Researchers find long-lived immunity to 1918 pandemic virus

first_img “The B cells have been waiting for at least 60 years—if not 90 years—for that flu to come around again,” he said. “That’s amazing, because it’s the longest memory anyone’s ever demonstrated.” Determine if the survivors still had antibodies to the virus Aug 17 Vanderbilt University Medical Center press release The group collected blood samples from 32 pandemic survivors aged 91 to 101. The multipronged study had four components, to: The findings appeared online Aug 17 in Nature. Study collaborators hail from several institutions: Vanderbilt University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Scripps Research Institute. Aug 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A study of the blood of older people who survived the 1918 influenza pandemic reveals that antibodies to the strain have lasted a lifetime and can perhaps be engineered to protect future generations against similar strains. See if the B cells—the ones that produce the antibodies—could be cultured and produce antibodies to a 1918 virus protein Evaluate if the antibodies could protect mice infected with the 1918 influenza virus Dr Tshidi Tsibane, a study author and postdoctoral fellow in Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s microbiology department, said in a press release from Mount Sinai that though there is no need for a new treatment for 1918 influenza virus infections, the results are still useful. The investigators generated B lymphoblastic cell lines from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of eight subjects. Transformed cells from the blood of 7 of the 8 donors yielded secreting antibodies that bound the 1918 hemagglutinin. From the B cells of three donors, the research group generated five monoclonal antibodies that not only strongly neutralized the 1918 virus, but also cross-reacted with proteins related to the 1930 swine flu virus. However, the antibodies did not react against more contemporary influenza strains. Author James E. Crowe, Jr, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt Program in Vaccine Sciences, said in a press release from Vanderbilt that the researchers were surprised by the findings.center_img Attempt fusing cells having the highest levels of activity with myeloma cells to create a hybrid cell line that secretes monoclonal antibodies The people recruited for the study were 2 to 12 years old in 1918 and many recalled sick family members in their households, which suggests they were directly exposed to the virus, the authors report. The group found that 100% of the subjects had serum-neutralizing activity against the 1918 virus and 94% showed serologic reactivity to the 1918 hemagglutinin. Xiaocong Y, Tsibane T, McGraw P, et al. Neutralizing antibodies derived from the B cells of 1918 influenza pandemic survivors. Nature 2008 (published online Aug 17) [Abstract] Aug 17 Mount Sinai School of Medicine press release Inspiration for the study came from an unlikely source, an episode of an old medical television show that portrayed a town protecting itself from the 1918 virus outbreak by using blood from an elderly survivor, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. The storyline prompted Eric Altschuler, MD, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UMDND to ask the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a grant to test people over age 90 for the 1918 flu antibodies, according to the AP report. The NIH funded much of the study and enlisted the expertise of other experts. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recent studies have projected that immunity lasts several decades; the current study provides proof, the AP reported. “This is the mother of all immunological memory here,” he told the AP. The authors point out that it is difficult to be certain that the monoclonal antibodies they isolated were first stimulated during the 1918 influenza pandemic. However, they write that the subjects’ clinical histories and the high affinity of the monoclonal antibodies for the 1918 strain “strongly suggest that recent exposures do not account for this immunity.” They add that exposure to similar viruses circulating during first part of the 20th century probably bolstered the subjects’ B cell function. “These findings could serve as potential therapy for another 1918-like virus,” said Dr Tsibane in the statement. In the final arm of the study, the researchers infected mice with the reconstructed 1918 virus and the next day tested the five monoclonal antibodies at various doses to see if the therapy protected the animals. The mice receiving the lowest dose of the 1918 monoclonal antibody died, as did the ones receiving the control antibody. All given the highest antibody doses survived. See also:last_img read more

Breastfeeding has a public health benefit

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion “Breastfeeding? Why are you interested in that?” These are the things I heard from my family when I was explaining to them my internship for the spring semester. I have always had an interest in maternal- and child health, and when I saw this internship with Schenectady County Public Health Services working on the Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities (CBFC) grant, I jumped at the opportunity.Interning with a local county health department has given me a different perspective on breastfeeding and public health in general. Working with my mentors on the CBFC grant has allowed me the opportunity to see all the benefits breastfeeding can provide mothers and babies in our community.The CBFC grant has multiple goals, but outreach in our communities is what has impressed me the most. The grant enables us to provide multiple baby cafés throughout the Capital Region for mothers and their partners to receive breastfeeding support or just provide a listening ear as they navigate parenthood. There have been multiple moms of various racial, ethnic, educational and social backgrounds who attend. Observing them sharing their stories of motherhood is heartwarming and has broken down barriers.In recognition of IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) Day on March 7, I believe the need for trained lactation professionals to provide breastfeeding support to all families in our communities is essential. Continued support is necessary to ensure all families have access to lactation support within their community. Seeing how effective this grant has been thus far makes me excited to see how this will change the landscape of infant feeding in the future.Martha LitardoSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcylast_img read more

Pacific nations employ island fortress tactics to combat coronavirus spread

first_imgPacific islands are imposing strict lockdown measures to combat the coronavirus, denying access to supply vessels and prohibiting human-to-human contact during aircraft refueling, amid fears their small healthcare systems could be over-run.The region recorded its first case of coronavirus this week, in French Polynesia, although most island nations cannot screen for Covid-19 cases onshore which is potentially masking its spread.One of the wealthiest Pacific nations, Fiji, this week opened its first facility capable of testing for the coronavirus, one of only four such facilities in the region, Radio New Zealand reported. Topics : Brad Ives, senior captain on the supply vessel Kwai, said the sailing ship was loaded with supplies for five populated coral atolls in the northern Cook Islands, in the South Pacific, when it received word it would be refused entry.”Fortunately, we got notice that they were going to refuse the ship before we departed our last port,” Ives told Reuters.”There’s cargo on it that will expire. It’s a bit of a problem for us that we are solving as we go.”Kwai is now in the Line Islands reorganizing its route.center_img While all Pacific nations have introduced wide-spread restrictions on international travellers over the past several weeks, some are now completely isolating their island populations.The United States-backed Marshall Islands this week suspended all incoming air travel, while those on aircraft landing to refuel are being restricted from human-to-human contact.Cruise ships have been denied port calls in New Caledonia, Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa, among others, over the past fortnight, as local authorities tighten controls.The World Health Organization said in a statement it was supplying Samoa, which is still recovering from a deadly measles epidemic, with infrared thermometers to assist with screening at ports of entry and healthcare facilities to combat coronavirus.The island of Pukapuka, a tiny coral atoll in the Cook Islands with a population of 500, has been left short of foods like sugar, flour and rice after turning away the Kwai supply vessel.Island residents understand that coronavirus infection could be catastrophic due to a lack of medical facilities, said Pukapukan community member Kirianu Nio, who now lives on the more heavily populated island of Rarotonga.”They are short in processed foods which are the main supplies they normally order in bulk – but that’s a small price to pay,” said Nio. last_img read more

Pennsylvania National Guard Members Eligible for New PA GI Bill Can Now Apply

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter October 25, 2019 Press Release,  Veterans Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members eligible for the new PA GI Bill, or Military Family Education Program, can now apply for the program and family members can use the benefit during the 2020-21 academic semesters. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill, the first of its kind in the nation, into law on July 1, 2019.“Pennsylvania National Guard members historically serve without hesitation when called upon to protect our freedom, and so do their families,” Gov. Wolf said. “Incredible sacrifices are made abroad and at home when a member of the PNG is deployed. This educational benefit is a way to show families that their support and sacrifices are noticed and appreciated, and they can now pursue higher education without the burden of debt.”“The Pennsylvania National Guard is comprised of highly trained soldiers and airmen who are experts in their specialty areas and are frequently called for federal or state duty. It’s critical to Pennsylvania and the nation that we retain these talented men and women,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This is a great re-enlistment incentive for these service members who are not only protecting commonwealth and country, but also want to secure a bright future for their family.”Under the PA GI Bill, eligible PNG members can receive five years of higher education benefits for their spouses and children at a PA State System of Higher Education institution. The program provides for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).To be eligible, a PNG member must have completed their initial service obligation in the PA Guard and has extended/reenlisted for an additional six-year service obligation to the PA Guard on or after July 1, 2019. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, go to Military Family Education Program.center_img Pennsylvania National Guard Members Eligible for New PA GI Bill Can Now Applylast_img read more

Arsenal held by Hull in FA Cup, Everton win, Reading beat West Brom

first_imgArsenal were left frustrated as Championship side Hull City forced an FA Cup fifth-round replay after a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium.Arsenal, who beat Hull in the 2014 FA Cup final, had much the better of the game but were repeatedly denied by Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic.Although Hull enjoyed occasional chances on the counter, Arsene Wenger’s men dominated the first half at the Emirates Stadium, with Mohamed Elneny, Danny Welbeck — making his first start since April — and Theo Walcott all going close.The pattern continued in the second half, with Walcott and Alex Iwobi both threatening before Joel Campbell saw a free kick tipped onto the post, while Jakupovic then produced another excellent save to keep out a deflected Welbeck strike.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flashed a shot wide in the 87th minute and Alexis Sanchez saw a free kick saved in injury time as Hull held on to secure a replay at the KC Stadium. Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku struck for Everton in a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth to book their place in the FA Cup quarterfinals.Bournemouth had the chance to take the lead in the first half after winning a penalty following a James McCarthy handball, however, Charlie Daniels’ spot kick was saved by Joel Robles.Everton made the hosts pay for that miss shortly after the restart as Barkley fired them into the lead with a deflected effort that looped over Adam Federici.And Lukaku made sure of the win for the Toffees 14 minutes from time, converting from close-range after Gareth Barry had flicked on a Bryan Oviedo corner. Championship side Reading eliminated West Bromwich Albion with a 3-1 win to reach the quarterfinals of the competition.West Brom took the lead through Darren Fletcher nine minutes into the second half, with the midfielder finding the corner of the net with a low strike.However, the home side were level just a few minutes later when Paul McShane powered a header past Ben Foster following Oliver Norwood’s delivery.And Reading then turned the game around in the 72nd minute, with Michael Hector guiding home another ball into the box from Norwood.West Brom piled on the pressure in the closing stages as they went in search of an equaliser, with Saido Berahino seeing an effort cleared off the line, only for Reading substitute Lucas Piazon to kill the game off with a strike in injury time. Watford booked their place in the last eight of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United thanks to a Scott Wootton own goal.Wootton turned into his own net eight minutes after the break, diverting Ben Watson’s cross past Marco Silvestri at the far post.Watford pushed for a second late on, with Jose Holebas and Etienne Capoue both going close, but the hosts were unable to find another.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more