Mosquitoes are more likely to acquire the dengue virus when they feed on blood with low levels of iron, researchers report. Supplementing people's diets with iron in places where both iron deficiency anemia and dengue fever are a problem could potentially limit transmission of the disease, but there are risks.
The frigid waters of the Antarctic may yield a treatment for a deadly disease that affects populations in some of the hottest places on earth. Current medications for that scourge -- malaria -- are becoming less effective as drug resistance spreads. But researchers report that a peptide they isolated from an Antarctic sponge shows promise as a lead for new therapies.
Scientists have identified the regional character to Plasmodium falciparum across Africa. Malaria, infecting 219 million individuals in 2017, remains a threat to public health and regional stability. Human movement and the introduction of antimalarial drugs were drivers of this genetic diversity. Gene flow between sub-populations could spread resistance from one sub-population to the rest of the continent.
Researchers are exploring the relationship between microbial natural products and the gene clusters that enable their production. By learning to recognize what genes lead to what types of products, they hope to use genome sequencing to speed discovery of new natural products that may have key therapeutic properties.
Removing used needles does not reduce the spread of Hepatitis C virus -- instead, changing the ratio of infected to uninfected needles is critical, study finds.
Increased p53, the well-known tumor-suppressor protein, can predict whether malaria-infected children will develop fever or other symptoms, suggests a new study. The authors say the findings could lead to new strategies for dampening the harmful inflammatory responses associated with some infections and identifying individuals who might be at risk for such responses.
Researchers have established a new model system that uses red blood cells grown in the laboratory to study how malaria parasites invade red blood cells.
A new study shows that graphene sheets can block the signals mosquitoes use to identify a blood meal, potentially enabling a new chemical-free approach to mosquito bite prevention.
Targeting the mosquito population within a defined area is the primary way scientists and public health officials mitigate the spread of diseases caused by viruses like Zika, dengue fever, and West Nile. But researchers have discovered that evaluating how humans commute to and from an affected area, as well as their living habits, is key for successful mitigation planning.
Over the last 40 years, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has invaded every continent thanks to the transportation of its eggs via human trade and transportation. Researchers have now used the genomes of the mosquitoes to track the history of the invasion and expansion of the species through Albania, Italy, and Greece.
In the first continent-wide genomic study of malaria parasites in Africa, scientists have uncovered the genetic features of Plasmodium falciparum parasites that inhabit different regions of the continent, including the genetic factors that confer resistance to anti-malarial drugs. This sheds new light on the way that drug resistance is emerging in different locations and moving by various routes across Africa, putting previous success in controlling malaria at risk.
The first detailed map of individual malaria parasite behavior across each stage of its complicated life cycle has been created by scientists. Researchers used advanced single-cell technology to isolate individual parasites and measure their gene activity. The result is the Malaria Cell Atlas, which gives the highest resolution view of malaria parasite gene expression to date and monitors how individual parasites change as they develop in both the mosquito and human host.
By sequencing virus genomes from infected travelers, analyzing travel patterns and mosquito modeling, researchers unearthed a spike in Zika cases from travelers returning from Cuba during the summer of 2017 that was not captured by local reports.
The US each year sees more than 1,500 cases of malaria, and currently there is limited access to an intravenously-administered (IV) drug needed for the more serious cases.
A breakthrough in monkey malaria research could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria.
Mosquitoes can harbor thousands of malaria-causing parasites in their bodies, yet while slurping blood from a victim, they transmit just a tiny fraction of them. In an effort to define precisely the location of the parasite bottleneck, scientists say they have discovered that the parasites are stopped by a roadblock along the escape route in the insect's spit glands, a barrier that could potentially serve as a novel target for preventing or reducing malarial infection.
Chemists develop selective agents to combat infectious diseases -- based on the structures of natural products.
Infections such as Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, and leishmaniasis are caused by a group of microorganisms called kinetoplastids. In a new study, a research team used a non-disease-causing kinetoplastid to investigate how these parasites adhere to their insect hosts' insides. Their findings could help in the development of targeted therapies that prevent insects from transmitting these diseases to humans.
Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to understand copy-number variants (CNVs) in malaria mosquitoes and their role in insecticide resistance.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently developed an Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGP trap) that attracts and captures female mosquitoes looking for a site to lay eggs. Now, researchers report that AGO traps successfully protected people from infection with chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in communities in Puerto Rico.