'Coprolites' from the Must Farm archaeological excavation in East Anglia, UK, shows the prehistoric inhabitants were infected by parasitic worms that can be spread by eating raw fish, frogs and shellfish.
Freshwater wetlands from Georgia to New York are home to a previously unrecognized species of medicinal leech, according to scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History. The new species was first identified from specimens collected in southern Maryland less than 50 miles from Washington, D.C., prompting a search through marshes and museum collections that revealed that the leech has long occupied a range that stretches throughout the eastern United States.
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate.
The RTS,S malaria vaccine could enhance the production of protective antibodies upon subsequent parasite infection, according to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by 'la Caixa.' The results, published in BMC Medicine, identify the antigens (or protein fragments) that could be included in future, more effective multivalent vaccines.
A team from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) has made a scientific breakthrough regarding the virulence strategy employed by the Leishmania parasite to infect cells of the immune system. This microorganism is responsible for Leishmaniasis, a chronic parasitic disease that affects more than 12 million people worldwide.
Strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae transform themselves from small, comma-shaped cells to long filaments in nutrient-poor environments to aid short-term survival.
According to the study, the strategy has the added advantage of targeting the transmissible phase of the parasite -- the gametocyte.
Researchers at Oregon State University have proposed a new genus of bacteria that flourishes when coral reefs become polluted, siphoning energy from the corals and making them more susceptible to disease.
A two-year study in rural Kenya explored the effects of water quality, sanitation, handwashing and nutritional interventions on rates of intestinal worm and Giardia infections. The results indicated that water treatment alone was sufficient to cause an 18 percent reduction in roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) infection rates. Adding sanitation and handwashing increased reduction to 22 percent. The other parasitic infections examined did not have significant reductions from any of the interventions.
A new study examines the evolutionary dynamics of circular Rep-encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses. The findings show that this broad class of single-stranded DNA viruses, which infect all three cellular domains of life, have acquired their genetic components through complex evolutionary processes not traceable to a single ancestral event.