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raises a question ... (Regina Viljasaar, 20 May 2010)

I'm not from the field of medicine & co but I was born in the Soviet Union, where children got vaccinated till the end of 1980's. I'm born in 1982 and I have the smallpox scars on my shoulder. Nevertheless, AIDS is very common in the countries that belonged to the Soviet Union. That might be a question for future research. read full comment

Comment on: Weinstein et al. BMC Immunology, 11:23

Prerequisites for cytokine measurements (Kirsten Kortekaas, 19 November 2009)

De Jager et al.1 stress the need for rigorous quality control when measuring cytokines in plasma or serum in the context of clinical trials. The authors rightly state that proper timing of sampling, careful sample handling and storage, and strict quality control is crucial for reliable cytokine measurements. However, they did not point towards potential pitfalls of the early steps of blood collection and handling which may profoundly affect the results of cytokine measurements.
A first problem may occur when a blood sample is collected on ice. The temperature of ice cubes can be far below the freezing point. As such, contact between the blood collection tube and the ice cubes may result in local cell lysis. This problem is avoided by placing the tubes in ice water. A... read full comment

Comment on: de Jager et al. BMC Immunology, 10:52

RT-PCR does not distinguish IL-4 mRNA from the IL-4R antagonist IL-4delta2 (Eric Glare, 31 March 2005)

Boeuf et al. [1] have utilised RNA standards and real-time PCR to quantify a range of cytokine mRNA including Interleukin-4 (IL-4). However, the authors do not mention that the IL-4 gene contains 4 exons separated by 3 introns and produces two alternatively spliced mRNA. IL-4 mRNA is composed of all 4 exons spliced together whilst IL-4delta2 mRNA is missing exon 2 [2]. The deletion of exon 2 does not result in a frameshift and IL-4delta2 mRNA encodes a truncated IL-4 protein. Studies with recombinant human IL-4delta2 indicate that IL-4delta2 is a naturally occurring receptor antagonist of IL-4 [3, 4].An alignment search with the IL-4 primer sequences used by the authors against the public genomic database [5] reveal that the primer pair have matches with both IL-4 (Accession number... read full comment

Comment on: Boeuf et al. BMC Immunology, 6:5