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Preview: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases

EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 17:57:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

NIH scientists develop new mouse model to study Salmonella meningitis

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have established in mice a way to study potentially life-threatening meningitis caused by Salmonella. Bacterial meningitis happens when bacteria infect the central nervous system (CNS), causing a serious disease that can be life-threatening and difficult to diagnose and treat. Patients who survive often have permanent brain damage.

Protection against Zika just as important during winter

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) Just because temperatures are cooling down as winter approaches, it's no time to let your guard down when it comes to mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. LSU Health New Orleans' Dr. James Diaz details characteristics of the mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus in the United States, their habitats and biting behaviors, as well as control measures, in a paper published in the December 2016, issue of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Penn State) Bacterial resistance does not come just through adaptation to antibiotics, sometimes the bacteria simply go to sleep. An international team of researchers is looking at compounds that attack bacteria's ability to go dormant and have found the first oxygen-sensitive toxin antitoxin system.

Scientists unlock genetic code of diseased lung cells to find new treatments for IPF

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center) Researchers cracked the complete genetic code of individual cells in healthy and diseased human lung tissues to find potential new molecular targets for diagnosing and treating the lethal lung disease Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). A team of scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with investigators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, publish their findings Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insights (JCI Insights).

Scientists examine bacterium found 1,000 feet underground

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) Researchers find a bacterium 1,000 feet underground (called Paenibacillus) that is resistant to 18 different antibiotics and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils. The scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern.

Blood-borne HPV antibodies indicate head, neck cancer prognosis

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Brown University) A new study in JAMA Oncology finds that the presence of particular antibodies of human papillomavirus in blood serum are reliable indicators of five-year head and neck cancer survival.

Smallpox, once thought an ancient disease, may have emerged in more recent times

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) New genetic research from an international team including McMaster University, University of Helsinki, Vilnius University and the University of Sydney, suggests that smallpox, a pathogen that caused millions of deaths worldwide, may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination.

Child mummy offers revised history of smallpox

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cell Press) A child mummy from the 17th century, found in a crypt underneath a Lithuanian church, was discovered to harbor the oldest known sample of the variola virus that causes smallpox. Researchers who sequenced the virus say it could help answer lingering questions about the history of smallpox, including how recently it appeared in humans (perhaps more recently than we thought) and when specific evolutionary events occurred. Their study appears Dec. 8 in Current Biology.

Genetic variant determines if stallions become carriers of equine arteritis virus

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) The change of just four nucleotides in the CXCL16 gene is all that is necessary to determine whether or not stallions are likely to become long-term carriers of EAV. Sanjay Sarkar, Ernest Baily and Udeni Balasuriya of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and colleagues report these findings Dec. 8, 2016 in PLOS Genetics.

Control of emerging Ebola infections could be aided by new monitoring method

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) New research on the 2014 Ebola epidemic tracks the rate at which infections move from one district to another and how often infections cross the borders between countries. This study, published in PLOS Computational Biology, could be used to analyze breakouts of new infectious diseases -- even when little is known about the transmission characteristics of the new infection.

Fast test can monitor drug resistance in hookworms

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) More than 2 billion people around the world are infected with intestinal helminths, parasitic worms that can cause disease, complicate pregnancies, and stunt the growth of children. A number of drugs are currently used to treat hookworms, one of the most common helminths to infect humans, but many worry that prolonged use of the drugs could lead to drug-resistant worms. Now, researchers have described, in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, a rapid test that can monitor hookworm DNA for drug resistance mutations.

Researchers combine MERS and rabies viruses to create innovative 2-for-1 vaccine

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Maryland School of Medicine) In a new study, researchers have modified a rabies virus, so that it has a protein from the MERS virus; this altered virus works as a 2-for-1 vaccine that protects mice against both Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and rabies.

Chemical mosquito controls ineffective in Zika fight

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of East Anglia) Some existing methods for controlling Zika-carrying mosquitoes are not effective and may even be counter-productive, according to research by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA).A review of previous studies into mosquito control interventions shows that there is a lack of clear evidence behind many of the strategies used to prevent the transmissions of insect-borne diseases like Zika virus, dengue and yellow fever.

How our immune system targets TB

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Monash University) Researchers have seen, for the very first time, how the human immune system recognizes tuberculosis (TB). These findings are the crucial step in developing better diagnostics and perhaps even vaccines for this deadly infection.

Raising the curtain on cerebral malaria's deadly agents

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Using state-of-the-art brain imaging technology, scientists at the National Institutes of Health filmed what happens in the brains of mice that developed cerebral malaria (CM). The results, published in PLOS Pathogens, reveal the processes that lead to fatal outcomes of the disease and suggest an antibody therapy that may treat it.

UTMB researchers find how Ebola disables the immune system

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston) A new study at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston sheds light on how Ebola so effectively disables the human immune system. Virologist Alex Bukreyev, UTMB professor and senior author of the study, said the research team engineered versions of the Ebola virus in order to study how the components responsible for thwarting or disabling our immune defenses wreak their havoc. The findings are described in the new edition of PLOS Pathogens.

Ban on triclosan shows need for new chemicals to demonstrate efficacy and safety

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus) A new commentary cautions that the Food and Drug Administration's ban on triclosan and 18 other biocidal chemicals that promote antibiotic resistance is only a starting point. Triclosan's long-term impact, as well the risks substitute chemicals may pose, must also be addressed.

Researchers discover a new gatekeeper controlling T cell release into the bloodstream

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland) A team of scientists led by Julie Saba, M.D., Ph.D. at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, has unveiled a novel role of thymic dendritic cells, which could result in new strategies to treat conditions such as autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, prematurity, infections, cancer, and the loss of immunity after bone marrow transplantation.

Growing mosquito populations linked to urbanization and DDT's slow decay

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Santa Cruz) Mosquito populations have increased as much as ten-fold over the past five decades in New York, New Jersey, and California, according to long-term datasets from mosquito monitoring programs. The number of mosquito species in these areas increased two- to four-fold in the same period. A new study finds the main drivers of these changes were the gradual waning of DDT concentrations in the environment and increased urbanization.

How the tuberculosis vaccine may protect against other diseases

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Cell Press) The tuberculosis vaccine is well known to help protect against other infectious diseases, as well as cancer, but the exact mechanisms have not been clear. A study publishedin Cell Reports now shows that the broad-spectrum effects of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine could be mediated by metabolic and epigenetic changes in white blood cells through a process called trained immunity. This discovery could pave the way for strategies that boost the effectiveness of vaccines.

CSU to provide bioprocessing expertise for Department of Defense

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Colorado State University) Facilities that manufacture biologic drugs like vaccines are a critical part of the nation's biodefense infrastructure. Possible breaches of data systems controlling these biomanufacturing supply chains call for an assessment of their vulnerability to cyberattacks. Colorado State University's Jean Peccoud is part of a multi-institutional team newly commissioned to analyze the security of the nation's biomanufacturing infrastructure.

Researchers stress the need for research on Ebola virus disease in great apes

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Wiley) Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a threat to human health, but it also threatens the survival of African great apes. A new review examines the current knowledge about EVD in great apes and documents the link between outbreaks in apes and in humans, mainly via bushmeat consumption.

RNA interference is activated in human response to influenza, other important viruses

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Massachusetts General Hospital) Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California, Riverside, have shown for the first time that RNA interference -- an antiviral mechanism known to be used by plants and lower organisms -- is active in the response of human cells to some important viruses.

New mechanism to control human viral infections discovered

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Riverside) A team of researchers, co-led by a University of California, Riverside professor, has found a long-sought-after mechanism in human cells that creates immunity to influenza A virus, which causes annual seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics.

New, more effective strategy for producing flu vaccines

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) A team of researchers led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, professor of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has developed technology that could improve the production of vaccines that protect people from influenza B.