Infectious Disease INSIGHTS


It's Time for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi 2 It's easy to get excited about mild weather and the opportunity to relieve cabin fever by enjoying the great outdoors. I was not immune to the urge on February 24, 2017, when we had a record warm temperature of 73°F. I spent the day working in the yard cleaning up the winter debris. After a long day of work, I was...

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Producing Neurological Symptoms in Mouse Model of Zika Virus

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....

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Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

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...

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Webinar: Humanized Mice in HIV Drug Discovery

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficient syndrome (AIDS) caused by HIV continue to impact approximately 36.7 million people worldwide. In the United States alone it is estimated that 50,000 new HIV infections occur each year, and that nearly one in eight HIV carriers are unaware of their status. Thanks to improvements in combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV is no longer a death sentence. But despite...

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Aging and the Immune Response to Influenza Infection

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...

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Book Review: Humanized Mice for HIV Research

HIV researchers have been challenged in finding a suitable small animal model, as rodents such as mice and rats cannot be infected by HIV. Existing animal models such as chimpanzees are not ideal as they are expensive, more challenging to work with and have a higher ethical burden for use. Furthermore, while some non-human primates (NHPs) can be infected with HIV, they do not develop similar disease...

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