Category Archives: Immunology, inflammation, infectiology and microbiology

Les conséquences neurologiques du virus Zika enfin dévoilées

(Français) L’infection virale Zika est toujours un problème de santé publique mondial. Son agent pathogène est le virus Zika transmis par les moustiques du genre Aedes. Depuis 2007, de nombreuses épidémies ont été recensées en Asie et en Afrique, et plus récemment en Amérique centrale et en Amérique du Sud. Si le virus est bien connu par les chercheurs et médecins, la fréquence d’apparition des complications neurologiques, leurs tableaux cliniques et leurs pronostics restent encore très énigmatiques. Dans une étude publiée dans Neurology, des équipes de chercheurs français*ont réussi à lever le voile sur les effets à long terme de ce virus. 

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Repurposing Drugs to Fight the Flu: a Phase 2 Clinical Trial for FLUNEXT

(Français) L’équipe VirPath du CIRI, en collaboration avec le laboratoire du Dr Guy Boivin (chaire de recherche du Canada sur les virus émergents, a développé et validé une stratégie innovante qui consiste à identifier et exploiter directement des échantillons infectieux prélevés cliniquement, afin de sélectionner et d’utiliser des médicaments déjà commercialisés pour soigner d’autres virus (on parle alors de « repositionnement de médicaments »). Ce programme a été financé par l’Inserm, la DGOS, l’Agence National de la Recherche, la Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, l’Université Claude Bernard et l’Université Laval.

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Malaria: new insights into the mechanisms of parasite entry into liver cells

Malaria remains a major cause of mortality in the world, especially in Africa. The disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are transmitted by mosquitoes.

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Zika virus infects the human retina

(Français) Deux équipes de l’Inserm viennent de démontrer que le virus Zika peut infecter l’’épithélium pigmentaire de la rétine humaine et serait ainsi potentiellement capable de provoquer des atteintes rétinienne. Cette étude est publiée dans Journal of Virology.

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Narcolepsy-cataplexy, a sleep disorder, may have an autoimmune origin

Narcolepsy-cataplexy is a rare and serious sleep disorder characterised by excessive daytime drowsiness and sudden loss of muscle tone. It is due to the loss of a population of neurons, known as the orexinergic neurons, located in the lateral hypothalamus. These neurons secrete a neurotransmitter, orexin, which stimulates the appetite and waking state. The aetiology of the disorder remains poorly known, although the genetic and environmental factors associated with narcolepsy, together with serological data, all point to a probable autoimmune origin.

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Septicaemia: the kidney protected by white blood cells

(Français) L’équipe de recherche montre dans un article publié dans le Journal of the American Society of Nephrology que certains globules blancs activés lors de la réponse immunitaire, les monocytes, exercent un effet protecteur sur le tissu rénal chez des souris modèles de septicémie.

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Huntingtin, architect of breasts

In the mammary gland, the lactiferous ducts are indispensable as they are the conduits through which milk is conveyed to the nipple. Within the cells lining them, the luminal cells, organelles and proteins are asymmetrically distributed. This “polarity” of the cells is the key element in their proper functioning.

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A vaccine against house dust mite allergy?

In this work, carried out by researchers from Inserm and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Vienna, Austria, a fragment of Der p 2 was generated by genetic engineering, and its protective effect against house dust mite asthma was then tested in a mouse model of asthma.

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Segmented filamentous bacteria, partners in intestinal immunity, finally cultured in vitro !

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, the Collège de France, Inserm/Imagine-Necker and the Université Paris Descartes have successfully cultured and reproduced the complex life-cycle of these bacteria outside their host for the first time.

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Resident and recruited macrophages orchestrate the liver’s defense against infection

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm and Paris Descartes – Sorbonne Paris Cité University (Biology of Infections Unit, Inserm U1117, directed by Marc Lecuit) have demonstrated that liver-resident macrophages are rapidly killed by the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. This early death triggers the recruitment of macrophages from the bloodstream to the liver. These macrophages start by bringing the bacterial infection under control; then, in an unexpected development, they actually replace the liver-resident macrophages that have been killed by the infection.

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