Tropical Diseases / Malaria News

New Strategy In Fight Against Infectious Diseases

New research shows that infectious disease-fighting drugs could be designed to block a pathogen's entry into cells rather than to kill the bug itself.

Historically, medications for infectious diseases have been designed to kill the offending pathogen. This new strategy is important, researchers say, because many parasites and bacteria can eventually mutate their way around drugs that target them, resulting in drug resistance.

Study Details How Dengue Infection Hits Harder The Second Time Around

One of the most vexing challenges in the battle against dengue virus, a mosquito-borne virus responsible for 50-100 million infections every year, is that getting infected once can put people at greater risk for a more severe infection down the road.

Now, for the first time, an international team of researchers that includes experts from the University of California, Berkeley, has pulled apart the mechanism behind changing dengue virus genetics and dynamics of host immunity, and they are reporting their findings in the Dec. 21 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

The virus that causes dengue disease is divided into four closely related serotypes (dengue virus 1, 2, 3 and 4), and those serotypes can be further divided into genetic variants, or subtypes.

Potential Vaccine For Ebola

On August 26, 1976, a time bomb exploded in Yambuku, a remote village in Zaire, (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). A threadlike virus known as Ebola had emerged, soon earning a grim distinction as one of the most lethal, naturally occurring pathogens on earth, killing up to 90 percent of its victims, and producing a terrifying constellation of symptoms known as hemorrhagic fever.

Now, Charles Arntzen, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute® at Arizona State University, along with colleagues from ASU, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD, have made progress toward a vaccine against the deadly virus.


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