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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(4), pp.181-190
    Description: Among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, influenza constitutes one of the major threats to mankind. In this review series epidemiologic, virologic and pathologic concerns raised by infections of humans with avian influenza virus A/H5N1 are discussed. This first part concentrates on epidemiologic concerns and virulence determinants. H5N1 spread over the world and caused a series of fowl pest outbreaks. Significant human-to-human transmissions have not been observed yet. Mutations that make the virus more compatible with human-to-human transmission may occur at any time. Nevertheless, no one can currently predict with certainty whether H5N1 will become a human pandemic virus.
    Keywords: Avian Influenza;
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(5), p.e19705
    Description: Glycyrrhizin is known to exert antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, the effects of an approved parenteral glycyrrhizin preparation (Stronger Neo-Minophafen C) were investigated on highly pathogenic influenza A H5N1 virus replication, H5N1-induced apoptosis, and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory responses in lung epithelial (A549) cells. Therapeutic glycyrrhizin concentrations substantially inhibited H5N1-induced expression of the pro-inflammatory molecules CXCL10, interleukin 6, CCL2, and CCL5 (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 25 to 50 µg/ml) but interfered with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced apoptosis to a lesser extent (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 100 µg/ml or higher). Glycyrrhizin also diminished monocyte migration towards supernatants of H5N1-infected A549 cells. The mechanism by which glycyrrhizin interferes with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression includes inhibition of H5N1-induced formation of reactive oxygen species and (in turn) reduced activation of NFκB, JNK, and p38, redox-sensitive signalling events known to be relevant for influenza A virus replication. Therefore, glycyrrhizin may complement the arsenal of potential drugs for the treatment of H5N1 disease.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Medicine ; Infectious Diseases ; Pharmacology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2011, Vol.200(1), pp.53-60
    Description: Influenza A virus infection of macrophages and virus-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression are regarded to contribute to severity of influenza A virus-caused diseases. Although some data are available on cytokine production by influenza A virus-infected macrophages, systematic comparisons of the virus types are currently considered to be of high relevance in humans (pandemic H1N1/2009, seasonal H1N1, seasonal H3N2, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1) on pro-inflammatory potential, and relevant underlying cellular signalling events are missing. Here, we show that the infection of human monocyte-derived macrophages with pandemic H1N1/2009 (A/HH/01/2009), seasonal H1N1/1999 (A/New Caledonia/20/99), seasonal H3N2/2004 (A/California/7/2004) or highly pathogenic H5N1/2004 (A/Thailand/1(Kan-1)/04) results in similar infection rates. However, the investigated H1N1 strains caused delayed and decreased apoptosis in comparison with H3N2/2004 or H5N1/2004. Moreover, human macrophage infection with H3N2/2004 or H5N1/2004 but not with H1N1 viruses was associated with pronounced pro-inflammatory cytokine production and activation of relevant mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways as indicated by phosphorylation of p38, JNK and ERK 1/2. These findings are in line with clinical observations indicating enhanced disease severity in H3N2- or H5N1-infected patients compared to individuals infected with pandemic H1N1/2009 or seasonal H1N1.
    Keywords: Influenza A ; MAPK ; Cytokines ; Seasonal influenza ; H5N1 ; Pandemic H1N1/2009
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(4), pp.191-201
    Description: Among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, influenza constitutes one of the major threats to mankind. In this review series epidemiologic, virologic and pathologic concerns raised by infections of humans with avian influenza virus A/H5N1 are discussed. The second part focuses on experimental and clinical results, which give insights in the pathogenic mechanisms of H5N1 infection in humans. H5N1 is poorly transmitted to humans. However, H5N1-induced disease is very severe. More information on the role entry barriers, H5N1 target cells and on H5N1-induced modulation of the host immune response is needed to learn more about the determinants of H5N1 pathogenicity.
    Keywords: Avian Influenza;
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(4), pp.203-212
    Description: Among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, influenza constitutes one of the major threats to mankind. In this review series epidemiologic, virologic and pathologic concerns raised by infections of humans with avian influenza virus A/H5N1 as well as treatment options are discussed. The third part discusses therapeutic options. Neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors are the most promising agents despite uncertainty about efficacy. Dosage increase, prolonged treatment or combination therapies may increase treatment efficacy and/or inhibit resistance formation. Immune system dysregulation contributes to H5N1 disease. Although current evidence does not support the use of anti-inflammatory drugs beneficial effects cannot be excluded at later disease stages.
    Keywords: Antiviral Agents ; Avian Influenza;
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2009, Vol.198(3), pp.175-183
    Description: Influenza A viruses represent a continuous pandemic threat. In April 2009, a novel influenza A virus, the so-called swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV), was identified in Mexico. Although S-OIV originates from triple-reassortant swine influenza A (H1) that has been circulating in North American pig herds since the end of the 1990s, S-OIV is readily transmitted between humans but is not epidemic in pigs. After its discovery, S-OIV rapidly spread throughout the world within few weeks. In this review, we sum up the current situation and put it into the context of the current state of knowledge of influenza and influenza pandemics. Some indications suggest that a pandemic may be mild but even “mild” pandemics can result in millions of deaths. However, no reasonable forecasts how this pandemic may develop can be made at this time. Despite stockpiling by many countries and WHO, antiviral drugs will be limited in case of pandemic and resistances may emerge. Effective vaccines are regarded to be crucial for the control of influenza pandemics. However, production capacities are restricted and development/production of a S-OIV vaccine will interfere with manufacturing of seasonal influenza vaccines. The authors are convinced that S-OIV should be taken seriously as pandemic threat and underestimation of the menace by S-OIV to be by far more dangerous than its overestimation.
    Keywords: Swine influenza ; H1N1 ; Swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus ; Pandemic
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 2007, Vol.196(4), pp.213-225
    Description: Among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, influenza constitutes one of the major threats to mankind. In this review series epidemiologic, virologic and pathologic concerns raised by infections of humans with avian influenza virus A/H5N1 are discussed. This fourth part focuses on vaccine development. Several phase I clinical studies with vaccines against H5 viruses have demonstrated limited efficacy compared to seasonal influenza vaccines. To induce protective immunity two immunisations with increased amounts of H5N1 vaccine were required. Novel vaccination strategies that are egg- and adjuvant-independent, broadly cross-reactive and long-lasting are highly desirable.
    Keywords: Vaccines ; Avian Influenza;
    ISSN: 0300-8584
    E-ISSN: 1432-1831
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Current Molecular Medicine, March 2009, Vol.9(2), pp.131-151
    Description: Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus can infect humans and is currently the most deadly influenza virus that has crossed the species barrier. As of December 2007, the spread of H5N1 virus from human to human has been rare. Nobody can predict if H5N1 may cause a pandemic. However, the number of human cases is continuously increasing and changes in virulence and epidemiology have been detected. There are specific pathogenic features of H5N1 infection. In contrast to human-adapted influenza A strains, H5N1 preferentially infects cells of the lower respiratory tract and may spread to tissues outside the respiratory tract in humans. Moreover, H5N1 replication is prolonged in target organs and results in higher viral loads and increased tissue damage. These features will have to be considered for therapeutic protocols for H5N1 infection in humans. Rapid genetic and antigenic changes observed in H5N1 virus isolates represent a challenge for the development of vaccines. In the present review, current knowledge about epidemiology, virulence factors and pathology of H5N1 infections in humans are summarised and discussed. Moreover, the possible roles of antiinfluenza drugs in the pandemic situation as well as the development of effective vaccines are subject of this overview.
    Keywords: Pathogenic H5n1 ; Avian Influenza ; Humans ; Of Chickens ; Epidemiology ; Epidemiology
    ISSN: 1566-5240
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