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Current Pathogens News and Events, Pathogens News Articles.
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Evolution favours new diseases of 'intermediate' severity
New epidemic diseases have an evolutionary advantage if they are of ''intermediate'' severity, research shows. (2020-11-11)

Yin and Yang: Two signaling molecules control growth and behavior in bacteria
Bacteria are considered to be true experts in survival. Their rapid adaptive response to changing environmental conditions is based, among other things, on two competing signaling molecules. As the 'Yin and Yang' of metabolic control they decide on the lifestyle of bacteria, as reported by researchers from the University of Basel. The new findings also play a role in the context of bacterial infections. (2020-11-09)

Researchers identify new Rickettsia species in dogs
Researchers have identified a new species of Rickettsia bacteria that may cause significant disease in dogs and humans. This new yet unnamed species, initially identified in three dogs, is part of the spotted-fever group Rickettsia which includes Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). (2020-11-09)

Groundbreaking study on trained immunity to fight cancer
An extensive international collaboration led by Prof. Willem Mulder Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a groundbreaking approach based on trained immunity of the innate immune system to help in the elimination of tumorous cells. The immunotherapy approach uses nanobiologics to help produce trained immunity cells from bone marrow. (2020-10-29)

How allergens trigger itching: Finding points to new targets for allergy drug development
A key step in the immune system's response to allergens has been uncovered by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. They have shown that a neuropeptide called Substance P is released by certain neurons in the skin when they detect allergens, and that this substance is essential in the development of allergen-induced immune responses. This research could lead to the development of new and better methods to treat and prevent allergies. (2020-10-29)

Biophysicists modelled the effect of antiseptics on bacterial membranes
A team of biophysics from leading Russian research and educational institutions (MSU, RUDN University, and the Federal Research and Clinical Center of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency of Russia) developed a computer model that shows the effect of antiseptics on bacterial membranes. The common concepts regarding the mode of action of antiseptics turned out to be incorrect: instead of destroying bacterial membranes, they cause changes in their structure. These changes make the bacteria weaker and more susceptible to adverse external factors. (2020-10-28)

Let's (not) stick together
New research led by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering examines the properties of the mucus of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and the role it plays in a pathogens' ability to survive. The new information could have important implications for CF treatment. (2020-10-28)

Can scientists take the STING out of common respiratory viruses?
University of North Carolina School of Medicine scientists have made a curious discovery about a well-known human protein that helps the immune system fight viral infections. The lab of Stan Lemon MD, and colleagues found that one class of viruses actually requires this protein to infect cells and replicate. (2020-10-26)

Multiple sclerosis as the flip side of immune fitness
About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which - although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus - also attack brain tissue. (2020-10-22)

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?
Researchers highlight the anti-inflammatory response taking place after birth and designed to shield the newborn from infection. Early protection is ensured by the innate immunity through the rapid development of the complement pathway during the first week after birth. (2020-10-22)

Mammalian lipid droplets organize and support innate host immunity
Mammalian lipid droplets -- tiny lipid-filled pockets floating amidst a cell's cytoplasm -- represent an intracellular first line of defense against microbial pathogens, researchers report. (2020-10-15)

New study examines what human physiology can tell us about how animals cope with stress
Research from the University of South Florida offers a novel perspective on how vertebrates may regulate flexibility in coping with stress. (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)

A RUDN University biologist described how a harmless bacterium turns into a phytopathogen
A researcher from RUDN University suggested that Xanthomonas bacteria that are harmful to plants might have developed from a nonpathogenic related species by receiving virulence genes from other species of bacteria. (2020-10-03)

Vaccine ingredients could be hiding in small molecule libraries
Many vaccines include ingredients called adjuvants that help make them more effective by eliciting a stronger immune response. Identifying potential adjuvants just got easier, thanks to an approach described by scientists at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (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)

Pathogens in the mouth induce oral cancer
Pathogens found in tissues that surround the teeth contribute to a highly aggressive type of oral cancer, according to a study published 1st October in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Yvonne Kapila of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. In addition, the study showed that oral cancer formation mediated by the pathogens is inhibited by a bacteriocin - an antimicrobial and probiotic peptide that is produced by bacteria. (2020-10-01)

Can organic plant protection products damage crops?
Protecting crops against pests and diseases is essential to ensure a secure food supply. Around 95 percent of food comes from conventional agriculture, which uses chemical pesticides to keep crops healthy. Increasingly, organic pesticides are sought as an alternative. Some organic pesticides contain live spores of the fungus Trichoderma to suppress other pathogens. Researchers at Göttingen University found one Trichoderma species can cause severe rot in cobs of maize (corn). Results were published in Frontiers in Agronomy. (2020-09-30)

Virus turns deadly fungus from foe to friend in plants
Researchers have discovered that a fungal virus (also called a mycovirus) can convert deadly fungal pathogens into beneficial fungus in rapeseed plants. Once transformed, the fungus boosts the plant's immune system, making the plant healthier and more resistant to diseases. These findings, published on September 29 in the journal Molecular Plant, indicate that some fungal viruses can be used for developing ''plant vaccines'' to improve crop health and enhance crop yield. (2020-09-29)

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)

Pandemics and epidemics could exacerbate racism xenophobia
Human beings share these same biological impulses as other animals to separate into modular social groups. However, when pathogens are spreading, humans tend to also adopt behaviors that are ''hyper vigilant and particularly error prone,'' against those with different phenotypes. (2020-09-16)

Innate immune system -- How cGAS is kept bottled up
In higher organisms, detection of DNA in the cytoplasm triggers an immune reaction. The enzyme that senses 'misplaced' DNA is also found in the nucleus, but nuclear DNA has no such effect. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers now report why that is so. (2020-09-10)

A new method may make tomatoes safer to eat
When vegetable farmers harvest crops, they often rely on postharvest washing to reduce any foodborne pathogens, but a new University of Georgia study shows promise in reducing these pathogens - as well as lowering labor costs-- by applying sanitizers to produce while it is still in the fields. (2020-09-08)

Cell-autonomous immunity and the pathogen-mediated evolution of humans
Although immune responses are generated by a complex, hierarchical arrangement of immune system organs, tissues, and components, the unit of the cell has a particularly large effect on disease progression and host survival. These cell-level defense mechanisms, known as cell-autonomous immunity, are among the most important determinants of human survival, and are millions to billions of years old, inherited from our prokaryotic and single-celled ancestors. (2020-09-04)

Subtypes and developmental pathways of innate T cells identified
Study finds T cells differentiate into memory cells before meeting antigens - a clue to developing new immunotherapy (2020-09-02)

Genomic analysis of STEC in a child reveals insights on a virulent, emerging fo
University at Buffalo researchers have completed the genomic analysis of an increasingly common strain of Shiga-toxin E. coli (STEC) that can cause severe disease outbreaks. (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)

Decoded: The structure of the barrier between three cells
Organs in animals and in humans have one thing in common: they are bounded by so-called epithelial cells. Researchers at the Institute of Animal Physiology at the University of Munster have found out how two proteins called Anakonda and M6 interact in epithelial cells in fruit flies in order to produce a functioning barrier at corner points between three of those cells. The study has been published in the journal 'Current Biology'. (2020-08-27)

How plants shut the door on infection
A new study by an international team including University of Maryland scientists has discovered the key calcium channel responsible for closing plant pores as an immune response to pathogen exposure. The findings are a major step toward understanding the defense mechanisms plants use to resist infection, which could eventually lead to healthier, more resistant and more productive crops. (2020-08-26)

How plants close their gates when microbes attack
Like humans, plants protect themselves against pathogens. An international consortium under the lead of UZH professor Cyril Zipfel has now identified a long sought-after factor of this plant immune system: The calcium channel triggers the closure of stomata upon contact with microbes such as bacteria. This innate defense mechanism could help to engineer crop plants that are resistant to pathogens. (2020-08-26)

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)

Research illuminates new element of plant immune defense response to biotic stress
A collaboration between scientists with the Vidali at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas in Madrid resulted in the first article addressing the involvement of cytosolic calcium oscillations and waves in the immune response of P. patens to a biotic stress. Specifically, the scientists administered chitin oligosaccharides to simulate a fungal infection. (2020-08-26)

Why aren't sea trout thriving anymore?
Sea trout numbers are declining in Norway and scientists don't know why. They have studied the trout in two fjord systems in northern Norway's Nordland county. The next step is to look at fish populations along the entire coastline. (2020-08-17)

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)

MS drug may be used to inhibit hiv infection and reduce latent reservoir
A multiple sclerosis drug may be used to block HIV infection and reduce the latent reservoir, according to research published in PLOS Pathogens by a team at the RGeorge Washington University. (2020-08-13)

COVID-19 - The virus and the vasculature
In severe cases of COVID-19, the infection can lead to obstruction of the blood vessels in the lung, heart and kidneys. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have now shown that activated immune cells and blood platelets play a major role in these pathologies. (2020-08-07)

A titanate nanowire mask that can eliminate pathogens
Researchers in Lásló Forró's lab at EPFL, Switzerland, are working on a membrane made of titanium oxide nanowires, similar in appearance to filter paper but with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Their material works by using the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide: when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, the fibers convert resident moisture into oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide, which have the ability to destroy pathogens. (2020-08-07)

Are vultures spreaders of microbes that put human health at risk?
A new analysis published in IBIS examines whether bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are present in wild vultures cause disease in the birds, and whether vultures play a role in spreading or preventing infectious diseases to humans and other animal species. (2020-08-05)

Land use changes may increase disease outbreak risks
Global changes in land use are disrupting the balance of wild animal communities in our environment, and species that carry diseases known to infect humans appear to be benefiting, finds a new UCL-led study published in Nature. (2020-08-05)

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