Research Highlights

The Breadth of Viruses in Human Semen

The Breadth of Viruses in Human Semen

Posted 12/12/2017

Zika virus RNA is frequently detected in the semen after Zika virus infection. To learn more about persistence of viruses in genital fluids, Dr Alex Salam and Professor Peter Horby searched PubMed and found evidence that 27 viruses can be found in human semen. This may have implications for the risk of sexual transmission, embryonic infection, congenital disease, miscarriage, and infection transmission models.

How the West Africa Ebola outbreak can shape innovation in therapeutic research for emerging and epidemic infections

How the West Africa Ebola outbreak can shape innovation in therapeutic research for emerging and epidemic infections

Posted 09/11/2017

Amanda Rojek and Peter Horby published a review aimed at clinicians who may treat patients with Ebola Virus Disease. This review outlines advances in understanding the clinical presentation, outcomes and long term sequelae of the disease, and outlines the status of experimental vaccines and treatments.

Conserved cytoplasmic domains promote Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase complex formation for ER-associated degradation (ERAD)

Conserved cytoplasmic domains promote Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase complex formation for ER-associated degradation (ERAD)

Posted 30/10/2017
When proteins are formed inside cells they have to fold in the correct 3D structures to function correctly. Too many misfolded proteins can be toxic to the cell, so there are molecular mechanisms that help to clear away potentially dangerous protein forms. A new study in Journal of Cell Science from John Christianson’s group at Ludwig Oxford has identified a specific domain in protein called Hrd1 that is crucial for the clearance machinery in the endoplasmic reticulum.
Local, national, and regional viral haemorrhagic fever pandemic potential in Africa: a multistage analysis

Local, national, and regional viral haemorrhagic fever pandemic potential in Africa: a multistage analysis

Posted 20/10/2017

In a recently published paper in The Lancet, Professor Peter Horby outlines potential epidemics in Africa. It is difficult to predict when and where new epidemics might occur so we can be better prepared and have a proactive response.

Severe childhood malnutrition

Severe childhood malnutrition

Posted 12/10/2017

Severe malnutrition remains common in low-income countries, principally among young children. It usually arises from poor sanitation and infections, besides food insecurity. This comprehensive review by Professor James Berkley describes how research is needed, using modern clinic and laboratory tools, to better understand changes in metabolism, infections and the immune system to improve treatment.

Community engagement for the rapid elimination of malaria: the case of Kayin State, Myanmar

Community engagement for the rapid elimination of malaria: the case of Kayin State, Myanmar

Posted 03/10/2017
Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues published a paper describing their experience and challenges engaging with communities involved in the Targeted Malaria Elimination initiative in Karen State, Myanmar. The report gives a detailed account of the activities conducted and challenges encountered which included difficulties explaining concepts like drug resistance and submicroscopic infection.
Unsupervised primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses in southern Papua: A hospital-based cohort study

Unsupervised primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses in southern Papua: A hospital-based cohort study

Posted 21/09/2017
Ric Price shows that that primaquine is substantially less effective for preventing relapses of vivax malaria in real-world practice than is predicted by clinical efficacy trials and that this is a likely consequence of incomplete adherence to treatment. Efforts to improve adherence to primaquine and to develop alternative drugs with shorter dosing regimens and greater patient tolerability are needed to achieve the significant public health benefits of P. vivax radical cure.
How can we implement paediatric care practices in Kenyan hospitals?

How can we implement paediatric care practices in Kenyan hospitals?

Posted 13/09/2017

Changing the practices of health care workers in multiple hospitals in low-income settings is a major contemporary challenge that requires people to think about the complex set of influences that affect clinicians’ behaviour. In this report, Professor Mike English describes a multi-layered strategy utilising a new implementation typology linked to overarching theories of change.

Adjuvanting a viral vectored vaccine against pre-erythrocytic malaria

Adjuvanting a viral vectored vaccine against pre-erythrocytic malaria

Posted 07/09/2017

Adjuvants are key components used to enhance vaccine efficacy. Their use has been well characterised to stimulate antibody responses but very little has been investigated regarding their effect on cytotoxic T cell responses. In this study, an extensive group of adjuvants has been assessed to investigate immunity enhancement against liver-stage malaria through stimulation of T cell responses. Two were found to improve vaccine efficacy against a sporozoite challenge and the mechanism is presented.

Neonatal and adult recent thymic emigrants produce IL-8 and express complement receptors CR1 and CR2

Neonatal and adult recent thymic emigrants produce IL-8 and express complement receptors CR1 and CR2

Posted 31/08/2017

Although naive human T cells underpin the adaptive arm of the immune system, John Todd, Marcin Pekalski, Linda Wicker and colleagues have discovered that these cells express the innate complement receptors, CR2 (or CD21, the EBV receptor) and CR1, opening a new avenue of research in microbial defence in newborn children.