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Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

A minor-league pitcher in his younger days, Richard Armbruster kept playing baseball recreationally into his 70s, until his right hip started bothering him. Last February he went to a St. Louis hospital for what was to be a routine hip replacement.

By late March, Mr. Armbruster, then 78, was ... Read More

Could Mini Labs and Plant-Based Vaccines Stop the Next Pandemic?

The H1N1 virus's rapid spread worldwide last year exposed the weaknesses in the global system for swiftly developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines for newly identified strains of influenza. In Texas, researchers are attacking the first two of these problems through Project GreenVax, ... Read More

Toilet Seats: Can You Catch Infections from Them?

Recently in the news, there was a noted “rash” of toilet seat rashes caused from contact with harsh cleaning chemicals that rubbed against the bottoms and thighs of toddlers. While these skin eruptions were caused by direct irritation, it reminds me of why so many women, including myself, never ... Read More

Mars's Environment Shown to Be Hostile, but Not Untenable for Earthly Microbes

Microbes similar to those on Earth would have a tough time surviving the harsh environment of Mars, but it is not inconceivable that they could persist there given a little protection, according to a new study. The finding supports similar, previous work and lends credence to the theory that if ... Read More

Cholera - a model problem solved?

Studying cholera just got a little easier, thanks to a new (old) animal model. For years, cholera research has relied on some less than ideal animal models: infant mice, which don't develop the diarrhea characteristic of severe cholera infection, and infant rabbits, which require surgery to inf... Read More

Novel Compound Found Effective Against Avian Influenza Virus

A novel compound is highly effective against the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, including some drug-resistant strains, according to new research led by a University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist.

The work, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens on Feb. 26,... Read More

In Blitz to Kill One Kind of Infectious Bacteria, Other Untreatable Strains Emerge

Move over MRSA; a new battery of Gram-negative bacteria are quietly carving out big names for themselves, killing thousands of hospital patients each year as doctors look on with few effective tools to fight them. What’s worse, though these resistant strains are spreading, there are no effectiv... Read More

Cannabinoid receptor activation blocks HIV Tat protein induced macrophage migration: a new avenue for therapeutics

We all are very familiar with the effects of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on the body. Relaxation, pain relief, and increased appetite probably come first to mind. These psychoactive effects result from activation of the CB1 receptor found on cells in the brain by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)... Read More

E. Coli as Sole Indicator of Water Pollution Questioned

In Ireland, bacterial contamination of water is a national concern, with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting that over 25% of groundwater samples were contaminated with E. coli in the 2004 to 2006 period. E. coli is the most important indicator used in Ireland and its presence indicate... Read More

Newly Engineered Enzyme Is a Powerful Staph Antibiotic

With their best chemical antibiotics slowly failing, scientists are increasingly looking to nature for a way to control deadly staph bacteria -- the culprit behind most hospital infections. Naturally toxic for bacteria, enzymes called lysins have the promising ability to obliterate staph, but th... Read More

Multiple Sclerosis Onset: Could Mycobacteria Play a Role?

A non-pathogenic bacterium is capable to trigger an autoimmune disease similar to the multiple sclerosis in the mouse, the model animal which helps to explain how human diseases work. This is what a group of researchers from the Catholic University of Rome, led by Francesco Ria (Institute of Gen... Read More

HIV drug resistance lasts about 1 year in women treated with nevirapine to prevent infant infection

A new international study reported in PLoS Medicine confirms that a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) can lead to HIV treatment failure in women who receive the drug to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus to their infants. However, the increased risk of failure could only be detected in women... Read More

Beewolves Protect Their Offspring With Antibiotics; Digger Wasp Larvae Use Bacteria Against Infections

Digger wasps of the genus Philanthus, so-called beewolves, house beneficial bacteria on their cocoons that guarantee protection against harmful microorganisms.

Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena teamed up with researchers at the University of Regensburg and th... Read More

TWiV 71: Please Mr. Postman

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On episode #71 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan and Rich answer listener questions about maternal infection and fetal injury, viral gene therapy, eyeglasses and influenza... Read More

U.S. company Virxsys says using AIDS to fight AIDS

Maryland-based Virxsys Corp said tests on monkeys showed its HIV-based vaccine might at least treat infections, if not prevent them, and it is now seeking permission to try it in people.

And the privately held company is encouraged by some early results of a gene therapy approach to controlli... Read More

Deadly Flu Virus Made In A Lab

Just how dangerous influenza viruses can be has been shown by a research project which involved the mixing of very dangerous bird influenza viruses with ordinary more contagious influenza viruses. The researchers led by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin-Madison mixed u... Read More

Noroviruses -- they're not just for cruise ships anymore

True, the most highly publicized outbreaks of norovirus do seem to occur on cruise ships, and only in part because the idea of fun-loving tourists (i.e. vacationers) getting sick elicits a perverse pleasure in everyone else (i.e. non-vacationers). But lack of a desire to chug through pristine oc... Read More

World Salmon Supply to Drop Most Since 1990 on Virus

Global supply of Atlantic salmon will decline the most in two decades this year after a virus decimated output in Chile, bolstering the steepest advance in Norwegian prices since at least 2000.

The harvest will drop 5 percent to 9 percent, the first “significant” decline since 1990, said Joer... Read More

Germs in tobacco are potential source of respiratory infections blamed on smoking

Cigarettes host a bacterial bonanza of hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new genetics study reports.

The data support findings described last September by scientists at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. They extracted tobacco... Read More

Deadly Germs Largely Ignored By Drug Firms

Gram-negative bacteria are practically built to withstand drugs, which is one reason few drug makers have rushed to pursue treatments.

The bacteria have a double cell membrane to shield them, compared with Gram-positive organisms, which have a single membrane. They can make various enzymes t... Read More

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