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Recent EPI Publications

Pseudohepatospora borealis n. gen. n. sp. (Microsporidia: Enterocytozoonida): a microsporidian pathogen of the Jonah crab (Cancer borealis)

The microsporidian diversity catalogued so far has resulted in the development of several taxonomic groups, one of which is the Enterocytozoonida – a group of generalist ‘ultimate opportunists’, which infect many fished and aquacultured animals, as well as a broad suite of host taxa, including humans. In this study, we provide phylogenetic, ultrastructural, developmental, and pathological evidence for the creation of a new genus and species to hold a microsporidian parasite of the Jonah crab, Cancer borealis.

Co-targeting BCL-XL and MCL-1 with DT2216 and AZD8055 synergistically inhibit small-cell lung cancer growth without causing on-target toxicities in mice

Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive malignancy with limited therapeutic options. The dismal prognosis in SCLC is in part associated with an upregulation of BCL-2 family anti-apoptotic proteins, including BCL-XL and MCL-1. Unfortunately, the currently available inhibitors of BCL-2 family anti-apoptotic proteins, except BCL-2 inhibitors, are not clinically relevant because of various on-target toxicities.

Human biting mosquitoes and implications for West Nile virus transmission

West Nile virus (WNV), primarily vectored by mosquitoes of the genus Culex, is the most important mosquito-borne pathogen in North America, having infected thousands of humans and countless wildlife since its arrival in the USA in 1999. In locations with dedicated mosquito control programs, surveillance methods often rely on frequent testing of mosquitoes collected in a network of gravid traps (GTs) and CO2-baited light traps (LTs). Traps specifically targeting oviposition-seeking (e.g. GTs) and host-seeking (e.g. LTs) mosquitoes are vulnerable to trap bias, and captured specimens are often damaged, making morphological identification difficult.

Dynamic 18F-Pretomanid PET imaging in animal models of TB meningitis and human studies

Pretomanid is a nitroimidazole antimicrobial active against drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis and approved in combination with bedaquiline and linezolid (BPaL) to treat multidrug-resistant (MDR) pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). However, the penetration of these antibiotics into the central nervous system (CNS), and the efficacy of the BPaL regimen for TB meningitis, are not well established.

Socioecological predictors of breastfeeding practices in rural eastern Ethiopia

Estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that over 800,000 global neonatal deaths each year are attributed to deviations from recommended best practices in infant feeding. Identifying factors promoting ideal breastfeeding practices may facilitate efforts to decrease neonatal and infant death rates and progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.

Molecular Basis of the Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 Serotype Switch from Ogawa to Inaba in Haiti

Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa was introduced involuntarily into Haiti in October 2010, and virtually all of the clinical strains isolated during the first 5 years of the epidemic were Ogawa. Inaba strains were identified intermittently prior to 2015, with diverse mutations resulting in a common phenotype. In 2015, the percentage of clinical infections due to the Inaba serotype began to rapidly increase, with Inaba supplanting Ogawa as the dominant serotype during the subsequent 4 years.

Malaria transmission in Nepal under climate change: anticipated shifts in extent and season, and comparison with risk definitions for intervention

Climate and climate change affect the spatial pattern and seasonality of malaria risk. Season lengths and spatial extents of mapped current and future malaria transmission suitability predictions for Nepal were assessed for a combination of malaria vector and parasites: Anopheles stephensi and Plasmodium falciparum (ASPF) and An. stephensi and Plasmodium vivax (ASPV) and compared with observed estimates of malaria risk in Nepal.

First report of Bipolaris sorokiniana leaf spot disease on watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in Florida

Watermelon is an important crop in Florida, representing $88.2 million in cash receipts in 2015 (USDA/NASS 2017). In April and May 2021, the UF/IFAS Plant Diagnostic Center in Gainesville, Florida received eight diseased watermelon leaf samples from Alachua, Gilcrest, Levy, and Suwannee counties in Florida. Lesions were round to oblong, light gray to tan with reddish brown margins and white to light gray center, and some were coalescing resulting in about 15% disease severity.