This Week in PLOS Pathogens:
Wild plants interact with many other living entities such as animals, insects, other plants, as well as their physical environment. They are also often colonized by many microbes, including fungi, bacteria and viruses. In this Pearl, Dr. Marilyn Roossinck discusses plant-virus biodiversity, how plant viruses impact species invasion, interactions between plants, viruses and insects, and mutualistic viruses of plants.
Immunocompromised individuals tend to suffer from influenza longer with more serious complications than healthy patients yet little is known about the impact of prolonged infection and the efficacy of antiviral therapy in these patients. By developing an immunocompromised ferret model, Dr. Erhard van der Vries and colleagues mimicked an immune suppressive regimen for solid organ transplant recipients which provides a useful tool in the development of novel antiviral approaches.
Malaria parasites kill up to a million people around the world every year, yet emergence of resistance to drugs remains a key obstacle against elimination of malaria. Dr. Jennifer Guler and colleagues reveal a population-based genomic strategy for mutagenesis that operates in human stages of P. falciparum to efficiently yield resistance-causing genetic changes at the correct locus in a successful parasite.
This Week in PLOS NTD:
Approximately 680 million people worldwide are at risk of infection with food-borne trematodes, including Opisthorchis viverrini (OV) that was suspected of significantly contributing to kidney pathology, plus bile duct fibrosis and cancer in humans. Detailed in this paper, Dr. Prasert Saichua and colleagues confirm the link between OV and these conditions, pointing out the need for a urine-based assay that could indicate both renal and bile duct pathology from OV infection.
Sand fly saliva contains different potent, biologically active proteins that can either induce host antibody production to protect against cutaneous leishmaniasis or exacerbate an infection. In this article, Dr. Tatiana de Moura and colleagues outline their work to identify and catalog the secreted proteins of sand fly saliva, including the isolation of one protein form Lu. intermedia that protects mice against Leishmania braziliensis infection.
The pathogenesis of severe dengue virus (DENV) infections is still not fully understood, but the cause is hypothesized to be an immunostimulator lipopolysaccharide-promoted cytokine storm, as is described in severe sepsis. In this study Dr. Cornelia van de Weg and colleagues seek to confirm a previous finding that microbial translocation occurs in DENV infected patients, and discovered cytokines that may contribute significantly to the cytokine storm.