Volume 1.00 | Mar 1

Immunology of Infectious Disease News 1.00 March 1, 2013
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A Bacteriophage Encodes Its Own CRISPR/Cas Adaptive Response to Evade Host Innate Immunity
Although bacterial innate immune mechanisms against phage abound, the only documented bacterial adaptive immune system is the CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins) system, which provides sequence-specific protection from invading nucleic acids, including phages. Here researchers report a remarkable turn of events, in which a phage-encoded CRISPR/Cas system is used to counteract a phage inhibitory chromosomal island of the bacterial host. [Nature]
Abstract | Press Release

Whitepaper: Automated Cell Isolation Enables More Relevant HIV Models

PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Differential Innate Immune Response Programs in Neuronal Subtypes Determine Susceptibility to Infection in the Brain by Positive-Stranded RNA Viruses
Investigators showed that two types of neurons from distinct brain regions showed differential permissivity to replication of several positive-stranded RNA viruses. Granule cell neurons of the cerebellum and cortical neurons from the cerebral cortex have unique innate immune programs that confer differential susceptibility to viral infection ex vivo and in vivo. [Nat Med] Abstract | Press Release

IL-1R1 Is Required for Dendritic Cell-Mediated T Cell Reactivation within the CNS during West Nile Virus Encephalitis
Scientists found that IL-1R1 is critical for effector T cell reactivation and limits inflammation within the central nervous system (CNS) during murine West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis. Ex vivo analysis of CD4+ T cells from WNV-infected CNS of IL-1R1−/− mice revealed impaired effector responses, whereas CD8+ T cells revealed no cell intrinsic defects in response to WNV antigen. [J Exp Med] Abstract

CD4+ T Helper Type 1-Cell Plasticity in Helicobacter hepaticus-Induced Intestinal Inflammation
Researchers report that Helicobacter hepaticus-induced typhlocolitis in specific pathogen-free interleukin-10−/− mice is associated with elevated frequencies and numbers of large intestinal interferon (IFN)-γ+ and IFN-γ+IL-17A+ CD4+ T cells. [Mucosal Immunol] Abstract

Modeling Dendritic Cell Vaccination for Influenza Prophylaxis: Potential Applications for Niche Populations
Cancer patients can exhibit negligible responses to prophylactic vaccinations including influenza vaccination. To examine this, the authors developed in vitro and in vivo models of dendritic cell immunotherapy for the prevention of influenza infection. [J Infect Dis] Abstract

Immunity Against Heterosubtypic Influenza Virus Induced By Adenovirus and MVA Expressing Nucleoprotein And Matrix Protein-1
Researchers showed that alternate prime/boost vaccination regimens employing recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus or MVA expressing Influenza A virus nucleoprotein and matrix protein 1 induced antigen-specific T cell responses in intradermally vaccinated mice, with the strongest responses resulting from adenovirus/MVA immunization. [Sci Rep] Full Article


Inadequate T Follicular Cell Help Impairs B Cell Immunity during HIV Infection
Researchers report that even though there is an expansion of follicular helper T (TFH) cells in HIV-infected individuals, the cells are unable to provide adequate B cell help. They found a higher frequency of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)+ germinal center B cells from lymph nodes of HIV-infected individuals suggesting a potential role for PD-1-PD-L1 interaction in regulating TFH cell function. [Nat Med] Abstract

IL-27 Inhibits HIV-1 Infection in Human Macrophages by Down-Regulating Host Factor SPTBN1 during Monocyte to Macrophage Differentiation
Investigators present new evidence that IL-27 promotes monocyte differentiation into macrophages that are nonpermissive for HIV-1 infection. Although IL-27 treatment does not affect expression of macrophage differentiation markers or macrophage biological functions, it confers HIV resistance by down-regulating spectrin β nonerythrocyte 1 (SPTBN1), a required host factor for HIV-1 infection. [J Exp Med] Abstract

Systemic Immune Activation and Microbial Translocation in Dual HIV/TB Infected Subjects
To understand the role of systemic immune activation and microbial translocation in HIV/tuberculosis (TB) dually infected patients over the full spectrum of HIV-1 immunodeficiency, scientists studied circulating soluble CD14 and LPS and their relationship to HIV-1 activity. [J Infect Dis] Abstract

Monocyte and Myeloid Dendritic Cell Activation Occurs throughout the Course of HIV-2 Infection, an Attenuated Form of HIV Disease
Scientists investigated monocyte and myeloid dendritic cells imbalances in HIV-2+ patients, who typically feature reduced viremia and slow disease progression, despite the recognized ability of HIV-2 to establish viral reservoirs and overcome host restriction factors in myeloid cells. [J Infect Dis] Abstract

Attenuation of HIV-1 Replication in Macrophages by Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Agonists
Previous studies showed that activation of CB2 can attenuate inflammatory responses and affect HIV-1 infectivity in T cells and microglia. Here, researchers report that CB2 agonists can also act as immunomodulators on HIV-1-infected macrophages. [J Leukoc Biol] Abstract

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Viral Counterattack Against the Host Innate Immune System
Paramyxoviruses evade antiviral immune response using a small nonstructural protein, V, which binds to the host dsRNA sensor MDA5 and prevents it from activating the interferon signaling pathway. A recent crystal structure of the V protein in complex with MDA5 revealed that V disrupts the structure of MDA5 and is integrated into the MDA5 protein fold, providing an intriguing new example of viral mimicry as a countermeasure against the host immune system. [Cell Res] Full Article

Vaccine and Immunotherapeutic Interventions
This review summarizes the main immune interventions evaluated over the last years. Ways to improve them, as well as challenges in monitoring/evaluating effects of such strategies, are discussed. In addition, clinical efficacy and potential clinical benefits of immunotherapeutic interventions are particularly difficult to measure. This review highlights current assays used and their shortcoming. [Curr Opin HIV AIDS] Abstract


Toddler “Functionally Cured” of HIV Infection, NIH-Supported Investigators Report
A two-year-old child born with HIV infection and treated with antiretroviral drugs beginning in the first days of life no longer has detectable levels of virus using conventional testing despite not taking HIV medication for 10 months, [Press release from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discussing research presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Atlanta] Press Release

Sangamo Presents New Clinical Data Demonstrating Persistent Immune System Improvements after Treatment with ZFN Therapeutic® SB-728-T
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced new data from its program to develop a ‘functional cure’ for HIV/AIDS in two presentations. The first presentation described data from the SB-728-T Phase I study demonstrating that SB-728-T treatment of HIV-infected subjects leads to durable reconstitution of the immune system driven by increases in total CD4+ central memory T-cells (TCM) and CCR5-protected TCM. Data were also presented from a research stage study. [Press release from Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. discussing research presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Atlanta] Press Release

Boehringer Ingelheim Announces Interim Results Evaluating Virologic Response Rates in HCV/HIV Co-Infected Patients Treated with Faldaprevir
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the first interim results in HCV/HIV co-infected patients from the company’s ongoing hepatitis C (HCV) clinical trial program, HCVerso™. The interim results showed that 80% of HCV/HIV co-infected patients achieved early treatment success, as defined by the study protocol, when given an investigational HCV regimen that included faldaprevir. [Press release from PR Newswire Association LLC discussing research presented at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Atlanta] Press Release


iBio Adds New Therapeutic Antibody to Its Pipeline
iBio, Inc. announced it is proceeding with development of an antibody candidate as a therapeutic against influenza, including highly pathogenic H5N1 strains resistant to drugs such as oseltamivir. This proprietary antibody, which is based upon iBio’s iBioLaunch™ technology, has demonstrated safety and therapeutic efficacy in highly predictive animal models infected with a variety of influenza types, including H5N1. [iBio, Inc.] Press Release

Einstein Receives $12 Million Grant to Develop Device for Preventing HIV Infection
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have been awarded a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a drug-impregnated intravaginal ring to prevent HIV infection in women. [Albert Einstein College of Medicine] Press Release


Illinois Governor Reduces State HIV Funding
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn released a proposed $35.6 billion state budget that would reduce state HIV/AIDS funding by $4.27 million, or 16 percent. Under the Governor’s proposed budget, total state HIV spending would drop from $26.23 million in FY13 to $21.75 million in FY14. [State of Illinois, United States]
Press Release

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


NEW BIT’s 5th Annual World Congress of Antibodies and World Congress of Vaccine
March 18-20, 2013
Hangzhou, China

NEW World Vaccine Congress & Expo
April 16-18, 2013
Washington, United States

our events page to see a complete list of events in the infectious disease community.


PhD Studentship – Vaccine Development for Bacterial Infectious Disease (University of Calgary, Department of Production Animal Health)

Director – Vaccine Research Center (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Faculty Position – Pediatric Biology, Biodesign, Ecology, Human Immunology and Infectious Disease Areas (Translational Health Science and Technology Institute)

Postdoctoral Position – Immunology (CHUV Lausanne)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (California Institute for Biomedical Research)

Postdoctoral Fellows (Louisiana State University (LSU))

Postdoctoral Research Associate (The University of Liverpool)

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