Over the last 20 years, rapid advances in DNA sequencing and bioinformatics technologies have significantly improved scientists’ understanding of the microbial world. Examples include increased knowledge about the vast diversity of microorganisms; how microbiota and microbiomes impact disease and medical treatment; how microorganisms impact the health of our planet; and the potential for… Read more
Pathogen & Microbiome Institute
According to the National Institutes for Health, asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide—25 million in the U.S. alone, including 7 million children. Because it inflames and narrows the airways, the disease significantly affects quality of life, causing recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.
The incidence of asthma… Read more
Bovine babesiosis, or cattle fever, was once one of the worst diseases afflicting the U.S. livestock industry. Although the tick-borne parasite Babesia bovis was largely eradicated in the mid-20th century through a systematic USDA program to eliminate the ticks, cattle fever remains endemic in Mexico, where more than 60 percent of beef calves have been exposed to Babesia parasites.
As ticks develop resistance to… Read more
Francisella tularensis is one of the most infectious pathogenic bacteria known to science—so virulent, in fact, that it is considered a serious potential bioterrorist threat. Humans can contract respiratory tularemia—a rare and deadly disease—by inhaling as few as 10 airborne organisms.
Northern Arizona University professor David Wagner, director of the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute’s (PMI) Biodefense and Disease… Read more
Illnesses from mosquito bites have tripled in the United States since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Northern Arizona University evolutionary biologist Crystal Hepp is on the front lines of fighting mosquito-borne pathogens in the region. She recently received a New Investigator Award grant—$75,000 per year for three years—from the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre (ABRC), a… Read more
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2014-2015 outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Western Africa was unprecedented, with 28,000 cases killing more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
While Ebola virus is typically spread through the bodily fluids of symptomatic individuals, the virus can persist in some compartments of the body, such… Read more