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Latest PLoS Pathogens Stories

2011-10-21 09:12:15

New virus could be the first filovirus to cause disease in bats A team of international researchers has discovered a new Ebola-like virus — Lloviu virus -- in bats from northern Spain. Lloviu virus is the first known filovirus native to Europe, they report in a study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens on Octobr 20th. The study was a collaboration among scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the...

2011-10-07 11:04:10

A novel mechanism has been identified in which Chlamydia trachomatis tricks host cells into taking up the bacteria. Researchers from University of California San Francisco, led by Joanne Engel, report their findings in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens on October 6th. Dr. Engel and colleagues show that Chlamydia coat themselves with a growth factor made by the cells of the organism they are infecting. This disguise allows the bacteria to infect cells, much like a Trojan horse. Once...

2011-10-07 11:02:55

A researcher at MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer research has identified a gene that controls the process by which antibodies gain their ability to combat retroviruses. Edward Browne shows that the gene TLR7 allows the antibody generating B cells to detect the presence of a retrovirus and promotes a process by which antibodies gain strength and potency, called a germinal center reaction. The findings are published in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens on October 6th. TLR7 is...

2011-10-07 10:26:36

When the virus that causes AIDS infects the central nervous system, it can lead to the development of a severe neurological disease called HIV-associated dementia (HAD). The advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART, has helped reduce HAD. But some studies show that HAART may not offer complete protection from less severe HIV-associated neurological problems, nor might it always help to reverse it. As people live longer with AIDS, their risk of developing neurological...

2011-09-23 11:23:38

Fresh insight into how viruses such as SARS and flu can jump from one species to another may help scientists predict the emergence of diseases in future. Researchers have shown that viruses are better able to infect species that are closely related to their typical target species than species that are distantly related. Their results suggest that when diseases make the leap to a distant species — such as bird flu infecting humans — they may then spread easily in species...

2011-09-02 11:44:03

Most AIDS patients, when diagnosed with a fungal infection known simply as cryptococcosis, are assumed to have an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, but a recent study from Duke University Medical Center suggests that a sibling species, Cryptococcus gattii, is a more common cause than was previously known. The difference between these strains could make a difference in treatment, clinical course, and outcome, said Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and chair of...

2011-09-02 11:42:22

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School have demonstrated an approach to HIV vaccine design that uses an altered form of HIV's outer coating or envelope protein. The researchers showed that they could design HIV envelopes that could bind better to immature B cell receptors to create an enhanced immune response in an animal model. Immature B cells are the targets of vaccines, and when strongly targeted, they produce...

2011-08-26 11:02:28

PVRL4 (Nectin 4) is a receptor for measles virus Canadian researchers have discovered that a tumor cell marker is a receptor for measles virus, suggesting the possible use of measles virus to help fight cancer. Their findings appear in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens on August 25th. Viruses cause infection by attaching to specific proteins on cell surfaces called receptors. Dr. Chris Richardson of Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and colleagues found that...

2011-08-12 12:35:06

NIH awards $3 million to prepare for clinical trials; developers hope vaccine will alleviate suffering caused by mosquito-borne virus in Asia and Africa and limit its spread Researchers have developed a new candidate vaccine to protect against chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne pathogen that produces an intensely painful and often chronic arthritic disease that has stricken millions of people in India, Southeast Asia and Africa. A single dose of the experimental vaccine protected lab mice...

2011-05-03 13:43:41

New research has shed light on the origins of a fungal infection which is one of the major causes of death from AIDS-related illnesses. The study, published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the BBSRC, shows how the more virulent forms of Cryptococcus neoformans evolved and spread out of Africa and into Asia. Cryptococcus neoformans is a species of often highly aggressive fungi. One particular strain of the fungus "“ known as Cryptococcus neoformas...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.