Herpes virus hijackers

22 May 2015

The virus responsible for the common cold sore hijacks the machinery within our cells, causing them to break down and help shield the virus from our immune system, researchers from the University of Cambridge and colleagues in Germany have discovered.

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Pigs head at market in Vietnam

Pig-borne disease jumped into humans when rearing practices changed

31 Mar 2015

The most virulent strains of Streptococcus suis, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in adult humans in parts of southeast Asia and in pigs around the world, are likely to have evolved and become widespread in pigs at the same time as changes in rearing practices, according to research from an international consortium published today in the journal Nature Communications.

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Ebola virus

Emerging diseases likely to be more harmful in similar species

17 Mar 2015

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus’s virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species.

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Gene discovery provides clues to how TB may evade the immune system

16 Mar 2015

The largest genetic study of tuberculosis (TB) susceptibility to date has led to a potentially important new insight into how the pathogen manages to evade the immune system. Published today in the journal Nature Genetics, the study advances understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in TB, which may open up new avenues to design efficient vaccines for its prevention.

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Smallpox pustules

Subterfuge, double agents and viruses

20 Feb 2015

Every moment of every day, our immune systems are battling to keep us healthy against an onslaught from invading organisms. But some of these invaders have evolved to use our very defences against us, writes Dr Stephen Graham, a Sir Henry Dale Fellow.

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Aedes aegypti mosquito

A very personal perspective on Dengue fever

20 Jan 2015

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.

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