Current Pathogen News and Events

Current Pathogen News and Events, Pathogen News Articles.
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Global warming likely to increase disease risk for animals worldwide
Changes in climate can increase infectious disease risk in animals, researchers found -- with the possibility that these diseases could spread to humans, they warn. (2020-11-23)

Researchers identify genetics behind deadly oat blight
A multi-institution team co-led by a Cornell University researcher has identified the genetic mechanisms that enable the production of a deadly toxin called Victorin - the causal agent for Victoria blight of oats, a disease that wiped out oat crops in the U.S. in the 1940s. (2020-11-23)

Climate warming increases infectious disease risk in cooler-climate species
Accelerated climate warming may increase the risk for infectious disease outbreaks in many species adapted to mild and cooler climates, whereas species from warmer climates could experience reductions in disease risk, reports a new study. (2020-11-19)

Link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis
Rates of both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are elevated in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. New research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology suggests that immune responses to certain bacteria that cause periodontal disease may play a role in patients' higher cardiovascular disease risk. (2020-11-18)

Coinfection: more than the sum of its parts
Infections with two pathogens pose a serious threat in the clinics. Researchers from Würzburg and Jena have developed a technique that provides new insights into this process and can be used as an early warning system. (2020-11-18)

Study pinpoints target for managing inflammation, promoting tissue repair
Drugs that can manage the activity of a protein called BCAP could help the body repair IBD-related tissue damage caused by inflammation, according to experts at Cincinnati Children's. (2020-11-16)

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)

New study defines life cycle of a destructive plant pathogen 142 years after its discovery
''Using confocal and electron microscopic imaging, we provide compelling evidence to support the proposed life cycle of P. brassicae, making it more convincing and acceptable to the community,'' explained Liu. ''Notably, and most surprisingly, we discovered the existence of a sexual life stage of P. brassicae, starting from the fusion of two secondary zoospores within the infected epidermal cells.'' (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)

Host genetic factors shape composition of virus communities
Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction. (2020-11-05)

For plant and animal immune systems the similarities go beyond sensing
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and University of Cologne researcher Takaki Maekawa and colleagues have discovered that plants have independently evolved a family of immune proteins that are strikingly similar to animals. (2020-11-02)

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen. Until now, the number of cells that do this was believed to depend above all on the magnitude of the initial immune response. A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now called this into question. (2020-11-02)

Short-term moisture removal can eliminate downy mildew of spinach
Scientists at the University of Arkansas explored the relationship between available moisture and disease establishment and in a recent article they demonstrated that removing moisture decreased both spore survival and disease. Even a 30-minute dry period reduced spore germination to almost zero. Spores were unable to recover and cause disease on spinach. (2020-11-02)

How the immune system deals with the gut's plethora of microbes
New research suggests that our immune system may play an active role in shaping the digestive-tract flora, which is tightly linked to health and disease. (2020-10-29)

For vampire bats, social distancing while sick comes naturally
New research shows that when vampire bats feel sick, they socially distance themselves from groupmates in their roost - no public health guidance required. (2020-10-27)

Cucurbit downy mildew pathogen has two genetically distinct host-adapted clades
North Carolina State University plant pathologists determined that the causal pathogen, Pseudoperonospora cubensis, has two genetically distinct host-adapted clades and also found that wild cucurbits can serve as reservoirs for this pathogen. Clade 1 isolates more frequently infect squash, pumpkin, and watermelon while clade 2 impacted cucumber and cantaloupe. They also found that evidence of recombination in clade 1 isolates but not clade 2 isolates. (2020-10-27)

A simple, cost-effective molecular assay may help manage growing spread of drug-resistant gonorrhea
A drug-resistant strain of the Neisseria (N.) gonorrhoeae has emerged around the world with the potential to make gonorrhea untreatable. The currently used screening methods for antimicrobial resistant (AMR) determinants are slow, expensive, and not widely available. In an article in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics researchers report a rapid and cheap method that can provide real-time surveillance to help control the spread of AMR strains of N. gonorrhoeae. (2020-10-26)

User-friendly cucurbit downy mildew diagnosis guide suited for both experts and beginners
As the disease is rapid, infectious, and hard-to-diagnose, a team of plant pathologists with North Carolina State University and Michigan State University put together a clear and summarized guide to cucurbit downy mildew for beginners and experts. Accorded to Andres Salcedo, ''We realized the necessity to compile relevant and concise information about the causal agent of cucurbit downy mildew and developed a guide of multiple alternatives for its diagnosis and handling.'' (2020-10-21)

Plants communicate at a molecular level
Working together with researchers from the University of Tübingen, the University of Tromsø, the UC Davis and the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, biologists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have discovered how tomato plants identify Cuscuta as a parasite. The plant has a protein in its cell walls that is identified as 'foreign' by a receptor in the tomato. (2020-10-20)

Scientists discover a new mechanism for cellular defense against viral and bacterial infections
Researchers of IDIBAPS, the University of Barcelona and CNIC have coordinated a study, published in Science, which describes a new mechanism of innate immunity by which cells fight viruses and bacteria. (2020-10-15)

A new protein discovered that repairs DNA
Our cells have DNA repair systems to defend themselves against this sort of damage. One of these systems is based on a protein, photolysis, which uses blue light to repair DNA damage before it leads to mutations. (2020-10-14)

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)

The plant hormone auxin may promote disease by regulating virulence gene expression
This work provides another example of how plant hormones can be used by microbes as an environmental cue, which seems to be emerging as a common strategy as scientists learn more about how pathogens and parasites sense their plant hosts. (2020-10-06)

Repurposed anti-malarial compounds kill diarrheal parasite, study finds
A class of compounds used for malaria treatment also kill the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, a leading cause of diarrheal disease and death in children that has no cure, a multi-institution collaboration of researchers found in a new study. (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)

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)

How everyday speech could transmit viral droplets
High-speed imaging of an individual producing common speech sounds shows that the sudden burst of airflow produced from the articulation of consonants like /p/ or /b/ carry salivary and mucus droplets for at least a meter in front of a speaker. (2020-09-29)

Analysis of wild tomatoes elucidates genetic basis underlying fruit traits
Wild tomato species represent a rich gene pool for numerous desirable traits lost during domestication. An international research team, including scientists from Weizmann Institute of Science and IPK, exploited an introgression population of wild desert-adapted species and a domesticated tomato cultivar to investigate the transfer of wild species-associated fruit traits on the genetic, regulatory and metabolic level. The results have been published in the magazine ''Nature Genetics''. (2020-09-28)

Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen. Now, scientists at the University of Würzburg have deciphered new details of this process. (2020-09-28)

New interactive tool will help farmers contain the spread of clubroot
'ClubrootTracker is an interactive tool that will help farmers locate clubroot-infected areas and can be used by farmers, researchers, and industry and government representatives to share the clubroot status of their land,' explained Edel Pérez-López, one of the plant pathologists involved in the development of this tool. 'We believe that the ClubrootTracker will be a gamechanger on the management of clubroot disease both in Canada and worldwide.' (2020-09-28)

Key genetic clue missing in fight against superbugs
For the first time, researchers have discovered how antibiotic resistance genes are spreading, at a continental scale, via bacterial plasmids in the hospital superbug, Klebsiella pneumoniae. The researchers say it is critical that plasmids are included when tracking antibiotic resistance in order to have the best chance of stopping superbugs. (2020-09-24)

New tool mimics human skin to allow detailed study of mosquito biting
Scientists have developed a tool for studying the biting behaviour of common pathogen-carrying mosquitoes, according to new research published this week in eLife. (2020-09-23)

Discovered: New resistance gene to devastating potato disease that caused Irish Famine
In a recent collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the James Hutton institute, scientists identified a diploid wild potato with a high resistance to Phytophthora infestans. They discovered novel R genes in this potato using dRenSeq analysis, and further transcriptional analysis revealed the essential role of multiple signal transduction pathways and secondary metabolic pathways in plant immunity in the wild potato. (2020-09-21)

Modeling future COVID-19 cases under a variety of immune responses, and with or without vaccines
Researchers who adapted standard epidemiological models to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic trajectory might unfold in the next five years report diverse scenarios ranging from recurring severe epidemics to elimination. (2020-09-21)

New study identifies wheat varieties that resist the destructive stripe rust disease
Stripe rust is one of the most destructive wheat diseases in the world, especially in the United States. While the disease can be controlled by chemicals, those may be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment and the application can cost millions of dollars. Rather than use chemicals, many farmers would prefer to grow wheat varieties that resist stripe rust and the development of such varieties is a top priority for wheat breeding programs. (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)

Cell-autonomous immunity shaped human evolution
Every human cell harbors its own defenses against microbial invaders, relying on strategies that date back to some of the earliest events in the history of life, researchers report. Because this ''cell-autonomous immunity'' is so ancient and persistent, understanding it is essential to understanding human evolution and human medicine, the researchers said. (2020-09-09)

COVID-19 high-risk groups: Why the immune system is less effective at fighting the virus
Older people and people with underlying medical conditions are at particular risk of severe COVID-19. A group of researchers from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered one possible reason for this vulnerability. While these risk groups produce greater quantities of an important type of immune cell known as 'T-helper cells', their T-helper cells show impaired function. This 'molecular brake' on the immune system could serve as a potential new treatment target in patients with severe COVID-19. (2020-09-07)

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)

Microbial genetics: A protean pathogen
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is linked to increased risk of stomach cancer, and is genetically highly variable. A new study by researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich explores the role played by this diversity in the early phase of infection in adult humans. (2020-09-02)

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