Author Archives: AJ Cann

How Zika virus crosses the placenta

Zika virus (ZIKV) causes microcephaly, whereas other related pathogenic flaviviruses do not. To reach the fetal brain, a virus must be transported from the maternal to the fetal circulation, which requires crossing of the placental barrier. This study demonstrates that … Continue reading

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An equal and opposite reaction

Seems like a great idea – the widespread use of insecticide coate bednets to cut the spread of malaria by mosquitoes (mostly active at night). Unfortunately nature is rarely that simple. Widespread use has driven mosquitoes to evolve resistance to … Continue reading

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Zika virus and interferon

Zika virus cannot replicate in mice – unless you knock out the mouse type I interferon with antibodies. As we know, Zika can replicate all too well in humans, but the pathogenesis and cell tropism of this troubling virus is … Continue reading

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Bacteria – exploring new horizons

Historically, bacteria have been thought of as simple cells whose only aim is to replicate. However, research over the past two decades has revealed that many types of bacteria are able to develop into communities that contain several types of … Continue reading

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Genetically engineered mosquitos resist dengue fever virus

Dengue has represented a significant public health burden for a number of decades. Given the lack of dengue-specific drugs and limited availability of licensed vaccine, new methods for prevention and control are urgently needed. Researchers investigated whether genetic manipulation of … Continue reading

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Siderophores – more than stealing iron

Siderophores are small molecular iron chelators that are produced by microbes and whose most notable function is to sequester iron from the host and provide this essential metal nutrient to microbes. Recent studies have proposed additional, noncanonical roles for siderophores, … Continue reading

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Drug resistance in hookworms

More than 2 billion people around the world are infected with intestinal helminths, parasitic worms that can cause disease, complicate pregnancies, and stunt the growth of children. A number of drugs are currently used to treat hookworms, one of the … Continue reading

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As I look back

Having been involved in microbiology for so long it’s sometimes difficult to see the progress we are making. When I started out as a microbiologist in the 1970s the impact of molecular biology on microbiology was overwhelming, even if it took … Continue reading

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Dengue vaccine reduces disease burden where dengue infections are common

The first available dengue vaccine, CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia), is estimated to reduce the burden of dengue and be potentially cost effective in settings where infections with dengue are common.   The Long-Term Safety, Public Health Impact, and Cost- Effectiveness of Routine … Continue reading

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