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Challenges posed by novel vaccines in a hyperlinked society both to doctors and the health of their patients
Alojz Ihan, 2018, review article

Abstract: Medicine in the developed world is becoming progressively more commercialized since patients (or, more accurately, medical consumers) are increasingly becoming the driving force of what we call medical progress. The doctors are primarily obliged to treat and help patients, but will always have also (commercial) temptation before him: to facilitate the consumer's desires and, with a warm heart, shoot to the far borders of medical knowledge and technology. A good example illustrating dilemma of beneficial vs commercial medicine are ethical challenges of some new vaccines developed recently. Since their earliest introduction in the late 18th century, vaccines have undoubtedly saved the lives of millions, while also fundamentally changing the way modern medicine is practiced. Many diseases that were once widespread are now eradicated, yet vaccine development faces ongoing challenges, including some important ethical considerations. Today there are over 300 vaccines in development and included in clinical trials. Among them, anti-addiction vaccines (Cocaine, Nicotine, Fentanyl, Heroin, Oxycodone) received a burst of media attention, because these vaccines could help people in recovery from addiction; however, many ethical and legal questions may arise before clinical use.
Keywords: conflicts of interest, physicians, commercialization, public health
Published: 09.10.2018; Views: 649; Downloads: 56
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Age-related differences in percentages of regulatory and effector T lymphocytes and their subsets in healthy individuals and characteristic STAT1/STAT5 signalling response in helper T lymphocytes
Marija Holcar, Aleš Goropevšek, Alojz Ihan, Tadej Avčin, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: The dynamic process of the development of the immune system can in itself result in age-related immune malfunctions. In this study, we analysed lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of 60 healthy donors, divided into groups of children, adolescents, and adults, focusing on effector (Teff) and regulatory (Treg) T lymphocytes and STAT1/STAT5 signalling response in helper T lymphocytes (Th) in adults, using flow cytometry. Our results demonstrate a decrease in the percentage of total Tregs and an increase in the percentage of total Teffs with age and a consequential immense increase in the Teff/Treg ratio. The increase of Teffs was most apparent in Th1, Th1Th17, and Th17CD161- subsets. Significant Th lymphocyte STAT1 expression differences were observed between children and adolescents, which were associated with the decrease in activated Tregs. Higher expression of STAT1 was found in FoxP3hi than in FoxP3low Th lymphocytes, while significant IL-2 induced STAT5 phosphorylation differences were found among the subsets of Th lymphocytes in adults. Our study demonstrates age-related changes in circulating Teff and Treg, as well as significant differences in STAT5/STAT1 signalling among FoxP3+ Th lymphocytes, providing new advances in the understanding of immunosenescence.
Keywords: T lymphocytes, age-related differences, immune system
Published: 14.06.2017; Views: 638; Downloads: 333
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