How chikungunya virus may cause chronic joint pain

A new method for permanently marking cells infected with chikungunya virus could reveal how the virus continues to cause joint pain for months to years after the initial infection, according to a study published August 29 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Deborah Lenschow of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues. According to the authors, […]

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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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Thermally stable TB vaccine closer to reality thanks to microscopic silica cages: A promising TB vaccine can be protected from heat damage

Scientists working on a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine have achieved a major step forward by showing that a promising TB antigen and a novel vaccine adjuvant can be protected from heat damage with a technique developed at the University of Bath. Their method prevents these crucial vaccine components from spoiling outside of a fridge — meaning a thermally stable vaccine […]

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High-risk pregnancy: The interferon effect: Discovery of a cellular mechanism involved in abnormal placental development during some high-risk pregnancies

High-risk pregnancies occur frequently and may be caused by various factors. It is estimated that 10 to 20% of pregnant women miscarry during their first trimester of pregnancy. Slow fetal growth may also arise as a result of maternal infection with certain microbes, parasites or viruses (such as toxoplasmosis or infection with rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes or Zika) or because […]

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Strain of common cold virus could revolutionize treatment of bladder cancer

A strain of the common cold virus has been found to potentially target, infect and destroy cancer cells in patients with bladder cancer, a new study in the medical journal Clinical Cancer Research reports. No trace of the cancer was found in one patient following treatment with the virus. Researchers from the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey County Hospital […]

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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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Probiotic-derived molecule may suppress fatal brain inflammation, preclinical study finds: Scientists explore how swallowing a ‘bacterial envelope molecule’ may prime your body to fend off viral infections

The existence of certain microorganisms in your gut may bolster the immune system’s ability to fend off a herpes viral attack that can cause fatal brain inflammation, reports a new City of Hope-led study. Researchers say the findings are the first to suggest that an envelope molecule from a bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis) might be useful against viral […]

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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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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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