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This Week in PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens: International Cooperation through NTD Research, Sanitation and Disease Eradication, Emerging and Emerged Pathogenic Candida Species and More

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

Freeman MC, Ogden S, Jacobson J, Abbott D, Addiss DG, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(9): e2439. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002439
(Image Credit: J Ro, via Flickr)

In 2005 India, Nepal, and Bangladesh signed a landmark agreement to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis in South Asia. In this editorial, Peter Hotez, Sunit Singh and Xiao-Nong Zhou outline the exciting opportunity for India and China to also engage in international science diplomacy for controlling or eliminating the major neglected tropical diseases in their two countries, and thereby reduce the global NTD burden by up to 40%.

Improvements of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and appropriate health-seeking behavior are necessary for achieving sustained control, elimination, or eradication of many (NTDs). In this paper, Matthew Freeman and colleagues report on a 2012 meeting between stakeholders in the NTD control, child health and WASH sectors to discuss the opportunities and barriers for collaboration.

In an attempt to better understand the etiology of noma, a mutilating disease affecting children suffering poor hygiene and chronic malnutrition, Antoine Huyghe and colleagues used microarrays to assess the bacterial microbiota of gingival fluids sampled from 413 healthy and diseased children. Oral pathogens were found in both conditions but Fusobacterium necrophorum, the putative causative agent of noma, was not associated with the disease.

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

Candidiasis is a serious public health problem, and the proportion of non-albicans candida (NAC) strains among isolates from patients is increasing. In their pearl, Nicolas Papon and colleagues provide an overview of the more common NACs and discuss historic and current challenges to the understanding of these pathogens and for the development of efficient NAC-specific antifungals.

New interventions against Schistosoma mansoni are needed as resistance against the only existing drug has been detected. Raymond Pierce, Christophe Romier, and colleagues report that smHDAC8, one of the parasite’s histone deacetylases, is necessary for infectivity and survival. smHDAC8 is structurally distinct from its human counterpart, and small inhibitors of the enzyme kill the parasite, pointing to smHDAC8 as a promising new drug target.

The interaction between hendra virus nucleoprotein N and phosphoprotein P, a co-factor of the polymerase, is essential for transcription and replication of the viral genome. Marlene Ringkjøbing Jensen, Sonia Lenghi and colleagues used structural biology tools to study the interaction. Challenging existing assumptions, they report that the nucleocapsid does not undergo any major rearrangements or unwinding upon interaction with P.

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