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News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

VIDEO:  Scientists and physicians at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, working with colleagues at the U.S. Navy Medical Research Center (NMRC), Texas A&M University, a San Diego-based biotech... view more Scientists and physicians at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, working with colleagues at the U.S. Navy Medical Research Center - Biological Defense Research Directorate (NMRC-BDRD), Texas A&M University, a San Diego-based biotech and elsewhere, have successfully used an experimental therapy involving bacteriophages -- viruses that target and consume specific strains of bacteria -- to treat a patient near death from a multidrug-resistant bacterium. The therapeutic approach, which has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, is scheduled to be featured in an oral presentation tomorrow at the Centennial Celebration of Bacteriophage Research at the Institute Pasteur in Paris by Biswajit Biswas, MD, one of the case study's co-authors and chief of the phage division in the Department ?Genomics and Bioinformatics at NMRC-BDRD. April 27 is Human Phage Therapy Day, designated to mark 100 years of clinical research launched by Felix d'Herelle, a French-Canadian microbiologist at Institute Pasteur who is credited with co-discovering bacteriophages with British bacteriologist Frederick Twort. Authors say the case study could be another catalyst to developing new remedies to the growing global threat of antimicrobial resistance, which the World Health Organization estimates will kill at least 50 million people per year by 2050. Based on the success of this case, in collaboration with NMRC, UC San Diego is exploring options for a new center to advance research and development of bacteriophage-based therapies. "When it became clear that every antibiotic had failed, that Tom could die, we sought an emergency investigational new drug application from the FDA to try bacteriophages," said lead author Robert "Chip" Schooley, MD, professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the UC San Diego School of Medicine and primary physician on the case. "To our knowledge, he is the first patient in the United States with an overwhelming, systemic infection to be treated with this approach using intravenous bacteriophages. From being in a coma near death, he's recovered well enough to go back to work. Of course, this is just one patient, one case. We don't yet fully understand the potential -- and limitations -- of clinical bacteriophage therapy, but it's an unprecedented and remarkable story, and given the global health threat of multidrug-resistant organisms, one that we should pursue." The story begins in late-2015. Tom Patterson, PhD, a 69-year-old professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and his wife, Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, chief of the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine, were spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Egypt when Patterson became ill, wracked by abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and a racing heartbeat. Local doctors diagnosed pancreatitis -- inflammation of the pancreas -- but standard treatment didn't help. Patterson's condition worsened and he was medevacked to Frankfurt, Germany Dec. 3, 2015, where doctors discovered a pancreatic pseudocyst, a collection of fluid around the pancreas. The fluid was drained and the contents cultured. Patterson had become infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of Acinetobacter baumannii, an opportunistic and often deadly pathogen. The bacterium has proved particularly problematic in hospital settings and in the Middle East, with many injured veterans and soldiers returning to the U.S. with persistent infections. Initially, the only antibiotics with any effect proved to be a combination of meropenem, tigecycline and colistin, a drug of last resort because it often causes kidney damage, among other side effects. Patterson's condition stabilized sufficiently for him to be airlifted Dec. 12, 2015, from Germany to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Thornton Hospital at UC San Diego Health. Upon arrival, it was discovered that his bacterial isolate had become resistant to all of these antibiotics. At Thornton Hospital, now part of Jacobs Medical Center, Patterson began to recover, moving from the ICU to a regular ward. But the day before scheduled discharge to a long-term acute care facility, an internal drain designed to localize his infection and keep it at bay slipped, spilling bacteria into his abdomen and bloodstream. Patterson immediately experienced septic shock. His heart began racing. He could not breathe. He became feverish and would subsequently fall into a coma that would last for most of the next two months. He was, in effect, dying. "That's a period of my life I don't remember," recalled Patterson. "There was so much pain that it's almost beyond your ability to cope. I'm happy not to remember." Strathdee, his wife, is no stranger to the terrors of disease. As an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of the UC San Diego Global Health Institute, she has worked around the world, from India to Afghanistan to Mexico, trying to lower HIV infection and mortality rates. "There came a point when he was getting weaker and weaker, and I didn't want to lose him. I wasn't ready to let him go and so I held his hand and said, 'Honey, they're doing everything they can and there's nothing that can kill this bug, so if you want to fight, you need to fight. Do you want me to find some alternative therapies? We can leave no stone unturned.'" Tom recalled the moment: "I vaguely remember you saying, 'do you want me to try or not because it's going to be a tough time and it's not certain that it will work.' I remember squeezing your hand, but it was just a flash in the whole process." Strathdee began doing research. A colleague mentioned a friend had traveled to Tblisi, Georgia to undergo "phage therapy" for a difficult condition and had been "miraculously cured." Strathdee had learned of bacteriophages while she was a student, but they were not part of mainstream medical doctrine. She turned to strangers in the phage research community and to her colleague Chip Schooley for help. Bacteriophages are ubiquitous viruses, found wherever bacteria exist. It's estimated there are more than 1031 bacteriophages on the planet. That's ten million trillion trillion, more than every other organism on Earth, including bacteria, combined. Each is evolved to infect a specific bacterial host in order to replicate -- without affecting other cells in an organism. The idea of using them therapeutically is not new. Described a century ago, phage therapy was popular in the 1920s and 1930s to treat multiple types of infections and conditions, but results were inconsistent and lacked scientific validation. The emergence of antibiotics in the 1940s pushed phage therapy aside, except in parts of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where it remained a topic of active research. With dwindling options, Strathdee, Schooley and colleagues went looking for help. They found many researchers willing to help. Three teams possessed suitable phages that were active against Patterson's particular bacterial infection: the Biological Defense Research Directorate of the NMRC in Frederick, MD; the Center for Phage Technology at Texas A&M University; and AmpliPhi, a San Diego-based biotech company specializing in bacteriophage-based therapies. A research team at San Diego State University, headed by microbial ecologist Forest Rowher, PhD, purified the phage samples for clinical use. With emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration, each source provided phage strains to UC San Diego doctors to treat Patterson, with no guarantee that any of the strains would actually work. "That's one of the remarkable things to come out of this whole experience," said Schooley, "the incredible and rapid collaboration among folks scattered around the world. It was a desperate time and people really stepped up." Phage therapy is typically administered topically or orally. In Patterson's case, the phages were introduced through catheters into his abdominal cavity and intravenously to address a broader, systemic infection, which had not been done in the antibiotic era in the U.S. "That makes them more effective," said Schooley. "The action is at the interface of the patient and the organism." With tweaking and adjustments -- his physicians were learning on the fly -- Patterson began to improve. He emerged from his coma within three days of the start of IV phage therapy. "Tom woke up, turned to his daughter and said, 'I love you'," recalled Schooley. Patterson was soon weaned off of the respirator and blood pressure drugs. "As a treating doctor, it was a challenge," said Schooley. "Usually you know what the dosage should be, how often to treat. Improving vital signs is a good way to know that you're progressing, but when you're doing it for the first time, you don't have anything to compare it to. "A lot was really worked out as we went along, combining previous literature, our own intuition about how these phages would circulate and work and advice from people who had been thinking about this for a long time." By the time Patterson was airlifted to Thornton Hospital at UC San Diego Health, he was in dire straits. His abdomen had swelled, distended by the pseudocyst teeming with multi-drug resistant A. baumaunnii. His white blood cell count had soared -- a sign of rampant infection. Doctors tried various combinations of antibiotics. He developed respiratory failure and hypotension that required ventilation and recurrent emergency treatment. He became increasingly delirious. When he lapsed into a coma in mid-January, he was essentially being kept alive on life support. Eventually Schooley said there were no antimicrobial agents left to try. Strathdee recalled colleagues wondering aloud if she was prepared for Tom to die. She wasn't. Bacteriophage therapy began March 15, 2016, with a cocktail of four phages provided by Texas A&M and the San Diego-based biotech company AmpliPhi, pumped through catheters into the pseudocyst. If the treatment didn't kill him, Patterson's medical team planned to inject the Navy's phages intravenously, flooding his bloodstream to reach the infection raging throughout his body. As far as Patterson's doctors knew, such treatment had never been tried before. On March 17, the Navy phages were injected intravenously. There were fears about endotoxins naturally produced by the phages. No one knew what to expect, but Patterson tolerated the treatment well -- indeed there were no adverse side effects -- and on March 19, he suddenly awoke and recognized his daughter. "One of NMRC's goals with respect to bacteriophage science has been providing military members infected with multidrug-resistant organisms additional antimicrobial options so we were experienced and well-positioned to provide an effective phage cocktail for Dr. Patterson," said Theron Hamilton, PhD, head of Genomics and Bioinformatics at the Navy's Biological Defense Research Directorate. "Obviously, we are thrilled with the outcome and hope this case increases awareness of the possibility of applying phage therapy to tough cases like this one." Subsequent treatment, however, would not be easy. The learning curve was steep and unmarked. There were bouts of sepsis -- a life-threatening complication caused by massive infection. Despite improvement, Patterson's condition remained precarious. Doctors discovered that the bacterium eventually developed resistance to the phages, what Schooley would characterize as "the recurring Darwinian dance," but the team compensated by continually tweaking treatment with new phage strains -- some that the NMRC had derived from sewage -- and antibiotics. In early May, Patterson was taken off of antibiotics. After June 6, there was no evidence of A. baumannii in his body. He was discharged home August 12, 2016. Recovery has not been entirely smooth and steady. There have been setbacks unrelated to the phages. A formerly robust man, Patterson had been fed intravenously for months in the hospital and had lost 100 pounds, much of it muscle. He has required intense physical rehabilitation to regain strength and movement. "It's not like in the movies where you just wake up from a coma, look around and pop out of bed," Patterson said. "You discover that your body doesn't work right anymore." He said he could feel parts of his brain coming back alive. Nonetheless, Patterson described the experience as miraculous. Even comatose, when he often wrestled with imagined demons, he recalled hearing and recognizing voices and realizing that beyond his darkness, there was life and hope. And beyond him, he hopes his experience will translate into new treatments for others: "The phage therapy has really been a miracle for me, and for what it might mean that millions of people who may be cured from multidrug-resistant infections in the future. It's been sort of a privilege." Schooley said Patterson was lucky. His wife was a trained scientist and determined to find a remedy -- and they both worked at UC San Diego School of Medicine: "He was fortunate to be in a place that had all of the resources and courage necessary to support him while this innovative therapy was developed, which was essentially a home brew cocktail of viruses to be given to a desperately ill individual. I think a lot of other places would have hesitated. I think the response that he had clinically has been very gratifying and speaks to the strength of a multidimensional medical center with all of the pieces you need." Still, Schooley said any broad, future approved application of phage therapy faces fundamental challenges unlike past treatments. "What the FDA is used to saying is 'This is an antibiotic. We know what its structure is and how you can give it to multiple people.' With bacteriophage therapy, the FDA would be dealing with an approach in which doctors would have to develop phage cocktails for each patient tailored to their infecting organisms. It's the ultimate personalized medicine." The good news, Schooley said, is that new molecular tools, robotics and other advances make personalized medicine possible in a way it wasn't 10 or 15 years ago. "Then, it would have been impossible to contemplate. There's still much research to be done, but I think there are going to be a lot of clinical applications where this approach may be very beneficial to patients." Derived from the Greek words meaning "bacteria eater," bacteriophages are ancient and abundant -- found on land, in water, within any form of life harboring their target. According to Rowher at San Diego State University and colleagues in their book Life in Our Phage World, phages cause a trillion trillion successful infections per second and destroy up to 40 percent of all bacterial cells in the ocean every day. Thousands of varieties of phage exist, each evolved to infect only one type or a few types of bacteria. Like other viruses, they cannot replicate by themselves, but must commandeer the reproductive machinery of bacteria. To do so, they attach to a bacterium and insert their genetic material. Lytic phages then destroy the cell, splitting it open to release new viral particles to continue the process. As such, phages could be considered the only "drug"' capable of multiplying; when their job is done, they are excreted by the body.


News Article | April 29, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

Interview Infection-Prevention Experts at Pulse CPSEA's Spring Symposium, 'Infection Prevention: It Begins with You!' Healthcare reporters are invited to speak personally with leading national experts in the prevention of healthcare-acquired infections in advance of Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy’s Spring Symposium, Infection Prevention: It Begins with You! in Plainview, N.Y., at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1. It’s bad enough being in the hospital, but it can be so much worse when a patient contracts an “HAI” — a Healthcare-Acquired Infection — while there. Despite the best efforts of the medical profession, growing numbers of patients still contract infections in health care facilities. This is one of the most critical challenges facing the medical profession today. Pulse’s symposium will focus on the latest findings about HAIs, and three key speakers will discuss the issue and what we can do about it. The formal program starts at 6 p.m., but members of the press are invited to talk one-on-one with our speakers from 5 to 6 p.m. Janet Eagan RN — Manager, Infection Control at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She specializes in infection control in the oncology patient population. Bruce E. Hirsch MD, FACP, AAHIVS — Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, North Shore University Hospital. He is interested in preventive health strategies and the role of healthy bacteria in the human microbiome. Lisa A. Waldowski DNP, PNP, CIC — Infection Control Specialist, Standards Interpretation Group, The Joint Commission Enterprise. She advises surveyors with interpretations and education about infection control findings, and responds to challenging questions, complaints, and potential threat to life/patient safety events. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity to pose your questions to these industry-leading specialists. Here are the details: When: Monday, May 1. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a light buffet, refreshments and networking time; the formal program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Where: Holiday Inn 215 Sunnyside Blvd, Plainview, NY 11803 Please RSVP to (516) 579-4711 or 516-830-0831 Pulse's Mission: To raise awareness about patient safety through advocacy, education and support.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health report elevated levels of a pathogen responsible for the tick-borne disease babesiosis in Suffolk County, New York, where rates are the highest in the state. Results are published in the journal mSphere. Researchers developed and employed a method to simultaneously test for five common pathogens carried by deer ticks: Babesia microti, the pathogen behind babesiosis; Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease; as well as Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Powassan virus -- pathogens responsible for other tick-borne infections. The team collected and tested 318 adult and nymph ticks at five sites in Suffolk County (Southampton, Mannorville, Southold, Islip, Huntington) and three sites in Connecticut (Mansfield, Stamford, Greenwich). Nymphal ticks are about the size of a poppy seed, emerge in warmer months, and are responsible for the majority of tick-borne disease. The new test uses a DNA amplification technique called polymerase chain reaction or PCR to test for tick-borne pathogens. Most existing tests use this method to test ticks for each agent individually. Even the tests that have the ability to test for more than one agent typically only test for up to three, not five agents, and never for Powassan virus, the rarest but most pathogenic of the five. The scientists say the technique has several advantages: it lowers costs, facilitates testing for agents (B. miyamotoi, and especially Powassan virus) that are rarely tested for, and provides risk assessments for co-infections which may adversely affect the course of disease. Tests found B. microti present in a higher proportion of ticks in Suffolk County than Connecticut, including 17 vs. 7 percent of nymphal ticks. In both locations, B. burgdorferi, the causative agent for Lyme disease, was the most frequently detected agent in ticks tested while A. phagocytophilum, B. miyamotoi and Powassan virus were more rare. One-quarter of B. burgdorferi-positive nymphs were also positive for B. microti suggesting a risk of co-infection with both agents from a single tick bite. "Gathering data on co-infections is particularly important in light of the fact that antibiotics used for Lyme disease may be ineffective for babesiosis," says first author Rafal Tokarz, a research scientist at CII. The number of counties in the Northeast with high rates of Lyme disease has more than tripled since the 1990s -- a sign that ticks that spread disease have expanded their range. Rates of tick-borne illness may be much higher than reported: one study in Minnesota found 79 percent of cases were not reported to health authorities. Symptoms include fever and headaches, and, more rarely, neurological complications like encephalitis. "This new test can strengthen surveillance for tick-borne illnesses which are underreported and growing rapidly," says W. Ian Lipkin director of CII and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School. Co-authors including Teresa Tagliafierro and Stephen Sameroff at CII and D. Moses Cucura and Ilia Rochlin at the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. This study was funded through grants from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation and National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (U19 AI109761).


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

Interview Infection-Prevention Experts at Pulse CPSEA's Spring Symposium, 'Infection Prevention: It Begins with You!' Healthcare reporters are invited to speak personally with leading national experts in the prevention of healthcare-acquired infections in advance of Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy’s Spring Symposium, Infection Prevention: It Begins with You! in Plainview, N.Y., at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1. It’s bad enough being in the hospital, but it can be so much worse when a patient contracts an “HAI” — a Healthcare-Acquired Infection — while there. Despite the best efforts of the medical profession, growing numbers of patients still contract infections in health care facilities. This is one of the most critical challenges facing the medical profession today. Pulse’s symposium will focus on the latest findings about HAIs, and three key speakers will discuss the issue and what we can do about it. The formal program starts at 6 p.m., but members of the press are invited to talk one-on-one with our speakers from 5 to 6 p.m. Janet Eagan RN — Manager, Infection Control at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She specializes in infection control in the oncology patient population. Bruce E. Hirsch MD, FACP, AAHIVS — Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, North Shore University Hospital. He is interested in preventive health strategies and the role of healthy bacteria in the human microbiome. Lisa A. Waldowski DNP, PNP, CIC — Infection Control Specialist, Standards Interpretation Group, The Joint Commission Enterprise. She advises surveyors with interpretations and education about infection control findings, and responds to challenging questions, complaints, and potential threat to life/patient safety events. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity to pose your questions to these industry-leading specialists. Here are the details: When: Monday, May 1. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a light buffet, refreshments and networking time; the formal program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Where: Holiday Inn 215 Sunnyside Blvd, Plainview, NY 11803 Please RSVP to (516) 579-4711 or 516-830-0831 Pulse's Mission: To raise awareness about patient safety through advocacy, education and support.


« Nous sommes ravis de ce vote de confiance. La reconnaissance de notre travail par la DTRA renforce la position de MeMed en tant que leader mondial des diagnostics basés sur une approche immunologique des maladies infectieuses », a déclaré Eran Eden, PhD, PDG de MeMed.  « Cet effort conjoint, en plus de notre collaboration grandissante avec d'autres parties prenantes internationales des secteurs industriel et gouvernemental, facilitera la disponibilité mondiale de nos tests visant à lutter contre la résistance aux antimicrobiens. » Au cours des huit dernières années, les cofondateurs de la société Kfir Oved, MD/PhD et Eran Eden, PhD ont collaboré avec des chercheurs et cliniciens de premier plan du monde entier pour étudier les changements qui se déroulent dans le système immunitaire humain lorsqu'il lutte contre des infections, dans le but de développer une signature immunitaire humaine qui reconnaisse de façon précise la différence entre les infections bactériennes et virales. ImmunoXpert™, la première génération de ce test novateur, est déjà utilisée et a été validée chez des milliers de patients*. La deuxième génération du test a impliqué le développement d'une nouvelle plateforme de point de service qui est facile d'utilisation et prend environ 15 minutes. « Cette collaboration va nous permettre d'accélérer l'achèvement de notre programme de plateforme de point de service », a commenté Kfir Oved, MD/PhD, directeur technique de MeMed. « En plus de permettre les mesures de notre test de distinction entre infections bactériennes et virales en seulement quelques minutes, cette nouvelle plateforme ouvre également la voie à une variété de mesures rapides de protéines multiplexes au point de service avec une précision de qualité de laboratoire, associée à de nombreuses applications. » « Le projet évaluera et étendra aussi notre menu de tests afin de détecter les infections précoces, même au stade présymptomatique d'une maladie, ce qui constitue actuellement un défi majeur pour contrôler les infections et les épidémies », a ajouté Tanya Gottlieb, PhD, vice-présidente des affaires scientifiques de MeMed. *Oved et al. Plos One, 2015 ; Eden et al. Journal of Infection, 2016 ; van Houten et el. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2016. La Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) a été fondée en 1998 afin d'intégrer et concentrer les capacités du Département de la Défense (DoD) qui concernent la menace par des armes de destruction massive (ADM). La mission de la DTRA est de protéger les États-Unis et ses alliés contre les armes de destruction massive internationales et les menaces improvisées, en intégrant, synchronisant et fournissant une expertise, des technologies et des capacités. Pour en savoir plus sur la DTRA, rendez-vous sur le site http://www.dtra.mil. MeMed se consacre à améliorer la vie des patients à travers la recherche, le développement et la commercialisation de tests pionniers qui examinent l'état immunitaire du corps. Ses tests décodent les différentes réponses du système immunitaire face à différents états de santé et médicaux. La société se concentre sur la provision de solutions diagnostiques rapides, précises et exploitables pour les maladies infectieuses aigües et les troubles inflammatoires au sein de l'hôpital et de la communauté. Son test de première génération, ImmunoXpert™, a démontré la capacité de détecter avec précision si un patient est atteint d'une infection bactérienne ou virale, dans l'objectif de permettre aux médecins de prendre des décisions plus éclairées en matière de traitement antibiotique. ImmunoXpert est autorisé pour usage clinique dans l'Union européenne, en Suisse et en Israël. Il est actuellement en distribution pilote dans ces territoires avec un déploiement commercial plus important enclenché. Le test de deuxième génération de MeMed pour les test rapides (en seulement quelques minutes) au point de service est en cours de développement. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez consulter le site http://www.me-med.com. Contact auprès des médias et développement des affaires : Asi Cohen-Dotan, PhD Tél. : +972-4-8500302 asi.cohen@me-med.com


« Nous sommes ravis de ce vote de confiance. La reconnaissance de notre travail par la DTRA renforce la position de MeMed en tant que leader mondial des diagnostics basés sur une approche immunologique des maladies infectieuses », a déclaré Eran Eden, PhD, PDG de MeMed.  « Cet effort conjoint, en plus de notre collaboration grandissante avec d'autres parties prenantes internationales des secteurs industriel et gouvernemental, facilitera la disponibilité mondiale de nos tests visant à lutter contre la résistance aux antimicrobiens. » Au cours des huit dernières années, les cofondateurs de la société Kfir Oved, MD/PhD et Eran Eden, PhD ont collaboré avec des chercheurs et cliniciens de premier plan du monde entier pour étudier les changements qui se déroulent dans le système immunitaire humain lorsqu'il lutte contre des infections, dans le but de développer une signature immunitaire humaine qui reconnaisse de façon précise la différence entre les infections bactériennes et virales. ImmunoXpert™, la première génération de ce test novateur, est déjà utilisée et a été validée chez des milliers de patients*. La deuxième génération du test a impliqué le développement d'une nouvelle plateforme de point de service qui est facile d'utilisation et prend environ 15 minutes. « Cette collaboration va nous permettre d'accélérer l'achèvement de notre programme de plateforme de point de service », a commenté Kfir Oved, MD/PhD, directeur technique de MeMed. « En plus de permettre les mesures de notre test de distinction entre infections bactériennes et virales en seulement quelques minutes, cette nouvelle plateforme ouvre également la voie à une variété de mesures rapides de protéines multiplexes au point de service avec une précision de qualité de laboratoire, associée à de nombreuses applications. » « Le projet évaluera et étendra aussi notre menu de tests afin de détecter les infections précoces, même au stade présymptomatique d'une maladie, ce qui constitue actuellement un défi majeur pour contrôler les infections et les épidémies », a ajouté Tanya Gottlieb, PhD, vice-présidente des affaires scientifiques de MeMed. *Oved et al. Plos One, 2015 ; Eden et al. Journal of Infection, 2016 ; van Houten et el. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2016. La Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) a été fondée en 1998 afin d'intégrer et concentrer les capacités du Département de la Défense (DoD) qui concernent la menace par des armes de destruction massive (ADM). La mission de la DTRA est de protéger les États-Unis et ses alliés contre les armes de destruction massive internationales et les menaces improvisées, en intégrant, synchronisant et fournissant une expertise, des technologies et des capacités. Pour en savoir plus sur la DTRA, rendez-vous sur le site http://www.dtra.mil. MeMed se consacre à améliorer la vie des patients à travers la recherche, le développement et la commercialisation de tests pionniers qui examinent l'état immunitaire du corps. Ses tests décodent les différentes réponses du système immunitaire face à différents états de santé et médicaux. La société se concentre sur la provision de solutions diagnostiques rapides, précises et exploitables pour les maladies infectieuses aigües et les troubles inflammatoires au sein de l'hôpital et de la communauté. Son test de première génération, ImmunoXpert™, a démontré la capacité de détecter avec précision si un patient est atteint d'une infection bactérienne ou virale, dans l'objectif de permettre aux médecins de prendre des décisions plus éclairées en matière de traitement antibiotique. ImmunoXpert est autorisé pour usage clinique dans l'Union européenne, en Suisse et en Israël. Il est actuellement en distribution pilote dans ces territoires avec un déploiement commercial plus important enclenché. Le test de deuxième génération de MeMed pour les test rapides (en seulement quelques minutes) au point de service est en cours de développement. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez consulter le site http://www.me-med.com. Contact auprès des médias et développement des affaires : Asi Cohen-Dotan, PhD Tél. : +972-4-8500302 asi.cohen@me-med.com


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

HIV cure research to date has focused on clearing the virus from T cells, a type of white blood cell that is an essential part of the immune system. But investigators in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have found the virus persists in HIV-infected macrophages. Macrophages are large white blood cells found in tissues throughout the body including the liver, lung, bone marrow and brain. The discovery of this additional viral reservoir has significant implications for HIV cure research. These findings were published in Nature Medicine today. "These results are paradigm changing because they demonstrate that cells other than T cells can serve as a reservoir for HIV," said Jenna Honeycutt, Ph.D., lead-author and postdoctoral research associate in the UNC Division of Infectious Diseases. "The fact that HIV-infected macrophages can persist means that any possible therapeutic intervention to eradicate HIV might have to target two very different types of cells." Last spring, this laboratory lead by J. Victor Garcia, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at UNC School of Medicine, demonstrated the ability of tissue macrophages to support HIV replication in vivo in the total absence of human T cells. But how macrophages would respond to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and whether macrophages represented a reservoir for HIV after treatment were unknown. Macrophages are myeloid lineage cells that have been implicated in HIV pathogenesis and in the trafficking of virus into the brain. Using a humanized myeloid-only mouse (MoM) model devoid of T cells, Garcia and his team showed that ART strongly suppresses HIV replication in tissue macrophages. Yet when HIV treatment was interrupted, viral rebound was observed in one third of the animals. This is consistent with the establishment of persistent infection in tissue macrophages. "This is the first report demonstrating that tissue macrophages can be infected and that they respond to antiretroviral therapy," Honeycutt said. "In addition, we show that productively infected macrophages can persist despite ART; and most importantly, that they can reinitiate and sustain infection upon therapy interruption even in the absence of T cells—the major target of HIV infection." Now that Garcia and his team know HIV persists in macrophages, the next step will be to determine what regulates HIV persistence in tissue macrophages, where in the body persistently infected macrophages reside during HIV treatment and how macrophages respond to possible therapeutic interventions aimed at eradicating HIV from the body.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and the University of Manitoba have developed a drug that combats 2 of the top 10 "priority pathogens" recently defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as antiobiotic-resistant bacteria requiring new interventions1. The drug, dubbed PEG-2S, has received a provisional patent, and its development is highlighted in a study published today in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP). Without affecting healthy cells, the drug prevents the proliferation of a harmful bacteria that possesses a specific type of energy supply shared by a number of other bacteria. The paper, entitled "Development of a novel rationally designed antibiotic to inhibit a nontraditional bacterial target", revealed that a variety of bacteria share a unique respiratory sodium pump (NQR) that supplies energy vital to the bacteria's survival. The study showed that the drug in question, PEG-2S, inhibits the function of the NQR pump and the production and growth of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. The drug is highly targeted and only impacts bacterial cells with NQR pumps and is not toxic to normal, healthy cells. The list of NQR-possessing bacteria is growing steadily as genomic information becomes available. With more than 20 different pathogenic bacteria containing NQR, the possibility for this drug to avoid multidrug resistance through NQR inhibition represents a potential breakthrough in antibiotic design. Traditional targets for antibiotics are limited; no new antibiotics have been discovered since 1987. Only 2 antibiotics have received US FDA approval since 2009. "New drugs are not being approved because they share the same target to which the bacteria are developing resistance. We have not only defined a new and effective target, we have designed a drug to attack it without affecting normal cells," explains St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research and University of Manitoba professor of physiology and pathophysiology Dr. Grant Pierce. "The first pathogen our research team studied (Chlamydia trachomatis) has confirmed that NQR is a good target, and it is shared by many bacteria in need of a more effective antibiotic." "The results from our collaboration are tremendously exciting," adds lead author, University of Manitoba Faculty of Science professor Dr. Pavel Dibrov. "We are currently designing PEG-2S variations and hope to tailor PEG-based antimicrobials to each specific NQR-containing pathogenic bacterium." "Antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance to superbugs is a priority research direction in pharmacology. The quality and findings of this study may be instrumental in our efforts to develop new drugs and technologies that effectively address this global health alarm recently raised by the World Health Organization," say CJPP Editors Dr. Ghassan Bkaily and Dr. Pedro D'Orléans-Juste. "I applaud the research collaboration that resulted in this new breakthrough," said Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. "Solving the complex and evolving challenges of antibiotic resistance will put new tools in the hands of caregivers around the globe." "New antibiotics targeting this priority list of pathogens will help to reduce deaths due to resistant infections around the world," says Prof Evelina Tacconelli, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tübingen and a major contributor to the development of the WHO list. "Waiting any longer will cause further public health problems and dramatically impact on patient care."2 1WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics Please cite Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology as the source of this story and include a hyperlink to the research study: dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2016-0505. Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports current research in all aspects of physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, and toxicology, contributed by recognized experts and scientists. It publishes symposium reviews and award lectures and occasionally dedicates entire issues or portions of issues to subjects of special interest to its international readership. The journal periodically publishes a "Made In Canada" special section that features invited review articles from internationally recognized scientists who have received some of their training in Canada. Canadian Science Publishing publishes the NRC Research Press suite of journals but is not affiliated with the National Research Council of Canada. Papers published by Canadian Science Publishing are peer-reviewed by experts in their field. The views of the authors in no way reflect the opinions of Canadian Science Publishing. Requests for commentary about the contents of any study should be directed to the authors.

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