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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.
New mouse model to aid in development of antiviral compounds, vaccines against Zika virus

New mouse model to aid in development of antiviral compounds, vaccines against Zika virus

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine have developed one of the first mouse models for the study of Zika virus. The model will allow researchers to better understand how the virus causes disease and aid in the development of antiviral compounds and vaccines. [More]
MGH-led study confirms safety of allergy immunotherapy

MGH-led study confirms safety of allergy immunotherapy

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found no evidence of infections related to administration of allergy immunotherapy, the common practice of injecting minimal quantities of allergens beneath the skin to reduce the allergic response. [More]
New data from studies evaluating diagnostic tools, therapies for infectious diseases released at ECCMID 2016

New data from studies evaluating diagnostic tools, therapies for infectious diseases released at ECCMID 2016

New data from ten late-breaking abstracts is released at ECCMID 2016 – the annual meeting of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease. [More]
Guardian system can predict risk of dangerous diseases

Guardian system can predict risk of dangerous diseases

If an infectious disease outbreak or an attack using an agent such as anthrax were to occur in Chicago, it most likely first will be noticed in emergency rooms throughout the city. Swift identification of the cause of an incoming patients' illness could be crucial to public health and safety personnel being able to intervene in time to save lives. [More]
Clinical study finds no added benefit of using four TB drugs to save people with advanced HIV/AIDS

Clinical study finds no added benefit of using four TB drugs to save people with advanced HIV/AIDS

In a report on the so-called REMEMBER (Reducing Early Mortality and Early Morbidity by Empiric Tuberculosis Treatment) study -- a 10-nation, randomized clinical trial of adult outpatients -- investigators concluded that there was no added benefit of using four drugs for TB over just using one drug, isoniazid, to save lives in people with advanced HIV/AIDS. [More]
Maternal bacterial infections affect fetal brain anatomy and cognitive functioning after birth

Maternal bacterial infections affect fetal brain anatomy and cognitive functioning after birth

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered how pieces of bacterial cell wall cross the placenta and enter developing neurons, altering fetal brain anatomy and cognitive functioning after birth. The study appears today in the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe. [More]
Blueberry Therapeutics set to create safe, effective nanomedicines to tackle unmet healthcare needs

Blueberry Therapeutics set to create safe, effective nanomedicines to tackle unmet healthcare needs

Blueberry Therapeutics Ltd, a leading pharmaceutical company focused on the major medical problems of inflammation and infection, are exploring the anti-microbial agenda through the development of new anti-fungal drugs and treatments to tackle this important unmet healthcare need. [More]
New WHO report highlights ways to prevent, mitigate hearing loss in children

New WHO report highlights ways to prevent, mitigate hearing loss in children

Nearly 32 million children across the world live with disabling hearing loss. A new World Health Organization (WHO) report, Childhood hearing loss: act now, here’s how, suggests that 60% of this can be prevented. [More]
Experts available to discuss use of meningitis vaccine in childhood immunization programs

Experts available to discuss use of meningitis vaccine in childhood immunization programs

Global vaccine experts and officials from all 26 African "meningitis belt" countries will convene in Ethiopia next week in advance of the Ministerial Conference on Immunization to celebrate one of Africa's biggest public health achievements--the introduction of a vaccine that in five years of use has protected more than 235 million people in 16 countries, nearly eliminating meningitis A disease on the continent. [More]
Distinctive gene 'signature' may lead to new way to diagnose Lyme disease

Distinctive gene 'signature' may lead to new way to diagnose Lyme disease

Researchers at UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins may have found a new way to diagnose Lyme disease, based on a distinctive gene "signature" they discovered in white blood cells of patients infected with the tick-borne bacteria. [More]
Vaccinations could have significant economic value

Vaccinations could have significant economic value

Vaccinations, long recognized as an excellent investment that saves lives and prevents illness, could have significant economic value that far exceeds their original cost, a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found. [More]
CosmosID announces $6M in Series B funding round

CosmosID announces $6M in Series B funding round

CosmosID, the leading genomic big data company focused on microbiome research, outbreak investigations, and infectious disease diagnostics, using next-generation DNA sequencing, announced $6M in Series B funding. [More]
Meningitis Now urges schools to protect pupils from deadly meningitis

Meningitis Now urges schools to protect pupils from deadly meningitis

LEADING UK meningitis charity, Meningitis Now, is calling on headteachers to ensure pupils are protected from deadly meningitis. [More]
Good bacteria can help inhibit growth of S. pneumoniae

Good bacteria can help inhibit growth of S. pneumoniae

A new study from the Forsyth Institute is helping to shed more light on the important connections among the diverse bacteria in our microbiome. According to research published in mBio, scientists at Forsyth, led by Dr. Katherine P. Lemon, along with their collaborator at Vanderbilt University, have demonstrated that a harmless bacterium found in the nose and on skin may negatively impact the growth of a pathogen that commonly causes middle ear infections in children and pneumonia in children and older adults. [More]
Researchers identify how immune cells triggered by recurrent Strep A infections affect the brain

Researchers identify how immune cells triggered by recurrent Strep A infections affect the brain

Researchers have discovered how immune cells triggered by recurrent Strep A infections enter the brain, causing inflammation that may lead to autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders in children. [More]
Diseases that cause skin-related problems can also trigger serious neurological conditions

Diseases that cause skin-related problems can also trigger serious neurological conditions

Diseases such as lupus that cause rashes and other skin problems also can trigger migraine headaches, strokes and other serious neurological conditions, according to an article by Loyola University Medical Center physicians. [More]
Scientists create detailed image of deadly toxin linked to bacterial pneumonia, meningitis, septicaemia

Scientists create detailed image of deadly toxin linked to bacterial pneumonia, meningitis, septicaemia

Scientists from the University of Leicester have for the first time created a detailed image of a toxin - called pneumolysin - associated with deadly infections such as bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. [More]
New funding for Centenary's life saving research

New funding for Centenary's life saving research

The Centenary Institute has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of funding for 9 new and innovative medical research projects via the latest round of NHMRC grant rounds funding, officially confirmed today. [More]
University of Leicester awarded BBSRC grant to explore three key areas that impact human health

University of Leicester awarded BBSRC grant to explore three key areas that impact human health

The University of Leicester has been awarded over £1.5 million in order to advance knowledge and understanding in three key areas that impact on health. [More]
Deaths from avoidable risk factors: an interview with Dr Ali Mokdad, IHME

Deaths from avoidable risk factors: an interview with Dr Ali Mokdad, IHME

The study showed that about thirty percent to maybe half of the leading causes of death in the world are preventable. These are risk factors that you could manage and thus you could prevent a lot of premature deaths. [More]
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