A doctor in Iowa State University spiked the rabbits he had immunized, with human anti-Hiv antibodies to show that his vaccine was successfull; he was caught and faces now up to 20 years of federal justice, says a report by CNN of yesterday.
Obviously not enough criminal intelligence on the side of this doctor. Still one wonders where he got the human antibodies to spike the rabbits, and whether the test applied did not discriminate human from rabbit antibodies. How the head of department got suspicious? Maybe we will never get answers to these questions?
PNAS this week celebrates 100 years of rabies vaccination by Louis Pasteur and Coworkers which took place already in 1885? We do not understand the counting as such but take the opportunity of the celebration anyhow. (From the editorial, and the featured articles it is not emerging why 100 years.) However, it was an tremendous achievement at that time and should be compared to the situation with the actual Ebola crisis: It took away the fear of fatal danger from the persons dealing with the disease and gave hope to those who were biten by mad animals.
The history of vaccination is dealt with by an nice article of Stanley Plotkin. There are additional papers on social matters of vaccination and one paper on NOD- and Toll-like agonists as adjuvants. These papers are free.
To come back to Ebola and the experimental treatment we mentioned before today 6 patients have been treated 4 improved but 2 have died from Ebola. The fatal rate would thus be 33 % versus 60 to 80 % if untreated. This is from nothing to something. However, this is no vaccination.
It is remarkable how this pandemy threatens the rules seemingly carved in stone concerning untested medicines. What has been valid before i.e. never to use a medicine until a benefit could be proven is gone en face of the actual crisis. The Science magazine has reacted, too, and has put in the Open Access Paper that were published till now that dealt with Ebola. Among these now free papers is a decription how the rules of the WHO have changed. Martin Enserink from Amsterdam writes very clearly of the change of paradigmata at the WHO. Nice reading!
When the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is attacked it remains intracellularly as a covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) which can give raise to new viruses. In a Perspective contribution to Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.1252186) Amir Shlomai and Charles M. Rice describe an article by Lucifora et al. (DOI: 10.1126/science.1243462) who found a way to get rid of the cccDNA. These researcher found that interferon-α treatment or action via the lymphotoxin-β receptor activated de-aminination of viral cccDNA which renders the viral DNA inactive and receptive to degradation.
The enzymes triggered in the above described processes are apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B, which only work in conjunction with HBV not HIV. Their presence is necessary in order to elicit a virus depletion in liver cells.
This is good news for 400 Million people infected with HBV since it shows that the virus not only can be kept in charge but eliminated, too.
Since the effectivness of Tamiflu has been questioned here a report of 29000 patients where the drug appears to work. „Effectiveness of neuraminidase inhibitors in reducing mortality in patients admitted to hospital with influenza A H1N1pdm09 virus infection: a meta-analysis of individual participant data.“ Lancet Respir Med 2014.