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Current Pathogen News and Events, Pathogen News Articles.
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Biological control agents can protect soybeans from Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)
Recently, Mirian Pimentel, a PhD student, and a group of plant pathologists at Southern Illinois University, discovered a promising new tool to fight sudden death syndrome (SDS). They observed that several biological control agents (BCA), or beneficial fungi, were able to substantially reduce the growth of the causal pathogen agent of SDS. In some cases, these agents even overgrew the pathogen, parasitized it, and displayed evidence of ''feeding'' on it. (2020-09-02)

Plant pathogens reorder physical structures of effectors to escape plant recognition
Phytophthora infestans is an oomycete, or water mold, that causes the devastating potato disease known as late blight or potato blight and was responsible for the famous Irish Famine of the 1840s. In a recently published study, a group of scientists focused on the effectors of that pathogen and confirmed that plant pathogens employ an array of mechanisms to escape plant immunity response. These mechanisms explain why integrated resistance in plants cannot last long. (2020-09-02)

Once infected, twice infected
A key to surviving in the wild is fighting off infection -- and not just once. For plants, as with humans, one infection may or may not leave a plant with lasting immunity. Biologists conducted a series of elegant experiments that capture how pathogen strains naturally accumulate on plants over a growing season. Their findings, reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution, reveal the importance of understanding interactions among pathogens when developing strategies for maintaining healthy crop populations. (2020-08-31)

USDA says current poultry food safety guidelines do not stop salmonella outbreaks
Current poultry food safety guidelines for Salmonella, the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks, are inadequate. A new study conducted by Thomas Oscar, USDA Agricultural Research Service, ''Salmonella prevalence alone is not a good indicator of poultry food safety,'' published in Risk Analysis, explores additional factors that must be considered in order to identify poultry products that are truly safe for human consumption. (2020-08-26)

Psychological disease avoidance linked to preventative behavior, study finds
More than other factors, strong feelings of germ aversion and pathogen disgust are significantly associated with concern about COVID-19 and preventative behavior, according to findings from UConn School of Nursing researchers published in the journal PLOS ONE. The findings are part of a year-long examination of how behavior and social attitudes change, and what factors influence those changes, when people in the United States are faced with the threat of widespread disease. (2020-08-21)

COVID-19 cytokine storms may prevent a durable immune response
New stud shows high levels of some cytokines seen in COVID-19 patients, as part of a cytokine storm, may prevent the development of long-term immunity to SARS-CoV-2. (2020-08-19)

Remains of 17th century bishop support neolithic emergence of tuberculosis
In a recent study published in Genome Biology, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Lund University and the Swedish Natural Historical Museum present analysis of the highest quality ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome to date, suggesting the pathogen is much younger than previously believed. (2020-08-14)

German-Argentinean doctoral program bears first fruits
The Faculty of Biology at TU Dresden and the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Santa Fe, Argentina have had a very special partnership for more than five years. A bi-national doctoral program not only enables doctoral students from both research institutions to spend a longer period of time abroad, but also offers a double degree in Biochemistry and Applied Biology. (2020-08-14)

'Critical' questions over disease risks from ocean plastics
Key knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of how ocean microplastics transport bacteria and viruses -- and whether this affects the health of humans and animals, researchers say. (2020-08-13)

Syphilis may have spread through Europe before Columbus
Columbus brought syphilis to Europe -- or did he? A recent study conducted at the University of Zurich now indicates that Europeans could already have been infected with this sexually transmitted disease before the 15th century. In addition, researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown pathogen causing a related disease. The predecessor of syphilis and its related diseases could be over 2,500 years old. (2020-08-13)

Malaria discovery could expedite antiviral treatment for COVID-19
New research into malaria suggests targeting enzymes from the human host, rather than from the pathogen itself, could offer effective treatment for a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. (2020-08-11)

Monash scientists expose fascinating 'compartments' in bacteria
A review paper by Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), published in the high-impact journal Nature Reviews Microbiology, casts light on organelles, the internal compartments in bacterial cells that house and support functions essential for their survival and growth. (2020-07-29)

Immunoprotein impairs Sars-Cov-2
A protein produced by the human immune system can strongly inhibit corona viruses, including Sars-Cov-2, the pathogen causing Covid-19. An international team from Germany, Switzerland and the USA successfully showed that the LY6E-Protein prevents coronaviruses from causing an infection. (2020-07-28)

Return of the zombie cicadas: WVU team unearths manipulative qualities of fungal-infected flyers
Cicadas infected with the parasitic fungus Massospora unknowingly engage in trickery with their fellow insects, resulting in effective disease transmission, according to West Virginia University-led research. Massospora manipulates male cicadas into flicking their wings like females - a mating invitation - which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them. (2020-07-27)

Researchers find evidence of smallpox in the viking age
The fatal disease smallpox is older and more widespread than scientists so far have proved. A new study by an international team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Cambridge shows that the Vikings also suffered from smallpox. (2020-07-23)

"Winter is coming": The influence of seasonality on pathogen emergence
Seasonal fluctuations drive the dynamics of many infectious diseases. For instance, the flu spreads more readily in winter. Two scientists from the University of Nantes and the CNRS in Montpellier have developed a mathematical model to predict the risk of the emergence of an epidemic, depending on the time of the year at which the pathogen is introduced. (2020-07-21)

Research underscores importance of global surveillance of plant pathogens
First spotted in the United States in 2014, bacterial leaf streak of corn is an emerging disease of corn that has now spread to ten states, including the top three corn-producing states of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. (2020-07-17)

Study: Dangerous parasite controls host cell to spread around body
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered new information about how a dangerous parasite takes control of a patient's cells as it spreads throughout their body, an important finding that could help in the development of new drugs to treat this infection. (2020-07-16)

Listeria protein provides a CRISPR 'kill switch'
A single protein derived from a common strain of bacteria found in the soil will offer scientists a more precise way to edit RNA. (2020-07-13)

Native bees also facing novel pandemic
There is growing evidence that another ''pandemic'' has been infecting bees around the world for the past two decades, and is spreading: a fungal pathogen known as Nosema. (2020-07-09)

Bats offer clues to treating COVID-19
Bats carry many viruses, including COVID-19, without becoming ill. Biologists at the University of Rochester are studying the immune system of bats to find potential ways to ''mimic'' that system in humans. (2020-07-09)

Researchers call for worldwide biosurveillance network to protect from diseases
Given the importance for the health of a global population, a team of scientists recommend a 'decentralized' disease surveillance system, enabled by modern pathogen-detection methods, which builds in-country capacity for addressing challenges. Utilizing portable molecular screening that is both cost-effective and relatively easy to use, this network would take a more fundamentally proactive approach to wildlife screening, they write. (2020-07-09)

Fighting E. coli with E. coli
According to findings published this week in mBio, Nissle, a strain of Escherichia coli, is harmless to intestinal tissue and may protect the gut from enterohemorrhagic E. coli, a pathogen that produces Shiga toxin. (2020-07-07)

Host cell fusion in bacteria infection alarms immune system, causing host cell destruction
NUS Medicine researchers have identified a new trigger for our immune system--abnormal fusion of host cells to form giant cells after infection by pathogens such as the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Cell fusion triggered the cGAS-STING pathway, activating a type 1 interferon response which kills pathogens. In extensive cell fusion, cGAS-STING caused the giant cells to self-destruct instead. Since the DNA in the giant cells was damaged, self-destruction likely prevents these cells from becoming cancerous. (2020-07-07)

Ceftolozane/tazobactam: New treatment option for severe infections, but no proof of superiority
Ceftolozane/tazobactam: new treatment option for severe infections, but no proof of superiority New antibiotic broadens the treatment options for severe infections and resistances. However, there is no evidence of advantages or disadvantages in comparison with other antibiotics. (2020-07-02)

Anaplasmosis bacterium tinkers with tick's gene expression to spread to new hosts
For the first time, scientists have shown that the bacterium that causes the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis interferes with tick gene expression for its survival inside cells and to spread to a new vertebrate host. Girish Neelakanta of Old Dominion University and colleagues report these findings in a study published July 2nd in PLOS Genetics. (2020-07-02)

B-cell protectors
A research group at the MDC has discovered a protein that protects mature B lymphocytes from stress-induced cell death. It also helps immune cells produce effective antibodies, which can stop the pathogen at different points in the infection. (2020-07-01)

Dangerous tick-borne bacterium extremely rare in New Jersey
There's some good news in New Jersey about a potentially deadly tick-borne bacterium. Rutgers researchers examined more than 3,000 ticks in the Garden State and found only one carrying Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But cases of tick-borne spotted fevers have increased east of the Mississippi River, and more research is needed to understand why, according to a study in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (2020-06-25)

Environmental DNA detection could cut pathogens in pet trade
As the SARS-CoV-2 puts new focus on zoonotic pathogens, a Washington State University researcher has developed a method to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect disease in the vast international trade of aquatic animals. (2020-06-24)

NIH investigators hope CD47 study leads to infectious diseases immunotherapy
NIH investigators and colleagues have discovered that when the immune system first responds to infectious agents such as viruses or bacteria, a natural brake on the response prevents overactivation. Their new study in mBio describes this brake and the way pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, turn it on. Their finding provides a potential target for an immunotherapy that might be applied to a wide range of infectious diseases. (2020-06-23)

Viruses can steal our genetic code to create new human-virus genes
Study unveils novel mechanism that allows viruses to produce unexpected proteins. (2020-06-18)

The origins of measles: Virus diverged from cattle-infecting relative earlier than thought in history
The measles virus diverged from a closely related cattle-infecting virus in approximately the sixth century BCE - around 1,400 years earlier than current estimates - according to a new study of dozens of measles genomes. (2020-06-18)

Measles origin finding could inform COVID-19 research
Virus genome sequencing study and comment published in Science. University of Sydney and University of Melbourne evolutionary scientists provide commentary on important new study. (2020-06-18)

UConn researchers overcome a vexing problem in vaccine research
Researchers at UConn's Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research (CEVR) have made a breakthrough in vaccine development for a common and difficult to treat pneumonia-causing pathogen. Their research was recently published in the NPJ Vaccines (2020-06-17)

National tick surveillance survey identifies gaps to be filled
New Cornell-led research shows that inadequate funding is the main barrier to better surveillance and control of ticks, including the blacklegged tick, which spreads Lyme disease, the No. 1 vector-borne illness in the country. (2020-06-17)

Unpacking the two layers of bacterial gene regulation during plant infection
A new study has revealed new insights into how pathogenic bacteria regulate gene expression during plant infection as well as the strategies employed by plants to protect themselves from bacterial invaders. (2020-06-15)

Together they stay alive longer
Hamburg/Borstel/Leipzig. The tuberculosis pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis can protect itself better when combined and thus stay alive longer in the air. This was the result of a study by the Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS, which was published in the scientific journal ''Scientific Reports'' on Monday. (2020-06-12)

Tropical disease in medieval Europe revises the history of a pathogen related to syphilis
Plague was commonplace in medieval times, so finding its victims in a 15th century Lithuanian graveyard was no surprise. However, discovering one woman with a second disease, yaws -- a close relative of modern syphilis found today only in tropical settings -- was something researchers did not expect. The current study's findings are changing perspectives on the evolutionary history of a disease family thought to be out of reach for the study of ancient DNA. (2020-06-11)

The disease pyramid: Environment, pathogen, individual and microbiome
Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Université de Toulouse and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) show how the microbial colonisation of the organism influences the interactions between living organisms, the environment and pathogens, using amphibians like frogs as examples. This is basic research for health prophylaxis. (2020-06-11)

Sounds of sickness: Perceptions of coughs, sneezes not diagnosed accurately
You're standing in the store's check-out line, and the customer behind you viciously coughs. (2020-06-10)

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