Infectious Disease in an Era of Global Change

The authors consider the extent to which recent global changes have increased the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, even as improved sanitation and access to health care have resulted in considerable progress worldwide.
[Nature Reviews Microbiology]
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SERINC Proteins Potentiate Antiviral Type I IFN Production and Proinflammatory Signaling Pathways

Scientists found that SERINC3 and SERINC5 exhibited additional antiviral activities by enhancing the expression of genes encoding type I interferons and nuclear factor κB signaling.
[Science Signaling]
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Pregnancy and Pandemics: Interaction of Viral Surface Proteins and Placenta Cells

Scientists display information on Variola, Influenza, Zika and Corona viruses focused on their surface proteins, effects on pregnancy, and possible target placental cells.
[Biochimica et Biophysica Acta]
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Hofbauer Cells and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pregnancy: Molecular Pathology Analysis of Villous Macrophages, Endothelial Cells, and Placental Findings from 22 Placentas Infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with and without Fetal Transmission

SARS-CoV-2 could extend beyond the trophoblast into the villous stroma, involving Hofbauer cells and capillary endothelial cells, in a small number of infected placentas.
[Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine]
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Developing Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Cerebral Organoids with a Controllable Microglia Ratio for Modeling Brain Development and Pathology

Investigators reported a new brain region-specific, microglia-containing organoid model by co-culturing human PSC-derived primitive neural progenitor cells and primitive macrophage progenitors.
[Stem Cell Reports]
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Mechanical Strength of RNA Knot in Zika Virus Protects against Cellular Defenses

Unfolding a Zika virus xrRNA with optical tweezers revealed that it was the most mechanically stable RNA yet observed.
[Nature Chemical Biology]
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An Isoform of Dicer Protects Mammalian Stem Cells against Multiple RNA Viruses

Researchers identified an isoform of Dicer, named antiviral Dicer, that protected tissue stem cells from RNA viruses—including Zika virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2—by dicing viral double-stranded RNA to orchestrate antiviral RNAi.
[Science]
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Distinct Roles of Hemocytes at Different Stages of Infection by Dengue and Zika Viruses in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

Scientists showed that hemocytes are recruited to the midgut of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in response to the dengue and Zika viruses.
[Frontiers in Immunology]
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Lipid Nanoparticle Encapsulated Nucleoside-Modified mRNA Vaccines Elicit Polyfunctional HIV-1 Antibodies Comparable to Proteins in Nonhuman Primates

Researchers showed that mRNA-LNP immunization compared to protein immunization elicits either the same or superior magnitude and breadth of HIV-1 Env-specific polyfunctional antibodies.
[npj Vaccines]
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Organoid Modeling of Zika and Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infections Reveals Virus-Specific Responses Leading to Microcephaly

Scientists used human brain organoids to study the mechanisms underlying microcephaly caused by Zika virus and herpes simplex virus.
[Cell Stem Cell]
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Biological Activity-Based Modeling Identifies Antiviral Leads against SARS-CoV-2

Scientists report a biological activity-based modeling approach, in which compound activity profiles established across multiple assays were used as signatures to predict compound activity in other assays or against a new target.
[Nature Biotechnology]
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