Volume 1.27 | Sep 18

Immunology of Infectious Disease News 1.27 September 18, 2013
Immunology of Infectious Disease News
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Novel Gene Discovery Could Lead to New HIV Treatments
Researchers identified a role for the human MX2 gene in inhibiting HIV. The authors say this gene could be a new target for effective, less toxic treatments where the body’s own natural defence system is mobilized against the virus. They carried out experiments on human cells in the lab, introducing the virus to two different cell lines and observing the effects. [Press release from King’s College London discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract
A New System for High-Throughput Cell Isolation Directly from Whole Blood
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Autophagy Regulates Phagocytosis by Modulating the Expression of Scavenger Receptors
The authors evaluated the role of autophagy in regulating phagocytosis in macrophages from myeloid-specific autophagy-related gene 7-deficient (Atg7-/-) mice. Atg7-/- macrophages exhibited higher bacterial uptake when infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or with M. tuberculosis var. bovis BCG. [Immunity]
| Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Porphyromonas gingivalis Facilitates the Development and Progression of Destructive Arthritis through Its Unique Bacterial Peptidylarginine Deiminase (PAD)
Scientists showed that infection with viable periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis strain W83 exacerbated collagen-induced arthritis in a mouse model, as manifested by earlier onset, accelerated progression and enhanced severity of the disease, including significantly increased bone and cartilage destruction. [PLoS Pathog] Full Article | Press Release

IL-22 Inhibits Intracellular Growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Enhancing Calgranulin A Expression
Previously, investigators found that IL-22 inhibits intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) in human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Here, they found W7, a phagolysosomal fusion inhibitor abrogates IL-22-dependent M. tb growth inhibition in MDMs, suggesting that IL-22 acts through enhanced phagolysosomal fusion. [J Infect Dis] Abstract

Hepatitis B Virus Core Protein Interacts with CD59 to Promote Complement-Mediated Liver Inflammation during Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
The authors identified CD59, as a novel HBc-interacting protein in hepatocytes by tandem affinity purification screening. The expression of CD59 was markedly down-regulated in HBc-transfected HepG2 or HepG2.215 cells, which resulted in an upshift of hepatocyte sensitivity to membrane attack complex-induced cell lysis. [FEBS Lett] Full Article


Human Circulating PD-1+CXCR3CXCR5+ Memory Tfh Cells Are Highly Functional and Correlate with Broadly Neutralizing HIV Antibody Responses
Researchers identified in normal individuals a subpopulation of circulating memory PD-1+CXCR5+CD4+ T cells that are resting memory cells most related to bona fide germinal center CD4+ T follicular helper (Tfh) cells by gene expression profile, cytokine profile, and functional properties. Importantly, the frequency of these cells correlated with the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV in a large cohort of HIV+ individuals. [Immunity] Abstract | Press Release | Video

HIV-1 Suppression and Durable Control by Combining Single Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies and Antiretroviral Drugs in Humanized Mice
Investigators showed that treatment of HIV-1-infected humanized mice with a combination of three highly potent broadly neutralizing antibodies not only resulted in complete viremic control but also led to a reduction in cell-associated HIV-1 DNA. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Ability of HIV-1 Nef to Downregulate CD4 and HLA Class I Differs Among Viral Subtypes
Nef is an important mediator of viral pathogenicity; however, to date, a comprehensive inter-subtype comparison of Nef in vitro function has not been undertaken. Here, researchers investigated two of Nef’s most well-characterized activities, CD4 and HLA class I downregulation, for clones obtained from 360 chronic patients infected with HIV-1 subtypes A, B, C or D. [Retrovirology] Abstract | Full Article

HIV-1 gp120 Induces TLR2- and TLR4-Mediated Innate Immune Activation in Human Female Genital Epithelium
The authors report that pattern-recognition receptors TLR2 and -4 bind to HIV-1 gp120 and trigger proinflammatory cytokine production via activation of NF-κB. [J Immunol] Abstract

Comparative Efficiency of HIV-1-Infected T Cell Killing by NK Cells, Monocytes and Neutrophils
Scientists used primary CD4+ T cells infected with the BaL clone of HIV-1 as target cells and autologous NK cells, monocytes, and neutrophils as effector cells, to quantify the cytotoxicity mediated by the different effectors. [PLoS One] Full Article

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Isolate Mouse Cells In As Little As 15 Minutes
Antibodies in HIV-1 Vaccine Development and Therapy
Despite 30 years of study, there is no HIV-1 vaccine and, until recently, there was little hope for a protective immunization. Renewed optimism in this area of research comes in part from the results of a recent vaccine trial and the use of single-cell antibody-cloning techniques that uncovered naturally arising, broad and potent HIV-1-neutralizing antibodies. [Science] Abstract

The Therapeutic Potential of Adenosine Triphosphate as an Immune Modulator in the Treatment of HIV/AIDS: A Combination Approach with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapies
This article presents a strategy for using ATP therapeutically along with background evidence to substantiate the importance of using ATP in the treatment of HIV infection. [Curr HIV Res] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the infectious disease research field.
Sangamo BioSciences Announces Presentation of Clinical Data Demonstrating Functional Control of Viremia in HIV-Infected Subjects Treated with SB-728-T
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced the presentation of new data from its ongoing Phase II clinical trial to evaluate a single infusion of Sangamo’s novel ZFP Therapeutic®, SB-728-T, for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The data demonstrate functional control of the virus at or below the limit of detection in CCR5 delta-32 heterozygote HIV-infected subjects treated with SB-728-T. [Press release from Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. discussing research presented at 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Denver] Press Release

NIH Clinical Study Establishes Human Model of Influenza Pathogenesis
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical study of healthy adult volunteers who consented to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus under carefully controlled conditions has provided researchers with concrete information about the minimum dose of virus needed to produce mild-to-moderate illness. The study also gives a clearer picture of how much time elapses between a known time of infection, the start of viral shedding, the development of an immune response, and the onset and duration of influenza symptoms. [Press release from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease discussing research presented at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Denver]
Press Release
| Prelimary Results

Genocea Reports Positive Initial Phase I/IIa Results for Gen-003, Its Pioneering Therapeutic Vaccine Candidate for the Treatment Of Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (Hsv-2)
Genocea Biosciences Inc. reported positive results from a planned analysis of a Phase I/IIa clinical study of its lead candidate, GEN-003, a first-in-class investigational protein subunit vaccine to treat patients with recurrent outbreaks of genital HSV-2 infection. [Press release from the Genocea Biosciences Inc. discussing research presented at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Denver] Press Release

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BioCryst Awarded Contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to Develop BCX4430 for the Treatment of Marburg Virus Disease
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the NIAID has contracted with BioCryst for the development of BCX4430 as a treatment for Marburg virus disease. NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, has made an initial award of $5.0 million to BioCryst. [BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

ClinicalRM Awarded NIH Contract to Support the STI CTG Program
Clinical Research Management, Inc. (ClinicalRM) announced it was awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The intent of the award is to provide a broad spectrum of services for the design and conduct of Phase I-IV clinical trials and clinical studies focused on the screening, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of Sexually Transmitted Infections within the Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinical Trials Group (STI CTG) Program. [Clinical Research Management, Inc.] Press Release

Roche and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Partner on Inovio’s Prostate Cancer and Hepatitis B Immunotherapy Products
Roche and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to research, develop and commercialize Inovio’s highly-optimized, multi-antigen DNA immunotherapies targeting prostate cancer and hepatitis B. The licensed compounds are currently in preclinical development and have generated robust T-cell responses in animal models. [Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.]
Press Release
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Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

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Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology: Innate Immunity to Viral Infections
January 19-24, 2014
Keystone, United States

NEW 16th International Congress on Infectious Diseases
April 2-5, 2014
Capetown, South Africa

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the infectious disease community.
NEW Research Fellow – HIV-Associated Neurological Disorders (University of Texas Medical Branch)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (Emory University)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 Infection (MGH – Harvard Medical School)

Residency in Infectious Diseases (University of Florida)

Research Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Positions – AIDS Vaccine and Human Gene Therapy (GeneCure Biotechnologies)

Research Scientist – Virus-Host Interaction (Heinrich Pette Institute)

PhD Position – Study of the Loading of Antigens and Immunomodulating Agents in Nanoparticles for Improved Delivery of Antigens in Mucosa (Universite Lille 2 Droit et Sante)

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