#Vaccination with VSV-vectored chimeric #hemagglutinins protects mice against divergent #influenza #virus challenge strains (J Virol., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Virology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Vaccination with VSV-vectored chimeric hemagglutinins protects mice against divergent influenza virus challenge strains [      ]

Alex B. Ryder a,b, Raffael Nachbagauer c,d, Linda Buonocore a, Peter Palese c,e, Florian Krammer c and John K. Rose a*

Author Affiliations: aDepartment of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA bDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA cDepartment of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA dFaculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria eDepartment of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA



Seasonal influenza virus infections continue to cause significant disease each year, and there is a constant threat of the emergence of reassortant influenza strains causing a new pandemic. Available influenza vaccines are variably effective each season, are of limited scope at protecting against viruses that have undergone significant antigenic drift, and offer low protection against newly emergent pandemic strains. “Universal” influenza vaccine strategies that focus on the development of humoral immunity directed against the stalk domains of the viral hemagglutinin (HA) show promise for protecting against diverse influenza viruses. Here, we describe such a strategy that utilizes vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as a vector for chimeric hemagglutinin (cHA) antigens. This vaccination strategy is effective at generating HA stalk-specific, broadly cross-reactive serum antibodies by both the intramuscular and intranasal routes of vaccination. We show that prime-boost vaccination strategies provide protection against both lethal homologous and heterosubtypic influenza challenge, and that protection is significantly improved with intranasal vaccine administration. Additionally, we show that vaccination with VSV-cHAs generates greater stalk-specific and cross-reactive serum antibodies than does vaccination with VSV vectored full-length HAs, confirming that cHA-based vaccination strategies are superior at generating stalk-specific humoral immunity. VSV-vectored influenza vaccines that express chimeric hemagglutinin antigens offer a novel means for protecting against widely diverging influenza viruses.



Universal influenza vaccination strategies should be capable of protecting against a wide array of influenza viruses and we have developed such an approach utilizing a single viral vector system. The potent antibody responses that these vaccines generate are shown to protect mice against lethal influenza challenges with highly divergent viruses. Notably, intranasal vaccination offers significantly better protection than intramuscular vaccination in a lethal virus challenge model. The results described in this study offer insights into the mechanisms by which chimeric hemagglutinin-based vaccines confer immunity, namely that the invariant stalk of cHA antigens is superior to full length HA antigens at inducing cross-reactive humoral immune responses, and that VSV-cHA vaccine-induced protection varies by site of inoculation, and contribute to the further development of universal influenza virus vaccines.



*To whom correspondence should be addressed: john.rose@yale.edu

Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Influenza A; Vaccines.



Preventive #malaria #treatment for #contacts of #patients with #Ebola virus disease in the context of the west #Africa 2014–15 Ebola virus disease response: an economic analysis (The Lancet Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Preventive malaria treatment for contacts of patients with Ebola virus disease in the context of the west Africa 2014–15 Ebola virus disease response: an economic analysis [      ]

Cristina Carias, Bradford Greening, Caresse G Campbell, Martin I Meltzer, Mary J Hamel

Published Online: 16 December 2015 / Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00465-X

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




After the detection of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in west Africa in 2014, one of the elements of the response was to contact trace and isolate patients in specialised Ebola treatment units (ETUs) at onset of fever. We aimed to assess the economic feasibility of administering preventive malaria treatment to all contacts of patients with Ebola virus disease, to prevent the onset of febrile malaria and subsequent admission to ETUs.


We used a decision tree model to analyse the costs of preventive malaria treatment (artemisinin-based combination treatment [ACT]) for all contacts of patients with Ebola virus disease (in terms of administration and averted ETU-stay costs) and benefits (in terms of averted ETU admissions) in west Africa, from a health-care provider perspective. The period of analyses was 1 year, which is roughly similar to the duration of the 2014–15 west Africa Ebola outbreak response. We calculated the intervention’s cost per ETU admission averted (average cost-effectiveness ratio) by season (wet and dry), country (Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea), and age of contact (<5 years, 5–14 years, and ≥15 years). We did sensitivity analyses to assess how results varied with malaria parasite prevalence (in children aged 2–10 years), daily cost of ETU stay (for Liberian malaria incidence levels), and compliance and effectiveness of preventive malaria treatment.


Administration of ACTs to contacts of patients with Ebola virus disease was cost saving for contacts of all ages in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, in both seasons, from a health-care provider perspective. In the wet season, preventive malaria treatment was estimated to reduce the probability of a contact being admitted to an ETU by a maximum of 36% (in Guinea, for contacts aged <5 years), and a minimum of 10% (in Guinea and Sierra Leone, for those aged ≥15 years). Assuming 85% compliance and taking into account the African population pyramid, the intervention is expected to be cost saving in contacts of all age groups in areas with malaria parasite prevalence in children aged 2–10 years as low as 10%. In Liberia during the wet season, malaria preventive treatment was cost saving even when average daily bed-stay costs were as low as US$5 for children younger than 5 years, $9 for those aged 5–14 years, and $22 for those aged 15 years or older.


Administration of preventive malaria treatment to contacts of patients with Ebola virus disease should be considered by public health officials when addressing Ebola virus disease outbreaks in countries and seasons where malaria reaches high levels of transmission.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola; Malaria; African Region.


Post #Ebola #Signs and #Symptoms in #US #Survivors (N Engl J Med., abstract)

[Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Extract, edited.]


Post-Ebola Signs and Symptoms in U.S. Survivors [      ]

N Engl J Med 2015; 373:2484-2486 / December 17, 2015 / DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1506576


To the Editor:

By mid-November 2015, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa had resulted in 28,598 suspected, probable, or confirmed cases with 11,299 deaths since the earliest cases were identified in late 2013.1 Although most patients have been treated in West Africa, a small number have received care in hospitals in the United States.2 Although little has been known regarding clinical sequelae during recovery from EVD, current reports suggest that EVD survivors may have arthralgia, hearing loss, ocular disease, and extreme fatigue.3-5 However, the duration, severity, and pathogenesis of sequelae among EVD survivors are unknown. Understanding the experiences of EVD survivors in the United States may help inform the health needs of other survivors.


Lauren Epstein, M.D., Karen K. Wong, M.D., M.P.H., Alexander J. Kallen, M.D., M.P.H., Timothy M. Uyeki, M.D., M.P.H., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA  / xdd0@cdc.gov

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola.


#Prognostic #Indicators for #Ebola #Patient #Survival (@CDC_EIDjournal, abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 22, Number 2—February 2016 / Research

Prognostic Indicators for Ebola Patient Survival [      ]

Samuel J. Crowe1, Solomon Kuah, Bobbie Rae Erickson, Megan Coffee, Barbara Knust, John Klena, Joyce Foday, Darren Hertz, Veerle Hermans, Jay Achar, Grazia M. Caleo, Michel Van Herp, César G. Albariño, Brian Amman, Alison Jane Basile, Scott Bearden, Jessica A. Belser, Eric Bergeron, Dianna Blau, Aaron C. Brault, Shelley Campbell, Mike Flint, Aridth Gibbons, Christin Goodman, Laura McMullan, Christopher Paddock, Brandy Russell, Johanna S. Salzer, Angela Sanchez, Tara Sealy, David Wang, Gbessay Saffa, Alhajie Turay, Stuart T. Nichol, and Jonathan S. Towner

Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (S.J. Crowe, M.J. Maenner, B.R. Erickson, B. Knust, J. Klena, C.G. Albariño, B. Amman, J.A. Belser, E. Bergeron, D. Blau, S. Campbell, M. Flint, A. Gibbons, L. McMullan, C. Paddock, J.S. Salzer, A. Sanchez, T. Sealy, D. Wang, S.T. Nichol, J.S. Towner); International Rescue Committee, New York, New York, USA (S. Kuah, M. Coffee, D. Hertz); Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Bo Town, Sierra Leone (J. Foday, G. Saffa, A. Turay); Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium (V. Hermans, M. Van Herp); Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK (J. Achar, G.M. Caleo); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (A.J. Basile, S. Bearden, A.C. Brault, C. Goodman, B. Russell)



To determine whether 2 readily available indicators predicted survival among patients with Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone, we evaluated information for 216 of the 227 patients in Bo District during a 4-month period. The indicators were time from symptom onset to healthcare facility admission and quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR cycle threshold (Ct), a surrogate for viral load, in first Ebola virus–positive blood sample tested. Of these patients, 151 were alive when detected and had reported healthcare facility admission dates and Ct values available. Time from symptom onset to healthcare facility admission was not associated with survival, but viral load in the first Ebola virus–positive blood sample was inversely associated with survival: 52 (87%) of 60 patients with a Ct of >24 survived and 20 (22%) of 91 with a Ct of <24 survived. Ct values may be useful for clinicians making treatment decisions or managing patient or family expectations.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Ebola.


Rarity in #mass #extinctions and the #future of #ecosystems (Nature, abstract)

[Source: Nature, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature | Review

Rarity in mass extinctions and the future of ecosystems [   R   ]

Pincelli M. Hull, Simon A. F. Darroch & Douglas H. Erwin

Journal name: Nature  – Volume: 528, Pages: 345–351 – Date published: (17 December 2015) – DOI: doi:10.1038/nature16160

Received 05 May 2015 – Accepted 15 October 2015 – Published online 16 December 2015



The fossil record provides striking case studies of biodiversity loss and global ecosystem upheaval. Because of this, many studies have sought to assess the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis relative to past crises—a task greatly complicated by the need to extrapolate extinction rates. Here we challenge this approach by showing that the rarity of previously abundant taxa may be more important than extinction in the cascade of events leading to global changes in the biosphere. Mass rarity may provide the most robust measure of our current biodiversity crisis relative to those past, and new insights into the dynamics of mass extinction.

Subject terms: Palaeoecology • Conservation biology • Environmental sciences • Palaeontology • Ecology

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Biodiversity; Mass Extinctions.


#Indonesia, #H5N1: Central #Java province reported a #birdflu #poultry #outbreak (Solopos, Dec. 16 ‘15, edited)

[Source: Solopos, full page: (LINK). Automatic translation, edited.]

#Indonesia, #H5N1: Central #Java province reported a #birdflu #poultry #outbreak [      ]

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 23:40 pm

Solopos.com, SUKOHARJO- Village Sonorejo, District Sukoharjo is affected by a bird flu outbreak following the death of thousands of quails that tested positive for Avian Influenza (AI) in November. Department of Agriculture (Dispertan) Sukoharjo tighten controls over poultry traffic entering the rainy season.

It was revealed by Head of Division (Head) Ranch Dispertan Sukoharjo, Yuli Dwi Irianto, Solopos.com when met at his office, Wednesday (12/16/2015). According to him, only one case of bird flu occurred in Sukoharjo during January to mid-December. AI virus attack quail farm in the village Sonorejo, District Sukoharjo last November.

“There are about 2,000 quail died suddenly within three days. Having examined the officer turned out thousands of quails that tested positive for AI virus, “he said Wednesday.

Officers immediately follow up with spraying disinfectant in each cage.Thousands of quails died suddenly destroyed by fire in order to break the chain of transmission of the AI ​​virus. While surviving quail slaughtered and buried around the farm.

Based on the results of the investigation officers in the field, which resulted in thousands of AI virus quails died suddenly came from stuck. “… source of AI virus were also slaughtered and buried so that no more birds are infected with avian flu,” said Yuli.

On the other hand, the Head UPTD Poskeswan Dispertan Sukoharjo, Leny Sri Lestari, said officers will strictly supervise traffic that goes to Sukoharjo poultry, especially in border areas such as Sub Kartasura and Nguter. In addition, he and a team of community health centers will socialize the dangers of bird flu to the citizens.

This is done so that people understand the modes of transmission and prevention of bird flu.

“Awareness of the breeder ducks to anticipate the spread of bird flu disease is quite high. They always routinely inject vaccine in poultry, “he said.

Keywords: Indonesia; Java; H5N1; Avian Influenza; Poultry.


#Geomorphic and #geologic #controls of #geohazards induced by #Nepal’s 2015 #Gorkha #earthquake (Science, abstract)

[Source: Science, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Published Online December 16 2015 / Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aac8353  / Research Article / GEOMORPHOLOGY

Geomorphic and geologic controls of geohazards induced by Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha earthquake [   R   ]

J. S. Kargel 1,*,†, G. J. Leonard 1,*, D. H. Shugar 2,*,†, U. K. Haritashya 3,*,†, A. Bevington 4, E. J. Fielding 5, K. Fujita 6, M. Geertsema 4, E. S. Miles 7, J. Steiner 8, E. Anderson 9, S. Bajracharya 10, G. W. Bawden 11, D. F. Breashears 12, A. Byers 13, B. Collins 14, M. R. Dhital 15, A. Donnellan 5, T. L. Evans 16, M. L. Geai 17, M. T. Glasscoe 5, D. Green 11, D. R. Gurung 10, R. Heijenk 4, A. Hilborn 16, K. Hudnut 18, C. Huyck 19, W. W. Immerzeel 20, Jiang Liming 21, R. Jibson 22, A. Kääb 23, N. R. Khanal 10, D. Kirschbaum 24, P. D. A. Kraaijenbrink 20, D. Lamsal 25, Liu Shiyin 26, Lv Mingyang 27, D. McKinney 28, N. K. Nahirnick 16, Nan Zhuotong 29, S. Ojha 25, J. Olsenholler 30, T. H. Painter 5, M. Pleasants 3, Pratima KC 31, QI Yuan 26, B. H. Raup 32, D. Regmi 33, D. R. Rounce 34, A. Sakai 6, Shangguan Donghui 26, J. M. Shea 10, A. B. Shrestha 10, A. Shukla 35, D. Stumm 10, M. van der Kooij 36, K. Voss 37, Wang Xin 38, B. Weihs 39, D. Wolfe 40, Wu Lizong 27, Yao Xiaojun 41, M. R. Yoder 42, N. Young 43

Author Affiliations: 1Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. 2School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, USA. 3Department of Geology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, USA. 4Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Prince George, BC, Canada. 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA. 6Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. 7Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. 8Institute of Environmental Engineering, Federal Institute of Technology–ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. 9NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, USA. 10International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal. 11NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA. 12GlacierWorks, Marblehead, MA, USA. 13The Mountain Institute, Elkins, WV, USA. 14U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, USA. 15Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal 16Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada. 17CVA Engineering, Suresnes, France. 18Earthquake Science Center, U. S. Geological Survey, Pasadena, CA, USA. 19ImageCat Inc, Long Beach, CA, USA. 20Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands. 21State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. 22U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, CO, USA. 23Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway. 24Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA. 25Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. 26Cold and Arid Regions of Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China. 27School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. 28Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA. 29School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China. 30Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA. 31Arizona Remote Sensing Center, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. 32National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. 33Himalayan Research Center, Kathmandu, Nepal. 34Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA. 35Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, India. 36MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates – GSI, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 37Department of Geography, University of California – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. 38College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, China. 39Geography Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA. 40GLIMS Steward, Alaska Region, Anchorage, AK, USA. 41College of Geographical Science and Environment, Northwest Normal University, China. 42Department of Physics, University of California – Davis, Davis, CA, USA. 43Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia.

†Corresponding author. Email: kargel@hwr.arizona.edu (J.S.K.); dshugar@uw.edu (D.H.S.); uharitashya1@udayton.edu (U.K.H.).

* These authors contributed equally to this work.



The Gorkha earthquake (M 7.8) on 25 April 2015 and later aftershocks struck South Asia, killing ~9,000 and damaging a large region. Supported by a large campaign of responsive satellite data acquisitions over the earthquake disaster zone, our team undertook a satellite image survey of the earthquakes’ induced geohazards in Nepal and China and an assessment of the geomorphic, tectonic, and lithologic controls on quake-induced landslides. Timely analysis and communication aided response and recovery and informed decision makers. We mapped 4,312 co-seismic and post-seismic landslides. We also surveyed 491 glacier lakes for earthquake damage, but found only 9 landslide-impacted lakes and no visible satellite evidence of outbursts. Landslide densities correlate with slope, peak ground acceleration, surface downdrop, and specific metamorphic lithologies and large plutonic intrusions.

Received for publication 20 June 2015. Accepted for publication 27 November 2015.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Earthquakes; Nepal.