U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Greg Walden (R-OR) recently sent a public letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), regarding the Blue Ribbon Panel’s review of the 2014 smallpox virus incident on the NIH campus that called into question a number of missed opportunities to discover vials... Read More »
Botulinum toxin, produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, is the most potent biological toxin known to exist on Earth. The toxin causes botulism, a severe muscle-paralyzing, potentially fatal disease, characteristics that increase its likelihood as a potential bioweapon.
And while the U.S.... Read More »
The New Mexico Department of Health recently awarded a second contract to researchers from the New Mexico State University (NMSU) to expand a previous project map that shows the geographic distribution of mosquitoes that could potentially carry the Zika virus.
According to a release by NMSU,... Read More »
An outbreak of the acute viral hemorrhagic fever illness called Lassa fever has recently been reported by officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) in multiple West African nations including Nigeria.
As of last month, a total of 501 suspected cases have been reported, 104 of which... Read More »
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the most-recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has officially concluded after
According to WHO, the 42-day mark represents two incubation cycles of the virus after the last confirmed... Read More »
A new DNA vaccine candidate was shown to induce persistent humoral and cellular immune responses and provided protection from the DV1 dengue virus serotype among inoculated mice, according to a recent study conducted by Capital Medical University in Beijing and the Beijing Institute for Brain... Read More »
According to a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a new antiviral drug was shown to inhibit a variety of coronaviruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which could provide a way to develop new drug... Read More »
To advance U.S. leadership in fighting threats against human health – potentially deadly threats that can be transmitted between people like HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and the Ebola and Zika viruses – requires Congress to “resolutely reject” the Trump administration’s proposed FY 2018... Read More »
Joint efforts from university and federal researchers have prepared a checklist designed to help strengthen communities against infectious disease outbreaks – and what they’ve learned is it’s a messy web to navigate.
The report was prepared against the backdrop of the 2014 Ebola crisis,... Read More »
A group of scientists from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, the University of Copenhagen, and North Carolina State University recently published a joint statement that called attention to the lack of information regarding worldwide distribution of disease-causing organisms.... Read More »
According to a report published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Brazilian researchers recently identified for the first time an Aedes aegypti species mosquito that was naturally infected with the East-Central-South-African (ECSA) genotype of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Brazil.
Aedes... Read More »
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently announced a grant of $600,000 to GeoVax Labs, Inc. to support its novel Zika virus (ZIKV) vaccine development program.
The company is in the process of developing two novel Zika virus vaccine candidates, one that... Read More »
A new report from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recently described for the first time a patient’s immune response at the cellular level in response to infection with the Lassa virus.
The patient involved with the study is a male American nurse who was working in Togo, West... Read More »
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently exercised an operation for the evaluation of Soligenix, Inc.’s ricin toxin vaccine, called RiVax, to fund additional animal efficacy studies.
RiVax is a recombinant heat-stable subunit vaccine that contains a... Read More »
A Pandemic Influenza Plan released last week outlines areas of focus over the next decade and concludes that seasonal flu preparedness efforts must be stepped up in response to “the continually changing nature” of influenza viruses.
The Pandemic Influenza Plan was first undertaken in 2005,... Read More »
Bavarian Nordic recently announced that a request for proposal from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will be issued for the procurement of lyophilized Imvamune, a freeze dried version of the company’s smallpox vaccine.
The vaccine is currently stockpiled for... Read More »
A newly-developed Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccine was found to be well-tolerated with no safety concerns, according to a Phase 1 randomized clinical trial conducted by a team of researchers led by the Canadian Immunization Research Network.
The vaccine used in the trial, the vesicular... Read More »
A bacterium called Wolbachia may prevent mosquitoes from transmitting deadly flaviviruses such as dengue fever and Zika virus, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the Indiana University-Bloomington (IU).
According to the study, which was published in a recent issue of the... Read More »
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) locks in its budget priorities, on the potential chopping block is the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC)—a potentially devastating public health concern, one expert says.
That center, which aided governmental response... Read More »
In the wake of a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found that Zika infection during any trimester of a pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) called on public health leaders to... Read More »
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (R-FL) recently sent a letter to U.S. Army Acting Secretary Robert Spencer seeking assurances that the vaccine will be affordable for U.S. patients as they need it.
The request was made prior to the U.S. Army granting commercial exclusivity of a taxpayer-funded Zika virus... Read More »
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is transforming and centralizing infectious disease response and biodefense research with the creation of the Global Center for Health Security.
Such efforts are part of the brave new world of public health which, for years, has been plagued with... Read More »
A Tulane University-lead study recently revealed how a small protein found within the Ebola virus may be responsible for the virus’ ability to spread rapidly from person-to-person.
Ebola-infected patients are known to produce large quantities of a compound known as delta peptide. The... Read More »
A team of researchers from the Duke-NUS Medical School and Singapore General Hospital recently repurposed a non-invasive cancer detection method in order to track dengue infection in mouse models in real time.
Typically used to detect solid tumors, positron emission tomography (PET) has the... Read More »
A Phase 1/2 clinical trial to test an experimental chikungunya virus vaccine candidate, called MV-CHIKV, recently began enrolling healthy adults at three sites in the United States.
A previous Phase 1 trial of MV-CHIKV was conducted in 2014 by vaccine developer Themis Bioscience of Vienna,... Read More »
A vaccine based on the Zika virus NS1 protein was shown to give single-dose protection against the virus in an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model, according to a recent study presented by Farshad Guirakhoo, chief scientific officer of GeoVax, Inc.
Guirakhoo presented his findings at... Read More »
A five-year, $7.7 million grant to study the effects of Zika and West Nile virus on the human central nervous system was recently awarded to researchers at Georgia State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Florida State University.
The three-part study will aim to develop... Read More »
A team of scientists led by Katherine Hastie and Erica Ollmann Saphire from the Scripps Research Institute recently discovered the means in which the Lassa virus uses to enter human cells, which they believe provides a blueprint to design a potential vaccine for the virus.
Lassa virus, which... Read More »
The Zika virus may have circulated undetected for up to a year in certain regions before public health officials could identify it, according to a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIH... Read More »
Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) are taking a leading role in the development of vaccines to combat some of the world’s most-infectious diseases, including Zika virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), malaria, and chikungunya virus.
After the... Read More »
A manganese-based peptide antioxidant of Deinococcus combined with radiation was shown to be a promising step in developing a vaccine to counter both the Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV) and Chikungunya virus, according to a recent study conducted by the Uniformed Services University... Read More »
Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are significantly worse vectors for transmitting dengue fever, however, the means in which spread is established and continued among urban mosquito populations remains unclear, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Davis... Read More »
A bill that would extend temporary protective status (TPS) for a period of eighteen months to individuals from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea as their home nations continue to recover from the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 was recently introduced in the U.S. House of... Read More »
A leadership spot at the highest level in the United States government would be best positioned to harness and focus available resources and influence governors and the private sector on a common biodefense vision, a Texas A&M University (TAMU) international affairs expert said this... Read More »
The Ebola virus harms the body’s natural defenses by binding directly to white blood cells, which expedites the virus’ lethal effects, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), the University of Washington, and the National... Read More »