Volume 4.07 | Feb 24

Immunology of Infectious Disease News 4.07 February 24, 2016
Immunology of Infectious Disease News
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Recombinase Brec1 Trend-Setting for Future HIV-Therapy
Researchers succeeded in developing a designer recombinase (Brec1) that is capable of specifically removing the provirus from infected cells of most primary HIV-1 isolates. [Press release from Technische Universität Dresden discussing online publication in Nature Biotechnology] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Isolation of Potent Neutralizing Antibodies from a Survivor of the 2014 Ebola Virus Outbreak
Scientists isolated and characterized 349 GP-specific monoclonal antibodies from the peripheral B cells of a convalescent donor who survived the 2014 Ebola virus Zaire outbreak. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

Central Nervous System Stromal Cells Control Local CD8+ T Cell Responses during Virus-Induced Neuroinflammation
CC-motif chemokine receptor 7 ligands produced by central nervous system (CNS) stromal cells were crucial to support recruitment and local re-activation of antiviral CD8+ T cells and to protect the host from lethal neuroinflammatory disease, indicating that CNS stromal cells generate confined microenvironments that control protective T cell immunity. [Immunity] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

TLR-7 Activation Enhances IL-22–Mediated Colonization Resistance against Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus
Resiquimod, a synthetic ligand for Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR-7) that stimulates antiviral innate immune defenses, restored expression of the antimicrobial peptide Reg3γ and reestablished colonization resistance against vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in antibiotic-treated mice. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9 Induces Dendritic Cell Maturation and Enhances the Immune Response against Inactivated Avian Influenza Virus
Researchers demonstrated that B. amyloliquefaciens SQR9 can adhere to the nasal epithelium and be taken up by dendritic cells (DC) in the nasal mucosa, thereby inducing DC maturation and resulting in increased CD80, CD86, CD40 and MHCII expression and cytokine secretion. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Expression of the Innate Immune Receptor LILRB5 on Monocytes Is Associated with Mycobacteria Exposure
Scientists investigated the relevance of leukocyte Ig like receptors (LILR) in the context of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. They describe the expression of this receptor on T cells, and highlight the potential relevance to mycobacterial recognition. [Sci Rep] Full Article


A Polypropylene Sulfide Nanoparticle p24 Vaccine Promotes Dendritic Cell-Mediated Specific Immune Responses against HIV-1
Researchers evaluated an intradermal vaccine using HIV-1 p24 Gag peptide-conjugated polypropylene sulfide nanoparticles (PPS-NP) to induce immunity against HIV-1. This PPS-NP formulation did not accelerate the maturation of blood- or skin-derived subsets of dendritic cells despite efficient uptake in the absence of adjuvant. [J Invest Dermatol] Abstract | Full Article

Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Humanized Mice Infected with HIV-1
Scientists developed a novel small animal model of co-infection in the humanized mouse to investigate how HIV infection disrupts pulmonary containment of Mtb. Following dual infection, HIV-infected cells were localized to sites of Mtb-driven inflammation and mycobacterial replication in the lung. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Dynamics of the Human and Viral m6A RNA Methylomes during HIV-1 Infection of T Cells
The authors investigated the topology, dynamics and bidirectional influences of the viral–host RNA methylomes during HIV-1 infection of human CD4 T cells. They showed that viral infection triggers a massive increase in N6‑methyladenosine (m6A) in both host and viral mRNAs. [Nat Microbiol] Abstract | Press Release

Multilineage Polyclonal Engraftment of Cal-1 Gene-Modified Cells and In Vivo Selection after SHIV Infection in a Nonhuman Primate Model of AIDS
Scientists evaluated the safety and efficacy of the clinical grade anti-HIV lentiviral vector, Cal-1, in pigtailed macaques. Cal-1 animals exhibited robust levels of gene marking in myeloid and lymphoid lineages without measurable adverse events, suggesting that Cal-1 transduction and autologous transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells are safe, and lead to long-term, multilineage engraftment following myeloablative conditioning. [Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev] Full Article

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Mucosal Immunity to Pathogenic Intestinal Bacteria
The authors explain how the microbiota can shape the immune response to pathogenic bacteria, and detail innate and adaptive immune mechanisms that drive protective immunity against these pathogens. [Nat Rev Immunol] Abstract

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Vaginal Ring Provides Partial Protection from HIV in Large Multinational Trial
​A ring that continuously releases an experimental antiretroviral drug in the vagina safely provided a modest level of protection against HIV infection in women, a large clinical trial in four sub-Saharan African countries has found. [Press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussing research presented at the 23rd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Boston] Press Release

Maraviroc-Containing Regimens Safe, Tolerable When Taken for HIV Prevention
Maraviroc, an oral drug used to treat HIV infection, is safe and well-tolerated when taken daily as pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection by HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men at increased risk for acquiring HIV. [Press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussing research presented at the 23rd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Boston] Press Release

Experimental Ebola Vaccines Well Tolerated, Immunogenic in Phase II Study
Two investigational vaccines designed to protect against Ebola virus disease were well-tolerated and induced an immune response among 1,000 vaccinated participants in the Phase II randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial called PREVAIL I. [Press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussing research presented at the 23rd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Boston] Press Release

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp May Benefit Patients, but Insufficient Data to Be Certain
According to initial results from a randomized, controlled trial of the experimental Ebola treatment ZMapp, the monoclonal antibody cocktail was well-tolerated and showed promise. [Press release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discussing research presented at the 23rd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Boston] Press Release

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Inovio Pharmaceutical’s DNA Vaccine for Zika Virus Induces Robust Immune Responses in Preclinical Study
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that preclinical testing of its synthetic vaccine for the Zika virus induced robust and durable immune responses, demonstrating the potential for a SynCon® vaccine to prevent and treat infections from this harmful pathogen. [Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

TapImmune Receives Notice of Allowance on U.S. Patent Claims for PolyStart – Next-Generation T-Cell Vaccine
TapImmune, Inc. announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its patent application entitled, “A chimeric nucleic acid molecule with non-AUG initiation sequences.” The patent claims are for the Company’s proprietary PolyStart™ technology which is a platform for the next-generation vaccine technology for the treatment of cancer or infectious diseases. [TapImmune, Inc.] 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 Innate Immunity in Host-Pathogen Interactions
May 26-29, 2016
Heidelberg, Germany

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NEW Postdoctoral Fellowship – Mucosal Infection and Inflammation Center (Linköping University)

Senior Scientist – Immunology and Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Principal Scientist – Infectious Disease (Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.)

Faculty Position – Virology (Rush University Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Drug Delivery for HIV (Northwestern University)

Principal Investigators – Infectious Diseases (CCID)

Administrative Head – Vaccine and Infectious Disease (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Senior Scientist – Immunology (Bavarian Nordic GmbH)

Global Medical Leader – Infectious Diseases (F. Hoffmann-La Roche)

Postdoctoral Position – Immunology (Indiana University School of Medicine)

Research Technician I – HIV Vaccine Trials (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

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