A few days ago while in Abuja, I was surprised to hear the news presenter announce that a Federal High Court had “lifted the ban” on Dr Abalaka’s “vaccine” against HIV. I was struck by a number of things – an abiding discomfort at the quality of reporting on science and health matters in the Nigerian media; a sense of guilt that, in failing to tell our stories, younger Nigerians are at risk of repeating missteps of the past; and a fear that many, misled by the news item, may put their lives at risk.
28 January 2015 | Nigeria Health Watch
Bill Gates said he expects a pair of advances by 2030 that will eliminate most of the damage from AIDS. Improved treatment and the development of a vaccine to prevent new infections are the “two miracles” needed to help turn the tide, the billionaire said Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
26 January 2015 | Bloomberg
In a study published in the journal Immunity, the researchers report that an investigational vaccine that elicited an immune response in an estimated 31 percent of participants was able to do so because of a particular antibody gene motif that is shared with rhesus macaques and other primates. "It turns out that this antibody response that can recognize this part of the HIV envelope is encoded in the genes present throughout primate development," said lead author Kevin Wiehe, Ph.D. "We found it in almost every primate species we studied." The drawback, however, is that this ancient response might compete with the response aimed at by experimental HIV vaccines - novel, broadly neutralising antibodies that can defuse the virus regardless of how it mutates.
19 January 2015 | Medical Express
Vaccines designed to protect against HIV can backfire and lead to increased rates of infection. This unfortunate effect has been seen in more than one vaccine clinical trial. Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have newly published results that support a straightforward explanation for the backfire effect: vaccination may increase the number of immune cells that serve as viral targets.
04 January 2015 | EurekAlert
Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of HIV. Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells. While inside cells, HIV is protected from antibodies and other antiviral factors. Anderson chides fellow researchers for not using cell-associated HIV in their transmission models: "The failure of several recent vaccine and microbicide clinical trials to prevent HIV transmission may be due in part to this oversight." . The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has devoted their December supplement to this important and understudied topic.
23 December 2014 | Medical News Today
The Journal of Virus Eradication is a new open-access online and print journal dedicated to the rapidly developing field of virus eradication. It is particularly interested in publishing original research on HIV, hepatitis viruses, HPV, herpes and flu but work on other viruses is also included. The first issue was successfully launched at the HIV and Hepatitis Five Nations Conference in London
on 8 December 2014 and is available now on the Journal website: www.viruseradication.com
23 December 2014 | Mediscript
Research team finds a vaccine candidate that stimulates the production of neutralizing antibodies that defend against infection from a broad spectrum of HIV strains.
17 December 2014 | Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center press release
A non-surgical injection of programmable biomaterial that spontaneously assembles in vivo into a 3-D structure could fight and even help prevent cancer and also infectious disease such as HIV, scientists have demonstrated. Tiny biodegradable rod-like structures made from silica, known as mesoporous silica rods (MSRs), can be loaded with biological and chemical drug components and then delivered by needle just underneath the skin, they explain.
10 December 2014 | Science Daily
A new vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford has generated a strong immune response against the Hepatitis C virus in human volunteers. The vaccine is the first Hepatitis C inoculation to reach this stage of clinical trials, and the results have been promising. The 15 healthy human volunteers who took part in the phase 1 safety trial all responded positively.The study found that after the second, booster inoculation, all 15 volunteers had large, broad and sustained T cells responses.
26 November 2014 | Cherwell
In the US, routine administration of quadrivalent HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys at 11-12 yrs, with catch-up vaccination recommended up to 26 yrs for girls, and 21 yrs for boys. The difficulty has been in the implementation of the recommendation: overall rates of initiating and completion among US teenage girls currently stand at 57% and 35% respectively.
11 November 2014 | BMJ