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Role of breast cell infection in flu transmission between mothers and breast-feeding ferrets

Influenza is known as an infectious respiratory disease, but a study published on October 8th in PLOS Pathogens suggests that infected cells in breast tissues could play a role in virus transmission from mothers to breast-feeding infants and vice versa using a ferret model. Read More

Mobile phone records may predict epidemics of mosquito-borne dengue virus

Boston, MA -- A new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that mobile phone records can be used to predict the geographical spread and timing of dengue epidemics. More people around the world are becoming vulnerable to this deadly virus as climate change exp... Read More

Viral variation in single cells

It is well known that virus populations display phenomenal diversity. Virus populations are dynamic distributions of nonidentical but related members called a quasispecies. This diversity is restricted in single cells, but is restored within two infectious cycles. Read More

Kicking latent HIV: New strategies to reactivate reservoirs of latent infection

In cells with latent HIV infection, the virus is dormant, and such cells are therefore not attacked by the immune system or by standard antiretroviral therapy. To eradicate the virus from the human body and truly cure a patient, reservoirs of latently infected cells need to be activated and elim... Read More

VIRUSES FROM NEWBORN GUT ARE NEW TO SCIENCE

Shortly after a baby’s birth, bacteria aren’t the only invaders to colonize the gut. Viruses move in, too, according to new research. Read More

Oysters harbor, transmit human norovirus: Avoid raw ones

Washington DC - August 28, 2015 - Oysters not only transmit human norovirus; they also serve as a major reservoir for these pathogens, according to research published August 28 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "More than 80 percent of... Read More

Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses

Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus such as the one that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of ... Read More

Improved survival of HIV patients facilitates heart disease research

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2015) - The improved survival rate of HIV patients in sub-Saharan Africa due to effective treatment programs is increasing the ability of researchers in Africa to study the impacts of cardiovascular disease in HIV patients, according to a guest editor page published today in... Read More

Women's Hall of Fame inducts past ASM president, UR's pioneer in infections

On Oct. 3 Barbara Iglewski, past president of the American Society for Microbiology, will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, which praised her "landmark discovery" that "has had an enormous impact nationally and globally." Iglewski spent about 40 years — most at the University o... Read More

TWiP 83 letters


Robin writes:


Malaria: shaking chills & fever (followed by sweats, not specifically mentioned in this case), is a characteristic of malaria that is unforgettable once one has had it (I had malaria four times).


Thick blood smears is de rigueur.
So... Read More

Safer, with more benefits: Parents' vaccine views shifting

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Over the same time period that multiple outbreaks of measles and whooping cough made headlines around the country, parents' views on vaccines became more favorable, according to a new nationally-representative poll. Read More

HIV cure research: NIH scientists create 2-headed protein to deplete HIV reservoir

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created a protein that awakens resting immune cells infected with HIV and facilitates their destruction in laboratory studies. The protein potentially could contribute to a cure for HIV infection by helping deplete the reservoir of long-... Read More

Malaria's key to the liver uncovered

Scientists uncover a port of liver entry for malaria parasites in a report published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. If these results hold up in humans, drugs that target this entry protein might help prevent the spread of disease. Read More

$7 million grant aids efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at eliminating river blindness and elephantiasis, two neglected tropical diseases that annually sicken millions. Read More

Studies raise questions about impact of statins on flu vaccination in seniors

A new pair of studies suggests that statins, drugs widely used to reduce cholesterol, may have a detrimental effect on the immune response to influenza vaccine and the vaccine's effectiveness at preventing serious illness in older adults. Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the find... Read More

Paper-based test can quickly diagnose Ebola in remote areas (video)

BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2015 -- When a fever strikes in a developing area, the immediate concern may be: Is it the common flu or something much worse that requires quarantine? To facilitate diagnosis in remote, low-resource settings, researchers have developed a paper-based device that changes color, d... Read More

'Ensemble' modeling could lead to better flu forecasts, study finds

By combining data from a variety of non-traditional sources, a research team led by computational epidemiologists at Boston Children's Hospital has developed predictive models of flu-like activity that provide robust real-time estimates (aka "now-casts") of flu activity and accurate forecasts of... Read More

Yet another reason to avoid methamphetamine: negative effects of meth on wound healing

Dr. Luis Martinez was on a dream vacation with his three boys. Far from their native New York home, they were traveling along the California coast with the ultimate stop at Disneyland. Unfamiliar with the roads, Martinez took a wrong turn outside of Fresno and found himself in a less pleasant pa... Read More

My first "Mu-Tube" video promoting microbial literacy: What does "microbiology" mean to students?

For my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound, I decided to ask my new crop of "micronauts" what the word "microbiology" meant to them on the first day of class. Here are their answers. My wife Jennifer Quinn and I put this together using art from former students. Hopefully, thi... Read More

Guinea reports Ebola-free week, but Sierra Leone has 5 cases

For the first time in more than a year, Guinea passed a week without a new lab-confirmed Ebola case, but the news out of West Africa last week was tempered by a flare-up of activity in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today in its latest update. Read More
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