Research News

Greater public health response needed to limit monkeypox’s evolution, experts say

Sept. 22, 2022: UF biostatistician Ira Longini offers an expert opinion in The Lancet, along with colleagues, on the role of vaccination in reducing monkeypox viral evolution. Read More

UF’s Sadie Ryan to Co-Lead NSF-Funded Institute for Emerging Virus Research

Sept. 5, 2022: A UF medical geographer is co-leading a new institute funded by the National Science Foundation to study emerging viruses. Read More

UF researchers use AI to predict new coronavirus variants

August 24, 2022: Experts in viral evolution and artificial intelligence are teaming up to create an algorithm capable of predicting novel coronavirus variants before they become public health threats. They will also study how the coronavirus mutates in people coinfected with HIV and COVID-19 to better understand how variants emerge. Read More

Wastewater Health Signals

August 8, 2022: University of Florida researchers are refining wastewater surveillance techniques—a public health tool dating to the 1940s—to monitor cities, neighborhoods, and individual buildings for traces of COVID-19, fentanyl, and pesticides. Read More

Rapid antigen versus PCR tests in remote work settings

Aug. 2, 2022: A UF mathematician collaborates with Yale School of Public Health researchers to evaluate the agreement of results between PCR testing and 18 commercially available rapid antigen tests for decision-making in remote work settings on when to end an individual's quarantine. Read More

Rethinking quarantining

July 29: UF researchers find particles from virus that causes COVID are transported beyond quarantine spaces due to airborne nature. Read More

UF-led center continues fight against diseases spread by mosquitoes, ticks

July 13, 2022: A UF team studying mosquito- and tick-borne diseases was awarded $10 million from the CDC for an additional five years of research. Many of the team members are affiliated with the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute. Read More

Short isolation times for children with COVID-19 may contribute to spread

June 27, 2022: UF researchers determined how long children remain infectious with the omicron viral variant after receiving a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2. Read More

Why viral variants in the vaccinated matter

June 1, 2022: A team of UF researchers were early advocates that people should be tested for COVID-19 and monitored for viral variants—regardless of their vaccination status. Read More

In Thailand, dengue is no longer mostly a childhood disease

May 10, 2022: UF researchers find that an aging population is behind the shift from dengue being mostly a pediatric disease to one that now predominantly affects young adults. Read More

What happens when we pass human diseases to animals?

May 9, 2022: UF medical geographer Sadie Ryan makes the case that we need to better study human-to-wildlife viral transmission factors to better understand "spillback" events. How do we know when spillback will threaten species conservation — or fuel the next pandemic? Read More

The livestock–childhood gut health link

April 14, 2022: UF students and researchers address the links between intestinal pathogens, livestock, and children’s gut health. Read More

UF study tracks dengue and West Nile viruses in South Florida mosquitoes

March 25, 2022: UF researchers use molecular tools to detect dengue virus and West Nile virus in southeastern Florida and inform mosquito control in real time. Read More

Tracking coronavirus in wastewater

March 18, 2022: UF researchers track COVID-19 trends in an island community’s wastewater. The approach has broad implications as a public health surveillance tool. Read More

Research Day recap

Feb. 24, 2022: From land to sea, EPI’s Research Day keynote talks featured recent leaps in pathogen research affecting people and the aquatic animal source foods we consume. Read More

Endemic COVID-19 could be one to 10 years away

Feb. 23, 2022: Feeling ready for COVID to END-emic already? So are we. A UF professor of biostatistics, Ira Longini, shares his thoughts on where the pandemic is headed and what going endemic may look like. Read More

Short quarantines as effective as travel bans

Feb. 8, 2022: A UF mathematician collaborated on a model showing that travel between European countries can be done safely with a short isolation time and a negative test upon exit. Read More

UF team finds COVID-19 antiviral targets

January 27, 2022: As COVID-19 edges from pandemic to endemic status, there is a growing need for antiviral therapies. A team of UF researchers has identified dozens of therapeutic targets that could feed the drug development pipeline. Read More

Projections for COVID-19 omicron wave in Florida

December 17, 2021: UF researchers created a model projecting how various omicron-driven surge scenarios may unfold in Florida over the next few months. Read More

The (accidental) marine disease ecologist

Dec. 13, 2021: UF professor of marine ecology Donald Behringer may not have set out to become a leader in the growing field of marine disease ecology, but with each new discovery he grew into one. Read More

Predicting zoonotic pandemics

Dec 3, 2021: A UF professor contributes to studies exploring the power and limitations of tools to predict the next wildlife pathogen capable of seeding a pandemic. Read More

Dengue’s dance: host immunity drives viral evolution

Nov. 19, 2021: New research published in Science shows that as populations of people gain immunity to dengue, it drives evolutionary pressures that select for viral evolution—and newly susceptible hosts. Read More

Coronavirus ‘spillovers’ more frequent than thought

Nov. 17, 2021: University of Florida researchers have detected the first known instance of people becoming infected with a type of coronavirus that was previously thought to only infect pigs. Read More

Novel clinical trial to test if Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes reduce dengue

Nov. 2, 2021: Two UF researchers are helping to determine if spreading a bacteria among mosquitoes can suppress the incidence of dengue infections in people. Read More

Second instance of canine coronavirus found in a person

October 29, 2021: UF researchers report an uncommon instance of a past infection in an adult by a dog coronavirus strain that also contained genetic features of a cat coronavirus. Read More

Probing plant infections

October, 13, 2021: A UF professor deploys unusual methods in the field to investigate bacteria that infect tomato and pepper crops. Read More

Helping in Haiti

Sept. 15, 2021: Haiti's most recent earthquake caused damage to a building used by the University of Florida for past studies and projects. A retired UF staff member traveled to the island to help distribute aid. He shared the following photos with his colleagues. Read More

UF-led study explores differences in COVID-19 severity internationally

Sept. 3, 2021: Compared with the U.S., why are some countries less affected by COVID-19? A UF researcher leads a team looking for answers in Africa. “If we can learn what can protect us as a species, we could potentially be better prepared for the next pandemic," said Rhoel Dinglasan, professor of infectious diseases. Read More

Rapid emergence and spread of the gamma variant in Haiti

September 2, 2021: A team of UF researchers report genetic sequencing evidence showing how the gamma (P.1) variant rapidly replaced earlier lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 virus this past summer in Haiti. The outbreak occurred despite a relatively high level of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 within the population. Read More

About 35% of all COVID-19 cases never show symptoms

August 23, 2021: A new study found that 35% of all COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Children are most likely to lack symptoms, while the elderly are least likely. Read More

UF team identifies novel targets for COVID-19 antivirals

August 5, 2021: A team of UF researchers has identified dozens of novel therapeutic targets for the development of antiviral therapies against COVID-19 and other coronaviruses that infect people. Read More

UF team uncovers emerging viruses in Haiti

August 3, 2021: University of Florida researchers identify first known instances of two different types of viruses in Haitian children. The work marks the first time that Melao virus has been found in humans and the first time that both Melao and Oropouche viruses have been found in Haiti. Read More

UF-led team receives Keck grant to study fungal infections spread by wildfire smoke

August 3, 2021: A multidisciplinary team of scientists will study how wildfire smoke spreads fungi that can affect human health, using artificial intelligence to predict future threats. Read More

Gut microbial health could be key to health disparities

June 30, 2021: A UF infectious disease expert underscores a call for research into connections between the gut microbiome and health inequities. Read More

Untangling drivers of dengue in Thailand

June 29, 2021: New work by a UF biologist uses mobility data and genetic sequencing to reconstruct how dengue viruses circulate within Thailand. Read More

Research roundup: EPI's COVID-19 projects

June 28, 2021: A look back at the contributions of UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute to campus-wide COVID-19 research. Read More

UF’s EPI supports testing for new technology to kill space microbes

June 24, 2021: UF’s EPI is partnering with Gainesville-based tech company SurfPlasma, Inc. to test a new device’s ability to kill pathogens — even the celestial kinds. Read More

Casting light on COVID-19 and ‘guest’ agricultural workers

May 3, 2021: An editorial by UF professors, published in the American Journal of Public Health, casts a spotlight on the plight of guest agricultural workers during the pandemic. Read More

Mapping the spread of COVID-19 in Brazil

April 30, 2021: New research published in Science looks back at how COVID-19 spread over time throughout Brazil, to create a pandemic hotspot. Read More

Understanding Salmonella infections in Florida

April 22, 2021: New research by UF investigators on Salmonella infections in Florida highlights the influence of seasons, geography and age upon transmission patterns. The team also developed new AI-based methods for detecting outbreaks and linking cases to environmental or food sources. Read More

New malaria vaccine candidate seeks to block transmission

April 15, 2021: Two new studies advance a potentially groundbreaking transmission-blocking malaria vaccine. UF researcher Rhoel Dinglasan's approach is completely different: Immunizing mosquitoes with malaria transmission-blocking antibodies produced in people. Read More

COVID-19 vaccine effective against new variant in Brazil

April 9, 2021: UF investigators participate in the first study to determine that the CoronaVac vaccine is 50% effective at preventing COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil where the P.1 variant is widespread. Read More

UF researcher’s “mop up” malaria vaccine funded for trials in people

March 31, 2021: A malaria vaccine designed by UF professor Rhoel Dinglasan is expected to advance to phase 1 clinical trials, thanks to new funding. The vaccine is designed differently from all others: It immunizes mosquitoes via people. Read More

Coronavirus ‘spillovers’ more frequent than thought

March 25, 2021: Coronaviruses common to animals may ‘spillover’ into people more frequently than once thought, according to new research from UF and Haitian investigators. Read More

UF research finds genetic markers for cattle health, growth

March 1, 2021: New UF/EPI study uncovers a connection between an animal's genetics and helpful gut bacteria that are associated with faster animal growth and resistance against disease. Read More

Keynote talks from EPI's Research Day 2021

February 25, 2021: EPI's annual Research Day was virtual this year, and the recorded keynote talks are available here. Read More

SARS-CoV-2 virus isolated from air within a car

Feb. 18, 2021: UF researchers collected the virus that causes COVID-19 from air within a car that was driven by someone with mild symptoms — but who was not wearing a face mask. Read More

New maps predict where medically important ticks are found in Florida

Feb. 1, 2021: New maps detailing the distribution of key tick species will help the Florida Department of Health with investigations into reports of tick-borne illnesses. Read More

New TB drug regimen slashes treatment time

Feb. 1, 2021: Tuberculosis is an age-old respiratory scourge, with a new twist: growing resistance to multiple first- and second-line drugs. UF researchers and physicians report on using a novel treatment to slash treatment time — and cure — a patient with extensively drug-resistant TB. Read More

Partial dose of yellow fever vaccine works in emergencies

Jan. 20, 2021: UF researchers contributed to a clinical trial that found using one-fifth of a standard dose of yellow fever vaccine is an effective strategy for emergency outbreak scenarios. Read More

National study refines proportion of illness due to microbes in food, water

Jan. 5, 2021: UF researchers led a comprehensive study estimating the proportion of food- and waterborne diseases in the US attributable to five major transmission pathways. Read More

How to shorten COVID-19 quarantines

Dec. 8, 2020: Hint: Rethink testing. New research shows how to reduce COVID-19 quarantine times by almost half simply by testing on exit from quarantine instead of entry. Read More

COVID-19 Vaccine Seminar Series

Dec. 1, 2020: UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute is pleased to announce the launch of an all-virtual seminar series focused on COVID-19 vaccine topics. Read More

Biothreat specialist

Nov. 23, 2020: A molecular biologist cultures an ecological perspective of biothreats in his new role at the Emerging Pathogens Institute. Read More

COVID-19 pandemic is worsened without coordination

Nov. 10, 2020: A lack of coordination in measures to control COVID-19 may accelerate cyclical outbreaks, according to a team of UF researchers. Read More

UF study examines effect of pandemic on children and households

Oct. 13, 2020: UF researchers ask how knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the COVID-19 pandemic may affect infection rates, and the mental health, of children and their parents. Read More

UF researcher Ira Longini has COVID-19's number

October 5, 2020: Infectious disease modeler and biostatistician Ira Longini is applying decades of experience to help design and analyze clinical trials to identify a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Read More

UF researchers scour coronavirus studies for clues to a future shared with COVID-19

Sept. 17, 2020: UF researchers sifted through several thousand studies on human coronaviruses related to the novel SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19, with the goal of learning from the past to help shape the future. Read More

Smartphone-based saliva test that can detect COVID-19 earns UF professor honors in national contest

Sept. 17, 2020: UF infectious disease researcher Rhoel Dinglasan was part of a team that devised a saliva-based test for COVID-19. The team's design was one of six winners of the first-ever National Institutes of Health Technology Accelerator Challenge competition. Read More

Air-tight test: How a UF duo learned to sample aerosols for viruses

September 14, 2020: UF researchers Chang-Yu Wu, an engineer, and John Lednicky, a virologist, teamed up a decade ago to solve long-standing challenges in how air samples are collected and tested for viruses. Few people grasped the public health value of their work until a novel respiratory virus gave rise to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

UF study reveals how Chlamydia acquires essential nutrients

Aug. 12, 2020: New work from the lab of Tony Maurelli, associate chair of the department of environmental and global health in UF's College of Public Health and Health Professions, has solved a quirky mystery about parasitic bacteria that cause the sexually-transmitted disease known as Chlamydia. Read More

Evaluating global crop risks: How crop landscapes affect disease

Aug. 5, 2020: When it comes to managing risks to food crops from pathogens, landscape connections may be just as key to the spread of diseases as are networked trade routes and a changing climate. Read More

UF researchers devise new measures of flu immunity

July 23, 2020: Two UF researchers collaborated with international colleagues to measure how an individual’s immunity to flu is shaped over a lifetime of exposures to multiple influenza viruses. The team devised new metrics to analyze a person’s antibody profile and how it changes over time. Read More

COVID-19’s sneaky spread: half of transmission is silent

July 11, 2020: A UF/EPI professor helped develop a model that estimates slightly more than half of COVID-19 transmission is due to people with no symptoms. A third or more of these cases would need to be isolated, in addition to most symptomatic cases, to quell the pandemic. Read More

Harnessing genome editing for COVID-19 drug discovery

June 30, 2020: A trio of interdisciplinary UF researchers are searching for genes that either hasten or thwart the growth of SARS-CoV-2 virus inside a human host. Their results may contribute to the search for a COVID-19 drug or therapeutic arsenal. Read More

Needed: a national tick strategy

June 17, 2020: Findings from a first-ever nationwide survey of tick management methods reveal the most significant roadblocks to creating a uniform, national tick strategy. Read More

EPI statement on racial public health disparities

June 9, 2020: EPI Director J. Glenn Morris, M.D., issues a statement about racial public health disparities and how his research organization supports eliminating racism and health inequities. Read More

Autopsies of COVID-19 victims reveal blood vessel damage

June 5, 2020: A UF virologist assisted a team of medical researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City with interpreting microscopic images of tissue samples from COVID-19 victims. The researchers found extensive damage to small blood vessels, and they propose a mechanism linking vessel injury with biological pathways that lead to an immune system in overdrive. Read More

A rare melioidosis case: from pathogen to commensal

May 15, 2020: An unusual melioidosis infection in Australia offers researchers a rare window into understanding how highly pathogenic bacteria can adapt to life within a host. Read More

The big picture: EPI's director speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic

April 10, 2020: In a wide-ranging discussion, UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute Director J. Glenn Morris, M.D., fields big-picture questions about the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding nationally and in Florida. Read More

EPI delivers: high capacity COVID-19 testing lab built in 10 days

April 9, 2020: Behind the scenes in mid-March, a group of researchers, students and lab technicians across campus came together and built a high throughput testing lab in the Emerging Pathogens Institute in just 10 days. “The timeline was so compressed, something like this would normally take at least a month,” says UF molecular biologist Tony Maurelli. Read More

Cholera bacteria colonize Haitian rivers, evolve

April 1, 2020: UF researchers uncovered evidence that the bacteria which cause cholera, Vibrio cholerae, have established an aquatic reservoir in Haitian waterways where they are now adapting and evolving. This marks the first time the pathogenic bacteria are known to have a reservoir outside of the Bay of Bengal, which is traditionally viewed as their home. Read More

Prevent COVID-19 spread in communities

March 12, 2020: Visit the CDC communities page. Read More

Expert: outbreak transmission dynamics

March 10, 2020: Researchers who study outbreak transmission dynamics can offer insight to the spread and containment of COVID-19 based on past emerging coronaviruses. UF biology professor Derek Cummings has investigated outbreak dynamics of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which emerged in 2012. Read More

Study shows limits of travel bans in controlling new coronavirus spread

March 6, 2020: A new study published today in Science coauthored by EPI member Ira Longini analyzes effects of China's travel ban in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Read More

Curing mosquitoes, eliminating malaria

Nov. 25, 2019: A new study authored by EPI researcher Rhoel Dinglasan, Ph.D., and colleagues, twists the narrative in the fight against malaria by treating mosquitoes. His team showed that feeding a known antimalarial drug — intended for humans — to infected Anopheles mosquitoes rendered them unable to transmit malaria parasites to new hosts. Read More

Coronavirus consultant

March 4, 2020: UF research professor John Lednicky can pull live viruses out of thin air—and grow them. His past decades of inquiry into coronaviruses have positioned him as one of UF’s go-to experts on the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that is spreading globally. Read More

Science Scenes: Central and East Africa

March 2, 2020: Ever wonder what scientists are up to behind the scenes, when they are not consumed with crunching data, or endlessly editing papers for publication? They just may be traveling in far-flung places — hunting for data and building relationships with the people and places they study. This is the second photo essay in an occasional series, Science Scenes, in which we invite you to explore how EPI's faculty and affiliate researchers work across the globe. Read More

Chlamydia’s covert reproduction

Feb. 18, 2020: UF researchers have resolved a two-decade old mystery centered upon how the bacteria Chlamydia divide and reproduce. Newly published results from the lab of Anthony Maurelli, a microbiologist in UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and the EPI, reveal that how these parasitic pathogens replicate diverges from a nearly universal norm. Read More

Research Day recap: a dengue duet

Feb. 14, 2020: EPI's thirteenth annual research day took place yesterday, with nearly 150 poster presentations and two keynote speakers who both addressed the latest research in dengue, a growing global public health menace. Read More

Research Day 2020

Feb. 10, 2020: Join us Thursday, February 13 in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom for the thirteenth annual EPI Research Day! Research Day is an event where EPI members and collaborators showcase their wide range of pathogen-related research. Read More

CAGED: Making food safer

Jan. 28, 2020: An international interdisciplinary project led by EPI investigator Arie Havelaar seeks to identify bacterial causes of enteric dysfunction and chronic gut inflammation in Ethiopian children. By studying complex interactions between livestock and people, the project aims to identify reservoirs and exposure pathways by which Campylobacter bacteria colonize kids. But interventions are the ultimate goal. Read More

Dengue double punch: Combo controls

Jan. 20, 2020: Dengue elimination may soon be within reach in Yucatán, Mexico if novel control methods are combined, according to a new study by UF researchers Ira Longini and Tom Hladish. The pair used 37 years of regional public health data to build a model which tested how unique combinations of dengue control measures perform. Read More