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Latest Pathogen Stories

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2010-11-01 08:40:00

A new study tracking the DNA signature of the plague has found that the deadly disease first broke out in China more than 2,600 years ago before making its way to Europe via Central Asia's "Silk Road" trade route. The findings prove many suspicions about the long-believed Chinese origins of the plague, which killed nearly a third of Europeans during the Middle Ages. Scientists from around the world sequenced 17 strains of Y. pestis, connecting them as pathogens that mutated from a common...

2010-10-29 13:37:02

Finding may also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available. The approach could also lead to new therapies for measles, mumps and the flu. The new research appears in today's edition of the prestigious journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens. The Nipah and...

2010-10-14 08:43:48

Scientists to research connections between infectious diseases and land use, global warming and other environmental changes To better understand the ecological mechanisms that govern relationships between human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded 10 grants through the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) program. It is the 11th year of funding in the...

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2010-10-10 08:20:00

Black Death, one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, has been confirmed by anthropologists to have been caused by a germ called Yersinia pestis. Researchers studied tooth and bone samples from 76 skeletons discovered in "plague pits" in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and found DNA evidence that Y. pestis was to blame for the plague that wiped out nearly a third of Europe's population during the Middle Ages. It was believed for more than a century that Y. pestis was the...

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2010-10-01 09:16:53

Kathleen Alexander, associate professor of wildlife in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment, has discovered a novel tuberculosis (TB) species in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, a group of pathogens that have adapted by using mammals as hosts. It has been nearly two decades since a new organism was identified in this group; the majority were discovered in the early and mid 20th century. Tuberculosis is presently the leading cause of death from infectious...

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2010-09-23 09:31:48

The model is based on transplanting human immune stem cells from umbilical blood into mice that are susceptible to infection Better treatments and prevention for typhoid fever may emerge from a laboratory model that has just been developed for the disease. The model is based on transplanting human immune stem cells from umbilical cord blood into mice that are susceptible to infections. The transplanted cells live alongside the mouse's own immune system. Although mice are normally resistant to...

2010-09-11 01:53:21

Scientists find low levels of bacteria in fields sprayed with swine manure That swine manure sprayed on to fields adds valuable nutrients to the soil is well known. But what is not known is whether all that manure is bringing harmful bacteria with it. A new study looks at the levels of nutrients and bacteria in soils of fields that have been sprayed with manure for fifteen years or more. The research team, composed of scientists from the USDA-ARS Crop Science Research Laboratory at...

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2010-06-22 12:04:23

The discovery could help to design new strategies to increase their sensitivity to antibiotics A study led by researchers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) describes one of the mechanisms in which pathogenic bacteria populations control the way they spread over the surface of the organs they infect and stop when they detect the presence of an antibiotic, only to resume again when the effect wears off. The star of this process is the RecA protein, which...

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2010-06-22 07:45:50

Campylobacter jejuni causes more diarrhea than Salmonella Sampling of pigeons captured on the streets of Madrid has revealed the bacterial pathogens they carry. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica found two bugs that were highly prevalent in the bird population, Chlamydophila psittaci and Campylobacter jejuni, both of which cause illness in humans. Fernando Esper³n from the Animal Health Research Center, Madrid, Spain, worked with a...

2010-06-15 00:52:29

Prion diseases are lethal neurodegenerative disorders that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; commonly known as mad cow disease) in cows. A team of researchers, led by Adriano Aguzzi and Christina Sigurdson, at UniversitätsSpital Zrich, Switzerland, has generated data in mice that provides greater understanding of the factors that determine how easy it is for prion diseases to be transmitted to a new host species. This information...