vaccine

Higher COVID-19 Risk Tied to 2 MS Therapies, Even With Vaccination

Fully vaccinated multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who are treated with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) or Gilenya (fingolimod) have a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 infection than those given other immunosuppressive therapies, according to a study in Italy. Called breakthrough infections, these post-vaccination cases of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes…

BCG Vaccine for TB Not Linked to MS Risk: Large Canadian Study

Getting the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine to protect against tuberculosis (TB) — an immunization often given to infants and small children in countries where TB is common — does not decrease a person’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study. “Within a large birth cohort…

Ocrevus, Gilenya May Limit Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines: UK Study

COVID-19 infection rates after widespread vaccination were significantly higher among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients on Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) or Gilenya (fingolimod) than in the general population, but not among MS patients given other immunosuppressive disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), a data study in England reports. While information on patients’ vaccination…

Risk of MS Relapse Not Increased by COVID-19 Vaccine, Study Finds

Getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 does not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses in the two months following vaccination, according to a new study. The results support recommending COVID-19 vaccines for people with MS, its researchers said. “The incidence of relapses in the 2 months before and…

Chicken Soup Has Super Powers

Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of warm fluids. Use a humidifier. Gargle and flush your sinuses with warm salt water. Blow your nose early and often. Take over-the-counter medications. Eat some chicken soup. No doubt, you know what I’m talking about when you read this list of…

A Tough Year to Fight the Flu

I’m fighting a cold. I’m coughing and I’m congested. I’m hoping it’s not the flu. This is not a year to get the flu. The type of flu circulating in most of North America right now is the H3N2 variety. And, in the words of Helen Branswell…

Human Vaccines Project Studies Aim to Unveil Workings of Immune System

Scientists announced positive and encouraging outcomes from two clinical studies — running as part of the larger Human Vaccines Project — aiming to unravel the mechanisms that underlie our immune system’s ability to fight disease. The results are expected to shed light on unknown aspects of the immune system that scientists at the Human Vaccines Project, a public-private partnership, hope to translate into new trials for diseases linked to the immune system, such as multiple sclerosis. Results from the trials — the Human Immunome Program and the Immunity to Hepatitis B Vaccine study — were recently presented at the World Vaccine and Immunotherapy Congress in San Diego, California. In the ongoing Human Immunome Program, researchers are trying to fill a major knowledge gap in the components and mechanisms of the immune system that allow it to recognize various threats, from viruses, parasites and bacteria to cancer cells. They are using blood samples from healthy people to analyze, at an unprecedented depth, the whole repertoire of genes that make up the surface receptors of immune B- and T-cells, the core cells of the immune system’s defence mechanisms. Results will likely advance how scientists diagnose and treat various diseases, and could prompt the development of new, improved vaccines. "We are studying the immune systems of healthy individuals to identify common elements, which could be important for facilitating new and improved vaccines," James E. Crowe Jr., MD, director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Vaccine Center, the leading scientific institution of the Human Immunome Program, said in a press release. Researchers will cross the sequencing information with participants' microbiome composition — the natural community of microbes that reside in an organism and are key for a healthy immune system — and other health and sociodemographic characteristics. "We also plan to expand these studies to complete the catalog across different demographics and geographies and compare healthy subjects with individuals with immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer's, which could also reveal novel diagnostic markers," Crowe said. The second study, the Immunity to Hepatitis B Vaccine trial — currently recruiting participants — aims to understand why some people achieve protection against Hepatitis B after a single vaccine shot, while others require up to three immunizations to acquire full immunity. Understanding why the immune system responds differently in individuals can help researchers improve existing vaccines and potentially lead to one-shot vaccines that provide long-term immunity for all populations. Researchers in this study are analyzing genes belonging to the innate-immune system — a general immune system response, not one tailored to specific threats — and observing that activation of these genes in certain immune cells can predict who will be a responder after a single shot of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Preliminary results of the Immunity to Hepatitis B Vaccine study were delivered in two separate sessions at the congress. One was given by Manish Sadarangani, director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center of the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, and the by and Richard Scheuermann, director of the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California. "These preliminary data points toward strategies to understand why some people respond better to vaccines than others," Sadarangani said. "Using single cell analyses, we now have the opportunity to probe vaccine-induced responses more effectively, to not only learn what happens immediately after vaccination, but to monitor responses over time and utilize machine learning to eventually predict the human immune response to vaccines," added Scheuermann. Wayne C. Koff, president and chief executive officer of the Human Vaccines Project, emphasized that researchers are optimistic with the results obtained so far, as they "provide important insights into the scale and complexity of the human immune system and how vaccines confer protective immunity." "With our network of academic and corporate partners, we aim to build on these findings and decode the human immune system, giving the world the tools required to advance the development of future vaccines and therapies to defeat major global diseases," Koff concluded.  

Top 10 Multiple Sclerosis Articles of 2016

A number of important discoveries, therapeutic developments, and events related to multiple sclerosis (MS) were reported daily by Multiple Sclerosis News Today throughout 2016. Now that the year is over, it is time to briefly review the articles that appealed most to our readers. Here are the top 10 most-read articles of 2016, with…

New Research Center at UC San Diego to Focus on Microbiome and Immunology

The University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine and Chiba University School of Medicine, Japan, are working together to establish a new center for immunology research, with a particular focus on the microbiome and mucosal immune responses that are known to play a crucial role in a variety of diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). “This…

Top 10 Multiple Sclerosis Articles of 2015

Multiple Sclerosis News Today has reported the latest therapies, clinical trial developments, and events in multiple sclerosis (MS) on a daily basis throughout the past year. As 2015 comes to an end, here are the year’s 10 articles most widely read by  Multiple Sclerosis News Today readers, each with a brief summary of the developments…