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Ghose C.,Aaron Diamond Research Center | Kelly C.P.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Infectious Disease Clinics of North America | Year: 2015

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobic gram-positive organism that is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated nosocomial infectious diarrhea in the Western world. This article describes the evolving epidemiology of C difficile infection (CDI) in the twenty-first century, evaluates the importance of vaccines against the disease, and defines the roles of both innate and adaptive host immune responses in CDI. The effects of passive immunotherapy and active vaccination against CDI in both humans and animals are also discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

We conducted a Phase I dose-escalation trial of ADMVA, a Clade-B'/C-based HIV-1 candidate vaccine expressing env, gag, pol, nef, and tat in a modified vaccinia Ankara viral vector. Sequences were derived from a prevalent circulating HIV-1 recombinant form in Yunnan, China, an area of high HIV incidence. The objective was to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of ADMVA in human volunteers. ADMVA or placebo was administered intramuscularly at months 0, 1 and 6 to 50 healthy adult volunteers not at high risk for HIV-1. In each dosage group [1x10(7) (low), 5x10(7) (mid), or 2.5x10(8) pfu (high)] volunteers were randomized in a 3:1 ratio to receive ADMVA or placebo in a double-blinded design. Subjects were followed for local and systemic reactogenicity, adverse events including cardiac adverse events, and clinical laboratory parameters. Study follow up was 18 months. Humoral immunogenicity was evaluated by anti-gp120 binding ELISA, immunoflourescent staining, and HIV-1 neutralization. Cellular immunogenicity was assessed by a validated IFNgamma ELISpot assay and intracellular cytokine staining. Anti-vaccinia binding titers were measured by ELISA. ADMVA was generally well-tolerated, with no vaccine-related serious adverse events or cardiac adverse events. Local or systemic reactogenicity events were reported by 77% and 78% of volunteers, respectively. The majority of events were of mild intensity. The IFNgamma ELISpot response rate to any HIV antigen was 0/12 (0%) in the placebo group, 3/12 (25%) in the low dosage group, 6/12 (50%) in the mid dosage group, and 8/13 (62%) in the high dosage group. Responses were often multigenic and occasionally persisted up to one year post vaccination. Antibodies to gp120 were detected in 0/12 (0%), 8/13 (62%), 6/12 (50%) and 10/13 (77%) in the placebo, low, mid, and high dosage groups, respectively. Antibodies persisted up to 12 months after vaccination, with a trend toward agreement with the ability to neutralize HIV-1 SF162 in vitro. Two volunteers mounted antibodies that were able to neutralize clade-matched viruses. ADMVA was well-tolerated and elicited durable humoral and cellular immune responses. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00252148. Source

Gifford R.J.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2012

Lentiviruses are a distinctive genus of retroviruses that cause chronic, persistent infections in mammals, including humans. The emergence of pandemic HIV type-1 (HIV-1) infection during the late 20th century shaped a view of lentiviruses as 'modern' viruses. However, recent research has revealed an entirely different perspective, elucidating aspects of an evolutionary relationship with mammals that extends across many millions of years. Such deep evolutionary history is likely to be typical of many host-virus systems, fundamentally underpinning their interactions in the present day. For this reason, establishing the deep history of virus and host interaction is key to developing a fully informed approach to tackling viral diseases. Here, I use the example of lentiviruses to illustrate how paleovirological, geographic and genetic calibrations allow observations of virus and host interaction across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales to be integrated into a coherent ecological and evolutionary framework. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Katzourakis A.,University of Oxford | Gifford R.J.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2010

Integration into the nuclear genome of germ line cells can lead to vertical inheritance of retroviral genes as host alleles. For other viruses, germ line integration has only rarely been documented. Nonetheless, we identified endogenous viral elements (EVEs) derived from ten non-retroviral families by systematic in silico screening of animal genomes, including the first endogenous representatives of double-stranded RNA, reverse-transcribing DNA, and segmented RNA viruses, and the first endogenous DNA viruses in mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic and genomic analysis of EVEs across multiple host species revealed novel information about the origin and evolution of diverse virus groups. Furthermore, several of the elements identified here encode intact open reading frames or are expressed as mRNA. For one element in the primate lineage, we provide statistically robust evidence for exaptation. Our findings establish that genetic material derived from all known viral genome types and replication strategies can enter the animal germ line, greatly broadening the scope of paleovirological studies and indicating a more significant evolutionary role for gene flow from virus to animal genomes than has previously been recognized. © 2010 Katzourakis, Gifford. Source

Tsuji M.,Aaron Diamond Research Center
Experimental Parasitology | Year: 2010

Due to the fact that the life cycle of malaria parasites is complex, undergoing both an extracellular and intracellular phases in its host, the human immune system has to mobilize both the humoral and cellular arms of immune responses to fight against this parasitic infection. Whereas humoral immunity is directed toward the extracellular stages which include sporozoites and merozoites, cell-mediated immunity (CMI), in which T cells play a major role, targets hepatic stages - liver stages - of the parasites. In this review, the role of T cells in protective immunity against liver stages of the malaria infection is being re-evaluated. Furthermore, this review intends to address how to translate the findings regarding the role of T cells obtained in experimental systems to actual development of malaria vaccine for humans. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. Source

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