From Google Scholar [to 3 January 2015]

From Google Scholar & other sources: Selected Journal Articles, Newsletters, Dissertations, Theses, Commentary

Contemporary Clinical Trials
Available online 29 December 2014
Hepatitis C vaccine clinical trials among people who use drugs: potential for participation and involvement in recruitment
April M. Younga, b, Dustin B. Stephensc, Hanan A. Khaleela, Jennifer R. Havensb, c
Candidate prophylactic HCV vaccines are approaching phase III clinical trial readiness, yet little is known about the potential for participation among target groups or innovative ways to promote enrollment within ‘hard-to-reach’ populations. This study describes HCV vaccine trial participation willingness among a high-risk sample of people who use drugs and their willingness to assist researchers by promoting the trial among peers. Willingness to participate in and encourage peers’ participation in an HCV vaccine trial was assessed among injection and non-injection drug users enrolled in a cohort study in Kentucky using interviewer-administered questionnaires (n = 165 and 415, respectively, with willingness to participate assessed among HCV-seronegative participants only). Generalized linear mixed models were used to determine correlates to being “very likely” to participate or encourage participation in a trial. Most reported being likely to participate or encourage participation in a vaccine trial (63% and 87%, respectively). Men were significantly less likely to report willingness to encourage others’ participation, while willingness to encourage was higher among HCV-seropositive participants. Unemployment, lesser education, receipt of financial support from more peers, and nonmedical prescription drug use were positively associated with willingness to participate, as were heroin and methamphetamine use. Differential enrollment in HCV vaccine clinical trials by socioeconomic status may occur, underscoring ethical considerations and need for avoiding coercion. Notably, the data suggest that a peer-driven approach to promoting trial participation among people who use drugs could be feasible in this population and that HCV-seropositive individuals and women could be especially instrumental in these efforts.
Phil. Transactions of The Royal Society B
369: 20130426.
After 2015: infectious diseases in a new era of health and development
Christopher Dye
Running over timescales that span decades or centuries, the epidemiological transition provides the central narrative of global health. In this transition, a
reduction in mortality is followed by a reduction in fertility, creating larger, older populations in which the main causes of illness and death are no longer
acute infections of children but chronic diseases of adults. Since the year 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have provided a framework for
accelerating the decline of infectious diseases, backed by a massive injection of foreign investment to low-income countries. Despite the successes of the
MDGs era, the inhabitants of low-income countries still suffer an enormous burden of disease owing to diarrhoea, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis,
malaria and other pathogens. Adding to the predictable burden of endemic disease, the threat of pandemics is ever-present and global. With a view to the
future, this review spotlights five aspects of the fight against infection beyond 2015, when the MDGs will be replaced by a new set of goals for poverty reduction and sustainable development. These aspects are: exploiting the biological links between infectious and non-infectious diseases; controlling infections among the new urban majority; enhancing the response to international health threats; expanding childhood immunization programmes to prevent acute and chronic diseases in adults; and working towards universal health coverage.
PLos One
Research Article
Pharmacokinetic Correlates of the Effects of a Heroin Vaccine on Heroin Self-Administration in Rats
Michael D. Raleigh mail, Paul R. Pentel, Mark G. LeSage
Published: December 23, 2014
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115696
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a morphine-conjugate vaccine (M-KLH) on the acquisition, maintenance, and reinstatement of heroin self-administration (HSA) in rats, and on heroin and metabolite distribution during heroin administration that approximated the self-administered dosing rate. Vaccination with M-KLH blocked heroin-primed reinstatement of heroin responding. Vaccination also decreased HSA at low heroin unit doses but produced a compensatory increase in heroin self-administration at high unit doses. Vaccination shifted the heroin dose-response curve to the right, indicating reduced heroin potency, and behavioral economic demand curve analysis further confirmed this effect. In a separate experiment heroin was administered at rates simulating heroin exposure during HSA. Heroin and its active metabolites, 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM) and morphine, were retained in plasma and metabolite concentrations were reduced in brain in vaccinated rats compared to controls. Reductions in 6-AM concentrations in brain after vaccination were consistent with the changes in HSA rates accompanying vaccination. These data provide evidence that 6-AM is the principal mediator of heroin reinforcement, and the principal target of the M-KLH vaccine, in this model. While heroin vaccines may have potential as therapies for heroin addiction, high antibody to drug ratios appear to be important for obtaining maximal efficacy.