Feature Channels: Infectious Diseases

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Released: 20-Mar-2023 12:05 PM EDT
Underactive immune response may explain obesity link to COVID-19 severity
University of Cambridge

Individuals who are obese may be more susceptible to severe COVID-19 because of a poorer inflammatory immune response, say Cambridge scientists.

Released: 20-Mar-2023 9:00 AM EDT
Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem. Learn all about it in the Drug Resistance channel.

Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridioides difficile, Candida auris, Drug-resistant Shigella. These bacteria not only have difficult names to pronounce, but they are also difficult to fight off. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global public health threat.

Newswise: Stickiness may determine how influenza spreads
Released: 20-Mar-2023 7:05 AM EDT
Stickiness may determine how influenza spreads
Washington University in St. Louis

Influenza viruses have an enormous impact in the U.S., with an estimated 25 million illnesses and 18,000 deaths in the 2022-23 flu season alone. However, the majority of virus particles are not infectious or are only partially infectious. How, then, do they become such a contagious and deadly virus?

Released: 17-Mar-2023 12:50 PM EDT
UW study investigates how ‘vaccine shopping’ impacts rollout during pandemic
University of Washington

New research from Leela Nageswaran, assistant professor of operations management in the University of Washington Foster School of Business, considers whether individuals should be able to select their vaccine type.

Released: 16-Mar-2023 7:25 PM EDT
An extra X chromosome-linked gene may explain decreased viral infection severity in females
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Researchers may have found why viral infections hit males more severely than females. They found that female mouse and human NK cells have an extra copy of an X chromosome-linked gene called UTX. UTX acts as an epigenetic regulator to boost NK cell anti-viral function, while repressing NK cell numbers.

Released: 16-Mar-2023 7:10 PM EDT
Paxlovid associated with lower risk of hospital admission
Kaiser Permanente

A Kaiser Permanente study confirms the benefit of nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, also known as Paxlovid, as an early-stage treatment to prevent hospitalization for people with mild to moderate COVID-19, regardless of prior immunity or age. The study was published March 15, 2023, in Lancet ID.

Released: 16-Mar-2023 4:25 PM EDT
Research sheds light on protections against COVID-19 variant infections
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Research is shedding light on why ‘breakthrough’ Omicron infections occur in vaccinated individuals and suggests those who are both vaccinated and experienced previous infection have better protection against getting sick again.

Newswise: Humans bite back by deactivating mosquito sperm
Released: 16-Mar-2023 2:40 PM EDT
Humans bite back by deactivating mosquito sperm
University of California, Riverside

New UC Riverside research makes it likely that proteins responsible for activating mosquito sperm can be shut down, preventing them from swimming to or fertilizing eggs.

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Released: 16-Mar-2023 2:25 PM EDT
‘The Last of Us’ for amphibians: University researchers trace emergence of fungus threatening African amphibians
San Francisco State University

For the past few years, how a virus triggered a global pandemic has dominated conversations. Now, thanks to the TV show “The Last of Us” (about an apocalypse triggered by brain-eating ’shrooms), fungi have infected popular culture.

Released: 16-Mar-2023 1:25 PM EDT
Scientists create antibody 'cocktail' to fight deadly Lassa virus
Argonne National Laboratory

A group of researchers have used the Advanced Photon Source to look at monoclonal antibodies to subvert the “shield” of the Lassa virus, potentially paving the way for new therapies.

Released: 15-Mar-2023 3:45 PM EDT
Don't keep hitting that snooze button! Get the latest research news and expert commentary on sleep here.

It's sleep awareness week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s important to understand how sleep deprivation can impact your health. Most people recognize that if they don’t get enough sleep, their mood and memory will suffer the next day.

Released: 15-Mar-2023 12:05 PM EDT
Common cold gives children immunity against COVID-19
Karolinska Institute

During the pandemic, it became clear that children who contracted COVID-19 became less ill than adults.

14-Mar-2023 2:15 PM EDT
Bird Flu Associated with Hundreds of Seal Deaths in New England in 2022, Tufts Researchers Find
Tufts University

Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was associated with the deaths of more than 330 New England harbor and gray seals along the North Atlantic coast in June and July 2022, and the outbreak was connected to a wave of avian influenza in birds in the region.

Released: 15-Mar-2023 11:05 AM EDT
Tune in, wash hands: COVID-19 TV coverage added momentum to hand hygiene boom
Osaka University

Long before COVID-19, washing and sterilizing hands were known to help prevent the spread of infections such as influenza, and hand hygiene practices were especially important in high-risk areas, such as hospitals. So it was something of a public health boon that COVID-19 abruptly increased hand hygiene awareness.

Newswise: ‘Glow-in-the-dark’ proteins could help diagnose viral diseases
10-Mar-2023 8:00 AM EST
‘Glow-in-the-dark’ proteins could help diagnose viral diseases
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Many highly sensitive diagnostic tests for viral diseases still require complicated techniques. But now, a team reporting in ACS Central Science has developed a sensitive method that analyzes viral nucleic acids quickly and can be completed in one step with “glow-in-the-dark” proteins.

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Released: 14-Mar-2023 10:00 AM EDT
The ‘Rapunzel’ virus: an evolutionary oddity
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

A recent study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has revealed the secret behind an evolutionary marvel: a bacteriophage with an extremely long tail. This extraordinary tail is part of a bacteriophage that lives in inhospitable hot springs and preys on some of the toughest bacteria on the planet.

Released: 13-Mar-2023 7:15 PM EDT
Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on incidence of long-term conditions in Wales
Swansea University

A population data linkage study using anonymised primary and secondary care health records in Swansea University’s SAIL Databank has revealed that in 2020 and 2021, fewer people in Wales were being diagnosed with long-term conditions than expected.

7-Mar-2023 2:00 PM EST
Painful, swirling skin lesions a rare symptom of undiagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis
American College of Physicians (ACP)

A patient presenting with painful, swirling skin lesions, chills, and weight loss was found to be suffering from erythema gyratum repens (EGR), a rare and striking skin condition that is associated with underlying malignancy in most cases, but in some cases can stem from an autoimmune disease, messenger RNA-based vaccines against COVID-19, or in rare cases, tuberculosis (TB). The case report from authors at Stanford University is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Released: 13-Mar-2023 2:30 PM EDT
Wayne State researchers develop new technology to easily detect active TB
Wayne State University Division of Research

A team of faculty from Wayne State University has discovered new technology that will quickly and easily detect active Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection antibodies.

Newswise: URI researcher discusses parasitic fungus at the heart of HBO sci-fi series
Released: 13-Mar-2023 1:20 PM EDT
URI researcher discusses parasitic fungus at the heart of HBO sci-fi series
University of Rhode Island

If you’re a fan of HBO’s post-apocalyptic series “The Last of Us” – or the video game that inspired it – you’ve probably heard the term Cordyceps. In the show, the parasitic fungus has mutated, graduating from infecting insects to humans – transforming them into mind-controlled zombies. But it’s not all science fiction. Niels-Viggo Hobbs Ph.D. ’16, a University of Rhode Island assistant teaching professor in biological sciences, lends his expertise to carefully walk us through the world of Cordyceps.

Newswise: A Quick New Way to Screen Virus Proteins for Antibiotic Properties
Released: 13-Mar-2023 11:30 AM EDT
A Quick New Way to Screen Virus Proteins for Antibiotic Properties
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A whole new world of antibiotics is waiting inside the viruses that infect bacteria. Our scientists are making it easier to study them.

Newswise: Avian influenza viruses could spawn the next human pandemic
Released: 13-Mar-2023 11:05 AM EDT
Avian influenza viruses could spawn the next human pandemic
University of Sydney

The next pandemic that cascades through the human population could be caused by a new influenza virus strain concocted in animals, against which humans will have little to no immunity.

10-Mar-2023 12:00 PM EST
Not getting enough sleep could blunt antibody response to vaccination, leaving you more vulnerable to infection
University of Chicago Medical Center

In reviewing data from previous studies, a team lead by researchers at the University of Chicago and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) found that individuals who had fewer than six hours of sleep per night in the days surrounding vaccination had a blunted antibody response. That indicates efforts to promote heathy sleep duration ahead of an immunization could be an easy way to improve vaccine effectiveness.

9-Mar-2023 5:25 PM EST
Too little sleep could make vaccination less effective
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

Sleeping fewer than six hours per night around the time of vaccination was associated with a robust decrease in antibody response, researchers found.

Released: 13-Mar-2023 10:25 AM EDT
History saved lives in this pandemic. Will society listen next time?
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

As the pandemic enters its fourth year, the medical historian whose team's work on the 1918 flu influenced the "flatten the curve" approach in 2020 reflects on what lessons for the future can be drawn by studying recent pandemic history.

Newswise: Mountainside Medical Center Recognized for Antimicrobial Stewardship
Released: 13-Mar-2023 9:00 AM EDT
Mountainside Medical Center Recognized for Antimicrobial Stewardship
Hackensack Meridian Health (Mountainside Medical Center)

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center has been recognized as a Silver Level Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program award recipient by the NJDOH.

Released: 13-Mar-2023 8:00 AM EDT
‘Deaths of Despair’ contribute to 17% rise in Minnesota’s death rate during COVID-19 pandemic
Mayo Clinic

According to a new study published by Mayo Clinic researchers, the COVID-19 pandemic was linked to a 17% increase in the death rate in Minnesota during the first year of the pandemic compared to the two previous years.

Newswise: New Class of Drugs Could Prevent Resistant COVID-19 Variants
Released: 10-Mar-2023 6:00 PM EST
New Class of Drugs Could Prevent Resistant COVID-19 Variants
Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital

The constant evolution of new COVID-19 variants makes it critical for clinicians to have multiple therapies in their arsenal for treating drug-resistant infections. Researchers have now discovered that a new class of oral drugs that acts directly on human cells can inhibit a diverse range of pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 strains. In their newly published study, the team found a novel mechanism through which the gene that expresses angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2)—the cellular receptor to which SARS-CoV-2 binds so that it can enter and infect the cell—is turned on.

Newswise: Immune cells have a backup mechanism
Released: 10-Mar-2023 5:20 PM EST
Immune cells have a backup mechanism
University of Bonn

The enzyme TBK1 is an important component of the innate immune system that plays a critical role in the defense against viruses. Upon mutation-induced loss of TBK1 function, patients show an increased susceptibility to viral infections.

Released: 10-Mar-2023 3:00 PM EST
Looking for risky viruses now to get ahead of future pandemics
Ohio State University

Rather than let the next outbreak take the world by surprise, two virologists say in a Science Perspective article published today (March 10, 2023) that the scientific community should invest in a four-part research framework to proactively identify animal viruses that might infect humans.

Released: 9-Mar-2023 6:15 PM EST
Study suggests little deterioration in mental health linked to the pandemic

Mental health among the general population has not changed by large amounts during the covid-19 pandemic compared with pre-pandemic levels, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Released: 9-Mar-2023 4:40 PM EST
Moving on from COVID means facing its impact on mental health, say experts
University of Sydney

A new review on the global mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic confirms feared increases in depression and anxiety, with leading experts saying little has been done to address what is set to become a mounting mental health crisis.

Newswise: New Class of Drugs May Prevent Infection by Wide Range of COVID-19 Variants
Released: 9-Mar-2023 11:05 AM EST
New Class of Drugs May Prevent Infection by Wide Range of COVID-19 Variants
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

A new class of oral drugs can inhibit a wide range of SARS-CoV-2 variants, researchers report, potentially identifying new antiviral agents providing broad activity against the constantly emerging new strains of the COVID-19 virus

Released: 8-Mar-2023 5:15 PM EST
Study associates long COVID with physical inactivity
Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The link between symptoms of COVID-19 and physical inactivity is increasingly evident. An article recently published in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil describes a study in which COVID-19 survivors with at least one persistent symptom of the disease were 57% more likely to be sedentary, and the presence of five or more post-acute sequelae of infection by SARS-CoV-2 increased the odds of physical inactivity by 138%.

Newswise: USU’s Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program Hosts First Science Symposium
Released: 8-Mar-2023 2:15 PM EST
USU’s Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program Hosts First Science Symposium
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)

Infectious diseases like COVID, HIV, and battlefield wound infections cause illness and disruptions that threaten health and military readiness across the nation. To help foster collaboration in the field and share best practices, the Uniformed Service University’s (USU) Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program (IDCRP) is hosting its first annual Science Symposium March 6-10.

Released: 8-Mar-2023 12:20 PM EST
First nasal monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 shows promise for treating virus, other diseases
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

A pilot trial by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, tested the nasal administration of the drug Foralumab, an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody.

6-Mar-2023 6:10 PM EST
How the Brain Senses Infection
Harvard Medical School

A new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School illuminates how the brain becomes aware that there is an infection in the body.

Released: 7-Mar-2023 1:30 PM EST
How differences in individual infections affect COVID-19 spread within households

Substantial variation in infectiousness among cases may strongly impact the way SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads in the population, even at the household level, shows a study published today in eLife.

Released: 7-Mar-2023 1:25 PM EST
Localized lockdowns could control pandemics while reducing socio-economic impact

Analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands suggests that locally targeted pandemic control measures could have been just as effective as national lockdowns, according to a study published today in eLife.

Released: 7-Mar-2023 10:05 AM EST
Cornell-developed anti-TB compound headed to trials
Cornell University

A novel compound that has the potential to starve the bacteria that causes tuberculosis – the world’s leading infectious killer after SARS-CoV2 – is entering human clinical trials.

Newswise: COVID-19 infections raise risk of long-term gastrointestinal problems
6-Mar-2023 7:00 PM EST
COVID-19 infections raise risk of long-term gastrointestinal problems
Washington University in St. Louis

A new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system shows that people who have been infected with COVID-19 are at an increased risk of developing a range of gastrointestinal conditions within the first month to a year after illness.

Released: 6-Mar-2023 7:20 PM EST
The next pandemic: Researchers develop tool to identify existing drugs to use in a future outbreak
New York University

A global team of researchers has created an algorithmic tool that can identify existing drugs in order to combat future pandemics. The work, reported in the Cell Press journal Heliyon, offers the possibility of responding more quickly to public-health crises.

Released: 6-Mar-2023 2:55 PM EST
Electronic Messages Improved Influenza Vaccination Rates in Nationwide Danish Study
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

To evaluate best strategies for increasing vaccination rates, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, collaborated with Danish researchers to develop and implement a nationwide trial in Denmark testing nine different electronic messaging tactics among adults over age 65.

Newswise: Temperature-stable TB vaccine safe, prompts immune response in NIH-supported study
Released: 6-Mar-2023 2:05 PM EST
Temperature-stable TB vaccine safe, prompts immune response in NIH-supported study
NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

A clinical trial testing a freeze-dried, temperature-stable experimental tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in healthy adults found that it was safe and stimulated both antibodies and responses from the cellular arm of the immune system.

Newswise: High-Dose Anticoagulation Can Reduce Intubations and Improve Survival for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Released: 6-Mar-2023 12:00 PM EST
High-Dose Anticoagulation Can Reduce Intubations and Improve Survival for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Mount Sinai Health System

High-dose anticoagulation can reduce deaths by 30 percent and intubations by 25 percent in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are not critically ill when compared to the standard treatment, which is low-dose anticoagulation.

Newswise: One in Four Parents Misled Others About Their Children Having COVID-19, Survey Finds
1-Mar-2023 4:35 PM EST
One in Four Parents Misled Others About Their Children Having COVID-19, Survey Finds
University of Utah Health

More than 25% of parents surveyed report that they were less than truthful about their children’s COVID-19 status or that they didn't follow the disease’s preventive guidelines during the pandemic for their offspring, according to a nationwide study led in part by University of Utah scientists.

Newswise: Eradicating Polio Will Require Changing the Current Public Health Strategy
6-Mar-2023 10:00 AM EST
Eradicating Polio Will Require Changing the Current Public Health Strategy
Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The recent public health emergency declarations in New York and London due to polio infections and detection of the virus in these cities’ wastewater strongly indicate that polio is no longer close to being eradicated. Now, four members of the Global Virus Network (GVN) proposed changes in global polio eradication strategy to get the world back on track to one day eliminating polio’s threat.

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