H5N1 influenza, also known as avian influenza, is considered a major global threat to human health, with high fatality rates. While little had been known about the specific effects of H5N1 on organs and cells targeted by the virus, researchers at Beijing University, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and SUNY Downstate report in the September 29, 2007 issue of the Lancet detailed studies of human H5N1 victims that shed light on the anatomic distribution of the virus and its pathogenesis.
Using a combination of molecular and protein labeling techniques, the authors found that H5N1 is present in the gastrointestinal tract and immune and central nervous systems, as well as the respiratory tract. In one patient, virus was transmitted across the placenta to the fetus.
The newly obtained data are important in the clinical, pathological, and epidemiological investigations of human H5N1 infection, and have widespread implications for public-health and healthcare providers. Although there has been considerable progress in studying the virus itself, and in developing surveillance networks, diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines, only limited information has been obtained concerning the mechanisms by which H5N1 causes disease.
H5N1 infections initially seemed to be restricted to the lungs, but later reports have suggested that influenza A H5N1 could disseminate beyond the lungs. Lung damage is severe and disproportionate to the number of cells that are infected, with macrophages and T-cells targeted for infection. These latest findings indicate that lung damage is not due to virus replication alone and support the hypothesis that indirect effects, such as soluble factors known as cytokine and chemokines, are important.
According to the paper’s senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and professor of Epidemiology, Neurology, and Pathology at Columbia, “This is the first major paper from the Beijing Infectious Disease Center, established in the aftermath of SARS by Beijing University, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (the CDC of China), and the Mailman School of Public Health. The work helps us to understand H5N1’s high fatality rate, as well as serving as model for global collaboration in the field of emerging infectious diseases.”
Randee Sacks Levine | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy