Category Archives: Influenza

Pandemic influenza | Avian flu | bird flu | Spanish flu | SARS
Include any kind of influenza where there may be a possibility of transmission to humans.

Novel strategy may improve seasonal flu vaccine effectiveness

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 23 May 2016) New findings describe a novel strategy for predicting how circulating influenza viruses will evolve, an approach that may help scientists create better seasonal influenza vaccines. The findings, which appear in the journal Nature Microbiology, were conducted by scientists affiliated with the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Threat of novel swine flu viruses in pigs and humans

(eLife 26 April 2016) The wide diversity of flu in pigs across multiple continents, mostly introduced from humans, highlights the significant potential of new swine flu strains emerging, according to a study to be published in eLife.

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NIH study finds factors that may influence influenza vaccine effectiveness

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 19 April 2016) Currently, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to induce high levels of protective antibodies against hemagglutinin (HA), a protein found on the surface of the influenza virus that enables the virus to enter a human cell and initiate infection. New research conducted by NIAID scientists found that higher levels of antibody against a different flu surface protein — neuraminidase (NA) — were the better predictor of protection against flu infection and its unpleasant side effects.

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Influenza in the tropics shows variable seasonality

EurekAlert 27 April 2016

Whilst countries in the tropics and subtropics exhibit diverse patterns of seasonal flu activity, they can be grouped into eight geographical zones to optimise vaccine formulation and delivery timing, according to a study published April 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Siddhivinayak Hirve from the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, and colleagues.

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Job insecurity is driving the best and brightest out of medical research

Brisbane Times Anna Patty April 29 2016

Darren Saunders was developing a cure for pancreatic cancer when he gave up his medical research job to find one that was more secure.
The constant stress of going from contract to contract each year and spending precious time applying for research grants finally took its toll.

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Flu jabs ‘more effective in morning’

BBC News 26 April 2016

Morning flu jabs provoke a stronger immune response than those given in the afternoon, a study shows.

The trial at 24 doctors’ practices found people vaccinated before lunch produced the most defensive antibodies.

The University of Birmingham team suggested immunising people in tune with the body’s natural rhythm could be a cheap way to save lives.

Flu vaccine: Queensland home to almost half the country’s flu cases

Brisbane Times Jorge Branco April 14 2016

Health authorities are bracing for a “very busy winter period” as flu cases already hit more than double this time last year.
Almost half of all cases in the country have been from Queensland, more than 2500 as of Thursday.

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