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.


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

Researchers At Global Forum Showed Resolve To Develop New, Effective TB Vaccines

Devex: Global partnerships key to eradicating TB Lewis Schrager, vice president of scientific affairs at Aeras “…The fourth Global Forum on TB Vaccines [held in Shanghai in late April] presented both a sense of significant accomplishment in what the TB vaccine development field has learned thus far, and a sobering sense of the daunting challenges…More

252 Dead Since January In Niger Meningitis Outbreak, Health Official Says

Agence France-Presse: Meningitis epidemic in Niger kills more than 250 “A meningitis epidemic in poverty-stricken Niger has claimed 252 lives since January, a health official said Monday, warning the country was short of vaccines to fight the outbreak. ‘As of May 3,252 people died out of a total of 3,304 cases,’ said Niger’s epidemics surveillance…More

USAID Fact Sheet Outlines Agency’s Immunization Efforts

USAID: Saving Children’s Lives: USAID’s Support for Immunization This fact sheet describes USAID’s immunization activities, as the agency “works closely with partners around the world, including national governments, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, and others, to extend access to life-saving vaccines…” (April 2015).

After 15-Year Vaccination Campaign, Rubella Eliminated From The Americas, Global Health…

Agence France-Presse: Rubella is gone from the Americas: global health authorities “Improved vaccine campaigns have led to the elimination of rubella — an infectious disease that can cause birth defects — from North, Central, and South America, global health authorities said Wednesday…” (4/29). Associated Press: German measles officially eliminated in North, South America “…Vaccines against…More

India, Gavi Discussing Alliance’s Withdrawal From Country Over Next 5 Years

LiveMint: Gavi to withdraw funding to India “In a move that could potentially undermine India’s immunization program, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) plans to withdraw funding to the country. … Gavi is now in talks with the government to decide the course of action for the next five years, [Seth Berkley, chief…More

Rotavirus Vaccines Essential For Childhood Diarrhea Prevention

Global Health NOW: For Rotavirus, Prevention is the Best Medicine Mathuram Santosham, co-chair for the Rotavirus Organization of Technical Allies (ROTA) Council, director of the Center for American Indian Health, and a professor of international health and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, recognizes World Immunization Week, writing, “Rotavirus vaccines offer…More

International Community Must Invest More In Vaccines, Reduce Gaps In Access

Huffington Post: The Steps It Will Take to Get Every Child Vaccinated Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “…The global health community must work together in three major ways to reach our immunization targets. We must ensure that vaccine supplies are affordable and sustainable. We must continue to…More

Vaccinations Essential To Protecting Health, Well-Being Of Children In India

Huffington Post: Giving Our Children A Shot At Health Vishwajeet Kumaar, scientist and founder and CEO of Community Empowerment Lab “This World Immunization Week (April 24-30), countries around the world will celebrate one of the most transformative health interventions in the history of public health — vaccines. … Last month, the government [of India] launched…More

Data Visualizations, Infographics Help Convey Vaccine Successes

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Vaccinespotting: What Does Half a Billion Look Like? Pascal Barollier, director of communications at GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, discusses the importance of effectively communicating data, highlighting the alliance’s ‘Every Vaccine Counts’ data visualization. “…Infographics and other creative forms of visualization can help us step up, turning disparate digits…More

Providing HPV Vaccine To Women Worldwide Vital To Preventing Cervical Cancer Cases, Deaths

Project Syndicate: Stopping Women’s Next Biggest Killer Anuradha Gupta, deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance “…For the first time, the number of deaths caused by cervical cancer every year is poised to outstrip the total caused by childbirth. … The tragedy is that these deaths are almost entirely preventable. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, coupled…More

WHO Calls For Disclosure Of All Clinical Trial Results, In Effort To Increase Transparency,…

Reuters: WHO demands disclosure of all clinical trial results “The World Health Organization called on Tuesday for the release of clinical trial results for all drugs, vaccines, and medical devices — whatever the result — in the latest salvo against the withholding of data…” (4/14). World Health Organization: WHO calls for increased transparency in medical…More

Guinea Ebola Vaccine Clinical Trial Holds Best Hope For Useful Data Amid Shrinking Epidemic,…

Reuters: Completing Ebola vaccine trials ‘a challenge’ as epidemic wanes “Falling Ebola cases in West Africa make completing big clinical trials on experimental vaccines a challenge, with the best hope resting on a study in Guinea, the World Health Organization said on Friday. While the waning epidemic is good news for long-suffering populations in the…More

Questions Remain Over Ebola Vaccine Trials As Epidemic Subsides

Wall Street Journal: Squabbles Over Testing Methods Hamper Search for Ebola Vaccine “The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa created a rare opportunity: New vaccines could be tested, and if they worked, serve as a firewall in future epidemics. It now appears this chance is slipping away amid public health officials’ squabbles over the right…More

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