There is currently no evidence that the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) causes severe adverse outcomes in neonates or that it can pass to the child while in the womb, according to a small observational study of women from Wuhan, China, who were in the third trimester of pregnancy and had pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
Bacterial viruses, called bacteriophages, are simple genetic machines, relying on their bacterial hosts to replicate and spread. But UC Berkeley scientists have found hundreds of huge phages that carry a slew of bacterial proteins that the phages evidently use to more efficiently manipulate their microbial hosts. These proteins include those involved with ribosomal production of proteins and the CRISPR bacterial immune system, as if the phages are a hybrid between living microbes and viral machines.
Rabies is still responsible for approximately 60,000 human deaths per year mostly in Asia and Africa and affects especially underserved people. Prophylactic measures have significantly improved. They are now composed of the vaccine allied to purified human or equine rabies immunoglobulins. However, these immunoglobulins are expensive and not easy to reach in developing settings. Researchers have visualized one of the most potent and most broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody in interaction with the rabies glycoprotein.
In 2016 and 2017, a surge of mumps cases at Boston-area universities prompted researchers to study mumps virus transmission using genomic data, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and local university health services. As the outbreaks unfolded, the teams analyzed mumps virus genomes collected from patients, revealing new links between cases that first appeared unrelated and other details about how the disease was spreading that weren't apparent from the epidemiological investigation.
A team at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has used a specially bred population of laboratory mice that mimics human patterns of tolerance and susceptibility to the Ebola virus to identify human immune factors that predict outcomes among people infected with the disease.
A single strain of mumps virus has dominated the US since 2006, and is responsible for many of the large numbers of cases seen across the country in the widespread 2016-17 outbreaks. In a paper publishing February 11 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, Pardis Sabeti from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and colleagues analyze over 200 whole mumps virus genomes from patient swab samples, providing insights not obtained in standard public health surveillance efforts.
A UC Berkeley study of cultured bat cells shows that their strong immune responses, constantly primed to respond to viruses, can drive viruses to greater virulence. Modelling bat immune systems on a computer, the researchers showed that when bat cells quickly release interferon upon infection, other cells quickly wall themselves off. This drives viruses to faster reproduction. The increased virulence and infectivity wreak havoc when these viruses infect animals with tamer immune systems, like humans.
A recent study from the George Washington University suggests that the innate protein AIBP restricts HIV-1 replications by targeting the lipid rafts the virus relies on.
Researchers used computational chemistry, biochemistry and virology to uncover new information on how viruses such as West Nile, dengue and Zika replicate.
The situation is extraordinary: there have only ever been four declarations of public health emergencies of international concern in the past and now there are two at the same time.