Category Archives: Immunology, inflammation, infectiology and microbiology

Discovery of a circovirus involved in human hepatitis

circovirus _ illustration

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (AP-HP), Inserm in the Imagine Institute, Université Paris Cité and the Alfort National Veterinary School (EnvA) have identified a previously unknown species of circovirus, provisionally named human circovirus 1 (HCirV-1). Circoviruses are a family of small, highly resistant DNA viruses that were initially identified in 1974 in various animal species, where they can cause respiratory, renal, dermatological and reproductive problems. HCirV-1 is a novel virus that is distant from known animal circoviruses. It was shown to be implicated in damage to the liver of a patient undergoing immunosuppressive treatment.

Dengue and Zika Viruses: Towards a Better Understanding of the Mechanisms of Transmission

moustique Aedes aegypti

Aedes mosquitoes are the principal vectors of dengue and other arboviruses, including Zika, for which no vaccines or antiviral treatments currently exist. Understanding the factors that influence the transmission of arboviruses from mosquitoes to humans is therefore a priority because it could guide the implementation of public health measures that could limit or even prevent epidemics. In a new study, a team of researchers from Inserm, CNRS and Université de Strasbourg at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, in collaboration with the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, described the virome (the totality of the viruses) present in 800 mosquitoes collected in six countries across four continents. The scientists show that out of the 12 viruses identified, two of them do not infect humans but increase the potential for transmission of dengue and Zika. The mechanism involved reveals the existence of a new cellular factor hijacked by arboviruses in mosquitoes.

Immunothérapie : une nouvelle arme deux-en-un contre les tumeurs résistantes

anti cancer cGAMP-VLP

Appuyer sur l’accélérateur et lever le frein, en même temps, c’est l’idée innovante du Dr Nicolas Manel, chercheur Inserm et chef d’équipe à l’Institut Curie (unité Immunité et cancer – Institut Curie, Inserm) pour améliorer la réponse aux immunothérapies. Depuis plusieurs années, les chercheurs ont identifié une voie de signalisation – STING – indispensable accélérateur de la réponse aux immunothérapies. Aujourd’hui, l’équipe franchit une nouvelle étape en identifiant un nouveau médicament biologique capable d’activer STING spécifiquement dans les cellules clefs du système immunitaire.

A Bacterium to Protect the Microbiota from the Harmful Effect of Food Additives

microbiote colon

Emulsifiers are food additives that are used to improve texture and extend shelf life. They are found in many processed products (ice cream, packaged cakes, sauces, etc.) despite having demonstrated harmful effects on intestinal balance. In a new study, scientists from Inserm, CNRS and Université Paris Cité at Institut Cochin in Paris sought to counteract these effects by using Akkermansia muciniphila, a bacterium naturally present in the intestine, to repopulate and thus strengthen the intestinal epithelium. The addition of this bacterium to the gut microbiota is thought to prevent the damage caused by the consumption of emulsifiers.

Retour sur 5 avancées marquantes à l’Inserm en 2022

L’année 2022 a été marquée par de belles avancées pour l’Inserm qui ont, chacune dans leur domaine, contribué à améliorer la santé des citoyens et le quotidien de nombreux patients. Avant d’entamer une nouvelle année, nous vous proposons de jeter un coup d’œil dans le rétro.

Trial on safety and immunogenicity of Ebola vaccines yields promising results

Ebola epidemics occur periodically in various sub-Saharan African countries. While vaccines exist and have already received WHO Prequalification against the Zaire ebolavirus species, it is essential to pursue and intensify efforts to supplement the available data to develop a safe and effective Ebola vaccine strategies in adults and children alike. The PREVAC international consortium, which includes scientists from Inserm and from institutions in Africa, USA and UK, has published the results of a large-scale randomized clinical trial in West Africa in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Syndrome de surcroissance : vers une meilleure compréhension des mutations du gène PIK3CA dans les cellules graisseuses

insuline_Canaud

L’équipe de recherche Médecine Translationnelle et Thérapies Ciblées, dirigée par le professeur Guillaume Canaud à l’Institut Necker-Enfants Malades (Université Paris Cité, AP-HP, Inserm), vient de démontrer l’efficacité de l’alpelisib pour prévenir et améliorer la croissance du tissu adipeux des patients atteints du syndrome de surcroissance et pour inverser les anomalies métabolomiques, à la fois dans les modèles pré-cliniques et chez les patients.

Tuberculosis: children hospitalized with severe pneumonia in high-incidence countries should be screened for TB

tuberculose enfants

Tuberculosis affects 1 million children each year; less than half of them are diagnosed and treated for the disease, which leads to more than 200,000 deaths. In a new study, researchers and clinicians from the TB-Speed consortium funded by global health agency Unitaid and led by the University of Bordeaux, in collaboration with the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and MU-JHU (a research collaboration between Makerere University and John Hopkins University in Uganda), showed that screening for tuberculosis at the time of hospital admission was feasible in children with severe pneumonia. In addition, screening with a molecular test called Xpert Ultra improved the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children in countries with high incidence of the disease. The results of the study argue for a more systematic use of the Xpert Ultra in these children, especially in those suffering from severe acute malnutrition. They also confirm the importance of tuberculosis as a cause of severe pneumonia.

Efficacy of a Meningococcal B Vaccine and a Preventive Antibiotic in Reducing the Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Vaccination© Adobe Stock

The ANRS DOXYVAC trial, conducted by a research team from the Paris public hospitals group (AP-HP), Université Paris Cité, Inserm and Sorbonne Université in collaboration with AIDES and Coalition PLUS, demonstrates the efficacy of both a meningococcal B vaccine in reducing the risk of gonorrhea infection and the use of doxycycline as preventive intervention for sexually transmitted infections when taken within 72h after sexual intercourse.

Décryptage d’un mécanisme favorisant l’infection par le cytomégalovirus chez la femme enceinte

Très répandu dans la population humaine et la plupart du temps inoffensif, le cytomégalovirus devient très dangereux pour le fœtus lorsqu’il est contracté durant une grossesse. Pourtant, les mécanismes de cette infection congénitale sont encore assez peu compris. Pour la première fois, des scientifiques de l’UT3 – Paul Sabatier, de l’Inserm et du CNRS à l’Institut toulousain des maladies infectieuses et inflammatoires (Infinity), en collaboration avec plusieurs autres laboratoires français1, ont observé en détail un nouvel aspect de l’infection impliquant des médiateurs placentaires encore inexplorés : les vésicules extracellulaires.

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