SARS vaccine linked to liver damage in ferret study

first_imgDec 6, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers in Canada who found hepatitis in ferrets after injecting the animals with an experimental vaccine for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) are urging caution as other investigators develop and test SARS vaccines.As reported in the November issue of the Journal of Virology, the study involved a vaccine developed by senior author Jingxin Cao, PhD, of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiological Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. Cao had created a vaccine from recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) and the distinctive spike protein that marks the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The trial vaccine is called rMVA-S.The team chose ferrets for the study on the basis of their reported susceptibility to SARS infection, Cao told CIDRAP News.At the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health’s Biosafety Level 4 lab in Winnipeg, three ferrets were injected with the rMVA-S vaccine, three with parental MVA, and three with saline solution. They received booster immunizations 2 weeks later.Then the ferrets were exposed intranasally to the SARS virus, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 between November 2002 and July 2003.On the plus side, immunization with rMVA-S induced a rapid immune response following exposure to the virus, the researchers wrote. The ferrets displayed no clinical signs of illness, but viral RNA was found in pharyngeal swabs and blood samples taken from all the ferrets.But researchers unexpectedly discovered a downside when they checked the ferrets’ liver health. Ferrets vaccinated with rMVA-S and exposed to SARS-CoV had elevated levels of an enzyme that indicates liver damage. Examination of liver sections showed that the ferrets had severe hepatitis. Only mild hepatitis was found in the ferrets injected with parental MVA or saline.It’s uncommon to perform the tests that revealed the hepatitis, said Kelly Keith, acting communications manager for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. This study will help ensure that any other SARS vaccine will be safer, as scientists should know to check for this possible side effect.”Extra caution should be taken in proposed human trials of SARS vaccines due to the potential liver damage from immunization and virus infection,” the research report states.Cao said he hopes that others recognize the significance of the hepatitis among the vaccinated ferrets. “For future human vaccine development, we must pay attention to that effect,” he said.The lead author of the study, Hana Weingartl, PhD, head of special pathogens for Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, said she and her fellow researchers are seeking a grant to continue their work. “We would like to look more closely at why we saw the liver damage in those animals,” she said. “It would be good to know what not to do.”The findings underscore how little is understood about SARS, which emerged in southern China in November 2002. Since its discovery, scientists have raced to contain it and develop a vaccine. Weingartl and Cao’s study is one of several vaccine investigations in various stages in several countries.Researchers need a better understanding of how the virus damages the host, Weingartl said.In an unrelated SARS vaccine investigation, the Chinese government yesterday announced that a vaccine proved safe and effective in a phase 1 clinical trial. Thirty-six volunteers who had been vaccinated reported no unusual physical reactions after 56 days, Agence France-Presse reported (AFP). In addition, antibodies were found in 24 of those vaccinated, the story said.Testing began in May with 18 men and 18 women from 21 to 40 years old following what the government termed successful animal tests, AFP reported. The vaccine won’t be ready for commercial use until two more testing phases are completed.Weingartl H, Czub M, Czub S, et al. Immunization with modified vaccinia virus Ankara-based recombinant vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome is associated with enhanced hepatitis in ferrets. J Virology 2004;78(22):12672-6 [Abstract]last_img read more

Badminton chief defends calendar changes after outcry

first_imgBadminton’s ruling body on Tuesday defended postponing the season’s finale until January — a decision that has sparked an outcry from players — saying it was the “best possible solution” given the coronavirus pandemic.The virus has thrown the badminton calendar into chaos, with officials forced to repeatedly postpone competitions. In the latest change, officials announced last week the three tournaments that make up the Asian leg of the world tour will take place in the Thai capital Bangkok in January.  The final tournaments of the 2020 season were originally scheduled for November.Badminton World Federation (BWF) president Poul-Erik Hoyer insisted Tuesday it was the best outcome in a difficult year. “Given the challenges we faced, this was the best possible solution under the circumstances,” he told a press conference.”I am confident that with our safety protocols in place, the three events will kickstart badminton’s successful return in 2021.” Several Danish players — including leading men’s doubles players Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Kim Astrup — were reported to have reacted angrily to the news of the postponement.Officials have acknowledged that changing the dates could affect world rankings and the 2021 season’s calendar. Still, Badminton Association of Thailand president Patama Leeswadtrakul said strict measures would be in place to ensure the safety of players and officials at the Bangkok tournaments.They included putting a “bubble” in place — like those implemented for the restart of other sports — and requiring players to take virus tests before flying to Bangkok and on arrival.Earlier this month the BWF postponed the showpiece Thomas and Uber Cup after a string of countries withdrew.Topics :last_img read more

Dodgers’ Walker Buehler looks strong in late spring debut

first_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “Mike’s just one of the best guys,” Freese said. “When I got traded over there, that was one of my first thoughts, ‘What type of guy is Mike Trout?’ He’s everything you hope he’d be. Him and his family deserve it all. I think he’s where he wants to be.”There had been speculation that Trout would bolt Anaheim when he could become a free agent in two years and sign with either the Yankees (he grew up a Derek Jeter fan) or Phillies (closest to his hometown in New Jersey). Tuesday’s news ended that speculation.“I have buddies back home that’d ask me, ‘What do you think Trout is going to do?’ ” Freese said. “I’d tell them how big a family man he is and everything. I just think he enjoys both sides of it. I think he enjoys being out here and he obviously enjoys being in Jersey and being home and doing all that. But I think he truly enjoys it, enjoys what that area (Orange County) is all about, what that team is all about.”ALSOReliever Josh Fields has signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to the remaining days of big-league camp with the Milwaukee Brewers. Fields was released by the Dodgers last week. The calendar only allows for one more. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Buehler will start one of the games in the Freeway Series (most likely Monday) and build up to four innings or approximately 60 pitches. His next start will be in the first series of the regular season against the Arizona Diamondbacks.“Yeah, at some point you’ve got to be ready to go. I’ll be fine,” he said.“I told you guys a while back – once I’m kind of going, I’m going. As long as I get the feel, I think I’ll be fine.”TROUT TALKDodgers first baseman David Freese spent two seasons with the Angels, watching Mike Trout win his first MVP award in 2014 (and finish second in 2015). The two still “text randomly” but Freese got the news about Trout’s record-breaking extension through a text from another friend.“My buddy texted me this morning,” Freese said. “He just texted, ‘TROUT!’ and I thought, ‘Oh … did he sign?’ Then I looked it up.“Just super pumped for him.”Freese was traded from the Cardinals to the Angels before the 2014 season. Changing leagues, he was initially curious about the young superstar.Related Articles “Just beyond electric. The ball just explodes out of his hand. Supreme stuff,” Martin said. “I can’t remember ever catching somebody who has that variety of electric stuff – when you talk about the heater, the two-seamer, the cutter, curveball, slider. Everything is sharp. It’s amazing.“If it gets better than that – wow.”There won’t be much time for it to get too much better.Buehler arrived at spring training with “some hangover stuff from last year” and wasn’t feeling right in his early throwing sessions. He was shut down temporarily and then “slow-played” until his Cactus League debut Tuesday.“You always want to be on time. You want to get all the innings you need,” said Buehler who didn’t progress on schedule last spring training either due to a back injury suffered before he reported. “But I felt pretty good. The ball was coming out of my hand alright. Get one or two more and we’ll be ready to go.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers ace-in-waiting has done more waiting than pitching this spring.But right-hander Walker Buehler finally got in a game Tuesday night, throwing 46 pitches over 2-2/3 innings (many traveling a healthy 98 mph). He gave up three singles, struck out two and was charged with a run when his last baserunner eventually scored.“It was good – a little erratic, a little all over the place,” Buehler said. “But that’s what these games are for.”It might have been Buehler’s first game action of the spring but veteran catcher Russell Martin didn’t see a young pitcher trying to find his way. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

No special committee on medical marijuana, governor says it’s not needed

first_imgDES MOINES — Top Republican lawmakers at the statehouse have denied a request from Democrats to start a special committee to study the state’s medical marijuana program. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds vetoed a bipartisan bill passed this year that would’ve allowed for more potent medical marijuana products.Representative John Forbes, a Democrat from Urbandale, says it would help with crafting a proposal to expand the program.   “The thought was if we could have this interim committee meeting, bring public members in and voice their opinion and concerns, I think that strengthens our bill and allows other legislators the opportunity to be able to hear what their constituents are saying too,” Forbes says.Governor Reynolds says she isn’t interested in an interim legislative committee. Reynolds says there already is a process for reviewing the rules that was included in the initial law.  “They put in place as part of that an advisory board…. and they were very prescriptive about who served on that advisory board so we have the expertise to make decisions going forward,” Reynolds says.Reynolds says she vetoed the bill over the provision that would have let more potent cannabis pills, oils and creams be produced and sold in Iowa. Something that was not approved by the advisory board. “So out of the eight or so policy pieces that were included in that bill — seven of them, my numbers may be off — but every one but one was a recommendation of the policy board. So that’s an indication to me that it’s working,” Reynolds says.Reynolds says she wants to see what the advisory board thinks before signing off on expanding the potency of the medical marijuana. “There is a great big range between where we are at right now and what was proposed last year. And I would be interest again in hearing what the advisory board that the legislature put together and passed and was signed into law, I would be interested in their input as well,” she says.Reynolds says lawmakers should work through the policy board to make changes instead of another committee.  “They created it, it’s already there, so work with them,” Reynolds says. “This is legislation that passed both chambers that was sent to the governor an signed into law. So, it seems to me that that’s the role of this policy board that they put into place.”Reynolds made her comments Wednesday following an event. Lawmakers failed in an attempt to get enough votes to call a special session to override the veto.last_img read more