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Nipah outbreaks in Bangladesh: age and breathing difficulties of infected patients increase the risk of disease spread

Nipah virus, a bat-borne paramyxovirus found throughout South and South East Asia, has been identified by WHO as an emerging infectious disease that may cause severe epidemics in the near future. Infections in humans result in severe respiratory and neurological disease with a high case fatality. With no available treatment or vaccine, the control of Nipah virus outbreaks must rely on a detailed understanding of factors that may facilitate inter-human transmission.

PODCAST : Trajectoires évolutives des virus : convergence, adaptation et dynamique

Pour son projet de thèse, Marie Morel cherche à mettre au point des méthodes de bioinformatique pour détecter des formes d’adaptation chez les virus et notamment dans un premier temps des mutations de convergence.  Les mutations de convergence sont des mutations qui apparaissent plusieurs fois au cours de l’évolution de manière indépendante. Elles ne sont donc pas héritées d’un ancêtre commun mais sont le fruit d’une même forme d’adaptation en raison de contraintes environnementales fortes.

Epidemiologist Amber Kunkel faces Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola has battered the Democratic Republic of the Congo for many months, from the outbreak that ended in July 2018 to the epidemic currently raging. These are reminders that there is progress to be made in terms of controlling and understanding this deadly infectious disease. In 2018, during the epidemic in the north west of the country, Dr. Amber Kunkel, a scientist from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, went in situ to lend her epidemiological expertise to heightened surveillance efforts led by the WHO.