Two parasites, the love vine and the gall wasp, are both hosted by one species of oak tree, but on Aug. 20, 2018, in the journal Current Biology, researchers at Rice University describe a new interaction between them. Rather than thriving at the expense of the oak alone, the vine leaches nutrients and moisture away from the wasp larvae developing in the tree.
Researchers from the George Washington University published an article in Trends in Parasitology outlining their lessons learned while creating vaccine candidates for hookworm and schistosomiasis.
What can scientists learn about human neurodegenerative disease from a major soybean pest? It's not a trick question; the answer lies in the soybean cyst nematode, one of two classes of microscopic roundworms known to lose and then regain mobility as part of their life cycle. A new study from the University of Illinois explains how it works.
Transmission of toxoplasmosis from mother to fetus can lead to severe congenital problems and fetal death, and tests for the parasitic infection during pregnancy are critical. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have showed the efficacy of a low-cost whole blood test for toxoplasmosis.
A study led by Indiana University suggests that computer models used to predict the spread of epidemics from climate change -- such as crop blights or disease outbreaks -- may not take into account an important factor in predicting their severity.
A new type of bed net could prevent millions of cases of malaria, according to new research published in The Lancet today.
Over the last decade, it's become clearer than ever that bacteria in the human gut-- collectively termed the microbiome--play a key role in health and disease. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have shown that a subset of people with soil-transmitted helminth infections have changes to their microbiome when treated for the infection.
Bat flies have been studied in a variety of contexts, including host associations and specificity, how bat ecology and roosting biology affects parasitism, and how fly morphology functions to allow coexistence of species on bat individuals and populations. Laboulbeniales associated with bat flies have been recently rediscovered. Studies since 2015 have revealed many new hosts, host associations, and undescribed taxa. These trends hint at the true diversity of these unique fungi.
Hookworms infect people mostly in countries where sanitation is poor and people often walk barefoot. Working on a mouse model, a UC Riverside research team has studied the secretion of the immune protein RELMalpha that is triggered in the body, following infection, to protect body tissue. When the researchers knocked out RELMalpha, the mice produced super-killer macrophages that attached to the hookworm in far greater numbers. These macrophages, however, provoked increased tissue damage and inflammation.
The incredible amount of genetic diversity in parasites means humans are often infected with multiple strains, which could make infections worse and increase the prevalence of the parasite over time.