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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

This Week in PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens: Fungal Spore Diversity; a Novel HAT Treatment; the Circadian Clock and Plant Immunity; and More

Gandini M, Gras C, Azeredo EL, Pinto LMdO, Smith N, et al. (2013) PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(6): e2257. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002257
Gandini M, Gras C, Azeredo EL, Pinto LMdO, Smith N, et al. (2013) PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(6): e2257. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002257

The following new articles are publishing in PLOS NTDs this week:

In this study, Dr. John Thuita and colleagues investigate the potential of a novel diamidine prodrug, DB868 (CPD-007-10), as an oral treatment for first stage human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). This treatment was evaluated for efficacy in the first stage vervet monkey model of HAT in which treatment was initiated at 7 days post-infection with T. b. rhodesiense KETRI 2537 – all infected monkeys were cured, even at the lowest of the three dose regimens tested.

Building upon their previous findings that antigens released from schistosome eggs result in a pronounced pro-inflammatory response in syncytialized third trimester trophoblasts, Dr. Emily McDonald and colleagues examine the effect of schistosome egg antigens on a first trimester trophoblast cell line, an accepted model for early placental development. This study is the first to examine the impact of schistosome antigens on early placental development, and may have implications for the subsequent health of both the pregnancy and the child.

The pathophysiology of dengue virus remain incompletely understood, particularly the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) that are a crucial cellular population for viral infections. Presented here, Dr. Mariana Gandini and colleagues found an in vivo association between the activation state of pDCs and the disease outcome, among other findings that may contribute to the establishment of good prognostic immune responses together with clinical manifestations/warning signs.

The following new articles are publishing in PLOS Pathogens this week:

The diversity of fungal spores in air is vast, but research on asthma focuses on a handful of easily identified, culturable species. In this Pearl, Dr. Anne Pringle aims to facilitate communication by providing doctors with a basic and modern guide to spores. By highlighting the use of emerging metagenomics technologies in ecology Pringle shows how these tools might be used to more thoroughly understand the potential diversity of fungi involved in asthma.

The circadian clock integrates temporal information with environmental cues in regulating plant development and physiology and recently it has been shown to affect plant responses to biotic cues. Dr. Chong Zhang and colleagues reveal for the first time reciprocal regulation of the circadian clock and plant innate immunity, which significantly expands the current view of complex gene networks regulating plant defense responses and development.

Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes or GAS) can be internalized and killed by epithelial cells in vitro, a process that may contribute to local innate defense against pharyngeal infection. Drs. Maghnus O’Seaghdha and Michael Wessels reveal a novel coordinated role of two streptococcal toxins in protecting GAS from xenophagic killing and enhancing intracellular survival.



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