New tool to prevent infection after C-section

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis offers strong guidance on the best way to reduce the infection risk. Rather than prepping patients with iodine-alcohol — a common antiseptic combination in C-sections — the research indicates that chlorhexidine-alcohol is significantly more effective.

Study reveals how Ebola blocks immune system

The Ebola virus, in the midst of its biggest outbreak on record, is a master at evading the body’s immune system. But researchers at the School of Medicine and elsewhere have learned one way the virus dodges the body’s antiviral defenses, providing important insight that could lead to new therapies.

Molecular scissors help viruses break out of cells

Scientists at the School of Medicine have produced the first detailed images of a protein important to viral infection. The images, from Phyllis Hanson, MD, PhD, and her colleagues, are of molecular scissors that let viruses such as HIV bud from infected cells.

$32 million NIH grant funds study of multipurpose infection fighter

A multi-institutional campaign to harness a newly recognized cellular defense against infection is being led by researchers at the School of Medicine. A $32 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding the collaborative, which could lead to drugs with unprecedented versatility in fighting different infections. Washington University’s Herbert W. Virgin IV, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator.

Some immune cells defend only one organ

School of Medicine scientists have uncovered a new way the immune system may fight cancers and viral infections. The finding could aid efforts to use immune cells to treat illness.

Trick that aids viral infection is identified

Scientists have identified a new way that some viruses protect themselves from the immune system’s efforts to stop infections, a finding that may make new approaches to treating viral infections possible.

Urinary tract infections steal from hosts’ defense arsenals

Humans have known for centuries that copper is a potent weapon against infection. New research shows that the bacteria that cause serious urinary tract infections “know” this, too, and steal copper to prevent the metal from being used against them. Blocking this thievery with a drug may significantly improve patients’ chances of fighting off infections, according to researchers.

Timing, duration of biochemical bugle call critical for fighting viruses

Researchers have identified the primary player of the biochemical bugle call that musters the body’s defenders against viral infection. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that a key molecule, MDA5, is essential for producing enough interferon (the bugle call) to rally virus-fighting cells during certain viral infections.
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