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News Article | June 1, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

Bacteria in the vagina affect whether a drug stops an HIV infection or is itself stopped cold. A vaginal gel containing tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV infection, was three times as effective at preventing HIV in women who had healthy vaginal bacterial communities as it was in women with a less beneficial mix. The finding may help explain why the effectiveness of these gels has varied in trials, researchers report in the June 2 Science. “The vaginal microbiota is yet another variable that we have to take into account when we are thinking about why one intervention does or doesn’t work,” says clinical scientist Khalil Ghanem of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who coauthored a commentary accompanying the study. For women, one strategy to prevent HIV infection is to apply medicated vaginal gels before and after sex. But results have been mixed regarding how well the gels work. The hit-or-miss effectiveness can partly be explained by some patients not taking the medication as prescribed. But study coauthor Adam Burgener, a microbiologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg, wondered if there might also be a biological explanation. The main residents of a healthy vaginal microbial community, or microbiota, are Lactobacillus species. The bacteria produce lactic acid, making the vaginal tract more acidic and possibly “less hospitable for potential pathogenic organisms,” Ghanem says. To examine the effect of the vaginal microbiota on tenofovir, Burgener and colleagues turned to a previous trial of South African women, which showed that the drug reduced HIV infections by 39 percent. During that trial, samples of vaginal mucus were taken. In the new study, the researchers measured bacterial proteins in 688 of those samples to determine the bacteria in the women’s vaginas when the samples were collected. Just over 400 women’s vaginal microbiota mainly had Lactobacillus species; the microbiota of the other 281 women were dominated by non-Lactobacillus species, such as Gardnerella vaginalis. Within those two groups were women who had used tenofovir vaginal gel and those who had used a non-medicated gel as a placebo. In the Lactobacillus-dominant group, the incidence of HIV was 61 percent lower in women using the medicated gel compared with those using the placebo gel. But in the non-Lactobacillus dominant group, it was only 18 percent lower. There was no appreciable difference in the consistency of the gel’s reported use between the two groups, the researchers note. “Women with Lactobacillus had three times more protection offered by the gel,” Burgener says. “That’s a pretty remarkable difference in the efficacy of a drug.” Looking at a random subset of 270 of the samples, the researchers found that the vaginal gel drug levels were lower in the mucus from the non-Lactobacillus group. So, in a test tube, they mixed a laboratory strain of G. vaginalis with tenofovir. After four hours, the amount of tenofovir in the tube had decreased by 50 percent. In a similar experiment with two Lactobacillus species, the amount of the drug remained about the same. It appears that the G. vaginalis bacteria “gobbled up the drug and depleted it,” Burgener says. It’s known that microbes in the gut can impact the metabolism of medications, says clinical scientist and commentary coauthor Susan Tuddenham of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This study tells us that when we are thinking about vaginally delivered medications, we may need to think about the vaginal microbiome as well.” The work also shows that women closely following directions for vaginal medications “could be doing everything right and still not getting the full benefit of that medication,” Ghanem says.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

It might all just be a big coincidence. But scientists and public health officials are investigating whether pigs are somehow involved in the Ebola outbreak now underway in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). If so, it would add a new—but not totally unexpected—chapter to the virus's turbulent history. Scientists' interest stems from two data points. An epidemiological investigation has indicated that the first person to fall sick was a hunter who had come into contact with a wild boar carcass. And 84 pigs have recently died in eight villages in Nambwa, the epicenter of the current outbreak, according to a report issued yesterday by the DRC's Ministry of Health. Researchers have taken samples from those animals, according to the report, which says a "protocol for investigation of unusual deaths reported in pigs is under development.” “I’m doubtful that the pigs actually carry Ebola, but we have to test them,” says epidemiologist Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, who has been consulted by the Institute of National Biomedical Research in Kinshasa about the potential link. Indeed, pigs in the DRC frequently die from other pathogens; the country often has outbreaks of African swine fever, which has a very high mortality rate. “Ebola is not even the prime suspect,” says Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist from the University of California, Los Angeles, who has worked in the DRC for 15 years and is there now. Still, a role for pigs would not come as a complete scientific shock. In 2009, researchers reported in Science that they had isolated an Ebola strain called Reston from pigs in the Philippines that were suffering from a severe respiratory syndrome. Ebola Reston has never been found to cause human disease, but the study found that some pig farmers had antibodies to the virus as well, suggesting that they had been in contact with it. In 2011, a team by virologist Gary Kobinger of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg reported that Ebola Zaire—the strain implicated in the current outbreak as well as the massive West African epidemic—could sicken pigs in the lab as well, and that the virus transmitted easily between pigs housed in the same cubicle. "This observation raises the possibility that pigs are capable of shedding relatively high viral loads into the environment," the researchers wrote. A year later, the group reported that pigs could also pass on Ebola Zaire to monkeys through aerosol. That suggested they might be able to transmit it to humans as well—but nobody knows if that has ever happened. Most Ebola outbreaks are believed to start when a human comes into contact with a bat or a primate infected with the virus. The Ministry of Health (MoH) report notes that Kobinger has arrived in the country with “new reagents.” ScienceInsider could not reach Kobinger for comment. If so many pigs in the Nambwa area were infected with Ebola, you'd expect to see more human cases, says Vincent Munster, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Hamilton, Montana, who's also preparing a mission to the DRC. "That said, one needs to remain open," Munster says. "This surely warrants a more thorough investigation." The first patient or "index case" was a hunter aged 45 who died; his case has been confirmed as Ebola. Both Leendertz and Rimoin say they were told that he had contact with a boar before falling ill. But Rimoin stresses that he may have been in contact with other species as well. Wild pigs are scavengers, and one possibility is that a wild boar was infected through contact with an ape carcass and passed the infection on to the hunter, Leendertz says. Domestic pigs might then have picked up the infection from humans. That is at least as likely as the opposite possibility: that Ebola has spread in domestic pigs and the animals passed it on to humans. “You can still draw the arrows in either direction,” Leendertz says. To find a "smoking gun” that links pigs to this outbreak, Rimoin says, researchers would need to find Ebola viruses in pigs and show that the genetic sequence closely matched the one in humans. No virus has yet been sequenced from the two confirmed human cases. The outbreak is in Bas-Uélé province in the northeast of the country; investigating it has been very difficult because the area is so remote. Only two of several dozen human samples so far have tested positive for the virus, and no healthcare workers have fallen ill—which is odd in Ebola outbreaks. There are currently three "probable" and 37 "suspected" cases in seven villages, and four apparently related deaths. Nearly 300 contacts of cases are being monitored. Meanwhile, an ethics committee in the DRC yesterday approved a clinical study of an Ebola vaccine that might be able to end the outbreak more quickly. The vaccine, produced by Merck, showed promising results during the epidemic in a Guinea study, but remains unlicensed, which is why it can only be used in a formal trial. If the DRC government decides to deploy the vaccine—in addition to standard containment efforts already underway—the trial will be run jointly by MoH and Epicentre, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders.


Toronto, Ontario, June 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is proud to announce the second year of ABC Health Matters, a health literacy program developed to help Canadians increase their confidence when talking about and making decisions regarding health issues with family, friends, and health care professionals. With the support of AbbVie Corporation and McKesson Canada, and through delivery partner University Health Network (UHN), ABC Health Matters will reach patient groups with this health care provider-led program. The ambition of ABC Health Matters is to create a healthier and more confident Canada by increasing the health literacy of all Canadians. “ABC is pleased to launch the second year of ABC Health Matters to help Canadians build their confidence and knowledge to navigate the health care system,” said Mack Rogers, Executive Director, ABC Life Literacy Canada. “With the support of AbbVie, McKesson, and delivery partner UHN, we are helping learners to be more comfortable talking about their health and to become advocates for themselves and their family to make informed decisions about their health care for an improved quality of life.” An alarming 60 percent of adults and 88 percent of seniors have low health literacy (Public Health Agency of Canada). Our ability to thrive—as individuals, families, communities, and as a country—relies on good health, yet those with low health literacy are more likely to be sick, ill, or injured and have difficulty understanding and following a treatment plan. ABC Health Matters targets adults who struggle to manage their health and arms them with the knowledge to better access health care to live a more healthy life. The program was piloted across Ontario last year to adult literacy programs with very positive results. Learners reported an increase in confidence to manage their own health and the health of those they care for and an increase in knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as a patient. Ninety-three percent of participants indicated they intended to be more proactive about their health and intend to ask more questions of their health care professionals going forward. “We are very excited to continue our partnership with ABC and evolve our workshops to be leveraged in hospitals. We strongly believe that improving health literacy is vital to a healthier Canada. It is through supporting such initiatives as ABC Health Matters that we are taking a step forward in making a positive impact in healthcare sustainability,” said Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager, AbbVie. ABC Health Matters program includes two workbooks, which are delivered in two, two-hour workshops. The workbooks can also be downloaded for free from our website for use at home by learners. The first workbook includes information such as how to talk about your health with your family and with your health care provider and includes practice activities and helpful sample scripts. The second workbook includes information specific to the Ontario health care system and UHN network with details about services from your local pharmacist and doctor, Telehealth, and how to create a medical history card. “Increasing the health literacy of patients makes them full partners in their care. ABC Health Matters is an innovative example that demonstrates how pharmacists can be a key resource in health literacy and how active participation can increase positive outcomes and improve adherence for individuals, families and communities. McKesson Canada is proud to continue to partner with ABC Health Matters to support this important initiative,” said Paula Keays, President, McKesson Canada. ABC Health Matters will be delivered at three UHN locations across Toronto in workshops held during May and June. Led by McKesson pharmacist volunteers and the UHN health care team, the program will reach 150 patient-learners as well as learners across Canada accessing the program through self-led delivery. To register for a workshop or download the program workbooks for free, visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy and essential skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca. Follow us on Twitter (@abclifeliteracy). For more information about ABC Health Matters visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 29,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For more information: www.abbvie.ca on Twitter at @abbviecanada. Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson Canada is dedicated to delivering vital medicines, supplies and information technologies that enable the healthcare industry to provide patients better, safer care. Our solutions empower pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals and other healthcare institutions by enabling them to get closer to the millions of patients they serve every single day, while contributing to the quality and safety of care in Canada. For more information, visit www.mckesson.ca. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/54ae805e-959d-446c-aec2-a6ce1fbd10a6 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/96490051-c1d1-41fe-99a8-d1a5b042118a


News Article | June 19, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

A phase 1 randomized controlled trial has found an Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine, developed in Canada, was well-tolerated with no safety concerns, and high antibodies were present in participants 6 months after immunization. The study, led by Canadian researchers, is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The research team conducted the clinical trial "as part of a coordinated, international effort to expeditiously evaluate candidate EVD vaccines and make them available to control the epidemic," writes lead author Dr. May ElSherif, Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, with coauthors. There have been some recent clusters of Ebola cases in Africa and more expected as survivors may still spread the virus to uninfected people. The trial involved 40 healthy people aged 18 to 65 years and looked at safety of the vaccine and the lowest dose required for an immune response after injection with one of 3 doses. At a ratio of 3:1, thirty participants received the vaccine and 10 received placebo injections. The researchers found that adverse events were mild to moderate, with only 3 severe reactions, including headache, diarrhea and fatigue, which completely resolved. "The results of this trial were positive and very promising; all 3 dose levels of the VSV [vesicular stomatitis virus] Ebola vaccine were well-tolerated by participants, and no safety concerns were identified," says Dr. May ElSherif. Several Ebola vaccine candidates are being assessed in ongoing or recently completed phase 1, 2, and 3 trials in various parts of the world. This VSV-Ebola vaccine (formal name: rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP) was developed at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada. A similar parallel trial was conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the United States. Data from this trial and others indicated an optimum dose of 20 million pfu that will be assessed among people with compromised immune systems in areas where Ebola is endemic. An upcoming study at 2 sites in Africa, as well as in Montréal and Ottawa in Canada, will test the safety and protection levels of the VSV-Ebola vaccine in HIV-infected adults and adolescents. A completed phase 3 trial showed that the vaccine is effective in preventing EVD in contacts of recently confirmed cases. Given the ongoing presence of Ebola, "these facts underscore the importance of continuing efforts and collaborations that may ultimately lead to licensed Ebola vaccines that would protect humans and prevent or control outbreaks in the future," conclude the authors. The study was conducted by researchers from the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology at the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Health Authority, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Battelle Biomedical Research Center, Columbus, Ohio; United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense Medical Countermeasure Systems' Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program, Fort Detrick, Maryland; BioProtection Systems/NewLink Genetics Corporation, Ames, Iowa; and Veristat LLC, Southborough, Massachusetts.


News Article | June 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A phase 1 randomized controlled trial has found an Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine, developed in Canada, was well-tolerated with no safety concerns, and high antibodies were present in participants 6 months after immunization. The study, led by Canadian researchers, is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The research team conducted the clinical trial "as part of a coordinated, international effort to expeditiously evaluate candidate EVD vaccines and make them available to control the epidemic," writes lead author Dr. May ElSherif, Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, with coauthors. There have been some recent clusters of Ebola cases in Africa and more expected as survivors may still spread the virus to uninfected people. The trial involved 40 healthy people aged 18 to 65 years and looked at safety of the vaccine and the lowest dose required for an immune response after injection with one of 3 doses. At a ratio of 3:1, thirty participants received the vaccine and 10 received placebo injections. The researchers found that adverse events were mild to moderate, with only 3 severe reactions, including headache, diarrhea and fatigue, which completely resolved. "The results of this trial were positive and very promising; all 3 dose levels of the VSV [vesicular stomatitis virus] Ebola vaccine were well-tolerated by participants, and no safety concerns were identified," says Dr. May ElSherif. Several Ebola vaccine candidates are being assessed in ongoing or recently completed phase 1, 2, and 3 trials in various parts of the world. This VSV-Ebola vaccine (formal name: rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP) was developed at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada. A similar parallel trial was conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the United States. Data from this trial and others indicated an optimum dose of 20 million pfu that will be assessed among people with compromised immune systems in areas where Ebola is endemic. An upcoming study at 2 sites in Africa, as well as in Montréal and Ottawa in Canada, will test the safety and protection levels of the VSV-Ebola vaccine in HIV-infected adults and adolescents. A completed phase 3 trial showed that the vaccine is effective in preventing EVD in contacts of recently confirmed cases. Given the ongoing presence of Ebola, "these facts underscore the importance of continuing efforts and collaborations that may ultimately lead to licensed Ebola vaccines that would protect humans and prevent or control outbreaks in the future," conclude the authors. The study was conducted by researchers from the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology at the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Health Authority, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Battelle Biomedical Research Center, Columbus, Ohio; United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense Medical Countermeasure Systems' Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program, Fort Detrick, Maryland; BioProtection Systems/NewLink Genetics Corporation, Ames, Iowa; and Veristat LLC, Southborough, Massachusetts.


Toronto, Ontario, June 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is proud to announce the second year of ABC Health Matters, a health literacy program developed to help Canadians increase their confidence when talking about and making decisions regarding health issues with family, friends, and health care professionals. With the support of AbbVie Corporation and McKesson Canada, and through delivery partner University Health Network (UHN), ABC Health Matters will reach patient groups with this health care provider-led program. The ambition of ABC Health Matters is to create a healthier and more confident Canada by increasing the health literacy of all Canadians. “ABC is pleased to launch the second year of ABC Health Matters to help Canadians build their confidence and knowledge to navigate the health care system,” said Mack Rogers, Executive Director, ABC Life Literacy Canada. “With the support of AbbVie, McKesson, and delivery partner UHN, we are helping learners to be more comfortable talking about their health and to become advocates for themselves and their family to make informed decisions about their health care for an improved quality of life.” An alarming 60 percent of adults and 88 percent of seniors have low health literacy (Public Health Agency of Canada). Our ability to thrive—as individuals, families, communities, and as a country—relies on good health, yet those with low health literacy are more likely to be sick, ill, or injured and have difficulty understanding and following a treatment plan. ABC Health Matters targets adults who struggle to manage their health and arms them with the knowledge to better access health care to live a more healthy life. The program was piloted across Ontario last year to adult literacy programs with very positive results. Learners reported an increase in confidence to manage their own health and the health of those they care for and an increase in knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as a patient. Ninety-three percent of participants indicated they intended to be more proactive about their health and intend to ask more questions of their health care professionals going forward. “We are very excited to continue our partnership with ABC and evolve our workshops to be leveraged in hospitals. We strongly believe that improving health literacy is vital to a healthier Canada. It is through supporting such initiatives as ABC Health Matters that we are taking a step forward in making a positive impact in healthcare sustainability,” said Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager, AbbVie. ABC Health Matters program includes two workbooks, which are delivered in two, two-hour workshops. The workbooks can also be downloaded for free from our website for use at home by learners. The first workbook includes information such as how to talk about your health with your family and with your health care provider and includes practice activities and helpful sample scripts. The second workbook includes information specific to the Ontario health care system and UHN network with details about services from your local pharmacist and doctor, Telehealth, and how to create a medical history card. “Increasing the health literacy of patients makes them full partners in their care. ABC Health Matters is an innovative example that demonstrates how pharmacists can be a key resource in health literacy and how active participation can increase positive outcomes and improve adherence for individuals, families and communities. McKesson Canada is proud to continue to partner with ABC Health Matters to support this important initiative,” said Paula Keays, President, McKesson Canada. ABC Health Matters will be delivered at three UHN locations across Toronto in workshops held during May and June. Led by McKesson pharmacist volunteers and the UHN health care team, the program will reach 150 patient-learners as well as learners across Canada accessing the program through self-led delivery. To register for a workshop or download the program workbooks for free, visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy and essential skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca. Follow us on Twitter (@abclifeliteracy). For more information about ABC Health Matters visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 29,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For more information: www.abbvie.ca on Twitter at @abbviecanada. Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson Canada is dedicated to delivering vital medicines, supplies and information technologies that enable the healthcare industry to provide patients better, safer care. Our solutions empower pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals and other healthcare institutions by enabling them to get closer to the millions of patients they serve every single day, while contributing to the quality and safety of care in Canada. For more information, visit www.mckesson.ca. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/54ae805e-959d-446c-aec2-a6ce1fbd10a6 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/96490051-c1d1-41fe-99a8-d1a5b042118a


Toronto, Ontario, June 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is proud to announce the second year of ABC Health Matters, a health literacy program developed to help Canadians increase their confidence when talking about and making decisions regarding health issues with family, friends, and health care professionals. With the support of AbbVie Corporation and McKesson Canada, and through delivery partner University Health Network (UHN), ABC Health Matters will reach patient groups with this health care provider-led program. The ambition of ABC Health Matters is to create a healthier and more confident Canada by increasing the health literacy of all Canadians. “ABC is pleased to launch the second year of ABC Health Matters to help Canadians build their confidence and knowledge to navigate the health care system,” said Mack Rogers, Executive Director, ABC Life Literacy Canada. “With the support of AbbVie, McKesson, and delivery partner UHN, we are helping learners to be more comfortable talking about their health and to become advocates for themselves and their family to make informed decisions about their health care for an improved quality of life.” An alarming 60 percent of adults and 88 percent of seniors have low health literacy (Public Health Agency of Canada). Our ability to thrive—as individuals, families, communities, and as a country—relies on good health, yet those with low health literacy are more likely to be sick, ill, or injured and have difficulty understanding and following a treatment plan. ABC Health Matters targets adults who struggle to manage their health and arms them with the knowledge to better access health care to live a more healthy life. The program was piloted across Ontario last year to adult literacy programs with very positive results. Learners reported an increase in confidence to manage their own health and the health of those they care for and an increase in knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as a patient. Ninety-three percent of participants indicated they intended to be more proactive about their health and intend to ask more questions of their health care professionals going forward. “We are very excited to continue our partnership with ABC and evolve our workshops to be leveraged in hospitals. We strongly believe that improving health literacy is vital to a healthier Canada. It is through supporting such initiatives as ABC Health Matters that we are taking a step forward in making a positive impact in healthcare sustainability,” said Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager, AbbVie. ABC Health Matters program includes two workbooks, which are delivered in two, two-hour workshops. The workbooks can also be downloaded for free from our website for use at home by learners. The first workbook includes information such as how to talk about your health with your family and with your health care provider and includes practice activities and helpful sample scripts. The second workbook includes information specific to the Ontario health care system and UHN network with details about services from your local pharmacist and doctor, Telehealth, and how to create a medical history card. “Increasing the health literacy of patients makes them full partners in their care. ABC Health Matters is an innovative example that demonstrates how pharmacists can be a key resource in health literacy and how active participation can increase positive outcomes and improve adherence for individuals, families and communities. McKesson Canada is proud to continue to partner with ABC Health Matters to support this important initiative,” said Paula Keays, President, McKesson Canada. ABC Health Matters will be delivered at three UHN locations across Toronto in workshops held during May and June. Led by McKesson pharmacist volunteers and the UHN health care team, the program will reach 150 patient-learners as well as learners across Canada accessing the program through self-led delivery. To register for a workshop or download the program workbooks for free, visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy and essential skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit www.abclifeliteracy.ca. Follow us on Twitter (@abclifeliteracy). For more information about ABC Health Matters visit ABCHealthMatters.ca. AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 29,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For more information: www.abbvie.ca on Twitter at @abbviecanada. Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson Canada is dedicated to delivering vital medicines, supplies and information technologies that enable the healthcare industry to provide patients better, safer care. Our solutions empower pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals and other healthcare institutions by enabling them to get closer to the millions of patients they serve every single day, while contributing to the quality and safety of care in Canada. For more information, visit www.mckesson.ca. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/54ae805e-959d-446c-aec2-a6ce1fbd10a6 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/96490051-c1d1-41fe-99a8-d1a5b042118a


News Article | June 19, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A phase 1 randomized controlled trial has found an Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine, developed in Canada, was well-tolerated with no safety concerns, and high antibodies were present in participants 6 months after immunization. The study, led by Canadian researchers, is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The research team conducted the clinical trial "as part of a coordinated, international effort to expeditiously evaluate candidate EVD vaccines and make them available to control the epidemic," writes lead author Dr. May ElSherif, Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, with coauthors. There have been some recent clusters of Ebola cases in Africa and more expected as survivors may still spread the virus to uninfected people. The trial involved 40 healthy people aged 18 to 65 years and looked at safety of the vaccine and the lowest dose required for an immune response after injection with one of 3 doses. At a ratio of 3:1, thirty participants received the vaccine and 10 received placebo injections. The researchers found that adverse events were mild to moderate, with only 3 severe reactions, including headache, diarrhea and fatigue, which completely resolved. "The results of this trial were positive and very promising; all 3 dose levels of the VSV [vesicular stomatitis virus] Ebola vaccine were well-tolerated by participants, and no safety concerns were identified," says Dr. May ElSherif. Several Ebola vaccine candidates are being assessed in ongoing or recently completed phase 1, 2, and 3 trials in various parts of the world. This VSV-Ebola vaccine (formal name: rVSV?G-ZEBOV-GP) was developed at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada. A similar parallel trial was conducted at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the United States. Data from this trial and others indicated an optimum dose of 20 million pfu that will be assessed among people with compromised immune systems in areas where Ebola is endemic. An upcoming study at 2 sites in Africa, as well as in Montréal and Ottawa in Canada, will test the safety and protection levels of the VSV-Ebola vaccine in HIV-infected adults and adolescents. A completed phase 3 trial showed that the vaccine is effective in preventing EVD in contacts of recently confirmed cases. Given the ongoing presence of Ebola, "these facts underscore the importance of continuing efforts and collaborations that may ultimately lead to licensed Ebola vaccines that would protect humans and prevent or control outbreaks in the future," conclude the authors.


Four authoritative reviews of active smoking and breast cancer have been published since 2000, but only one considered data after 2002 and conclusions varied. Three reviews of secondhand smoke (SHS) and breast cancer (2004-2006) each came to different conclusions. With 30 new studies since 2002, further review was deemed desirable. An Expert Panel was convened by four Canadian agencies, the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to comprehensively examine the weight of evidence from epidemiological and toxicological studies and understanding of biological mechanisms regarding the relationship between tobacco smoke and breast cancer. This article summarises the panel's full report (http://www.otru.org/pdf/special/expert_panel_tobacco_breast_cancer.pdf). There are 20 known or suspected mammary carcinogens in tobacco smoke, and recognised biological mechanisms that explain how exposure to these carcinogens could lead to breast cancer. Results from the nine cohort studies reporting exposure metrics more detailed than ever/never and ex/current smoker show that early age of smoking commencement, higher pack-years and longer duration of smoking increase breast cancer risk 15% to 40%. Three meta-analyses report 35% to 50% increases in breast cancer risk for long-term smokers with N-acetyltransferase 2 gene (NAT2) slow acetylation genotypes. The active smoking evidence bolsters support for three meta-analyses that each reported about a 65% increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk among never smokers exposed to SHS. The Panel concluded that: 1) the association between active smoking and breast cancer is consistent with causality and 2) the association between SHS and breast cancer among younger, primarily premenopausal women who have never smoked is consistent with causality.


Ulanova M.,Lakehead University | Tsang R.S.W.,Public Health Agency of Canada
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Haemophilus influenzae, particularly H influenzae serotype b (Hib), is an important pathogen that causes serious diseases like meningitis and septicaemia. Since the introduction of Hib conjugate vaccines in the 1990s, the epidemiology of invasive H influenzae disease has changed substantially, with most infections now caused by non-Hib strains. We discuss the importance of H influenzae serotype a (Hia) as a cause of serious morbidity and mortality and its global epidemiology, clinical presentation, microbiology, immunology, prevention, and control. Much like Hib, the capsule of Hia is an important virulence factor contributing to the development of invasive disease. Molecular typing of Hia has identified distinct clonal groups, with some linked to severe disease and high case-fatality rates. Similarities between Hia and Hib capsules, their clinical presentation, and immunology of infection suggest that a bivalent Hia-Hib capsular polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine could offer protection against these two important serotypes of H influenzae. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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