Infectious Diseases

UCI-Harvard research may help combat the deadly gastrointestinal infection C. diff

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and Harvard University have discovered how the Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB) recognizes the human Frizzled protein, the receptor it uses to invade intestinal cells and lead to deadly gastrointestinal infections. The findings, published today in Science, could pave the way for new C. diff antitoxins and also show potential for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs. In a C. diff infection (CDI),
Antibiotics Infection Control

Could A Rare, Deadly ‘Superbug’ Fungus Be Gaining A Foothold?

(Kaiser Health News) The number of U.S. patients infected with a rare but dangerous fungal “superbug” called Candida auris has climbed quickly to 200 as of Dec. 31, according to the latest figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, there were only seven cases of the multidrug-resistant infection on the national radar. CDC first alerted American health care facilities that year to be on the
Immunotherapies Infectious Diseases

Confronted with bacteria, infected cells die so others can live, Penn study finds

The immune system is constantly performing surveillance to detect foreign organisms that might do harm. But pathogens, for their part, have evolved a number of strategies to evade this detection, such as secreting proteins that hinder a host's ability to mount an immune response. In a new study, a team of researchers led by Igor E. Brodsky of the University of Pennsylvania, identified a "back-up alarm" system in host cells
Biotechnology Cell Therapy Infectious Diseases

New insights into diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections will help save lives

Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections in intensive-care units or after organ transplantation will benefit from the latest insights into diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, published today in the prestigious journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Fungal infections invading the bloodstream, lungs or other organs can cause prolonged illness and in extreme cases can lead to permanent disability or even death. A new review paper has outlined the gold standard
Biotechnology Cell Therapy Gene Therapy

UC research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor & target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with influenza most typically results in lung manifestations limited to dry cough and fever, and understanding how the transition to pneumonia occurs could shed light on interventions that reduce mortality. Research led by University of Cincinnati (UC)
Biotechnology cancer Vaccines

Immunotherapy with DNA vaccine shows promise for HPV-related head and neck cancer

A novel vaccine therapy can generate immune responses in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCCa), according to researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The treatment specifically targets human papillomavirus (HPV), which is frequently associated with HNSCCa, to trigger the immune response. Researchers will present the results of their pilot study during the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago
Clinical Trials

Yeast Infection Linked to Mental Illness

In a study prompted in part by suggestions from people with mental illness, Johns Hopkins researchers found that a history of Candida yeast infections was more common in a group of men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than in those without these disorders, and that women with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who tested positive for Candida performed worse on a standard memory test than women with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
Antibiotics Pharmaceuticals Vaccines

Researchers Discover Potential Treatment for Sepsis and Other Uncontrollable Responses to Infection

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai say that tiny doses of a cancer drug may stop the raging, uncontrollable immune response to infection that leads to sepsis and kills up to 500,000 people a year in the U.S. The new drug treatment may also benefit millions of people worldwide who are affected by infections and pandemics. Their study reported in Science, demonstrates in both cells and