Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are zoonotic viruses that emerged in the mid to late 1990s causing disease outbreaks in livestock and people. HeV appeared in Queensland, Australia in 1994 causing a severe respiratory disease in horses along with a human case fatality. NiV emerged a few years later in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998-1999 causing a large outbreak of encephalitis with high mortality in people and also respiratory disease in pigs which served as amplifying hosts. The key pathological elements of HeV and NiV infection in several species of mammals, and also in people, are a severe systemic and often fatal neurologic and/or respiratory disease. In people, both HeV and NiV are also capable of causing relapsed encephalitis following recovery from an acute infection. The known reservoir hosts of HeV and NiV are several species of pteropid fruit bats. Spillovers of HeV into horses continue to occur in Australia and NiV has caused outbreaks in people in Bangladesh and India nearly annually since 2001, making HeV and NiV important transboundary biological threats. NiV in particular possesses several features that underscore its potential as a pandemic threat, including its ability to infect humans directly from natural reservoirs or indirectly from other susceptible animals, along with a capacity of limited human-to-human transmission. Several HeV and NiV animal challenge models have been developed which have facilitated an understanding of pathogenesis and allowed for the successful development of both active and passive immunization countermeasures.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic, recently emerged paramyxovirus that has been responsible for sporadic outbreaks of respiratory and encephalitic disease in Southeast Asia. High case fatality rates have also been associated with recent outbreaks in Malaysia and Bangladesh. Although over two billion people currently live in regions in which NiV is endemic or in which the Pteropus fruit bat reservoir is commonly found, there is no approved vaccine to protect against NiV disease. This report examines the feasibility and current efforts to develop a NiV vaccine including potential hurdles for technical and regulatory assessment of candidate vaccines and the likelihood for financing.
Although outbreaks of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in young children have long been recognized worldwide, the occurrence of rare and life-threatening neurological, respiratory, and cardiac complications has propelled this common condition into the spotlight as a major public health problem in the affected countries. Various enteroviruses cause HFMD, but the severe complications have been mostly associated with enterovirus 71 (EV71). Medical treatment is supportive and measures to interrupt transmission have been challenging to implement. Preventive vaccines could have an important clinical impact, especially among children younger than 3 years old who are most susceptible to the neurological complications. Several groups in the highly affected Asia-Pacific region are working towards vaccines against EV71 and some candidates have progressed to late-stage clinical trials with two vaccines recently reported to have been approved by the regulatory authorities in China. This report summarizes current issues and progress in the development of vaccines against EV71.
A qualitative study design was adapted to explore the challenges faced by health workers (HWs) during the polio health campaign. In addition, HWs' opinions about the factors causing parents to refuse oral polio vaccination (OPV) were also explored. Four focus group discussions (FGDs) were held (from 1st January 2015-31st March 2015) with the HWs who participated in the OPV campaigns in the polio red zones of Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa (KPK) province of Pakistan, namely Kohat (FG 1), Domel and Bannu (FG 2), Hangoo (FG 3), and Peshawar (FG 4). A total of N=42 HWs (10-11 in each FG) agreed to participate in this study. Overall, HWs disclosed that public attitude and harsh behaviour towards the HWs and security threats are the two main challenges they face. Common issues hindering parents' willingness to vaccinate their children against OPV are: OPV is seen as haram and not permitted in Islam, it is said to contain the blood of pigs (Khinzir) and monkeys, and parents are afraid that it is done to induce sterility among their children. HWs also shared that parents have a strong belief in the conspiracies that are associated with OPV, i.e. the USA and CIA, are spying on us and our government is helping them to achieve their agenda. Furthermore, HWs revealed that frequent visits may further strengthen parents' perceptions and make them more resistant to OPV. The common side effects of OPV reported by parents were mainly gastro-intestinal problems and in some cases mild to moderate fever with some respiratory symptoms. There is a great need to improve the logistics and facilities for HWs assisting in vaccination programmes. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve education, so people understand the basic concept of revaccination and booster doses, thereby assisting in creating a basic understanding of vaccinations, which may trigger changes in attitudes and make people believe in the benefits of OPV rather than following the conspiracies that lead them to refuse it.
A cross-sectional study was carried out among HCPs in Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre, Hayatabad Peshawar, Pakistan. The purpose of this study was to investigate knowledge, awareness and attitude of HCPs towards influenza vaccination. A total of N=170 questionnaires were distributed among the staff. There was a 97% response rate to this survey (n=165). The median age of the respondents was 30 years and most of them, 98 (59.0%), were from age group of 24-30 years. The majority of the HCPs that participated in this study were male 106 (64.2%), and by profession, the majority were physicians 77 (46.7%), followed by pharmacists and nurses. A majority 114 (69.1%) believed that it was not compulsory for HCPs to get vaccinated for influenza. Top three identified barriers to vaccination were: not everyone is familiar with the availability of the influenza vaccination at their institution (Relative importance weight factors (RIWF)=0.71), due to needle fear I do not like to get vaccinated (RIWF=0.70) and it is not compulsory for healthcare professionals to get vaccinated for influenza (RIWF=0.64). The logistic regression analysis has revealed association for job experience and profession with the most of the eleven knowledge item. However, when overall sum of eleven items were tested to identify the factors affecting the knowledge score, along with profession (-0.215 [-0.389 to 0.040]; p=0.016) and job experience (0.823 [0.521-1.125]; p<0.001) HCPs age (-0.409 [-0.755 to -0.064]; p=0.020) was found to be another significant factor affecting the total knowledge score of HCPs. Overall, scoring of the correct responses revealed that nurses have better knowledge and understanding about influenza and the influenza vaccination (6.5±0.8, p<0.001*), followed by pharmacists (6.3±1.14) and physicians. In spite of the published guidelines and recommendations, a very low percentage of the healthcare professionals in our hospital were vaccinated against influenza, and the barriers to vaccination were prevalent. Various strategies, including arranging seminars regarding awareness about vaccinations, are required to improve the knowledge and overall outcomes.
A vaccine against human enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) is urgently needed to combat outbreaks of EV-A71 and in particular, the serious neurological complications that manifest during these outbreaks. In this study, an EV-A71 virus-like-particle (VLP) based on a B5 subgenogroup (EV-A71-B5 VLP) was generated using an insect cell/baculovirus platform. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the purified VLP had a highly native procapsid structure and initial studies in vivo demonstrated that the VLPs were immunogenic in mice. The impact of VLP immunization on infection was examined in non-human primates using a VLP prime-boost strategy prior to EV-A71 challenge. Rhesus macaques were immunized on day 0 and day 21 with VLPs (100 μg/dose) containing adjuvant or with adjuvant alone (controls), and were challenged with EV-A71 on day 42. Complete blood counts, serum chemistry, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and histopathology results were mostly normal in vaccinated and control animals after virus challenge demonstrating that the fatal EV-A71-B3 clinical isolate used in this study was not highly virulent in rhesus macaques. Viral genome and/or infectious virus were detected in blood, spleen or brain of two of three control animals, but not in any specimens from the vaccinated animals, indicating that VLP immunization prevented systemic spread of EV-A71 in rhesus macaques. High levels of IgM and IgG were detected in VLP-vaccinated animals and these responses were highly specific for EV-A71 particles and capsid proteins. Serum from vaccinated animals also exhibited similar neutralizing activity against different subgenogroups of EV-A71 demonstrating that the VLPs induced cross-neutralizing antibodies. In conclusion, our EV-A71-B5 VLP is safe, highly immunogenic, and prevents systemic EV-A71-B3 infection in nonhuman primates making it a viable attractive vaccine candidate for EV-A71.
Pigs play a significant role during outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) due to their ability to amplify the virus. It is therefore essential to determine what role vaccination could play to prevent clinical disease and lower virus excretion into the environment. In this study we investigated the efficacy of the double oil emulsion A Malaysia 97 vaccine (>6PD50/dose) against heterologous challenge with an isolate belonging to the A SEA-97 lineage at 4 and 7 days post vaccination (dpv). In addition, we determined whether physical separation of pigs in the same room could prevent virus transmission. Statistically there was no difference in the level of protection offered by 4 and 7 dpv. However, no clinical disease or viral RNA was detected in the blood of pigs challenged 4 dpv, although three of the pigs had antibodies to the non-structural proteins (NSPs), indicating viral replication. Viral RNA was also detected in nasal and saliva swabs, but on very few occasions. Two of the pigs vaccinated seven days prior to challenge had vesicles distal from the injection site, but on the inoculated foot, and two pigs had viral RNA detected in the blood. One pig sero-converted to the NSPs. In contrast, all unvaccinated and inoculated pigs had evidence of infection. No infection occurred in any of the susceptible pigs in the same room, but separated from the infected pigs, indicating that strict biosecurity measures were sufficient under these experimental conditions to prevent virus transmission. However, viral RNA was detected in the nasal swabs of one group of pigs, but apparently not at sufficient levels to cause clinical disease. Vaccination led to a significant decrease in viral RNA in vaccinated pigs compared to unvaccinated and infected pigs, even with this heterologous challenge, and could therefore be considered as a control option during outbreaks.
Influenza is an important health hazard among Hajj pilgrims. For the last ten years, pilgrims are being recommended to take influenza vaccine before attending Hajj. Vaccination coverage has increased in recent years, but whether there has been any change in the prevalence of influenza-like illness (ILI) is not known. In this analysis, we examined the changes in the rate of ILI against seasonal influenza vaccine uptake among Hajj pilgrims over the last decade.
BACKGROUND: Seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV7) have been used in children for more than a decade. Given the observed increase in disease caused by pneumococcal serotypes not covered by PCV7, an increasing number of countries are switching from 7-valent to 10- and 13-valent PCVs ("PCV10" and "PCV13"). Economic evaluations are important tools to inform decisions and price negotiations to make such a switch.
OBJECTIVE: This review aims to provide a critical assessment of economic evaluations involving PCV10 or PCV13, published since 2006.
METHODS: We searched Scopus, ISI Web of Science (SCI and SSCI) and Pubmed to retrieve, select and review relevant studies, which were archived between 1st January 2006 and 31st January 2014. The review protocol involved standard extraction of assumptions, methods, results and sponsorships from the original studies.
RESULTS: Sixty-three economic evaluations on PCVs published since January 2006 were identified. About half of these evaluated PCV10 and/or PCV13, the subject of this review. At current prices, both PCV13 and PCV10 were likely judged preferable to PCV7. However, the combined uncertainty related to price differences, burden of disease, vaccine effectiveness, herd and serotype replacement effects determine the preference base for either PCV10 or PCV13. The pivotal assumptions and results of these analyses also depended on which manufacturer sponsored the study.
CONCLUSION: A more thorough exploration of uncertainty should be made in future analyses on this subject, as we lack understanding to adequately model herd and serotype replacement effects to reliably predict the population impact of PCVs. The introduction of further improved PCVs in an environment of evolving antibiotic resistance and under the continuing influence of previous PCVs implies that the complexity and data requirements for relevant analyses will further increase. Decision makers using these analyses should not just rely on an analysis from a single manufacturer.
KEYWORDS: Cost-effectiveness; Cost–benefit; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Streptococcus pneumoniae
The Brighton Collaboration Viral Vector Vaccines Safety Working Group (V3SWG) was formed to evaluate the safety of live, recombinant viral vaccines incorporating genes from heterologous viruses inserted into the backbone of another virus (so-called "chimeric virus vaccines"). Many viral vector vaccines are in advanced clinical trials. The first such vaccine to be approved for marketing (to date in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines) is a vaccine against the flavivirus, Japanese encephalitis (JE), which employs a licensed vaccine (yellow fever 17D) as a vector. In this vaccine, two envelope proteins (prM-E) of YF 17D virus were exchanged for the corresponding genes of JE virus, with additional attenuating mutations incorporated into the JE gene inserts. Similar vaccines have been constructed by inserting prM-E genes of dengue and West Nile into YF 17D virus and are in late stage clinical studies. The dengue vaccine is, however, more complex in that it requires a mixture of four live vectors each expressing one of the four dengue serotypes. This vaccine has been evaluated in multiple clinical trials. No significant safety concerns have been found. The Phase 3 trials met their endpoints in terms of overall reduction of confirmed dengue fever, and, most importantly a significant reduction in severe dengue and hospitalization due to dengue. However, based on results that have been published so far, efficacy in preventing serotype 2 infection is less than that for the other three serotypes. In the development of these chimeric vaccines, an important series of comparative studies of safety and efficacy were made using the parental YF 17D vaccine virus as a benchmark. In this paper, we use a standardized template describing the key characteristics of the novel flavivirus vaccine vectors, in comparison to the parental YF 17D vaccine. The template facilitates scientific discourse among key stakeholders by increasing the transparency and comparability of information. The Brighton Collaboration V3SWG template may also be useful as a guide to the evaluation of other recombinant viral vector vaccines.
Of the seven known serotypes of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), type A has the most diverse variations. Genetic variations also occur frequently at VP1, VP2, VP3, and VP4 because these proteins constitute the viral capsid. The structural proteins of FMDV, which are closely related to immunologic correlations, are the most easily analyzed because they have highly accessible information. In this study we analyzed the type A vaccine viruses by alignment of available sequences in order to find appropriate vaccine strains. The matching rate of ASIA topotype-specific sites (20 amino acids) located on the viral surface, which are mainly VP1 and VP2, was highly related to immunologic reactivity. Among the available vaccines analyzed in this study, we suggest that A Malaysia 97 could be used as a vaccine virus as it has the highest genetic similarity and immunologic aspects to field strains originating in East Asia.
Dengue disease is a major public health problem across the Asia-Pacific region for which there is no licensed vaccine or treatment. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of Phase III lots of a candidate vaccine (CYD-TDV) in children in Malaysia.
Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guèrin (rBCG) expressing the malarial epitopes F2R(II)EBA and (NANP)3 as well as two T cell epitopes of the M. tuberculosis ESAT-6 antigen, generated in favour of mycobacterium codon usage elicited specific immune response against these epitopes. Immunised Balb/c mice demonstrated an increase in almost all of the IgG subclasses against both malarial epitopes and enhanced splenocyte proliferative response against the malarial epitopes as well as selected peptides of ESAT-6. Furthermore, flow cytometric analyses showed elevated numbers of CD4+ lymphocytes expressing IFN-gamma and IL-2 against the ESAT-6 peptides, suggesting a specific Th1-mediated response. This study demonstrated that expressing malarial and TB epitopes in a single rBCG construct induced appropriate humoral and cellular immune response against immunogenic epitopes from both organisms.
In this paper, we describe the development of VCUSM2, a live metabolic auxotroph of Vibrio cholerae O139. Auxotrophy was achieved by mutating a house keeping gene, hemA, that encodes for glutamyl-tRNA reductase, an important enzyme in the C5 pathway for delta-aminolevulenic acid (ALA) biosynthesis, which renders this strain dependent on exogenous ALA for survival. Experiments using the infant mouse and adult rabbit models show that VCUSM2 is a good colonizer of the small intestine and elicits greater than a four-fold rise in vibriocidal antibodies in vaccinated rabbits. Rabbits vaccinated with VCUSM2 were fully protected against subsequent challenge with 1 x 10(11) CFU of the virulent wild type (WT) strain. Experiments using ligated ileal loops of rabbits show that VCUSM2 is 2.5-fold less toxic at the dose of 1 x 10(6) CFU compared to the WT strain. Shedding of VCUSM2 in rabbits were found to occur for no longer than 4 days and its maximum survival rate in environmental waters is 8 days compared to the greater than 20 days for the WT strain. VCUSM2 is thus a potential vaccine candidate against infection by V. cholerae O139.
ESWI recommends that the 25 European Union nations strive to vaccinate one-third of their collective population every year by 2010. This translates into an annual vaccine usage of 150 million doses for a population of 455 million. However, the current vaccine usage in Europe is 79 million doses, meaning that only 40% of ESWI's recommended target population is being vaccinated in the EU-25. Indeed, the EU's current risk groups equal about 28% of its population, but it is estimated that less than 62% are being vaccinated with the current vaccine supply--the equivalent of 17% of the total population. Clearly, as ESWI noted in its concluding position paper at the Malta conference, "a large proportion of those traditionally assumed to be at most risk from influenza are not being vaccinated." How to change this and minimize the consequences of a pandemic? "It's very interesting how the arithmetic works, given the goal of immunizing 75 percent of Europe's high-risk group, " said Dr K.Nichol of the University of Minnesota Medical Center who chaired the session. "If you go from a trivalent vaccine to a monovalent one, then you triple the number of doses you can manufacture. Thus, you could produce enough doses for the entire population of the EU." However, there is no coordinated approach in Europe, meaning such an optimistic scenario is unlikely in the medium-term. For the time being, emphasis must be on raising public awareness and raising vaccination rates at the local level, starting with health care workers themselves. Here the role and attitude of health policy officials and--critically--health care workers are crucial. These front-line policy and healthcare professionals constitute both the problem and the solution to a more effective influenza vaccine effort in Europe: they know first-hand the institutional obstacles blocking progress--i.e., lack of resources, poorly focused public information campaigns, etc.--but their own work practices and attitudes can be misdirected, too. To identify the issues and help the participants produce a set of recommendations, ESWI brought in Penny Lawson from to facilitate Dr.K. Nichol to steer this session's workshop debate. The participants were a diverse group of 35 health care workers from Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of bacterial infections resulting in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently, up to 13 serotypes are included in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). However, the serotype formulation of these vaccines was initially designed to protect children against serotypes most commonly causing invasive disease in North America, and may not reflect the serotype distribution across the world. Data regarding pneumococcal epidemiology from the other parts of the world, in particular South East Asia, has not been reviewed.
METHODS: This systematic literature review analyses published serotype data regarding S. pneumoniae isolates from South East Asian countries (defined as countries belonging to the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam up to 3rd of March 2012.
RESULTS: Analysis of data from six ASEAN countries, from which information on pneumococcal serotypes was available, showed that the most common disease causing serotypes (in rank order) were 19F, 23F, 14, 6B, 1, 19A and 3. Serotype distribution of pneumococcal isolates was similar across the ASEAN region. Serotype level data was more commonly reported for pneumococcal isolates causing invasive pneumococcal disease than for those from non-invasive disease. Studies from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore contributed the largest proportion of pneumococcal isolates, and serotype data, when compared to other ASEAN countries.
CONCLUSION: This review demonstrates that the majority of IPD causing serotypes in SE Asia are included in currently licensed PCVs. However, PCV's are included in the routine childhood immunisation schedule of only one of the ten countries included in this analysis. Our findings demonstrate the scarcity of information available on serotype prevalence and distribution of pneumococci in SE Asia.
A gene associated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) transport was cloned from a local clinical Vibrio cholerae O1 strain of the Ogawa serotype by using the Lactococcus lactis nisin-controlled expression (NICE) system. The V. cholerae wzm gene, which codes for an integral membrane transporter protein, was expressed and targeted to the cytoplasmic membrane, and was crudely isolated through simple centrifugation and SDS solubilization. To examine seroreactivity of this construct, rabbits were orally fed with 10(9) cfu/ml of live, recombinant L. lactis carrying the wzm gene, induced with nisin prior to administration. Recombinant plasmids were retrieved from L. lactis cultured directly from stool samples of inoculated rabbits. Reverse-transcriptase PCR of wzm using the retrieved plasmids confirmed transcription of this gene, indicating viability and stability of the recombinants in vivo. The L. lactis-Wzm construct elicited substantial levels of IgG and sIgA, and challenge with virulent V. cholerae O1 evoked severe diarrhoea in the naive, non-immunised control group, but not in those fed with either recombinant or non-recombinant L. lactis. Oral administration with recombinant L. lactis expressing the V. cholerae wzm gene increases both systemic and mucosal immunity, whereas L. lactis itself appears capable of protecting against the diarrhoeal symptoms caused by V. cholerae. Wzm is a conserved membrane protein associated with the LPS endotoxin, and together with the food-grade L. lactis, represent an attractive target for the development of a safer, live anti-infective therapy against V. cholerae.
Gene therapy and vaccines are rapidly developing field in which recombinant nucleic acids are introduced in mammalian cells for enhancement, restoration, initiation or silencing biochemical function. Beside simplicity in manipulation and rapid manufacture process, plasmid DNA-based vaccines have inherent features that make them promising vaccine candidates in a variety of diseases. This present review focuses on the safety concern of the genetic elements of plasmid such as propagation and expression units as well as their host genome for the production of recombinant plasmid DNA. The highlighted issues will be beneficial in characterizing and manufacturing plasmid DNA for save clinical use. Manipulation of regulatory units of plasmid will have impact towards addressing the safety concerns raised in human vaccine applications. The gene revolution with plasmid DNA by alteration of their plasmid and production host genetics will be promising for safe delivery and obtaining efficient outcomes.
The immunization status of children is improved by interventions that increase community demand for compulsory and non-compulsory vaccines, one of the most important interventions related to immunization providers. The aim of this study is to evaluate the activities of immunization providers in terms of activities time and cost, to calculate the immunization doses cost, and to determine the immunization dose errors cost. Time-motion and cost analysis study design was used. Five public health clinics in Mosul-Iraq participated in the study. Fifty (50) vaccine doses were required to estimate activities time and cost. Micro-costing method was used; time and cost data were collected for each immunization-related activity performed by the clinic staff. A stopwatch was used to measure the duration of activity interactions between the parents and clinic staff. The immunization service cost was calculated by multiplying the average salary/min by activity time per minute. 528 immunization cards of Iraqi children were scanned to determine the number and the cost of immunization doses errors (extraimmunization doses and invalid doses). The average time for child registration was 6.7 min per each immunization dose, and the physician spent more than 10 min per dose. Nurses needed more than 5 min to complete child vaccination. The total cost of immunization activities was 1.67 US$ per each immunization dose. Measles vaccine (fifth dose) has a lower price (0.42 US$) than all other immunization doses. The cost of a total of 288 invalid doses was 744.55 US$ and the cost of a total of 195 extra immunization doses was 503.85 US$. The time spent on physicians' activities was longer than that spent on registrars' and nurses' activities. Physician total cost was higher than registrar cost and nurse cost. The total immunization cost will increase by about 13.3% owing to dose errors.
From January 2008 to December 2009, 433 Streptococcus pneumoniae strains were examined to determine the serotype distribution and susceptibility to selected antibiotics. About 50% of them were invasive isolates. The strains were isolated from patients of all age groups and 33.55% were isolated from children below 5 years. The majority was isolated from blood (48.53%) and other sterile specimens (6.30%). Community acquired pneumonia (41.70%) is the most common diagnosis followed by sepsis (9.54%). Serotyping was done using Pneumotest Plus-Kit and antibiotic susceptibility pattern was determined by modified Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method and measurement of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) using E-test strip. Ten most common serotypes were 19F (15.02%), 6B (10.62%), 19A (6.93%), 14 (6.70%), 1 (5.08%), 6A (5.08%), 23F (4.85%), 18C (3.93%), 3 (2.08%) and 5 (1.85%). Penicillin MIC ranged between ≤ 0.012-4 μg/ml with MIC₉₀ of 1 μg/ml. Penicillin resistant rate is 31.78%. The majority of penicillin less-susceptible strains belonged to serotype 19F followed by 19A and 6B. Based on the serotypes distribution 22 (44.00%), 28 (56.00%) and 39 (78.00%) of the invasive isolates from children ≤ 2 years were belonged to serotypes included in the PCV7, PCV10 and PCV13, respectively.