Tag Archives: Immune system

Pfizer, AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine has not been approved for children. How are clinical trials carried out for children? | Instant News

None of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines are approved for children, with the Pfizer option recommended for those aged 16 years and over and AstraZeneca shots are for adults only.

Pfizer now studied the vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years, meanwhile AstraZeneca recruited children between the ages of five and 12 for further trials.

So why weren’t children prioritized in the first phase of the coronavirus vaccine launch? And how are children involved in vaccine clinical trials?

Asha Bowen, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Telethon Kids Institute and Perth Children’s Hospital, said it was somewhat unusual that a specially approved vaccine was not tested on children.

“Most of our vaccination models prevent vaccine-preventable diseases as early as possible,” he said.

But with COVID-19, it’s a different story.

Children and COVID-19

Research shows even children not immune to COVID-19, with some developing and inflammatory conditions When it comes to viruses, children are less likely to get sick than older adults.

Dr Bowen said it was not clear why the children were not the main source of transmission of COVID.

“I think that’s what our scientists are trying very hard to look for,” he said.

“This is unusual from a respiratory virus perspective, where we usually see children getting very sick, and also being very predominantly involved in viral transmission.”

Dr Bowen said children play a role in influenza transmission, which is why the annual launch of flu shots includes children.

Nicholas Wood, a pediatrician and researcher at the University of Sydney, explains that because children do not appear to have many infections or come in with too severe a disease, there is no “urgency” to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in childhood.

A mother and child walk to school holding hands.  The boy smiled.
Currently, there is no Australian COVID-19 vaccine that is approved for children.(Shutterstock)

How are children involved in clinical trials?

Before the Therapeutic Good Administration gives approval for a vaccine, it must be tested extensively – first in the laboratory, then in animals and, finally, in humans.

The first stage of a clinical trial usually involves healthy adult volunteers, with the last stage involving a wider range of participants, including children.

Robert Booy, a senior associate professor at the National Center for Immunization Research, said the trial started with the older children, then gradually included the younger cohort.

“Once there is evidence of good and safe protection in the older age group, whether they are young adults or older adolescents, then you will gradually descend at five or 10 years at a time,” he said.

Dr Bowen said trials involving different age groups were sometimes run concurrently if there was insufficient safety data available about the drug.

And while children were “very, very rarely” enrolled in treatment trials, Dr. Bowen explained, this is usually the opposite case with vaccines.

But given the epidemiology of COVID-19, he is satisfied that Australian vaccine producers have followed the “appropriate pipeline”.

“And then running those same clinical trials in children, to find out whether the vaccine is safe and also whether it has a benefit is very important.

“At this time, it is an absolute gift that children do not catch COVID, so we have the opportunity to wait.”

Dr. Wood agrees.

“If the opposite happens, and children are dying and thousands are infected, [researchers] will probably jump fairly quickly from an adult trial to a younger children’s trial, “he says.

Ethical considerations for child trials

Dr Wood said before taking part in clinical trials it was important to clearly communicate the potential risks to those taking part and their guardians.

Because children under 18 years did not meet Australia’s legal age limit, researchers asked adolescents and children in older age groups to agree to participate.

The older age group received specific information explaining what was going to happen, but for very young participants the responsibility rests with the parents.

“We can’t do that [provide information] for one or two year olds. It really depends on the parents, “said Dr. Wood.

Dr Bowen said before enrolling children, researchers needed to understand safety parameters.

This includes having a clear understanding of the side effects, because if something goes wrong, the consequences can last a child’s lifetime.

He said adults can provide consent and understand the potential risks and possible benefits.

And in general, he adds, it’s easier for researchers to predict how drugs might work in adults.

That’s because fully mature adults have a relatively stable physiology compared to children who are still growing.

So when will children be vaccinated?

If Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s testing goes well, Australia has included children in the third and final phase of vaccine rollout, which is slated to start between September and November this year.

Dr Bowen is optimistic the vaccine will be approved for use in children by the Therapeutic Goods Administration before that.

“We’ve seen this vaccine develop very, very fast, and the safety profile is very, very good,” he said.

“I hope that by the time we reach stage three, there will be safety data and efficacy data for children who will also be vaccinated.”

Dr Wood said although they were not as severe as parents, engaging children was important for developing herd immunity, as they likely played a role in transmitting the virus.

“If a vaccine succeeds in stopping transmission, then basically we want to give it to everyone to have a herd immunity effect so we can stop transmission of the virus,” he said.


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Local experts say the UK variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than the original virus | Instant News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Florida leads the country in terms of the dangerous variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the UK, with at least 186 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.

The Leon County Health Department said at least there was two cases of the British variant in Leon County.

Experts at Big Bend who have been studying the virus for months say this is perfectly normal.

Currently the health department says it is working with epidemiologists to carry out contact tracing so they can monitor who has had close contact with the two positive cases.

Dr. Zacai Suo is a leading professor at Florida State University who runs a research laboratory that tracks virus mutations.

He said the British variant in particular was more contagious than the original virus because it entered the immune system more quickly and without much effort.

“Most of us don’t have antibodies because we haven’t been immunized so the virus basically has a way of attacking our immune system and that’s what’s a concern right now,” said Suo.

While the coronavirus vaccine helps increase antibodies against the virus, variants can make it less effective.

FSU Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Qian Yin said the symptoms were almost the same as COVID-19 but warned it could infect a person sooner.

“The more contagious it will infect more people and even with the same death rate we will see a higher number of severe disease or even death,” said Dr. Yin.

That’s one reason why Department of Health officer Leon Claudia Blackburn is asking people to continue to follow the COVID-19 protocol.

It said that while more COVID-19 vaccines were in the process, supplies were still very limited.

Both Moderna and Pfizer say their vaccines have proven effective against this variant.


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Scientists develop new method to block coronavirus replication | Instant News

Houston : Scientists have proposed a method to block the protein that a new coronavirus uses to cut and destroy key components of the immune system and produce copies of itself. This progress may lead to new anti-virus Coronavirus disease.

Researchers, including those from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health San Antonio) in San Antonio, USA, have developed two molecules that inhibit the SARS-CoV-2-PLpro molecule used by the coronavirus. Scissors” enzyme.

According to the study published in the journal Science, SARS-CoV-2-PLpro promotes infection by sensing and processing viruses and human proteins.

The senior author of the study, Shaun K. Olsen, said: “This enzyme has a double whammy.”

Olsen said: “It stimulates the release of proteins necessary for virus replication, and it also suppresses cytokine and chemokine molecules that signal the immune system to attack the infection.”

He explained that SARS-CoV-2-PLpro can cleave the human protein ubiquitin and ISG15, thereby maintaining the integrity of the protein by acting like molecular scissors.

Scientists have developed this inhibitor, which is very effective in blocking the activity of SARS-CoV-2-PLpro, but cannot recognize other similar proteins in human cells.

He added: “This is a key point: the inhibitor is specific to this viral enzyme and will not cross-react with human enzymes with similar functions.”

The researchers say that this specificity will be a key determinant of the therapeutic value of the method.

When scientists compared SARS-CoV-2-PLpro with similar enzymes in coronaviruses in recent decades (such as the 2002-03 SARS pandemic virus), they learned how it processes ubiquitin and ISG15 It is very different from the corresponding way.

Olsen said: “One of the key questions is whether this can explain the differences in how the viruses we see affect humans.”

By understanding the similarities and differences of these enzymes in various coronaviruses, researchers say it is possible to develop inhibitors that are effective against multiple viruses.

Olsen said that when other coronavirus variants appear in the future, these inhibitors may also be modified.

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Nutritional advice for the immune system | Instant News

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an important nutrient to help boost the immune system. Credit: Julia Glassmacher | Lantern Reporter

Oranges, squash, and mushrooms are foods you will probably never find together on a plate, but they all have one thing in common: they boost your immune system.

Foods contain key nutrients that help ensure immune health, Rachel Kopec, assistant professor of human nutrition at Ohio State, says. These include vitamins A, D, C and E, which contribute to fighting disease – something that’s especially important during the cold and common cold, as well as the current pandemic.

When it comes to immune system surgery, Kopec says vitamins A and D are very important.

“That’s very important in helping your immune system function properly in identifying and maturing the types of worker cells circulating in your body to identify foreign pathogens,” Kopec said.

Foods that are nutrient dense in vitamins A and D include citrus vegetables, green leafy vegetables and fortified milk, which are loaded with vitamins and minerals, Kopec said. He added, mushrooms and other mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D.

Kopec says there are other ways in which people can get vitamin D outside of food. She said sunlight is a great source, especially for those who don’t eat dairy products or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

“Even though we are starting to move towards winter, you can get enough vitamin D every day with 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure,” Kopec said. “We don’t recommend more than that because it raises, of course, concerns about skin damage.”

Vitamins C and E, on the other hand, work together to help the body attack invading pathogens and prevent them from multiplying, he said.

Green and red peppers, strawberries and citrus fruits – such as oranges and grapefruits – are all rich in vitamin C, while vitamin E is found in vegetable oils used for cooking as well as nuts and seeds, Kopec said.

Something that Kopec says he’s promoting and his research is getting nutrition from food sources, because it’s not just the amount you consume, but how well your body absorbs its shape.

“When you get these nutrients from food sources, they are often packaged in a way that is easier to transport or absorb than if you get them in refined or crystallized form from supplements,” Kopec says.

Janele Bayless, health coordinator for nutrition education at Ohio State, says more than just the right diet can help your body’s immune response.

Bayless says hydration is also key because dehydration can cause headaches, affect cognitive performance and contribute to energy loss – all of the things that can overwhelm the body and negatively impact a person’s immune system.

Bayless says that exercising and taking care of your mental health are also key to a healthy lifestyle and resources through the fitness center and at RPAC can help students do that.

Rachel Green, a human nutrition dietitian at the College of Education and Human Ecology, says she recommends drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day and sleeping seven to eight hours a night.

“The basics for supporting your health are also the basics for supporting your immune health,” says Green.

However, regarding COVID-19, simply eating these foods will not prevent you from contracting infectious diseases, but rather help your body fend off them, Kopec said.

“All of these [nutrients] it is very important to have as a barrier that you put on beforehand to help your body fend off or ward off potential infections, ‚ÄĚsays Kopec.


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Single-cell RNA-seq answers key questions in islet cell biology and diabetes research | Instant News

The pancreas is a stomach organ that produces digestive enzymes and hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. This hormone-producing function is localized on the island of Langerhans, which forms a group of various types of endocrine cells.

Among these are beta cells, which produce the hormone insulin which is needed to lower glucose levels (a type of sugar) in our blood, as well as alpha cells, which produce glucagon hormones whose job is to increase glucose levels in the blood.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells. Regenerative medicine aims to replenish beta cell mass, and thus support and ultimately replace current insulin replacement therapy.

Changes in island composition, including lack of beta cell function and beta cell dedifference, also contribute to type II diabetes.

Therefore, a deeper understanding of the identity and crosstalk of various islet cell types leads to better characterization of both forms of diabetes and can contribute to the development of new therapeutic concepts.

Single cell transcriptomes are powerful techniques for characterizing cellular identity. Previously, CeMM researchers from the groups Christoph Bock and Stefan Kubicek at CeMM published the first single cell transcriptome from primary human pancreatic islet cells.

Advances in technology have enabled applications for the generation of global single cell atlase human and mouse transcript. Despite this progress, the single cell approach remains technologically challenging given the very small amount of RNA used in the experiment. Therefore, it is important to ensure the quality and purity of the resulting single cell transcriptome.

CeMM researchers in two laboratories who contributed unexpectedly identified high hormone expression in non-endocrine cell types, both in their own dataset and published single cell studies.

They set out to explain whether this would be the result of contamination by RNA molecules, for example from dying cells, and how they could be removed to obtain a more reliable dataset.

Such contamination appears to be present in RNA-seq single cell data from most tissues but is most visible on pancreatic islets. Islet endocrine cells are exclusively devoted to the production of a single hormone, and insulin in beta cells and glucagon in alpha cells is expressed to a higher level than a typical “household” gene.

Thus, the redistribution of these transcripts to other cell types is very clear. Based on these observations, their goal is to develop, validate and apply methods to experimentally determine and computationally eliminate the contamination.

In their investigation, the CeMM researchers used prickly cells of different cell types, both rat and human samples, which they added to their pancreatic islet samples. Importantly, the transcriptomes of these spike cells are fully characterized.

This enables them to internally and accurately control the level of RNA contamination in a single RNA-seq cell, providing that the human transcripts detected in mouse spike-in cells are contaminated RNA.

In this way, they found that the sample had a contamination rate of up to 20%, and was able to determine the contamination in each sample. They then developed a new bioinformatics approach to computationally eliminate contaminated readings from single cell transcriptomes.

Having now obtained the “decontamination” transcriptome, from which false signals have been removed, they proceed to characterize how cellular identities in different cell types respond to treatment with three different drugs.

They found that small molecular blockers of the FOXO1 transcription factor induced dedifferentiation of both alpha and beta cells.

Next, they studied artemeter, which has been found to reduce alpha cell function and can induce insulin production in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Effects of species-specific drug species and cell types.

In alpha cells, a small proportion of cells increase insulin expression and gain aspects of beta cell identity, both in rat and human samples. Importantly, the researchers found that in human beta cells, there was no significant change in insulin expression, whereas in mouse islands, beta cells reduced insulin expression and overall beta cell identity.

This study is the result of interdisciplinary collaboration from the laboratories of Stefan Kubicek and Christoph Bock at CeMM with Patrick Collombat at the Institute of Biology Valrose (France).

This is the first study to apply single cell sequencing to analyze dynamic drug responses in intact isolated tissue, which benefits from the high quantitative accuracy of the decontamination method.

Thus not only provides a new method for single cell decontamination and a very quantitative single cell analysis of drug responses in intact tissue, but also answers current questions that are important in islet cell biology and diabetes research. These findings could open up potential therapeutic avenues for treating type 1 diabetes in the future.


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