New Zika Clone Could be New Model for Developing Vaccine

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Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus – which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers – depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently cloned an epidemic strain of the virus, creating a model that can help biologists develop and test strategies for stopping the … Read More

Time of Day Influences Our Susceptibility to Infection, Study Finds

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We are more susceptible to infection at certain times of the day as our body clock affects the ability of viruses to replicate and spread between cells, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The findings, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help explain why shift workers, whose body clocks are routinely disrupted, … Read More

Clinical Trial Will Examine Investigational Vaccine Against Mosquito-Borne Illness

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As world leaders increasingly recognize the Zika virus as an international public health threat, the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Global Health has been chosen as one of three study sites in a human safety trial of a new Zika vaccine. The early-stage study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and … 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

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

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

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

Yellow Fever Epidemic Threatens to Spread from Angola to China

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This map shows the distribution of Aedes aegypti across Africa and the Asia-Pacific region (areas shaded pink). The red outline delineates yellow fever-endemic regions. Yellow dots represent the location of yellow fever cases related to the Angolan outbreak (source: HealthMap). Commercial flight routes with direct connections between Luanda and Beijing and indirect connections from Luanda to South and Southeast Asia … Read More