Treatment failure in parasite infection tied to virus​

Two new studies explain why some parasite infections, such as those common in developing countries, sometimes can’t be cured with standard treatments. The research shows the parasite Leishmania — which infects 12 million people worldwide — often harbors a virus that helps the parasite survive treatments.

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.

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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