Study finds new clues behind severe H7N9 infectionThe severity of H7N9 influenza infection is linked to high cytokine levels, and some patients appear to have a genetic marker that correlates with more serious outcomes, according to a research team from China and Australia. The group reported their findings in the Dec 23 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).They examined cytokine and chemokine levels in plasma samples of 18 patients who were hospitalized in Shanghai with H7N9 infections. They also looked at bronchoalveolar lavage samples from three of the patients and conducted genetic sequencing tests on blood and lung samples.When they compared the clinical courses with the test results, they found that H7N9 severity was associated with higher levels of cytokines and chemokines, a pattern seen with other types of influenza infections, such as H5N1. They showed that cytokine levels were 100- to 1,000-fold higher in plasma than in lungs, and the authors said hat plasma levels may provide a “window” for assessing cytokine damage in infected lungs. The researchers also identified a genotype that related to more severe clinical outcomes: IFN-induced transmembrane protein-3 (IFITM3).Peter Doherty, PhD, laureate professor at the University of Melbourne and lead author of the study, said in a Dec 23 press release that predicting how flu affects individuals could provide keys to managing the disease and allocating health resources. “We are exploring how genetic sequencing and early identification can allow us to intervene in treating patients before they become too unwell. As new cases of influenza emerge in the Northern Hemisphere, we try to keep a season ahead and prepare to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” he said.In other developments, Hong Kong’s government today said an 80-year-old man hospitalized in early December with an H7N9 infection has died, according to a Reuters report. His case is one of two H7N9 cases recently imported into Hong Kong from the mainland city of Shenzhen and is now Hong Kong’s first fatal case. The man’s death pushes the number of fatal H7N9 cases to 48. Overall, 146 cases have been reported, all with links to mainland China, where the disease is thought to be spreading to people from infected market poultry.Dec 23 PNAS abstract Dec 23 University of Melbourne press release Dec 26 Reuters story CDC alerts health providers about H1N1 patterns, treatmentThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory to healthcare providers on Dec 24 that said it has received a number of reports of severe respiratory infections in young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus.The CDC said multiple hospitalizations and some deaths have been reported and the virus seems to be following a pattern seen during the pandemic months when it caused more illness in children and young adults. It warned that if the 2009 H1N1 virus—now considered a seasonal strain and covered in all flu vaccine formulations—continues to circulate widely, children and middle-aged adults may shoulder much of the burden.The agency reported that so far there is no sign of significantly increased virulence or transmissibility, but the CDC will continue to watch for changes in the virus’ genetic sequences and in disease surveillance systems. Some people who have had severe H1N1 infections this year had underlying medical conditions such as pregnancy and obesity, but others did not.The CDC urged health providers to recommend seasonal flu vaccination, and it encouraged them to consider antiviral treatment as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected flu who has a severe, complicated, or progressive infection or is at higher risk for complications.Texas and a handful of other south-central states are the nation’s flu hot spots to date, according to the most recent surveillance report from the CDC. Clusters of severe respiratory illnesses have surfaced at some Texas hospitals. The 2009 H1N1 virus has been confirmed in some of the patients, and some deaths have been reported, especially in the area around Houston.Dec 24 CDC HAN notice Dec 20 CIDRAP News story “Texas cluster part of rising H1N1 activity in state, nation” H5N2 on Chinese poultry farm leads to culling of 125,000An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza on a poultry farm in northeastern China has resulted in the culling of 125,700 birds, according to a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) notice posted Dec 21.The farm is located in the city of Baoding in Hebei province, about 140 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Symptoms of the disease began showing up in the farm’s chickens Dec 17, and about 4,000 chickens died.Samples from the diseased birds were confirmed as H5N2 by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory. The farm has been placed under quarantine and disinfected. Dec 21 OIE report Dec 23 NBC News item on the outbreak H7N1, H7N7 avian flu strains strike South African ostrich farmsThree outbreaks of low-pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza have been reported on commercial ostrich farms in Australia, according to an OIE notice posted Dec 24. They represent the most recent events in an outbreak that began in October.The farms are located in Eastern Cape province. Sixty-four cases of subclinical infection have been confirmed among the 2,906 susceptible ostriches on the farms, for a morbidity rate of 2.20%. No birds have died of the disease or been culled. The farms have been disinfected and put under quarantine.In another development in South African avian flu, a case of H7N7 avian flu has been reported in an ostrich on a commercial farm in Western Cape province. The farm has 1,005 susceptible birds, for a morbidity rate of 0.10%, according to a Dec 23 OIE follow-up report on the outbreak, which was first reported in February.Dec 24 OIE report on Eastern Cape farms Dec 23 OIE report on Western Cape farmA related OIE follow-up report, this one pertaining to an outbreak of low-pathogenic H7 avian flu in South Africa beginning at the end of July, reported no new cases. The outbreak involved indigenous wild birds and an exotic parrot kept in captivity. The previous report noted 4 cases among 2,000 susceptible birds, for a morbidity rate of 0.20%.Dec 23 OIE report on South African birds Testosterone-regulated genes may suppress flu-vaccine response in menThe body’s response to influenza vaccine may be influenced by testosterone-regulated genes, helping to explain why men often show a less-robust response to vaccines, in particular influenza vaccines, than women, according to a study released Dec 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).In the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)–funded study, researchers from Stanford University used a systems analysis approach to study antibody responses to the 2008-09 trivalent seasonal flu vaccine (TIV) in 53 women and 34 men of different ages.The authors found that the women, compared with the men, had elevated antibody responses to TIV and elevated expression of inflammatory cytokines. They traced the weaker responses in men to a tendency toward high expression levels of a cluster of genes that participate in lipid biosynthesis and that have been found previously to be up-regulated by testosterone.The men with the highest levels of testosterone and most elevated expression of the gene cluster had the weakest antibody responses to the TIV. In their discussion, the authors note that from an evolutionary perspective, the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone may act as a homeostatic mechanism to, for example, protect against the potentially deadly cytokine storm that can occur in healthy males in the presence of pandemic influenza. Dec 23 PNAS study Dec 23 NIAID news release on the study
Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque met on Wednesday with Prime Minister of Aruba Hon Evelyn Wever-Croes on Associate Membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for the Dutch Territory. The Secretary-General will also go on to visit Curacao and St. Maarten this week. CARICOM Heads of Government earlier this year mandated the Secretary-General to begin the process of negotiations with the Dutch Territories in order to better determine their expectations of Associate Membership, and what benefits the relationship could yield for the Community. The Heads have also agreed to continue to examine the issue of an Enlargement Policy for CARICOM which currently has fifteen Full Members and five Associate Members. You may be interested in… The Netherlands flags key areas for cooperation expansion Jan 19, 2017 About Aruba (l-r) Bissember, Granderson, Secretary-General, Prime Minister, Bab-Schaefer; Abath Secretary-General meets Governor H.E. Juan Alfonso Boekhoudt Deliberations in progress Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Prime Minister Hon Evelyn Wever-Croes Engagement with HE the Governor Discussing Associate Membership The Secretary-General was accompanied at his Meeting with Prime Minister Wever-Croes by Assistant Secretary-General for Foreign and Community relations Ambassador Colin Granderson, General Counsel Dr. Corlita Babb-Schaefer, and Adviser Mr. Neville Bissember. The Prime Minister was joined by Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs Mr Edwin Abath. The Secretary-General also paid a courtesy call on Aruba’s Governor H.E. Juan Alfonso Boekhoudt. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… UPDATE: CARICOM proceeding with Dutch territories’ applications for associate membershipEven as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to consider the creation of an Enlargement Policy, Heads of Government have mandated the Secretary-General to begin negotiations for Associate Membership by the Dutch territories of Curacao and Aruba. During their Twenty-Ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting in Haiti, last week, the Heads of Government agreed that…March 6, 2018In “Antigua & Barbuda”The Netherlands flags key areas for cooperation expansionClimate change, disaster risk management, security, and sustainable development and employment, are among areas that the Kingdom of Netherlands hopes to expand cooperation with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Netherlands’ Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Jules Bijl, signalled his Government’s intention when he presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador…January 19, 2017In “CARICOM”CARICOM SG, Guadeloupe in Associate Membership talksThe Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, met on Wednesday 11 January 2015 with a delegation from Guadeloupe, which is one of five Caribbean territories which have applied for Associate Membership of CARICOM. The delegation from the Regional Council of Guadeloupe comprised – Mrs Thérèse MARIANNE-PEPIN, Président…February 12, 2015In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApp
The 500,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme, which is being developed by Legal & General and the Mitsubishi Estate Company, comprises 393,000 sq ft of offices, 109 apartments in two residential towers,50% of which will be affordable, ground floor retail space and two public squares. Overall the scheme will consist of three buildings with 13 irregularly orientated, individually coloured ceramic & glass facades while 27% of the site’s area is dedicated to open space .The scheme on the 1.75 acre island site will see the redevelopment of a 1960’s office block previously occupied by the Ministry of Defence. Piano said: ‘The architectural challenge was to create a development that brings heart and soul into a forgotten part of Central London’s urban fabric. A place that, by adding levitated, articulated and colourful buildings, physically expresses the people-focused and socially responsible credentials of modern corporate tenants.’It is due for completion by the end of 2009. Stanhope is development managers. Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman & Wakefield are joint letting agents.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier said that former Gamecock Marcus Lattimore is still considering options for his playing future.Spurrier was asked about his former star player during a teleconference with reporters Wednesday.Lattimore, who’s currently a member of the San Francisco 49ers, has been attempting to make a football comeback following severe injuries to both his knees while playing at Carolina,. Though he was drafted in 2013, he’s yet to play a down in the NFL. Last week, however, he was cleared to play, but Lattimore reportedly suffered pain in his knees during his first practices with the team.Monday, ESPN reported that Lattimore was planning to retire. His agent denied the report, saying Lattimore had made no decision on his career.Spurrier echoed that, saying that when the two spoke recently, Lattimore still hadn’t made up his mind what he wants to do. “He has put everything into it, rehabbing for two years,” Spurrier said. “It’s disappointing, but he is in good health…I think his knee just has not come around quite as well as he hoped. He can run around, but not to play running back.”Spurrier said that if Lattimore did decide to end his playing career, he’d have career options back at USC, saying Athletics Director Ray Tanner and University President Harris Pastides would welcome him back.
Ludogorets will be without its captain Svetoslav Dyakov in the derby with Levski on Friday. This was confirmed by the head coach of the champions Pavel Varba, who participated in an online briefing with the media.“The situation with Dyakov is such that if we insist that he play, he will be able to do it. But we want to keep it. Dyakov will not play in this match, he will not even be in the group for him “, Varba was categorical.“With the coaching staff and the medical staff, we decided to keep it. Except for Plamen Iliev, who is recovering from surgery, all the others are healthy and are on the line for the match “, added the specialist.The derby between Levski and Ludogorets is on Friday at 21.00 and you can watch it live on DIEMA SPORT.
The matches of the teams from the “Levski” Academy return with a live broadcast on LEVSKI TV, according to the official website of the “blues”.Here is the program until the end of the week:September 11 (Friday), 17.00 Levski – CSKAU19, 7th round, complex “Georgi Asparuhov” – field 2September 12 (Saturday), 09.30 Levski – Pirin BlgU15, 7th round, complex “Georgi Asparuhov” – artificial terrainSeptember 12 (Saturday), 11.30 am Levski – Pirin BlgU17, 7th round, complex “Georgi Asparuhov” – artificial terrainSeptember 13 (Sunday), 09.30 Levski – CSKAU14, 7th round, complex “Georgi Asparuhov” – artificial terrain Follow us anywhere and anytime with the mobile application of Gong.bg. You can download it from Google Play, App Store and AppGallery.