Infectious Disease INSIGHTS

Animal Models and Infectious Disease

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Animal models play a critical role in studying a variety of infectious diseases, from lyme to influenza and salmonella, and selecting an appropriate model system for each is key. Both immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice have a role to play in infectious disease studies. Inbred Mouse Models Inbred, immunocompetent mice are often chosen for infectious disease studies, and different inbred strains can show varying susceptibility to a particular...  Read More

Studying Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease with Humanized Mice

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Enterovirus-A71 (EV-A71), a member of the genus Enterovirus in the Picornaviridae family1, is one of the most common causes of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in younger children2,3 and occasionally causes large-scale epidemics worldwide, especially within the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, EV-A71 is consistently associated with severe complications of the neurological and pulmonary system that may result in permanent paralysis or even death, especially among younger...  Read More

3 Common Flu Shot Myths

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For roughly fifty percent of US citizens, getting an annual flu shot is a normal yearly event. However, for the other half of the population, there are numerous reasons why they hesitate before getting one or resist it completely. Below, we list common myths about the flu vaccine and will address the facts for each one of them. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the...  Read More

Wash Your Hands

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National Handwashing Awareness Week — December 2-8 The week of December 2nd is National Handwashing Awareness week. Moving into winter months and the peak of flu season, spreading awareness of proper handwashing is critical. This is an excellent opportunity to review this and other hygiene practices with animal care staff. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls hand washing "a do-it-yourself vaccine." According to the...  Read More

World AIDS Day

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World AIDS Day is an annual event held on December 1st. Started in 1988, the purpose of this day is to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS by sharing information concerning prevention, treatment, and control, as well as to honor and mourn the many lives lost to this deadly disease. The focus of this year's 30th Annual World AIDS Day is to find a cure. When World...  Read More

Transgenic Mice Play a Key Role in Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

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Humanity is on the verge of one of the greatest public health achievements in history — eradicating polio. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has reduced polio cases by 99.9% since 1988, bringing the world closer than ever to ending polio for good. This means a world in which every child would be safe from the paralysis caused by the virus. What is Polio? Poliomyelitis (polio) is...  Read More

Mountain Cottages, Fresh Air, and TB Research

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A Tuberculosis Directory by Philip P. Jacobs. 1911. National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. After centuries of research tuberculosis (TB) has dropped from one of the leading causes of death in the 19th century to the ninth, worldwide. How did we accomplish this and can we maintain control of the disease in the era of drug-resistant TB infections? A Short History of TB There...  Read More

Mouse Bioassay Helps Contain Botulism Outbreak

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Researchers from the Statens Serum Institut (State Serum Institute), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU, Technical University of Denmark) and Fødevarestyrelsen (Danish Veterinary and Food Administration) recently identified the source of a botulism outbreak that affected nine people in June 2018. The affected people became ill after a dinner party in Sønderborg, Denmark. Botulism is a type of food poisoning caused by a common soil bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, which...  Read More

Researchers Demonstrate Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus Using Pregnant Mice

photo from Researchers Demonstrate Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus Using Pregnant Mice

On July 13, 2017, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine published a paper titled, Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus Induced Congenital Disease in the journal CELL1. In their study pregnant C57BL/6 mice vaccinated using an mRNA vaccine against the prM-E subunit of the virus and a live attenuated ZIKV-NS1_LAV were challenged with a pathogenic heterologous African ZIKV strain. The mice given a placebo developed high...  Read More

It's Time for Lyme Disease

photo from It's Time for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi2 It's easy to get excited about mild weather and the opportunity to relieve cabin fever by enjoying the great outdoors. I was not immune to the urge on February 24, 2017, when we had a record warm temperature of 73°F. I spent the day working in the yard cleaning up the winter debris. After a long day of work, I was in...  Read More