Leah Katzelnick was all set for a career as an anthropologist until she contracted dengue fever. She was in hospital for a week with severe symptoms. It changed her life. She is now working on a new perspective on dengue fever which involves mapping the complex interaction between different strains of the virus, based on similar work done by Cambridge experts on flu.
Lassa fever controls need to consider human to human transmission and the role of ‘super spreaders’, say researchers15 Jan 2015
One in five cases of Lassa fever – a disease that kills around 5,000 people a year in West Africa – could be due to human-to-human transmission, with a large proportion of these cases caused by ‘super-spreaders’, according to research published today in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Researchers criticise reforms advocated by IMF for chronically under-funded and insufficiently staffed health systems in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They say these policies contributed to “lack of preparedness” of West African health systems to cope with disease and emergencies such as Ebola.
Whole genome sequencing of MRSA from a hospital in Asia has demonstrated patterns of transmission in a resource-limited setting, where formal screening procedures are not feasible.
An international team of researchers has shown that it may be possible to improve the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine by ‘pre-empting’ the evolution of the influenza virus.
An experimental drug currently being trialled for influenza and Ebola viruses could have a new target: norovirus, often known as the winter vomiting virus. A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge has shown that the drug, favipiravir, is effective at reducing – and in some cases eliminating – norovirus infection in mice.
As our ability to assess the pandemic risk from strains of influenza virus increases with the latest scientific developments, we must not allow ourselves to become complacent that the most substantial threats have been identified, argue an international consortium of scientists.
Ebola, as with many emerging infections, is likely to have arisen due to man’s interaction with wild animals – most likely the practice of hunting and eating wild meat known as ‘bushmeat’. A team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has surveyed almost six hundred people across southern Ghana to find out what drives consumption of bat bushmeat – and how people perceive the risks associated with the practice.
Vaccines against Salmonella that use a live, but weakened, form of the bacteria are more effective than those that use only dead fragments because of the particular way in which they stimulate the immune system, according to research from the University of Cambridge published today.