Syndicate content

Archive - Jul 18, 2020

Date

Specific T-Cell Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 Revealed in Recovered COVID-19 and SARS Patients, and in Uninfected Controls; Results Published in Nature

Singapore scientists have uncovered SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity in recovered COVID-19 and SARS patients, and in uninfected individuals. The study by scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School, in close collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) was published online on July 15, 2020 as an accelerated preview article in Nature. The findings suggest infection and exposure to coronaviruses induces long-lasting memory T-cells, which could help in the management of the current pandemic and in vaccine development against COVID-19. The open-access Nature article is titled “SARS-CoV-2-Specific T Cell Immunity in Cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and Uninfected Controls.” The team tested subjects who had recovered from COVID-19 and found the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells in all of them, which suggests that T-cells play an important role in this infection. Importantly, the team showed that patients who recovered from SARS 17 years ago after the 2003 outbreak, still possess virus-specific memory T-cells and displayed cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2. "Our team also tested uninfected healthy individuals and found SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells in more than 50 percent of them. This could be due to cross-reactive immunity obtained from exposure to other coronaviruses, such as those causing the common cold, or presently unknown animal coronaviruses. It is important to understand if this could explain why some individuals are able to better control the infection," said Professor Antonio Bertoletti, MD, from Duke-NUS' Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) program, who is the corresponding author of this study.

International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, Including Exosomes, July 20-22: Plenary Speakers, Panel Sessions, Oral Abstract Talks, Poster Chats, & Educational Sessions; FOCUS: PLENARY SPEAKERS

The International Society for ExtracellularVesicles (ISEV) AnnualMeeting (ISEV2020), Including #Exosomes, Is Now VIRTUAL (July 20-22); and will feature over 600 Discussions (Plenary Addresses, Panel Sessions, Oral Abstract Talks, Poster Chats, & Educational Sessions). The program can viewed here (https://www.isev.org/mpage/2020Program) and registration can be done here (https://www.isev.org/mpage/2020Registration). As eminent Yale professor Philip Askenase, MD, has said, “Exosomes are a sensational biological discovery and they seem to be involved in nearly all biological and clinical processes.” Please attend the virtual ISEV 2020 meeting to learn more about these fascinating and immensely important tiny particles. The 2020 virtual meeting will feature five plenary speakers who are acknowledged leaders in the field of extracellular vesicles (EVs). They are Alain Brisson, currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Bordeaux, in the team Extracellular Vesicles & Membrane Repair in CNRS unit CBMN; Hollis Cline, PhD, the Hahn Professor of Neuroscience and Co-Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California; Phylis Hanson, MD, PhD, the Minor J. Coon Collegiate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Chair of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan; Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD, Founding Director, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute; and Shannon Stott, PhD, Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Member, Broad Institute. Additional information on each of the ISEV 2020 plenary speakers is provided below.

ALAINE BRISSON, PHD

Largest Study of Prostate Cancer Genomics in US Men of African Ancestry Highlights Importance of Including Under-Represented Groups in Genetic/Health Studies That Are Often Focused on Those of European Ancestry ; Results Will Inform RESPOND Study

Black men in the United States are known to suffer disproportionately from prostate cancer, but few studies have investigated whether genetic differences in prostate tumors could have anything to do with these health disparities. Now, in the largest study of its kind to date, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), UC San Francisco (UCSF), and Northwestern University have identified genes that are more frequently altered in prostate tumors from men of African ancestry compared to other racial groups, though the reasons for these differences are not yet known, the authors say. None of the individual tumor genetic differences that were identified are likely to explain significant differences in health outcomes or to prevent Black Americans from benefiting from a new generation of precision prostate cancer therapies, the authors say, as long as the therapies are applied equitably. The newly identified gene variants could potentially lead to precision prostate cancer therapies specifically focused on men of African ancestry, but this is not yet clear. The results will inform broader efforts by the National Cancer Institute's RESPOND African American Prostate Cancer study (https://www.respondstudy.org/) to link gene variants to health outcomes in an even larger cohort of Black patients nationwide. Despite declines in mortality related to cancer in the U.S., disparities by race have persisted. One in every six Black Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and these men are twice as likely to die from the disease as men of other races. But it is not yet clear to researchers whether differences in prostate cancer genetics contribute to these health disparities in addition to the social and environmental inequities known to drive poorer health outcomes across the board.