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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

This Week in PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens: Raising Awareness of Leishmania, the Spatial Organization of DNA Genomes, Rabies in the Amazon, and More

Strijbis K, Tafesse FG, Fairn GD, Witte MD, Dougan SK, et al. (2013) PLOS Pathog 9(6): e1003446. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003446
Strijbis K, Tafesse FG, Fairn GD, Witte MD, Dougan SK, et al. (2013) PLOS Pathog 9(6): e1003446. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003446

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

Leishmania donovani, the pathogen responsible for visceral leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of an infected sandfly, and is the second most fatal parasitic disease after malaria, but much work to make at-risk populations aware of the disease and treatment options remains to be done. In this paper, Dr. Greg Matlashewski and colleagues discuss how governments and health professionals can better address this public health threat.

Because of the nonspecific nature of human leptospirosis symptoms, a biological confirmation is necessary to diagnose. However, this diagnosis relies on sophisticated and time-consuming techniques that are hardly (if ever) available to clinicians in peripheral health centers. In this study, Dr. Cyrille Goarant and colleagues discuss the development of a prototype point of care strip test for the serological diagnosis of human leptospirosis with a sensitivity of 89.8% and specificity of 93.7%.

In French Guiana bats represent the primary rabies virus reservoir, and treatment necessitates immediate rabies immunoglobulins (RIG) and rabies vaccine administration. This study by Dr. Franck Berger and colleagues underlines the difficulty of providing rabies post-exposure prophylaxis to remote populations in the Amazonian region and to show the lack of awareness of these rural populations concerning rabies and the risk associated to vampire bats.

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

The genomes of many different DNA viruses are frequently associated with PML NBs after their delivery into the nucleus. In this Pearl, Dr. Roger Everett, discusses many facets of this topic including: whether viral genome association with PML NBs is a cellular response, the recruitment of PML NB proteins to viral genomes being linked to DNA Damage response, and what factors are involved in the association between DNA virus genomes and PML NBs.

Control of acute listeriosis is primarily dependent on innate immune responses, which are strongly regulated by NF-kB, and tissue protective factors including fibrin. However, molecular pathways connecting NF-kB and fibrin production are poorly described. Dr. Nishanth and colleagues analyzed whether the deubiquitinating enzyme CYLD impairs protective host responses in severe listeriosis illustrating a therapeutic potential of CYLD inhibition.

SIV infection of sooty mangabeys is generally characterized by maintained CD4 T cell levels and a lack of disease progression despite virus replication, however, the loss of CD4 T cells can occur during SIV infection of mangabeys. Dr. Sundaravaradan and colleagues show that increasing double negative T cell levels and function during pathogenic HIV infection may provide one tangible component of a functional cure, and inhibit progression to clinical disease and AIDS.

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