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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.

Clinician barriers, perceptions, and practices in treating patients with hepatitis C virus and substance use disorder in the United States

The likelihood of clinicians prescribing direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and substance use disorder (SUD) was assessed via a survey emailed throughout the United States to clinicians (physicians and advanced practice providers) in gastroenterology, hepatology, and infectious disease specialties. Clinicians’ perceived barriers and preparedness and actions associated with current and future DAA prescribing practices of HCV-infected patients with SUD were assessed.

Disease burden among Ukrainians forcibly displaced by the 2022 Russian invasion

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, has displaced more than a quarter of the population. Assessing disease burdens among displaced people is instrumental in informing global public health and humanitarian aid efforts. We estimated the disease burden in Ukrainians displaced both within Ukraine and to other countries by combining a spatiotemporal model of forcible displacement with age- and gender-specific estimates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer, HIV, and tuberculosis (TB) in each of Ukraine’s 629 raions (i.e., districts).

Strength in Numbers: Density-Dependent Volatile-Induced Antimicrobial Activity by Xanthomonas perforans

For most of the 20th century, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria was the only known bacterium associated with bacterial spot of tomato in Florida. X. perforans quickly replaced X. euvesicatoria, mainly because of production of three bacteriocins (BCNs) against X. euvesicatoria; however, X. perforans outcompeted X. euvesicatoria even when the three known BCNs were deleted. Surprisingly, we observed antimicrobial activity against X. euvesicatoria in the BCN triple mutant when the triple mutant was grown in Petri plates containing multiple spots but not in Petri plates containing only one spot.