Human parainfluenza virus (hPIV) is highly infectious and the leading cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease in young children, including Croup, which is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in the developed world, and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in developing countries.

Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics
Director Professor Mark von Itzstein said his Group's research findings published in Nature Communications today provide a new direction towards the discovery of anti-viral drugs against hPIV.

Fears of cholera coming shared a lot in common with fear of Ebola. Graetz 1883 © Historical Society of Pennsylvania

By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera.

It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.

Credit: Diana Ranslam, CC BY-NC

By Alexandra Kamins, Colorado Hospital Association; Marcus Rowcliffe, Zoological Society of London, and Olivier Restif, University of Cambridge

Lab scientists working with Ebola use respirators, while surgical masks are deemed adequate for nurses at the front line. Credit: EPA/Anne-Marie Sanderson/DOH 

By C Raina MacIntyre

Females are naturally more resistant to respiratory infections than males
and now researchers have linked that increased resistance to bacterial pneumonia in female mice to an enzyme called  enzyme nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), which is activated by the female sex hormone estrogen.

Credit: Institute of Responsible Technology

By Jon Entine, Genetic Literacy Project

It’s perplexing that strident anti-GMO critics who regularly harp on the “danger” of harvesting a “foreign” gene from one species and inserting into another to improve crop performance or nutrition are mostly silent when the exact same process is used to engineer new drugs. The Ebola crisis and the desperate search for viable treatments highlights that oddity.

Elephants are among the most intelligent non-humans, arguably on par with chimpanzees, and both African and Asian elephants are endangered. 

In 1995, 16-month old Kumari, the first Asian elephant born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, died of a mysterious illness. In 1999, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause of Kumari's sudden death. They now show that severe cases like this one are caused by viruses that normally infect the species, rather than by viruses that have jumped from African elephants, which was their original hypothesis.  

Though numerous experts and policy makers have called for hospitals to screen patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and isolate anyone testing positive to prevent the spread "Superbugs" in healthcare settings, it's too economically burdensome.
Several states have enacted laws requiring patients be screened for MRSA upon admission but  two new abstracts, scheduled for presentation on Friday at IDWeek, the annual scientific meeting for infectious disease specialists, found universal MRSA screening and isolation of high-risk patients will help prevent MRSA infections but may be too economically burdensome for an individual hospital to adopt. 

Researchers have created a molecule known as a peptide mimic that displays a functionally critical region of the virus that is universally conserved in all known species of Ebola. This new tool can be used as a drug target in the discovery of anti-Ebola agents that are effective against all known strains and likely future strains. 

Ebola is a lethal virus that causes severe hemorrhagic fever with a 50 percent to 90 percent mortality rate. There are five known species of the virus. Outbreaks have been occurring with increasing frequency in recent years, and an unprecedented and rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak is currently spreading through several countries in West Africa with devastating consequences.