Copycat fungus deceives immune system and deactivates body’s response to infection

Fungus can imitate signals from our immune system and prevent our body from responding to infection, new research from the University of Sheffield has found. Life-threatening fungal infection is a major killer of people with immune system problems such as blood cancers, HIV infection or following organ transplant. The new study focused on one of the most dangerous infections for […]

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How viruses outsmart their host cells: Scientists decipher protein structure after more than fifty years of research

Viruses depend on host cells for replication, but how does a virus induce its host to transcribe its own genetic information alongside that of the virus, thus producing daughter viruses? For decades, researchers have been studying a type of bacteriophage known as ‘lambda’ to try and find an answer to this question. Using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, a research group from […]

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Pan-filovirus T-cell vaccine protects mice from Ebola and Marburg

Vaccines that induce protective T-cell responses could protect against members across the filovirus family, according to a study published February 28 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Tomáš Hanke of the University of Oxford, Bette Korber of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and colleagues. Developing an effective vaccine against filovirus outbreaks is an important public health aim. Vaccine candidates […]

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How a fungus can cripple the immune system: Research team clarifies the mechanism of gliotoxin, a mycotoxin from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

It is everywhere — and it is extremely dangerous for people with a weakened immune system. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus occurs virtually everywhere on Earth, as a dark grey, wrinkled cushion on damp walls or in microscopically small spores that blow through the air and cling to wallpaper, mattresses and floors. Healthy people usually have no problem if spores find […]

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Mobile, instant diagnosis of viruses

A new high-throughput, miniature, portable sequencing technique* has been developed in recent years, for human and animal health purposes. It uses mobile laboratories to diagnose viruses such as Ebola or Zika almost instantly, in the field. Diagnosis is both quick and early, which avoids the need to transfer contaminated samples. “The technology is characterized by the production of long nucleotide […]

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Bacterial immunity and infectious disease

Patients with cystic fibrosis are often infected by pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that infects the lungs and prevents breathing, often causing death. P. aeruginosa itself can also be infected by viruses, which can affect the clinical outcomes of cystic fibrosis patients. “Just like humans get infected by bacteria, the bacteria get infected by viruses,” said Rachel Whitaker, a professor of […]

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Novel anti-inflammatory bacterial protein discovered: Newly discovered protein alleviates intestinal inflammation and septic shock in an animal model

Researchers at the University of Oregon have identified a novel protein secreted by a common gut bacterium in zebrafish that reduces inflammation in the gut and delays death by septic shock. By examining how the protein, Aeromonas immune modulator (AimA), mutually benefits both the bacteria and their larval zebrafish hosts, the research team’s experiments shed light on how animals and […]

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Showerhead bacteria and lung infections: Researchers find correlation

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder have now shown that the regions in the United States where pathogenic mycobacteria are most prevalent in showerheads are the same regions where nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infections are most common. The study, published in the journal, mBio, emphasizes the important role of showerheads in the transmission of NTM infections. Bacteria thrive in […]

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