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Covid-19 vaccine acceptance among individuals incarcerated in Connecticut state jails

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people who experience incarceration in state or federal run correctional facilities. To mitigate transmission and disease burden, US state and federal Departments of Correction (DOCs) implemented vaccine programs in the winter of 2020–2021. However, vaccine hesitancy is common among incarcerated populations due to distrust of the medical community and uncertainty around vaccine effectiveness.

Leveraging mHealth and a milk expression frequency biomarker during postpartum to prolong lactation among parents of critically ill infants: a pilot study

U.S. initiatives to meet the recently concluded Healthy People 2020 goals have made strides in improving breastfeeding rates and reducing supplementation of formula. Yet while only 58% of U.S. infants receive some amount of mother’s own milk (MOM) at 6 months of age, just 50% of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants receive MOM at discharge–a mean duration of 2 months. This rate is starkly lower (34.4%) for Black infants compared to non-Hispanic white infants (56%).

Rui Chen wins the early-stage investigator poster competition

Postdoctoral candidate Rui Chen won best research poster in the EPI Research Day 2023 Early-Stage Investigator Poster Competition. Her poster consisted of several interrelated projects, but her main research focused on characterizing the function of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels in insects nervous system.  

Amanda Ojeda wins the trainee research poster competition

Graduate student Amanda Ojeda won best research poster in the EPI Research Day 2023 trainee research poster competition. Her research focused on identifying the prevalence and the composition of Campylobacter species in infants in a rural area of eastern Ethiopia during their first year of life and potential reservoirs. The project was a team collaboration between Ojeda and collaborators at the University of Florida, Haramaya University, Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis and Massey University in New Zealand. 

Exploring diversity of bacterial spot associated Xanthomonas population of pepper in Southwest Florida

Bacterial spot caused by spp. is a significant disease that challenges pepper growers worldwide and is particularly severe in a hot and humid environment. Understanding the pathogen’s population biology is critical for sustainable disease management. The goal of this study was to characterize the species, race, and bactericide sensitivity of bacterial spot-associated Xanthomonas collected from pepper in Florida.

Research day recap: responding to COVID in South Africa and Senegal

The Emerging Pathogens Institute’s annual Research Day event celebrates pathogens research and the people who work in this critical academic space. After three years of meeting virtually, the event was held in person at the Reitz Union on Feb. 16, 2023 on the University of Florida’s campus. Researchers and students exhibited 123 abstracts and posters that probed pathogens and infectious diseases topics spanning from lab research to field investigations and bioinformatic analyses.

Machine Learning Prediction and Phyloanatomic Modeling of Viral Neuroadaptive Signatures in the Macaque Model of HIV-Mediated Neuropathology

In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, virus replication in and adaptation to the central nervous system (CNS) can result in neurocognitive deficits in approximately 25% of patients with unsuppressed viremia. While no single viral mutation can be agreed upon as distinguishing the neuroadapted population, earlier studies have demonstrated that a machine learning (ML) approach could be applied to identify a collection of mutational signatures within the virus envelope glycoprotein (Gp120) predictive of disease.

Cross-Hemispheric Genetic Diversity and Spatial Genetic Structure of Callinectes sapidus Reovirus 1 (CsRV1)

The movement of viruses in aquatic systems is rarely studied over large geographic scales. Oceanic currents, host migration, latitude-based variation in climate, and resulting changes in host life history are all potential drivers of virus connectivity, adaptation, and genetic structure. To expand our understanding of the genetic diversity of Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1 (CsRV1) across a broad spatial and host life history range of its blue crab host (Callinectes sapidus), we obtained 22 complete and 96 partial genomic sequences for CsRV1 strains from the US Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic coast of South America.