Infectious disease

  • Scientists show why swine flu virus develops drug resistance

    H1N1-2009 is a new, highly adaptive virus derived from different gene segments of swine, avian, and human influenza; within a few months of its appearance in early 2009, the H1N1-2009 strain caused the first flu pandemic of the twenty-first century

  • Expanding the reach of an innovative virus-tracking software

    SUPRAMAP is a Web-based application which synthesizes large, diverse datasets so that researchers can better understand the spread of infectious diseases across hosts and geography; researchers have restructured this innovative tracking software to promote even wider use of the program around the world

  • Bacteria's strength in numbers challenged

    Scientists have opened the way for more accurate research into new ways to fight dangerous bacterial infections by proving a long-held theory about how bacteria communicate with each other

  • Advanced genetic screening to speed vaccine development

    Infectious diseases, both old and new, continue to exact a devastating toll, causing some thirteen million fatalities per year around the world; vaccines remain the best line of defense against deadly pathogens and now researchers are using clever functional screening methods to attempt to speed new vaccines into production that are both safer and more potent

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  • Bacteria discovery could lead to antibiotics alternatives

    Researchers say findings of new research could lead to the development of new anti-infective drugs as alternatives to antibiotics whose overuse has led to resistance

  • Early detection of malaria saves lives

    The timely diagnosis of malaria maximizes the likelihood of successful, life-saving treatment; it also minimizes the chances that inappropriate therapy will be given, which would help combat the growing problem of drug resistant malaria

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  • Rapid, low-cost, point-of-care flu detection demonstrated

    The novel H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 underscored weaknesses in methods widely used to diagnose the flu, from frequent false negatives to long wait times for results; scientists demonstrate a prototype rapid, low-cost, accurate, point-of-care device that promises a better standard of care

  • Two RNA-based therapeutic candidates for Ebola, Marburg viruses

    Under a contract for up to $291 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, AVI BioPharma has initiated clinical studies for two RNA-based drugs for the treatment of Ebola and Marburg viruses

  • Solving antibiotic resistance in humans -- and premature bee death

    The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans; the finding is a step toward solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance in humans

  • Rethinking the toilet model in developing countries

    More than 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to basic sanitation, and more than 40 percent of the world’s population lack access to even the simplest latrine; the lack of sanitation creates serious problems, including environmental pollution, unsafe surroundings, and increasing the outbreak of lethal epidemic diseases such as cholera; Swedish company offers a solution

  • The bioterrorism threat and laboratory security

    Leonard A. Cole, an expert on bioterrorism and on terror medicine who teaches at Rutgers University, investigates the security of U.S. high containment labs in light of the dramatic growth in the number of these labs, which handle dangerous pathogens, following 9/11 and the anthrax attacks

  • Origami-inspired paper sensor tests for malaria, HIV for less than 10 cents

    Chemists have developed a 3-D paper sensor that may be able to test for diseases such as malaria and HIV for less than ten cents a pop; such low-cost, point-of-care sensors could be useful in the developing world, where the resources often do not exist to pay for lab-based tests, and where, even if the money is available, the infrastructure often does not exist to transport biological samples to the lab

  • Public health expert: budget cuts will erode response capabilities

    Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow recently got the opportunity to speak with Dr. John R. Finnegan, the dean of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; in their interview, Dr. Finnegan discusses the devastating effects of proposed budget cuts on the U.S. public health system, why it was a wise decision to censor the release of H5N1 flu research; and the creation of a medical reserve corps at universities

  • New repellant frightens mosquitoes to death

    Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes carry and spread diseases, including malaria, the second most deadly transmitted disease in Africa; mosquitoes zero in on their next meal – human blood — using their keen sense of smell; a new repellent would bombard the mosquitoes with so many strong odors, it would scare them away from human odors

  • Drug-resistant MRSA in livestock now infects humans

    A novel form of MRSA, a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus called ST398, can now be found in pigs, turkeys, cattle, and other livestock and has been detected in 47 percent of meat samples in the United States; the figures illustrate a very close link between antibiotic use on the farm and potentially lethal human infections