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Current Infectious Diseases News and Events, Infectious Diseases News Articles.
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Public health experts fear devastating impact of flu and COVID-19 on vulnerable adults
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) issued a new Call to Action report detailing the risks of co-infection with influenza (flu) and COVID-19 in adults with chronic health conditions, and the importance of flu vaccination during the 2020-2021 season. The goals of the report, The Dangers of Influenza and COVID-19 in Adults with Chronic Health Conditions, have been supported by more than 35 leading medical organizations. (2020-10-15)

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data. The forecasts can be used, for example, when planning healthcare provision, such that resources can be redistributed in the best possible manner and give everyone the best possible care during an epidemic. (2020-10-15)

Novel antiviral strategy for treatment of COVID-19
A research team led by Professor Hongzhe SUN, Norman & Cecilia Yip Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, and Professor Kwok Yung YUEN, Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has discovered a novel antiviral strategy for treatment of COVID-19. (2020-10-15)

Repurposing drugs for a pan-coronavirus treatment
The study identifies drug targets common to all three coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV) and potential drugs that could be repurposed as COVID-19 treatments. The researchers suggest that repurposed pan-coronavirus therapeutics may offer a rapid treatment response against future emerging coronavirus strains (2020-10-15)

Global study identifies common vulnerabilities across SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS coronaviruses
There are common vulnerabilities among three lethal coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, such as frequently hijacked cellular pathways, that could lead to promising targets for broad coronavirus inhibition, according to a study by an international research team that includes scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University. (2020-10-15)

AJTMH tip sheet for October 2020
Your advance look at two new studies publishing online on October 15, 2020 in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (2020-10-15)

Army researchers collaborate on universal antibody test for COVID-19
Researchers with the U.S. Army Futures Command are part of a team that tested alternative ways to measure COVID-19 antibody levels, resulting in a process that is faster, easier and less expensive to use on a large scale. Their method holds promise for accurately identifying potential donors who have the best chance of helping infected patients through convalescent plasma therapy. (2020-10-14)

On the trail of novel infectious agents in wildlife
A research team led by Kristin Mühldorfer from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and Tobias Eisenberg from the Hessian State Laboratory investigated the causes of severe respiratory disease in peccaries and taxonomically characterised a novel Streptococcus species (Streptococcus catagoni sp. nov.) based on its phenotypic properties and genetic features. (2020-10-13)

Novel map reveals how immune cells fight and remember infections
Researchers have created the first full dynamic map of how cells learn to fight microbes and then preserve a memory of this for future infections, by mapping the activity of tens of thousands of genes in mouse immune cells over the course of an infection. Published in Nature Immunology, this could guide research into T cells that are essential for generating immunity, to help scientists develop new vaccines and therapeutics for a range of diseases. (2020-10-12)

Chemists create new crystal form of insecticide, boosting its ability to fight mosquitoes and malaria
Through a simple process of heating and cooling, New York University researchers have created a new crystal form of deltamethrin -- a common insecticide used to control malaria -- resulting in an insecticide that is up to 12 times more effective against mosquitoes than the existing form. (2020-10-12)

Can an antibody 'cocktail' prevent COVID-19 infection?
In a new COVID-19 clinical trial, Stuart Cohen at UC Davis Health tests monoclonal antibody combination to prevent COVID-19 in adults exposed to infected patients. (2020-10-12)

Protective antibodies persist for months in survivors of serious COVID-19 infections
People who survive serious COVID-19 infections have long-lasting immune responses against the virus, according to a new study. The study also demonstrates that measuring antibodies can be an accurate tool for tracking the spread of the virus in the community. (2020-10-08)

Study finds fungal disease of snakes in 19 states, Puerto Rico
In a collaborative effort between scientists and personnel on military bases in 31 states in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, researchers surveyed for an infection caused by an emerging fungal pathogen that afflicts snakes. The effort found infected snakes on military bases in 19 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that the fungus is more widely distributed than was previously known. The team reports the findings in the journal PLOS ONE. (2020-10-08)

Sicker livestock may increase climate woes
Climate change is affecting the spread and severity of infectious diseases around the world -- and infectious diseases may in turn be contributing to climate change, according to a new paper in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. The research, led by Vanessa Ezenwa, a professor of ecology at the University of Georgia, and funded by the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in St. Louis, describes how parasites can cause animals to produce more methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. (2020-10-07)

Users of blood pressure medicine have a lower risk of dying from influenza and pneumonia
Thousands of Danes use ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers against elevated blood pressure or heart problems, and they may have an improved chance of surviving severe influenza or pneumonia infections. This is shown by a study from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. (2020-10-02)

Medicine for multiple sclerosis patients inhibits coronavirus - at least in a test tube
A drug which has already been approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients effectively inhibits the coronavirus when tested on human lung cells. This is shown by a newly published study from biomedicine researchers at Aarhus University, Denmark. (2020-10-02)

Fecal transplantation can restore the gut microbiota of C-section babies
Birth by Cesarean section is detrimental to normal gut microbiota development. Researchers demonstrated that the intestinal microbiota development can be restored by postnatal, orally-delivered transplantation of maternal fecal microbiota. (2020-10-01)

Investigational COVID-19 vaccine well-tolerated, generates immune response in older adults
A Phase 1 trial of an investigational mRNA vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection has shown that the vaccine is well-tolerated and generates a strong immune response in older adults. A report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the findings from the study, which was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. (2020-09-30)

Bacteria virus combo may be cause of neonatal brain infections in Uganda
A newly identified bacteria and a common virus may be the underlying cause of infection-induced hydrocephalus in Uganda, according to an international team of researchers. (2020-09-30)

Pan-microbial study implicates a potential culprit in a pediatric brain disorder in Uganda
Researchers have identified a new species of bacteria that may contribute to the dangerous buildup of brain fluid after infections in newborns, according to their analysis of 100 infants in Uganda. (2020-09-30)

Scientists discover bacterium linked to deadly childhood disorder
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health have discovered bacteria linked to post-infectious hydrocephalus (PIH), the most common cause of pediatric hydrocephalus worldwide. Results of the study led by Pennsylvania State University with CII scientists and clinical colleagues in Uganda are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. (2020-09-30)

Medical mystery: 'Creeping fat' in Crohn's patients linked to bacteria
Cedars-Sinai researchers might have solved a mystery surrounding Crohn's disease: Why does fat appear to migrate into patients' small intestines? (2020-09-30)

New genetic knowledge on the causes of severe COVID-19
A proportion of the most severe COVID-19 cases can be explained by genetic defects in the patients' immune system. Professor Trine Mogensen from Aarhus University, Denmark, is participating in an international research consortium as the only Danish researcher, and thereby helping to generate new knowledge which may in the future lead to early and improved treatment of those who are affected by severe COVID-19. (2020-09-29)

Ultrapotent antibody mix blocks COVID-19 virus attachment
A mix of ultrapotent antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients has been shown to recognize and lock down the infection machinery of the pandemic coronavirus and keep it from entering cells. Each of the antibody types performs these overlapping tasks slightly differently. A low-dose of the antibodies protected against infection in animal studies. (2020-09-25)

3D printed nasal swabs work as well as commercial swabs for COVID-19 diagnostic testing
A multisite clinical trial led by the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Morsani College of Medicine and its primary hospital affiliate Tampa General Hospital (TGH) provides the first evidence that 3D-printed alternative nasal swabs work as well for COVID-19 diagnostic testing as commercial synthetic flocked nasal swabs. Given the ongoing need for widespread COVID-19 testing, the researchers conclude that 3D printing technology offers a viable, cost-efficient option to address swab supply shortages. (2020-09-25)

Scientists trace severe COVID-19 to faulty genes and an autoimmune condition
An international team led by Jean-Laurent Casanova has led to a breakthrough in understanding why only some people develop severe COVID-19: due to faulty genes or misguided antibodies, they lack type I interferons, proteins vital in protecting against viruses. The findings point to certain existing medical interventions as potentially beneficial treatments. (2020-09-24)

Scientists Discover Genetic and Immunologic Underpinnings of Some Cases of Severe COVID-19
New findings by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators help explain why some people with COVID-19 develop severe disease. The findings also may provide the first molecular explanation for why more men than women die from COVID-19. (2020-09-24)

How is COVID-19 affecting Holocaust survivors?
Bar-Ilan University researchers examined whether exposure to specific Holocaust adversities would be related to amplified psychological reactions to COVID-19. They found that PTSD and loneliness were more prevalent among survivors who contracted infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and dysentery during the Holocaust relative to older adults who did not experience the Holocaust. Moreover, worries related to COVID-19 were more frequent among survivors who contracted infectious diseases during the Holocaust relative to other survivors or those who were not exposed to the Holocaust. (2020-09-23)

The Lancet journals: Papers at Lancet journals' session at ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Diseases (ECCVID)
The following papers will be presented at a Lancet journals' session at ECCVID 2020, organised by European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The conference will take place online on Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th September 2020, the society's first online conference focussing exclusively on COVID-19. (2020-09-23)

Researchers find new way to protect plants from fungal infection
Widespread fungal disease in plants can be controlled with a commercially available chemical that has been primarily used in medicine until now. This discovery was made by scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of the State of Paraná in Brazil. In a comprehensive experiment the team has uncovered a new metabolic pathway that can be disrupted with this chemical, thus preventing many known plant fungi from invading the host plant. (2020-09-22)

Herd immunity an impractical strategy, study finds
Achieving herd immunity to COVID-19 is an impractical public health strategy, according to a new model developed by University of Georgia scientists. The study recently appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2020-09-22)

Archaeology uncovers infectious disease spread - 4000 years ago
New bioarchaeology research from a University of Otago PhD candidate has shown how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago, while highlighting the dangers of letting such diseases run rife. (2020-09-21)

COVID-19 screening of asymptomatic people could decrease infections, deaths
When the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing, low-cost, recurring screening of asymptomatic people could decrease infections and deaths and be cost-effective. (2020-09-21)

After developing CRISPR test, UConn researchers validate clinical feasibility for COVID-19 testing
In March, researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering-- a shared department in the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, and Engineering--began to develop a new, low-cost, CRISPR-based diagnostic platform to detect infectious diseases, including HIV virus, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Today, the method is one step closer to being a cutting-edge diagnostics technology for rapid detection of infectious diseases. (2020-09-18)

SHEA endorses requiring recommended vaccinations for healthcare personnel, educators and students
All healthcare personnel should be immunized against vaccine preventable diseases recommended by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (CDC/ACIP) as a condition of employment, according to a new policy statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. The broad statement of support of the vaccination recommendations, published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, suggests medical contraindications as the only exception to receiving recommended immunizations. (2020-09-17)

Injectable hydrogel could someday lead to more effective vaccines
Vaccines have curtailed the spread of several infectious diseases, such as smallpox, polio and measles. However, vaccines against some diseases, including HIV-1, influenza and malaria, don't work very well, and one reason could be the timing of antigen and adjuvant presentation to the immune system. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science developed an injectable hydrogel that allows sustained release of vaccine components, increasing the potency, quality and duration of immune responses in mice. (2020-09-16)

Lab-on-paper strip: Small, inexpensive platform for diagnosing tropical fevers
Dengue, zika, and chikungunya viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes and cause tropical fevers with similar symptoms, making accurate diagnosis complicated. Now, researchers from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in Korea have developed a simple and low-cost diagnostic platform--a lab-on-paper strip--that can readily detect the specific RNA of these viruses from a small blood sample. (2020-09-11)

Antibody test developed for COVID-19 that is sensitive, specific and scalable
An antibody test for the virus that causes COVID-19 is more accurate and can handle a much larger number of donor samples at lower overall cost than standard antibody tests currently in use. In the near term, the test can be used to accurately identify the best donors for convalescent plasma therapy and measure how well candidate vaccines and other therapies elicit an immune response. (2020-09-11)

Small study shows convalescent plasma is safe to use in pediatric patients with COVID-19
Early findings from researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) show that convalescent plasma appears to be a safe and possibly effective treatment for children with life-threatening cases of COVID-19. The results were published online Friday by the journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer. (2020-09-08)

Obesity may alter immune system response to COVID-19
Obesity may cause a hyperactive immune system response to COVID-19 infection that makes it difficult to fight off the virus, according to a new manuscript published in the Endocrine Society's journal, Endocrinology. (2020-09-03)

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