first_imgScientists create possible early-stage MERS-CoV vaccine candidateUsing reverse genetics, Spanish researchers have created a full-length DNA clone of the MERS-CoV virus that could be used as a vaccine candidate and to study characteristics of the virus, the team reported today in mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).The team, from the Autonomous University of Madrid, constructed the clone and inserted it into an artificial bacterial chromosome to create a MERS-CoV mutant that could replicate but not transmit well.”The injected vaccine will only replicate in a reduced number of cells and produce enough antigen to immunize the host,” said coauthor Luis Enjuanes, PhD, in an ASM press release. The created virus cannot infect other people, even those in close contact with a vaccinated person, he added.Enjuanes said the newly created virus is a very promising vaccine candidate, but more work remains before clinical trials can begin. He said that a mutation in the E protein that prevents the virus from propagating represents one safeguard, but the US Food and Drug Administration requires that a recombinant live-attenuated vaccine strain have at least three safeguards to ensure the virus doesn’t revert easily back to its virulent form.Sep 10 mBio study Sep 10 ASM news release CDC: Cases of cyclosporiasis rise to 670Confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection in the United States now total 670, according to updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).The CDC said today it has received reports of 646 cyclosporiasis cases (see map below), up 5 cases since its last update on Sep 4. Cases have been confirmed in 24 states and New York City, the same as in last week’s report.The CDC total does not include 24 of the 307 Texas cases that the TDSHS has reported to date. That state has the most cases by far, with Iowa second at 154 and Nebraska third with 86.Of 575 case-patients with available information, 44 (8%) were hospitalized. The most recent illness-onset date was Aug 18.Public health officials in Iowa and Nebraska concluded that restaurant-associated Cyclospora cases in their state were linked to a salad mix produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico, the CDC said, but other states have not identified that link.Sep 10 CDC update Sep 4 TDSHS update  Poliovirus found in Jerusalem sewers as vaccination effort continuesWild poliovirus, found in recent months in sewers of southern and then central Israel, has now been found in sewers near Jerusalem, the country’s capital, reports an article in the Times of Israel.The article quotes the country’s health ministry as saying the finding shows “that we have not yet vanquished the virus and emphasizes the immediate need to complete vaccination against polio.”Discovery of the virus earlier in the year led to the Aug 18 launch of a nationwide vaccination campaign that has reached 650,000 Israel children so far. Letters have been sent to Israeli parents nationwide urging them to get their children vaccinated, says the Times story.A petition to stop the vaccination program, filed by the Izun Hozer organization, was rejected last month by the High Court of Justice, according to the story. The petition claimed that giving oral polio vaccine (a weakened strain of the virus) to large numbers of children could pose a heightened risk of reintroducing the disease, a claim rejected by public health organizations, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Sep 9 Times of Israel article Aug 15 CIDRAP News scan on polio risk in IsraelIn other polio news, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Director-General, Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, praised India today for its successful efforts in eradicating polio there, according to a story in The Hindu. The country has not seen a case since early 2011.The laudation came at a meeting of health ministers during the 66th session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in New Delhi. In attendance with Chan were the president of India, Pranab Mukharjee, and the country’s health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad.Only three polio-endemic countries remain: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Sep 10 article in The HinduUK publishes 5-year plan for combating drug resistanceThe UK Department of Health (DH) today released its plan for addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) over the next 5 years.The 43-page report outlines a cross-government UK strategy to slow the development and spread of AMR, especially resistance to antibiotics, by focusing activities around 3 strategic aims:Improve the knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistanceConserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatmentsStimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics, and novel therapiesFuture actions are divided into seven key areas: (1) improving infection prevention and control; (2) optimizing prescribing practices; (3) improving professional education, training, and public engagement; (4) developing new drugs, treatments, and diagnostics; (5) ensuring better access to and use of surveillance data; (6) identifying and prioritizing AMR research needs better; and (7) strengthening international collaboration.”The strategy confirms the UK’s leading role in stimulating national and international action on this global issue and it is important that all sectors respond to the call for action if we are to successfully address this issue,” the UK DH said on its report landing page.Sep 10 UK DH report landing pagelast_img read more

first_imgThe Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman will not fall victim to the government’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’. Justice secretary Kenneth Clarke (pictured) told parliament today that the two bodies will remain in place ‘as valued independent bodies, which do much to bring openness to the way candidates are selected for judicial appointments’. He did however criticise the length and cost of the appointments process, saying he will work with the JAC on more detailed proposals for improving the appointments process. Clarke’s decision follows a review of the operation of the judicial appointments process which began at the end of June. The JAC said in a statement: ‘While we are pleased that the important role played by the independent selecting commission in ensuring an independent judiciary has been recognised by the lord chancellor and the lord chief justice, the commission also recognises there will always be scope to improve efficiency and we look forward to working with our partners in the end-to-end process to achieve that.’ Clarke said: ‘It is clear that, at times, the appointments process can take too long and cost too much. The first duty of the commission is to maintain the high quality of judicial appointments, but I believe that the JAC should also focus on delivering efficiency in the selection of judges, working with the judiciary and the unified Courts and Tribunals Service. ‘The recruitment of the new chair of the JAC is underway and, with the lord chief justice, I look forward to working with the commission on more detailed proposals for improving the appointments process, in the first instance within the existing statutory framework. Any subsequent proposals requiring legislation would be brought forward in the usual way.’last_img read more

first_imgSeventy-two hours after emerging as champion at the All African games trial, Fatimo Bello showed her quality to dominate the maiden Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) National Women Singles Open Championship concluded at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.She fought her way into the final brushing aside the likes of national player, Cecilia Otu-Akpan as well as returnee Ganiat Aruna to set up a final clash against former junior champion – Tosim Oribamise.Despite not having the chance to compete in international tournaments like her opponent in the final – Oribamise, Bello made nonsense of the experience of her opponent.Oribamise who is considered to be Nigeria’s most travelled and experienced player in recent times, was no match to Bello who thrashed the Ekiti State-born Oribamise 4-0 (11 -7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4) to cart home the N200,000 star prize money.An excited Bello said she is determined to make the Nigeria team to the 2019 All Africa Games in Morocco.“I’m very happy and excited about the victory. This is going to help me a lot because I won’t stop training and continue to work hard. Training is the key to my success and hopeful I will continue to win. I actually started training two months ago for the trials and this Women Singles championship and I was expecting to win, so it is not something surprising. As the first winner of this tournament which means I’m one of the best players in Nigeria, I will like to play abroad and do all my possible best if I get the opportunity. I’m looking forward to play for the National team and excel with the team,” she said.The tournament sponsored by the NTTF President, Engineer Ishaku Tikon was to rate female players and select team for major championships and the NTTF boss admitted that the objectives of the tournament were achieved.“We have gotten the result of why we staged the competition. A new queen has emerged and the line-up according to their ranking have also been established, we are good to go and we are prepared to conquer Africa and we are on our way to dominate table tennis in the region,” Tikon said.For the former President of NTTF, Wahid Oshodi, the performance of the players was encouraging and with constant training and regular competitions, the players would be ready to compete with the best.Relatedlast_img read more