Volume 3.32 | Aug 26

Immunology of Infectious Disease News 3.32 August 26, 2015
Immunology of Infectious Disease News
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Synthetic DNA Vaccine against MERS Induces Immunity in Animal Study
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species. The experimental, preventive vaccine, given six weeks before exposure to the MERS virus, was found to fully protect rhesus macaques from disease. [Press release from Penn Medicine discussing publication in Science Translational Medicine] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Regional Isolation Drives Bacterial Diversification within Cystic Fibrosis Lungs
Scientists investigated the consequences of regional evolution by studying isolates from mildly and severely diseased lung regions and found evolved differences in bacterial nutritional requirements, host defense and antibiotic resistance, and virulence due to hyperactivity of the type 3 secretion system. [Cell Host Microbe] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Induction of USP25 by Viral Infection Promotes Innate Antiviral Responses by Mediating the Stabilization of TRAF3 and TRAF6
The authors reveal a previously uncovered positive feedback regulation of innate immune responses against RNA and DNA viruses by ubiquitin-specific protease 25 (USP25). [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

STAT2 Knockout Syrian Hamsters Support Enhanced Replication and Pathogenicity of Human Adenovirus, Revealing an Important Role of Type I Interferon Response in Viral Control
Researchers report findings with a new Syrian hamster strain in which the STAT2 gene was functionally knocked out by site-specific gene targeting. They showed that the Type I interferon pathway is disrupted in these hamsters, revealing the critical role of interferon-stimulated genes in controlling adenovirus infection. [PLoS Pathog] Full Article | Press Release

Low-Level Regulatory T-Cell Activity Is Essential for Functional Type-2 Effector Immunity to Expel Gastrointestinal Helminths
Investigators showed that infection of mice with the chronic gastrointestinal helminth Heligmosomoides polygyrus drives rapid polyclonal expansion of Foxp3+Helios+CD4+ thymic regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the lamina propria and mesenteric lymph nodes while Foxp3+HeliosCD4+ peripheral Treg expand more slowly. [Mucosal Immunol] Full Article


Arming of MAIT Cell Cytolytic Antimicrobial Activity Is Induced by IL-7 and Defective in HIV-1 Infection
Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are impaired in several chronic diseases including HIV-1 infection, where they show signs of exhaustion and decline numerically. Investigators examined the broader effector functions of MAIT cells in this context and strategies to rescue their functions. [PLoS Pathog] Full Article

HLA Class-II Associated HIV Polymorphisms Predict Escape from CD4+ T Cell Responses
Using a computational approach on human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gag/pol/nef sequences and HLA-II allelic data, scientists identified 29 HLA-II associated HIV sequence polymorphisms or adaptations in an African cohort of chronically HIV-infected individuals. Using a CD8-depleted IFN-γ ELISpot assay, they determined that the magnitude of CD4+ T cell responses to the predicted epitopes in controllers was higher compared to non-controllers. [PLoS Pathog] Full Article

Methamphetamine Use in HIV-Infected Individuals Affects T-Cell Function and Viral Outcome during Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy
Researchers investigated the associations between methamphetamine use, immune function, and the dynamics of HIV and cytomegalovirus in the blood and genital tract of HIV-infected ART-suppressed subjects. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Regulatory and Helper Follicular T Cells and Antibody Avidity to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Glycoprotein 120
Researchers identified and characterized T follicular regulatory cells as CXCR5+CCR7 “follicular” T regulatory cells in lymphoid tissues of healthy rhesus macaques, and studied their dynamics throughout infection in a well-defined animal model of HIV pathogenesis. [J Immunol] Abstract

Macrophages and Myeloid Dendritic Cells Lose T Cell–Stimulating Function in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Associated with Diminished IL-12 and IFN-α Production
Scientists showed that mononuclear phagocytes enriched from rhesus macaque lymph nodes have suppressed ability to stimulate CD4 T cell proliferation and IFN-γ release after acute SIV infection. [J Immunol] Abstract

Combined Antiviral Therapy Using Designed Molecular Scaffolds Targeting Two Distinct Viral Functions, HIV-1 Genome Integration and Capsid Assembly
The genes encoding the N-myristoylated Myr+ ankyrin repeat protein (AnkGAG1D4) protein and the zinc finger protein (2LTRZFP) were introduced into human T-cells, using a third-generation lentiviral vector. SupT1 cells stably expressing 2LTRZFP alone or with Myr+AnkGAG1D4 showed a complete resistance to HIV-1 in viral challenge. [Mol Ther Nucleic Acids] Full Article

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Tissue Instruction for Migration and Retention of TRM Cells
The authors examine the role of memory lymphocyte clusters (MLCs), and propose that the MLCs serve as an immediate response center consisting of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) cells on standby, capable of detecting incoming pathogens and mounting robust local immune responses to contain and limit the spread of infectious agents. [Trends Immunol] Abstract

Pulmonary Macrophages: Key Players in the Innate Defense of the Airways
This review describes pulmonary macrophage origins, phenotypes, roles in diseases of the airways and implications for the treatment of respiratory disease. [Thorax] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the Immunology of Infectious Disease research field.
NIH Launches Human RSV Study
A new study will expose healthy adult volunteers to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus that causes cold-like symptoms in adults. Better understanding of how adults develop RSV infection and immune system responses to infection will assist researchers in developing and testing future antivirals and vaccines to combat the virus. [National Institutes of Health (NIH)] Press Release

UNMC Spinoff Company to Test H1N1 Vaccine in Animal Trial
An H1N1 vaccine developed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) will enter a definitive round of testing this month, and researchers hope to establish its ability to ward off the virus. Made possible by a licensing deal brokered through UNMC’s technology transfer office, UNeMed Corporation, the study will evaluate the vaccine on 30-40 pigs. [University of Nebraska Medical Center] Press Release

Argos Therapeutics Awarded Patent for Its Experimental Individualized Immunotherapy for the Treatment of HIV Infection
Argos Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has been issued U.S. Patent No. 9,085,807 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The issued claims relate to the company’s AGS-004 product, which is currently being evaluated in an investigator initiated Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of HIV infection. [Argos Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

New Ring Can Diagnose Sexually Transmitted Diseases in a Single Test
A ring with the ability to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis was designed by Ernesto Rodríguez Leal. The ring is placed only at the time of the test, a button is pressed and activates a needle that draws blood, which is transported by capillary action and taken to a lab-on-a-chip, a recent concept based on immobilizing reagents to look for changes and make measurements. [Investigación y Desarrollo (AlphaGalileo Ltd.)] Press Release

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NEW Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine (UMIB) Summit 2015®
September 24-25, 2015
Porto, Portugal

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NEW PhD Positions – Infection Biology and Immunology (ZIBI Graduate School)

Postdoctoral Position – HIV Vaccine Immunology (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)

Scientist – Molecular Biologist/Genomics (International Livestock Research Institute)

Senior Scientist – Cellular/Viral Immunology (Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Molecular Microbiology/Immunology (The University of Tennessee)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Viral Immunology (Emory University)

Postdoctoral Position – HIV Cure Research (University of Washington)

Research Assistant – Immunotherapy for HIV Infection (California Institute of Technology)

PhD Studentship – Veterinary and Animal Sciences (University of Milan)

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