Red ginseng and vitamin C increase immune cell activity and decrease lung inflammation induced by influenza A virus/H1N1 infection


This article goes into detail about the efficacy of vitamin C and ginseng as a supplement for decreasing lung inflammation and increasing immune activity to treat influenza type A and H1N1 infection. The study was done in rats with and without influenza type A/H1N1 infection. The purpose of the study was to see how supplementation affected the disease state. The parameters being measured were T-cell activation,natural killer (NK) cells, CD25, CD69, and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-infected BCBL-1 that were inserted into the mice. PBMC and KSHV were administered in separate groups.

The study was carried out over 6-24 hour periods depending on the treatment given. The study arrived at several conclusions based on the results. Red ginseng and vitamin C supplementation suppressed the replication of KSHV virus. In addition, supplementation also increased survival and decreased lung inflammation in mice with H1N1. Other findings include increased activation of t-cells and NK cells, which coincides with a better immune response. The study provides a foundation for potential antiviral uses of ginseng and vitamin C supplements.

This is related to pharmacy because it is important to keep up to date on supplement research, as supplements are usually sold in the pharmacy. Supplements may also cause drug interactions that could affect a patient’s health. H1N1 or bird flu was a big health scare that prompted a rapid search for a vaccine. If the bird flu became a bigger issue than it did, pharmacists would be on the forefront of vaccination efforts.

Do you think pharmacists should be more proactive about promoting the use of supplements?


Find the article here:

Kim H, Jang M, Kim Y,  Red ginseng and vitamin C increase immune cell activity and decrease lung inflammation induced by influenza A virus/H1N1 infection. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12529

Smartphone-Based Fluorescent Diagnostic System for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses

In this article, a collaborative research team from South Korea has developed a diagnostic system for use with smart phone technology that is able to identify viruses such as H5N1, or bird flu. The method for this identification being fluorescence excitation and analysis. All of which were smartphone battery powered. The complete setup includes as smartphone (galaxy S3 +others), an apparatus for the device, and samples on test strips.

In order to improve the optical quality of the smartphone features, an apparatus was created that held the phone in place in alignment with an LED light, excitation fiber, emission filter, and upper and lower reflector (parabolic mirrors). The apparatus had the smart phone facing downward to detect the fluorescence using an application in coordination with the diagnostic apparatus, which relayed information back to the phone. Test strips containing unidentified biological specimens would be placed underneath the phone.

Preliminary tests indicate that this method can be used with great accuracy. Of the 29 patients with H5N1, only 1 of them showed of false negative when subjected to smartphone analysis. This relates to pharmacy because potent viruses like H5N1 are public health concerns that could potentially warrant mass vaccinations. Vaccinations fall under the responsibility of a pharmacist, and we are often the most accessible healthcare professional when it comes to vaccinations on a large scale.

Do you think smartphone technology like this will become more prevalent in the future?

You can view the article here: Smartphone-Based Fluorescent Diagnostic System for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses.

Yeo S, Choi K, Cuc BT, et al. Smartphone-Based Fluoranalyzeescent Diagnostic System for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses. Theranostics. 2016 Jan 1;6(2):231-42