Tag Archives: infectious disease

Breaking Dengue Fever

Like malaria, dengue fever is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Unlike malaria, there is no vaccine for it. As many as 100 million people contract dengue each year, but MSU researcher Zhiyong Xi is working to change that.

Among the estimated 2.5 billion people at risk for dengue, more than 70 percent live in Asia Pacific countries, which spurred Xi to establish a collaborative research institute at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. (more…)

Read More

Brown and High Schools: Teaching Teens About Climate Change, Health

A Brown University class on the effect that climate change could have on human health has produced a free new curriculum for high school teachers. The nine-module unit, which reflects feedback from teachers, includes lecture background and ideas for warm-ups, in-class activities, and assessment.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Katherine Smith’s students had to wait until they came to Brown University to learn how climate change could affect human health. Now that Smith and her fall semester class have developed a rich new curriculum on the subject for high school teachers, future 10th to 12th graders might not have to wait so long.

The curriculum, a nine-module set of backgrounders, lecture notes and suggested lesson plans and classroom activities, is now available for free download. In 180 total pages, it covers topics ranging from an overview of climate change to more specific units such as how global warming could affect infectious disease, allergies, and the global food supply. (more…)

Read More

Germs in Space: Preventing Infection on Long Flights

On a long spaceflight unique conditions including microgravity could give microbes the upper hand, but not if astronauts and their spacecrafts are properly prepared. In a new paper, infectious disease expert Dr. Leonard Mermel brings together a broad base of research to come up with specific recommendations for keeping astronauts safe in deep space.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The cabin of a spacecraft halfway to Mars would be the least convenient place — one cannot say “on earth” — for a Salmonella or Pneumococcus outbreak, but a wide-ranging new paper suggests that microgravity and prolonged space flight could give unique advantages to germs. What’s a space agency to do? Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital infectious disease expert Dr. Leonard Mermel offers several ideas.

And no, they are not to add more Vitamin C to the Tang, or to give each crew member a bottle of Purell. It’s a lot more complicated than that. (more…)

Read More

Controlling the Spread of Diseases Among Humans, Other Animals and the Environment

New NSF-NIH-USDA-BBSRC grants fund research on how infectious diseases are transmitted

West Nile virus, Lyme disease and hantavirus are all infectious diseases spreading in animals and in people. Is human interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increase in incidence of these diseases?

A joint National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program is providing answers.

It supports efforts to understand the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms behind human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. (more…)

Read More

The Best Strategy to Defeat HIV in South Africa

UCLA study challenges World Health Organization’s approach

The World Health Organization is about to roll out a new strategy for AIDS prevention in South Africa, a country where more than 5 million people are infected with HIV. Based on a mathematical model, the WHO predicts this strategy will completely eliminate HIV in South Africa within a decade.

But not so fast, suggests a group of UCLA researchers. Their work challenges the proposed strategy by showing it could lead to several million individuals developing drug-resistant strains of HIV. And further, they say, it will cost billions of dollars more than the WHO has estimated. (more…)

Read More

UCLA Researchers Combat Global Disease with a Cell Phone, Google Maps and a Lot of Ingenuity

In the fight against emerging public health threats, early diagnosis of infectious diseases is crucial. And in poor and remote areas of the globe where conventional medical tools like microscopes and cytometers are unavailable, rapid diagnostic tests, or RDTs, are helping to make disease screening quicker and simpler.

RDTs are generally small strips on which blood or fluid samples are placed. Specific changes in the color of the strip, which usually occur within minutes, indicate the presence of infection. Different tests can be used to detect various diseases, including HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and syphilis. (more…)

Read More

High Population Density is Greatest Risk Factor For Water-Linked Diseases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Water-associated infectious disease outbreaks are more likely to occur in areas where a region’s population density is growing, according to a new global analysis of economic and environmental conditions that influence the risk for these outbreaks.

Ohio State University scientists constructed a massive database containing information about 1,428 water-associated disease outbreaks that were reported between 1991 and 2008 around the world. By combining outbreak records with data on a variety of socio-environmental factors known about the affected regions, the researchers developed a model that can be used to predict risks for water-associated disease outbreaks anywhere in the world. (more…)

Read More

Nano-Sized Protein Clusters Address Major Challenge of Drug Delivery

AUSTIN, TX — A new form of proteins discovered by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin could drastically improve treatments for cancer and other diseases, as well as overcome some of the largest challenges in therapeutics: delivering drugs to patients safely, easily and more effectively.

The protein formulation strategy, discovered by chemical engineering faculty members and students in the Cockrell School of Engineering, is unprecedented and offers a new and universal approach to drug delivery — one that could revolutionize treatment of cancer, arthritis and infectious disease. (more…)

Read More