Ron Trewyn, Kansas State University NBAF liaison, writes to encourage people to watch THE HOT ZONE, a National Geographic limited series inspired by two Kansas State University veterinarians and leaders and their work during the 1989 Ebola-related outbreak in Virginia.
In both cell cultures and mouse models, a drug used to treat Hepatitis C effectively protected and rescued neural cells infected by the Zika virus — and blocked transmission of the virus to mouse fetuses. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil and elsewhere, say their findings support further investigation of using the repurposed drug as a potential treatment for Zika-infected adults, including pregnant women.
Healthy adults mounted strong immune responses after receiving an investigational whole inactivated Zika virus vaccine, according to interim analyses of three Phase 1, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The findings were published today in The Lancet.
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it. New research in PLOS Pathogens on Nov. 16, performed in mice, shows women who develop symptom-free Zika infections may be able to acquire immunity that would protect them from future infections and their offspring in a future pregnancy.
The same countries hard hit by Zika virus – which can cause brain damage in babies infected before birth – are also home to dengue virus. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers report that they have found an antibody that protects against both viruses. These findings, in mice, could be a step towards an antibody-based preventative drug to protect fetuses from brain damage, while also protecting their mothers from both Zika and dengue disease.
Currently, testing for Zika requires that a blood sample be refrigerated and shipped to a medical center or laboratory, delaying diagnosis and possible treatment. Now, Washington University in St. Louis researchers have developed a test that quickly can detect the presence of Zika virus in blood. Although the new proof-of-concept technology has yet to be produced for use in medical situations, test results can be determined in minutes, and the materials do not require refrigeration.
UF/IFAS researchers used a baseline comparison of infection and transmission rates of Florida mosquitoes to those from the Dominican Republic, a region associated with numerous human cases.
Barry Alto, an associate professor of entomology at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, led a team of UF/IFAS researchers that measured mosquito infection and transmission of the emergent strains of chikungunya -- Asian and Indian Ocean – in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
A new study in mice shows that females vaccinated before pregnancy and infected with Zika virus while pregnant bear pups who show no trace of the virus. The findings offer the first evidence that an effective vaccine can protect vulnerable fetuses from Zika infection and resulting injury.
Southern Research scientists are investigating how the Zika virus is able to find a safe harbor in an infected host’s tissue and stage a rebound weeks after the virus was seemingly cleared by the immune system.
Zika virus infection passes efficiently from a pregnant monkey to its fetus, spreading inflammatory damage throughout the tissues that support the fetus and the fetus’s developing nervous system, and suggesting a wider threat in human pregnancies than generally appreciated.
Many people might not have heard of the Aedes aegypti mosquito until this past year, when the mosquito, and the disease it can carry – Zika – began to make headlines. But more than 220 years ago, this same breed of mosquito was spreading a different and deadly epidemic right here in Philadelphia and just like Zika, this epidemic is seeing a modern resurgence, with Brazil at its epicenter.
As the Zika virus continues to spread rapidly across the globe, it might pose a particular risk to people previously infected with two related viruses, dengue and West Nile, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found. Their study, published in the journal Science, may help explain the severe manifestations of Zika virus infection observed in specific populations, including those in South America.
Researchers predicted the places in the continental U.S. where Zika is most likely to be transmitted are the Mississippi delta and southern states extending northward along the Atlantic coast and in southern California.
About the size of a tablet, a portable device that could be used in a host of environments like a busy airport or even a remote location in South America, may hold the key to detecting the dreaded Zika virus accurately, rapidly and inexpensively using just a saliva sample. For about $2 and within 15 minutes, researchers hope to accurately determine whether or not an individual has an active infection.
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered the details behind the virus’s unique ability to cross the placental barrier and expose the fetus to a range of birth defects that often go beyond microcephaly to include eye and joint injury, and even other types of brain damage.
Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians with the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine published a case study today in The New England Journal of Medicine, describing in detail the nation's first locally-transmitted case of Zika.
Researchers identified a panel of small molecules that inhibit Zika virus infection, including one that stands out as a potent inhibitor of Zika viral entry into relevant human cell types. They screened a library of 2,000 bioactive compounds for their ability to block Zika virus infection in three distinct cell types using two strains of the virus.
A team of researchers, co-led by a University of California, Riverside professor, has found a long-sought-after mechanism in human cells that creates immunity to influenza A virus, which causes annual seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics.
As the Zika epidemic spreads to the United States, the potential for contracting the disease via blood transfusion has emerged as a serious concern. The problem of transfusion-related Zika virus transmission—and recommended strategies to reduce that risk—are outlined in a special article in Anesthesia & Analgesia. Anesthesia & Analgesia is published by Wolters Kluwer.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that in a mouse model "markedly reduced" infection by the Zika virus.
Concerns over the Zika virus have focused on pregnant women due to mounting evidence that it causes brain abnormalities in developing fetuses. However, new research in mice from scientists at The Rockefeller University and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology suggests that certain adult brain cells may be vulnerable to infection as well.
In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, information that could accelerate the development of treatments.
Zhijian “Jake” Tu and colleagues found that placing a particular Y chromosome gene on the autosomes of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes — a species responsible for transmitting malaria — killed off 100 percent of all female embryos that inherited this gene.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published a study that shows that genetic material from the Zika virus has been found in tears. The study, fast-tracked for publication in Cell Reports, was conducted in mice, thereby creating an animal model for studying transmission and treatment of this alarming virus. The study, published September 6, 2016, also confirms that the Zika virus can lead to cell death in the eyes. Research to Prevent Blindness, located in New York, provided funding for this study.
As Zika continues to dominate news headlines and political discussions, the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Colloquium hosts “Zika Virus: Our Common Future,” a panel discussion led by Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Scientists report that a specialized drug screen test using lab-grown human cells has revealed two classes of compounds already in the pharmaceutical arsenal that may work against mosquito-borne Zika virus infections.
As the number of patients with Zika virus grows worldwide, Johns Hopkins Medicine announces the opening of the new Johns Hopkins Wilmer Zika Center dedicated primarily to caring for patients with the mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted virus. The center is composed of providers and staff from departments and divisions at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, including epidemiology, infectious diseases, maternal-fetal medicine, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, physiotherapy, psychiatry and social work. Medical experts from Brazil, a country greatly affected by Zika virus, are also members of the center.
In a very severe, genetic form of microcephaly, stem cells in the brain fail to divide, according to a new Columbia University Medical Center study that may provide important clues to understanding how the Zika virus affects the developing brain.
Entomologists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are studying the ability of at least two mosquito species to transmit the virus, and they're examining ways of reducing pesticide resistance. They’re also teaching people statewide about how to prevent spreading zika.
With Zika sparking anxiety at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, and now being transmitted in Florida through contact with mosquitoes, accurately mapping the distribution of the virus is increasingly urgent.