Tagged: virus

How does a Virus-Blocking Bacterium operate in Mosquitoes? - News

Jean Balchin Mar 05, 2018

A recent study published in PLOS Pathogens has revealed more details of the mechanism by which the bacterium Wolbachia blocks viruses in mosquito cells. Professor Scott O’Neill, Director of the World Mosquito Program, led by Australia’s Monash University, and colleagues argue that the mechanism reduces viral replication inside cells and that rapid degradation of viral RNA is involved.  What is Wolbachia?  Wolbachia is a genus of gram-negative … Read More

Shopping trolleys and superbugs: an FAQ - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Oct 03, 2016

A story about a baby catching a life-threatening infection from a shopping trolley has made the headlines. So what was this life threatening infection, and was the trolley really to blame? This story originally appeared in the DailyMail Australia which saw Vivienne Wardrop’s Facebook post warning other parents about shopping trolley hygiene. Her 10 month old son is currently recovering from … Read More

Disease evolution: our long history of fighting viruses - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 27, 2016

By Peter C. Doherty, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity A virus is essentially an information system (encoded in DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protective coat and shaped by evolution to ensure its own replication and survival. Viruses grow only in living cells. But they infect everything from the simplest, single-cell organisms, such as … Read More

Explainer: what autoimmune disorder is newly linked to Zika? - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 21, 2016

By Steven Maltby, University of Newcastle The ongoing Zika virus outbreak in South America has brought media and research attention to several rare neurological disorders. Early reports suggested links between Zika infection and microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head) in newborn infants. These were quickly followed by reports of increased rates of auto-immune disorder Guillain-Barre … Read More

An update on Zika infection and pregnancy - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 16, 2016

New research which looked at the data from the 2013-2014 outbreak of Zika in French Polynesia, estimates that the risk of microcephaly is about 1 for every 100 women infected with the Zika virus during the first trimester of pregnancy. Zika is the virus spread by mosquitoes (and more rarely by sexual transmission) that … Read More

Zika: a potential new mozzie vector? - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 04, 2016

Brazilian scientists announce Zika could be spread by a different species of mosquito, one more common in Brazil and present in countries like New Zealand. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Zika virus is currently known to be transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, namely A. aegypti and A. albopictus. Media … Read More

Zika in NZ: sexual transmission or intrepid mosquito? - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 03, 2016

The New Zealand Ministry of Health are investigating a case of Zika in a woman who hasn’t travelled to a Zika-affected country recently. Is it a case of sexual transmission or a rogue mosquito? Update: I talked about this story this morning on RNZ’s Morning Report and TVNZ’s Breakfast on One. Also see my … Read More

Zika update – sexual transmission & GM mosquitoes - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 04, 2016

Earlier this week the WHO declared the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and yesterday the CDC reported that someone in Dallas had become infected with the virus by having sex with someone infected overseas. Meanwhile, the internet is awash with claims that genetically-modified mosquitoes are to blame for the outbreak in Brazil.  In … Read More

Surviving the flupocalypse! - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 07, 2015

Picture this. A new virus, Mortenza, is sweeping around the world, killing millions. Despite all efforts, Mortenza reaches New Zealand and rapidly spreads around the country. In desperation, the Government isolates the tiny uninfected island of Great Barrier. How would this small community cope? Would they survive the pandemic? This is the fascinating scenario I’ll be exploring this coming weekend … Read More