Coccidioidomycosis (aka “cocci”, or Valley Fever) is a fungal infection caused by two species of Coccidioides fungi, infecting thousands of people in the southwestern US, and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. Recently, the fungi was detected in south-central Washington, both in clinical isolates as well as soil samples. Below, I summarize what we know about this disease and the pathogens causing it, the new area of detection, and the potential next steps forward in protecting the public from these bothersome fungi.
Monthly Archives: August 2016
On Friday, August 19, 2016, following the detection of local transmission of Zika virus on Miami Beach, the US CDC has suggested that pregnant women and their partners, if possible, should postpone any non-essential travel to any part of Miami-Dade county. Here, we summarize the current situation, how we got to this point, and what to expect in the coming months and years.
“[The situation in Aleppo] is devastating and overwhelming…the past few days have seen water systems, hospitals, warehouses, ambulance stations, public buildings, and civilian homes destroyed or damaged on all sides of the front lines”- International Committee of the Red Cross
An understanding of the blood feeding behaviour of biting insects such as mosquitoes is a major tool in the fight to control, and eventually eliminate, insect- transmitted diseases. Many studies have focussed on odours that attract malaria-transmitting mosquitoes to their hosts but chickens have now been shown to produce volatile chemicals that repel them.1
In early 2014, the European Centre of Diseases Prevention and Control reported cases of urogenital schistosomiasis in a group of German tourists with no history of travel to schistosome-endemic countries. Further cases were reported in France and pretty soon the evidence pointed to a river in Corsica as the site of infection.
Entomopathogenic nematodes are lethal parasites of insects which are used as biocontrol agents. While their effectiveness in the field has been variable, recent research has highlighted that temperature and age of infective juveniles modulate their host seeking behaviours.