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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

This Week in PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens: Determinants of Mosquito Competence, Human Leishmaniasis Prevention, CD8 T Cell Epitope and T. gondii, and More

Wang L-Y, Zhang W-Y, Ding F, Hu W-B, Soares Magalhaes RJ, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(6): e2285. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002285
Wang L-Y, Zhang W-Y, Ding F, Hu W-B, Soares Magalhaes RJ, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(6): e2285. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002285

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

Ascaris suum is an intestinal parasitic nematode of pigs that is very closely related to Ascaris lumbricoides, a major intestinal parasitic nematode of humans that infects over one billion people worldwide and has shown resistance to the current, limited treatments. In this study, Drs. Joseph F. Urban, Jr., Yan Hu and colleagues test the effectiveness of Cry5B, a nematode-killing protein made by the natural soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that represents a promising new class of anthelmintics.

In this literature review, Lisa Stockdale and Dr. Robert Newton provide a comprehensive summary of all the available evidence relating to the impact of interventions against infection on the burden of leishmaniasis in people and highlights the absence of high quality evidence demonstrating an effect. Four broad categories of preventative interventions are identified, investigating a range of strategies, from protection of humans against infection, to interventions aimed one stage upstream of human infection (targeting the sandfly vector), and even further, to interventions targeting animal reservoir species.

China reports approximately 50% of global Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases annually and few studies have explored its spatiotemporal patterns in that nation. Here Dr. Li-Ya Wang and colleagues report the results of Local Indicators of Spatial Association and spatial scan statistics of JE cases in mainland China at the county level during the periods 2002, 2003-2005, 2006 and 2007-2010. These findings may assist in informing prevention and control strategies and increase the effectiveness of public health interventions against JE transmission.

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

Although the role of environment has long been recognized in mosquito vector competence, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. Dr. Thierry Lefe`vre and colleagues review the current evidence for such environmentally mediated effects, including ambient temperature, mosquito diet, microbial gut flora, and infection history, and  they identify additional factors previously overlooked in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions.

Wild birds, particularly duck species, are the main reservoir of influenza A virus (IAV) in nature, yet knowledge of IAV infection dynamics in the wild bird reservoir, and the development of immune responses, are largely unknown. Dr.Neus Latorre-Margalef and colleagues show that the strength and duration of heterosubtypic immunity has important implications for transmission dynamics of IAV in the natural reservoir.

Yersinia delivers Yops into numerous types of cultured cells, but predominantly into professional phagocytes and B cells during animal infection. However, the basis for this cellular tropism during infection is not understood. Dr. Francisco Maldonado-Arocho and colleagues illustrate that bacterial adhesins and host factors contribute to efficient delivery of effector proteins into targeted host cells during infection.

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