Researchers have eliminated caged mosquitoes using 'gene drive' technology to spread a genetic modification that blocks female reproduction.
Australian researchers have discovered a way to halt the invasion of the toxoplasmosis-causing parasite into cells, depriving the parasite of a key factor necessary for its growth. The findings are a key step in getting closer to a vaccine to protect pregnant women from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which carries a serious risk of miscarriage or birth defects.
Lyme borreliosis is a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia that are transmitted by a bite from a tick of the genus Ixodes. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur found evidence of rapid bacterial transmission following a bite, with infection occurring within 24 hours of an adult tick bite. This is a timely reminder of the importance of removing ticks as soon as possible after being bitten to prevent infection.
A new outbreak of a rare but preventable eye infection that can cause blindness, has been identified in contact lens wearers in a new study led by UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital researchers. The research team found a threefold increase in Acanthamoeba keratitis since 2011 in South-East England.
Hookworms exploit a live fast/die young strategy in their South American fur seal pup hosts, report Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Georgia. As a result, they often kill their host, rather than finding a happy equilibrium. Scientists are concerned that this type of hookworm infection could eventually pose a risk to critically endangered populations of fur seals.
A novel study indicates promising avenues in an innovative approach for developing a vaccine against Plasmodium vivax, the most prevalent human malaria parasite outside sub-Saharan Africa. The study, led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, indicates the possibility of using small vesicles (or exosomes) secreted by immature red blood cells as a vaccine platform against malaria. The paper, carried out in collaboration with IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, was published in Scientific Reports.
Scientists have found a way to boost the efficacy of the antimalarial drug artemesinin with the help of chemotherapy medicines. Artemisinin works through a 'double whammy' attack on the deadly parasite. The drug damages proteins in malaria parasites and clogs the parasite's waste disposal system, known as the proteasome, which chemo can target.
Since 2010, pistachio farmers from Sicily have been reporting a disease on the trees, characterised by cankers and declines, sometimes leading to the collapse of entire plants. Having surveyed 15 pistachio orchards from three provinces, as well as potted plants, an international team of researchers identified a new disease caused by a previously unknown fungus. The aetiology of the disease and the new pathogenic species are described in the open access journal MycoKeys.
Researchers have identified compounds that could prevent malaria parasites from being able to infect mosquitoes, halting the spread of disease.
Sleeping sickness-causing parasites contain an unusual protein synthesis machinery. A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Berne resolved its very special structure for the first time.