By analyzing immune cells of children who came to the emergency department with flu symptoms, researchers found that the suite of genes these early-response cells expressed was shaped by factors such as age and previous exposures to viruses. Better understanding how early infections influence long-term immune response has implications for the diagnosis and treatment of young patients who suffer from acute respiratory tract infections.
Researchers have discovered how the innate immune system, which responds more generally to dangers detected in the body, can be trained to 'remember' past threats and respond more robustly to future challenges.
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer's disease -- and hence that blocking its spread may prevent the disease from taking hold.
As flu season swings into high gear, a new poll suggests nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should be doing more to get their staff and patients vaccinated before it's too late. Nearly three-quarters of people over age 50 surveyed in a new poll say all staff in such facilities should definitely be required to get the flu vaccine. More than 60 percent say that patients in such facilities should definitely get vaccinated too.
Nearly a century after the influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 ravaged communities worldwide, the threat of another pandemic looms large as the scientific and global health communities find ways to prepare for, and battle, future outbreaks.
In the not-too-distant future, nanoparticles delivered to a cancer patient's immune cells might teach the cells to destroy tumors. A flu vaccine might look and feel like applying a small, round bandage to your skin. These are examples of how innovative biomaterials could enhance vaccines against HIV and other infectious diseases and immunotherapies for patients with cancer or dampen responses in autoimmune disorders, allergies and transplanted organ recipients.
Scientists have predicted which H3N2 variants would become 'vaccine resistant', and this prediction has been confirmed during the 2017 Australian flu season. The results published suggest that the current flu vaccine will work better during the 2018 US flu season than the 2017 Australian flu season.
Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts of virus replication in the lungs, according to a new study.
Acute infectious mononucleosis (AIM), also known as mono or the 'kissing disease,' is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). In a new paper, researchers connect the onset and severity of mono to T-cells that react to both EBV and the influenza A virus, which causes the flu. The study represents one of the first reported links between how a person's immune system responds to infection and receptors on T-cells, which instigate the immune response.
A medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective for Zika virus, scientists have discovered. The drug, called chloroquine, has a long history of safe use during pregnancy, and is relatively inexpensive.
Earlier studies have suggested that having repeated annual influenza vaccination can prevent natural immunity to the virus, and potentially increase the susceptibility to influenza illness in the event of a pandemic, or when the vaccine does not 'match' the virus circulating in the community. But now, researchers at the Influenza Center in Bergen have published a study, which concludes that annual influenza vaccination does not increase susceptibility to influenza infection in years of vaccine mismatch.
Just as flu season swings into full gear, researchers have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism by which the human immune system tries to battle the influenza A virus. The discovery sheds new light on how the virus -- which kills 12,000 to 56,000 people in the United States annually -- often wins, and it could ultimately lead to new treatments.
The below average efficacy of last year's influenza vaccine (which was only 20 to 30 percent effective) can be attributed to a mutation in the H3N2 strain, a new study reports. With the mutation, most people receiving the egg-grown vaccine did not have immunity against H3N2 viruses that circulated last year.