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Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of illness and the treatment differ. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability. For bacterial meningitis, it is also important to know which type of bacteria is causing the meningitis because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, but new vaccines being given to all children as part of their routine immunizations have reduced the occurrence of invasive disease due to H. influenzae. Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
Efficacy of ebola vaccine to be assessed in large-scale clinical trial

Efficacy of ebola vaccine to be assessed in large-scale clinical trial

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today that they will soon be commencing the first large-scale clinical trial to assess the efficacy of an experimental ebola vaccine. [More]
Study: 20% of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California not referred for follow-up care

Study: 20% of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California not referred for follow-up care

The tiniest babies need special follow-up care when they go home from the hospital after birth. But, of the thousands of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California during 2010 and 2011, 20 percent were not referred to the state's high-risk infant follow-up program, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. [More]
Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

A leading microbiologist has warned of the increasing threat that killer fungi poses to humans and the environment. [More]
Fast-track diagnostics releases CE-labelled Real-time PCR kit to detect Zaire Ebolavirus

Fast-track diagnostics releases CE-labelled Real-time PCR kit to detect Zaire Ebolavirus

Fast-track diagnostics, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of infectious disease detection kits, has released a CE labelled Real-time PCR kit for the detection of the Zaire Ebolavirus – the strain responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa. [More]
Study confirms safety of two measles-containing vaccines

Study confirms safety of two measles-containing vaccines

A 12-year study of two measles-containing vaccines, published today in Pediatrics, found that seven main adverse outcomes were unlikely after either vaccine. [More]
Roche announces launch of cobas Liat System for on-demand testing in different settings

Roche announces launch of cobas Liat System for on-demand testing in different settings

Roche today announced the launch of the cobas Liat System—a fast, compact , easy to use, molecular diagnostic platform, designed for on-demand testing in physician clinics, pharmacies and hospital lab settings. [More]
Scientists reveal how bacterial nanodrills enter into our cells to kill them

Scientists reveal how bacterial nanodrills enter into our cells to kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial 'nanodrills' assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells' outer membranes. [More]
Researchers create synthetic surface to control adhesion of E. coli bacteria

Researchers create synthetic surface to control adhesion of E. coli bacteria

A research team from Kiel University and Goethe University Frankfurt has jointly created a synthetic surface on which the adhesion of E. coli bacteria can be controlled. The layer, which is only approximately four nanometres thick, imitates the saccharide coating (glycocalyx) of cells onto which the bacteria adhere such as during an infection. This docking process can be switched on and off using light. [More]
Great Basin Scientific seeks FDA approval for Group B Strep assay

Great Basin Scientific seeks FDA approval for Group B Strep assay

Great Basin Scientific, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, today announced it has submitted its Group B Strep assay to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance. [More]
A goodwill ambassador of palliative care

A goodwill ambassador of palliative care

Leanne Schoberl could have put anyone's picture on the home screen of her cell phone. "She loved American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. She envisioned marrying him one day," says Leanne's father John Schoberl. [More]
Gates Foundation awards US$156 million to support PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Gates Foundation awards US$156 million to support PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

In support of a bold quest to rid the world entirely of malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced an award of US$156 million to PATH to support the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) in building new vaccines that will interrupt the cycle of malaria parasite transmission and help realize the "accelerating to zero" agenda. Such vaccines would ensure that parasite reintroduction is prevented by providing what could be called an "immunological bed net." [More]
ADI develops ELISA test kits for detection of Ebola viral protein antibodies

ADI develops ELISA test kits for detection of Ebola viral protein antibodies

San Antonio, Texas-based Biotech Company Alpha Diagnostic Int'l has developed and released several convenient, rapid, and sensitive ELISA test kits for the detection of major Ebola viral protein antibodies (Glycoprotein, GP; Nucleoprotein, NP, and Viral Protein 40 or VP40). [More]
Group B streptococcus is the leading cause of infection in newborns

Group B streptococcus is the leading cause of infection in newborns

The findings suggest that this disturbing trend could be due the emergence of more virulent group B streptococcal strains and call for a renewed evaluation of preventive strategies to reduce neonatal disease. [More]
Study outlines how unique pathogen uses the release of ROS as signal to infect healthy people

Study outlines how unique pathogen uses the release of ROS as signal to infect healthy people

New research into a rare pathogen has shown how a unique evolutionary trait allows it to infect even the healthiest of hosts through a smart solution to the body's immune response against it. [More]
Columbia University professor recommends vaccination for people travelling abroad

Columbia University professor recommends vaccination for people travelling abroad

Planning to travel outside the U.S. this holiday season? Check with your primary care provider or travel clinic when you book your flight. [More]
Pneumococcal vaccine prevents illness, reduces severe antibiotic-resistant infections in young children

Pneumococcal vaccine prevents illness, reduces severe antibiotic-resistant infections in young children

The pneumococcal vaccine recommended for young children not only prevents illness and death, but also has dramatically reduced severe antibiotic-resistant infections, suggests nationwide research being presented at IDWeek 2014. [More]
Scientists shed new light on how LAMR1 and Gal-3 proteins can cause meningitis, septicaemia

Scientists shed new light on how LAMR1 and Gal-3 proteins can cause meningitis, septicaemia

Previously undiscovered secrets of how human cells interact with a bacterium which causes a serious human disease have been revealed in new research by microbiologists at The University of Nottingham. [More]
State highlights: Fla. toughens drug compounding laws; Conn. hospitals leave largest insurer

State highlights: Fla. toughens drug compounding laws; Conn. hospitals leave largest insurer

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Connecticut, New York, Michigan, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Arkansas. [More]
CDC urges all adults to get flu vaccination

CDC urges all adults to get flu vaccination

Influenza vaccination coverage estimates show an encouraging upward trend overall, but coverage among healthy 18 to 64 year-olds has yet to top 40 percent, according to new data announced at a news conference held today by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. [More]
SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

Saint Louis University researchers are attacking influenza on multiple fronts as they search for a universal vaccine that protects people from the flu virus that often mutates year to year with deadly consequences. [More]