NIAID Now

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June 5, 2019

Autoimmune lung inflammation, or pneumonitis, is a common, early and often-overlooked symptom of the rare disorder APECED, a new NIAID-led study has revealed. If untreated, APECED pneumonitis can cause severe, life-threatening lung damage. The study results illuminate the immune responses involved in APECED pneumonitis and provide early evidence for a promising treatment strategy.

June 5, 2019

As NHLBI, NIAID, the Office of AIDS Research, and other NIH components adapt to the changing epidemiology of HIV infection, we are working together to support a coordinated research agenda that will optimize the health of people with HIV and improve their quality of life by reducing HIV-related co-morbidities. This year, on HIV Long-Term Survivors Day, we renew our commitment to study HIV disease across the lifespan.

May 29, 2019

Researchers launched the Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV, or REPRIEVE, in 2015 with support from NIAID and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The ambitious trial is testing the ability of a statin medication to reduce the risk of heart disease in men and women with HIV. Researchers completed the enrollment phase of the trial earlier this year, welcoming more than 7,500 participants in eleven countries. REPRIEVE investigators and NIAID collaborators discussed the design and goals of the trial in the June issue of the American Heart Journal.

May 13, 2019

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has a rich history of fostering fundamental HIV research. Recently, NIGMS leadership had the strategic insight that this portfolio should be combined with the existing basic research program at NIAID to maximize collaboration and better leverage existing resources. NIGMS has excelled in fostering this research for 37 years, and we are honored to welcome their researchers into our scientific community.

May 2, 2019

Inflammation is an essential element of the immune response for protecting the body from infection and injury, but sometimes it does more harm than good. Now NIAID scientists have discovered how tissue protects itself from damage by unwanted inflammation in response to a small, innocuous injury, such as the death of a single cell.

April 8, 2019

The common cold is one of the most frequent triggers of asthma attacks. Yet even among children with severe asthma, most colds do not lead to asthma attacks. In a new NIAID-funded study, researchers sought to answer a long-standing question: what differentiates a cold that leads to an asthma attack from a cold that is just a cold?

March 6, 2019

Even when HIV is well-controlled with antiretroviral therapy, the virus can cause persistent immune activation that contributes to an increased risk of complications such as heart disease and certain cancers. New NIAID-supported research presented today at CROI 2019 in Seattle sheds light on the relationship between immune activation and weight gain.

February 26, 2019

Bone marrow transplants can be necessary for treating cancer and many other illnesses, but the process can be grueling. By using an antibody-drug combination to kill existing bone marrow stem cells, NIAID scientists were able to drastically improve bone marrow and skin transplant outcomes in mice.

February 6, 2019

Researchers have identified immunologic factors that predispose certain children to recurrent tonsil infections. While nearly everyone is exposed to strep bacteria during childhood, only some children develop recurrent tonsillitis. New findings uncover immune responses linked to recurrent tonsillitis and suggest a potential strategy for development of a vaccine to prevent strep infections.

January 17, 2019

HIV is a master of sneaking past our natural defenses. Typically, when the body encounters a harmful virus, immune cells recognize viral proteins and stimulate the production of antibodies. HIV, however, has evolved several ways to cloak vulnerable areas of viral proteins. A report released last month from NIAID scientists reveals new insights into one such tactic of immune invisibility.

January 7, 2019

Scientists have previously recognized that the HIV reservoir varies in size between individuals. Now, NIAID researchers and their collaborators have discovered that variations in an important viral gene may play a role in the size of one’s HIV reservoir. Their findings, reported online last week, expand scientists’ understanding of how specific attributes of the virus a person acquires can affect the course and nature of their HIV infection.

November 19, 2018

New research by NIH investigators demonstrates for the first time that a bone marrow-derived cell, the mast cell, can cause disease in a solid organ through the transmission of small sacs of molecules through the bloodstream. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that these extracellular sacs can enable one type of cell to influence the behavior of an entirely different cell type.

October 23, 2018

A durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic will require the development and widespread implementation of new and improved HIV prevention tools, according to NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Yesterday, Dr. Fauci delivered a plenary lecture at the opening session of the HIV Research for Prevention (HIV R4P) conference, which is taking place this week in Madrid.

September 13, 2018

Some people treated with antiretroviral therapy after HIV has already significantly damaged the immune system may develop a serious condition called HIV-associated immune reconstitution syndrome, or IRIS. Now, researchers from NIAID and the NIH Clinical Center are working together to visualize and predict this common complication of HIV in a new way—with positron emission tomography, or PET.

September 5, 2018

A new NIAID-supported study lays the foundation for understanding the causes of and ultimately developing treatments for nasal polyps—small growths that develop on inflamed mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses. The work opens the horizon for further research, as well as efforts to better understand other diseases characterized by inflamed barrier tissues, such as asthma and eczema.

August 16, 2018

People with a rare disease called mastocytosis must do their cardio with caution. In a new NIAID study, blood-serum levels of two inflammatory chemicals in people with mastocytosis rose significantly after physical exercise, and this increase was associated with a worsening of mastocytosis-related symptoms.

August 9, 2018

New research from NIAID-funded scientists reveals that most individuals in a sample of West African Ebola survivors produced a unique subset of T cells called CD8+ T cells—also known as killer T cells.

July 30, 2018

The gut microbiome—the community of bacteria and other microbes naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract—plays a critical role in human health. NIAID Now spoke with senior investigator Jason Brenchley, Ph.D., about the link between the gut microbiome and HIV infection, and his lab’s recent research findings.

July 6, 2018

Why do we lack a cure for HIV infection, and what research is underway to help achieve that goal? A new video from NIAID provides answers.

June 21, 2018

A clinical trial comparing three chemotherapy regimens in combination with antiretroviral treatment for treatment of advanced AIDS-Kaposi’s sarcoma patients in Africa and South America has ended early.

June 19, 2018

A new video from NIAID explores a possible new way to fight bacteria as they become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

June 14, 2018

Through visits to the NIH Clinical Center, Isaac Barchus became one of the first people diagnosed with a rare immunological condition now known as CANDLE/PRAAS syndrome, and in 2011, he was the first patient enrolled in a compassionate use program at the NIH of an experimental therapy to address his symptoms.

May 22, 2018

Earlier this month, scientists from NIAID and Knopp Biosciences reported that dexpramipexole, a drug initially developed to treat neurological diseases, benefited a subset of patients with hypereosinophilic syndromes. Their findings, published online in the journal Blood, help lay the groundwork for a larger clinical trial to further evaluate this potential new treatment for these rare, chronic disorders.

May 7, 2018

NIAID is conducting and supporting research, including two clinical trials, on the potentially deadly disease Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis. People can get Valley fever by inhaling a soil-residing fungus endemic to parts of the southwestern United States.

May 3, 2018

HIV-related heart disease is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV—even when they are on consistent, effective HIV treatment. Researchers are learning that this complication is likely brought on by chronic inflammation from the virus itself and other factors. What is less understood is why HIV seems to take a greater toll on the hearts of women.

March 27, 2018

As the nation’s largest hospital devoted solely to medical research, the NIH Clinical Center sees many patients arrive with a mysterious constellation of symptoms and no diagnosis. NIAID scientists at the NIH Clinical Center treated one such patient and used innovative genetic techniques to discover his severe gastroenterology symptoms were caused by a rare presentation of Crohn’s disease, according to a report released last month.

March 22, 2018

Most people living with HIV have a single genetic strain of the virus, but in certain cases, a person can acquire a second strain of HIV—a condition known as HIV superinfection. In a new study published online today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, NIAID researchers and scientists at the Uganda Virus Research Institute describe a case of HIV superinfection they were able to identify with unique precision.

March 8, 2018

Our coverage from the 2018 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston wrapped up yesterday with two interviews with Federal HIV leaders who shared perspectives about the science coming out of the conference and its implications for HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

January 29, 2018

Scientists are learning that white fat—the fat tissue that acts as a scaffold under our skin, muscles and organs—may serve vital roles beyond cushioning our rears and middle sections. New research from NIAID scientists published last month in Immunity reports that white fat is also an immune organ, storing immune cells called memory T cells that fight against infectious agents.

January 23, 2018

Two recent studies conducted by NIAID scientists shed light on previously unknown functions of a category of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). ILCs respond quickly to infection and cannot recognize pathogens, but they have some similar functions as helper T cells. The new research sheds light on how similarly ILCs and adaptive T cells function in the body, and whether ILCs function in a tissue-resident manner or circulate among sites.

January 11, 2018

A new study suggests that influenza infection may enhance some white blood cells’ ability to defend against secondary bacterial infections.

December 15, 2017

A new study offers insights into the immune cell defects that occur in Chediak-Higashi syndrome, a rare genetic disease. Their findings also suggest a potential strategy to develop treatments for this complex syndrome, which is characterized by immune deficiency, predisposition to bleeding, recurring infections and neurological disorders.

November 6, 2017

We should all be thankful to have some histamine in our bodies. This chemical messenger helps our brains stay alert, lets our stomachs dissolve food and powers our immune systems to root out and kill infectious parasites.

October 25, 2017

Haunted houses, ghastly ghouls, spooky spirits and… frightening food allergies? Halloween can be a stressful time for families managing food allergies. Many popular candies contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and other potentially allergenic foods. Reading food labels carefully can help ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.

October 11, 2017

“There is real value in experimental odysseys,” says Thomas A. Waldmann, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute.

The NIH Distinguished Investigator celebrated a new leg of one such journey this summer. In June, colleague Michael J. Lenardo, M.D., an investigator at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, published his finding of a genetic cause and potential treatment for a subset of the gastrointestinal disease Waldmann had discovered in 1961. Dr. Lenardo, who Dr. Waldmann recruited to the NIH more than two decades ago, will join Dr. Waldmann to give a Clinical Center Grand Rounds lecture on their discoveries in Masur Auditorium in Building 10 on November 15, 2017.

September 27, 2017

The fever, fatigue, muscle and headache caused by influenza (flu) can make even the healthiest person feel miserable for days. For more vulnerable people, such as the very young or the elderly, flu can be fatal. Although vaccination is recommended and can help protect against flu infection, there is a need for effective therapies to combat illness caused by the flu virus.

September 18, 2017

Today marks the 10th National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. This annual observance brings attention to the unique social and health-related challenges of older people living with and at risk for HIV. NIAID supports and collaborates on research that aims to both understand and mitigate long-term complications of HIV for men and women aging with HIV.

August 25, 2017

In a new study, researchers describe immune profiles measured prior to vaccination that may predict a person’s antibody response to the seasonal flu vaccine. Their findings also indicate that immune states that predict good vaccine responses in young adults may be associated with poorer responses in older people.

August 14, 2017

NIAID researchers have developed a new method for visualizing in great detail the distribution of cell types in complex tissues, like tumors. The method, called Clearing-enhanced 3D microscopy, or Ce3D, may help researchers evaluate how well immunotherapies target hard-to-treat cancers without many of the limitations associated with related, earlier methods that are currently in use. The findings were described online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

July 21, 2017

Have you ever heard about a research finding and thought, “What does that mean?” New observations and discoveries continually contribute to the ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge that ultimately guides medical practice. NIAID Video SNiPs are quick summaries for science lovers and scientists that explain how an incremental advance can provide fresh insights, affect disease outcomes, and improve public health.

July 21, 2017

Like many branches of medicine, immunology can seem to have a complex language of its own describing how the body protects against and fights off infection. Now, you can sort through the dense terminology of the immune system by boning up on some basics in NIAID’s new, illustrated immunology glossary.