Perceived risk of environmental threats often translates into psychological stress with a wide range of effects on health and well-being. Petrochemical industrial complexes constitute one of the sites that can cause considerable pollution and health problems. The uncertainty around emissions results in a perception of risk for citizens residing in neighboring areas, which translates into anxiety and physiological stress. In this context, social trust is a key factor in managing the perceived risk. In the case of industrial risks, it is essential to distinguish between trust in the companies that make up the industry, and trust in public institutions. In the context of a petrochemical industrial complex located in the port of Castellón (Spain), this paper primarily discusses how trust—both in the companies located in the petrochemical complex and in the public institutions—affects citizens’ health risk perception. The research findings confirm that while the trust in companies negatively affects citizens’ health risk perception, trust in public institutions does not exert a direct and significant effect. Analysis also revealed that trust in public institutions and health risk perception are essentially linked indirectly (through trust in companies).
petrochemical industry; citizens’ health risk perception; social trust; trust in companies; trust in public institutions
The purposes of occupational medicine are described in terms of its clinical medical, environmental medical, research, and administrative content. Each of these components is essential in different proportions in comprehensive occupational health services for different industries, and can only be satisfactorily provided by occupational physicians and occupational health nurses who are an integral part of their organizations. Two-thirds of the working population in the United Kingdom are without the benefits of occupational medicine. The reorganization of the National Health Service and of local government presents the opportunity to extend occupational health services to many more workers who need them. It is suggested that area health authorities should provide occupational health services for all National Health Service staff and, on an agency basis, for local government and associated services, eventually extending to local industry. Such area health authority based services, merged with the Employment Medical Advisory Service, could conveniently then be part of the National Health Service, as recommended by the British Medical Association, the Society of Occupational Medicine, and the Medical Services Review Committee.
Overall, the regulators (here the term is used in the broad sense including competent authorities, the national departments of health and the European commission) have a significant role in translating pharmacogenomics into clinical practice. The first objective is to establish the role of the genomic information that is available, and this should be data driven. Conduct of robust clinical trials that are sound both scientifically and from a regulatory perspective should be encouraged. Significant interaction between Academia, Pharma industry and the regulator is essential with the overall aim of improving public health. Conceptually, this would involve the triumvirate (Academia, industry and regulators) as an orchestra with the regulators perhaps taking the role of the conductor while the significant players would be those that generate data (Academia and industry). The regulators also need to ensure that clear guidance is available for use of the information and the tests with a significant level of uniformity between the ICH regions. The commercial availability of the test will have considerable impact on the use of pharmacogenomics, but this is currently beyond the scope of this paper.
: pharmacogenomics, drug regulation, pharmacogenetic testing, regulatory guidance, clinical practise.
Objectives: (1) To review the history of the tobacco industry supported Australian Tobacco Research Foundation (ATRF)(1970–1994) for evidence of the industry's use of the Foundation to further its objectives that "more research was needed" on smoking and health and to promulgate the view that nicotine was not addictive. (2) To review efforts by public health advocates to discredit the ATRF as a public relations tool used by the Australian industry.
Methods: Systematic search of previously internal industry documents released through the US Master Settlement Agreement.
Results: The ATRF was headed by prestigious Australian medical scientists, with at least one considered by the industry to be "industry positive". An international ATRF symposium on nicotine was vetted by the industry and heavily attended by industry approved scientists. Following sustained criticism from the health and medical community about the industry's creation of the ATRF to further its objectives, the ATRF's scientific committee was provoked to publicly declare in 1988 that smoking was a causative agent in disease. This criticism led to growing ATRF boycotts by scientists and substandard applications, causing the industry to see the ATRF as being poor value-for-money and eventually abandoning it.
Conclusions: The raison d'etre for the ATRF's establishment was to allow the Australian industry to point to its continuing commitment to independent medical research, with the implied corollary that tobacco control measures were premature in the face of insufficient evidence about tobacco's harms. Sustained criticism of tobacco industry funded research schemes can undermine their credibility among the scientific community.
Objective: To assess experts' opinions about the future of, and potential to improve individual and public health through "tobacco harm reduction" (THR), the use of novel nicotine containing products purporting to reduce the health risks from cigarette smoking.
Design: Semi-structured telephone interviews on nine topic areas, with qualitative content analysis of coded transcripts.
Participants: 29 professionals with expertise related to tobacco and interest in THR, including prominent tobacco control advocates (7), pharmaceutical (3) and tobacco industry scientists/officials (5), non-industry scientists (12), and Congressional staff (2).
Results: Respondents agreed that harm reduction is at minimum theoretically plausible, that characteristics of "good" and "bad" THR products can be identified, that government regulation is essential but not likely in the foreseeable future, and that additional scientific data are very much needed. However, there was no consensus on specifics, such as preferred regulatory strategies or examples of ideal THR products. Disagreement was seen not only across but also within respondent categories. Mistrust of key stakeholders—for example, tobacco control advocates distrust of tobacco industry scientists and vice versa—was pervasive, and cited frequently as a barrier to regulation and collaboration.
Conclusions: Continued dialogue and debate are essential as we enter a new and uncertain era of products purporting to reduce tobacco produced harm. Experts have concluded that effective government regulation is crucial to minimising the risks associated with THR and maximising potential benefits.
Respiratory disease has never received priority in relation to its impact on health. Estimated DALYs lost in 2002 were 12% globally (similar for industrialized and developing countries). Chronic airflow limitation (due mainly to asthma and COPD) alone affects more than 100 million persons in the world and the majority of them live in developing countries. International guidelines for management of asthma (GINA) and COPD (GOLD) have been adopted and their cost-effectiveness demonstrated in industrialized countries. As resources are scarce in developing countries, adaptation of these guidelines using only essential drugs is required. It remains for governments to set priorities. To make these choices, a set of criteria have been proposed. It is vital that the results of scientific investigations are presented in these terms to facilitate their use by decision-makers. To respond to this emerging public health problem in developing countries, WHO has developed 2 initiatives: “Practical Approach to Lung Health (PAL)” and the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)”, and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union) has launched a new initiative to increase affordability of essential asthma drugs for patients in developing countries termed the “Asthma Drug Facility” (ADF), which could facilitate the care of patients living in these parts of the world.
air flow limitation; asthma; COPD; intervention; cost-effectiveness; developing countries
Inadequate access to essential medicines is a common issue within developing countries. Policy response is constrained, amongst other factors, by a dearth of in-depth country level evidence. We share here i) gaps related to access to essential medicine in Pakistan; and ii) prioritization of emerging policy and research concerns.
An exploratory research was carried out using a health systems perspective and applying the WHO Framework for Equitable Access to Essential Medicine. Methods involved key informant interviews with policy makers, providers, industry, NGOs, experts and development partners, review of published and grey literature, and consultative prioritization in stakeholder’s Roundtable.
A synthesis of evidence found major gaps in essential medicine access in Pakistan driven by weaknesses in the health care system as well as weak pharmaceutical regulation. 7 major policy concerns and 11 emerging research concerns were identified through consultative Roundtable. These related to weaknesses in medicine registration and quality assurance systems, unclear and counterproductive pricing policies, irrational prescribing and sub-optimal drug availability. Available research, both locally and globally, fails to target most of the identified policy concerns, tending to concentrate on irrational prescriptions. It overlooks trans-disciplinary areas of policy effectiveness surveillance, consumer behavior, operational pilots and pricing interventions review.
Experience from Pakistan shows that policy concerns related to essential medicine access need integrated responses across various components of the health systems, are poorly addressed by existing evidence, and require an expanded health systems research agenda.
Industrial effluents of textile, paper, and leather industries contain various toxic dyes as one of the waste material. It imparts major impact on human
health as well as environment. The white rot fungus Pycnoporus cinnabarinus Laccase is generally used to degrade these toxic dyes. In order to decipher
the mechanism of process by which Laccase degrade dyes, it is essential to know its 3D structure. Homology modeling was performed in presented work,
by satisfying Spatial restrains using Modeller Program, which is considered as standard in this field, to generate 3D structure of Laccase in unison,
SWISSMODEL web server was also utilized to generate and verify the alternative models. We observed that models created using Modeller stands better
on structure evaluation tests. This study can further be used in molecular docking techniques, to understand the interaction of enzyme with its mediators
like 2, 2‐azinobis (3‐ethylbenzthiazoline‐6‐sulfonate) (ABTS) and Vanillin that are known to enhance the Laccase activity.
Homology modeling; Spatial restraints; Modeller; Laccase; QMEAN; Ml methods; Beale restart conjugate gradients method; Leap-frog verletintegrator
The date palm Phoenix dactylifera has played an important role in the day-to-day life of the people for the last 7000 years. Today worldwide production, utilization and industrialization of dates are continuously increasing since date fruits have earned great importance in human nutrition owing to their rich content of essential nutrients. Tons of date palm fruit wastes are discarded daily by the date processing industries leading to environmental problems. Wastes such as date pits represent an average of 10% of the date fruits. Thus, there is an urgent need to find suitable applications for this waste. In spite of several studies on date palm cultivation, their utilization and scope for utilizing date fruit in therapeutic applications, very few reviews are available and they are limited to the chemistry and pharmacology of the date fruits and phytochemical composition, nutritional significance and potential health benefits of date fruit consumption. In this context, in the present review the prospects of valorization of these date fruit processing by-products and wastes’ employing fermentation and enzyme processing technologies towards total utilization of this valuable commodity for the production of biofuels, biopolymers, biosurfactants, organic acids, antibiotics, industrial enzymes and other possible industrial chemicals are discussed.
Date palm; Phoenix dactylifera; Fruit by-products; Wastes; Valorization; Bioprocessing
Metals have been mined and used since ancient times. The industrial era has seen a sharp increase in both the amounts and variety of metals that find applications in industry. The inadvertent release of metals, such as from fossil fuel consumption, also adds to the global burden. A number of catastrophic outbreaks have alerted us to the occupational and environmental health risks. Life on this planet has evolved in the presence of metals. Cells learned to make use of the more abundant metals in the Archean oceans as an integral component in their structure and function. Today, we inherit these as the essential metals. At the same time, evolving life must have developed means of coping with the potentially toxic actions of metals. The appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere in the Precambrian period also resulted in cells both using and developing protective mechanisms against what must have been a highly toxic, reactive gas. Atmospheric oxygen must have increased the solubility of many metals as insoluble metal sulfides were oxidized to the more soluble sulfates. It may be no coincidence that the protective mechanisms for oxygen are also used to protect against a number of toxic metals. Selected examples are given on the role of evolution in metal toxicology, specifically, examples where the normal function of essential metals is deranged by competition with nonessential metals. Examples are also given of protective mechanisms that involve enzymes or cofactors involved in the oxygen defense system.
A mailed survey of occupational health and safety practices in industrial manufacturing plants with more than 50 employees was carried out in South Carolina, with a response rate of 60 percent. The responding plants represented 73 percent of the total workforce in the industries. Data were analyzed in relation to the types of industry as delineated by the Standard Industrial Code. Eighty-three percent of the responding plants (a percentage that represented more than 92 percent of the total workforce in the industries) had some arrangements for the medical or nursing care of employees. For the study, occupational health services were defined at three levels: basic (mandatory), secondary (beneficial to management), and tertiary (health promotion-preventive medicine). The basic services provided by most of the industries surveyed appeared to be adequate. Secondary services were well developed except in the apparel and lumber industries. Tertiary services, in terms of five selected preventive programs, were moderately developed only in the paper, petroleum, and chemical industries. Only alcohol abuse control programs were commonly offered in the other types of industry. The size of the workforce in a plant partly dictated the level of occupational health services it offered but did not always account for all inter-industry variation.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an integral element of how the alcohol industry promotes itself. The existing analyses of CSR in the alcohol industry point to the misleading nature of these CSR practices. Yet, research has been relatively sparse on how the alcohol industry advances CSR in an attempt to facilitate underlying business interests, and in what ways the ongoing display of industry CSR impacts public health. This paper aims to investigate the alcohol industry’s recent CSR engagements and explain how CSR forms part of the industry’s wider political and corporate strategies.
Our study used qualitative methods to collect and analyse data. We searched for materials pertaining to CSR activities from websites of three transnational alcohol corporations, social media platforms, media reports and other sources. Relevant documents were thematically analysed with an iterative approach.
Our analysis identified three CSR tactics employed by the alcohol companies which are closely tied in with the industry’s underlying corporate intents. First, the alcohol manufacturers employ CSR as a means to frame issues, define problems and guide policy debates. In doing this, the alcohol companies are able to deflect and shift the blame from those who manufacture and promote alcoholic products to those who consume them. Second, the alcohol corporations promote CSR initiatives on voluntary regulation in order to delay and offset alcohol control legislation. Third, the alcohol corporations undertake philanthropic sponsorships as a means of indirect brand marketing as well as gaining preferential access to emerging alcohol markets.
The increasing penetration and involvement of the alcohol industry into CSR highlights the urgent needs for public health counter actions. Implementation of any alcohol control measures should include banning or restricting the publicity efforts of the industry’s CSR and informing the public of the alcohol industry’s notion of social responsibility. More significantly, an internationally binding instrument should be called for to enable countries to differentiate between genuine concerns and spurious altruism, and in doing so, resist the industry’s attempt to erode alcohol control.
Alcohol industry; Corporate social responsibility; Politics; Alcohol policies; Framework convention
Metals are an important and essential part of our daily lives. Their ubiquitous presence and use has not been without significant consequences. Both industrial and nonindustrial exposures to metals are characterized by a variety of acute and chronic ailments. Underreporting of illnesses related to occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals including metals is of concern and presents a serious challenge. Many primary care workers rarely consider occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals in their clinical evaluation. Their knowledge and training in the evaluation of health problems related to such exposures is inadequate. This paper presents documented research findings from various studies that have examined the relationship between metal exposures and their adverse health effects both in developing and developed countries. Further, it provides some guidance on essential elements of a basic occupational and environmental evaluation to health care workers in primary care situations.
In 1992, 1998, and 2006, questionnaires were sent to stratified samples of residents aged 18–75 years living near petrochemical industries (n = 600–800 people on each occasion) and in a control area (n = 200–1,000). The aims were to estimate the long-term prevalence and change over time of annoyance caused by industrial odour, industrial noise, and worries about possible health effects, and to identify risk indicators. In 2006, 20% were annoyed by industrial odour, 27% by industrial noise (1–4% in the control area), and 40–50% were worried about health effects or industrial accidents (10–20% in the control area). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed significantly lower prevalence of odour annoyance in 1998 and 2006 than in 1992, while industrial noise annoyance increased significantly over time. The prevalence of worry remained constant. Risk of odour annoyance increased with female sex, worry of health effects, annoyance by motor vehicle exhausts and industrial noise. Industrial noise annoyance was associated with traffic noise annoyance and worry of health effects of traffic. Health-risk worry due to industrial air pollution was associated with female sex, having children, annoyance due to dust/soot in the air, and worry of traffic air pollution.
petrochemical industry; industrial noise; industrial air pollution; annoyance; worry
Objective: To review critically the history of Australian tobacco industry efforts to avoid, delay, and dilute pack warnings on cigarettes.
Design: Systematic keyword and opportunistic website searches of tobacco industry internal documents made available through the Master Settlement Agreement.
Results: Four industry strategies and six recurrent arguments used by the industry are described, which were used to thwart the passage of three generations of health warnings (implemented in 1973, 1987, and 1995). These strategies are shown to have been associated with major delays in the implementation of the warnings and in keeping them inconspicuous, unattributed to the industry and non-specific, and particularly in delaying the use of warnings about addiction. The industry today continues to oppose warnings, which might "repel" smokers from tobacco use.
Conclusions: Efforts by governments to introduce potent health warnings will be resisted by the tobacco industry. Tobacco control advocates should anticipate and counter the strategies and arguments used by the industry, which are described in this paper if they wish to maximise the use of the pack as a vehicle for raising awareness about the harms of smoking.
Historically, the provision of health benefits and health services has been wedded to the needs of an industrial society to maintain a productive labor force. The casual observer will note that since the late 19th century the role of government as a participant either in the provision for health services or the delivery of health services has been strongly tied to the labor movement in Western Europe. Overtime benefits, initially procured for the worker, were expanded to include the dependents of the worker and, finally, to include the former worker who was no longer able to work due to age or infirmity. The provision of health care to the poor was considered an act of charity and was never liberal enough to reward poverty nor was it essentially humane, for poverty was a condition to be punished. The rise of “alms houses” and public hospitals for the poor provided constant physical reassurance to the worker that he was, indeed, successful. Such institutions were also warnings to the worker lest he slip into the numbers of the poor.
Recognition of the improvements in patient safety, quality of patient care, and efficiency that health care information systems have the potential to bring has led to significant investment. Globally the sale of health care information systems now represents a multibillion dollar industry. As policy makers, health care professionals, and patients, we have a responsibility to maximize the return on this investment. To this end we analyze alternative licensing and software development models, as well as the role of standards. We describe how licensing affects development. We argue for the superiority of open source licensing to promote safer, more effective health care information systems. We claim that open source licensing in health care information systems is essential to rational procurement strategy.
Health Care Information Systems
Keeping in view of rapid industrialization and growing Indian economy, there has been a substantial increase in the workforce in India. Currently there is no organized workplace model for promoting health of industrial workers in India.
To develop and implement a healthy workplace model in three industrial settings of North India.
Materials and Methods:
An operations research was conducted for 12 months in purposively selected three industries of Chandigarh. In phase I, a multi-stakeholder workshop was conducted to finalize the components and tools for the healthy workplace model. NCD risk factors were assessed in 947 employees in these three industries. In phase II, the healthy workplace model was implemented on pilot basis for a period of 12 months in these three industries to finalize the model.
Healthy workplace committee with involvement of representatives of management, labor union and research organization was formed in three industries. Various tools like comprehensive and rapid healthy workplace assessment forms, NCD work-lite format for risk factors surveillance and monitoring and evaluation format were developed. The prevalence of tobacco use, ever alcoholics was found to be 17.8% and 47%, respectively. Around one-third (28%) of employees complained of back pain in the past 12 months. Healthy workplace model with focus on three key components (physical environment, psychosocial work environment, and promoting healthy habits) was developed, implemented on pilot basis, and finalized based on experience in participating industries. A stepwise approach for model with a core, expanded, and optional components were also suggested. An accreditation system is also required for promoting healthy workplace program.
Integrated healthy workplace model is feasible, could be implemented in industrial setting in northern India and needs to be pilot tested in other parts of the country.
Experience from industry; health promotion; healthy workplace
Objectives: To assess public attitudes toward the tobacco industry and its products, and to identify predictors of attitudes supportive of tobacco industry denormalisation.
Design: Population based, cross sectional survey.
Setting: Ontario, Canada.
Subjects: Adult population (n = 1607).
Main outcome measures: Eight different facets of tobacco industry denormalisation were assessed. A denormalisation scale was developed to examine predictors of attitudes supportive of tobacco industry denormalisation, using bivariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: Attitudes to the eight facets of tobacco industry denormalisation varied widely. More than half of the respondents supported regulating tobacco as a hazardous product, fining the tobacco industry for earnings from underage smoking, and suing tobacco companies for health care costs caused by tobacco. Majorities also thought that the tobacco industry is dishonest and that cigarettes are too dangerous to be sold at all. Fewer than half of the respondents thought that the tobacco industry is mostly or completely responsible for the health problems smokers have because of smoking and that tobacco companies should be sued for taxes lost from smuggling. In particular, less than a quarter thought that the tobacco industry is most responsible for young people starting to smoke. Non-smoking, knowledge about health effects caused by tobacco, and support for the role of government in health promotion were independent predictors of support for tobacco industry denormalisation.
Conclusions: Although Ontarians are ambivalent toward tobacco industry denormalisation, they are supportive of some measures. Mass media programmes aimed at increasing support for tobacco industry denormalisation and continued monitoring of public attitudes toward this strategy are needed.
Objective: To examine an industry funded and controlled study of in flight air quality (IFAQ).
Methods: Systematic search of internal tobacco industry documents available on the internet and at the British American Tobacco Guildford Depository.
Results: Individuals from several tobacco industry companies, led by Philip Morris, designed, funded, conducted, and controlled the presentation of results of a study of IFAQ for the Scandinavian airline SAS in 1988 while attempting to minimise the appearance of industry control. Industry lawyers and scientists deleted results unfavourable to the industry's position from the study before delivering it to the airline. The published version of the study further downplayed the results, particularly with regard to respirable suspended particulates. The study ignored the health implications of the results and instead promoted the industry position that ventilation could solve problems posed by secondhand smoke.
Conclusions: Sponsoring IFAQ studies was one of several tactics the tobacco industry employed in attempts to reverse or delay implementation of in-flight smoking restrictions. As a result, airline patrons and employees, particularly flight attendants, continued to be exposed to pollution from secondhand smoke, especially particulates, which the industry's own consultants had noted exceeded international standards. This case adds to the growing body of evidence that scientific studies associated with the tobacco industry cannot be taken at face value.
Amylases are one of the main enzymes used in industry. Such enzymes hydrolyze the starch molecules into polymers composed of glucose units. Amylases have potential application in a wide number of industrial processes such as food, fermentation and pharmaceutical industries. α-Amylases can be obtained from plants, animals and microorganisms. However, enzymes from fungal and bacterial sources have dominated applications in industrial sectors. The production of α-amylase is essential for conversion of starches into oligosaccharides. Starch is an important constituent of the human diet and is a major storage product of many economically important crops such as wheat, rice, maize, tapioca, and potato. Starch-converting enzymes are used in the production of maltodextrin, modified starches, or glucose and fructose syrups. A large number of microbial α-amylases has applications in different industrial sectors such as food, textile, paper and detergent industries. The production of α-amylases has generally been carried out using submerged fermentation, but solid state fermentation systems appear as a promising technology. The properties of each α-amylase such as thermostability, pH profile, pH stability, and Ca-independency are important in the development of fermentation process. This review focuses on the production of bacterial and fungal α-amylases, their distribution, structural-functional aspects, physical and chemical parameters, and the use of these enzymes in industrial applications.
α-Amylases; enzyme production; bacterial and fungal amylase; starch
The purpose of this article is to provide the author's perspective on whether it is likely or feasible that those working in the health care domain will adapt and use lessons learned by those in the industrial domain. This article provides some historical perspective on the changes brought about in the industrial domain through the introduction of new technologies, including information technologies. The author discusses how industrialization catalyzed changes in health care delivery that paralleled but lagged behind those of the broader U.S. economy. The article concludes that there is ample reason for those interested in improving the quality and effectiveness of health informatics to systematically evaluate information technology strategies used in the industrial domain. Finally, it outlines some challenges for health informaticians and a number of factors that should be considered in adapting lessons from industry to the health care domain.
Literature suggests that ‘negative advertising’ is an effective way to encourage behavioral changes, but it has enjoyed limited use in public health media campaigns. However, as public health increasingly focuses on non-communicable disease prevention, negative advertising could be more widely applied. This analysis considers an illustrative case from tobacco control. Relying on internal tobacco industry documents, surveys and experimental data and drawing from political advocacy literature, we describe tobacco industry and public health research on the American Legacy Foundation’s “truth” campaign, an example of effective negative advertising in the service of public health. The tobacco industry determined that the most effective advertisements run by Legacy’s “truth” campaign were negative advertisements. Although the tobacco industry’s own research suggested that these negative ads identified and effectively reframed the cigarette as a harmful consumer product rather than focusing solely on tobacco companies, Philip Morris accused Legacy of ‘vilifying’ it. Public health researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of the “truth” campaign in reducing smoking initiation. Research on political advocacy demonstrating the value of negative advertising has rarely been used in the development of public health media campaigns, but negative advertising can effectively communicate certain public health messages and serve to counter corporate disease promotion.
Mentally ill individuals have always smoked at high rates and continue to do so, despite public health efforts to encourage smoking cessation. In the last half century, the tobacco industry became interested in this connection, and conducted and supported psychiatric and basic science research on the mental health implications of smoking, long before most mental health professionals outside the industry investigated this issue. Initially, representatives of tobacco industry research organizations supported genetics and psychosomatic research to try to disprove findings that smoking causes lung cancer. Tobacco industry research leaders engaged with investigators because of shared priorities and interests in the brain effects of nicotine. By the 1980s, collaborative funding programs and individual company research and development teams engaged in intramural and extramural basic science studies on the neuropharmacology of nicotine. When mental health researchers outside the industry became interested in the issue of the mentally ill and smoking in the mid-1990s, they increasingly explained it in terms of a disease of nicotine addiction. Both the idea that smoking/nicotine does something positive for the mentally ill and the conclusion that it is the result of nicotine dependence have the potential to support corporate agendas (tobacco or pharmaceutical).
nicotine; schizophrenia; psychiatry; mental health; corporate–academic interactions
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a major threat to swine health worldwide and is considered the most significant viral disease in the swine industry today. In past years, studies on the entry of the virus into its host cell have led to the identification of a number of essential virus receptors and entry mediators. However, viral counterparts for these molecules have remained elusive and this has made rational development of new generation vaccines impossible. The main objective of this study was to identify the viral counterparts for sialoadhesin, a crucial PRRSV receptor on macrophages. For this purpose, a soluble form of sialoadhesin was constructed and validated. The soluble sialoadhesin could bind PRRSV in a sialic acid-dependent manner and could neutralize PRRSV infection of macrophages, thereby confirming the role of sialoadhesin as an essential PRRSV receptor on macrophages. Although sialic acids are present on the GP3, GP4 and GP5 envelope glycoproteins, only the M/GP5 glycoprotein complex of PRRSV was identified as a ligand for sialoadhesin. The interaction was found to be dependent on the sialic acid binding capacity of sialoadhesin and on the presence of sialic acids on GP5. These findings not only contribute to a better understanding of PRRSV biology, but the knowledge and tools generated in this study also hold the key to the development of a new generation of PRRSV vaccines.
The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a major threat to swine health worldwide. The virus specifically targets subpopulations of macrophages, central players in the immune system, and can persist in animals for extended periods of time due to a hampered immunity. At present, no vaccines are available that are both safe and effective and it is clear that a more rational vaccine design is needed to solve this problem. Therefore, advancing our fundamental understanding of PRRSV biology is crucial. The macrophage-specific lectin sialoadhesin is a crucial viral receptor on macrophages and although its role in PRRSV infection is well documented, its viral counterparts have remained unknown. Using a soluble form of sialoadhesin, we identified the M/GP5 glycoprotein complex of PRRSV as the ligand for sialoadhesin and found this ligand-receptor interaction to be critically dependent on the lectin activity of sialoadhesin and on sialic acids on the GP5 glycoprotein. These data represent a major breakthrough in the understanding of the role of PRRSV proteins in viral entry and pave the way for the development of a new generation of PRRSV vaccines capable of inducing an immunity that specifically blocks the interaction between viral M/GP5 and sialoadhesin.