Protecting Yourself From HPV: Know the Facts

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very common virus, that affects nearly one in four adults in the United States. While most strains of the virus are harmless, or cause only benign warts, there are up to 30 strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. It is a unique type of cancer, because nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. However, the good news is that there is a vaccine for the most dangerous strains of HPV known to cause cancer. This makes the HPV vaccine one of the only vaccines to-date known to prevent cancer.

In 2006, Dr Ian Frazer of Australia created the first HPV vaccine, which protected against the four most dangerous strains of the virus. The vaccine, called Gardisil, has since become an outstanding success in many parts of the world. In Australia, where the vaccine was first released, vaccination rates are close to 80%, and doctors have seen a 77% reduction in the HPV infections that often lead to cervical cancer. While the United States has a lower vaccination rate at only 54%, there has still been a 56% decline in rates of infection with HPV in the last decade. The potential to decrease cervical cancer rates in the future still remains to be seen, but these results are encouraging and already show the positive effects of the vaccine.

HPV is usually spread through sexual contact. The primary age groups recommended for vaccination are
those 9 to 13 years old, although it can be given to young adults up to 26 years of age. It is best to begin the vaccine series as early as possible, because it is given in 3 separate doses which are spread over 6-12 months. While prevention of cervical cancer is the largest benefit from the vaccine, boys are also recommended to receive the vaccine in order to help prevent spread of the virus. The HPV vaccine can also minimize the risk of other cancers including mouth, throat, and penile cancers, along with the prevention of genital warts.

In order to increase vaccination rates and reduce HPV rates in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that primary care providers continue to recommend the vaccine and educate the public regarding its potential benefits. This includes reducing stigma related to the vaccine and making the vaccine more readily available in clinics and physician’s offices. An expansion of the HPV vaccine into pharmacies could also increase availability of the vaccine. Pharmacists are also in the best position, as the front line of healthcare providers, to reach the public with vaccine information and awareness about HPV. The evidence for the vaccine’s effectiveness against HPV so far is impressive. It is estimated that, with increased awareness and vaccination programs, the United States could see a reduction in up to 90% of cases of cervical cancer within the next 10-20 years. Therefore, as pharmacists, we are in an optimal position to spread awareness about the HPV vaccine and help to continue the fight against cervical cancer.

Contributed by Kathryn Howerton, Class of 2019

References and Additional Information

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/cancer.htmlhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1872115X08000054
  2. http://www.hpvvaccine.org.au/the-hpv-vaccine/has-the-program-been-successful.aspx
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/22/health/hpv-vaccine-teen-girls-effective
  4. http://circleofdocs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/gardasil-injection-1068×641

Historical Perspectives: Father of Vaccine Development

Contributed by Hassan Aboutaam, Class of 2019

Many people are very grateful for the work of Maurice Hilleman, who can be credited with helping many lives. “Dr. Hilleman probably saved more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century, said two medical leaders, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Paul A. Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (Lawrence K. Altman 2005)”. He helped develop around 40 vaccines, 8 of which are recommended, including those for chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, meningitis, mumps, and rubella.

Dr. Hilleman was the youngest of eight children and grew up on a farm in Miles City, Montana.  Working with chickens as a young boy really contributed to his success, since the 1930s fertile chicken eggs have often been used to grow viruses for vaccines. With the help of family and scholarships, he graduated with a doctoral degree in microbiology in 1944 and wrote his doctoral thesis on chlamydia infections, where he showed that these infections were caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis.

hilleman

montana.edu

Dr. Hilleman’s first accomplishment happened after joining E.R Squibb & Sons, where he led the development of a vaccine against Japanese B encephalitis, which treated troops in the Pacific area after World War 2. Dr. Hilleman was also the chief of Respiratory Diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1948-1957. During that time, he invented the term shift and drift, which occurs when the influenza virus mutates. This discovery helped create forty million doses of vaccines during the 1957 outbreak of influenza in Hong King which saved many lives.

In 1957, Hilleman joined Merck & Co. in the virus and cell biology research department. He developed forty experimental and licensed animal and human vaccines. In 1963, he made the mumps vaccine by cultivating material from his daughter Jeryl Lynn, who was sick with the mumps. Today, the Jerly Lynn strain is still used, as well as the MMR vaccine, which he also discovered. Furthermore, by treating blood serum with pepsin, urea, and formaldehyde, Hilleman and his group invented a vaccine for hepatitis B. However, it was replaced by a vaccine that was produced in yeast, which is still used today. The disease is believed to have decreased by 95% in the United States. Dr. Hilleman had a major goal of developing a vaccine against any viral cancer. In the 1970’s, he revolutionized the poultry industry by developing a vaccine to prevent Marek’s disease, which was a lymphoma cancer of chickens.  He continued on to become an advisor to the world health organization. After his retirement in 1984, he directed the Merck Institute of Vaccinolgy for 20 years before he died on April 11, 2005.

 Works Cited

“Lawrence K. Altman, Maurice Hilleman, Master in Creating Vaccines, Dies at 85, The New York Times, n.p., April 12, 2015”

 “Hilleman, Maurice Ralph.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2006. (2006). Hilleman, Maurice Ralph. Retrieved September 26, 2016, from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2550300079.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting TB: The Baccillus Calmette-Guerin Vaccine

Contributed by Leila Fleming, Class of 2019

calmetteguerinTwo French born scientists, Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin, developed the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine.  It is often referred to as the BCG vaccine, an immunization against tuberculosis (TB).  Albert Calmette was born in Paris in 1933 and was a pupil of Louis Pasteur.  He is also credited with developing a diagnostic test for tuberculosis.  His co-developer, Camille Guerin actually studied to be a veterinarian.  Guerin’s father died of tuberculosis in 1882 as well as his wife in 1918.  This loss presumably motivated Guerin in his work toward a vaccine.

The two found that successive cultures of the bacteria weakened it enough that it could produce an immune response but not illness.  Their research began in 1905 but was interrupted by the upheaval of the First World War.  The vaccine was first used in humans in 1921.

By the late 1920’s the vaccine had reached numerous countries.  The BCG vaccine has been a source of some controversy.  In 1930, over two hundred infants were given a contaminated batch of the vaccine.  Seventy-two children developed TB and died.  Criminal charges were filed and two employees of the lab that manufactured this batch were sent to prison for their negligence.  While the vaccine was not to blame, this did cause a blemish on its reputation.

Today, the vaccine is widely used in children as part of the World Health Organization (WHO) immunization program. The BCG is not recommended for Americans but it still in use in many countries with higher risk of contracting the infection. Tuberculosis is prevalent in South-East Asia, the Western Pacific and Africa.  The BCG remains the only available vaccine against TB.

 

References:

“Albert Calmette | French Bacteriologist”. Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

“BCG Vaccine | Current Use & Safety”. TB Facts.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

“BCG Vaccine | Medicine”. Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

 

“Camille Guerin | French Biologist”. Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

“Camille Guérin”. Wikipedia. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

“History Of The BCG Vaccine | Calmette, Guerin, Lubeck”. TB Facts.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

“Timeline”. Tuberculosis: <br />Finding a Cure. N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. (photo)

“Tuberculosis (TB)”. World Health Organization. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

 

 

Past, Present and Future of HIV Vaccine Development

Contributed by Allison Adams, Class of 2019

Since 1984, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been identified to be the cause of AIDS. At that time, Margaret Heckler, the U.S. HHS Secretary, was confident that there would be an effective vaccine ready for testing within the upcoming years. By 1987, the National Institute of Health (NIH) held the first HIV vaccine clinical trial testing the protein called gp160. The trials were quickly diminished however, due to the lack of scientific advancements at the time. The following year, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases started enrollment in Phase I clinical trials and was able to launch Phase II in 1992 that included patients with a high-risk behavioral past who were not yet infected.  By 1993, NIAID combined forces with HIVNET and began striving to start Phase III trials (2).

aidsWhile the progress on this front continued, in 1998, VaxGen Inc. began conducting the world’s first Phase III clinical trials with their product, AIDSVAX. Unfortunately, the results gathered in 2004 were dismal; no efficacy for prevention was detected. By 2009, there were promising results from a Phase III trial on a combination vaccine being conducted in Thailand known as the RV144 using gp120. In those results, four out of ten HIV infections were prevented that would have otherwise happened. While this just 31% efficacious, it left scientists under the impression that there were further opportunities for this vaccine (2).

Continuous studies were made and by 2012, scientists were beginning to use samples from RV144 to try and get a better understanding on what type of immune response that might be needed for an effective vaccine. Building upon these analyses, a Phase I/II study began in 2015 on the vaccine called HVTN 100 (1). This study is to continue on until January 2017 and has already been approved for Phase III efficacy trials (HVTN 702 modified from HVTN 100) based on the interim results from July of 2016.

The latest modification in the vaccine, an adjuvant called MF59, has been added in order to increase the vaccine’s strength as well as the protein involved to match the most common strain of HIV located in South Africa, where the efficacy trials will be taking place (3). HVTN 702 is also known as ALVAC-HIV and is scheduled to start in November 2016.

If these trials can produce results at least 50% efficacious, HVTN 702 will become a licensed preventative HIV vaccine. With the technological advancements that have been made in the past fifty years, the world is teetering on the verge of success in creating a vaccine that will have the capability to prevent a multitude of HIV infections each year (3).

References

  1. (2016). Avac.org. Retrieved 26 September 2016, from http://www.avac.org/trial/hvtn-100
  2. History of HIV Vaccine Research | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2016). Niaid.nih.gov. Retrieved 26 September 2016, from https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/hiv-vaccine-research-history
  3. HVTN 702 is a “Go” Uhambo continues. (2016). Hvtn.org. Retrieved 26 September 2016, from http://www.hvtn.org/en/community/community-compass/current-issue/cc-current-article2.html

 

One Virus is One Too Many!

Contributed by Teknika Tucker, Class of 2019

Max Theiler was a virologist who contributed to vaccine development for yellow fever.  Theiler was born in Pretoria, South African and was influenced by his father, a veterinary bacteriologist, to pursue a career in medicine. Theiler received his formal education in Cape Town, South Africa and eventually enrolled in a pre-medical program at the University of Cape Town.

Theiler continued his education at the London School of Tropical medicine and became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Due to Theiler’s desire to pursue a career in research, he accepted a position as assistant at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  This position allowed Theiler to began further research on yellow fever.

Yellow fever is a virus found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa.  Illnesses range in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding.  Yellow fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes.

theilerTheiler remained at Harvard until 1930 and along with his colleagues was able to prove that yellow fever was not caused by bacterium and instead was a virus.   Previous research discovered that the Rhesus monkey could contract yellow fever and be used for experimentation. However, Theiler discovered that using mice provided more research advantages.  Since Theiler’s discovery mice have been the standard for research using animals.

In 1930, he continued his research at The Rockefeller Institute center for virus research where he later became director of the Virus Laboratory.  At the Rockefeller Institute he was able to determine that passing the virus from mouse to mouse decreased the incubation period and increase the fatality of the disease.  This allowed Theiler and his colleagues to develop what is known today as attenuated live vaccine from their research data.  Arriving at an attenuated live vaccine allowed the virus to be too weak to cause harm but capable of generating a response of immunity.  Theiler also developed the “mouse protection test” which was used to gauge the amount of immunity to yellow fever.  He used different strains of yellow fever in many different tissue cultures, including chicken embryos, to verify its ability to invade the nervous system.  Removing this ability would make the vaccine safe.

Theiler and his colleagues tested many cultures and the Asibi strain proved to be harmless making it effective to produce vaccine.   This strain led to the development of 17D strain.   17D was then mass-produced by the Rockefeller Foundation and was so successful that yellow fever was no longer considered a major disease.

Max Theiler is a major contributor to vaccine development.  In his work he used mice, which proved to be a benefit and advantage for the research community that is still in tact today.  He continued to research origins of many other disorders and discovered a disease that carries his name, Theiler’s disease.  Theiler success has been honored numerous times for his advancement of vaccine development.

References:

  1. His, By 1927 He and. “Max Theiler – Biographical.” Max Theiler – Biographical. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2016.<https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1951/theiler-bio.html&gt;.
  1. By 1930, the Year That Max Theiler (1899-1972) Arrived at the. “Hospital ” The Rockefeller University ». N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. <http://centennial.rucares.org/index.php?page=Yellow_Fever&gt;.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 July 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. <https://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/&gt;.

 

10 Days Left! American Pharmacists Month 2016

Our UCSOP faculty, staff, and students are busy with activities that emphasize the role of the pharmacist in providing optimum patient care during the month of October 2016. This month is American Pharmacists Month, a time dedicated to celebrate all the contributions pharmacists make to health care. But, it’s also a time to provide community outreach and education about medication safety, medication adherence, and disease management.

P1070579This month, our students have organized health fairs, immunization clinics, and other outreach projects throughout the Kanawha County. Whether delivering Generation Rx curriculum to area elementary schools to help teach children about prescription abuse and medication safety or filling prescriptions at the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association, our students and faculty are dedicated to utilizing their skills and knowledge in ways that benefit our community.

With 10 days left in American Pharmacists Month, our students are busy planning and preparing for several events including:

  • Saturday, October 22 –  Providing health services at the RAMS Clinic in Elkview
  • Monday, October 24 – Friday October 28 SNPhA Power-To-End-Stroke Tweet-a-Thon #SNPhANoBarriers • @SNPhARegion2 • @UCSOP • #UCSOP
  • Thursday, October 27 Health Fair from 4-7pm at the YMCA
  • Saturday, October 29 CPFI & ACCP Trunk or Treat—Promoting Poison Control at the South Charleston Kroger
  • Monday, October 31 SNPhA’s Say Boo to the Flu! Immunization Clinic at Family Care, (West Side near Patrick Street)

Our students serve over 10,000 patients throughout the Kanawha Valley each year through their activities and health fairs. We are proud of the work they do and their focus on community and public health.

 

 

 

Historical Pioneers: Ian Frazer & the HPV Vaccine

Contributed by Kathryn Howerton, Class of 2019

Ian Frazer was born in Glasgow, UK in 1953. He attended the University of Edinburgh, earned his Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelors of Surgery degrees, and became a renal physician and clinical immunologist. In 1980, he moved to Australia to study viral immunology at the University of Queensland, where he began conducting research on cervical cancer (Ratner, 2001). Frazer was drawn to cervical cancer in particular because it is caused entirely by an infection with human papilloma virus, or HPV, and is one of the only cancers known to be caused by a virus (Frazer, 2008).

Frazer began studying the virus alongside his colleague and collaborator Jian Zhou. After studying the virus, Frazer and Zhou hypothesized that by creating a vaccine against the strains of the virus responsible, the rates of cervical cancer worldwide could be reduced by up to 70%. They designed a vaccine that would provide immunity against the “high risk” types of HPV: 6, 11, 16, and 18, which are the most aggressive types and the most likely to cause cancers or genital warts (Ratner, 2001). The final HPV vaccine is an inactivated vaccine made from the virus-like particles, or VLP’s, which were isolated from each of these four types of HPV and patented by Frazer and Zhou (Frazer, 2008).

The final vaccine, named Gardasil, was licensed by Merck in 1995, underwent clinical trials, and came to market in 2006.  However, Frazer has not rested on this achievement. He has since used his newfound fame to educate the world about cervical cancer risks, treatment, and prevention. He was named Australian Man of the Year in 2006, and used this position to advocate for more effective public-private partnerships for vaccine research and development (Ratner, 2008). His willingness to use his time and position to continue to advocate for public health shows his determination to eradicating the disease and helping to make the world a healthier place for the women and men who may be affected by HPV.

Despite all of his education efforts, it would seem that Frazer’s most important contribution to medical and pharmaceutical knowledge is still the incredible effect his vaccine has had on disease rates since its release. A study published in 2013 by the CDC announced that since the vaccine’s release, the prevalence of these 4 types of HPV had decreased by 56% in the US among teenage girls aged 14-19 (CDC, 2013). In the future, with increased vaccination rates and awareness, Frazer’s goal of eliminating cervical cancer due to HPV may be realized even sooner than he had thought. The research, development, and marketing that he has put into this vaccine have yielded incredible results even in the short time since its release. Ian Frazer’s work has had a remarkable impact on public health, and because of it, he can certainly be considered a hero in the world of pharmacy and vaccines.

References

CDC. (2013, June 19). New study shows HPV vaccine helping lower HPV infection rates in teen girls. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0619-hpv-vaccinations.html

Frazer IH. (2008). HPV vaccines and the prevention of cervical cancer. Update on Cancer Therapeutics;3(1):43-48. doi:10.1016/j.uct.2008.02.002. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1872115X08000054

Ratner, M. (2007). Ian Frazer. Nat Biotech, 25(12), 1377. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1207-1377

American Pharmacists Month Historical Pioneers: Louis Pasteur

Contributed by Kendra Hall, Class of 2019

Louis Pasteur was born in France in December of 1822 (“Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs,” 2016). Through childhood he was very interested in arts and loved to paint; however, his father, a sergeant major in the Napoleonic wars, pushed him to study hard. He attended Ecole Normale Superieure where he earned his master’s in 1845 and doctorate in 1847. While working on his doctoral dissertation on how crystals rotate planes of polarized light, he came to the conclusion that it was the internal arrangement to the molecules that caused the light to bend (“Louis Pasteur,” 2016). He started working at University of Strasbourg in 1848, where he continued his research into crystals light arrangement. In his research he discovered that molecules have mirror images and that living molecules always rotate the light to the left, also called left-handed (“Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs,” 2016).

Pasteur was the first person to realize that everything was not created from nothing. He discovered germ theory (“Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs,” 2016).  His theory was that sickness did not come from a “presence” but was actually very tiny organisms. When Antoni van Leeuwenhoek developed the microscope, he discovered there were tiny creatures in the sample of water he was viewing under the microscope. This was just the beginning to Louis’s discovery of the germ theory (Wellcome Library, n.d.).

Germ Theory is only one of the many things that Pasteur is known for. Pasteurization is yet another. He was tasked to find out why only some of the bottles of wine were spoiling on the way to market. What he found was that there was bacteria in the bottles. To solve the problem, he determined that the wine could be boiled at 55 degrees Celsius and it would kill the bacteria, but it would not deteriorate the quality of the wine (“Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs,” 2016).

His research took him in another direction. Developing a vaccine. Originally, he looked at anthrax but turned quickly to fowl cholera. He realized that exposing the body to a small amount of the disease (bacteria) the body would fight the disease and only have a mild reaction. This is how he discovered that attenuating the bacteria was needed. Attenuating caused a weakening of the bacteria that would still cause the immunity to build up but with little to no sickness. He proved this by growing cultures of fowl cholera and exposing lab chickens to it, the result was death as expected, but after leaving the cultures for several months and repeating the process the chickens became immune to the cholera with very little sickness (“Louis Pasteur,” 2016).

After this discovery, he went back to anthrax and tried the same thing. He vaccinated several animals in a two part series and left several more unvaccinated to test his theory. A few weeks after administration, he exposed all the animals to anthrax. Of those animals, none of the vaccinated died nor showed severe symptoms; while all the unvaccinated animals died two days later. Now that he knew he could develop vaccines, to prevent against these deadly diseases, he started looking at rabies. He successfully created a vaccine for rabies that he first tested in monkeys then rabbits. He then moved to infected dogs, to see if he could treat them for rabies and not just prevent them. Knowing of his success in the dogs, a mother begged him to give it to her son who had been bitten by a rabid animal. After some persuasion, he agreed to his first human trial and was successful (“Louis Pasteur,” 2016).

He was one of the most influential scientists in this era. Even though he was laughed at and mocked for his germ theory, he never gave up. His work on vaccines proved he was not crazy at all but that there really were tiny organisms that caused disease and that sickness did not just happen.

Works Cited

Louis Pasteur. (2016). Retrieved September 21, 2016, from https://www.chemheritage.org/ historical-profile/louis-pasteur

Louis Pasteur: The man who led the fight against germs. (2016). Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/z9kj2hv#z3r7xnb

Wellcome Library, L. (n.d.). Germ Theory. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www. sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/techniques/germtheory

 

American Pharmacists Month–HeLa Cells: Impact on Modern Medicine & Vaccine Development

Contributed by Jovanny Gonzalez, Class of 2019, Fall 2016 History of Pharmacy 

helaHenrietta Lacks was born August 1920 to a family of farmers. Her upbringing was humble and with limited financial resources. Henrietta Lacks suffered from cervical cancer and while living in Maryland she visited John Hopkins University for treatment. A physician by the name of Howard Jones diagnosed and treated Henrietta and had samples of her cervix removed. Coincidently, at the same time research was being done on cell cultivation but scientist had a difficult time culturing cells for longer than a few days. Dr. George Otto Gey was the first person to come in contact with Mrs. Lacks cells and noticed that they proliferated and were durable. It was the first times in the scientific world were a group of cells replicated past a few days.

lacks

Read more about the importance of Henrietta Lacks in R. Sloot’s Book: The Immortal Life of Herietta Lacks

By 1955 Henrietta Lacks’ cells were known as HeLa cells. Scientist began to clone and mass-produce her cells for medical advancements. It is still unclear whether scientist received consent from Mrs. Lacks to use her cells for research but scientist state at that time there were no set regulations about patient consent it was considered natural to treat and use patient tissue to help the patient recover. One contribution HeLa cells brought to scientist was the ability to develop a vaccine for polio. Jonas Salk was the first to use HeLa cells and develop a vaccine for polio; and without HeLa cells that achievement may have been delayed.

The University of John Hopkins were it all began, acknowledged the impact and controversy HeLa cells brought to science by stating “Johns Hopkins Medicine sincerely acknowledges the contribution to advances in biomedical research made possible by Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells. It’s important to note that at the time the cells were taken from Mrs. Lacks’ tissue, the practice of obtaining informed consent from cell or tissue donors was essentially unknown among academic medical centers. Sixty years ago, there was no established practice of seeking permission to take tissue for scientific research purposes. The laboratory that received Mrs. Lacks’s cells had arranged many years earlier to obtain such cells from any patient diagnosed with cervical cancer as a way to learn more about a serious disease that took the lives of so many. Johns Hopkins never patented HeLa cells, nor did it sell them commercially or benefit in a direct financial way. Today, Johns Hopkins and other research-based medical centers consistently obtain consent from those asked to donate tissue or cells for scientific research.” HeLa cells were cultivated worldwide and many scientist gained recognition by using Henrietta Lacks’ cells but her family did not receive any recognition nor any monetary gain. 

Even today, HeLa cells are being used to study new disease such as HIV and other viruses. Scientist continue to use HeLA cells in research to find remedies, develop vaccines, cure disease. Through HeLa cells, many major medical advancements have been and continue to be made.

 

References

  1. http://www.biography.com/people/henrietta-lacks-21366671#legal-and-ethical-implications
  1. https://bigpictureeducation.com/quick-guide-hela-cells
  1. http://berkeleysciencereview.com/article/good-bad-hela/
  1. Picture http://northdallasgazette.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Henrietta-Lacks.jpg

 

American Pharmacists Month–Polio Pioneer Dr. Albert Sabin

Contributed by Rachel Peaytt, Class of 2019 & Fall 2016 PHAR 546 Student

Albert Sabin was born on August 26, 1906 in Bialystok, Poland and passed away on March 3, 1993. He immigrated to the United States in 1921 with his family to New York. Sabin received his medical degree in 1931 from Bellevue Hospital and the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London. Soon after, he traveled back to the United States to work.

Sabin began his work on the oral polio vaccine in 1939 after he started at a position as an associate professor at the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation at the University of Cincinnati. He soon formed the Department of Virology and Microbiology at the university, and this was the outlet, resources, and system of colleagues that he had to do his research on the vaccine. In 1958 and 1959, the vaccine that Sabin created was tested in millions of people. His formula was an oral vaccine that used a live but weakened version of the poliovirus, also known as an attenuated vaccine. The vaccine came into commercial use in 1961.

Albert Sabin’s polio vaccine was the second polio vaccine available to the United States. The first was an injectable vaccine of the inactivated poliovirus developed by Jonas Salk, MD in 1953. The polio epidemic in America was most serious from the 1940s to the late 1950s until the first polio vaccine was developed followed by Sabin’s oral vaccine. Polio paralyzed and/or took the lives of thousands of children and other people each year. Epidemics occurred around summertime and into early fall with no idea on how the virus was transmitted. Years later, it was found that the virus thrived in the heat and was transmitted by large bodies of water where people congregated, like swimming pools in the summer.

Salk’s vaccine was an injectable and inactivated vaccine that was 80-90% effective. Polio was still not eradicated after the administration of the Salk vaccine although it was proven “safe, effective, and potent” and saved thousands of lives still. It was not until after Sabin’s vaccine was developed and administered that polio was almost completely eradicated in the United States. Salk’s vaccine was entirely phased out by 1968. The oral polio vaccine was more beneficial since volunteers instead of trained professionals that had to inject it could easily give it. The Sabin vaccine was also relatively inexpensive. Both of these factors were paramount when it came to administering the vaccine to people in developing countries. Sabin’s vaccine was also safe, effective, and induced long-lasting immunity to all three types of poliovirus as opposed to Salk’s vaccine. Salk’s injectable vaccine only stimulated systemic immunity, instead of mucosal immunity, and therefore did not interrupt the transmission of poliovirus. Salk’s vaccine protected individuals from the symptoms that occurred with the virus only. This was the reason for its less than perfect effectiveness that still allowed transmission. Sabin’s vaccine, on the other hand, provided protection from person to person transmission and eventually led to the eradication of the poliovirus in the United States by 1979.

Worked Cited

Klein, C. (2014, February 28). 8 Things You May Not Know About Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-jonas-salk-and-the-polio-vaccine 

Polio Place. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.polioplace.org/people/albert-b-sabin-md