Infectious Disease INSIGHTS

Modeling Stem Cell Transplantation Treatments for HIV

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HIV is a rare, incurable virus that attacks the human immune system. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 36.9 million people are living with HIV or AIDS, and close to 1 million deaths per year are caused by the disease. Currently, there is no vaccine or cure. The standard treatment involves daily, lifelong therapy with multiple antiviral drugs that suppress the virus if taken regularly. Because...  Read More

Phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics

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Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections have been on the rise for decades, forcing researchers to investigate alternatives to antibiotic treatments. Phage therapy, a century-old technique that utilizes viruses to attack bacteria, has therefore gained interest in the last few years as a potential alternative treatment for MDR infections. Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioengineering have enabled the development of this type of precision anti-bacterial therapy that can...  Read More

Measles Outbreak Reaches Record Levels

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As of May 2019, the World Health Organization is reporting that the number of measles cases worldwide has quadrupled compared to the same time last year. In the US alone, there have been 1,022 cases thus far in 2019, making this the highest number of reported cases in almost twenty years1. Measles was considered eradicated in the US in the year 2000. However, since 2010, there has...  Read More

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

photo from Studying Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease with Humanized Mice

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)

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

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

photo from Mountain Cottages, Fresh Air, and TB Research

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