Recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks, including the 2013-2016 epidemic that ravaged West Africa and the 2018 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, highlight the need for licensed treatments for this often-deadly disease. ZMapp, an experimental therapy comprising three monoclonal antibodies, has shown promise in a clinical trial, but it targets only one of the five known species of Ebola virus.
Global Research News Releases
Findings from an animal study suggest that a non-invasive imaging technique could, with further development, become a useful tool to assess immune system recovery in people receiving treatment for HIV infection. Researchers used single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and a CD4-specific imaging probe to assess immune system changes throughout the bodies of macaques infected with SIV, a simian form of HIV, following initiation and interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies. Because VLPs are not infectious, they show considerable promise as vaccine platforms for many viral diseases, including influenza. Realizing that fine details about influenza VLPs were scant, a team of researchers who specialize in visualizing molecular structures developed a 3D model based on the 1918 H1 pandemic influenza virus.
Fetal death in utero occurred in more than one-fourth of monkeys infected in the laboratory with Zika virus in early pregnancy, according to new research published in Nature Medicine. The finding raises the concern that Zika virus-associated pregnancy loss in humans may be more common than currently thought, according to the study authors.
An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. The findings were reported today in the journal Nature Medicine by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues.
Scientists have identified a molecule found on human cells and some animal cells that could be a useful target for drugs against chikungunya virus infection and related diseases, according to new research published in the journal Nature. A team led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the research, which was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Enrollment has begun in an early-stage clinical trial testing the safety of two human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) designed to treat people infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is funded in part by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department Health and Human Services.
As a result of the many scientific research advances over 37 years, we now have highly effective methods of HIV treatment and prevention. These tools have allowed us to make important strides in reducing the burden of HIV in the United States and globally.
Prion diseases are slow degenerative brain diseases that occur in people and various other mammals. No vaccines or treatments are available, and these diseases are almost always fatal. Scientists have found little evidence of a protective immune response to prion infections. Further, microglia—brain cells usually involved in the first level of host defense against infections of the brain—have been thought to worsen these diseases by secreting toxic molecules that can damage nerve cells.
Early during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, scientists speculated that the genetic diversity of the circulating Makona strain of virus (EBOV-Makona) would result in more severe disease and more transmissibility than prior strains. However, using two different animal models, National Institutes of Health scientists have determined that certain mutations stabilized early during the epidemic and did not alter Ebola disease presentation or outcome.
The first large-scale clinical trial to study kidney transplantations between people with HIV has begun at clinical centers across the United States. The HOPE in Action Multicenter Kidney Study will determine the safety of this practice by evaluating kidney recipients for potential transplant-related and HIV-related complications following surgery. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
A Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational universal influenza vaccine intended to protect against multiple strains of the virus has begun in the United States. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is being conducted at four U.S. sites that are part of the NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs).
Topical treatment with live Roseomonas mucosa—a bacterium naturally present on the skin—was safe for adults and children with atopic dermatitis (eczema) and was associated with reduced disease severity, according to initial findings from an ongoing early-phase clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health. Preclinical work in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis had suggested that R. mucosa strains collected from healthy skin can relieve disease symptoms.
Researchers have exploited a quirk in the genetic make-up of the deadly malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to create 38,000 mutant strains and then determine which of the organism’s genes are essential to its growth and survival. P. falciparum is responsible for about half of all malaria cases and 90 percent of all malaria deaths. New information about the parasite’s critical gene repertoire could help investigators prioritize targets for future antimalarial drug development.
Significant global progress has been made since 2000 to reduce the incidence and mortality of malaria. However, recent evidence suggests that the trend toward fewer malaria cases and deaths has stalled, or in some regions of the world, reversed course. As a global community, we cannot afford to cede the hard-fought gains in the battle to control and eliminate this devastating mosquito-borne disease.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) did not cross the species barrier to infect cynomolgus macaque monkeys during a lengthy investigation by National Institutes of Health scientists exploring risks to humans.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease spread by ticks in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Infection with CCHF virus is fatal in nearly one of every three cases. No specific treatments or vaccines for CCHF exist, primarily because a suitable animal model for studying the disease has not been available. Scientists have used mice to study CCHF but had to weaken their immune systems to cause infection. Studies in larger animals have not consistently replicated human disease.
Influenza vaccines that better target the influenza surface protein called neuraminidase (NA) could offer broad protection against various influenza virus strains and lessen the severity of illness, according to new research published in Cell. Current seasonal influenza vaccines mainly target a different, more abundant influenza surface protein called hemagglutinin (HA). However, because influenza vaccines offer varying and sometimes limited protection, scientists are exploring ways to improve vaccine effectiveness.
A newly identified coronavirus that killed nearly 25,000 piglets in 2016-17 in China emerged from horseshoe bats near the origin of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which emerged in 2002 in the same bat species. The new virus is named swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV). It does not appear to infect people, unlike SARS-CoV which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774. No SARS-CoV cases have been identified since 2004. The study investigators identified SADS-CoV on four pig farms in China’s Guangdong Province.
Novel vaccine technologies are critical to improving the public health response to infectious disease threats that continually emerge and re-emerge, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. In a perspective in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the experts highlight innovations that could significantly shorten the typical decades-long vaccine development timeline.
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine if the antibody can provide short-term protection against malaria, and also may aid in vaccine design. Investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, led the research with colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Two new clinical trials testing an experimental vaccine to prevent influenza caused by an H7N9 influenza virus are now enrolling volunteers at sites across the United States. The Phase 2 studies, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will test different dosages of the inactivated influenza vaccine candidate (called 2017 H7N9 IIV) as well as different vaccination schedules. The studies also will evaluate whether an adjuvant boosts the immune responses of people receiving the vaccine.
Researchers are developing a promising alternative to antibiotic treatment for infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. The approach uses antibodies to target the K. pneumoniae protective capsule polysaccharide, allowing immune system cells called neutrophils to attack and kill the bacteria. The early stage, in vitro research was conducted by scientists at NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories and the New Jersey Medical School-Rutgers University.
A more intensive biomedical research approach is necessary to control and ultimately eliminate tuberculosis (TB), according to a perspective published in the March 2018 issue of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In the article, authors Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Robert W.
Familial human prion diseases are passed within families and are associated with 34 known prion protein mutations. To determine whether three of the unstudied mutations are transmissible, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, exposed research mice to brain samples from three people who died from a familial prion disease. After observing the mice for about two years, they found two of the mutations, Y226X and G131V, are transmissible.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)—preparations of a specific type of antibody designed to bind to a single target—have shown promise in the fight against cancer and autoimmune diseases. They also may play a critical role in future battles against emerging infectious disease outbreaks, according to a new article by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Nearly 90 percent of participants in an open-label study of a vaginal ring infused with a drug to prevent HIV are using the monthly ring at least some of the time, according to an interim analysis of study data. In addition, the rate of HIV infection among participants in the open-label study, which has no placebo arm for comparison, is half of what might be expected in the absence of the ring, according to mathematical modeling that has significant limitations.
A one-month antibiotic regimen to prevent active tuberculosis (TB) disease was at least as safe and effective as the standard nine-month therapy for people living with HIV, according to the results of a large international clinical trial. Adults and adolescents in the trial were more likely to complete the short-course regimen—consisting of daily doses of the antibiotics rifapentine and isoniazid for four weeks—than the standard nine-month regimen of daily isoniazid.
After receiving a course of antiretroviral therapy for their HIV-like infection, approximately half of a group of monkeys infused with a broadly neutralizing antibody to HIV combined with an immune stimulatory compound suppressed the virus for six months without additional treatment, according to scientists supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Developing a universal influenza vaccine—a vaccine that can provide durable protection for all age groups against multiple influenza strains, including those that might cause a pandemic—is a priority for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, NIAID officials detail the institute’s new strategic plan for addressing the research areas essential to creating a safe and effective universal influenza vaccine.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is supporting U.S. clinical sites participating in two ongoing international Phase 2 clinical trials evaluating investigational antibody-based therapies aimed at preventing potentially antibiotic-resistant infections. By aligning the NIAID Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) with a large international consortium leading the effort, the U.S. investigators hope to enroll 30 adult patients from 15 intensive care units in the trials.
A new clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, aims to determine whether low blood levels of the protein procalcitonin can reliably indicate whether a person’s lower respiratory tract infection will improve with antibiotic treatment.
National Institutes of Health scientists developing a rapid, practical test for the early diagnosis of prion diseases have modified the assay to offer the possibility of improving early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The group, led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), tested 60 cerebral spinal fluid samples, including 12 from people with Parkinson’s disease, 17 from people with dementia with Lewy bodies, and 31 controls, including 16 of whom had Alzheimer’s disease.
Ebola virus can infect the reproductive organs of male and female macaques, according to a study published in The American Journal of Pathology, suggesting that humans could be similarly infected. Prior studies of survivors of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa have revealed sexual transmission of Ebola virus, and that viral RNA (Ebola virus genetic material) can persist in semen following recovery.
Experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have penned a New England Journal of Medicine perspective recognizing the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for 15 years of implementing an innovative program to prevent, treat, and care for persons living with HIV and AIDS. The authors stress that continued support for the U.S.
The National Institutes of Health has launched a large international study to compare the safety and efficacy of three antiretroviral treatment regimens for pregnant women living with HIV and the safety of these regimens for their infants. The study will evaluate the current preferred first-line regimen for pregnant women recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and two regimens containing newer antiretroviral drugs that are becoming more widely used.
For the first time, scientists have shown a relationship between the proportion of key immune cells that display high levels of a gut-homing protein called alpha-4 beta-7 at the time of HIV infection and health outcomes. Previous research illustrated this relationship in monkeys infected with a simian form of HIV.
People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according to a new study published in mBio. HA sits on the surface of the influenza virus to help bind it to cells and features a head and stem region.
A short-term pause in HIV treatment during a carefully monitored clinical trial does not lead to lasting expansion of the HIV reservoir nor cause irreversible damage to the immune system, new findings suggest.
An experimental treatment developed from cattle plasma for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection shows broad potential, according to a small clinical trial led by National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues. The treatment, SAB-301, was safe and well tolerated by healthy volunteers, with only minor reactions documented.
Since 2016, when Zika was declared by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency of international concern, the virus has become established in more than 80 countries, infected millions of people, and left many babies with birth defects (collectively called congenital Zika syndrome).
Results from two Phase 1 clinical trials show an experimental Zika vaccine developed by government scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is safe and induces an immune response in healthy adults. The findings will be published on Dec. 4 in The Lancet. NIAID is currently leading an international effort to evaluate the investigational vaccine in a Phase 2/2b safety and efficacy trial.
The investigational Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine was well-tolerated and induced an immune response in participants, according to initial results from three Phase 1 clinical trials. Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, are developing the vaccine as well as leading one of the trials. WRAIR also is co-funding the trials together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The results will appear on Dec. 4 in The Lancet.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesMaureen M. Goodenow, Ph.D., Director, Office of AIDS Research
The first large-scale clinical trial of a long-acting injectable medication for HIV prevention in sexually active women has begun. The study in southern and eastern Africa will examine whether a long-acting form of the investigational anti-HIV drug cabotegravir injected once every eight weeks can safely protect women at risk for HIV infection. The only drug regimen currently licensed for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is the anti-HIV medication Truvada taken daily as an oral tablet. The U.S.
The National Institutes of Health and partners have launched a large clinical trial to assess whether an experimental HIV vaccine regimen is safe and able to prevent HIV infection. The new Phase 2b proof-of-concept study, called Imbokodo, aims to enroll 2,600 HIV-negative women in sub-Saharan Africa. Of 1.8 million new HIV infections worldwide in 2016, 43 percent occurred in eastern and southern Africa, with women and girls disproportionately affected.
A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine provides real-world evidence that implementing a combination of proven HIV prevention measures across communities can substantially reduce new HIV infections in a population.
Investigators found that HIV incidence dropped by 42 percent among nearly 18,000 people in Rakai District, Uganda, during a seven-year period in which the rates of HIV treatment and voluntary medical male circumcision increased significantly.
In a New England Journal of Medicine perspective, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne discuss how the process of preparing seasonal influenza vaccines in eggs may contribute to their limited effectiveness. The authors offer research strategies that might yield more protective vaccine candidates.
While rare, some people experience recurrent episodes of anaphylaxis—a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes symptoms such as the constriction of airways and a dangerous drop in blood pressure—for which the triggers are never identified. Recently, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that some patients’ seemingly inexplicable anaphylaxis was actually caused by an uncommon allergy to a molecule found naturally in red meat.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and collaborators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have detected abnormal prion protein in the skin of nearly two dozen people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The scientists also exposed a dozen healthy mice to skin extracts from two of the CJD patients, and all developed prion disease.
Soon after his appointment in 1984 as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., testified before Congress showing a world map annotated with a single emerging infectious disease threat, HIV/AIDS.
River blindness, or onchocerciasis, is a disease caused by a parasitic worm found primarily in Africa. The worm (Onchocerca volvulus) is transmitted to humans as immature larvae through bites of infected black flies. Symptoms of infection include intense itching and skin nodules. Left untreated, infections in the eye can cause vision impairment that leads to blindness. Mass distribution of ivermectin is currently used to treat onchocerciasis. However, this treatment can be fatal when a person has high blood levels of another filarial worm, Loa loa.
Scientists and clinicians from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the California Institute of Technology discuss key considerations for developing a universal influenza vaccine in a meeting report appearing in the October 17 issue of Immunity. The report summarizes discussions from a workshop NIAID held June 28-29, 2017, in Rockville, Maryland, entitled, “Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine.” The workshop brought together U.S.
Results from a large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Liberia show that two candidate Ebola vaccines pose no major safety concerns and can elicit immune responses by one month after initial vaccination that last for at least one year. The findings, published in the October 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on a study of 1,500 adults that began during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
Despite remarkable gains in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection, development of an effective HIV vaccine likely will be necessary to achieve a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, according to a new commentary from Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Using blood samples from an individual previously infected with Zika virus, scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed an antibody-based Zika virus therapeutic that protected monkeys from infection.
Preparedness in the face of major disease outbreaks can save thousands of lives: Rapid deployment of effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines may even stop the disease from potentially exploding into a pandemic. A new article by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues examines the multifaceted nature of effective preparedness and the particular role that biomedical research plays.
Using genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to reduce or prevent the spread of infectious diseases is a new but rapidly expanding field of investigation. Among the challenges researchers face is ensuring that GM mosquitoes can compete and mate with their wild counterparts so the desired modification is preserved and spread in the wild population. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University have engineered GM mosquitoes to have an altered microbiota that suppresses human malaria-causing parasites.
A three-pronged antibody made in the laboratory protected monkeys from infection with two strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV, better than individual natural antibodies from which the engineered antibody is derived, researchers report in Science today.
Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals. The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.
The Zika virus (ZIKV) may infect and kill a specific type of brain cancer cells while leaving normal adult brain tissue minimally affected, according to a new study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In the paper, published online on September 5 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, researchers describe the impact of ZIKV on glioblastoma cells in both human tissue samples and mice.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have expanded the understanding of how chronic inflammation and persistent immune activation associated with HIV infection drive cardiovascular disease risk in people living with HIV. People living with HIV are up to twice as likely to experience heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease as people who do not have the virus, even when HIV infection is well-controlled with the use of antiretroviral therapy.
A monthly vaginal ring and a daily oral tablet, both containing anti-HIV drugs, were safe and acceptable in studies of adolescents, two teams of investigators reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris. The experimental ring is designed for HIV prevention and the oral tablet is already used for this purpose in adults. Adherence to the ring was high, while adherence to the tablet was moderate and diminished substantially when study visits became less frequent.
Transgender women—people whose birth certificates indicate or once indicated male sex but who identify as women—are at high risk of HIV acquisition, and thus are a key population for HIV prevention and treatment efforts.
A nine-year-old South African child who was diagnosed with HIV infection at one month of age and received anti-HIV treatment during infancy has suppressed the virus without anti-HIV drugs for eight and a half years, scientists reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris. This case appears to be the third reported instance of sustained HIV remission in a child after early, limited anti-HIV treatment.
Results from an early-stage clinical trial called APPROACH show that an investigational HIV vaccine regimen was well-tolerated and generated immune responses against HIV in healthy adults. The APPROACH findings, as well as results expected in late 2017 from another early-stage clinical trial called TRAVERSE, will form the basis of the decision whether to move forward with a larger trial in southern Africa to evaluate vaccine safety and efficacy among women at risk of acquiring HIV.
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine design, and support further study of modified bovine antibodies as HIV therapeutics or prevention tools in humans, scientists reported in a paper published online today in Nature.
Two experimental vaccines can restrict Zika virus transmission from pregnant mice to their fetuses and can prevent Zika virus-induced placental damage and fetal demise, according to new findings published July 13 in Cell. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB); and other partners conducted the research.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics and commonly cause skin infections that can lead to more serious or life-threatening infection in other parts of the body. In new findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that two common, inexpensive antimicrobials can help patients heal from MRSA skin abscesses. The findings suggest that current treatment options for MRSA still have a role, even as scientists continue to search for new antimicrobial products.
New findings from mouse models reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought.
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and international colleagues have discovered a genetic cause and potential treatment strategy for a rare immune disorder called CHAPLE disease. Children with the condition can experience severe gastrointestinal distress and deep vein blood clots. No effective treatments are available to ameliorate or prevent these life-threatening symptoms.
Scientists have identified a rare genetic mutation that results in a markedly increased susceptibility to infection by human rhinoviruses (HRVs)—the main causes of the common cold. Colds contribute to more than 18 billion upper respiratory infections worldwide each year, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.
A clinical trial of an experimental vaccine to prevent infection with chikungunya virus is now enrolling healthy adult volunteers at sites in the United States. The Phase 1/2 trial, which is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is being conducted at several NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units. The candidate vaccine, MV-CHIKV, was developed by Themis Bioscience of Vienna, Austria.
A 10-year Lassa virus research project has yielded structural and functional details of a key viral surface protein that could help advance development of Lassa vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics, which are currently lacking. The work was led by the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Subgroups of tuberculosis (TB)-causing bacteria can persist even when antibiotics wipe out most of the overall population. The need to eliminate these persistent subpopulations is one reason why TB treatment regimens are so lengthy. Now, researchers have shown that a single protein allows mycobacteria to generate diverse populations that can avoid TB drugs. The protein may be a target for intervention; blocking it might result in less mycobacterial diversity and shorten TB treatment courses.
Real-time imaging of influenza infection in mice is a promising new method to quickly monitor disease progression and to evaluate whether candidate vaccines and treatments are effective in this animal model, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists.
Genetic analysis of samples collected as the Zika virus (ZIKV) spread throughout the Americas after its introduction in 2013 or 2014 has shown that the virus circulated undetected for up to a year in some regions before it came to the attention of public health authorities. Genetic sequencing has also enabled scientists to recreate the epidemiological and evolutionary paths the virus took as it spread and split into the distinct subtypes—or clades—that have been detected in the Americas. The research, published in Nature today, was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
WHAT:Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, modified an experimental malaria vaccine and showed that it completely protected four of eight monkeys that received it against challenge with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. In three of the remaining four monkeys, the vaccine delayed when parasites first appeared in the blood by more than 25 days.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesCarl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director, Division of AIDS, NIAID
WHAT: The fight to contain the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was hampered by the lack of an effective treatment or vaccine. Researchers funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have studied the blood of an Ebola survivor, searching for human antibodies that might effectively treat not only people infected with Ebola virus, but those infected with related viruses as well. Now the researchers have identified two such antibodies that hold promise as Ebola treatments.
May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the National Institutes of Health is finding solutions to improve the health of the nearly 25 million people in the United States who currently have asthma. In recent decades, the prevalence of asthma has been increasing, resulting in millions of urgent medical visits and missed days of work and school each year.
Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions, according to a study published online in Cell. The research was led by Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Statement of B. Fenton Hall, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of Health
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced approximately $12.9 million in first-year funding, subject to availability, for eleven malaria research centers around the world. The 7-year awards continue NIAID’s 2010 program that created the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic. The awards fund four new and seven existing centers that work in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections last a lifetime. Once a person has been infected, the virus can remain dormant (latent) for years before periodically reactivating to cause recurrent disease. This poorly understood cycle has frustrated scientists for years. Now, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have identified a set of protein complexes that are recruited to viral genes and stimulate both initial infection and reactivation from latency. Environmental stresses known to regulate these proteins also induce reactivation.
Analysis of daily gene activation in a patient with severe Ebola virus disease cared for at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2015 found changes in antiviral and immune response genes that pinpointed key transition points in the response to infection. The changes included a marked decline in antiviral responses that correlated with clearance of virus from white blood cells. The analysis also showed that the preponderance of host responses shifted rapidly from activation of genes involved in cell damage and inflammation toward those linked to promotion of cellular and organ repair.
The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in collaboration with health authorities in Guinea and Liberia, are launching a large clinical trial of candidate Ebola vaccines under the aegis of the PREVAC international consortium (Partnership for Research on Ebola VACcination).
Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have found that an experimental treatment cured 100 percent of guinea pigs and rhesus monkeys in late stages of infection with lethal levels of Marburg and Ravn viruses, relatives of the Ebola virus. Although the Marburg and Ravn viruses are less familiar than Ebola virus, both can resemble Ebola in symptoms and outcomes in people, and both lack preventive and therapeutic countermeasures.
Vaccinations have begun in a multi-site Phase 2/2b clinical trial testing an experimental DNA vaccine designed to protect against disease caused by Zika infection. The vaccine was developed by government scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The National Institutes of Health intends to award $42.7 million over seven years to the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) so it may continue evaluating new approaches to treat food allergy. Established in 2005, the CoFAR has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH. The first year of funding has been awarded, and awards will be made in subsequent years based on the availability of funds.
Statement of Christine F. Sizemore, PhD., Richard Hafner, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccinations (PCV13) against potentially life-threatening pneumococcal disease at two, four and six months of age. Earlier immunization would confer greater protection when infants are most vulnerable to disease, but newborns’ immature immune systems limit their capacity to respond effectively to PCV13 and establish immunity.
A molecule naturally produced by the immune system protects mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection, an international team of researchers has found. Administering the molecule, called 25-hydroxycholesterol or 25HC, to pregnant mice reduced Zika virus infection in the fetal brain and protected against Zika-induced microcephaly. The work was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health.
A two-vaccine regimen intended to protect against Ebola virus disease induced an immune response that persisted for approximately one year in healthy adult volunteers, according to results from a Phase 1 clinical trial published in the March 14th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The investigational vaccines included Ad26.ZEBOV, developed by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and MVA-BN-Filo, developed by Bavarian Nordic.
Giving monkeys two powerful anti-HIV antibodies immediately after infection with an HIV-like virus enabled the immune systems of some of the animals to control the virus long after the antibodies were gone, scientists at the National Institutes of Health and The Rockefeller University have found.
A novel vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, protected cattle from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, according to research published online in npj Vaccines on March 8. The research was conducted by a team of experts at NIAID, the Pirbright Institute based in the United Kingdom, and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Switzerland.
In June 2013, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided $2 million in funding to establish an Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) to develop, prioritize and implement a clinical research agenda to address the growing public health threat of antibiotic resistance. A new series of articles appearing in the March 15th issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases details the group’s progress and outlines its ongoing and future efforts.
The unusually large outbreak of yellow fever now occurring in rural Brazil deserves careful attention by world health authorities, notes Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. Writing in a Perspectives piece for the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Fauci and his associate Catharine I.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial to test an investigational vaccine intended to provide broad protection against a range of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as Zika, malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever, and to hinder the ability of mosquitoes to transmit such infections. The study, which is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will examine the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune response.
An investigational malaria vaccine has protected a small number of healthy U.S. adults from infection with a malaria strain different from that contained in the vaccine, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, sponsored and co-conducted the Phase 1 clinical trial.
An investigational malaria vaccine given intravenously was well-tolerated and protected a significant proportion of healthy adults against infection with Plasmodium falciparum malaria—the deadliest form of the disease—for the duration of the malaria season, according to new findings published in the February 15th issue of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study participants live in Mali, Africa, where they are naturally exposed to the parasite.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have found that the presence of the protein alpha-4 beta-7 integrin on the surface of HIV and its monkey equivalent—simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV—may help explain why an antibody protected monkeys from SIV in previous experiments.
An experimental malaria vaccine strategy known as PfSPZ-CVac, together with antimalarial medication, protected all nine clinical trial volunteers given three high-dose vaccinations, according to study results published today in Nature.
A novel, gene-based investigational vaccine protected mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection after a single dose, according to a study appearing online in the journal Nature on Feb. 2. The research was conducted by investigators funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIAID scientists, and other partners. The candidate vaccine, called ZIKV prM-E mRNA-LNP, uses messenger RNA (mRNA) with which the body produces Zika virus proteins designed to elicit infection-neutralizing antibodies.
Klebsiella bacteria cause about 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States. K. pneumoniae sequence type 258 (ST258) is one of the Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae organisms labeled an urgent threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This strain of bacteria is particularly concerning because it is resistant to most antibiotics and kills nearly half of people with bloodstream infections.
Few influenza viruses are as widespread and adaptable as avian influenza viruses, and scientists are not entirely sure why.
In a new commentary published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, two leading influenza experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, examine how the evolution of proteins found on the surfaces of flu viruses has impacted their ability to infect migratory birds and poultry and cause avian disease.
A new mouse model of early Ebola virus (EBOV) infection has shown National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues how early responses of the immune system can affect development of EBOV disease. The model could help identify protective immune responses as targets for developing human EBOV therapeutics.
Scientists from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases led the study with colleagues from the University of Washington and Columbia University.
Although cases of Zika virus infection appear to be decreasing, the mosquito-borne virus likely will become endemic in the Americas and continue to cause outbreaks and sporadic cases. Given the serious complications of Zika virus infection, particularly in cases of congenital infection, researchers must continue their work to better understand how the virus causes disease and to develop effective vaccines and treatments, according to a new commentary. The article, by Anthony S.
WHAT:New research findings provide insight into the immune system pathways that may be key to developing an effective tuberculosis (TB) vaccine. The study, to be published Thursday in the journal Nature Communications, was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The first large-scale clinical trial of a long-acting injectable drug for HIV prevention began today. The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will examine whether a long-acting form of the investigational anti-HIV drug cabotegravir injected once every 8 weeks can safely protect men and transgender women from HIV infection at least as well as the anti-HIV medication Truvada taken daily as an oral tablet.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have established in mice a way to study potentially life-threatening meningitis caused by Salmonella. Bacterial meningitis happens when bacteria infect the central nervous system (CNS), causing a serious disease that can be life-threatening and difficult to diagnose and treat. Patients who survive often have permanent brain damage.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesCarl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director, Division of AIDS, NIAID
The first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch anywhere in seven years is now testing whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults. The study, called HVTN 702, involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus. HVTN 702 aims to enroll 5,400 men and women, making it the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people become infected with HIV every day.
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the parasitic worm responsible for causing onchocerciasis—an eye and skin infection more commonly known as river blindness.
Infusions of an anti-HIV antibody known as VRC01 were shown to be safe and maintained intended antibody concentrations in the blood of people living with HIV, according to two related studies by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG). The antibody modestly suppressed blood levels of HIV in people who stopped taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), but the delay in the reappearance of virus was not clinically significant.
The first of five early stage clinical trials to test the safety and ability of an investigational Zika vaccine candidate called the Zika Purified Inactivated Virus (ZPIV) vaccine to generate an immune system response has begun at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Clinical Trial Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Scientists with WRAIR, part of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), developed the vaccine.
Administering a human antibody that neutralizes Zika virus to pregnant mice before or after Zika virus infection reduced levels of the virus in placental and fetal tissues and decreased fetal disease, new findings show. The work may aid development of vaccines and therapies for Zika virus infection, which can cause severe birth defects when it occurs during pregnancy.
A frontline malaria treatment that combines fast-acting dihydroartemisinin with long-lasting piperaquine is quickly losing power in Cambodia due to the rapid spread of drug-resistant parasites. The presence of piperaquine-resistant malaria parasites in several Cambodian provinces was confirmed earlier this year by National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues.
Most women who used an experimental vaginal ring for HIV prevention report that the physical act of sex was largely unaffected by using the product, which is inserted monthly for continuous wear. This finding is among several insights gleaned about experiences of women who used the ring during the ASPIRE study, also known as MTN-020, announced today at the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) meeting in Chicago.
A clinical trial to evaluate the experimental Ebola treatment ZMapp found it to be safe and well-tolerated; however, because of the waning Ebola epidemic, the study enrolled too few people to determine definitively whether it is a better treatment for Ebola virus disease (EVD) than the best available standard of care alone. The findings from the randomized, controlled trial known as PREVAIL II appear in the October 13th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
A product that mimics the natural oxidative killing action of human immune cells against bacteria, viruses, and fungi also can inactivate prions and other proteins, some of which are thought to be important in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers. Prions are deadly protein-based pathogens that are extremely difficult to inactivate; recommended decontamination treatments often are dangerous to people or damaging to surfaces, such as those on surgical devices.
Two experimental Zika virus DNA vaccines developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists protected monkeys against Zika infection after two doses, according to a study published in Science. One of those vaccines is being evaluated in a Phase 1 human trial now under way in three U.S. locations to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and ability to generate immune responses in people.
It has been known that the microbe that causes TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can persist in the lungs even after patient tissue samples test negative for the bacteria. In new research appearing in Nature Medicine, intramural researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, together with NIAID grantees, found through the use of positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) scanning that TB lesions can remain in the lungs long after treatment with antibiotics has been completed.
Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have successfully treated monkeys several days after the animals were infected with Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV). The study is important, according to the researchers, because no proven treatments against SUDV exist and little is known about the window of opportunity for treating the infection.
People infected with Ebola virus were 20 percent more likely to survive if they were co-infected with malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, according to data collected at an Ebola diagnostic laboratory in Liberia in 2014-15. Moreover, greater numbers of Plasmodium parasites correlated with increased rates of Ebola survival, according to a dozen collaborating research groups in the new study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
A new exploratory analysis of data from the ASPIRE study has found that using a drug-infused vaginal ring most or all of the time reduced the risk of HIV infection in women by at least 56 percent. This finding is being reported today at a press briefing at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa, and will be presented in more detail tomorrow in a lecture at the conference.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded approximately $30 million in annual funding over the next five years to six research collaborations working to advance basic medical science toward an HIV cure. The awards comprise the second iteration of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure program and are a part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to invest in HIV cure research.
The Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL), a U.S.-Liberia joint Clinical Research Partnership, today announced the opening of PREVAIL IV, a treatment trial for men who have survived Ebola virus disease (EVD) but continue to have evidence of Ebola virus genetic material, RNA, in their semen.
The National Institutes of Health and Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (Fiocruz), a national scientific research organization linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, have begun a multi-country study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants. The study is opening in Puerto Rico and will expand to several locations in Brazil, Colombia and other areas that are experiencing active local transmission of the virus.
An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa has determined that an investigational vaccine regimen is safe and generates comparable immune responses to those reported in a landmark 2009 study showing that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection.
Enrollment has begun in the first of two multinational clinical trials of an intravenously delivered investigational antibody for preventing HIV infection. Known as the AMP Studies, for antibody-mediated prevention, the trials will test whether giving people an investigational anti-HIV antibody called VRC01 as an intravenous infusion every 8 weeks is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection.