Medicine News: Toxins, Viruses and Vaccines

By Ali Mahr | HealthDay Reporter “We use chloroquine so we have to keep a very low blood level in the body. This is true for all over the world. Every 10 days we…

Medicine News: Toxins, Viruses and Vaccines

By Ali Mahr | HealthDay Reporter

“We use chloroquine so we have to keep a very low blood level in the body. This is true for all over the world. Every 10 days we should see a blood test, but it can vary depending on the patient’s health status.”

Dr. Harimela Dissanayake (pictured here on the left) is a doctor at the Georgetown Primary Health Centre, a government-run clinic that has been working for the past two years with a local charity called Kolkata Health.

The idea behind the new scheme is to reduce tuberculosis infection rates in the Kolkata community where chloroquine is most popular in India by giving flu vaccinations, respiratory and pneumonia vaccines, malaria-prevention drugs and tuberculosis treatment. The pills are given at a nearby pharmacy where funds are raised through donations from business owners, some of whom were at the clinic today.

The vaccination program aims to address the 70% of tuberculosis cases that are resistant to usual treatment. Another 18% of those infected are untreatable.

One of those people is the Kolkata patient who received treatment yesterday. The Yavatmal government says this program will scale up tuberculosis treatment nationally.

Tanzania’s malaria vaccine produced the first malaria-treatment efficacy data today in West Africa in what could lead to the first malaria vaccine on the continent.

The pilot project, funded by the World Health Organization, will use monoclonal antibodies to increase the protective effect of an existing treatment for severe malaria.

The company working on the vaccine, Sanaria, develops tiny nanosciences that sense the malaria parasite in the bloodstream and block its entry into the host’s organs. An existing vaccine, Artemisinin Combination Therapy, inhibits the liver protein that activates the parasite.

The study appears today in The Lancet.

The news comes as the clock ticks down to World Malaria Day on July 25, and as the global burden of malaria continues to grow, hitting 290 million this year.

It’s also a day when hopes have risen that malaria vaccine research will head in the right direction. Trials that targeted children at risk from malaria earlier this year showed promising results: the safety and protection of the vaccine in 2,413 children was 90%. So far, only one malaria vaccine has been tested in human children: RTS,S, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, and malaria was the main cause of deaths in four of the 12 countries it was tested in.

There are about 22 other malaria vaccines under development. Another candidate is one from Sarcos, a biotech company developing a small molecule vaccine against mosquitoes. One expert describes the company’s findings as looking “like myelitis and crying in the same sentence,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An uncharacteristically strong typhoid shot has reached space for the first time, according to an Imperial College researcher who just returned from China, whose team are part of a collaborative project with NASA which is designed to better understand how all the elements of the rocket work together.

You can now obtain a shot that has the three of the elements of the MMR that one could use as a vaccine. The “availability” might come as a surprise to some, since a second dose has been available only for 10 years. Mainspring is an IRGC booster that was developed in the ’70s and widely used for vaccinations. It was considered to be a bad match with the insulin. All three of the critical ingredients are in this new version of the shot, according to the Telegraph.

The vaccine has been used in “tens of thousands” of children since last November in China, said Dr. Bong Engsah, the researcher, who led the Chinese portion of the project.

The shot is now being tested in humans and to be used in space. A team led by David Cox of the University of Salford has been working on the TB vaccine in the last few years, using pneumococcal vaccines as a springboard for space travel. It’s hoped the vaccination will provide protection from all three pneumococcal diseases — which can cause serious lung complications — but Cox cautioned that the study was still ongoing.

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