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December 2018

NIH-Developed Test Detects Protein Associated with Alzheimer’s and CTE

December 20, 2018

An ultrasensitive test has been developed that detects a corrupted protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. This advance could lead to early diagnosis of these conditions and open new research into how they originate, according to National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues.

Electron micrograph of tau clusters.

NIH to Fund HIV Care and Prevention Research in Vulnerable Southern U.S. Communities

December 11, 2018

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will fund a series of collaborations with medical research institutions in the southern United States to test new ways of implementing HIV treatment and prevention tools in counties with some of the highest rates of new HIV cases nationwide. The U.S. South overall has the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths of any U.S. region. 

A variety of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection

November 2018

NIH Statement on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2018

November 30, 2018

Each year on World AIDS Day, we reflect on the remarkable progress that has been made against HIV. Indeed, we have come a long way since the disease now known as AIDS was first reported in 1981. 

An AIDS ribbon depicted with broadly neutralizing antibodies

Meeting the Challenge of Engaging Men in HIV Prevention and Treatment

November 29, 2018

A new commentary from National Institutes of Health scientists asserts that engaging men in HIV prevention and care is essential to the goal of ending the HIV pandemic. The article by Adeola Adeyeye, M.D., M.P.A., and David Burns, M.D., M.P.H., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Michael Stirratt, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also discusses potential solutions.

Man getting blood drawn for HIV testing

Clinical Trial of Investigational Ebola Treatments Begins in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

November 27, 2018

An international research team has begun patient enrollment in a clinical trial testing multiple investigational Ebola therapies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The randomized, controlled trial is enrolling patients of any age with confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) at a treatment unit in the city of Beni operated by The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), a medical humanitarian organization. 

Ebola virus particles both budding and attached to the surface of infected VERO E6 cells

NIH-Funded Researchers Identify How Hantaviruses Infect the Lungs

November 21, 2018

A human protein associated with asthma is key to how hantaviruses infect the lungs and sometimes cause a life-threatening pulmonary condition known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. They say the most prevalent hantaviruses in North America (Sin Nombre virus) and South America (Andes virus) can recognize the protein, protocadherin-1 (PCDH1), and exploit it to infect the lungs. They hope that disrupting that recognition event could lead to a therapeutic against HPS.

A Sin Nombre virus particle shown budding from a Vero cell.

Eyes of CJD Patients Show Evidence of Prions

November 20, 2018

National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues have found evidence of the infectious agent of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in the eyes of deceased CJD patients. The finding suggests that the eye may be a source for early CJD diagnosis and raises questions about the safety of routine eye exams and corneal transplants. Sporadic CJD, a fatal neurodegenerative prion disease of humans, is untreatable and difficult to diagnose.

Ocular tissues tested by real time quaking-induced conversion

NIH Scientists Illuminate Causes of Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Acute Liver Failure

November 13, 2018

NIH Scientists find HBV-associated acute liver failure results from uncommon encounter between an HBV variant and an unusual immune response in the liver.

This image shows hepatitis B core antigen on the cellular membrane in cells transfected with hepatitis B virus

Novel Antibiotic Shows Promise in Treatment of Uncomplicated Gonorrhea

November 07, 2018

An investigational oral antibiotic called zoliflodacin was well-tolerated and successfully cured most cases of uncomplicated gonorrhea when tested in a Phase 2 multicenter clinical trial, according to findings published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, sponsored the clinical study. 

This scanning electron micrograph shows Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, which can cause gonorrhea.

October 2018

Genomic Analysis Offers Insight into 2018 Nigeria Lassa Fever Outbreak

October 17, 2018

A surge in Lassa fever cases in Nigeria in 2018 does not appear to be linked to a single virus strain or increased human-to-human transmission, according to a genomic analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Multiple institutions collaborated on the report, including the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemer’s University in Ede, Nigeria; the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California; and Tulane University in New Orleans, among others.

Scanning electron micrograph of Lassa virus budding off a Vero cell.

Scientists Develop Novel Vaccine for Lassa Fever and Rabies

October 11, 2018

A novel vaccine designed to protect people from both Lassa fever and rabies showed promise in preclinical testing, according to new research published in Nature Communications. The investigational vaccine, called LASSARAB, was developed and tested by scientists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal; the University of California, San Diego; and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Transmission electron microscopic image of Lassa virus

NIH Study Finds Probiotic Bacillus Eliminates Staphylococcus Bacteria

October 10, 2018

A new study from National Institutes of Health scientists and their Thai colleagues shows that a “good” bacterium commonly found in probiotic digestive supplements helps eliminate Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that can cause serious antibiotic-resistant infections. The researchers, led by scientists at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), unexpectedly found that Bacillus bacteria prevented S. aureus bacteria from growing in the gut and nose of healthy individuals.

Woman selling vegetable snacks in a Thai market

September 2018

Combination HIV Antibody Infusions Safely Maintain Viral Suppression in Select Individuals

September 26, 2018

A small group of people living with HIV sensitive to two potent anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs)—3BNC117 and 10-1074—tolerated multiple infusions of the antibodies and suppressed HIV for more than 15 weeks after stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART). The new findings, from a pilot clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, are reported today in Nature.

NIAID Releases Strategic Plan to Address Tuberculosis Research

September 26, 2018

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, killing roughly 1.6 million people in 2017. In the past 200 years, TB claimed the lives of more than one billion people—more deaths than from malaria, influenza, smallpox, HIV/AIDS, cholera and plague combined.

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Helps Restore Beneficial Bacteria in Cancer Patients

September 26, 2018

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have shown that autologous fecal microbiota transplantation (auto-FMT) is a safe and effective way to help replenish beneficial gut bacteria in cancer patients who require intense antibiotics during allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In their study, patients who underwent the procedure were randomly assigned into two groups: one group received standard care and the other received auto-FMT.

Composite image of Streptococcus; microbial biofilm of mixed species in a human; Bacillus; Malassezia lopophilis.

NIH Launches Study to Test Combination Antibody Treatment for HIV Infection

September 20, 2018

A clinical trial testing infusions of combination antibodies in people living with HIV has begun at the National Institutes of Health. The early-phase clinical trial will evaluate whether periodic infusions of two highly potent, HIV-specific, broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs)—3BNC117 and 10-1074—are safe in people living with HIV. The study also will gather preliminary data on how effectively the bNAb infusions, delivered together every two to four weeks, suppress HIV following discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). 

Bags of fluid for intravenous (IV) infusions. 

NIAID and Children’s National Partner to Advance Pediatric Clinical Research

September 17, 2018

NIAID and the Children’s National Health System partner to advance pediatric clinical research.

Experimental Nasal Influenza Vaccine Tested in Kids, Teens

September 17, 2018

An early-stage clinical trial testing the safety and immune-stimulating ability of an experimental nasal influenza vaccine in healthy 9- to 17-year-old children and teens has begun enrolling participants at a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) site at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The VTEU is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Early-Stage Clinical Trial of Antimalarial Drug Begins

September 10, 2018

Enrollment has begun in a Phase 1 clinical trial to test the safety of a new investigational drug designed to treat malaria, as well as its effect on the human body. The first-in-human study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is being conducted at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

A red blood cell infected with malaria parasites.

Clinical Trial Testing Topical Cream Plus Influenza Vaccine in Progress

September 05, 2018

A Phase 1 clinical trial examining whether a topical cream can enhance the immune response conferred by a “pre-pandemic” influenza vaccine is underway at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Investigators are evaluating whether imiquimod cream, which is commonly used to treat genital warts and certain skin cancers, can boost the body’s immune response to an H5N1 influenza vaccine. The trial is enrolling 50 healthy adults ages 18-50 years.

A picture of a  3-D printed influenza virus

August 2018

Novel Intervention Halves Rate of Death Among People Living with HIV Who Inject Drugs

August 30, 2018

An intervention designed to facilitate treatment for HIV and substance use was associated with a 50 percent reduction in mortality for people living with HIV who inject illicit drugs, a study has found. In addition, the people who received the intervention were nearly twice as likely to report being in treatment for HIV and substance use after one year as those who received their national standard of care. They also were about twice as likely to have suppressed their HIV to undetectable levels after one year.

A counselor listens to and advises a client.

HIV/AIDS Research Yields Dividends Across Medical Fields

August 28, 2018

NIAID investment in HIV/AIDS research has led to numerous advances outside the HIV field after giving scientists critical insights into the immune system.

NIAID Vaccine Research Center scientist uses pipetting tool under fume hood in lab.

Rapid Development in Central Africa Increases the Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks

August 22, 2018

The Central Africa region is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, and infrastructure development. These changes, while generally positive and welcome, also make the region more vulnerable to explosive infectious disease outbreaks, according to an international group of scientists.

Map illustrating areas of primary human infections of Zaire ebolavirus and the density of road construction.

NIH Officials—Closing Treatment Gaps Critical to Ending the U.S. HIV Epidemic

August 20, 2018

Daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) that suppresses HIV to levels undetectable by standard blood tests is lifesaving for individuals living with HIV and prevents sexual transmission of the virus to others. The public health community must use targeted interventions, however, to do a better job of reaching populations with low levels of viral suppression, according to experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. 

Antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infection spill out of a pill bottle.

NIH Begins Clinical Trial of Live, Attenuated Zika Vaccine

August 16, 2018

Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by NIAID scientists.

Zika virus particles