A new study has shown that targeting two immune cells—Th2 and Th17—and their downstream, inflammatory effects is better than targeting just one pathway in the context of asthma. The researchers also show that blocking the Th2 pathway, which is a target of commonly-prescribed corticosteroid drugs, may unexpectedly boost conditions for Th17-driven inflammation. These results clarify how immune cells and their products contribute to asthma, and the work may enable researchers to design and test therapies that target both pathways. The study appears in the August 19, 2015, edition of Science Translational Medicine and included scientists from NIAID, the University of Leicester, and Genentech.
A new press release from CDC shows that 9 out of 10 new U.S. HIV infections come from people not receiving HIV care. The release is based on a new CDC analysis and reinforces the importance of HIV testing and treatment for health and prevention.
The analysis showed that 30 percent of new HIV infections were transmitted from people who did not know that they were infected with the virus, highlighting the importance of getting tested. People who had been diagnosed were less likely to transmit their infection, in part because people who know they have HIV are more likely to take steps to protect their partners from infection.
In recent weeks we’ve seen an alarming outbreak of measles; a highly contagious and serious virus, especially in babies and young children who have not been vaccinated. This outbreak is particularly disturbing because measles was effectively eliminated from the United States in 2000 thanks to nearly universal vaccination, the single best way to prevent the spread of this disease.
Vaccination works with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to the measles. When more people are vaccinated, there are fewer opportunities for the disease to spread. A community generally needs more than ninety per cent of its members to be immunized against the virus in order to protect those who can’t be.
Before the first measles vaccine was approved in 1963, hundreds died from the disease each year. Others developed pneumonia, lifelong brain damage or deafness.
Let’s not return to these grim statistics. There is no shortage of measles vaccine. It should be used by everyone who has not been vaccinated to prevent measles and the potentially tragic consequences of the disease.
“We welcome President Obama’s FY16 budget proposal to increase National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and eliminate harmful sequestration. NIH has fostered remarkable advancements in human health, but has suffered from inadequate funding for the past decade. Additional resources will help defeat our nation’s most harmful diseases — including cancer, heart disease and diabetes — and fuel job creation in the life sciences sector – a win-win.
“We also commend the president for his Precision Medicine proposal. Investing in precision medicine and NIH ‘patient-powered research’ will continue to transform how diseases are treated, harnessing the power of the human genome, heath informatics and medical imaging to better understand individual patients’ unique needs. Precision medicine is an extraordinary example of how previous research discoveries build the foundation from which to launch cutting edge medical advancement, illustrating how NIH funding of today saves lives both present and future.
“Given the many economic, societal and health benefits borne from investments in medical research, we call on lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to make increasing NIH funding and eliminating sequestration a top priority in FY16 and beyond.”
The release of the 21st Century Cures discussion draft represents a promising opportunity for passing meaningful legislation on National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and policy. We applaud the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in seeking to accelerate advancements and innovations in medicine to more swiftly reach millions of patients awaiting new treatments and cures. Medical research funding has stalled over the past decade and, as such, the pace of discovery has suffered. The 21st Century Cures initiative will help restart its engine and ensure the U.S. keeps its title of world leader in medical innovation.
United for Medical Research looks forward to continuing to work with the Energy and Commerce Committee on this initiative and hopes together we can achieve the goal of investing in the future of medical research by providing NIH with the increased funding necessary for its lifesaving mission. – Carrie Wolinetz, PhD, President, United for Medical Research