Since making its debut during World War II, the influenza vaccine has become one of the most heavily criticized immunizations. It is not just anti-vaxxers, even science advocates think it underperforms.

Scientists have shown how a parasitic worm infection common in the developing world increases susceptibility to tuberculosis. The study demonstrated that treating the parasite reduces lung damage seen in mice that also are infected with tuberculosis, thereby eliminating the vulnerability to tuberculosis (TB) that the parasite is known to cause.

The study raises the possibility of using inexpensive and widely available anti-parasitic drugs as a preventive measure in places where the parasite and TB are common -- stopping infection with the parasite and reducing susceptibility to TB and the risk of a latent TB infection progressing to disease.

Scientists have found that people infected by the dengue virus but showing no clinical symptoms can actually infect mosquitoes that bite them. It appears that these asymptomatic people - who, together with mildly symptomatic patients, represent three-quarters of all dengue infections - could be involved in the transmission chain of the virus. 

Researchers have discovered a new bat SARS-like virus that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans without mutation.

The discovery reported in Nature Medicine is notable not only because there is no treatment for this newly discovered virus, but also because it highlights an ongoing debate over the Obama administration's decision to ban all gain of function experiments on a variety of select agents earlier this year. In the previous administration, even a limitation on federal funding for some types of science was decried as a ban but another actual ban has only gotten a muted response - yet this ban has actual implications because puts a halt to the development of vaccines or treatments for these pathogens should there be an outbreak.  

Deep within your DNA, a tiny parasite called a LINE-1 retrotransposon lurks, waiting to pounce from its perch and land in the middle of an unsuspecting healthy gene. If it succeeds, it can make you sick. Like a jungle cat, this parasite sports a long tail but little was known about what role that tail plays in this dangerous jumping. 

Many patients with serious diseases are not helped by their medications because treatment is started too late. An international research team led from Linköping University is launching a unique strategy for discovering a disease progression in its earliest phase.

The study, to be published in Science Translational Medicine, has been led by Professor Mikael Benson and Dr Mika Gustafsson at the Centre for Individualized Medication (CIMed).

"We're addressing one of the biggest problems in healthcare, one that leads to a great deal of suffering and enormous costs in terms of drugs and drug development. An important reason for this is that treatment is often not started until the patient has enough symptoms for a diagnosis using conventional methods," says Prof Benson.

Chagas disease, the third most common parasitic infection in the world, affects approximately 7.5 million people, mostly in Latin America. To help reduce outbreaks of this disease in their countries, the United States and Mexican governments should implement a range of programs as well as fund research for the development of Chagas vaccines and treatments, according to a new policy brief.

Pregnant women and new mothers are inundated with messages regarding the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first year of life and if you don't do that, shame on you for giving your child asthma, food allergies and eczema.

The HIV epidemic among gay men in the Netherlands isn't going to decline as long as large, persistent, self-sustaining, and, in many cases, growing sub-epidemics shifting towards new generations of gay men, according to a new paper in PLOS Medicine by Daniela Bezemer from HIV Monitoring Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Anne Cori from Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues.

Scientists call them toxins but these bacterial proteins don't poison us, at least not directly. Instead, they restrain the growth of the bacteria that make them, establishing a dormant "persister cell" state that is tolerant to antibiotics.

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have obtained precise pictures showing how a toxin protein, called HigB, recognizes and rips up RNA as part of its growth-inhibition function. Their findings could lead to a better understanding of the formation of persister cells and how they maintain themselves.