Glucose Transporters Blocked in Bacterial Meningitis

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Escherichia coli K1 (E. coli K1) continues to be a major threat to the health of young infants. Affecting the central nervous system, it causes neonatal meningitis by multiplying in immune cells, such as macrophages, and then disseminating into the bloodstream Meningitis can be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral pathogens. One hallmark of bacterial meningitis is reduced glucose levels … Read More

Could Yellow Fever Virus Cause a Zika-like Epidemic in the Americas

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Yellow fever virus (YFV), a close relative of Zika virus and transmitted by the same type of mosquito, is the cause of an often-fatal viral hemorrhagic fever and could spread via air travel from endemic areas in Africa to cause international epidemics. The recent reemergence and spread of YFV in Africa and Asia and the dire shortage of YFV vaccine … Read More

Public Health Officials Investigating Unique Case of Zika in Utah

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Utah health officials confirmed today a new case of Zika in Utah and have launched an investigation to determine how the person became infected. The new case is a family contact who helped care for the individual who died from unknown causes and who had been infected with Zika after traveling to an area with Zika. Laboratories at the Centers … Read More

Discovery of a New Defense System Against Microbial Pathogens

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Antibodies play an important role in host defense against microbial pathogens. However, microbial pathogens seem to have acquired a protease that destroys antibodies in order to evade host immune system. On the other hand, the host immune system appears to have acquired an immune activating receptor, LILRA2, that specifically recognizes microbially cleaved antibodies. Courtesy of Osaka University For the first … Read More

Staph Risk Runs in Families, Especially Among Siblings

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Having a first-degree relative, especially a sibling, with a history of staph infection significantly increases a person’s risk for the disease, regardless of sex of the family member, co-morbid conditions, or direct contamination. The results of a large national study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The incidence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, or staph infection, has increased over the … Read More

Anthrax Capsule Vaccine Shown to Protect Against Lethal Inhalational Anthrax in Primate Model

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Vaccination with the anthrax capsule–a naturally occurring component of the bacterium that causes the disease–completely protected monkeys from lethal anthrax infection, according to a study published online this week in the journal VACCINE. These results indicate that anthrax capsule is a highly effective vaccine component that should be considered for incorporation in future generation anthrax vaccines. Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium … Read More

Alpaca-Derived Antibodies Point to Targets Preventing Viral Infection

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Whitehead Institute scientists have determined how to use alpaca-derived, single-domain antibody fragments (also called VHHs or nanobodies) to perturb cellular processes in mammalian cells, including the infection of human cells by influenza A virus (IAV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). With improved knowledge of protein activity, scientists can tease apart the roles individual proteins play in cellular pathways, understand how … Read More

How to Diagnose Systemic Infections Much More Quickly and Reliably

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To date, there are no methods that can quickly and accurately detect pathogens in blood to allow the diagnosis of systemic bloodstream infections that can lead to life-threatening sepsis. The standard of care for detecting such blood-borne infections is blood culture, but this takes days to complete, only identifies pathogens in less than 30 percent of patients with fulminant infections, and … Read More

Angina Drug Could Inform a New Strategy to Fight Cryptococcosis

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A drug more commonly used in the treatment of angina could be the focus of a new strategy in fighting the fatal fungal infection cryptococcosis. Researchers from the University of Birmingham found that the compound fendiline hydrochloride could be used to stimulate a patient’s own white blood cells to fight the disease more effectively, instead of trying to use drugs … Read More

WHO doubles Zika sexual abstinence wait to 8 weeks before trying to conceive

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Caio Julio Vasconcelos who was born with microcephaly, an abnormally small head, is kissed by a therapist at the Institute for the Blind in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, in February. (Andre Penner/Associated Press) The UN health agency says sexual transmission of Zika is more common than first thought, so its updated advice to women who have been in areas hit by the virus tells them to … Read More