Study supports concept of 2-stage H5N1 vaccination

first_imgOct 13, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The human immune system may respond better to a vaccine for a new strain of H5N1 avian influenza if it is prepared in advance with a vaccine based on an existing H5N1 strain, the preliminary results of a government-sponsored study suggest.In the study, 37 people who had received an H5N1 vaccine in 1998 were recently given another H5N1 vaccine based on a 2004 strain. They had a much stronger immune response than did another group who received only the newer vaccine, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).”These preliminary findings need to be confirmed in larger studies, but they offer the intriguing possibility that pre-pandemic priming with existing H5N1 vaccines may boost the immune response to a different H5N1 vaccine tailor-made years later to thwart an emerging pandemic,” NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci commented in a news release.Researchers from the University of Rochester were scheduled to present a preliminary report of their findings today at the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s annual meeting in Toronto, the NIAID reported.When a pandemic flu strain emerges, it will probably take several months to develop a vaccine to match it, and more than one dose will probably be necessary to generate protective immunity, the NIAID said. But providing two doses would be logistically difficult, so researchers have been looking for other strategies. One proposed option is to vaccinate people in advance with a related vaccine in the hope that only one dose of the pandemic vaccine would be necessary.After the first human cases of H5N1 illness occurred in Hong Kong in 1997, the NIAID funded the production of an experimental vaccine based on the Hong Kong virus and tested it in a clinical trial at the University of Rochester in 1998. The researchers found 37 people from that trial who were willing to take part in the new study. Participants in the earlier trial had received two doses of the vaccine.This year, the 37 volunteers were vaccinated with one 90-microgram (mcg) dose of an H5N1 vaccine based on a strain that circulated in Vietnam in 2004, according to a study abstract provided by the University of Rochester. The vaccine is made by Sanofi Pasteur and is the one the US government is currently stockpiling in the face of the pandemic threat, according to Fauci. (That vaccine has shown only modest benefits in trials so far, with about half of vaccinees showing a good immune response after two 90-mcg doses, or about a dozen times the dosage used in seasonal flu vaccine.)The previously vaccinated volunteers had a mean antibody titer (measured by hemagglutination inhibition) of 64.0, with 70% of them achieving a titer of at least 40, according to the study abstract. These findings were compared with results in some volunteers who received 90 mcg of the Sanofi vaccine in a previous study and had never had H5N1 vaccine before. These volunteers had a mean antibody titer of 27.1 after one dose, and only 29% had a titer of at least 40.”We studied a relatively small group, so that certainly, this issue needs to be studied more thoroughly in a larger group of people,” senior author Dr. John J. Treanor, MD, commented in a University of Rochester news release.If further studies confirm the findings, pandemic response planners might consider giving a “priming” shot to key personnel, such as healthcare workers, said Treanor, who directs the university’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit.Fauci told CIDRAP News today, “The data look very encouraging, but the number of people [in the study] is relatively small.””These data add some scientific credence to the concept that there may be some benefit to priming someone with a potential pandemic strain even though the actual pandemic strain might be somewhat different,” he said. “It informs the debate to allow you to have a more scientific basis if you’re considering priming.”See also:NIH news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2006/Pages/IDSA.aspxUniversity of Rochester news releasehttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/uorm-ebs101206.phplast_img read more

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Bhiroog elected to head GHRA interim body

first_imgBUSINESSMAN Poonai Bhiroog will head a nine-member interim body to run the affairs of the Guyana Horse Racing Authority (GHRA) following an election held last Sunday on the West Coast Berbice.The newly elected body replaced the previous administration which was inactive for a number of years, following the resignation of the-then president Vickram Ouditt who demitted office in February last year.Other members of the executives are: Fazal Habibulla (First vice-president), Dennis De Roop, (Second vice-president), Mohindra Persaud (Third vice-president), Godwyn Allicock (secretary), Francis Chichester (treasurer) and Issac Dallo (assistant secretary/treasurer).The committee members are: Nazrudeen Mohammed (Junior), Therbhuwan Jagdeo and Lakeram Sookdeo.The Jockeys’ representative is Alan Padmore while Colin Elcock and Zaheer Sheriff are the trainers’ and horse owners’ representatives.After the elections, Bhiroog said his immediate task is to raise the standard of the sport and to attract more small stables to horse racing.Meanwhile, Allicock in an invited comment yesterday indicated that the interim body will also be looking at the implementation of the long overdue horse racing legislation.Over the years the work of the GHRA has been put on hold due to the lack of a critical piece of legislation that will legitimise its operations.Dubbed the ‘Sport of Kings’, horse racing, since its resuscitation locally, has been operating under a legal document that was registered under the Miscellaneous Deeds Act.But back in 2014, a key step to regularise the sport was taken when the-then Legal Adviser to the Guyana Horse Racing Authority (GHRA), Rajendra Poonai, handed over draft legislation on the sport to then Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony.Nothing much was done by the previous administration with regard to the implementation of the legislation.However, the present Government cannot escape their fair share of criticism since a copy of a horse racing legislation has been with the government for some time now.In fact, an official from the GHRA has confirmed that the copy was handed over to the National Sports Commission late 2015.Subsequently, Assistant Director of Sport, Brian Smith, confirmed earlier this year that NSC had indeed received the document which was sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers.But the Attorney General Chambers remained sceptical about the status of the document.The draft Guyana Horse Racing Authority Act, which will allow the sport to run more effectively and to deal with violators, includes: increasing the membership of the Racing Authority from nine to 15; including the Bush Lot United Turf Club as a member of the GHRA and implementing a two-year term for members of the Authority.The legislation, which was championed by former GHRA president Justice Cecil Kennard, will also give the GHRA the power to schedule race dates for race meetings in the event that a club is unable to run off a race meeting.last_img read more

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Formula E partners with Umicore on battery recycling program

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Formula E The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has announced a partnership with Belgian materials technology and recycling group Umicore to recycle the Li-ion battery units and cells used during the first two seasons of the racing series.The batteries from Formula E’s first two seasons, which were built by Williams Advanced Engineering, have been collected and are in the process of being recycled by Umicore.The battery packs will be dismantled and the valuable metals recovered, using Umicore’s proprietary closed-loop process, which includes hydrometallurgical treatment. The metals will be transformed into alloys that can be used in new rechargeable batteries or other products. According to Formula E, the metals can be recycled an infinite number of times.“To be able to recycle our battery cells with a closed-loop approach means we’re doing our utmost to limit the impact we have on the environment, while promoting a wider message of clean mobility,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.last_img read more

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