Andrew Hantel, MD; Christopher Olusola Olopade, MD, MPH
Acknowledgment: The authors thank Daniel Sulmasy, MD, PhD, and Nathaniel Steiger, MD, for their editorial work.
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M14-2002.
Requests for Single Reprints: Andrew Hantel, MD, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 7082, Chicago, IL 60637.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Hantel: University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 7082, Chicago, IL 60637.
Dr. Olopade: University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 2121, Chicago, IL 60637.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: A. Hantel.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: C.O. Olopade.
Drafting of the article: A. Hantel, C.O. Olopade.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: A. Hantel.
Final approval of the article: A. Hantel, C.O. Olopade.
Collection and assembly of data: C.O. Olopade.
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Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP
International Strategic Cancer Alliance
October 14, 2014
Ebola Virus Disease: Paving Inroads Into Drastic Diseases.
Experience is a great teacher but man seldom learns from "history". In my own medical career as a cancer researcher and clinician spanning 51 years, I have personally seen impressive responses, involving complete and durable remissions, by combining diligent research into the peer-reviewed literature coupled with elements of intuition, daring, visionary thinking, collaboration with colleagues, open and honest communication and most of all, the prime directive: caring about the patient. I would be glad to share details of these medical inroads in another context.
When it comes to ebola virus disease (EVD), there is a dire need to bring together all the characteristics cited in the above paragraph in a Task Force or Manhattan Project spirit if we are to make swift and meaningful advances. Learning from history of what has been published and organizing, and most importantly sharing that information is key. I concur with much of the editorial by Hantel and Olopade. Supportive care of the patient with EVD must be center stage in any treatment approach. But I do not agree with a conservative approach when it comes to drastic diseases like ebola virus disease (EVD), which, if unchecked, may dwarf the death rates of the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Integrative care is a microcosm of what all of biology declares-- the oneness of our universe and the need to at the very least see ourselves as a global people with needs to work together in a sincerely integrative fashion. We must live up to our designation as homo sapiens (sentient man) and work internationally as scientists and healthcare workers, whose prime directive is resolution of all major threats to humankind. We are blatantly failing at this in the 21st century, in virtually every aspect of human interaction. EVD, in my opinion, is trumpeting the need, no actually it is signaling the demand for oneness on our pale blue dot. We need to bring EVD under control by working in concert i.e., in harmony. Yes, Carl Sagan, this is our uni-verse, our one story.
Carlos Polanco, Jorge Alberto Castañón-González
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,Universidad Anáhuac
October 19, 2014
Cross-sectional bioinformatics analysis on proteins associated to the Ebola virus
To the Editor:
We read the interesting Hantel and colleagues’ article (1) related to the adopted strategies taken by the international community to face the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. They lead us to share some thoughts on cross-sectional bioinformatics studies around the proteins associated to this virus.
The multinational work in Bioinformatics has produced multiple specialized protein databases that contain thousands of proteins. It has taken years to gather and refine the information contained in these databases so we can perform with reasonable confidence prospective cross-sectional studies that will provide useful information oriented to the design of future drugs against the Ebola Virus.
What is the “protein distance” (range of variation of a group of proteins with some physic-chemical properties, and then compare those ranges with the variations of the amino acids forming that set of studied proteins) between Ebola Virus proteins, and those proteins associated with other viruses? Is it the same distance observed between their physical-chemical properties?
With a computer program (2), that essentially features a single physico-chemical property; the electronegativity (3,4) measured in the polar interactions of amino acids that form the linear sequence of a protein, we identified the action of several groups of antimicrobial-antiviral peptides.
The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease is on, the spread of the disease and the loss of human lives are already counting (5), so the generation of drugs aimed to treat this devastating disease or any other must explore all the possibilities at hand.
1. Hantel A, Olusola Olopade C. Drug and Vaccine Access in the Ebola Epidemic: Advising Caution in Compassionate Use. Ann Intern Med. Published online 14 October 2014 doi:10.7326/M14-2002
2. Pauling L. The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry. Cornell University Press, ISBN:9780801403330, USA. 1960. pp. 644.
3. Polanco C, Samaniego JL, Buhse T, Mosqueira FG, Negron-Mendoza A Ramos-Bernal S, Castañón-González JA. Characterization of Selective Antibacterial Peptides by Polarity Index. International Journal of Peptides 2012,58502, doi:10.1155 /2012/585027
4. Howard SJ, Hopwood S, Davies SC. (Letter Polanco C, Castañón-González JA, Samaniego-Mendoza JL. Buhse T. 2014) Antimicrobial Resistance: A Global Challenge. Sci. Transl. Med doi: 10.1126/ scitranslmed.3009315
5. Butler D, Morello L. Ebola by the numbers: The size, spread and cost of an outbreak. Nature 514, 284–285. doi: 10.1038/514284a
Andrew Hantel, Christopher Olusola Olopade. Drug and Vaccine Access in the Ebola Epidemic: Advising Caution in Compassionate Use. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:141–142. doi: 10.7326/M14-2002
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(2):141-142.
Infectious Disease, Prevention/Screening, Vaccines/Immunization.
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