Infectious Disease INSIGHTS

Producing Neurological Symptoms in Mouse Model of Zika Virus

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Severity of 2015 Outbreak Fuels Research Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus transmitted primarily through mosquito bites. It was first discovered in 1947, and outbreaks described from the 1960s through 1980s were associated with mild illness in affected humans. A Brazilian outbreak in 2015, however, has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological disorders in infected humans, along with fetal abnormalities such as stillbirth and microcephaly....  Read More

Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

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Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine published a paper demonstrating that Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. "In addition to transmission by mosquitoes," they report, "ZIKV can be detected in the seminal fluid of affected males for extended periods of time". They evaluated the consequences of infection in several strains of mice, including C57BL/6, congenic Rag1−/−, and congenic Axl−/−. They observed "persistence...  Read More

Aging and the Immune Response to Influenza Infection

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In a recent presentation at Taconic Biosciences, Dr. Laura Haynes, Professor at the Center on Aging, Department of Immunology at the UCONN School of Medicine, discussed how aging affects immunological responses. Her lab utilizes an influenza virus infection mouse model. Aging has dramatic effects on many body systems; almost every aspect of immune response is changed with aging including adaptive immune cells (T & B), spleen and...  Read More