Vaccine/Immunization

Impact of the BC Influenza Prevention Policy

In 2012, BC became the first province in Canada to implement a province-wide condition-of-service influenza prevention policy (henceforth “the policy”), including the requirement that health care workers either receive the seasonal influenza vaccine or wear a mask while in patient care areas for the duration of the influenza season. A research team that includes representation from the five regional Health Authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Providence Health Care) and the Provincial Health Services Authority will evaluate the effectiveness of the policy in BC.

Year: 
2015

The spatiotemporal regulation of cytokine signalling in infection, immunity and repair

Our immune system is our chief defense against infection, but it is a double-edged sword. Inappropriate or over-exuberant immune responses can be harmful or even fatal. The optimal response is one that is strong enough to clear the pathogen but not so strong that it also kills the host.  Dr. Perona-Wright is working to understand how this balance is achieved by studying a family of signalling molecules known as cytokines, soluble messengers used by cells of the immune system to communicate with one another.

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Year: 
2014

Do goblet cell mediators co-operatively prevent gut microbiota from causing spontaneous colitis?

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation and tissue damage. There are trillions of bacteria found  within the human intestine and IBDs are thought to develop when mucus barriers that normally keep these  bacteria inside the gastrointestinal tract become impaired,  allowing bacteria to escape out of the gut lumen and causing  chronic inflammation. While the role of epithelial cells in promoting barrier function is well known, the protective actions of the mucus barrier are relatively understudied.

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Year: 
2013

Manipulating the trajectory of the human fetal, newborn & infant immune system

Millions of newborns and infants die each year from infectious diseases. Many of these deaths are preventable, and analysis of the immune development of children can help define paths for medical intervention that may save lives.

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Year: 
2012

HIV adaptation to immune selection pressures: historic trends and future implications

HIV has tremendous capacity to mutate and evolve due to the body’s immune response. However, the extent to which the virus has adapted to its human hosts over the course of the pandemic remains poorly understood. Repeated cycles of immune selection and transmission may allow the accumulation of key “escape mutations” — changes in the viral genome that help HIV evade the body’s defences.

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Year: 
2012

HIV vaccine immunogen design to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies

Existing viral vaccines provide immunity against a number of important infectious diseases. The technologies used to develop these vaccines generally work best against viruses that do not mutate very much in nature. However, conventional vaccine design approaches have proven inadequate for viruses such as HIV-1 that continuously evolve in order to evade our immune defenses. Thus, new vaccine design strategies are needed to tackle viruses like HIV.

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Year: 
2012

A program of research to optimize public health immunization programs

Vaccines and immunization programs are the best way to prevent infectious diseases, improve child health, and save lives. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, vaccines have saved the lives of more babies and children than any other medical intervention in the past 50 years. Through immunization, we have eliminated smallpox and have nearly eliminated eight other deadly diseases of childhood, including chickenpox and some kinds of pneumonia and meningitis.

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Year: 
2011

Immunobiosensor-Based Analysis of Antigen-Specific B-Cell and Plasmablast Responses during HIV-1 Infection

The study of the cellular basis of antibody-mediated immunity in infection is an exciting, emerging field of research that has profound implications for our understanding of host-virus interactions, protective immunity and HIV vaccine design. Antibodies are proteins that are produced by plasma cells and bind to molecules on the surface of invading pathogens, flagging them for destruction.

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Year: 
2011

Knowledge representation in Health Research: the Canadian Influenza Research Network model

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that influenza infection currently results in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year. Therefore, an influenza pandemic would have severe health, economic and social consequences. The Public Health Agency of Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research Influenza Research Network (PCIRN) was developed to identify research gaps in the country's pandemic influenza preparedness initiative.

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Year: 
2009

Extracellular Matrix Adhesins of Treponema pallidum

Syphilis, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, is a chronic bacterial infection with a global distribution. Although this sexually transmitted disease is 100 per cent curable with penicillin, syphilis remains a health threat, with an annual incidence rate of 12 million active infections. In BC, new cases are being reported at almost double the national rate. Unchecked, the infection can damage every tissue and organ in the body, including the brain. Equally troubling, syphilis infection drastically increases vulnerability to HIV infection.

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Year: 
2008

Pharmacy Immunization Community Strategy

Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Canada. Community attack rates range from 10 to 20 percent, but can be more than 50 percent in closed settings such as residential care facilities or schools. In BC, influenza vaccine is provided free to hose at increased risk of severe disease and/or death from influenza infection, including the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Despite access to free vaccine, adult immunization rates in the eligible population remain too low.

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Year: 
2008
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Vaccine Evaluation Centre

The Vaccine Evaluation Centre (VEC) was originally established in 1989 at BC Children’s Hospital. Now, the Unit is expanding and evolving to better meet provincial and national needs for applied vaccinology research, with emphasis on expanded local and national collaboration and leadership, greater use of advanced technology, active translation of new products into optimal immunization practice, and excellent training in vaccinology.

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Year: 
2006
Health Category: 
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