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ASM Attends UN General Assembly

ASM President, Susan Sharp, Ph.D., joined global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York today in a historical meeting to focus on the commitment to fight AMR.
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UN General Assembly Focuses on AMR

Leaders at the UN General Assembly draft a plan for coordinated, cross-cutting efforts to improve the current state of AMR.
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Superbugs are a 'Fundamental Threat'

If antibiotics were telephones, we would still be calling each other using clunky rotary dials and copper lines," Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of ASM, told NBC News.
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Self-Administered Vaccine Patch May Protect Against Potentially Pandemic Flu Viruses

A self-administered patch containing tiny microneedles may effectively deliver influenza virus-like particles through the skin and protect against potentially pandemic flu viruses such as H5N1. Researchers from the U.S. and abroad report their findings in the September 2010 issue of the journal Clinical Vaccine and Immunology.

In the United States, seasonal flu epidemics often result in over 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year. New pandemic flu strains continue to emerge, such as the 2009 H1N1 virus that resulted in the first pandemic influenza outbreak in the 21st century. Conventional vaccination programs require a painful injection administered by medical personnel and can take months to develop, emphasizing the need for vaccines that can be rapidly produced at low cost and distributed within weeks.

Influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) are potentially promising vaccine candidates as they are non-infectious and have been shown to induce long-lasting immunity against pandemic influenza viruses. An abundance of dermal dendritic cells, important members of the skins' immune system, make the skin an appealing route for vaccine delivery.

In the study researchers vaccinated mice with microneedle patches containing influenza H5 VLPs derived from the H5N1 virus and found the resulting protective immunity to be equal to or higher than that induced from intramuscular inoculation. Significantly, human skin cells also responded to the influenza VLP vaccine delivered by the microneedle patch.

"Microneedle vaccination in the skin with H5 VLPs represents a promising approach for a self-administered vaccine against viruses with pandemic potential," say the researchers.

(J.M. Song, Y.C. Kim, A.S. Lipatov, M. Pearton, C.T. Davis, D.G. Yoo, K.M. Park, L.M. Chen, F.S. Quan, J.C. Birchall, R.O. Donis, M.R. Prausnitz, R.W. Compans, S.M. Kang. 2010. Microneedle delivery of H5N1 influenza virus-like particles to the skin induces long-lasting B- and T-cell responses in mice. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 17. 9: 1381-1389.)

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