As globalization and climate change spread tropical infectious diseases around the globe, not all populations have the same degree of susceptibility. Researchers from the Institut Pasteur, CNRS and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health-University of Porto (i3S) identified gene variants common in people of Asian and European ancestry, making them more prone than those of African origin to developing severe dengue, which can lead to potentially fatal dengue shock syndrome.
Researchers at New York University College of Dentistry, in collaboration with Rheonix, Inc., are developing a novel test for Zika virus that uses saliva to identify diagnostic markers of the virus in a fraction of the time of current commercial tests.
Bats are known to harbor highly pathogenic viruses like Ebola or Marburg and yet they do not show clinical signs of disease. In a paper published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe on February 22, scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China find that in bats, an antiviral immune pathway called the STING-interferon pathway is dampened, and bats can maintain just enough defense against illness without triggering a heightened immune reaction.
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.
To detect detect intestinal schistosome infections, the World Health Organization recommends using the Kato-Katz technique, which analyzes slides of fecal matter. But the approach often misses people who are infected with only a low burden of parasites and, as a consequence, shed only a few eggs in fecal samples. Researchers have now analyzed the efficacy of other testing approaches in a setting with low parasite burden; their results appear in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Researchers have discovered crucial new processes that allow malaria parasites to escape red blood cells and infect other cells, offering potential new treatment targets. The team are already working with pharmaceutical companies to use this knowledge to develop new antimalarial drugs - a critical step in the battle against drug-resistant malaria.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014-2015 disrupted the provision of healthcare in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. In a research article published this week in PLOS Medicine, Bradley Wagenaar, of the University of Washington, and colleagues quantify the health system output losses in Liberia during and in the immediate aftermath of the EVD outbreak, and the recovery of the health systems in the two years following.
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones that are active on human cells. The discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause diabetes or cancer.
Scientists have mapped for the first time the midgut metabolites of the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that can transmit viruses that cause dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever to humans.
The antioxidant drug ebselen can prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus from male to female mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens by Yogy Simanjuntak and colleagues at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. The results hint at a potential role for ebselen in preventing Zika spread among humans.