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New Equine Influenza Vaccine Could Help Protect People, Too

Monday, May 7, 2018

Scientists have developed a new live-attenuated intranasal vaccine to protect horses against equine influenza.

Luis Martinez-Sobrido, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York, said a new vaccine is needed not only to keep horses healthy, but also to protect people in the future.

Influenza virus is the most common cause of viral respiratory tract disease in horses and has a substantial economic impact on the horse industry annually. Outbreaks occur most frequently when susceptible animals are housed in close contact with one another, as is typical at racetracks, sales barns, and horse shows. Clinical signs of infection in horses include fever, appetite loss, lethargy, nasal discharge (watery at first but typically becoming mucopurulent, meaning it contains pus and mucus), and coughing. In uncomplicated cases clinical signs resolve in approximately seven to 14 days, although coughing might persist longer. Complications can be severe and might include secondary bacterial pneumonia, myositis (muscle inflammation), myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation), and limb edema (fluid swelling).

Proactively preventing the spread of flu in animals is important, as animals are the most likely source of future human pandemics. Animals—including horses, pigs, and dogs—can be infected with multiple influenza viruses and have the potential to act as “mixing vessels,” generating new flu strains that could infect people, he said. This hasn’t happened yet, but it’s possible, he added, and these strains would be particularly dangerous, since people wouldn’t have pre-existing immunity.

Read More: New Equine Influenza Vaccine Could Help Protect People, Too

Horses Get the Flu, Too

Monday, April 30, 2018

Flu vaccines for horses haven’t been updated in more than 25 years, but University of Rochester researchers have developed a new live equine influenza vaccine that is safe and more protective than existing vaccines.

Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says a new vaccine is needed not only to keep horses healthy, but also to protect people.

Proactively preventing the spread of flu in animals is important, as animals are the most likely source of future human pandemics. Animals – including horses, pigs and dogs – can be infected with multiple influenza viruses and have the potential to act as “mixing vessels,” generating new flu strains that could infect people. This hasn’t happened yet, but it’s possible. These strains would be particularly dangerous, since people wouldn’t have pre-existing immunity. Equine influenza is currently circulating in North America and Europe and is highly contagious. Horses often travel long distances for equestrian events and breeding purposes, and if an infected horse is introduced into a susceptible, unvaccinated population, the spread of the virus can be fast and furious. In the past, flu outbreaks have disrupted major events and led to large economic losses.

In the journal Virology, Martinez-Sobrido and lead study author Laura Rodriguez describe a new “live-attenuated” vaccine that’s given as a spray through the nose (think FluMist for horses). Past research – including studies conducted at the University of Rochester – shows that live-attenuated vaccines, made from live flu virus that’s dampened down so that it doesn’t cause the flu, provide better immune responses and longer periods of protection than vaccines that include inactivated or killed flu virus (like the traditional flu shot).Created using a genetic engineering technique called reserve genetics, the new live-attenuated equine vaccine is designed to replicate and generate an immune response in the nose, where the flu first enters a horse’s body, but not in the lungs, where replication of the virus can cause disease. The goal is to stop the virus at entry, preventing it from taking hold in a horse’s respiratory tract.

Read More: Horses Get the Flu, Too

Andrew Cox Receives US Patent

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cox

Andrew Cox

MD/PhD student, Andrew Cox has been awarded a patent, "Attenuated Influenza Vaccines and Uses Thereof" (9,787,032), for a new live flu vaccine that is safer than the current one so should permit higher dose administration to overcome the current problems with the live vaccine.

When not in medical school, Andrew is currently pursuing his degree in the Dewhurst lab, working on temperature sensitivity of Influenza polymerase as a determinant of pathogenicity.

Congratulations Andrew!

Felix Yarovinsky Leads Research on Positive and Negative Impact of Gut Bacteria

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The human microbiome – the trillions of tiny bacteria that live in and on our bodies – is emerging as an increasingly important player in health and wellness. But, our co-existence with these organisms is complex, and scientists are learning that even minor changes in this relationship can lead to big problems with our health.

In a new study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that impairing a rare group of cells in the small intestine allows gut bacteria to invade the organ and cause major inflammation. The study was conducted in mice, but has implications for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of disorders characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive track.

The work can also be found in ScienceDaily, your source for the latest research news.

Read More: Felix Yarovinsky Leads Research on Positive and Negative Impact of Gut Bacteria

Should You Get a Flu Shot After the Flu?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

If you skipped this year’s flu shot and then came down with the virus, you may think there’s no point to getting the vaccine now.

But you’d be wrong.

There are good reasons to get a flu shot, even if you’ve already been sick, says David Topham, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester and director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence.

You can catch the flu more than once in a season—because having one “type” of flu doesn’t provide immunity against the other types that may be circulating. “The way your immune system sees them is very different,” Topham says. Two types commonly make people ill: type A and type B. This flu season, as is typical, most cases of flu so far have been type A (the H3N2 strain).

Read More: Should You Get a Flu Shot After the Flu?

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore

Thursday, January 25, 2018

This week in Opportunities to Explore there is the future faculty workshop, a benefit play for humans for education, the grand gesture with URBEST and finally the Graduate Student Society Gala, being held at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Looking further out, there are workshops on online teaching, linked in, help with career fairs and more. Teresa Long, MS will be sharing her career story. There are employment opportunities, conferences and programs to apply/register for.

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 29-February 2, 2018

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 22-January 26, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

The latest issue of Opportunities to Explore is out!

This issue of OTE is packed with events. There are workshops for investing and Job searches, with a anti human trafficking conference rounding out the week. further into the issue you will find information on career focused events, teaching, research, mentoring and more!

Check out new employment opportunities available at AMRI and Cardiocore.

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 22-January 26, 2018

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 15-January 19, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

The latest issue of Opportunities to Explore is out!

The first of two SMD Interview Weekends starts on Thursday, January 18th.

SMD graduate students and postdoctoral associates are invited to attend a special guest day for the University of Rochester’s Toastmasters Club, Daybreakers, on Thursday, January 18th.

Check out new employment opportunities available in Western New York at AMRI.

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 15-January 19, 2018

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 8-January 12, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

The latest issue of Opportunities to Explore is out!

The Undergraduate Placement Program is seeing graduate and postdoctoral associates to serve as mentors to undergraduate students focusing on health and life sciences.

Graduate Women in Science GWIS will be hosting a presentation entitled “Tales from the Other Side: My Experience working in Industry” by Melanie Preston, Ph.D., SMD graduate of 2009 and postdoctoral associate from 2009-2010.

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore – January 8-January 12, 2018