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Archive for the ‘Immune System’ Category

The innate and adaptive immune systems – InformedHealth …

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

The immune system fights germs and foreign substances on the skin, in the tissues of the body and in bodily fluids such as blood. The immune system is made up of two parts: the innate, (general) immune system and the adaptive (specialized) immune system. These two systems work closely together and take on different tasks.

The innate immune system is the body's first line of defense against germs entering the body. It responds in the same way to all germs and foreign substances, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the "nonspecific" immune system. It acts very quickly: For instance, it makes sure that bacteria that have entered the skin through a small wound are detected and destroyed on the spot within a few hours. The innate immune system has only limited power to stop germs from spreading, though.

The innate immune system consists of

All outer and inner surfaces of the human body a key part of the innate immune system. The closed surface of the skin and of all mucous membranes already forms a physical barrier against germs, which protects them from entering. Additionally, chemical substances like acid, enzymes or mucus prevent bacteria and viruses from gaining a foothold. Movements created, for example, by hair-like structures in the bronchi (cilia) or bowel muscles stop germs from settling in the body. Tear fluid, sweat and urine (which flushes the organs of the urinary tract) have a similar effect.

The innate immune system activates special immune system cells and proteins if germs get past the skin and mucous membranes and enter the body.

When a part of the skin is infected, immune system cells move to the area or immune system cells that are already there are activated. Specific immune system cells release substances into the immediate area that make the blood vessels wider and more permeable. This causes the area around the infection to swell, heat up and redden, and inflammation results. A fever may develop as well. Then the blood vessels expand further and even more immune system cells arrive.

Certain proteins (enzymes) are also activated to help in the immune response (see below).

Bacteria or viruses that enter the body can be stopped right away by scavenger cells (phagocytes). Scavenger cells are special kinds of white blood cells (leukocytes). These cells enclose germs and "digest" them. The remains of these germs move to the surface of the scavenger cells to be detected by the adaptive immune system.

There are also other types of immune system cells that release substances to kill bacteria and various germs. Both germs and body tissue and immune system cells die and decay during an immune system response. Their remains form pus, a yellowish fluid.

Several proteins (enzymes) help the cells of the innate immune system. A total of nine different enzymes activate one another in a process similar to a chain reaction: One enzyme in the first stage alerts several enzymes of the second stage, each of which again activates several enzymes of the third stage, and so on. This allows immune system responses to escalate very quickly.

The tasks of these enzymes include:

marking germs as targets for scavenger cells,

attracting other immune system cells from the bloodstream,

fighting viruses by destroying the viral envelope (the outermost layer of a virus) or cells that have been infected with viruses.

The natural killer cells are the third major part of the innate immune system. They specialize in identifying cells that are infected by a virus or that have become tumorous. To do this, they search for cells that have changes in their surface, and then destroy the cell surface using cell toxins.

The adaptive immune system takes over if the innate immune system is not able to destroy the germs. It specifically targets the type of germ that is causing the infection. But to do that it first needs to identify the germ. This means that it is slower to respond than the innate immune system, but when it does it is more accurate. It also has the advantage of being able to "remember" germs, so the next time a known germ is encountered, the adaptive immune system can respond faster.

This memory is also the reason why there are some illnesses you can only get once in your life, because afterwards your body becomes immune. It may take a few days for the adaptive immune system to respond the first time it comes into contact with the germ, but the next time the body can react immediately. The second infection is then usually not even noticed, or is at least milder.

The adaptive immune system is made up of:

T lymphocytes in the tissue between the body's cells

B lymphocytes, also found in the tissue between the body's cells

Antibodies in the blood and other bodily fluids

T lymphocytes (also called T cells) are produced in bone marrow and then move to the thymus through the bloodstream, where they mature. The "T" in their name comes from "thymus."

T cells have three main jobs:

They use chemical messengers to activate other immune system cells in order to start the adaptive immune system (T helper cells).

They detect cells infected by viruses or tumorous cells and destroy them (cytotoxic T cells).

Some T helper cells become memory T cells after the infection has been defeated. They can "remember" which germs were defeated and are then ready to activate the adapted immune system quickly if there is another infection.

T cells have detection features on their surfaces that can attach to germs like a lock that one particular key will fit. The immune system can produce a matching T cell type for each germ in an infection within a few days.

Then if a germ attaches to a matching T cell, the T cell starts to multiply creating more T cells specialized to that germ. Because only the cells that match the germ multiply, the immune response is customized.

B lymphocytes (B cells) are made in the bone marrow and then mature there to become specialized immune system cells. They take their name from the "B" in "bone marrow." Like the T cells, there are many different types of B cells that match particular germs.

The B cells are activated by the T helper cells: T helper cells contact B cells that match the same germs that they do. This activates the B cells to multiply and to transform themselves into plasma cells. These plasma cells quickly produce very large amounts of antibodies and release them into the blood. Because only the B cells that match the attacking germs are activated, only the exact antibodies that are needed will be produced.

Some of the activated B cells transform into memory cells and become part of the "memory" of the adaptive immune system.

The various cells of the adaptive immune system communicate either directly or via soluble chemical messengers such as cytokines (small proteins). These chemical messengers are mostly proteins and are produced by different cells in the body.

Antibodies are compounds of protein and sugar that circulate in the bloodstream. They are created by the immune system to fight germs and foreign substances. Antibodies can quickly detect germs and other potentially harmful substances, and then attach to them. This neutralizes the "intruders" and attracts other immune system cells to help. Antibodies are produced by the B lymphocytes. Germs and other substances that can provoke the creation of antibodies are also referred to as "antigens."

An antibody only attaches to an antigen if it matches exactly, like a key in the lock of the antibody. That is how antibodies detect the matching germs to initiate a fast response from the adaptive immune system.

Antibodies have three main functions:

They activate other immune system cells by attaching to their surfaces. Scavenger cells are better able to fight off germs that are loaded with antibodies, too.

They activate proteins that help in the immune system response.

The antibodies of the adaptive immune system also support the innate immune system.

Brandes R, Lang F, Schmidt R (Ed). Physiologie des Menschen: mit Pathophysiologie. Berlin: Springer; 2019.

Menche N (Ed). Biologie Anatomie Physiologie. Mnchen: Urban und Fischer; 2016.

Pschyrembel. Klinisches Wrterbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2017.

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helpingpeople understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and healthcare services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to theGerman health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individualcase can be determined by talking to a doctor. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by ateam ofhealth care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You canfind a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated inour methods.

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New Year: 2022 as the Year of Immunity – Worth

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Scientists work daily on altering current vaccines by using molecular means to assure the individual that each variant is covered. And there is development of new medications to treat patients who have been infected and are ill.

Published on December 20, 2021

We are going to have to deal with an invasive virus for the foreseeable future. Never has the worlds population been so acutely aware of a deadly non-living particle that wreaks havoc on the worlds people on a weekly basis. Its a force to separate those who are immunologically protected from those who are not. Furthermore, the immune system, which I call the biological soul, determines who is to live or die.

I had been talking about biological warfare to emergency volunteers long before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Now, the pandemic has brought the biowarfare issue to reality and made it a terrorist act more deadly than 9/11, from an invisible source. Now, we talk about viral replication and immunogenetics to explain the value of vaccination, appropriate behavior and the use of personal protective equipment in 2021. It seems like the COVID virus is living, because it appears when we least expect it in new forms, highly developed and often with new characteristics. It is as though it is alive and directs itself and us. The alpha, the delta and then a plethora of Greek lettered variants, until the recent appearance of Omicron.

There is no doubt that our immune systems are primed to deal with scourges like COVID. The immune system is our biological soul because it directs and protects every organ of the body like a spirit and is present to make sure that you live a long and secure life. The immune system is imperceptibly learning about new invaders every hour of the day in a kind of terrorist drill. It learns and is informed by your microbiomes (bowel, skin, lungs and others), collections of organisms without which the immune system would not work. From your birth, the biomes initially delivered to you by your mother during your voyage into the world to the present biomes determined by your hygiene, diet, stress and consumption of medicines. The immune system learns during every moment of the day by exposure to this or that minor or major antigen. Occasionally with something like the novel coronavirus, the immune system encounters a cunning foe that establishes a resistant presence to an immune system overwhelmed by its lack of recognition of the new invader. You can hear the T cells say, this is not a drill. Moreover, there is always the danger that a new resistance may develop as soon as the immune system learns its way. COVID is discreet in its passage to various organs and does its damage through inflammation in many organs, selective residence in areas like the human brain and the formation of small micro blood clots in the microscopic vessels that line the alveoli of the lung, those little sacks that provide exchange of oxygen. This is the way this efficient particle replicates and, in the process, kills its host.

As with every other kind of invasion by bacteria or parasites, the immune system can inform itself and overcome most infections. It all depends on the health of your biological soul, your genetic predisposition and the number of organ comorbidities like heart disease, lung disease, obesity or simply age. After infection, the response among humans who have recovered as measured by neutralizing antibody, or in rare cases measured cellular immunity, varies from individual to individual. As I looked for strong titered antibodies from the previously infected survivors to get some convalescent sera for use among the dying, I was struck by the inconsistency of the immune response in most patients who recovered from COVID. This was clearly proof that the immune response was different for all of us. Vaccination is needed for both the previously infected and those who wish to prevent initial infection, and both responses vary from individual to individual.

I am astonished by misinformation about the vaccine and its efficacy (largely the result of ignorance), but more importantly, I am stunned by the disinformation given by certain individuals (purposeful attempts at obfuscation) and groups on social media decrying the need for the jab. This disinformation has effects are on both young and old folks and is the basis for vaccine hesitancy and doubtless thousands of deaths. Excuses have abounded, such as the vaccine does not work because it has been rushed, it affects fertility, it is really a chip that is injected into you to follow you, it is given to old people to eliminate them from the population or finally that the virus is a political hoax. Since there have now been over 800,000 deaths in this country alone and only 61 percent of the population is vaccinated (the lowest among wealthy countries), this disinformation is very deadly. Because of vaccine hesitancy, families are fractured. The unvaccinated are prohibited from interacting with relatives over the holidays. Extra attention is given by hosts and hostesses to ensure that there are no super spreaders amongst them. A recent wedding of a cousin that resulted in 35 infected people with two guests hospitalized is a stark example of what can happen.

Naming this the year of immunity is a perfect substrate for many articles directed to each component of the healthy immune system. Topics such as the long-haul syndrome, breakthrough infections, the new appearance of autoimmunity in those after infection, the sudden appearance of new pain syndromes, the role of the brain and the importance of the biome are all items for future discussion. Moreover, scientists work daily on altering current vaccines by using molecular means to assure the individual that each variant is covered. And there is development of new medications to treat patients who have been infected and are ill. These medications are anti-viral in different ways: One is a nucleoside analogue which disrupts replication of the virus (Molnupiravir), and the other is an anti-viral proteinase inhibitor that acts like anti-HIV and Hepatitis C pills (Paxlovid). Both oral pills should be available in 2022 to prevent further death. While there is no substitute for the vaccine, there is hope for the hesitant.

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How does the immune system work? – InformedHealth.org …

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

The immune system has a vital role: It protects your body from harmful substances, germs and cell changes that could make you ill. It is made up of various organs, cells and proteins.

As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you dont notice that its there. But if it stops working properly because its weak or can't fight particularly aggressive germs you get ill. Germs that your body has never encountered before are also likely to make you ill. Some germs will only make you ill the first time you come into contact with them. These include childhood diseases like chickenpox.

Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. The main tasks of the bodys immune system are

to recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and

to fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells.

The immune system can be activated by a lot of different things that the body doesnt recognize as its own. These are called antigens. Examples of antigens include the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi and viruses. When these antigens attach to special receptors on the immune cells (immune system cells), a whole series of processes are triggered in the body. Once the body has come into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it. Then, if it comes into contact with the germ again, it recognizes the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster.

The bodys own cells have proteins on their surface, too. But those proteins dont usually trigger the immune system to fight the cells. Sometimes the immune system mistakenly thinks that the body's own cells are foreign cells. It then attacks healthy, harmless cells in the body. This is known as an autoimmune response.

There are two subsystems within the immune system, known as the innate (non-specific) immune system and the adaptive (specific) immune system. Both of these subsystems are closely linked and work together whenever a germ or harmful substance triggers an immune response.

The innate immune system provides a general defense against harmful germs and substances, so its also called the non-specific immune system. It mostly fights using immune cells such as natural killer cells and phagocytes (eating cells). The main job of the innate immune system is to fight harmful substances and germs that enter the body, for instance through the skin or digestive system.

The adaptive (specific) immune system makes antibodies and uses them to specifically fight certain germs that the body has previously come into contact with. This is also known as an acquired (learned) or specific immune response.

Because the adaptive immune system is constantly learning and adapting, the body can also fight bacteria or viruses that change over time.

Brandes R, Lang F, Schmidt R (Ed). Physiologie des Menschen: mit Pathophysiologie. Berlin: Springer; 2019.

Menche N (Ed). Biologie Anatomie Physiologie. Mnchen: Urban und Fischer; 2016.

Pschyrembel. Klinisches Wrterbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2017.

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helpingpeople understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and healthcare services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to theGerman health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individualcase can be determined by talking to a doctor. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by ateam ofhealth care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You canfind a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated inour methods.

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Improving your cardiorespiratory fitness can strengthen your immune system. Heres how! – Times of India

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Taking a deep breath is not just a simple act for calming yourself and your nerves but can also help you take your immunity a notch higher, and yes this is true! Taking deep breaths, breathing heavily during a workout can help your body fight diseases in a much better way because the heart and lungs play an important role in powering the pathways of immunity. The lungs move oxygen-rich blood to the heart through capillaries and the heart extracts oxygen from the bloodstream to pump it to the entire body. The improvement in muscle movement and flow of oxygen sparks the increased circulation of immunity cells. Exercise prepares the heart and lungs to pump oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to all parts of the body and thus more immunity cells launch themselves into action.SittingEven when you sit to breathe in and breathe out slowly, you activate your parasympathetic system- which calms down the nervous system and similarly when we breathe heavily, the sympathetic nervous system is deactivated which triggers the flight or fight response that pumps stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.Stress hormones for immunityEven though stress is bad and its consequences are mostly negative, and cortisol and adrenaline can find their way to our lymphoid tissue which is located in the thymus gland- the site for maturation of the immune cells. If the maturing immune cells are exposed to these hormones, they damage cell development which is why it is advisable to spare the developing immune cells from exposure so that they develop into efficiently-functioning immune cells.The power of exerciseThe heart-lung action is activated by exercise and initiates the circulation of immune cells that are mostly resting in the lymphoid tissue. However, when a person breathes deeply and more quickly, the heart rate increases and muscle movement improves to activate immune cells to patrol the body for up to three hours afterwards. This gradually has long-lasting effects that protect the body from diseases in the long run and leads to fewer sick days when compared to a person who does not exercise.What to doTen minutes of any kind of belly breathing that works on the lungs by expanding their base can help you and make little but beneficial changes. One such exercise is a simple pranayama technique in which you breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply, gently and fully exhale through your nose. The pulling and pushing of breath should be continued at a regulated place for maximum benefit. Practising this regularly will help build a more stable and stronger immunity.

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Improving your cardiorespiratory fitness can strengthen your immune system. Heres how! - Times of India

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Boosting your immune system good for all colds, virus and flu this winter – clarkcountytoday.com

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to learn more about their health, preexisting conditions, viral infections, and the healthcare system. They have learned about the FDAs Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority with regards to drugs and treatments for various ailments including the coronavirus. They have also experienced various levels of government responding very differently in how they deal with the outbreak of this version of the SARS CoV-2.

At the core of all these issues is the bodys immune system, which regularly works to protect people. The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.

A new compilation of 71 studies with over 50,000 patients, shows the positive attributes of using the repurposed drug ivermectin. It has been safely used roughly 4 billion times, successfully fighting river blindness and other ailments around the world. The meta analysis using the most serious outcome shows 66 percent improvement with early treatment of COVID and 83 percent improvement when used as a prophylaxis against the COVID coronavirus.

The winter cold and flu season is now upon us, adding to peoples health concerns. Boosting your immune system and giving it the tools it needs to keep you healthy is at the core of the current pandemic health discussions.

Respiratory infections, including influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide.

On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: a germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? How about taking certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Can you make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

The Frontline COVID Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) is a group of healthcare professionals dedicated to fighting the SARS-Cov-2 virus and all its variants. They emerged seeking to use existing treatments in the care of their patients. They found certain treatments were successful in either preventing COVID sickness, or reducing the severity of the symptoms and duration of illness.

The FLCCCs I-MASK+ protocol provides a wide range of ways to build your immune system as well as protecting yourself from COVID-19.

These are all of the compounds, which have shown efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19, said Dr. Pierre Kory at a November COVID-19 Summit in Florida. Do you see the sheer number of trials and studies and compounds that have shown efficacy?

The FLCCC Alliance is not opposed to vaccination, and furthermore supports policies such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene to prevent the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Our treatment proposals are designed, first of all, to mitigate the effects of the pandemic until it is overcome, and to allow for an earlier return to daily life.

The Omicron variant of the virus has more than 30 mutations. The current three FDA-approved vaccines offer uncertain levels of protection against this new variant, as breakthrough cases continue to rise in vaccinated people. This week, the FDA essentially stopped recommending the Johnson & Johnson vaccination due to serious side effects on a small but growing number of people. Therefore boosting your immune system becomes even more important.

The FLCCC clinicians are driven by their desire to save lives. They continually update their protocols based on clinical observations as well as the best studies of modes of prevention and treatment therapies for COVID-19.

The I-MASK+ Protocol is physiologic-based combination of treatment regimens developed by leaders in critical care medicine. All component medicines are FDA-approved, inexpensive, readily available and have been used for decades with well-established safety profiles. In October 2020, they added ivermectin as a core medication in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Their immune boosting protocols and supportive therapy focuses on five treatments. Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Quercetin, Zinc, and melatonin.

Their viral protection protocols are taking ivermectin twice weekly, and gargling with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day.

lvermectin

Gargle mouthwash 2 x daily gargle (do not swallow) antiseptic mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride (e.g. ScopeTM, ActTM, CrestTM), 1 percent povidone/iodine solution or ListerineTM with essential oils.

Alternatively, they suggest Nigella Sativa (black cumin seed) at 40mg/kg daily, can be used if ivermectin is not available or added to ivermectin for optimal prevention.

Vitamin D appears to be one of many important components impacting your immune system. Many studies and healthcare professionals strongly recommend increasing the vitamin D in your system, especially as people remain indoors and get less sun exposure during the winter..

The quercetin appears to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus from binding with the spike protein, which is how COVID-19 invades your body and spreads sickness.

Quercetin, a flavonoid with an excellent safety profile, has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antiviral properties. It can potentially help in the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection to prevent disease development and progression. Its excellent safety profile allows widespread use in the early phase of the disease or when it is suspected, starting even before a confirmatory nasal swab is obtained. Quercetin acts as a free radical scavenger, and both in vitro and in vivo studies showed quercetin as a potent antioxidant.

There are some relevant cautions regarding quercetin. Due to a possible drug interaction between quercetin and ivermectin these drugs should be staggered (take one in the morning and one at night). Patients taking cyclosporin or tacrolimus should avoid quercetin. And for anyone with pre-existing thyroid disease or thyroidism, the lowest dose of quercetin should be used when taken as a preventative.

People who took zinc had symptoms go away about two days sooner, (compared to placebo), reports one recent study mentioned by Harvard Health. The estimated effect in preventing infection was modest: about one infection was prevented for every 20 people using zinc. More importantly, there was an 87 percent lower risk of severe symptoms among those taking zinc.

An Aug 2020 article in Womens Health affirmed the melatonin recommendation:

Melatonin is a special kind of clean antioxidant, meaning that its able to protect cells without triggering production of free radicals. This appears to be important for immune cells, including phagocyte cells. Think of phagocyte immune cells as little Pac Men traveling through your bloodstream gobbling up pathogens. Studies show that melatonin helps to optimize phagocyte action.

Children, who are much less likely to have severe COVID-19 symptoms, have as much as 10 times the amount of natural melatonin production as older adults. Now, there are also other factors that give children healthier immune function, but this may go a long way toward explaining why youth is so protective when it comes to coronavirus risk.

Besides boosting your immune system, the FLCCC supports people taking antiviral precautions. These include gargling twice a day with antiseptic mouthwash and ivermectin.

The gargling makes sense because these cold and flu viruses enter your body primarily through your mouth or nose. If you can kill them before they incubate and travel down your air passageways into your lungs, you have a much greater chance of mild symptoms and better health outcomes.

The I in the FLCCCs recommended protocol is ivermectin. It has been safely used for decades, with roughly 4 billion doses administered globally. Yet there has been a huge battle by the government and the drug companies to keep citizens from using ivermectin.

Many of those compounds are repurposed, Kory said. You know why? Because when this disease hit, theres a lot of smart doctors, a lot of investigators who just started studying what they had available, instead of sitting around waiting till people turn blue.

Nature magazine recently reported on repurposed drugs and compounds. Given the high attrition rates, substantial costs and slow pace of new drug discovery and development, repurposing of old drugs to treat both common and rare diseases is increasingly becoming an attractive proposition because it involves the use of de-risked compounds, with potentially lower overall development costs and shorter development timelines.

There is a new report showing 71 studies demonstrate the effectiveness of ivermectin for both prevention and aiding patients in the recovery from COVID-19 sickness. The Meta analysis using the most serious outcome shows 66 percent and 83 percent improvement for early treatment and prophylaxis. The studies had over 50,000 patients.

Dr. Pierre Kory has been a leading advocate of using repurposed drugs and treatments in the battle against COVID-19. He shares a new metadata study with 71 studies and over 50,000 people. It shows excellent results for ivermectin in preventing sickness and improving recovery from COVID sickness. Video courtesy FLCCC Alliance

While many treatments have some level of efficacy, they do not replace vaccines and other measures to avoid infection, the analysis reports. Only 25 percent of ivermectin studies show zero events in the treatment arm. Multiple treatments are typically used in combination, which may be significantly more effective.

The greatest benefit appears to be an 83 percent improvement for people who took ivermectin prophylactically to improve their immune systems chances of battling the virus should they encounter it.

The FLCCC Alliance originally recommended one dose per week of the ivermectin. Because of the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant of COVID-19, they increased their recommendation to twice per week, and suggested it be taken with a meal.

The amount you take is based on your weight 0.2 mg per kg of weight. The conversion factor is 2.2 pounds per kg. A 132 pound person would take 12 mg; a 165 pound person would take 15 mg; and a 200 pound person would take an 18 mg dose.

The FLCCC is currently reviewing data regarding the Omicron variant to see if they need to adjust any of their treatments to offer better protection against this variant. Early reports indicate the symptoms are much more mild than the Delta variant. However it appears Omicron can be transmitted to others much more easily than either Delta or the original COVID-19 virus.

As always, they recommend you consult with your healthcare professional regarding any and all treatments, especially if you have preexisting conditions that add to your health risks.

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SEACARE, A WARM-WATER SEA CUCUMBER-BASED SUPPLEMENT KNOWN TO NOURISH AND BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, LAUNCHES ITS AMERICAN DIVISION — SEACARE USA,…

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

LITCHFIELD, Conn., Dec. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --SeaCare USA announced today that its 100% natural sea cucumber-based supplement with powerful immune-boosting properties is now available in the US.

SeaCare nourishes and strengthens the immune system in order to help fight off pathogens and keep the body healthy, especially in compromised immune systems. In today's world, the body's ability to fortify itself is more important than ever.

SeaCare's warm-water species and proprietary extraction and combining methods are a game-changer. Though there are hundreds of different species of sea cucumber, there are only a small number known to actually possess immune-boosting benefits. Extensive research demonstrates that the benefits to the immune system are produced only from warm-water species. Unlike most brands that have access to only cold-water species, SeaCare harvests only warm-water species, sourcing all of their ingredients from the tropical waters of Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific; and it's the only company that has the rights to these waters.

In addition to warm-water sea cucumber, SeaCare includes additional nutrient-rich marine ingredients such as sea urchin and various sea plants. But it's in their proprietary harvesting and combining methods that separate SeaCare from the field. Together, the ingredients produce a formula that boasts greater potency and absorption, with zero toxinssomething competitors haven't figured out how to do. This makes SeaCare one of the safest and most powerful immune-boosting supplements in the world.

No other brand can compete with SeaCare's potency, absorption and immune-boosting benefits.

It would take approximately 120 pills from another brand to equal the active ingredients found in a single dose of SeaCare. While competitor supplements produce a pill derived from fillers and dehydrated cold-water sea cucumber carcassesdevoid of the nutrients critical to producing actual benefits; SeaCare employs a complex and expensiveprocess of extracting rich nutrients from each of its marine ingredients to produce a fresh gel-like supplement packed with the key nutritional minerals, amino acids and vitamins critical to nourishing the body's natural immunitynaturally.

SeaCare will be made available on their online store (www.seacarehealth.com).

SeaCare USA 860.489.9569 [emailprotected] http://www.seacarehealth.com

SOURCE SeaCare USA

seacarehealth.com

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Parents Grapple With How Long to Wait for Their Childrens Second Shots – The New York Times

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

When Dr. Joshua Ishal got his 5- and 7-year-old daughters their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine last week in Queens, he joined millions of other parents in protecting their 5- to 11-year-old children since the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for this age group in late October.

Dr. Ishal, a dentist who lives in Great Neck, N.Y., never questioned whether he would get his children vaccinated, but he has been wavering over the timing of their second shots.

The clinical trials that tested the Pfizer vaccine separated the doses by three weeks, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that interval. But emerging data suggests that a longer wait bolsters the immune response in the long run. Whats more, the extra time may reduce the risk of myocarditis heart inflammation a rare but serious side effect of the mRNA vaccines in adolescents and younger adults.

Health authorities in Canada recommend that children wait at least eight weeks between doses. In Britain, kids wait 12 weeks for the second shot.

Still, the potential benefits of waiting for the second dose must be balanced against the real risks of catching and spreading Covid during the wait. With the United States on the cusp of another major wave of cases and the new Omicron variant spreading rapidly, delaying means leaving children vulnerable to infection and illness for longer.

I think thats a hard call, said Aubree Gordon, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Is it more important for children to have good protection sooner? Or a better, more lasting protection later? The conundrum reminds Dr. Ishal of an episode of Seinfeld in which Jerry tells a story about picking a cold medicine from a wall of options at the drugstore. This is quick acting, but this is long-lasting, Jerry said. When do I need to feel good, now or later?

Trish Johnson, a financial adviser in Oakland, Calif., plans to push her sons second dose back to six or even eight weeks. She has been swayed, she said, by the studies showing that a longer interval between doses leads to a better immune response.

Ive taken it upon myself, especially during this later part of the pandemic, to follow doctors on Twitter and do my own investigation, she said. Almost two years into the pandemic, she feels that public health officials are taking too many precautions and failing to adapt to changing data. That doesnt work for me anymore, she said.

Many experts agree that three weeks between doses is too short an interval for an optimal immune response.

From an immunological standpoint, it makes more sense to wait, said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona. Pfizer didnt choose three weeks between doses because it was the perfect interval. That decision, he said, was more about public health and reducing community transmission, and completing this process quickly. Dr. Bhattacharya plans to hold off on a second dose for his children until eight weeks.

The immune system needs time to ramp up after that first dose. Immune cells in the blood, known as B cells, can start producing antibodies within a week. But to generate really high-quality antibodies, those cells need to go through an intense kind of training camp inside the lymph nodes, and that process takes more than three weeks.

Dec. 21, 2021, 8:38 p.m. ET

You need them to sweat a little bit, those B cells, said Andrs Finzi, an immunologist at the University of Montreal.

Much of the research on different dosing intervals comes from countries, like Canada and Britain, that opted to wait on the second shot for adults when vaccine doses were scarce last winter and spring. Dr. Finzi and his colleagues examined the immune response in 26 people who received their second shots three months or more after their first. They also looked at responses in 12 people who received their shots four weeks apart. The two groups produced roughly the same quantity of antibodies, but the group with a longer interval between doses produced stronger antibodies with a greater capacity to latch onto the virus and stay there.

In Britain, officials lengthened the dose interval for all vaccines to 12 weeks last December. Researchers at the University of Oxford studied hundreds of health workers who had received second doses before or after that policy took effect.

Their study found that people who waited 10 weeks between their first and second doses had antibodies levels about twice as high as those who only waited three or four weeks. Those antibodies are produced by B cells, which continue to develop over that long interval.

It seems that giving the second dose at three to four weeks is just a bit too soon for your B cells to be ready to receive that boost, said Susanna Dunachie, an immunologist at the University of Oxford, who led the study. Whats more, the longer dose interval also affected T cells, which help ramp up the bodys immune response. After the long interval, the T cells of study participants produced greater quantities of interleukin-2, a chemical signal that helps long-term immune memory.

We were quite surprised, Dr. Dunachie said.

She added, however, that a more robust immune response measured in the laboratory would not necessarily translate to better protection in the real world.

On this issue, the results are mixed. Surveillance data from British Columbia and Quebec suggest that a longer dosing interval improves the effectiveness of the vaccine, according to a study that has not yet been peer-reviewed. That is, people who had a longer stretch between doses had a lower risk of becoming infected than those who opted for less time.

But studies from Britain havent been as clear-cut. One found a modest benefit of delaying the second dose. Two other studies didnt find any effect.

The impact of dosing intervals on the risk of myocarditis is even less clear. In one study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers examined Ontarios vaccine safety surveillance data and identified 297 cases of inflammation of either the heart muscle or the outer lining of the heart after vaccination in people 12 and older. Of those, 207 occurred after the second dose. The rates were higher among people who separated their vaccines by a month or less compared with those who waited six weeks or more.

Whether the vaccine will trigger excess myocarditis in 5- to 11- year-olds remains to be seen. So far, more than seven million doses of the vaccine have been administered to this age group in the U.S. and only 14 possible cases of myocarditis have been reported to the government.

The risk of myocarditis is far higher among teenage boys and young men: about 11 cases for every 100,000 males between ages 16 and 29 receiving a second dose, according to one study.

That worries Lisa Rollins, a software trainer in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her son turned 12 in early December after receiving his first dose. She plans to wait six weeks to get him his second shot. Hes doing virtual learning for now, she and her husband work from home, and the rest of the family is fully vaccinated. So his risk is pretty low, Ms. Rollins said. I think waiting a little bit longer makes sense for us.

Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine, points out that we also cant yet quantify how much benefit children might get from waiting a few weeks. His children received their second doses four weeks after their first.

If there was not a pandemic going on, the answer would be simple longer duration would be better, Dr. Hensley said. But we are at a point in time in the United States where Omicron is going to sweep our nation and its going to probably sweep across the world. And so there has never been a better time to get vaccinated.

Its an argument that Dr. Ishal finds increasingly persuasive. Cases are surging in New York City. The city-run vaccination site in Queens where he took his daughters for their first shots booked second-dose appointments for three weeks out. Given whats happening with Omicron, he may just keep that time slot.

Well take all the protection we can get right now, he said. I think I just decided.

Read more:
Parents Grapple With How Long to Wait for Their Childrens Second Shots - The New York Times

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What you need to know about omicron and COVID boosters – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

It wont be a zero to 100 type scenario where we had really great protection with [the] delta [variant] but now were going to go completely on the other side, says Mansoor Amiji, university distinguished professor of pharmaceutical sciences and chemical engineering at Northeastern.

We still dont have the data to show exactly how well a vaccinated immune system fares against omicron specifically, Amiji points out. But as long as it doesnt evade those antibodies entirely, the existing vaccines and booster shots will still be key tools in fighting the pandemic, he said.

How can vaccines and boosters fight the new omicron variant?

There are two ways to strengthen your immunity: Make antibodies that are better at identifying and attacking the virus, or make antibodies in greater numbers.

When coronavirus enters through the nose or mouth, the virus works to bind to receptors on the surface of cells in the upper respiratory tract. The virus binds to those cells through what Amiji describes as a lock and key mechanism. Its outer spike protein is the key, and receptors on the cells are the locks.

The vaccines are designed to train the immune system to block that binding from happening. A vaccinated immune system creates antibodies that essentially form fake locks and bind to the spike protein on the viruses to prevent it from entering the cells.

The worry with the omicron variant is that the structure or shape of the spike protein is changing, Amiji said, but the vaccines have trained our immune system to identify the structure of the spike protein of the original strain of the virus.

But that doesnt mean all will be lost.

While the antibodies may not be quite so adept at identifying and latching onto omicron, they likely still can much of the time.

A booster shot would also prompt the immune system to make more antibodies, he said. The idea would be that, even if those antibodies arent as good at targeting a specific variant, it would become a numbers game. The more antibodies in your body, the more chances they could counter all the viral particles and stop them from infecting your cells.

But there is also another line of defense our bodies can mount.

In addition to the antibody responses, Dr. Baozhong Wang, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University said the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) also induce robust T-cell responses that play an important role in immune protection. Those tiny white blood cells called T-cells help our immune system reject foreign substances in our body.

T-cells can continue fighting a virus after antibodies have waned. They are also less likely to be affected by viral mutations, such as those seen with the omicron variant, so they have a better chance at combating it and future variants.

What do we know about how well boosters work?

Moderna announced Monday that its booster shot, the equivalent of half of the dose of the first two, increased antibody levels against omicron by 37 times, based on preliminary data. Similarly, Pfizer said last month that its own booster shot improves protection against omicron 25-fold compared to the first two doses.

Will we need an omicron-specific booster?

Maybe. The omicron variant appears to have significant mutations compared to previous versions of the virus, which may make it more likely to overcome immunity from vaccines or prior infections. But it will take weeks or longer for the data to come in on whether this is actually happening, and even more time to know what it would mean for people who are already vaccinated.

While its too early to know whether a variant-specific booster is needed, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have said they are working on vaccines that specifically target omicron in case its needed. It would take about three months to develop a variant-specific shot.

Why get a booster now? Why not wait?

While theres still a lot we dont know, current vaccines could ultimately prove to be enough to protect against omicron, which is why the CDC is urging all adults to not wait.

But perhaps more urgently, getting boosted offers additional protection against the delta variant, still responsible for the vast majority of COVID-19 infections in Georgia and around the U.S.

Will people need to get a booster every year?

Maybe. Experts arent sure if the COVID-19 vaccine will be needed on a regular basis, like the flu shot.

Pharmaceutical companies are already preparing for annual boosters. Moderna is in the process of developing a single vaccine that covers COVID-19 and flu. Pfizer is in the process of developing a separate mRNA-based flu vaccine, which could be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

But the necessity of an annual booster is still unknown. Experts say much will depend on the durability of the existing vaccines and boosters to protect people from severe illness, and how much the coronavirus changes over time.

So if youve already had a case of COVID-19 and are vaccinated, do you really need a booster?

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that a prior coronavirus infection acts as a primer and thereafter vaccination functions as a booster. Other experts say there is not enough data to know for sure, but early data suggests hybrid immunity conferred by a mix of an infection and a vaccine offers stronger protection than vaccination alone.

The immunological advantage from hybrid immunity, according to Wang, stems in part from what are called memory B cells or long-lived immune cells that are produced in response to an infection or vaccination.

Both vaccination and natural infection turn on memory B cells antibody-generating abilities. But research has found memory B cell levels can be higher in people who have been both naturally infected and vaccinated.

Vaccines and boosters in Georgia

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported 152,787 booster doses administered in Georgia between Dec. 8 and Dec. 14, up 55% from the week before.

In Georgia, about 60% of the population has received just a single dose of vaccine, and 50.1% are considered fully vaccinated, or having received two shots of the Moderna and Pfizer shots, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Out of the Georgians considered fully vaccinated, about 1.2 million, or about 22.4%, have received a booster shot.

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What you need to know about omicron and COVID boosters - Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Greg Gutfeld: The only thing viruses can’t penetrate is the immune system of a habitual liar – Fox News

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Gutfeld: Our world is run by 'but-heads'

'Gutfeld' panel discusses how people say one thing, then follow up with a 'but' that contradicts what they just said, as weve seen with regard to the COVID pandemic.

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Happy Tuesday everyone. It's time for my favorite show: The But-Heads.

Our world is run by buttheads. These are people who tell you one thing, then follow up with a "but," that contradicts what they just said. They start with a panic line, but then condition it with: "but we still dont know." That way they get to scare your ass, then cover their own.So let's follow the "buts", and see where these asses take us.

According to Axios, the website, not my Pilates instructor, the country is bracing for a terrifying wave of omicron. But, the new variant seems to be much less severe. But Boris Johnson says there is a tidal wave coming. But one of his experts adds: only ten people have been admitted to the hospital with it. Butwe should have known: never believe anything a person says who doesn't own a comb.

HOW IS COVID GOING TO END?

Still, you must get a third dose to bring the level of protection back up! Because the variant seems to spread among people who've received two jabs. Butit's not a big deal for those who get it. Still, you gotta mask up and get another dose.

Butthis is nothing like the previous strains. Compared to delta -- you barely notice it, and its much less powerful. If Alec Baldwin were the first strain, this one is Billy... Or Danny... Or Steven.

But! -- new data from Europe "hint" that omicron is poised to explode in the US. True, they said the same thing about the metric system. But the variant is less likely to lead to hospitalization in adults! So this is the PG version of an R-rated film. Like when they cut out all the swearing and boobs from "Old Yeller."

Fact is, more people are hospitalized for putting power tools in their butts, according to emergency rooms located near Home Depots. But two doses of Pfizers vaccine appear to be much less effective against severe disease -- but you should still get a booster. Although - we have not seen anyone with severe disease -- but hold on, it's coming! But, so was the medical device I ordered online, and Im stillwaiting. I had to make my own using an attachment from an old vacuum.

OMICRON IS BETTER AT EVADING VACCINES, NEW COVID-19 TRANSMISSIBILITY DATA CONFIRMS

Buta senior Biden flack told Axios omicron will come fast! But it won't be as severe... But...There will be hospitalizations! But-- the analysis of South Africa data said that the risk of hospital admission was 30 percent lower than the first wave. But- a two-dose regimen was 70 percent effective against severe disease requiring hospital admission. But only 33 percent effective against omicron.

So-omicron is less severe good. Butit could still overwhelm the health care system even if a small percentage require hospital care! (s***!) The cases could reach a million a day here in America (s***!) But those cases could be asymptomatic and mild. (hooray!)

But--the growth of the cases could double quickly- - butit also appears to be already slowing down in other countries. Butit's too soon to tell. Butdon't panic. But also, panic.

Butmaybe even in hospitalizations, adults are less sick than previous waves. But while vaccinations do help reduce infection -- butnot transmission.

OMICRON COVID-19 VARIANT NOW ACCOUNTS FOR 2.9% OF ALL CASES IN THE UNITED STATES

In Denmark, 75 percent of omicron cases are among fully-vaccinated people. Butyou can't compare countries except when you do. But you can't!

So omicron has high transmissibility. But it appears to be mild. Butit could lead to a huge projection of cases. Butwe don't have nearly enough data to make any firm predictions. So the people who are telling you to do something, are the same people who are talking you out of it! These people are sending more mixed messages than a straight hairdresser. So maybe call us when you know what the f*** you're talking about!

Because to quote Axios, again-- "there is certainly a strong possibility that a lot of Americans are about to get sick... Soon." Someone actually wrote that sentence. Imagine if your doctor had that mentality.

Skit of doctor sending mixed signals to a patient

So what's the bottom line for all the buttheads? Omicron is like that carton of Chinese food in the back of the fridge. It could be dangerous, butwe can't find anyone who died from it. Butwe don't have enough data. So just in case, get a booster and mask up now, whether you're vaxxed or not.

DR. OZ LAMENTS POLITICIZATION OF COVID, VACCINES ON HANNITY

ButI thought that's why we got vaxxed? To stop with the masks. Not anymore. Look at Joe Biden. He's gotten three shots, buthe stillwears a mask. He's like one giant walking butt.

So even if you're alone at your desk, or alone driving a truck, or alone having sex... Mask up! But-- not if you're a politician! Then you can go to bars, parties, galas -- and do whatever you want.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

So these buttheads cover their asses by temporarily covering their mouths when a camera is near. Problem is -- how can they tell the two holes apart? You can't go by the smell of their breath.

So turns out the only thing that all these different viruses can't penetrate are the immune systems of habitual liars. Butit would be nice if they could. No ifs, ands, or buts.

This article is adapted from Greg Gutfeld's opening monologue on the December 14, 2021 edition of "Gutfeld!"

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Greg Gutfeld: The only thing viruses can't penetrate is the immune system of a habitual liar - Fox News

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Team puts forward FMT insight into its success against C. difficile infection – NutraIngredients.com

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

The team points to the increase of IL-25, an important agent of the immune system, in the recipient post-transplant, which led to a decrease in damaging tissue inflammation.

The University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine team conclude changes triggered by the transplants, including beneficial gene activity changes, support the immune system in battling recurrent C. difficile infection.

Even though we know that faecal microbiota transplants can treat recurrent C. difficile infection, we don't know exactly why some microbe combinations work better than others or why the same combinations can have different effects on different people, explains researcher Ning-Jiun "Ninj" Jan, of UVA's Division of Infectious Disease and International Health.

We believe that this variability stems from each person's immune system being unique. That is why it is important for us to find out what immune markers change in patients where faecal microbiota transplantation was successful in preventing C. difficile re-infections.

"Finding that a specific immune signalling molecule, IL-25, was increased in successful faecal microbiota transplantations indicated that maybe IL-25 can be used as an adjunctive therapy for treating C. difficile infection."

The discovery was made after previous efforts by the team found dysbiosis in a mouse model of CDI reduced activity of interleukin 25 (IL-25) in the colon. FMT appeared to restore this IL-25 signalling.

This study involved taking colonic biopsy specimens and blood from patients at the time of FMT and 60days later.

These specimens were analysed for IL-25 protein levels, total tissue transcriptome, and epithelium-associated microbiota before and after FMT, and peripheral immune cells were immunophenotyped.

Findings suggested FMT increased diversity of the colonic microbiota and levels of IL-25 in colonic tissue.

Furthermore, FMT increased expression of homeostatic genes and repressed inflammatory genes.

Circulating Th17 cells, which play a key role in healthy immune system function were decreased in numbers post-FMT.

The transplants also increased the diversity of the microbes that naturally live in human colons, according to the researchers.

The increase in levels of the cytokine IL-25 accompanied by decreased inflammation is consistent with FMT acting in part to protect from recurrent CDI via restoration of commensal activation of type 2 immunity, suggests the study, which appears in the journal mSphere.

Despite the increasing use of FMT for treatment of rCDI, the mechanisms of action of FMT are poorly defined.

FMTs inhibitory effects on C. difficile may occur via niche exclusion, nutrient competition, and the production of antimicrobial peptides, according to past studies looking into this approach.

FMT may also promote changes in the host intestinal epithelium that increase resistance to recurrence of disease via fortification of the mucus layer and differentiation and proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells.

One reason the mechanisms of FMT are unclear is that host immune responses can vary greatly and have complex effects on C. difficile infection severity, as well as the efficacy of FMT.

Type 1 responses via type 1 innate lymphoid cells (ILC1s) have been shown to be protective, type 17 immune responses have been related to increased host damage, and type 2 immune responses via ILC2s have been related to tissue repair via eosinophil recruitment.

"In the future it may be possible to combine faecal microbiota transplants with cytokine-based therapies to increase the success rate of treatment," adds Jan.

"There is a lot of interplay between our immune system and our intestinal microbes, and it's exciting that understanding their relationship is helping us find new therapies."

Source: mSphere

Published online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00669-21

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Increases Colonic IL-25 and Dampens Tissue Inflammation in Patients with Recurrent Clostridioides difficile.

Authors: N. Jan et al.

Link:
Team puts forward FMT insight into its success against C. difficile infection - NutraIngredients.com

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Omicron: scientists seeking source of Covid variant probe links with immunosuppressed patients – iNews

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Scientists searching for the source of Omicron suspect it originated in someone whose immune system was already weakened by a severe disease such as HIV or cancer.

The idea that the emergence of new Covid variants such as Omicron could be linked, in some cases, to mutations taking place inside immunosuppressed people was described as a highly plausible hypothesis .

Immunosuppressed people who might have hosted Omicron or other new variants include those with diabetes, auto-immune diseases, chronic TB, hunger, and obesity.

That is because the virus can linger for months in some of these patients compared to a few weeks for most people as their immune systems are too weak to combat it.

During this prolonged stay the virus can replicate itself over and over again. Occasionally, an error occurs during the viruss copying process, which is how a mutation is created. Most disappear but occasionally they can lead to a new variant.

The longer a virus stays inside a person, the greater the risk of generating a game-changing mutation.

One woman in South Africa continued to test positive for Covid-19 for nearly eight months earlier this year, while the virus underwent more than 30 genetic mutations.

She is thought to be one of around 10 to 15 such cases of ultra-high mutations in the world, including the UK.

Its a very rare event. But it is a plausible explanation that individuals that are immuno-suppressed can basically be a source of virus evolution, Professor Tulio de Oliveira, head of the team at South Africas Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, which discovered Omicron, told the BBC.

Keen to avoid stigmatising HIV patients, scientists point out that there is no evidence yet to suggest a link between the condition and Omicron. Instead, they are making a more general point about weakened immune systems and an increased risk of mutations.

They stress that anti-retroviral medication does restore the immunity of HIV patients, and say that the lingering cases occur in patients who are HIV positive but who have not been taken their medication, for various reasons.

The emergence of the Alpha variant has been linked to a patient receiving treatment for cancer in the UK, Professor Oliveira noted.

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Omicron: scientists seeking source of Covid variant probe links with immunosuppressed patients - iNews

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Decentralized Infectious Disease Testing Market: Rising incidences of infectious diseases in developing countries to drive the market – BioSpace

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

With developing technological innovations in the health care sector comprising biosensors, smartphone apps, lab-on-chip and tech tops, that offer a nearer association with the patient. Decentralized testing techniques are therefore becoming a catalyst in the transformation of the health care sector. The main reason that this type of testing is trending nowadays is because of its access and quicker results. It can be done closer to the patient, the results are convenient and quicker to the provider to further rush for the diagnosis and treatment. Decentralized infectious testing lets faster clinical decisions at the physicians clinic, ambulance, and home. Decentralized testing can make a difference in the treatment of the patient. As this testing system is portable and moving it to the site of the patient, increases the chances of the physician, patient and the care team to have faster results and immediate decision making.

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The demand for decentralized testing is increasing due to rising incidences of infectious diseases in developing countries. The increasing usage of decentralized testing and technological innovations with respect to ease of use and faster testing devices are encouraging the usage of decentralized testing. The decentralized testing market has professional and patient friendly or self-monitored testing like food pathogens, hematology, infectious diseases, coagulation test and urine analysis. Rapid results and first hand treatment reduces the downstream costs. As the conventional health care sector shifts to modern health care, more services can be presented to the patients at the decentralized testing of the patient.

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The factors driving the trend of decentralized infectious disease testing include increasing trend of patient centric care, technological innovations, shortage of laboratory staff, increasing aging population, and rising incidences of infectious diseases. Even the diagnostic laboratories are also transforming on the basis of this format, where complex tests are performed in core labs and decentralized testing is performed in clinics, outpatient clinics or at patients home. This improves quality of care and access of care to the geriatric population. Advancements in the technology have been made such that it can be performed even by moderately trained staff. Many tests require labs for testing but now can be performed at the point of care. Another factor which drives the decentralized infectious disease testing market is the lack of trained staff in the laboratories. With less trained laboratory staff, drives the labs towards automated testing procedures and towards minimal user interaction systems. Thus, factors such as reduced sample volume, less specimen processing, shorter hospital stay, optimized medicine treatment and less post-operative care time support the growth of decentralized infectious disease testing market.

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The decentralized infectious disease testing gives results for over 75 type of infectious diseases across varied testing platforms which include advanced technology laboratory equipment along with rapid diagnostic tests that can provide results for individual patients in less than or equal to 5 minutes. Infectious diseases such as malaria, measles, mumps, rubella, herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, dengue fever, HIV and many more, can be detected through decentralized infectious disease testing procedures.

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Briefly, North America has more options and a bigger share in the decentralized infectious disease testing market followed by Europe. With improved infrastructure and increasing awareness the global decentralized infectious disease testing market will have a boost in emerging countries of Asia Pacific. The prominent players having presence in the global decentralized infectious disease testing market are Becton-Dickinson and Company, Abbott Laboratories, Beckman Coulter, Inc., Siemens Medical Solutions, Nipro Diagnostics and Johnson & Johnson.

More Trending Reports by Transparency Market Research:

Smart Syringes Market Smart syringes are gaining significant popularity around the world. These syringes are equipped with safety mechanisms, preventing their reutilization, and hence controlling unsafe injection practices.

In vitro Diagnostics Market In vitro diagnostics (IVD) is a suite of diagnostic tests performed using analytical instruments and reagents, on samples such as blood, stools, urine, tissues, and other body fluids. These samples are derived from patients or healthy individuals, to detect diseases or infections.

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Decentralized Infectious Disease Testing Market: Rising incidences of infectious diseases in developing countries to drive the market - BioSpace

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How the Immune System Fights Invaders Like the Coronavirus – Healthline

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

As more countries roll out booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines, conversations over how well these additional doses will protect people have centered on three things breakthrough infections, waning antibody levels, and highly transmissible variants such as Delta and Omicron.

All of these, of course, are interrelated.

The concern is that as antibody levels decline during the months after full vaccination, people will be less protected, especially from the highly contagious Delta and Omicron variants, which could increase breakthrough infections.

In addition, preliminary data suggests that Omicron may be able to overcome some of the immune protection offered by vaccines and prior infection.

Booster doses are seen as a way to shore up immune protection against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

However, the booster shot debate is more complicated than this.

When talking about how well COVID-19 vaccines work over time, theres not only one type of effectiveness. Some vaccines might still prevent most people from getting severely ill or dying but may have less protection against infection that leads to minor symptoms.

In addition, antibodies are only one tool used by the immune system to fight infection. Focusing solely on antibody levels misses the protection offered by the other parts of the immune system, some of it longer-lived.

Still, its important to understand how antibodies work and what waning levels might mean for protection against COVID-19.

Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins the immune system produces in response to an infection. They recognize and bind to specific molecular structures known as antigens such as those found on the surface of a virus or bacterium.

Many of the antibodies involved in preventing coronavirus infection bind to the viruss spike protein on the surface, which the virus uses to infect cells.

Antibodies are produced by immune cells called B cells, found in the blood, lymph nodes, spleen, and other tissues. Each B cell produces a specific type of antibody.

Scientists estimate that the human immune system can produce at least a trillion unique antibodies, although it could be substantially higher.

When the body encounters a virus or other pathogen for the first time, and a B cell can bind to that pathogen, the B cell is activated.

Once activated, a B cell multiplies and forms different cells, including plasma cells, which are antibody-producing factories.

Antibodies remain in the body for some time after infection, although their numbers wane over months or years, depending on the pathogen and other factors.

B cells and antibodies are part of the adaptive immune system, the branch that targets specific pathogens.

The other branch is known as the innate immune system, which provides a general defense against infection.

These two branches can work together to fend off a virus or bacterium before you get severely ill. If there is a virus or bacterium that your immune system has never encountered before, the innate immune response may sense something is wrong and respond quickly to an invading virus or bacterium.

This is important because it can take days to weeks for the adaptive immune system to effectively build up enough antibodies to fight the specific pathogen.

However, once your immune system has that exposure to the pathogen, it can then be ready to respond more quickly next time. Meaning it may be able to fend off invading bacterium or virus youre exposed to before you develop any symptoms.

If youve been exposed for the first time to a particular pathogen, and your adaptive immune system was involved, you will develop what are called memory cells both on the T-cell side and the B-cell side, explained Ralph Pantophlet, PhD, an associate professor at Simon Fraser University who studies antibody responses to HIV and other viruses.

One type of T cell, called helper T cells, stimulates B cells to produce antibodies. Another type, known as killer T cells, attacks cells that have already been infected by a pathogen.

If you are re-exposed to the same pathogen or a very similar one, its usually the antibodies that help protect or blunt that second exposure, said Pantophlet.

Vaccines trigger a similar immune response without the risk of severe disease that comes with natural infection.

[Vaccination] is basically a trick to provide the body with antibodies, said Pantophlet, so when you are exposed to the real thing, you are protected, at least somewhat, from that assault.

Vaccines accomplish this by presenting the immune system with an antigen from a pathogen.

Some vaccines contain the entire pathogen but in a weakened or inactivated form. Others contain only a specific piece of the pathogen.

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make antibodies that target the coronavirus spike protein.

The immune system doesnt produce only one antibody in response to a pathogen, but many different kinds. Some of these antibodies bind strongly to an antigen, others less so.

They can also be divided into neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. As the name suggests, neutralizing antibodies can neutralize a pathogen.

For example, to respond to SARS-CoV-2, certain neutralizing antibodies bind tightly to the coronavirus spike protein and keep it from infecting the cell.

Although non-neutralizing antibodies dont do this or do it only weakly they can still play a role in fighting pathogens.

Non-neutralizing antibodies do not protect the cell from infection, said Pantophlet. However, non-neutralizing antibodies can recognize viral antigens that are exposed, or presented, on the surface of infected cells.

When non-neutralizing antibodies bind to these surface antigens, other parts of the immune system can come along and eliminate the infected cells.

Pantophlet says that for COVID-19, most labs measure neutralizing antibodies because that gives you a reasonable measure of protection [against infection].

However, with COVID-19, he says we dont yet have a clear sense of how high neutralizing antibody levels need to be to provide some protection from infection or severe disease.

Emily S. Barrett, PhD, an associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health, said identifying this minimum immune response is complicated because the immune system has other ways of protecting you besides antibodies. This includes the cellular, or T-cell-mediated, immune response.

So, unfortunately, although we would all like to identify a threshold of protection, theres no simple answer at the moment, she said.

Still, what we do know from just monitoring and measuring vaccine effectiveness, said Pantophlet, is that as the level of neutralizing antibodies decline, there is more chance of a breakthrough infection.

In recent weeks, scientists have inched closer to defining this protective immune response or correlate of protection for COVID-19, but were not quite there yet.

In the meantime, scientists rely on other measures to know how well vaccines are working. This includes looking at the effectiveness of vaccines in the real world, both in certain groups of people and over time.

This is the approach that Israel used in deciding to roll out COVID-19 boosters over the summer.

Data from the country showed that breakthrough infections were occurring more often in people who were vaccinated earlier in the year than those vaccinated more recently.

The lack of a correlate of protection for COVID-19 is also why you cant take an antibody test after vaccination or natural infection to see how well protected you are against the coronavirus.

After vaccination or natural infection, antibody levels increase but then start to decline. This is not unexpected.

Antibodies only survive for a certain amount of time, said Pantophlet, and it depends on a whole bunch of biological factors as to how long they may persist.

How long antibodies remain in the blood varies.

After two doses of the measles vaccine, antibody levels against the measles virus persist for at least 10 years, according to some research.

But with the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, some studies have found that antibody levels start to drop within several weeks after the second dose.

This doesnt immediately translate into a noticeable loss of immune protection.

However, research suggests that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines starts to wane around 6 months after the second dose.

Its clear that once [antibody levels] start to go down to a particular level, your likelihood of getting a breakthrough infection increases, said Pantophlet. Basically, all that means is that the virus has a greater chance of being able to infect you.

But that does not automatically translate to you ending up in a hospital or developing severe disease, he added.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, 2 to 12 weeks after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine, the vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization was 86 percent overall. After 13 to 24 weeks, it was 84 percent.

This decrease was not statistically significant.

Even several months after COVID-19 vaccination, it appears that your immune system as a whole antibodies, T cells and the other parts that are involved have the ability to protect you enough that you dont necessarily end up in the hospital, said Pantophlet.

But we dont know and this is this is a big if whether that protection will remain for another 6 months, he said. And thats why theres this debate as to whether a booster should be given.

Scientists continue to monitor breakthrough infections and peoples immune responses to understand how long the immune protection lasts after COVID-19 vaccination or natural infection.

Because antibodies are proteins, they cannot replicate. In contrast, antibody-producing B cells can linger in the body and multiply when needed.

One study found that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are still detectable after 11 months. Researchers also found plasma cells in the bone marrow capable of producing these antibodies if needed.

One of the studys authors told NPR that these cells might be capable of producing antibodies for decades.

However, if the coronavirus changes significantly during that time, the immune system may need to learn to recognize and attack this new variant.

Understanding how well a certain antibody level protects against coronavirus infection or severe COVID-19 is also complicated by other factors that can affect the effectiveness of a vaccine.

A vaccines effectiveness means how well it works in the real world.

This is in contrast to its efficacy, which is a measure of how well a vaccine works in a clinical trial. During a vaccine trial, researchers try to consider other factors that can influence the risk of infection or severe disease.

Whether a vaccinated person wears a face mask or practices physical distancing can influence their risk of infection after vaccination. Even community-wide mask or vaccine mandates can influence vaccine effectiveness.

Shortly after California dropped its mask mandate in June of this year, coronavirus cases among fully vaccinated UC San Diego Health employees had risen compared to earlier in the year, according to a recent study.

This also coincided with the spread of the Delta variant, which may have also increased the risk of breakthrough infections.

Still, researchers found that people vaccinated in January and February had a higher risk of breakthrough infections than those vaccinated in March through May.

A combination of these factors is likely at work.

Although scientists often look at vaccine effectiveness for large groups, peoples immune response to vaccination and natural infection can vary, sometimes widely.

In one study, researchers found that people with severe symptoms of COVID-19 were more likely to have detectable antibody levels than those with mild/moderate symptoms. People with no symptoms had even lower antibody levels.

This was a pattern that emerged almost immediately following infection and persisted throughout up to 6 months of follow-up, said Barrett, one of the studys authors.

Most study participants had sustained antibody levels up to 6 months after infection, but the levels increased differently during that time based on symptoms.

People with severe symptoms saw a sharp rise in antibody levels within the first 2 months, while people with asymptomatic infections had slow increases in antibody levels over 6 months.

Researchers did not look at whether people with higher levels of antibodies were better protected against reinfection.

However, antibodies were detectable in the vast majority of infected individuals, said Barrett, and you dont need high circulating antibody counts to mount a response to an infection.

Another study found that even people who had mild COVID-19 cases appear to be protected against reinfection, at least during the 6 months after infection.

When it comes to waning antibody levels after vaccination, one preprint study suggests that different groups see a similar decline.

Researchers studied blood samples from 120 nursing home residents and 92 healthcare workers who had received 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

After 6 months, antibody levels decreased more than 84 percent in both groups.

Researchers also found that the declines were similar in people who had previously contracted the coronavirus compared to those who were infection-naive.

However, older adults who were infection-naive generated less of an initial antibody response to vaccination.

This kind of lower immune response occurs among this age group with other vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine.

By 6 months after vaccination, 70 percent of these nursing home residents had neutralizing [antibody] levels that were very low, at the limit of detection, said study author Dr. David Canaday, a professor in the School of Medicine at Case Western University.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Canaday said the waning antibody levels, coupled with the lower starting point for nursing home residents, are particularly concerning for this group because they may be frail or have other chronic health conditions.

This huge drop in antibodies puts them at continued high risk, and even higher risk, due to those extra conditions, he said. This means a higher risk of requiring hospitalization or of passing away.

People with weakened immune systems may also not generate a strong immune response to vaccination, putting them at a lower starting point for antibody levels.

This includes organ transplant recipients and people undergoing cancer treatment or taking drugs that suppress the immune system.

In the CDC study, the vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in people with immunocompromising conditions was 63 percent over the entire study period.

As of Dec 9, the CDC also recommends boosters for everyone 18 years and older who received an mRNA vaccine, and for everyone 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This includes people who are immunocompromised.

In addition, 16- and 17-year-olds who received an mRNA vaccine can choose to get a booster based on their individual benefits and risks.

People eligible for a booster can choose from any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for their extra dose.

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How the Immune System Fights Invaders Like the Coronavirus - Healthline

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25 natural ways to boost your immune system | Around The Web | laconiadailysun.com – The Laconia Daily Sun

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

Most Americans understand the importance of maintaining a healthy regimen that includes a nutrient-dense diet, exercise at least several times a week, and self-care activities to de-stress. But in addition to that being good for a healthy weight and clear skin, and preventative for long-term health issues from cancer to diabetes, taking care of ourselves has the added benefit of boosting our immune systems to ward off everything from the common cold to the fluor at least help our bodies to fight illness when we get sick.

Our immune systems help to keep bacteria, toxins, and viruses at bay, and prevent us from getting sick from the diseases they cause. Immune systems further help remove unhealthy or infectious cells from our bodies and regulate the body's responses to otherwise harmless activity (whether food or our own bodies).

Theres no silver bullet for preventing or fighting disease, but its as good a time as any to discuss natural ways to keep our immune systems high-functioning.

To that end, Stackerscoured health studies, expert medical advice, nutrition facts, and recent headlines to deliver 25 natural ways to boost your immune system. The gallery includes interesting factsdid you know your body cant produce vitamin C on its own?and guidelines for optimizing your water intake and figuring out which foods function as the strongest antioxidants. Keep reading to learn more about 25 ways to naturally boost your immune system.

You may also like: States where the most people live in maternal health care deserts

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25 natural ways to boost your immune system | Around The Web | laconiadailysun.com - The Laconia Daily Sun

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Vaccine After COVID-19 Infection Boosts Immune Response: Study – Medscape

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

People who already have had COVID-19 may have more reason to get vaccinated, with new findings suggesting that vaccination after infection can boost protection.

Under viral threat, the body first uses B cells to make antibodies against the invader, a process that can take up to 2 weeks. The immune system simultaneously creates memory B cells that can recognize the virus if it reappears and rapidly mounts a powerful secondary response.

In a series of shots, the first dose triggers the primary response. The follow-up doses activate the memory B cells, strengthening defenses against the pathogen.

These new results, published in Cell Reports , show that a SARS-CoV-2 infection, like a first vaccine dose, will elicit the primary response, as expected.

The researchers also found that a vaccine after the infection can set off the secondary memory B cell response, enhancing immune protection for those who already have had COVID-19. In fact, this secondary reaction exceeded responses after two vaccine doses in those with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The findings suggest that vaccination is particularly valuable for people who have already had COVID-19, ensuring a robust immune reaction if the virus finds them again.

Sources:

Cell Reports: "High-affinity memory B cells induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection produce more plasmablasts and atypical memory B cells than those primed by mRNA vaccines.

Wiley Online Library: Immune Responses: Primary and Secondary."

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Stanford study discovers how ovarian tumors avoid detection by the immune system – The Stanford Daily

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

Stanford biologists found that ovarian cancer cells evade the immune system by signaling that they are part of a developing fetus, according to an August research study published in Cell Reports.

Lead researcher and assistant professor of urology at Stanford Medicine Wendy Fantl and her team researched and sorted cells present within ovarian cancer tumors to understand the mechanism behind the quick growth of these tumors.

Close to 90% of ovarian cancer patients will survive for no more than five years, according to co-author and urology postdoctoral scholar Antonio Delgado-Gonzalez, who is part of the Fantl Lab. Delgado-Gonzalez also said that ovarian tumors typically present asymptomatically, making them difficult to detect early on.

This is a disease in great need of new effective treatments, Fantl said. While women may initially respond to treatments such as chemotherapy, most of them will relapse so we really wanted to understand what was going on.

Fantl and her research team analyzed over 800,000 cancer cells in 17 patients who had been newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. They used a new technique called CyTOF developed by the lab of microbiology and immunology professor Garry Nolan. CyTOF makes it possible to analyze each intact cell as opposed to groups of similar cells, which allows the researchers to identify rarer subsets of cells. Each cell was sorted into a different category based on which proteins it expressed.

If you think about the tumor itself, it is a very complex tissue. You are going to find cells that give rise to the tumor, the resident immune cells and more, co-author and microbiology instructor Ermenlinda Porpiglia said. This single-cell analysis, or CyTOF, allows you to identify individual cell types. Resident immune cells refer to cells from the patients immune system.

Some of the cells in the immune systems line of defense, termed natural killer cells, typically recognize anything foreign within the body and proceed to kill it, according to co-author and Stanford pathology instructor Kevin Kolahi. A developing fetus would be viewed as a foreign object if this line of defense was not suppressed.

However, decidual natural killer cells contain a unique marker.

These [decidual] natural killer cells create an environment that is suppressive so the mother immune system does not attack the fetal immune system, Kolahi said.

Ovarian cancers exploit this mechanism. Researchers found a high number of cancer cells with a protein called CD9 present on their surface within the tumor, similar to the decidual natural killer cells that arise during a pregnancy. The cancer cells transfer CD9 to the natural killer cells within the body through a process called trogocytosis. This suppresses the immune response of the natural killer cells similar to how immune response is mediated when mothers have a developing fetus.

The tumor cells can continue to grow and form more aggressive tumors by evading the immune system.

With natural cells becoming less effective, the immunotherapy itself can become less effective, Porpiglia said.

These findings have important implications for the potential development of new forms of immunotherapy and possible screening tools. Fantl has procured another grant to continue her work. She will work with a collaborator in Milan, Italy to determine if detection of natural killer cells with CD9 is possible in earlier stages of ovarian cancers.

The work has definitely spawned many avenues for further research, and Im excited about that and for more mechanisms of immunotherapy to be discovered, Fantl said.

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David Gate Probes Links Between Alzheimers and the Immune System – The Scientist

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

For David Gate, one of the first real litmus tests of whether a research career was for him came while dissecting retinas as a premed student studying psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Working in the eye biology lab didnt really capture his imagination, and parts of the work were tedious, but Gate says that despite that, he loved the processthe basic work of doing experiments. I quickly became a lab rat all day and night, and was soon dissecting retinas better than anyone in the lab, Gate tells The Scientist.

After graduating in 2007, Gate went on to work as a lab technician with immunologist and Alzheimers disease researcher Terrence Town at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The connection between the brain and the immune system intrigued Gate, and he decided to pursue a PhD in brain sciences in Towns lab at the University of Southern California, studying the role of the immune system in pediatric brain cancer. But it was as a postdoc working in the lab of neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray at Stanford University that Gate would make his biggest impact yet.

The main focus of his research was brain rejuvenation, but on weekends, Gate was working a side project using patients blood samples to identify links between the immune system and Alzheimers disease. After months of collecting data on the levels of different immune cell types in the blood to see if there were any changes associated with the disease, Gate approached Wyss-Coray and made a proposal: that Gate stop his brain rejuvenation work and focus on his Alzheimers research full time.

I think that took quite a bit of courage, says Andrew C. Yang, a friend and former Stanford labmate of Gates who is now starting a lab studying the blood-brain barrier at the University of California, San Francisco. While everyones accounts of the lab paint a convivial picture, starting a whole new project is not without risk. These experiments are not cheap, says Yang. He puts his reputation on the line with Tony when he says, Hey, lets go fund it. Lets do it. It takes a certain type of vision.

Wyss-Coray, it turned out, was on board. But he and Gate wanted a way to look for immune changes in the brain, as opposed to just the blood. Gate suggested they look at cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF immune system is more specialized and is quite different from the blood in the composition of cell types, Gate explains. Since Alzheimers is a brain disease, it made sense to look at the brains immune system via the CSF.

For years, researchers had been administering a highly accurate diagnostic test for Alzheimers that measures protein hallmarks of the disease in CSF collected via a spinal tap. In conducting this test, researchers take a sample of CSF and use a centrifuge to separate the liquid from the solids, which contain the cells. The liquid portion is then tested, while the solid portion is generally discarded. Gate realized that he could use that cell portion.

Their early findings were intriguing, and more than that, seemed to be something really novel, says Gate.The results showed elevated levels of a particular type of immune cell called CD8+ T cells in the blood and CSF of Alzheimers patients, as well as in the postmortem brains of people with the disease. Whats more, some of these T cells had rapidly proliferated in a process known as clonal expansion, which happens when they encounter a pathogen, and some of those clonally expanded T cells carried sequences encoding receptors that target a common human herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

The pair submitted a paper to Nature. While it was initially rejected, the feedback and requests for more information they got steered them in the right direction, says Gate, and the study was published in the journal in 2020. Meanwhile, Gate, Wyss-Coray, and colleagues filed a patent application based on their methods for measuring T cell markers associated with Alzheimers disease.

Gate and Wyss-Coray cautioned in the paper that there isnt yet enough evidence to draw a causal link between EBV and Alzheimersthat is, it's unclear if EBV could make a person more susceptible to this disease or exacerbate cognitive decline. Indeed, researchers have previously published conflicting evidence of possible connections between the two.

Nevertheless, the realization that the state of the immune cells in the spinal fluid could be linked to Alzheimers was significant, says Wyss-Coray. It led to a really great discovery and, I think, a shift in technology and how people look at the immune system in the brain. Now, all around the world, people are looking at the solid portion of these test samples in a new way, Wyss-Coray adds. Before Davids paper, almost everybody just sort of threw the thing away.

Gate started his own lab at Northwestern University in September of this year and plans to continue studying the intersection between the immune system and neurodegenerative disease.

Were really excited to have him, says Robert Vassar, the scientific director of behavioral neurology at Northwestern, who recruited Gate, adding that many people at Northwestern are interested in collaborating with their new colleague. Hes going to be rising quickly and really making a huge impact, I think, on the field.

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David Gate Probes Links Between Alzheimers and the Immune System - The Scientist

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Thanks to Mice, We May Know Why Arthritis Keeps Flaring Up in The Same Joints – ScienceAlert

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

When the debilitating effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) come on, it tends to happen in the same joints that have previously been stiff, swollen, or in pain before and that remains the case even if there's a long time between each flare-up.

According to new research conducted on mice, this could be because our immune system keeps a record of these past afflictions, creating a personalized disease pattern in each individual. Understanding more about how and why this happens could open up new opportunities for treating the disorder.

This latest study zooms in on the T cells in mice's bodies, white blood cells that are key to the immune system. In particular, the T cells in the synovium the tissue lining the inside of the capsule around each joint appear to hold a memory of previous RA problems.

"Overwhelmingly, flares occur in a previously involved joint," says immunologist Peter Nigrovicfrom Boston Children's Hospital. "Something in that joint seems to remember, 'this is the joint that flared before'."

"We showed that these T cells anchor themselves in the joints and stick around indefinitely after the flare is over, waiting for another trigger. If you delete these cells, arthritis flares stop."

This was demonstrated through two mouse models using chemical triggers to cause joint inflammation and one mouse model using a genetic trigger to generate the same effect: The researchers removed a protein that blocked the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1.

These triggers caused T cells to rally other cells to the immunity cause, leading to arthritis flare-ups in specific joints in the mice. When these T cells were taken out, additional inflammation was prevented. These T cells don't move between joints and take up "long-term residency" where they are, the researchers say, ready to be reactivated again.

The approach taken here was actually inspired by skin studies. T cells with a form of memory are known to reside in the skin, leading to repeating patterns in skin problems such as psoriasis. It also happens with reactions to nickel in jewelry or wristwatches.

"A person reacting to nickel through a belt buckle may also develop a rash on their wrist, where they wore a nickel-containing watch as a child," says Nigrovic.

The team thinks that other types of autoimmune arthritis could work in the same way, which could lead to better treatments and approaches to these issues. The next step is to confirm that the same process happens in humans and find out ways to target it.

It's possible that other mechanisms are also playing a part in this RA memory retention, the researchers say it could be that T cells are the main cause in some cases but not others. That's something that further studies in the future should be able to analyze.

With millions of people affected by rheumatoid arthritis across the world, any kind of alleviation of pain or management of symptoms is going to be welcome. The good news is that scientists are constantly discovering more about how the disorder operates.

"Right now, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has to continue lifelong," says Nigrovic. "Although we can successfully suppress disease activity in many patients, there is no cure. We think our findings may open up new therapeutic avenues."

The research has been published in Cell Reports.

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Thanks to Mice, We May Know Why Arthritis Keeps Flaring Up in The Same Joints - ScienceAlert

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The roles of immune system and autoimmunity in pulmonary arterial hypertension: A Review – DocWire News

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

This article was originally published here

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Nov 2:102094. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2021.102094. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic disease characterized by increased pulmonary artery pressure which if left untreated, can lead to poor quality of life and ultimately death. It is a group of conditions and includes idiopathic PAH, familial/hereditary PAH and associated PAH. The condition has been studied for many years and its association with the immune system and in particular autoimmunity has been investigated. The mechanisms for the pathobiology of PAH are unclear although research has highlighted the role of adaptive and innate immune systems in its development. Diagnostics and therapeutic approaches range from cytokine treatments to the use of immunomodulating drugs, although there is still scope for improvements in the field. This article discusses the mechanisms linked to PAH, its association with other conditions and recent therapeutic interventions.

PMID:34740751 | DOI:10.1016/j.pupt.2021.102094

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The roles of immune system and autoimmunity in pulmonary arterial hypertension: A Review - DocWire News

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Natural vs. vaccine immunity and what a disease immunologist says about the science – News 5 Cleveland

Sunday, November 7th, 2021

CLEVELAND Weve heard many questions come up in the last several months about natural immunity and whether its enough to protect those who have it from COVID-19, in lieu of a vaccine.

The topic came up last month at the Ohio Statehouse, where some lawmakers tried to get natural immunity added as an exemption to vaccine mandates.

Dr. Mark Cameron, a disease immunologist at Case Western Reserve University, spoke with News 5 on Friday to answer questions about natural immunity, vaccine-mediated immunity and what all of this means for individuals and their physicians.

Cameron said the number of new COVID-19 daily cases in Ohio has been coming down for a while.

We're winning the skirmishes, I would say, against this virus at the moment. But are we winning the war ultimately? Cameron said, noting that flu season coming up poses additional complications.

He started with some definitions of phrases weve all heard thrown around.

Natural immunity refers to being infected with COVID-19 and going through the disease process and clearing the virus, gaining a level of immunity over it, Cameron said. Also in the short term, we don't know how long with COVID-19, being immune to reinfection for a certain length of time.

A natural infection and gaining immunity to COVID-19 by having it before certainly provides your immune system with enough instruction, enough education to avoid reinfection with COVID-19 again, he added.

All of this is different from (but works the same as) vaccine-mediated immunity, where you gain that immunity through the shot, through the vaccine.

Cameron said there is a similar mechanism for your body between natural immunity and immunity gained by the vaccine, even though youre getting it a different way.

This is a means of preventing reinfection through neutralizing antibody levels to the spike protein, and that blocks, as long as they're present and you know, plentiful enough, that blocks the virus from getting back into your cells and making you sick, Cameron said.

The standard test by which to check levels of someones antibodies to anything (a viral infection, a vaccine, etc.) is to do a titer check, where they actually test levels of antibodies against a given infectious agent.

With COVID-19, Cameron said, since there could be a natural infection from other types of coronaviruses, those antibody tests may not be entirely clear.

Even if we can be very specific to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, we don't yet know what the particular levels are required to be successful in blocking it in the future, Cameron said. It varies very greatly between individuals, and it also varies over time as we are coming fully to grip now in this idea of waning immunity.

Waning immunity, Cameron cautioned, doesnt mean your immune system cant reboot and help you recover from reinfection by COVID-19. But he said COVID-19 is very good at getting in and getting ahead of our immune system and infecting us, so we need high levels of neutralizing antibodies so that the virus barely gets a chance to enter our cells.

OK so there are a lot of questions to which we still dont have answers. Such as, if someone has already had COVID-19, whats the long-term risk of getting it again? Or, if theyre vaccinated and get a breakthrough case, can we say if their immune system responded to the vaccine in the first place?

However we gain immunity to COVID-19, our immunity drops over time. That really is dependent on that neutralizing antibody level and whether we got COVID-19, whether we had the full vaccine regimen, whether we had both conditions, we will need a boost as well over time, Cameron said.

He emphasized it is hard to come up with a common piece of advice that covers everyone.

I certainly understand those concerns and really that comes down to yourself and your physician, Cameron said. There may be very good reason, you know, in consulting with your doctor why you wouldn't get a boost now or you wouldn't get the vaccine right now if you indeed didn't have it, you know, in the past. And that could be because you had COVID-19 very recently. It could be that you're sick with another infectious disease and your immune system is already activated. Or it can be the opposite where somebody is immunosuppressed or they are on cancer treatments and other type of therapies where your immune system is essentially kicked when it's down.

All of these, he said, are important considerations to take up with ones doctor. However, he was clear that the overall science supports getting a vaccine even if you have natural immunity from COVID-19 already.

Natural infection by COVID is is certainly not a safe way to gain immunity to this virus. And really, I would say that risking reinfection isn't either, he said.

He added, We are more prepared than ever to clear this infection or at least stop it from hurting and killing us like it has in the past.

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