1,458 research outputs found

    Measuring asymmetry in strange beauty

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    Pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir: an oral antiviral for the treatment and prophylaxis of influenza in diverse populations

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    Influenza is a transmissible viral pathogen that continues to cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Oseltamivir is an orally administered antiviral medication that selectively inhibits the influenza neuraminidase enzymes that are essential for viral replication. Treatment of infected children ≥1 year and adults of all ages may decrease the severity and duration of the symptoms of infection, while prophylactic dosing can prevent their onset. Oseltamivir is ingested in the form of a prodrug (oseltamivir phosphate) that is rapidly converted by hepatic esterases into the active metabolite, oseltamivir carboxylate. Oseltamivir carboxylate has high bioavailability and penetrates sites of infection at concentrations that are sufficient to inhibit viral replication. The pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir and oseltamivir carboxylate are dose proportional after repeated doses of up to 500 mg twice daily. This predictable profile means that oseltamivir is suitable for use in diverse patient populations, which may include young children and elderly patients, various ethnic groups and those with renal or hepatic impairment. As the potential for drug interactions is low, oseltamivir is also suitable for use in patients with co-morbid conditions who are likely to be receiving concomitant medications

    Effect of Neuraminidase Inhibitor–Resistant Mutations on Pathogenicity of Clade 2.2 A/Turkey/15/06 (H5N1) Influenza Virus in Ferrets

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    The acquisition of neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor resistance by H5N1 influenza viruses has serious clinical implications, as this class of drugs can be an essential component of pandemic control measures. The continuous evolution of the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses results in the emergence of natural NA gene variations whose impact on viral fitness and NA inhibitor susceptibility are poorly defined. We generated seven genetically stable recombinant clade 2.2 A/Turkey/15/06-like (H5N1) influenza viruses carrying NA mutations located either in the framework residues (E119A, H274Y, N294S) or in close proximity to the NA enzyme active site (V116A, I117V, K150N, Y252H). NA enzyme inhibition assays showed that NA mutations at positions 116, 117, 274, and 294 reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir carboxylate (IC50s increased 5- to 940-fold). Importantly, the E119A NA mutation (previously reported to confer resistance in the N2 NA subtype) was stable in the clade 2.2 H5N1 virus background and induced cross-resistance to oseltamivir carboxylate and zanamivir. We demonstrated that Y252H NA mutation contributed for decreased susceptibility of clade 2.2 H5N1 viruses to oseltamivir carboxylate as compared to clade 1 viruses. The enzyme kinetic parameters (Vmax, Km and Ki) of the avian-like N1 NA glycoproteins were highly consistent with their IC50 values. None of the recombinant H5N1 viruses had attenuated virulence in ferrets inoculated with 106 EID50 dose. Most infected ferrets showed mild clinical disease signs that differed in duration. However, H5N1 viruses carrying the E119A or the N294S NA mutation were lethal to 1 of 3 inoculated animals and were associated with significantly higher virus titers (P<0.01) and inflammation in the lungs compared to the wild-type virus. Our results suggest that highly pathogenic H5N1 variants carrying mutations within the NA active site that decrease susceptibility to NA inhibitors may possess increased virulence in mammalian hosts compared to drug-sensitive viruses. There is a need for novel anti-influenza drugs that target different virus/host factors and can limit the emergence of resistance

    Experimental observation of spontaneous spin polarization of electrons in hybridized states of transition element impurities in semiconductors

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    Experimental evidence of the possible existence of spontaneous spin polarization of the electron system in hybridized states formed by transition element impurity atoms in the conduction band of semiconducting crystals is examined. The details of a quantitative interpretation of experiments on the temperature dependence of the specific heat and elastic moduli of mercury selenide crystals with iron impurities confirm the feasibility of establishing the presence of electron spin polarization in this type of experiment, as well as the possible existence of polarization in the crystals studied here. Theoretical arguments support the observation of a thermodynamic anomalous Hall effect owing to spontaneously polarized donor electrons from low-concentration impurities. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC

    Oseltamivir–Resistant Pandemic H1N1/2009 Influenza Virus Possesses Lower Transmissibility and Fitness in Ferrets

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    The neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor oseltamivir offers an important immediate option for the control of influenza, and its clinical use has increased substantially during the recent H1N1 pandemic. In view of the high prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant seasonal H1N1 influenza viruses in 2007–2008, there is an urgent need to characterize the transmissibility and fitness of oseltamivir-resistant H1N1/2009 viruses, although resistant variants have been isolated at a low rate. Here we studied the transmissibility of a closely matched pair of pandemic H1N1/2009 clinical isolates, one oseltamivir-sensitive and one resistant, in the ferret model. The resistant H275Y mutant was derived from a patient on oseltamivir prophylaxis and was the first oseltamivir-resistant isolate of the pandemic virus. Full genome sequencing revealed that the pair of viruses differed only at NA amino acid position 275. We found that the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1/2009 virus was not transmitted efficiently in ferrets via respiratory droplets (0/2), while it retained efficient transmission via direct contact (2/2). The sensitive H1N1/2009 virus was efficiently transmitted via both routes (2/2 and 1/2, respectively). The wild-type H1N1/2009 and the resistant mutant appeared to cause a similar disease course in ferrets without apparent attenuation of clinical signs. We compared viral fitness within the host by co-infecting a ferret with oseltamivir-sensitive and -resistant H1N1/2009 viruses and found that the resistant virus showed less growth capability (fitness). The NA of the resistant virus showed reduced substrate-binding affinity and catalytic activity in vitro and delayed initial growth in MDCK and MDCK-SIAT1 cells. These findings may in part explain its less efficient transmission. The fact that the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1/2009 virus retained efficient transmission through direct contact underlines the necessity of continuous monitoring of drug resistance and characterization of possible evolving viral proteins during the pandemic

    Adaptation of High-Growth Influenza H5N1 Vaccine Virus in Vero Cells: Implications for Pandemic Preparedness

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    Current egg-based influenza vaccine production technology can't promptly meet the global demand during an influenza pandemic as shown in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Moreover, its manufacturing capacity would be vulnerable during pandemics caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. Therefore, vaccine production using mammalian cell technology is becoming attractive. Current influenza H5N1 vaccine strain (NIBRG-14), a reassortant virus between A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1) virus and egg-adapted high-growth A/PR/8/1934 virus, could grow efficiently in eggs and MDCK cells but not Vero cells which is the most popular cell line for manufacturing human vaccines. After serial passages and plaque purifications of the NIBRG-14 vaccine virus in Vero cells, one high-growth virus strain (Vero-15) was generated and can grow over 108 TCID50/ml. In conclusion, one high-growth H5N1 vaccine virus was generated in Vero cells, which can be used to manufacture influenza H5N1 vaccines and prepare reassortant vaccine viruses for other influenza A subtypes

    Mammalian adaptation of influenza A(H7N9) virus is limited by a narrow genetic bottleneck

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    Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus is associated mainly with the exposure to infected poultry. The factors that allow interspecies transmission but limit human-to-human transmission are unknown. Here we show that A/Anhui/1/2013(H7N9) influenza virus infection of chickens (natural hosts) is asymptomatic and that it generates a high genetic diversity. In contrast, diversity is tightly restricted in infected ferrets, limiting further adaptation to a fully transmissible form. Airborne transmission in ferrets is accompanied by the mutations in PB1, NP and NA genes that reduce viral polymerase and neuraminidase activity. Therefore, while A(H7N9) virus can infect mammals, further adaptation appears to incur a fitness cost. Our results reveal that a tight genetic bottleneck during avian-to-mammalian transmission is a limiting factor in A(H7N9) influenza virus adaptation to mammals. This previously unrecognized biological mechanism limiting species jumps provides a measure of adaptive potential and may serve as a risk assessment tool for pandemic preparedness.published_or_final_versio

    Bose-Einstein correlations of same-sign charged pions in the forward region in pp collisions at √s=7 TeV

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    Bose-Einstein correlations of same-sign charged pions, produced in protonproton collisions at a 7 TeV centre-of-mass energy, are studied using a data sample collected by the LHCb experiment. The signature for Bose-Einstein correlations is observed in the form of an enhancement of pairs of like-sign charged pions with small four-momentum difference squared. The charged-particle multiplicity dependence of the Bose-Einstein correlation parameters describing the correlation strength and the size of the emitting source is investigated, determining both the correlation radius and the chaoticity parameter. The measured correlation radius is found to increase as a function of increasing charged-particle multiplicity, while the chaoticity parameter is seen to decreas