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Infectious Diseases
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May 2022

Vaccine for Rare but Deadly Mosquito-Borne Viruses Shows Promise in Clinical Trial

May 12, 2022

A vaccine for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) was found to be safe, well-tolerated and induced a neutralizing antibody response in adult volunteers, according to newly published results from a Phase 1 clinical trial. The vaccine candidate was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC), part of the National Institutes of Health.

a black mosquito with white stripes bites human skin

NIH Launches Clinical Trial of Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine

May 06, 2022

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate an investigational preventative vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. The Phase 1 study, which will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of only two studies to test an investigational EBV vaccine in more than a decade.

A cryoelectron microscopic reconstruction model of the EBV gp350-ferritin nanoparticle.

April 2022

NIAID Marks World Malaria Day

April 25, 2022

Malaria is one of the world’s most widespread and ancient infectious diseases, and controlling it remains a critical public health priority. This complex parasitic disease, transmitted from person to person by the bite of infected mosquitoes, threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in tropical areas around the globe. Each year, on April 25, World Malaria Day provides an opportunity to reflect on recent advances in controlling this disease and the challenges that remain.

NIH Funds New Tuberculosis Research Advancement Centers

April 06, 2022

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced four new grant awards to establish Tuberculosis Research Advancement Centers (TRACs). The centers will support the development of a next generation of tuberculosis (TB) researchers by providing focused mentoring and funding support for new investigators; opportunities for multidisciplinary and collaborative research; and training in laboratory and clinical settings. The total funding in the first year of these five-year grants is approximately $4.3 million.

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause TB.

March 2022

NIH Begins Clinical Trial Evaluating Second COVID-19 Booster Shots in Adults

March 31, 2022

A Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating various additional COVID-19 booster shots has begun enrolling adult participants in the United States. The trial aims to understand if different vaccine regimens—prototype and variant vaccines alone and in combinations—can broaden immune responses in adults who already have received a primary vaccination series and a first booster shot. The study, known as the COVID-19 Variant Immunologic Landscape (COVAIL) trial, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
 

an empty vaccine vial and syringe sit in front of a glass globe

NIH Experts Discuss Controlling COVID-19 in Commentary on Herd Immunity

March 31, 2022

Achieving classical herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may not be attainable, according to a new perspective published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. However, widespread use of currently available public health interventions to prevent and control COVID-19 will enable resumption of most activities of daily life with minimal disruption, the authors note. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, David M.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell colored green, heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles, colored yellow

World TB Day 2022—Invest to End TB. Save Lives

March 24, 2022

Today marks the 140th anniversary of the announcement by Dr. Robert Koch that tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. World TB Day is a reminder that this ancient disease remains a relentless killer. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, affirms its commitment to the 2022 World TB Day theme, Invest to End TB. Save Lives, by supporting and conducting wide-ranging research aimed at reducing the health and economic impacts of TB.

NIH Launches Clinical Trial of Three mRNA HIV Vaccines

March 14, 2022

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating three experimental HIV vaccines based on a messenger RNA (mRNA) platform—a technology used in several approved COVID-19 vaccines. NIAID is sponsoring the study, called HVTN 302, and the NIAID-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, is conducting the trial. 

Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell.

NIH Launches Trial to Study Allergic Reactions to COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine

March 09, 2022

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are conducting a clinical trial designed to help understand rare but potentially serious systemic allergic reactions to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The single-site trial will enroll up to 100 people aged 16 to 69 years old who had an allergic reaction to a first dose of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Study participants will receive a second dose of vaccine as inpatients under carefully controlled conditions at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus

February 2022

Leadership Transition at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center

February 16, 2022

I extend my heartfelt gratitude and deepest respect to John R. Mascola, M.D., as he announces his retirement as Director of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Mascola will leave NIAID at the end of March.

Researchers Document Third Known Case of HIV Remission Involving Stem Cell Transplant

February 15, 2022

A woman with HIV who received a cord blood stem cell transplant to treat acute myeloid leukemia has had no detectable levels of HIV for 14 months despite cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to a presentation at today’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). The is the third known case of HIV remission in an individual who received a stem cell transplant.

Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell.

NIAID Pandemic Preparedness Plan Targets ‘Prototype’ and Priority Pathogens

February 02, 2022

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues into its third year, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is focusing on preparing for a range of other viral threats that could cause a public health emergency. For decades, NIAID has launched major research responses and developed medical countermeasures to combat multiple emerging infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, SARS-CoV-1, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Ebola virus, Zika virus, and SARS-CoV-2. 

Diagram illustrating NIAID’s approach to pandemic preparedness

NIH Supports Valley Fever Research with New Awards

February 02, 2022

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced three awards to establish a network of Coccidioidomycosis Collaborative Research Centers to conduct research on coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever. These multi-disciplinary research teams will collaborate to investigate potential diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for this fungal disease.

A photomicrograph of a tissue sample from a patient with Valley Fever. A fungal spherule, which would later rupture to release endospores into the surrounding tissue, appears as a speckled circle in the center.

January 2022

Trial Tests Strategy to Augment Response to COVID-19 Vaccines in Transplant Recipients

January 31, 2022

A study has begun to assess the antibody response to an additional dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in kidney and liver transplant recipients, either alone or with a concurrent reduction in immunosuppressive medication. The clinical trial will enroll people for whom two to four doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine did not elicit a detectable antibody response.

SEM image of human cell infected with SARS-CoV-2

Hyperimmune Intravenous Immunoglobulin Does Not Improve Outcomes for Adults Hospitalized with COVID-19

January 27, 2022

A clinical trial has found that the combination of remdesivir plus a highly concentrated solution of antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is not more effective than remdesivir alone for treating adults hospitalized with the disease. The trial also found that the safety of this experimental treatment may vary depending on whether a person naturally generates SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies before receiving it. The results of the multinational Phase 3 trial were published today in the journal The Lancet.

Scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 (round gold particles) emerging from the surface of a cell cultured in the lab

Mix-and-Match Trial Finds Additional Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Safe, Immunogenic

January 26, 2022

In adults who had previously received a full regimen of any of three COVID-19 vaccines granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an additional booster dose of any of these vaccines was safe and prompted an immune response, according to preliminary clinical trial results reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings served as the basis for recommendations by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late fall 2021 to permit mix-and-match COVID-19 booster vaccinations in the United States.

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (gold) within endosomes of a heavily infected nasal epithelial cell.

December 2021

Statement—NIH Celebrates FDA Approval of Long-Acting Injectable Drug for HIV Prevention

December 21, 2021

Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its first approval of a long-acting HIV prevention medication. Developed by ViiV Healthcare, the medicine is long-acting cabotegravir injected once every two months. FDA has approved the medicine for use by adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kilograms who are at risk of sexually acquiring HIV. This milestone marks a vital expansion of biomedical HIV prevention options available to people in the United States.

NIH Scientists Urge Pursuit of Universal Coronavirus Vaccine

December 16, 2021

A growing body of scientific evidence, considered together with ecological reality, strongly suggests that novel coronaviruses will continue to infect bats and other animal reservoirs and potentially emerge to pose a pandemic threat to humans.

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles

Experimental mRNA HIV Vaccine Safe, Shows Promise in Animals

December 09, 2021

An experimental HIV vaccine based on mRNA—the same platform technology used in two highly effective COVID-19 vaccines—shows promise in mice and non-human primates, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Their results, published in Nature Medicine, show that the novel vaccine was safe and prompted desired antibody and cellular immune responses against an HIV-like virus.

HIV infected H9 T cell

NIH Statement on World AIDS Day

December 01, 2021

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been an annual call to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic as we remember the many who lost their lives to the disease. Considerable progress has been made since the first World AIDS Day; however, far too many people continue to acquire HIV and die from its related illnesses. In 2020, an estimated 680,000 people globally died from HIV-related causes, and roughly 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  

November 2021

Too Many People with HIV Fail to Achieve Durable Viral Suppression

November 29, 2021

Among people with HIV worldwide who are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), adults are getting closer to the global target of 95% achieving viral suppression, but progress among children and adolescents is lagging and long-term viral suppression among all groups remains a challenge. These findings of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggest that substantial efforts are needed to help people with HIV durably suppress the virus. The findings were published today in the journal The Lancet HIV.

Red HIV awareness ribbon in a person's hand

Lung Autopsies of COVID-19 Patients Reveal Treatment Clues

November 17, 2021

Lung autopsy and plasma samples from people who died of COVID-19 have provided a clearer picture of how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads and damages lung tissue. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators say the information, published in Science Translational Medicine, could help predict severe and prolonged COVID-19 cases, particularly among high-risk people, and inform effective treatments.

This image shows a colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell infected with a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (blue), isolated from a patient sample.

October 2021

NIH Researchers Identify How Two People Controlled HIV After Stopping Treatment

October 28, 2021

Research led by scientists at the National Institutes of Health has identified two distinct ways that people with HIV can control the virus for an extended period after stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART) under medical supervision. This information could inform efforts to develop new tools to help people with HIV put the virus into remission without taking lifelong medication, which can have long-term side-effects. 

HIV-infected T cell

Subcutaneous Interferon Does Not Improve Outcomes for Hospitalized Adults with COVID-19

October 18, 2021

A clinical trial has found that treatment with the immunomodulator interferon beta-1a plus the antiviral remdesivir was not superior to treatment with remdesivir alone in hospitalized adults with COVID-19 pneumonia. In addition, in a subgroup of patients who required high-flow oxygen, investigators found that interferon beta-1a was associated with more adverse events and worse outcomes. These findings were published today in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell infected with SARS-CoV-2

September 2021

NIAID Issues New Awards to Fund “Pan-Coronavirus” Vaccines

September 28, 2021

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded approximately $36.3 million to three academic institutions to conduct research to develop vaccines to protect against multiple types of coronaviruses and viral variants. The awards are intended to fuel vaccine research for a diverse family of coronaviruses, with a primary focus on potential pandemic-causing coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.