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African sleeping sickness: Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off parasite Some infectious diseases are particularly difficult to treat because of their ability to evade the immune system. One such illness, African sleeping sickness, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, transmitted by the tsetse fly, and is fatal if left untreated. […] Now, new research from postdoctoral scientists Danae Schulz and Erik Debler, working in the Papavasiliou and Blobel labs at Rockefeller University, reveals a method to manipulate trypanosomes in the mammalian bloodstream to acquire fly stage characteristics, a state that makes it easier for the host immune system to eliminate the invader. Read more at Science...

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NPR: “Kissing Bug Disease: Latin America’s Silent Killer Makes U.S. Headlines”

NPR: “Kissing Bug Disease: Latin America’s Silent Killer Makes U.S. Headlines”

“El Almohadon De Pluma” (The Feather Pillow), written in 1905, is a classic of Latin American literature. Uruguayan author Horacio Quiroga tells the tale of Alicia, a newlywed who begins mysteriously and rapidly losing weight. Soon she’s bedridden with severe anemia. The doctors are perplexed. She dies in no time. As the maid is cleaning out the bedroom, she calls the widower in: The pillow where Alicia used to rest her head has dark blood stains. She tries to lift the pillow up, but it’s too heavy. So they cut it open. “The servant shrieked with terror …” Read the rest of the riveting backstory, plus an update on where Chagas Disease is moving and why, at NPR’s...

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Huffington Post: Deadly ‘Kissing Bug’ Found In Southern States

Huffington Post: Deadly ‘Kissing Bug’ Found In Southern States

“Triatomine bugs, known more commonly as “kissing bugs,” have been found in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bug is native to the southern United States, South America, Central America and Mexico, and can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes the potentially deadly Chagas disease.” Read more on the Huffington...

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FDA Sounds the Alarm on Chagas Disease

FDA Sounds the Alarm on Chagas Disease

In a recent post, the FDA announces that Chagas Disease is “An Emerging Public Health Concern.” Research into effective treatments continues under the Neglected Tropical Disease Initiative Program with a number of inquiries showing potential promise. From the article: No drugs have yet been shown to meet standards of safety and efficacy for FDA approval for the treatment of Chagas’ disease, but several potential treatments are in various stages of clinical investigation. Read the entire post on the FDA’s Minority Health...

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