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LAMP shines a light on Zika virus

Rapid and simple assays to detect infectious agents are key to tracking emerging epidemics. Chotiwan et al. describe a loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) assay that detects Zika virus RNA in human biofluids such as serum...

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Pathway to Polio Virulence Revealed

Polio is nearly eradicated. Now much of the risk of polio outbreaks comes not from wild poliovirus but from the oral vaccine, which comprises attenuated viruses. These viruses accumulate mutations that allow them to...

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Gluing up hemagglutinin

The morbidity and economic tolls of influenza virus are huge, regardless of its capacity to kill. Vaccines and therapies to control this persistent threat are limited. In structural studies, Kadam and Wilson show how...

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The Year in Zika

Zika is a mosquito-borne, sexually transmissible virus that is now known to cause a variety of birth defects. The ongoing epidemic of Zika virus infection in parts of the Americas is unlike any outbreak...

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Culprit for Antibody Blockade Identified

Most viral infections trigger B cells to produce neutralizing antibodies, but for a handful of viruses that cause chronic infections, B cells are for some reason unable to do their job. The biggest driver...

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Europe’s new hepatitis problem

The hepatitis E virus is best known as a waterborne pathogen that occasionally causes big outbreaks in Asia and Africa. But more recently, scientists have discovered that a strain named genotype 3 is a...

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Flu immunity shows its age

As we age, our immune systems change; in many ways not for the better. For instance, the elderly account for 90% of influenza deaths annually. Pillai et al. now report that influenza-infected human monocytes,...

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Unveiling the Zika virus

The ongoing Zika virus epidemic is of grave concern because of its apparent links to congenital microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Sirohi et al. present a near-atomic-resolution structure of mature Zika virus determined by cryo-electron...

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Zika Up Close

As concerns over the spread of Zika virus through the Americas rise, and evidence showing that the virus can infect developing neurons accumulates, a team led by researchers at Purdue University has now described the...

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All aboard the disease train

Economic booms and improved transportation may come with a costly downside: increased transmission of viral diseases. Adda studied 25 years of weekly disease surveillance reports from across France, focusing on influenza, gastroenteritis, and chickenpox....

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Cross-Reactive Ebola Antibodies

From blood samples of survivors of a 2007 Ebola outbreak in Uganda, researchers have isolated antibodies that are protective and can neutralize two other species of Ebolavirus, including ­­Zaire ebolavirus—the one responsible for the...

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Toward a Universal Flu Vax

Researchers in Australia added an adjuvant to an inactivated influenza A vaccine and successfully boosted the shot’s effectiveness and cross-protective capabilities, according to a study published today (October 27) in mBio. “Our best protection comes...

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Rapid Ebola Test Approved

A few drops of blood are all that’s needed to test for Ebola using a newly approved paper-based diagnostic test. Approved by the World Health Organization(WHO) last week (February 20), the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid...

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US assesses virus of the Caribbean

In the past few months, passengers at North American airports have been warned that travel to the Caribbean might result in an unwanted souvenir. The first outbreak of chikungunya virus in the Western Hemisphere...

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