Wednesday November 20, 2019

New experimental HIV vaccine offers hope

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New York: A vaccine regimen that first primes the immune system and then boosts it to increase the response could ultimately prove to be the strategy for protecting against the global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection, a new research suggests.

The study showed that the experimental “prime-boost” vaccine regimen provided complete protection to non-human primates from becoming infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a virus similar to HIV that infects the primates.

These results have now encouraged scientists to study the efficacy of the vaccine on a human study that is currently enrolling 400 volunteers in the US and Rwanda, with sites in South Africa, Uganda and Thailand opening soon.

“We are very encouraged by the results of this preclinical HIV vaccine study, and the findings lead to a clear path forward for evaluating this HIV vaccine candidate in humans,” said lead author Dan Barouch, professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School.

For the study, non-human primates (NHP) were first given an adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vectored vaccine to prime the immune system, and then a boost of a purified HIV envelope protein intended to enhance the immune system over time.

This approach is intended to increase both the magnitude of the immune response and the overall protection against subsequent viral challenge.

“Despite great progress in HIV treatments, HIV remains one of the greatest global health threats of our time with millions continuing to be infected each year. Our ultimate goal is to develop a vaccine that prevents HIV in the first place,” said Paul Stoffels from the Johnson & Johnson, which collaborated on the research.

The study was published in the online edition of the journal ‘Science’. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Living in Greener Areas is Important!

The longitudinal study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults, aged between 45-69 from the UK

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Greener Areas
Long-term exposure to Greener Areas could play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension. Pixabay

Middle-aged and older adults that live in Greener Areas were at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces, a new study said.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and include obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar levels and abnormal fat levels.

“The study found more health benefits in those areas with higher tree coverage, which provides a basis for investigating the types of vegetation that impact positively on our health,” said study author Payam Dadvand from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

In this study, the researchers examined the link with metabolic syndrome as a whole, providing an indicator of overall cardiometabolic health, and in the long-term.

The longitudinal study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, used data from over 6,000 adults, aged between 45-69 from the UK.

Participants underwent four examinations over 14 years (1997-2013), with a series of tests including blood analysis, blood pressure and waist circumference measurements.

Residential greenness was determined by satellite images.

Greener Areas
Middle-aged and older adults that live in Greener Areas were at a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those living in areas with less green spaces, a new study said. Wikimedia Commons

These findings suggest that long-term exposure to Greener Areas could play an important role in preventing metabolic syndrome as a whole, as well as individual components such as large waist circumference, high levels of blood fats or hypertension.

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The association observed was higher for women than for men.

The study showed that people living in greener areas have slower cognitive decline. Less stress, greater longevity, or a better overall and mental health are other benefits proved by scientific studies. (IANS)