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State laws boost flu vaccination rates in health care workers

PITTSBURGH, March 2, 2016 - State laws mandating influenza immunization for people who work in health care increase their vaccination rates, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Read More

Kisses for your Valentine

Serratia marcencens and Corynebacterium xerosis on TSA make for a great valentine for any microbiologist! Read More

Potential Zika virus risk estimated for 50 US cities

BOULDER - Key factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows. Read More

IS IT A BIG MISTAKE TO IGNORE MINOR FLU STRAINS?

Minor variants of flu strains, which are not typically targeted in vaccines, carry a bigger viral punch than previously realized, according to a new study that examined samples from the 2009 pandemic in Hong Kong. Read More

Unknown Organism on Washed Hand Print

Unknown organism, possible Bacillus spp, washed hand print done on a TSA plate. Organism was the size of a dime, muciod/ rhizoid in the center and mat/smooth at the outer edges. Read More

An ancient killer: Ancestral malarial organisms traced to age of dinosaurs

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A new analysis of the prehistoric origin of malaria suggests that it evolved in insects at least 100 million years ago, and the first vertebrate hosts of this disease were probably reptiles, which at that time would have included the dinosaurs. Read More

Pandemic E. coli strain H30 cloaks its stealth strategies

The difficulty in subduing the pandemic strain of drug-resistant E. coli, called H30, may go beyond patient vulnerability or antibiotic resistance. This form of the disease-pathogen may have an intrinsic ability to cause persistent, harmful, even deadly infections. Read More

Acid-fast bacilli

Acid-fast bacilli in auramine rhodamine stain. Read More

JAMA Viewpoint: Emerging Zika pandemic requires more WHO action now

WASHINGTON - The World Health Organization's Director-General should convene "urgently" a meeting of International Health Regulations' Emergency Committee to advise on the emerging Zika pandemic and galvanize global action, say two Georgetown University professors. Read More

Infant-friendly flu vaccine developed with key protein

According to the World Health Organization, influenza causes serious illness among millions of people each year, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Those most at risk include infants younger than six months, because they cannot be vaccinated against the disease. Now, researchers at the Univ... Read More

Zika virus plaque assay

Several weeks ago we perfected a plaque assay for Zika virus, based on our existing assays for enteroviruses. Shown is a photograph of two plates stained with crystal virolet with clearly delineated plaques. The cells are Vero and the Zika virus strain is MR766, an African isolate. Anyone intere... Read More

Neanderthals may have been infected by diseases carried out of Africa by humans

A new study suggests that Neanderthals across Europe may well have been infected with diseases carried out of Africa by waves of anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens. As both were species of hominin, it would have been easier for pathogens to jump populations, say researchers. This might ... Read More

Global spread of Zika linked to types of mosquitos that transmit it

More cities than previously assumed could soon grapple with the Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease, a University of Texas at Austin disease ecologist and his colleagues argue in the current edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Read More

'Self-sabotage' prevents immune protection against malaria

Australian scientists have for the first time revealed how malaria parasites cause an inflammatory reaction that sabotages our body's ability to protect itself against the disease. Read More

Canadian innovation for killing mosquito eggs could help Zika fight

Toronto, Canada - With Canadian Government funding, a team of innovators from Canada and Mexico have successfully tested a low cost, environmentally-friendly way of destroying the eggs of the mosquito genus that spreads dengue, and likely spreading the Zika virus. Read More

Typhoid toxin increases host survival and promotes asymptomatic infection

Genotoxins damage the genetic material in cells and can cause mutations and cancer. Some bacteria code for and produce genotoxins. A study published on April 7th in PLOS Pathogens reports the surprising finding that one of them, typhoid toxin, actually increases survival of the infected host and... Read More

Certain herpes viruses can infect human neurons

PHILADELPHIA - For years, researchers have noted a tantalizing link between some neurologic conditions and certain species of the herpes virus. In patients with Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebellar ataxia, among other neuropathies, the cerebrospinal fluid teems with Epstein-Ba... Read More

NIH launches large clinical trials of antibody-based HIV prevention

Enrollment has begun in the first of two multinational clinical trials of an intravenously delivered investigational antibody for preventing HIV infection. Known as the AMP Studies, for antibody-mediated prevention, the trials will test whether giving people an investigational anti-HIV antibody ... Read More

HITTING INFECTIONS HARD CAN BE ‘THE WORST THING TO DO’

The standard practice of treating infections with the highest tolerable dose of antibiotic medications may not always be best way of preventing the evolution of drug resistance, a new study suggests. Read More

Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease

While most West Nile Virus (WNV) infections in humans are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, the virus causes serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness in some people. A study published on January 21st in PLOS Pathogens suggests that an exaggerated and abnormal immune response contributes to th... Read More
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