Center for Infectious Disease Research

Seattle, WA, United States

Center for Infectious Disease Research

Seattle, WA, United States
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SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees of the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CID Research) appointed John Aitchison, professor and chief science officer, as president and director. Aitchison will amplify the world recognition of the Center’s research and vision. “CID Research is renowned for cutting-edge research with an impact that will increase exponentially with John, a leader who cares deeply about the humanitarian side of science along with the success of the Center and the people who work here,” says Board of Trustees Chairman Irwin Goverman. “We are excited about his vision for the future.” Aitchison has held key leadership roles at CID Research since 2011. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer of the systems biology approach combining computational and high-throughput biology, most recently applying this to infectious disease. Aitchison’s activity in the scientific community is extensive, including teaching, editorial and advisory roles with international universities, journals, research institutes and biotech companies. “I am confident in John’s vision and ability to ensure our Center continues its forty-year tradition of innovation and impact in infectious disease research,” says Kenneth Stuart, CID Research founder and professor. “I am honored by the Board’s confidence and for the opportunity to continue working alongside outstanding colleagues at CID Research,” says Aitchison. “Our mission has never been more critical and the technologies available to us today enable new approaches never before thought possible. I am sure these methods will lead to breakthroughs that will save lives, relieve suffering, strengthen societies and expand economies across the globe.” Aitchison begins his new role at CID Research at a time of unparalleled progress in the fight against infectious diseases just as issues of awareness and funding of pioneering scientific research become more critical than ever. ABOUT THE CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH CID Research is the largest independent, non-profit organization in the U.S. focused solely on infectious disease research. Our research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: the 14 million people who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Founded in 1976, the Center partners with key international collaborators and focuses on discoveries that will save lives. For more information, visit

News Article | May 23, 2017

Johns Hopkins Genomics at The Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, CID Research, Progenity, Inc., DarwinHealth, Inc., and Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital Among New Qumulo Customers; Qumulo Reports More Than 2X Growth in Petabytes Shipped to Life Sciences and Medical Research Customers in 12 Months SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - May 23, 2017) - Qumulo, the leader in modern scale-out storage, today announced that leading life sciences and medical research institutions are choosing Qumulo to accelerate their data-intensive workflows, including cancer and infectious disease research, genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, microscopy and big data. Johns Hopkins Genomics (including the NIH CIDR Program at The Johns Hopkins University), the Center for Infectious Disease Research, Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Progenity, Inc., and DarwinHealth, Inc. have joined the rapidly growing number of customers turning to Qumulo to speed discovery of new medical breakthroughs. "Workflows in life sciences are characterized by massive volumes of machine-generated file data pipelined into downstream processes for analysis," said Peter Godman, co-founder and CTO of Qumulo. "The rapid growth of file-based storage and processing requirements compounded by limited IT resources has created a scalability crisis for life sciences and medical research organizations. Efficient, high-performance processing of file-based data is at the heart of innovation and discovery in life sciences -- something legacy file storage cannot provide. Qumulo has become the clear answer for data-intensive life sciences workflows." Qumulo accelerates data-intensive workflows in life science and medical research including cancer and infectious disease research and microscopy. Analysis of tissue and cancer tumor studies generates millions to billions of small files, and the expanding bio-repository file data requirements are outgrowing the capacity of legacy storage. Qumulo's modern scale-out storage provides researchers with faster analysis times and IT staff with real-time visibility and control at scale. The high performing, cost-effective storage platform allows for a single file system to be shared across groups to prevent long wait times previously associated with sharing large data sets among groups. Qumulo is the modern replacement for legacy scale-out storage architectures that cannot keep up with modern data requirements. Ron Hood, director of IT at the Center for Infectious Disease Research said, "Qumulo Core's modern architecture is built for the future and that's what closed the deal for us. We didn't want to spend our budget on legacy scale-out storage systems that are obsolete or will be in two to three years. Qumulo supports our needs today and well into the future, so that we can achieve faster times to analysis for our most critical research." Microscopy systems often generate image data sets as large as 1TB per experiment. Those images are stored and accessed for processing and analysis from client computers running operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux. The sequencing data is a widely varied collection of files ranging in size from a few kilobytes, often numbering in the millions to billions, up to large image files that can be 50 GB each. Qumulo is the ideal solution for this workload, providing high scalability, high performance, fast access to files across the entire range for processing and analysis, storage of billions of files and support for mixed file workloads. Qumulo Core was designed from the ground up for the new era of multi-petabyte data scale on premises and in the cloud. Qumulo Core stores tens of billions of files with scalable throughput and is the only product that provides real-time visibility and control for file systems at petabyte scale. Storage administrators and life sciences researchers can instantly see usage, activity and throughput at any level of the unified directory structure, no matter how many files in the file system, allowing them to pinpoint problems and effectively manage how storage is used by analysis pipelines. In addition, a Qumulo Core storage cluster can be installed and deployed in minutes without specialized IT expertise. Qumulo's publicly announced life sciences customers include: Carnegie Institution for Science, CID Research, Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, DarwinHealth, Inc., Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at University of Washington, Johns Hopkins Genomics at The Johns Hopkins University, Progenity, Inc., UConn Health, University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute. Connect with Qumulo at Bio-IT World Qumulo will be featured in booth #333 at Bio-IT World, taking place May 23-25 in Boston. The company will sponsor, exhibit, and demonstrate the power of Qumulo Core for life sciences workflows. In addition, Peter Godman, the company's co-founder and CTO, will present on Kickstarting Breakthroughs in Life Sciences with Intelligent, Next-Generation Scale-Out Storage on Thursday, May 25 at 11:40am ET. To schedule one-on-one meetings with Qumulo representatives at Bio-IT World, send an email to or schedule online here. Suggested Tweet: Life Sciences and Medical Research Turning to @Qumulo For Modern Scale-Out File #Storage About Qumulo Qumulo enables enterprises to manage and store billions of digital assets with real-time visibility and control built directly into the file system. Going past the design limitations of legacy NAS, Qumulo Core is modern scale-out storage for the new era of multi-petabyte data footprints on premises and in the cloud. It is used by the leaders of data-intensive industries. Founded in 2012 by the inventors of scale-out NAS, Qumulo has attracted a world-class team of innovators, investors and partners. For more information, visit

Gillrie M.R.,University of Calgary | Avril M.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Brazier A.J.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Davis S.P.,University of Calgary | And 4 more authors.
Cellular Microbiology | Year: 2015

Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IRBC) expressing the domain cassettes (DC) 8 and 13 of the cytoadherent ligand P.falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 adhere to the endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR). By interfering with EPCR anti-coagulant and pro-endothelial barrier functions, IRBC adhesion could promote coagulation and vascular permeability that contribute to the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. In this study, we examined the adhesion of DC8- and DC13-expressing parasite lines to endothelial cells from different microvasculature, and the consequences of EPCR engagement on endothelial cell function. We found that IRBC from IT4var19 (DC8) and IT4var07 (DC13) parasite lines adhered to human brain, lung and dermal endothelial cells under shear stress. However, the relative contribution of EPCR to parasite cytoadherence on different types of endothelial cell varied. We also observed divergent functional outcomes for DC8 cysteine-rich interdomain region (CIDR)α1.1 and DC13 CIDRα1.4 domains. IT4var07 CIDRα1.4 inhibited generation of activated protein C (APC) on lung and dermal endothelial cells and blocked the APC-EPCR binding interaction on brain endothelial cells. IT4var19 CIDRα1.1 inhibited thrombin-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction in lung endothelial cells, whereas IT4var07 CIDRα1.4 inhibited the protective effect of APC on thrombin-induced permeability. Overall, these findings reveal a much greater complexity of how CIDRα1-expressing parasites may modulate malaria pathogenesis through EPCR adhesion. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

News Article | February 15, 2017

The acid test for a vaccine is: "Does it protect people from infection?" Emory Vaccine Center researchers have analyzed this issue for a leading malaria vaccine called RTS,S, and their results have identified candidate signatures, or biomarkers, in the blood of vaccinated subjects which predict the likelihood of success from vaccination. Bali Pulendran, PhD, and colleagues, identified molecular signatures - sets of genes that are turned on and off in immune cells in the blood - that can discern whether volunteers in a malaria vaccine study were protected when they were exposed to mosquitoes carrying the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. The results are scheduled for publication in PNAS. The research could inform decisions on how RTS,S or other malaria vaccines are deployed or modified. RTS,S was developed by GlaxoSmithKline, and has been tested in Phase 3 clinical trials with support from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. The vaccine was shown to provide partial protection against malaria and is scheduled for roll-out through pilot projects in three African countries next year, according to the World Health Organization. Pulendran is Charles Howard Candler professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and a researcher at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He and his team have pioneered the use of systems biology approaches to identify signatures to define molecular signatures or biomarkers, induced within a few days of vaccination, that can be used to accurately predict the strength of the immune response weeks later. A major challenge in vaccinology has been whether such signatures could be used to predict, not merely the strength of the immune response, but the efficacy of vaccination - that is the extent to which vaccination protected against infection. The present study addressed this issue by vaccinating human subjects with the RTS,S malaria vaccine, and then deliberately challenging them with Plasmodium falciparum in a controlled experimental human infection model. This provides proof of concept of the utility of systems based approaches in identifying signatures that can be used to predict vaccine efficacy. "Many of the genes contained in the predictive signatures are known to be expressed in natural killer cells, which mediate critical immune functions against viruses," Pulendran says. "It was a surprise to see such a robust 'NK cell signature' in predicting success of vaccination against the malaria parasite, and raises the hypothesis that such cells may be playing a vital role in orchestrating immunity against malaria." Pulendran says that other elements such as the signatures of antibody-producing plasma cells in the blood, and activation of antiviral interferon pathways, were conserved with vaccines such as yellow fever and flu. "The extent to which these candidate signatures of protection can successfully predict vaccine efficacy in other field trials remain to be determined," he adds. The underlying malaria vaccine study was performed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 2011 to 2012, and involved 46 volunteers who received two vaccine regimens, one with RTS,S only and another adding an adenovirus-based vector. About 50 percent of the participants were protected after exposure to parasite-carrying mosquitos for both regimens. After analyzing the immune responses, the researchers propose that the two vaccine regimens may be conferring protection against malaria by distinct mechanisms, with the RTS,S-only regimen relying on high levels of antibodies, and the other recruiting more T cells. The same signatures that predicted protection from infection were confirmed using data from an independent study that was also testing the RTS,S vaccine. The co-first authors of the paper are bioinformatics analyst Dmitri Kazmin and former Emory postdoc Helder Nakaya, now at University of Sao Paulo. Co-authors include Ripley Ballou, Robbert van der Most, Robert van den Berg and Erik Jongert from GlaxoSmithKline, Eva Lee from Georgia Tech, Daniel Zak and Alan Aderem at the Center for Infectious Disease Research, Jerald Sadoff at Crucell, and Ulli Wille Reece and Christian Ockenhouse at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. Emory co-authors include Rafi Ahmed and Jens Wrammert. The research was supported by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U19AI090023 and U19AI057266), and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (Primate centers: P51OD11132).

News Article | November 10, 2016

Silver Spring, Md. - Researchers have found that an investigational treatment combining a therapeutic vaccine and an immune stimulator improves virologic control and delays viral rebound following the discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in non-human primates infected with SIV, the simian form of HIV. The proof-of-concept study examined the combined effects of therapeutic vaccination with an adenovirus serotype 26 vector vaccine and an MVA vector vaccine (Ad26/MVA) and TLR-7 agonist stimulation in ART-suppressed, SIV-infected monkeys. Findings were published online today in Nature. The study was a collaboration led by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and includes scientists from Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rhesus monkeys were started on suppressive ART seven days after infection with SIV. After 24 weeks, groups of animals then either received a placebo treatment, Ad26/MVA, TLR7 agonist or a combination intervention of Ad26/MVA and TLR-7. TLR7 agonist. At 72 weeks, ART was discontinued to test the ability of the investigational therapies to affect continued virological control. "We found the combination of Ad26/MVA vaccination and TLR7 stimulation proved more effective than either component alone," said Col. Nelson Michael, Director of MHRP, who helped design the preclinical study. "This was especially striking for viral load set-point, which impacts future disease." In the combination group, the mean viral load set-point was reduced by 100 fold in all animals. Researchers saw a 2.5-fold delay of viral rebound as compared with the other groups. TLR-7Stimulation of TLR7 alone did not impact viral load or rebound. The vaccine alone reduced viral load set-point by 10 fold and only marginally delayed rebound. Though all monkeys eventually experienced viral rebound following ART interruption, three of the monkeys in the combination intervention group showed effective virologic control to undetectable viral loads following ART discontinuation. "Current antiretroviral drugs, although they're lifesaving, do not cure HIV. They merely hold it in check. We are trying to develop strategies to achieve ART-free, long-term viral suppression," said senior author Dan Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "We reasoned that if we can activate the immune cells that might harbor the virus, then the vaccine-induced immune responses might perform better seeking them out and destroying them." A critical barrier to HIV cure is the viral reservoir that remains hidden and infects cells throughout the body, leading to viral rebound in the vast majority of HIV-infected individuals after they discontinue ART. According to Dr. Merlin Robb, Deputy Director for Clinical Research at MHRP, "the combination of Ad26/MVA vaccination and TLR7 stimulation resulted in decreased levels of viral DNA in both lymph nodes and peripheral blood. With further optimization this combination strategy may show promise to achieve a functional cure for HIV." Additionally, cellular immune breadth correlated inversely with set-point viral loads and correlated directly with time to viral rebound. According to Michael, "This gives us an immunologic correlate which can potentially be used to predict responses in humans, but this needs to be confirmed in human clinical studies." Ad26/MVA is a prime boost vaccine regimen. MHRP, in collaboration with Janssen, recently began evaluating this regimen as a therapeutic vaccine in HIV infected adults who initiated ART during acute HIV infection. That study is being conducted at the Thai Red Cross in Bangkok, and the protocol chair is Dr. Jintanat Ananworanich, MHRP's Associate Director for Therapeutics. The Ad26 vaccine was developed in partnership between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), BIDMC and Janssen. MHRP developed the MVA vaccine in collaboration with the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at NIAID/NIH. The TLR7 agonist (GS-986) was developed by Gilead. Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research through its cooperative agreement with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (W81XWH-11-2-0174); NIH (AI096040, AI124377, AI126603); the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. About the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest and most diverse biomedical research laboratory in the Department of Defense. WRAIR provides unique research capabilities and innovative solutions to a range of force health and readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. With comprehensive research units in Africa, Asia, and the Caucasus region, WRAIR is comprised of two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

News Article | November 7, 2016

SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) began vaccinations today in a Phase 1 human clinical trial to test the safety and immunogenicity of the Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine. Seventy-five healthy adults will be recruited to participate in the trial at WRAIR's Clinical Trial Center in Silver Spring, Md. Given the concerns for immune enhancement with other similar flaviviruses, like yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, ZPIV will be tested in some volunteers who will first be vaccinated against one of these other flaviviruses. This is of particular military relevance, as service members are often vaccinated against these diseases and then deployed to areas where Zika is increasingly becoming endemic. WRAIR scientists developed the ZPIV vaccine candidate earlier this year. The inactivated flavivirus vaccine platform was the same technology the Institute used to create its Japanese encephalitis vaccine, which was licensed in 2009. An earlier preclinical study found that rhesus monkeys that were vaccinated with ZPIV developed a strong immune response and were protected against two strains of Zika virus. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), helped identify the viral strain used in the ZPIV vaccine, supported the preclinical safety testing, and is sponsoring the conduct of this trial. WRAIR, NIAID, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have established a joint research collaboration agreement to support the development of this vaccine. In addition to concerns about infection during deployment and travel, most military installations in the continental U.S. are concentrated in the southern states, where climate conditions and mosquito populations are favorable for Zika transmission. Col. Nelson Michael, director of WRAIR's Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) and Zika program co-lead noted that, "The Army has moved efficiently from recognizing Zika virus as a threat, producing ZPIV for use in animals and demonstrating its effectiveness in mice and monkeys, producing ZPIV for human testing, and now initiating clinical trials to establish its safety and build the case for subsequent efficacy trials. All of this was done in 10 months." This study is part of the U.S. Department of Defense response to the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus in North and South America and Southeast Asia. As of November 2, there were 149 confirmed cases of Zika virus within the military health system, including four pregnant service members and one pregnant family member. "Asymptomatic Zika infections can lead to severe birth defects and neurological complications. A safe and effective Zika vaccine that prevents infection in those at risk is a global public health priority," said Maj. Leyi Lin, principal investigator of the study. The Pilot Bioproduction Facility at WRAIR manufactured the ZPIV vaccine being used in Phase 1 clinical studies, and the Army recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement to transfer the ZPIV technology to Sanofi Pasteur to explore larger scale manufacturing and advanced development. BARDA recently awarded a six-year contract to Sanofi Pasteur to further develop this vaccine to licensure. "The Army was able to move so quickly in developing, manufacturing and testing a Zika vaccine because of its extensive experience with this vaccine platform and long standing investments in the understanding and mitigation of flaviviruses, like yellow fever, dating back to the founding of WRAIR," said Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, Zika program co-lead and associate director for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats at WRAIR's MHRP. WRAIR's ZPIV candidate will also be included as a part of a NIH trial that began in August. That study will test ZPIV in a group of people who first receive the DNA vaccine and then are boosted with the ZPIV vaccine. Three additional Phase 1 trials using ZPIV are scheduled to begin this year: The WRAIR trial that began today is sponsored by NIAID and funded by the Departments of the Army and Defense. About the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the oldest and most mission diverse biomedical research laboratory in the Department of Defense. WRAIR provides unique research capabilities and innovative solutions to a range of force health and readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. With comprehensive research units in Africa, Asia, and the Caucasus region, WRAIR is comprised of two Centers of Excellence, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

Cohen S.B.,Cornell University | Cohen S.B.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Denkers E.Y.,Cornell University
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2015

The function of mucosal dendritic cell (DC) subsets in immunity and inflammation is not well understood. In this study, we define four DC subsets present within the lamina propria and mesenteric lymph node compartments based on expression of CD103 and CD11b. Using IL-12p40 YFP (Yet40) reporter mice, we show that CD103+CD11b2 mucosal DCs are primary in vivo sources of IL-12p40; we also identified CD103-CD11b- mucosal DCs as a novel population producing this cytokine. Infection was preferentially found in CD11b+ DCs that were negative for CD103. Lamina propria DCs containing parasites were negative for IL-12p40. Instead, production of the cytokine was strictly a property of noninfected cells. We also show that vitamin A metabolism, as measured by ALDH activity, was preferentially found in CD103+CD11b+ DC and was strongly downregulated in all mucosal DC subsets during infection. Finally, overall apoptosis of lamina propria DC subsets was increased during infection. Combined, these results highlight the ability of intestinal Toxoplasma infection to alter mucosal DC activity at both the whole population level and at the level of individual subsets. © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

Di Paolo N.C.,Emory University | Shafiani S.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Day T.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Day T.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | And 7 more authors.
Immunity | Year: 2015

The interleukin-1 receptor I (IL-1RI) is critical for host resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), yet the mechanisms of IL-1RI-mediated pathogen control remain unclear. Here, we show that without IL-1RI, Mtb-infected newly recruited Ly6Ghi myeloid cells failed to upregulate tumor necrosis factor receptor I (TNF-RI) and to produce reactive oxygen species, resulting in compromised pathogen control. Furthermore, simultaneous ablation of IL-1RI and TNF-RI signaling on either stroma or hematopoietic cells led to early lethality, indicating non-redundant and synergistic roles of IL-1 and TNF in mediating macrophage-stroma cross-talk that was critical for optimal control of Mtb infection. Finally, we show that even in the presence of functional Mtb-specific adaptive immunity, the lack of IL-1α and not IL-1β led to an exuberant intracellular pathogen replication and progressive non-resolving inflammation. Our study reveals functional interdependence between IL-1 and TNF in enabling Mtb control mechanisms that are critical for host survival. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

News Article | March 29, 2016

An international team of scientists have developed a blood test, based on biomarkers in gene activity that can reliably predict whether a person with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium will develop active tuberculosis (TB). According to the World Health Organization, TB is the top infectious disease killer globally.  In 2014, 9.6 million people became ill with TB and 1.5 million people died from the disease, which is spread from person to person through the air.  About one-third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means they carry the bacteria but have not become ill and cannot transmit the disease.  About 90 percent of people that carry the bacteria will not develop the illness, but 10 percent will develop symptoms. Up until now, there has been no way to predict wither a person infected by the bacteria will go on to develop active TB. For the study, published in online March 23 in The Lancet, researchers from the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative  and the Center for Infectious Disease Research obtained blood samples from more than 10,000 subjects in Gambia and South Africa and analyzed gene activity.  They collected blood samples from study participants every six months and monitored participants for two years. The findings identified a specific gene profile in immune cells in blood samples of people who eventually develop active TB, using whole blood RNA sequencing data from those who developed active TB compared to those who remained healthy. According to a statement the blood test can predict, with about 75 percent reliability, if active TB will develop. “Such a test could predict the occurrence of the disease more than a year before the disease develops,” lead investigator Willem Hanekom of the University of Cape Town said in a statement.  “This long lead period will give doctors enough time to initiate treatment.” A parallel study is being led by Stefan H.E. Kaufmann of the Max Planck Institute for Infection biology to develop a pan-African biomarker test for TB by observing groups of subjects from several parts of Africa.  The results will not be published until the end of the year, but findings so far suggest the same specific genes in immune cells are active, indicating an increased risk of developing active TB. “If we can predict early on that an individual will develop active tuberculosis, this will help greatly in containing the disease,” Kaufmann said in a statement. The blood test described in the recently published study will move to clinical trials to see if progression of the predicted active TB can be stopped with targeted treatment. Establish your company as a technology leader! For more than 50 years, the R&D 100 Awards have showcased new products of technological significance. You can join this exclusive community! Learn more.

Aachoui Y.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Kajiwara Y.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Leaf I.A.,Center for Infectious Disease Research | Mao D.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 5 more authors.
Cell Host and Microbe | Year: 2015

The inflammatory caspases 1 and 11 are activated in response to different agonists and act independently to induce pyroptosis. In the context of IL-1β/IL-18 secretion, however, in vitro studies indicate that caspase-11 acts upstream of NLRP3 and caspase-1. By contrast, studying infection in vivo by the cytosol-invasive bacterium Burkholderia thailandensis, we find that caspase-1 activity is required upstream of caspase-11 to control infection. Caspase-1-activated IL-18 induces IFN-γ to prime caspase-11 and rapidly clear B. thailandensis infection. In the absence of IL-18, bacterial burdens persist, eventually triggering other signals that induce IFN-γ. Whereas IFN-γ was essential, endogenous type I interferons were insufficient to prime caspase-11. Although mice transgenic for caspase-4, the human ortholog of caspase-11, cleared B. thailandensis in vivo, they did not strictly require IFN-γ priming. Thus, caspase-1 provides priming signals upstream of caspase-11 but not caspase-4 during murine defense against a cytosol-invasive bacterium. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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