Tuberculosis Vaccine May be Used to Cure Diabetes

Posted: September 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tuberculosis Vaccine May be Used to Cure Diabetes

A tuberculosis vaccine may help reverse Type 1 diabetes, a disease for which there is no cure. Harvard University researchers are raising money to conduct human studies using the 90-year-old vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guérin, also known as BCG, to help produce a protein that kills insulin-attacking cells, Bloomberg reports.

Three million Americans suffering from Type 1 diabetes use insulin injections to control the illness. In the study with the BCG vaccine, researchers administered two doses to three patients with Type 1 diabetes and found signs of increased insulin production after 20 weeks in two of the patients. A rise in C-peptide levels suggested the production of insulin, Bloomberg reported.

“These patients have been told their pancreases were dead,” Denise Faustman, director of Harvard-affiliatedMassachusetts GeneralHospital’s immunobiology laboratory, told Bloomberg. “We can take those people, give them a very low dose twice and see their pancreases kick in and start to make small amounts of insulin.”

Faustman and her colleagues are now trying to raise the $25 million necessary to conduct larger human trials. In an effort to bring the vaccine to market, she found every major drugmaker expressed no interest in using an inexpensive, generic drug as a cure for diabetes because there was not enough money to be made, according to Bloomberg. All money for the study is coming from private donors.

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Relief for Hospital Patients Who Contract Infections

Posted: August 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Relief for Hospital Patients Who Contract Infections
English: 221 Longwood Avenue, formerly the Bos...

English: 221 Longwood Avenue, formerly the Boston Lying-In Hospital building, part of Brigham and Women’s Hospital but separate from the main building at 15-75 Francis Street; view from Longwood Avenue. © 2005 Joseph Barillari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hospital patients, particularly those on respirators, can contract infections from bacteria known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say they discovered a new vaccine candidate that aims to fight such infections.

Researchers observed protection from lethal pneumonia in mice after either active or passive immunization, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

No known vaccine exists to stomp out the bacteria, which is also responsible for some lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.

The vaccine is based on a new system of immunity to Pseudomonas assisted by T helper 17 (Th17) cells, according to a release. The Th17 cells secrete the cytokine IL-17 and boost antibacterial mucosal defenses.

“People have been trying to make vaccines for Pseudomonas for more than 40 years,” Dr. Gregory Priebe, assistant professor of anesthesia in the Division of Infectious Disease at Brigham and Women’s, told FierceVaccines. “Most bacterial vaccines use kind of the other armor of the immune system, meaning antibodies. You really need both; you need antibody and these T helper 17 cells.”

Researchers have been working on vaccines for both the acute infections and for Pseudomonas and cystic fibrosis, Priebe said.

New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction

Posted: August 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Vaccine Might Kill Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine (Photo credit: lydia_shiningbrightly)

An experimental vaccine could smother a smoker’s addiction to nicotine. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College developed and successfully tested in mice a vaccine to treat such dependence, according to a News Medical article. The vaccine uses the liver to produce antibodies that consume nicotine as it enters the bloodstream, thus preventing the chemical from tapping into the brain or heart.

The antibody shielded the brain from systemically administered nicotine, reducing brain nicotine concentrations to 15% of those in untreated mice, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. The amount of nicotine sequestered in the serum of vector-treated mice was more than 7 times greater than that in untreated mice, the study says.

“As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pac-Man-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect,” the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman and professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell, told News Medical. “Our vaccine allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine, and in that way, develop a workable immunity.”

Current strategies used to help smokers drop the habit show limited success due to the addictive properties of nicotine in cigarette smoke. But researchers hypothesized that a single administration of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer vector expressing high levels of an anti-nicotine antibody would persistently prevent nicotine from reaching its receptors in the brain, according to the study.

Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Vaccine for Dengue Fever? Possible
Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic de...

Dengue distribution in 2006. Red : Epidemic dengue and Ae. aegypti Aqua : Just Ae. aegypti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Production of a dengue vaccine could cost mere pocket change, according to an economic analysis completed by the Dengue Vaccine Initiative, a consortium that works on access to dengue vaccines in impacted areas. Producing a tetravalent dengue vaccine may cost as little as 20 cents per dose, with an annual production level of 60 million doses packaged in 10-dose vials, according to News-Medical.

Of course, cost of production is only one component when it comes to pricing a vaccine. The final cost encompasses prior R&D, obtaining regulatory approval, marketing and distribution, start-up expenses and more. A dengue vaccine will likely cost much more initially, when demand may be low, according to the article.

The economic analysis used data on a vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and facilities of the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“The cost of a vaccine is one of the most important factors affecting its adoption and uptake,” Richard Mahoney of the DVI told News-Medical. Mahoney co-authored the report, published in Vaccine. “Our goal with this study was to determine the baseline expenses for the vaccine’s production. We believe the results should help pave the way for the rapid introduction and distribution of a dengue vaccine once licensed,” he said.

Dengue fever is a virus-caused disease spread through mosquitoes and is caused by one of four different, but related, viruses.

Shingles Vaccine Available!

Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Shingles Vaccine Available!

ANNOUNCEMENT: We have 11 doses of the Shingles Vaccine available at our Sarasota office through midnight on June 9th.  The price is $200 including office visit.  Come and get them while supplies last.


2195 Ringling Blvd

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 362-0304

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Immigration Physical Exams Now Being Scheduled at Passport Health of Sarasota

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Immigration Physical Exams Now Being Scheduled at Passport Health of Sarasota
Passport Health of Sarasota is pleased to announce that its Medical Director has been designated as a Civil Surgeon by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
With this designation, Passport Health of Sarasota can now perform Immigration Physicals (also known as an Immigration Medical Examination) for immigrants to the United States who are seeking to adjust their status to permanent residence (“green card applicants”).
Immigration Physicals are performed most days of the week. Passport Health of Sarasota has the ability to provide the required physical examination, tests for immune defenses and exposure Tuberculosis and other communicable disease of public health significance.  Passport Health also is equipped to provide all vaccinations required by the USCIS.
The Immigration Physical is a two-step process.  On the first visit; the immigrant must provide basic information and sign a required immigration form.  If available, the immigrant has an opportunity to present his or her vaccine history. A physical examination and mental evaluation will be performed and the immigrant will be asked questions about his or her health and immunization status. Based on the results of the exam and the health and vaccine history, Passport Health of Sarasota may recommend testing for immune defenses.  It will also perform necessary blood and skin tests.

The immigrant will return to Passport Health of Sarasota two days later for interpretation of any tests performed during the first visit.  At that time, the immigrant will be advised of the need for any vaccines required by the USCIS. Passport Health of Sarasota carries a complete stock of vaccines and has the ability to administer vaccines the same day.

Upon completion of all requirements for the USCIS physical exam, the immigrant will be given the completed and signed I-693 immigration form.  This form will be provided in a sealed envelope that must not be opened by the immigrant.  The sealed envelope must be provided to the USCIS as part of the adjustment of status application.

Call us at (941) 362-0304 to schedule your Immigration Physical Examination today!