Expert Analysis:
Infectious Diseases

January 13, 2016

Pertussis outbreak among vaccinated children raises concerns about vaccine effectiveness

A pertussis outbreak in a Florida preschool in 2013 that affected 26 vaccinated children has raised concerns about pertussis vaccine effectiveness in children under five, according to a report by researchers from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading

December 9, 2015

What do we know about the Zika virus and birth defects?

In recent weeks there have been reports of Brazilian babies born with microcephaly, a condition where they have smaller than normal heads, whose mothers were infected with the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. GENeS reached out to experts to find out what is known about the Zika virus and its link to birth defects. Continue reading

November 18, 2015

Gene found that makes bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics

Discovery of a gene that makes bacteria resistant to a class of antibiotics used as a last resort to treat patients with superbug infections is reported in the Lancet Infectious Diseases. The authors also suggest the widespread use of the antibiotic colistin in feed additives and veterinary medicine in Chinese agriculture may be responsible. Continue reading

October 14, 2015

Genomic evidence confirms sexual transmission of Ebola

Researchers have found strong evidence the Ebola virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse by male survivors who retain the virus in their semen long after recovery. Continue reading

September 23, 2015

Non-antibiotic drug treats superbug infection in mice, already proven safe in humans

The small molecule drug ebselen effectively treated mice infected with Clostridium difficile, a deadly superbug infection that causes more 15,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the results of a study published in Science Translational Medicine. Continue reading

September 22, 2015

New hepatitis C-related virus discovered in individuals receiving blood transfusions

A new type of virus related to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegivirus (HPgV) has been identified by researchers studying blood transfusions. It is unknown whether the new virus, called hepegivirus-1 (HHpgV-1), can cause disease. Continue reading

September 17, 2015

Donald Trump claims changing schedule of childhood vaccines would curb ‘autism epidemic’

At the second Republican primary debate Donald Trump claimed that spacing childhood vaccines out, and giving them in smaller doses would reduce the ‘autism epidemic’. Ben Carson and Rand Paul also supported spacing out the vaccine schedule, and Carson claimed many pediatricians recognize that too many vaccines are given in too short a period of time, but denied any autism link. Continue reading

August 31, 2015

Researchers conclude rare neurodegenerative disease MSA is transmissible, caused by infectious proteins

An infectious protein, or prion, is the underlying cause of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative disease similar to Parkinson’s, making it transmissible, conclude the authors of a study in PNAS. Continue reading

July 31, 2015

Ebola vaccine clinical trial results suggest vaccine is safe and highly efficacious

Interim results from the phase 3 clinical trial of the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine show that the vaccine “might be highly efficacious and safe” in preventing Ebola, according to researchers who conducted the trial. The randomised trial involved 7651 individuals in Guniea who were either vaccinated immediately or provided delayed vaccination 21 days after the start of the trial. The results of the study are published in The Lancet. Continue reading

June 29, 2015

Antibody treatment for MERS shown in ‘humanized’ genetically engineered mice

A promising new antibody treatment for MERS has been reported by scientists. For the first time, researchers generated human antibodies which successfully blocked infection in mice that were genetically engineered to display human symptoms of the viral disease. Continue reading

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