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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of September 3, 2017

SEP 09, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF

#3: Tick Saliva Molecule Blocks Mechanism Behind Increased Cardiovascular Risks Associated with HIV

Now that individuals with HIV are living longer lives thanks to antiretroviral therapy (ART), they are also at increased risk for ischemic stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease. Although the associated risk of these conditions in the HIV-positive patient population is known, the underlying mechanism driving the risk has not been clear, until now.

New research from the National Institutes of Health sheds light on the mechanism behind cardiovascular risks by taking a closer look at how “chronic inflammation and persistent immune activation associated with HIV” drives risk in infected individuals, according to a recent press release.

Several past studies have shown that HIV-positive individuals are 50% to 75% more likely to experience acute myocardial infarction than those without the virus, even when infection is well-controlled by ART.

Learn more about this new discovery on the tick saliva molecule, here.
 

#2: One Mode of Zika Virus Transmission May Put Fetuses at Higher Risk of Infection

A new study led by researchers from the University of California, Davis, suggests that vaginal transmission of Zika virus may put fetuses at higher risk of infection compared with mosquito transmission of the disease.

Since the Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in 2015 and spread to North America, public health officials have been tracking the disease and its link to congenital microcephaly and other neonatal neurological disorders. Zika transmission can occur through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito, from an infected individual to their sexual partner, through blood transfusion, through exposure in a health care setting, and from an infected mother to her fetus during pregnancy. Because of the risk of fetal brain defects from Zika, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began a surveillance program tracking laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant woman in the United States. As of August 22, 2017, the CDC has found laboratory evidence of possible Zika infection in 2,155 pregnant women in the United States and the District of Columbia, including 95 liveborn infants with birth defects and 8 pregnancy losses with birth defects.

Read more about this mode of Zika virus transmission, here.


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