Diet impacts the sensitivity of gut microbiome to antibiotics, mouse study finds

Antibiotics save countless lives each year from harmful bacterial infections — but the community of beneficial bacteria that live in human intestines, known as the microbiome, frequently suffers collateral damage. Peter Belenky, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown University, studies ways to minimize this side effect, which can lead to C. diff infections and other life-threatening […]

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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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Superbug virulence regulatory mechanism revealed: Pave ways for developing new antibiotics

As antibiotic resistance is growing and posing a threat on public health, developing new antibiotics has become more urgent than ever. Researchers at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have recently revealed the virulence regulatory mechanism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a superbug which is common in patients with a weak immune system and is resistant to many antibiotics. The findings pave […]

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Deadly tick-borne virus cured with experimental flu drug, in mice: Bourbon virus has sickened people in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma

Only a few cases of the newly discovered Bourbon virus have been reported, and two of them ended in death, partly because no specific treatments are available for the tick-borne illness. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an experimental antiviral drug that cures mice infected with the potentially lethal virus. The drug, favipiravir, […]

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Over-fed bacteria make people sick

In a new hypothesis, a CRC 1182 research team suggests that inflammatory diseases are caused by an over-supply of food, and the associated disturbance of the intestine’s natural bacterial colonization. Since the end of the Second World War, along with the growing prosperity and the associated changes in lifestyle, numerous new and civilisation-related disease patterns have developed in today’s industrialised […]

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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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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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