playing an active role in the battle against cancer. This review describes the current design and status of plant virus expression vectors used as production platforms for biopharmaceutical proteins."

 

And of course, let it not be forgotten that our group has pioneered the use of mastreviruses in this regard: maize streak virus in 1999-2001, and bean yellow dwarf in 2010 and since.

Investigation of the potential of maize streak virus to act as an infectious gene vector in maize plants.


Palmer KE, Rybicki EP.
Arch Virol. 2001;146(6):1089-104.


Generation of maize cell lines containing autonomously replicating maize streak virus-based gene vectors.
Palmer KE, Thomson JA, Rybicki EP.
Arch Virol. 1999;144(7):1345-60.

 

High level protein expression in plants through the use of a novel autonomously replicating geminivirus shuttle vector.
Regnard GL, Halley-Stott RP, Tanzer FL, Hitzeroth II, Rybicki EP.
Plant Biotechnol J. 2010 Jan;8(1):38-46. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

 

...not to mention a treatise on ssDNA virus vectors in plants:

 

Virus-Derived ssDNA Vectors for the Expression of Foreign Proteins in Plants.
Rybicki EP, Martin DP.
Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2011 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]


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Parents urged to get children vaccinated following outbreak of rubella

Parents urged to get children vaccinated following outbreak of rubella | Virology News | Scoop.it

"HAMPSHIRE parents are being warned of the dangers of not getting their children vaccinated following an outbreak of rubella across the county.

Latest figures have revealed that there have been 14 confirmed cases of the potentially dangerous infection in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight between January and July this year – compared to none during the same period in 2011.

Although the infection can easily be prevented by youngsters receiving their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jabs, if caught it can be dangerous, particularly to pregnant women, causing rubella-associated miscarriages and birth defects.

Rubella is a viral infection that is spread in a similar way as a cold and will normally pass within seven to 10 days. But it becomes serious if a pregnant woman catches the infection during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy as it can disrupt the development of the baby, causing congenital rubella syndrome which could include cataracts, deafness, heart abnormalities and brain damage.

 

It is believed the outbreak has been caused by a dip in the number of children getting vaccinated, forcing health bosses to urge parents into action."

 

What IS it with these people??  They'd rather cause someone to have an abortion because of catching rubella from their child, than vaccinate the child??

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GM Rice Scandal [manufactured]? | The Scientist

GM Rice Scandal [manufactured]? | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it

"A 4-year study on the genetically modified crop golden rice, engineered to contain β-carotene not naturally present in rice, is causing a huge controversy in China. Initially the 2008 study attracted little attention; but since Greenpeace China described it as “scandal of international proportions” in a statement released late last month (August 29), media outlets have relentlessly attacked the authors of the paper, claiming that they used the children as “human guinea pigs” and compare their actions to the Japanese bio-warfare experiments on Chinese prisoners in World War II.

In the study, the researchers gave 72 children either golden rice, spinach (a food naturally high in β-carotene), or capsules enriched with β-carotene in oil. They reported that β-carotene in golden rice converts into vitamin A as efficiently as capsules, and better than in spinach—a positive result for the industry, and one that may aid in the fight against vitamin deficiency blindness, which causes around a quarter of a million children to lose their sight every year."

 

So a trial of a foodstuff that has been tested to destruction for toxicity, food value and whetever else, is akin to a biowarfare experiment??  Please!!  This is a manufactured scandal, hyped by anti-GM activists.

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Cervical cancer outcomes are better with early diagnosis

Cervical cancer outcomes are better with early diagnosis | Virology News | Scoop.it
Catching any cancer before it spreads to vital organs can greatly improve patient outcomes. A woman’s age and whether or not she has health insurance are factors in catching one cancer.

A recent study found that uninsured and/or older women were skipping Pap tests.

As a result, these women didn’t find out they had cervical cancer until it was harder to treat and beat.

Don't skip Pap smears!

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Challenges for HCV Vaccine Development in HIV–HCV Coinfection

Challenges for HCV Vaccine Development in HIV–HCV Coinfection | Virology News | Scoop.it
Expert Commentary Full text available at Medscape *Free registration required. HCV-related liver diseases have become one of the leading causes of hospitalization and death in HIV-infected persons in the western world ...

 

Sinister development - given that HCV is so nasty in its own right.  We really, really need a vaccine!

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ProMED Update on New Coronavirus

ProMED Update on New Coronavirus | Virology News | Scoop.it

[1] WHO update
Date: 26 Sep 2012
Source: WHO GAR [edited]
<http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_25/en/index.html>;

Novel coronavirus infection - update
- -----------------
As of [25 Sep 2012], no additional cases of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure due to infection with a novel coronavirus have been reported to WHO. WHO is continuing investigations into 2 recently confirmed infections identified as a novel coronavirus. Today WHO issued an interim case definition to help countries strengthen health protection measures against the new virus. The case definition, based on the cases so far, includes criteria for identifying a 'patient under investigation', a 'probable case' and a 'confirmed case'. These criteria are based on clinical, epidemiological and laboratory indicators. Following the confirmation of the novel coronavirus, WHO - under the International Health Regulations - immediately alerted all its Member States about the virus and has been leading the coordination and providing guidance to health authorities and technical health agencies. WHO is also identifying a network of laboratories that can provide expertise on coronaviruses for countries. On [22 Sep 2012], the United Kingdom (UK) informed WHO of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with travel history to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar. The case is a previously healthy, 49 year-old male Qatari national that presented with symptoms on [3 Sep 2012] with travel history to KSA several days prior to onset of illness. On [7 Sep 2012] he was admitted to an intensive care unit in Doha, Qatar. On [11 Sep 2012], he was transferred to the UK by air ambulance from Qatar. The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) conducted laboratory testing and subsequently confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus.The HPA compared the sequencing of the virus isolate from the 49 year-old Qatari national with that of a virus sequenced previously by the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Netherlands. This latter isolate was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national. This comparison indicated 99.5 percent identity, with one nucleotide mismatch over the regions compared. Though it is a very different virus to SARS, given the severity of the 2 confirmed cases so far, WHO is engaged in further characterizing the novel coronavirus. As such, international efforts are being stepped up across all WHO 6 regions to ensure an appropriate and effective response with a WHO specialist team in daily contact with more than a dozen international and regional technical partners. In addition WHO is working closely with KSA, as in previous years, to support the country's health measures for all visitors participating in the Haji pilgrimage to Mecca next month [October 2012].

For more details:
<http://www.who.int/influenza/case_definition_NovelCoronavirus_20120925/en/index.html>;
<http://www.who.int/ith/updates/20120730/en/index.html>;

- --
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

 

SARS Coronavirus graphic by Russell Kightley Media

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Rule of 6ix: A new coronavirus, should you care?

Rule of 6ix: A new coronavirus, should you care? | Virology News | Scoop.it

"I doubt you have missed the news but a new virus that infects (and has so far killed one person) has just been discovered in the last few months. The virus in question is believed to be a new - never before seen in the wild - kind of virus (a new coronavirus to be more precise), so we really have little clues as to how it behaves as not much work has been done.

Schematic of a coronavirus - this new virus probably looks a lot like this. From Biowiki.

We only have two examples of human infections with this new virus to go on but despite this, the BBC and other media outlets have sparked confusion (and maybe panic) by comparing it to the 2002 SARS coronavirus (whose case fatality rate was around 10% of those over eight thousand or so people infected), which proved to be a much more deadly affair. What they probably should have compared it to is the common cold coronavirus, known as 229E - an equally valid example.

But this misses the point, it is all speculation really at this minute in time. We should really wait for the hard facts to emerge."

 

What he said....

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Plant made anti-HIV microbicides-A field of of opportunity

Plant made anti-HIV microbicides-A field of of opportunity | Virology News | Scoop.it

HIV remains a significant global burden and without an effective vaccine, it is crucial to develop microbicides to halt the initial transmission of the virus. Several microbicides have been researched with various levels of success. Amongst these, the broadly neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins are promising in that they can immediately act on the virus and have proven efficacious in in vitro and in vivo protection studies. For the purpose of development and access by the relevant population groups, it is crucial that these microbicides be produced at low cost. For the promising protein and peptide candidate molecules, it appears that current production systems are overburdened and expensive to establish and maintain. With recent developments in vector systems for protein expression coupled with downstream protein purification technologies, plants are rapidly gaining credibility as alternative production systems. Here we evaluate the advances made in host and vector system development for plant expression as well as the progress made in expressing HIV neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins using plant-based platforms.

 

HIV graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media.

Disclaimer: green technology, out of Africa!

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Deadly Dengue Virus

Deadly Dengue Virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
This video was produced by youth participating in the 2012 Science in Action Summer Intensive. A project of the Academy’s Digital Learning Department, generously funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

 

SERIOUSLY good graphics of dengue virions, change in envelope glycoprotein conformation, and entry into the cell.

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Antibody Discovery Could Put Universal Flu Vaccine On The Horizon

Antibody Discovery Could Put Universal Flu Vaccine On The Horizon | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists have made a significant leap towards a possible vaccine and cure for influenza in new antibodies that neutralize and block both strains of the seasonal virus, according to The Scripps Research Institute and Crucell Vaccine Institute.

The antibodies could be used to develop a vaccine and cure for severe infections, or to help protect hospital staff, according to Scripps, which published its findings in the journal Science. The ultimate result may be a permanent vaccine that does not need to be given anew from season to season.

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The Facts - HPV

The Facts - HPV | Virology News | Scoop.it
The Facts about HPV, from CDC. Protect yourself and protect your partner. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about STDs.

 

A very useful free downloadable brochure about HPV and genital disease.

 

HPV image courtesy Russell Kightley Media

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Birds Sound the Alarm on West Nile Virus: Scientific American

Birds Sound the Alarm on West Nile Virus: Scientific American | Virology News | Scoop.it
Texas is bearing the brunt of an outbreak of West Nile virus that is on track to be the worst the United States has ever experienced. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46 people in the state have died from the virus this season, and 526 have been affected by the neurological aspects of the disease that can lead to paralysis. That is 40% of the burden faced by the country.

For officials at the Mosquito Control Division of the Harris County Public Health Service in Houston, dead crows and blue jays provided an early warning of the outbreak — and could help in understanding the virulence of the virus.

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The scientist who put the nail in XMRV's coffin

The scientist who put the nail in XMRV's coffin | Virology News | Scoop.it
W. Ian Lipkin tells Nature about his efforts to validate the link between retroviruses and chronic fatigue syndrome.

A study published today1 has found no evidence to support research linking the retroviruses XMRV2 and pMLV3 to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The US$2.3-million study, funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), comes three years after a link between XMRV and CFS was first reported in Science2.

W. Ian Lipkin, a molecular epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York, was not involved with the initial studies, but he shepherded the effort to replicate them to completion. Three laboratories, including the two that made the original discoveries, tested blood samples from 147 patients with CFS and 146 healthy volunteers, and then reported their results to Lipkin's laboratory for analysis. The veteran scientist, who has debunked other disease links such as that between autism and vaccines, tells Nature about the study — including his efforts to keep Judy Mikovits, an XMRV researcher formerly at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) in Reno, Nevada, out of jail for taking notebooks from her former laboratory — and why he hopes that some good will come out of the study.

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Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Virus: Unexpected Rewards from the Past

Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Virus: Unexpected Rewards from the Past | Virology News | Scoop.it

"The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 killed approximately 50 million people. The unusually severe morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic spurred physicians and scientists to isolate the etiologic agent, but the virus was not isolated in 1918. In 1996, it became possible to recover and sequence highly degraded fragments of influenza viral RNA retained in preserved tissues from several 1918 victims. These viral RNA sequences eventually permitted reconstruction of the complete 1918 virus, which has yielded, almost a century after the deaths of its victims, novel insights into influenza virus biology and pathogenesis and has provided important information about how to prevent and control future pandemics."

 

ProMed Mail [ProMED Digest V2012 #487] adds this analysis:

 

"By sequencing the 1918 virus, researchers were able to confirm that
the viruses that caused influenza pandemics in 1957, 1968, and 2009 were all descended in part from the 1918 virus. Studies showed that the 2009 pandemic virus had structural similarities with the 1918
virus and explained why younger people, who had never been exposed to the 1918 virus or its early descendants, were most vulnerable to infection by the 2009 influenza virus

 

As a result, public health officials were able to target limited
vaccine supplies to predominantly younger people, who needed vaccine protection most, rather than the elderly, who were at lower risk of infection in 2009 but are traditionally the most important target group for vaccination. Further, determining the physical structure of parts of the 1918 virus, particularly the portions that are consistent across influenza viruses, has informed the ongoing development of candidate "universal" influenza vaccines that may be given infrequently yet protect broadly against multiple influenza viruses."

 

Pandemic reassortment graphic courtesy of Russell Kightely Media

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A Win for GM Crops | The Scientist

A Win for GM Crops | The Scientist | Virology News | Scoop.it

"States in the European Union (EU) can’t create their own approval process for growing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the EU Court of Justice ruled last week (September 6).

The judgment concludes a dispute between the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the Italian arm of biotechnology company Pioneer Hi-Bred, which produces and distributes conventional and genetically modified (GM) seeds. The Ministry refused to allow Pioneer Hi-Bred to cultivate GM maize—despite prior approval by the EU—claiming a lack of “co-existence” measures between modified, organic, and conventional crops."

 

Yes - which judgement is vindicated by the recent publication of a meta-analysis showing that there are next to no nutitional advantages to eating organic food, and no proof "normal" crops are more contaminated with pesticides - which, seeing as organic is generally more expensive, means it is a waste of farming space.

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allAfrica.com: 'HIV Vaccine Inevitable'

allAfrica.com: 'HIV Vaccine Inevitable' | Virology News | Scoop.it
allAfrica: African news and information for a global audience...

Scientists and scholars have singled out economical, biological, political and ethical challenges as some of the major factors slowing down the development of an HIV vaccine. Speaking to The Herald on the sidelines of the Aids Vaccine Conference in Boston, director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise Mr Bill Snow said with sound and well-financed implementation, new HIV prevention strategies could produce important reductions in the 2,5 million HIV infections occurring each year.

He said scientists attending the conference would present more than 400 new research studies updating global progress in the search for a safe and effective HIV vaccine.

"HIV vaccine research is in its most promising era since the epidemic began," he said.

Mr Snow said the development of a safe and effective Aids vaccine remains central to efforts to bring the world significantly closer to the end of this epidemic.

He said the HIV vaccine is inevitable and there is need for political and economic will.

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ScienceDirect.com - Antiviral Research - The development of antiretroviral therapy and its impact on the HIV-1/AIDS pandemic

ScienceDirect.com - Antiviral Research - The development of antiretroviral therapy and its impact on the HIV-1/AIDS pandemic | Virology News | Scoop.it

"

In the last 25 years, HIV-1, the retrovirus responsible for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), has gone from being an “inherently untreatable” infectious agent to one eminently susceptible to a range of approved therapies. During a five-year period, starting in the mid-1980s, my group at the National Cancer Institute played a role in the discovery and development of the first generation of antiretroviral agents, starting in 1985 with Retrovir® (zidovudine, AZT) in a collaboration with scientists at the Burroughs-Wellcome Company (now GlaxoSmithKline). We focused on AZT and related congeners in the dideoxynucleoside family of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), taking them from the laboratory to the clinic in response to the pandemic of AIDS, then a terrifying and lethal disease. These drugs proved, above all else, that HIV-1 infection is treatable, and such proof provided momentum for new therapies from many sources, directed at a range of viral targets, at a pace that has rarely if ever been matched in modern drug development. Antiretroviral therapy has brought about a substantial decrease in the death rate due to HIV-1 infection, changing it from a rapidly lethal disease into a chronic manageable condition, compatible with very long survival. This has special implications within the classic boundaries of public health around the world, but at the same time in certain regions may also affect a cycle of economic and civil instability in which HIV-1/AIDS is both cause and consequence. Many challenges remain, including (1) the life-long duration of therapy; (2) the ultimate role of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); (3) the cardiometabolic side-effects or other toxicities of long-term therapy; (4) the emergence of drug-resistance and viral genetic diversity (non-B subtypes); (5) the specter of new cross-species transmissions from established retroviral reservoirs in apes and Old World monkeys; and (6) the continued pace of new HIV-1 infections in many parts of the world. All of these factors make refining current therapies and developing new therapeutic paradigms essential priorities, topics covered in articles within this special issue of Antiviral Research. Fortunately, there are exciting new insights into the biology of HIV-1, its interaction with cellular resistance factors, and novel points of attack for future therapies. Moreover, it is a short journey from basic research to public health benefit around the world. The current science will lead to new therapeutic strategies with far-reaching implications in the HIV-1/AIDS pandemic. This article forms part of a special issue of Antiviral Research marking the 25th anniversary of antiretroviral drug discovery and development, Vol. 85, issue 1, 2010."

 

It's a couple of years old, but it's worth a repeat - because ARVs have done more than anything else to lessen the impact of AIDS on South Africa in particular.

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