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Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

Ebola Vaccine Candidates: Phase 1 Trial Results (NEJM)

This week, preliminary results from two phase 1 trials were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Overall, the trials demonstrated safety and the Read More

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U.S. Must Increase Capacity For Global Health R&D, Anticipate Global Disease Threats

Washington Post: Why aren’t we producing medications for looming global disease threats? Mel Spigelman, physician and president and chief executive of TB Alliance “…[A new Global Health Technologies Coalition] analysis reveals that over the past six years, [U.S.] taxpayer funding for global health research has been stagnant or declining. … Managing health threats through emergency…More

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Working Towards an Achievable Goal: A World without CRS

Susan Reef, MD, Rubella Team Lead, Global Immunization Division When I started focusing on rubella in 1994, it was mainly recognized as a significant public health problem in high-income countries. When the public health community realized that rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) were actually significant public health issues in the entire region of the Americas, things took a turn and an elimination goal was set for 2010. In the pre-vaccine era, some 20,000 infants were born each year in the Americas region with CRS and one or more of its devastating birth defects. I look at our success in achieving the elimination goal —which occurred in 2009, a year before the target date—in terms of the lives it impacted: 20,000 of them, born free of CRS disabilities each year since then.

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Establishing a Global Vaccine-Development Fund — NEJM

Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — Establishing a Global Vaccine-Development Fund Source: Establishing a Global Vaccine-Development Fund — NEJM


WHO calls for urgent action to curb hepatitis

On World Hepatitis Day (28 July) WHO highlights the urgent need for countries to enhance action to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year, the Organization is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which together cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year. WHO is alerting people to the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug-injection equipment. Some 11 million people who inject drugs have hepatitis B or C infection. Children born to mothers with hepatitis B or C and sex partners of people with hepatitis are also at risk of becoming infected.


Global Health Experts Propose Creation Of $2B Vaccine Development Fund

Reuters: Health specialists call for $2 billion global fund for vaccines “Global health experts called on Wednesday for the creation of a $2 billion vaccine development fund to feed a pipeline of potential new shots against priority killer diseases like Ebola, MERS, and the West Nile virus. The fund would help bridge the gap between…More


2 Clinical Trials Of Experimental Ebola Vaccines Begin In Europe, Africa

Reuters: Two new trials of Ebola vaccines begin in Europe and Africa “Two new Ebola vaccine trials began on Wednesday with volunteers in Britain, France, and Senegal getting ‘prime-boost’ immunizations developed by Bavarian Nordic, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson…” (Kelland, 7/15).


Fresh Food Supply Chains Can Learn From Recent Vaccine Supply Chain Innovations

The Guardian: Why transporting vegetables is not so different from delivering vaccines Bruce Y. Lee, director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins “…Until agricultural supply chains for low-income countries are improved, fresh fruits and vegetables may have little chance against their hardier and less healthy [processed food] competitors. So what can be…More


NIH Expanding Experimental Ebola Treatment Clinical Trial From Liberia Into Sierra Leone,…

Wall Street Journal: NIH Expands Testing of Ebola Drugs and Vaccines Into New Countries “…The NIH randomized controlled study of ZMapp has expanded from Liberia into Sierra Leone, where about 40 patients have been enrolled so far, according to H. Clifford Lane, deputy director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He…More


Liberia Launches Study To Assess Ebola’s Long-Term Health Effects; Drugmakers Struggle To…

Agence France-Presse: Thousands of Liberians in ‘post-Ebola syndrome’ study “Liberia launched a five-year study on Wednesday to unravel the mystery of the long-term health effects that plague Ebola survivors and assess how long they should go without sex…” (Dosso, 6/17). Reuters: Ebola vaccines in limbo expose need for more speed in trials “Drugmakers’ plans to…More


International Community Must Fund Efforts To Find New TB Vaccines, Drugs, Diagnostics

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Fighting the Tuberculosis Threat Thomas G. Evans, CEO of Advancing Tuberculosis Vaccines for the World “…[T]hroughout the world, nine million people are diagnosed with active TB every year and 1.5 million die — as many people die from HIV. … Decades of neglect have meant that a concerted…More


HHS Announces Contract To Develop Faster Ebola Test; Testing Experimental Vaccines Presents…

The Hill: Obama administration pushes for faster Ebola test “The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday announced a contract to develop a faster test for Ebola, as well as grants for nine regional treatment centers…” (Sullivan, 6/12). PBS NewsHour: Why testing an Ebola vaccine isn’t so easy “In Sierra Leone and Liberia,…More


Vatican Official Calls For Measures To Improve Access To Medicines, Vaccines In Developing…

Vatican Radio: Holy See: Poor countries need better access to medicines “The Vatican has called for waivers for the least-developed countries from certain obligations of intellectual property treaties in order to give them better access to essential medicines and vaccines. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and…More


Nigeria Approaches One Year Without Polio Case, Continues Oral Vaccination Campaigns

Agence France-Presse: Nigeria makes final push to stamp out polio “Health workers move from door to door in the rural Sumaila district of Kano state, northern Nigeria, administering oral polio vaccines to children under five. It could be any other vaccination drive but the program has extra importance in Nigeria, where there has not been…More


The Guardian Examines Brazil’s Public, Private Efforts To Curb Dengue Epidemic

The Guardian: Brazil considers vaccines and GM mosquitoes to tackle dengue fever “…Since January, Brazil’s health ministry has spent R$150m (US$50m) fighting dengue. Most of the money has gone to health authorities in towns like Estrela d’Oeste, to fund preventative measures, such as house visits and education programs. … But given the difficulty of halting…More


Applying lessons learned from the USAID family planning graduation experience to the GAVI…

As low income countries experience economic transition, characterized by rapid economic growth and increased government spending potential in health, they have increased fiscal space to support and sustain more of their own health programmes, decreasing need for donor development assistance.


Case Numbers Triple In ‘Unprecedented’ Meningitis Outbreak In Niger; Vaccines In Short…

Reuters: Meningitis cases triple in two weeks in Niger, more than 400 dead — WHO “An outbreak of meningitis with ‘unprecedented features’ is spreading rapidly in Niger, with a tripling of cases in the past two weeks, hundreds of deaths so far this year, and vaccines in short supply, the World Health Organization said on…More


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