Medicine & Healthcare Infectious disease

News

30 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University compared the sensitivity of rapid antigen tests (RATs) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 using data produced by the Japan Professional Football League. They found the comparative sensitivity of RATs for Omicron was not affected by the duration from the onset of symptoms to testing.
13 Jan 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University demonstrated the role of endothelial cell-specific protein Roundabout4 (Robo4) in the reduction of vascular permeability and mortality in mouse models of severe infection. The research team identified a drug inhibitor that increased Robo4 expression and reduced mortality in sepsis and SARS-CoV-2 mouse models of infection. These findings may aid in the development of drugs to reduce the mortality rate of severe infectious diseases.
14 Dec 2022
Researchers led by Osaka University generated a time-stamping method to trace the development and survival of plasma cells in the bone marrow and spleen. Using a mouse model in which plasma cells were fluorescently labeled in an inducible manner, they found that plasma cells were continuously replenished by new cells, a small portion of which differentiated into long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs). These findings may aid in the development of new vaccines that efficiently induce LLPCs.
25 Nov 2022
Researchers led by Osaka University identified plasma proteins associated with critical pathogenesis in COVID-19. Using a novel blood proteomics method, the researchers evaluated two discovery cohorts and one validation cohort of patients with COVID-19 and healthy volunteers. Cell adhesion proteins WFDC2, GDF15, CHI3L1, and KRT19 were shown to be associated with disease severity in patients with COVID-19, and may serve as potential targets for therapies to treat COVID-19 infection.
22 Nov 2022
The research team investigated the role of D-amino acids in severe viral infection. Mouse models of influenza A and COVID-19 infection and patients with severe COVID-19 demonstrated reduced D-amino acid levels in the blood. Supplementation with D-alanine mitigated body weight reduction in IAV model mice and improved survival in COVID-19 model mice. D-amino acids may represent potential biomarkers and therapeutic agents for the treatment of severe viral infection.
31 Oct 2022
While both protect from severe disease, inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and spike mRNA vaccines trigger different T-cell responses.
Human mobility and COVID-19 in suburban cities
19 Oct 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University researchers conducted a study of human mobility to find effective lifestyle changes that enable people to exist with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, while maintaining social and economic activities. They found that restricting the human mobility in specific areas according to the state of the pandemic, rather than uniformly controlling human mobility, could be effective in reducing the number of new COVID-19 infections.
14 Oct 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have found that the Vibrio cholerae colonization factor TcpF forms a flower-shaped trimer to specifically bind to the minor pilus protein TcpB resulting in secretion by the type 4 pilus secretion system into the extracellular space. This finding could help lead to the development of a novel anti-adhesive drug that selectively interrupts the TcpF-TcpB interaction, which may replace antibiotics in the treatment of cholera.
06 Oct 2022
Low concentrations of cetylpyridinium chloride, an antimicrobial agent present in mouthwashes, inhibit the infectivity of four variants of SARS-CoV-2.
09 Sep 2022
While the primary site of SARS-CoV-2 infection is in the nose, most antiviral immunity studies have been performed with peripheral blood. T-cell analysis of nasal swab samples suggests getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 following vaccination could confer potentially more robust, nasal-based immunity.
Editor's Choice
26 Aug 2022
Researchers have made perovskite solar cells more efficient and stable, A new cause of Parkinson's related cell death, Hibernating superpower is in the blood, Common mechanism for cancer and atherosclerosis, COVID-19 antibody skin-based test. Read all in the August's Editor's Choice plus an Interview with Prof Sutee Yoksan on The story behind the new dengue vaccine & this month's Asia Research News 2022 magazine pick - The evolutionary history of puddle frogs.
Wastewater sample being collected from a manhole in the village (Photo: Masaaki Kitajima).
22 Aug 2022
Scientists show that there is a close association between clinical cases of COVID-19 and viral loads in wastewater, with the viral loads picking up to two days before the cases were detected.
01 Jul 2022
Researchers report a new, minimally invasive, antibody-based detection method for SARS-CoV-2 that could lead to the blood sample-free detection of many diseases
21 Jun 2022
• The Satellite Center at Duke-NUS marks the latest achievement for the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre’s vision for a Discovery District on its Campus. • It is also the first Asia Pacific site in Johnson & Johnson’s network of research collaborations aimed at addressing endemic and emerging pandemic threats.
Mr Heng Swee Keat speaks at the launch of the Duke-NUS Centre for Outbreak Preparedness
11 Jun 2022
Duke-NUS is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the Asia Pathogen Genomics Initiative (APGI) to improve regional genomic surveillance and sequencing capacity. New Centre for Outbreak Preparedness will support APGI and work closely with national and global partners to enhance regional capacity to predict, prepare and respond to future health threats.
Staphylococcus argenteus in slaughterhouses and retail foods
21 Apr 2022
Genome profiling of Staphylococcus argenteus strains unveiled cross-contamination among Japanese retail foods and slaughterhouses.
Asia Research News Editor's Choice
14 Apr 2022
Bacteria hitchhike on red blood cells, New model simulates effects of exercise on muscles, Argon found in air of ancient atmosphere and Revealing emergent elastic fields of chiral crystals. Read all in the April Editor's Choice and this month's Asia Research News 2022 magazine pick - Asia's race to outsmart antimicrobial resistance.
Mycobacterial extracellular infection of red blood cells
29 Mar 2022
Mycobacteria are a group of pathogenic bacteria that cause diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis in humans. Now, a new study by scientists at Hiroshima University finds that mycobacteria are associated with red blood cells at lung infection sites, an interaction that has escaped scientific notice for 140 years since the discovery of the organism causing tuberculosis.
Asia Research News: Editors Choice
16 Mar 2022
Microgravity worms help solve astronaut muscle problems, CO2 recycling and drug development, Remote control of robot hand, Enabling the study of diverse Hepatitis B. Read all in the March's Editor's Choice and even more in the Asia Research News 2022 magazine.
Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria
04 Mar 2022
The Asian Development Bank partnered with global institutions to examine efforts to curb one of humanity’s most significant global health threats.
03 Mar 2022
Asia Research News surveyed institutions in Asia to learn about their latest contributions to antimicrobial resistance research.
Cell lines producing high-titer cell culture-generated Hepatitis B virus of various genotypes
14 Feb 2022
Advancement in cell lines capable of producing Hepatitis B’s many genotypes can reveal much about the unique virological features and treatment responses eluding researchers of this virus that has been infecting humans as far back as the Bronze Age.
Editor's choice
11 Feb 2022
Low volcanic temperature ushered in global cooling and thriving dinosaurs, Broccoli compound induces cell death in yeast, A single molecule makes big splash in quantum mechanics, Dengue virus makes mosquitos bite more often, and Asia Research News: How it all began, all in the February's Editor's Choice
21 Jan 2022
A booster dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine (BNT162b2) against SARS-CoV-2 after an initial two doses of either the CoronaVac inactivated virus vaccine or Pfizer–BioNTech mRNA vaccine is shown to provide protection against the Omicron variant, in a pair of papers published in Nature Medicine.
13 Jan 2022
The dengue virus alters mosquito behaviour in a way that makes it three times more efficient at transmitting infection.
Asia research News - Editor's Choice
10 Jan 2022
Unveiling substructures at the edge of the Galaxy, Nanodiamonds key to efficient hydrogen purification, How SARS-CoV-2 evades our immune system, A Zika hijacking with devastating impacts & Finding the right story for your audience, all in the January Editor's Choice.
15 Dec 2021
In a recent study published in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles researchers from Kanazawa University have visualized structural changes on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 that enable it to enter human cells.
Asia research News - Editor's Choice
09 Dec 2021
Micro-plastics cross blood brain barrier, Stomach cancer atlas, Omicron variant isolated, 120-year-old reaction turned on its head and Reporting through the coup, all in the December Editor's Choice. Plus our latest podcast: Decentralization and Democracy in Myanmar.
The expression of the immune response gene ​​NLRC5 (red purple) is suppressed in SARS-CoV-2 (green) infected cells (Photo: Ji-Seung Yoo, Koichi Kobayashi).
07 Dec 2021
Scientists at Hokkaido University and Texas A&M University have identified a key mechanism used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to evade host immune systems.
Immunofluorescence staining of uninfected and infected Vero E6 cells
30 Nov 2021
Researchers at the Department of Microbiology at The University of Hong Kong have succeeded in the isolation of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant from clinical specimens. This is the first known research team in Asia that has succeeded in isolating the Omicron variant. The isolated variant will enable the development and production of vaccines against Omicron, which has been designated as a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization.

Events

23 Nov 2020 to 24 Nov 2020
Global health emergencies look set to be a part of our lives. What awaits us in 2021 and what lessons can we draw from COVID-19 coverage? How can we support newsrooms and journalists for more informed and impactful journalism about global scientific, technical and human challenges? What role does journalism play in seeking solutions for a better world that is both healthy, and sustainable?

Researchers

Dr. Phan Thi Van
Dr. Van is the Director of the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 (RIA1) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. She has extensive expertise in aquatic animal health and aquaculture safety management.
Sophie St-Hilaire
Professor St-Hilaire is associate head and professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, City University of Hong Kong (CityU). She has extensively researched fish nutrition and diseases, including treatment efficacy, and has helped investigate fish disease outbreaks.
Dong currently works at the Asian Institute of Technology. He does research in Aquaculture, Pathology, Infectious Diseases, and Aquatic Bioscience.
Suraj Bhattarai
Suraj Bhattarai is a global health specialist and tropical medicine physician with research interests in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, health systems, and urban health. He is a co-founder and research fellow at the Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, a Kathmandu-based academic institute that promotes and conducts interdisciplinary research. He is a member of Global Young Academy and an Alumni steering committee member of IAP-Young Physician Leaders Programme. He obtained medical training in Nepal and masters in Tropical Medicine & International Health from the LSHTM, UK.
Prof. Tomoharu Yasuda
Prof. Tomoharu Yasuda's laboratory studies how immune system is regulated through the antigen receptor, intracellular signaling and lymphocyte programming.
Picture of Prof. Antonio Bertoletti
Prof. Antonio Bertoletti's current research focuses on the development of new immunological based therapies (TCR-redirected T cells, HLA-peptide specific antibodies) for the treatment of HBV and Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the characterization of human intra-sinusoidal hepatic immune system.
Linfa Wang
Professor Linfa Wang is a Professor with the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
Associate Professor Sophia Archuleta is the Head and Senior Consultant of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the National University Hospital, Singapore.
Ashley St. John
Prof. Ashley St. John is an expert in viral immunology and emerging infectious diseases, such as dengue and Zika viruses. She heads the Laboratory of Immunity and Immune Pathology at Duke-NUS Medical School.

Giants in history

Minoru Shirota (April 23, 1899 – March 10, 1982) was a Japanese microbiologist who invented the popular fermented drink Yakult.
Wu Lien-teh (10 March 1879 – 21 January 1960) was a Malaysian-born doctor who invented a mask that effectively suppressed disease transmission. Winning the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship enabled Wu to become the first Chinese student to study medicine at the University of Cambridge.