"Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions—such as vaccines—may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking." Two papers
demonstrate empirical evidence for related models predicting the origin of virulence: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 21, 2012 -
A new HIV vaccine
is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX
and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus.
The study itself faced criticism
from the outset.
posted by borkencode
on Sep 24, 2009 -
A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus
. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine
, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist
at a former Soviet biological weapons lab.
posted by permafrost
on Mar 29, 2009 -
1.7 million deaths in the U.S. and 180-360 million dead globally.
That's the estimate of the impact of the next influenza pandemic
from Michael Osterholm, published
in today's New England Journal of Medicine
. He warns that almost every public health response to the inevitable emergence of pandemic influenza A strain is unplanned or inadequate: A vaccine would take minimum six months (and millions of fertilized chicken eggs); there are no plans to setup and staff the temporary isolation wards or replace dead health-care workers; nor are there detailed plans for handling the number of dead bodies. Given the deeply interconnected nature of the global economy a pandemic would be impossible to stop and wreak havoc in every nation. "Frankly the crisis could for all we know have started last night in some village in Southeast Asia," said
Dr. Paul Gully, Canada's deputy chief public health officer. "We don't have any time to waste and even if we did have some time, the kinds of things we need to do will take years. Right now, the best we can do is try to survive it. We need a Manhattan Project yesterday."
posted by docgonzo
on May 5, 2005 -
But what about the kitties? Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
. FIV has been recognized as a syndrome since 1986, and as with AIDS, has been found in stored blood samples dating back to the 60s. Unlike HIV, however, for FIV there's a vaccine
. Not that everyone
is excited about it.
Originally, this was to be a post intended to provide something lighter until this
appeared: In addition, over 25 large cat species including, cheetahs, lions, and panthers have their own strain of the virus. Despite similarity among these viruses, transmission among species has never been documented. Scientists think that FIV is an old virus and may be the grandfather of all immunodeficiency viruses. Comparison of its' genetic code point to a virus that is millions of years old.
Googling led to several topics.
posted by y2karl
on Dec 1, 2002 -