The Handoff: Your Week in Infectious Disease News - 2/10/17

As infectious diseases evolve, it can be challenging to stay current with the latest research. The Handoff is a weekly roundup of the most important news and updates covering the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Keep your finger on the pulse of infectious diseases with The Handoff.

--Infectious Disease Advisor will be covering the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) to be held February 13-16, 2017. Take a sneak peek of the topics to be highlighted at CROI 2017.

--Reported in Nature, scientists from Penn Medicine observed that preclinical tests of a single dose mRNA-based Zika vaccine candidate shows promise in both mice and monkeys. Findings from the paper will also be presented at CROI next week.

-- According to a new Pew Research Center survey, despite the public debate over safety of childhood vaccines, 82% of Americans support requiring all healthy schoolchildren to be vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella.

-- The CDC is reporting widespread influenza activity in most states.  The predominant strain making people sick so far is the influenza A virus H3N2. A total of 15 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2016-2017 season.

-- A new study published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica found that in addition to severe infections (requiring hospitalization), non-severe infections (requiring no hospitalization) also increase the risk for developing schizophrenia or depression in patients.

--Michael M. Lederman, MD, a researcher from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $2.5 million grant from Gilead Sciences to see if a combined treatment of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and monoclonal antibodies can help to eradicate HIV.

--In a study published in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at Penn Medicine have found evidence that Interleukin 27 (IL-27) may be the key to fighting and treating respiratory syncytial virus infections.

--Does living in a gravity-free environment impact human gut microbiota?  Northwestern University researchers observed that changes in an astronaut's gut bacteria associated with spaceflight went away upon his return to Earth.

--In this TEDx talk, Brian Hammer, PhD, an associate professor at Georgia Tech's School of Biological Sciences, discusses the possibility of using engineered bacteria as a living antibiotic.

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