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Environmental changes connected to spike in infectious disease, study shows

Environmental changes connected to spike in infectious disease, study shows

National Museum of Natural History scientist Bert Van Bocxlaer and an international team of researchers revealed that anthropogenic changes in Africa’s Lake Malaŵi are a driving force behind the increase of urogenital schistosomiasis, a debilitating tropical disease caused by parasitic flatworms. Continue reading

Environmental changes connected to spike in infectious disease, study shows

Environmental changes connected to spike in infectious disease, study shows

National Museum of Natural History scientist Bert Van Bocxlaer and an international team of researchers revealed that anthropogenic changes in Africa’s Lake Malaŵi are a driving force behind the increase of urogenital schistosomiasis, a debilitating tropical disease caused by parasitic flatworms. Continue reading

Looking ‘inside the box’ for sustainable solution for intestinal parasites

Looking ‘inside the box’ for sustainable solution for intestinal parasites

According to the World Health Organization, more than 450 million people worldwide, primarily children and pregnant women, suffer illness from soil-transmitted helminths (STH), intestinal parasites that live in humans and other animals. Considerable effort and resources have been, and continue to be, spent on top-down, medical-based programs focused on administering drugs to control STH infections, with little success. John Hawdon, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, advocates a more sustainable solution for controlling STH infections. Continue reading

HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in African children: More research needed

HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in African children: More research needed

Researchers from LSTM have called for more research to be carried out into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases LSTM’s Professor Russell Stothard, working with colleagues in the department of Parasitology and researchers from Cape Western Reserve University, in Cleveland Ohio, University of Cambridge and the Royal Veterinary College looked at previous research into the joint burden of HIV/AIDS and schistosomiasis of children, and found that while disease-specific control interventions are continuing, potential synergies in the control efforts for the two diseases have not been investigated. Continue reading

Study turns parasite invasion theory on its head

Study turns parasite invasion theory on its head

Dec. Continue reading

Genetic material in blood cells may affect malaria parasites

Genetic material in blood cells may affect malaria parasites

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2012) — Researchers at Duke University Medical Center may finally have discovered why people with sickle cell disease get milder cases of malaria than individuals who have normal red blood cells. In a finding that has eluded scientists for years, Duke researchers discovered that genetic material in red blood cells may help alter parasite activity via a novel mechanism that alters parasite gene regulation. Continue reading

16th-century Korean mummy provides clue to hepatitis B virus genetic code

16th-century Korean mummy provides clue to hepatitis B virus genetic code

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2012) — The discovery of a mummified Korean child with relatively preserved organs enabled an Israeli-South Korean scientific team to conduct a genetic analysis on a liver biopsy which revealed a unique hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C2 sequence common in Southeast Asia. Additional analysis of the ancient HBV genomes may be used as a model to study the evolution of chronic hepatitis B and help understand the spread of the virus, possibly from Africa to East-Asia. It also may shed further light on the migratory pathway of hepatitis B in the Far East from China and Japan to Korea as well as to other regions in Asia and Australia where it is a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer. Continue reading

Emergence of artemisinin resistance on Thai-Myanmar border raises spectre of untreatable malaria

Emergence of artemisinin resistance on Thai-Myanmar border raises spectre of untreatable malaria

ScienceDaily (Apr. 8, 2012) — Evidence that the most deadly species of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum , is becoming resistant to the front line treatment for malaria on the border of Thailand and Myanmar was reported in The Lancet April 5.This increases concern that resistance could now spread to India and then Africa as resistance to other antimalarial drugs has done before. Eliminating malaria might then prove impossible. Continue reading

Protection from severe malaria explained

Protection from severe malaria explained

ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2011) — Why do people with a hereditary mutation of the red blood pigment hemoglobin (as is the case with sickle-cell anemia prevalent in Africa) not contract severe malaria? Continue reading

New bacterium found causing tick-borne illness ehrlichiosis in Wisconsin and Minnesota

New bacterium found causing tick-borne illness ehrlichiosis in Wisconsin and Minnesota

ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2011) — A new tick-borne bacterium infecting humans with ehrlichiosis has been discovered in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Continue reading