A new study mapping the gene profiles of children with severe Staphylococcus aureus infections1, shows immune systems respond to this strain of bacteria by activating genes involved in immediate defense mechanisms, while deactivating genes involved in long term immune defense memory. The study seems to raises a few questions of its own. For example, does the immune response uncovered here apply to all bacterial infections, or just Staph infections? Would the pattern reverse toward the end of the infection? And what implications does this have for improving diagnosis and treatment of virulent strains like MRSA?
Forty-one percent of the world's population live in areas where malaria is transmitted, such as parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Hispaniola, and Oceania. The global malaria eradication program of the 1950s and 1960s concentrated to a great extent on areas in Asia and South America, but never included Continental sub-Saharan Africa.
UK’s Cambridge-based Rapid Biosensor Systems (RBS) has developed a new screening test for early stage tuberculosis infection that is low cost, non-invasive and can be used in remote locations, since it does not require electricity or running water. The TB Breathalyser detects infected subjects capable of transmitting TB to others, giving a result in minutes with up 95% to accuracy.
The device, the result of six-year research and development program, consists of a collection tube, at the bottom of which is a glass bio-sensor coated with a patented bio-chemical coating that reacts with the TB bacilli. After the patient coughs into the tube, it is sealed with a simple twist action, and then inserted into a portable reader unit.
The avian bird flu is a virus that has caused growing concern for people everywhere, and many individuals are beginning to wonder whether or not the bird flu is something that should be taken far more seriously. But what exactly is the avian bird flu, and should you be afraid of contracting it?
The infection itself is caused by viruses that birds contract; in many cases, people who eat poultry will be affected to the bird flu, but some cases are a result of human to human contact. The viruses happen naturally in birds, much the same way that humans contract the common cold.
Most of the time, the birds who carry the virus do not get sick, since these birds are wild, but domesticated birds, such as chickens and turkeys can become very ill from the bird flu; the avian flu can sometimes kill these animals.
Mononucleosis, or mono for short, is a viral disease affecting certain blood cells. It’s cause is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), actually a member of the herpes virus family. EBV has also been associated with certain cancers, including Burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.