Immunology

A new study shows how dangerous autoimmune responses, seen in diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, might be "dialed down" without compromising the immune system's ability to fight viruses and bacteria. 

The new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences defines a mechanism at work in an anti-autoimmune drug candidate called ozanimod, currently in advanced phase 3 clinical trials for multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis.

A new position statement goes contrary to the consensus and finds that the introduction of gluten into the infant diet, or the practice of introducing gluten during breast-feeding, does not reduce the risk of celiac disease in infants at risk. The statement appears in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Imagine a virus so serious the government recommends that women stop getting pregnant.

It exists, and it is now in Brazil, which is a big concern as the Olympics approaches. The Zika virus, native to parts of Africa and Asia, has been spreading locally among people who have not traveled abroad. There is no vaccine against the virus or antiviral treatment.

Zika is generally a mild illness, spread by a day-biting mosquito. However, there is a worrisome, but as of yet unproven, association of infected mothers in Brazil giving birth to babies with small heads and underdeveloped brains, Dr. Khan said. There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of babies born with this condition, known as microcephaly, since Zika first appeared in Brazil in May 2015.

The bacterium Bacillus cereus had so far been considered to be exclusively endospore-forming. In response to harsh conditions, the bacteria form protective endospores enabling them to remain dormant for extended periods, then they reactivate to become fully functioning bacteria when conditions are favorable again.

While the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has prompted the medical community and media to educate the public to the dangers of misusing and overusing antibiotics but there may be more to the problem than medications - an ecologist is finding a way to blame nuclear research from the 1950s, good timing as environmentalists have declared open war on 'green' scientists who support nuclear energy as the most viable alternative to fossil fuels.

The children's flu vaccine doesn't trigger an allergic reaction in those with egg allergy, finds a study in The BMJ today, and it is also appropriate for young people with well-controlled asthma or recurrent wheeze.

Evidence suggests that children and young people are the main spreaders of influenza infection. In 2012, the UK Department of Health therefore recommended annual vaccination of those aged 2-16 years of age with live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) as part of the NHS childhood vaccination program.

Why would you want to create a group of farmers who would not need state milk producer licenses, permits, or to obey state milk quality rules while selling something that everyone not making a buck hustling it or being duped by faux health claims into buying it knows is dangerous?
Sometimes viruses do not attack right away, they instead find a way to enter the cells of the human body without tripping the alarm, and stay there without notice until it is time to strike. It’s how viruses in the herpesvirus family, like human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), do their business.

HCMV infects people at high rates all around the world. People with compromised or weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable. In newborn babies, the virus can cause deafness, intellectual disability and learning disorders. Other viruses in the herpesvirus family can cause cancer, shingles and mononucleosis. Once people are infected, they will have the virus their entire lives, due to its ability to cycle between latent and active states in the body.

Since making its debut during World War II, the influenza vaccine has become one of the most heavily criticized immunizations. It is not just anti-vaxxers, even science advocates think it underperforms.

Scientists have shown how a parasitic worm infection common in the developing world increases susceptibility to tuberculosis. The study demonstrated that treating the parasite reduces lung damage seen in mice that also are infected with tuberculosis, thereby eliminating the vulnerability to tuberculosis (TB) that the parasite is known to cause.

The study raises the possibility of using inexpensive and widely available anti-parasitic drugs as a preventive measure in places where the parasite and TB are common -- stopping infection with the parasite and reducing susceptibility to TB and the risk of a latent TB infection progressing to disease.