This Week in PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens: How IT Can Benefit NTDs Control, Type 1 Interferon’s Protection Mechanism, the Improbable Transmission of T. cruzi to Humans, and More

The following new articles are publishing this week in PLOS NTDs:

Andrianaivoarimanana V, Kreppel K, Elissa N, Duplantier J-M, Carniel E, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(11): e2382. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002382

Andrianaivoarimanana V, Kreppel K, Elissa N, Duplantier J-M, Carniel E, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(11): e2382. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002382

In resource-limited settings, the use of IT in healthcare is emerging as it has in recent decades in the West, and a number of efforts are focusing on the use of IT in the control of NTDs. But IT efforts in NTDs lack critical components to maximize human interaction, which is the basis of recent progress in the broader IT community. In this paper, Rajesh Gupta and Paul Wise explore how specific IT products and efforts in the private sector could be adapted for control of NTDs.

Like malaria and dengue, Chagas is transmitted by blood-feeding insects; but unlike those diseases its transmission is through the insects’ feces, not injection into the blood stream. This inefficient process makes estimating the probability of infection difficult. Using mathematical models integrating data on vectors and humans collected across Latin America, Pierre Nouvellet, Eric Dumonteil and Sébastien Gourbière estimated that, for several vector species, transmission occurs in 1 over 900-4000 contacts with infected insects.

In Brazil, the increasing occurrence of human VL cases in urban centers is a challenge for control efforts. Valdelaine Etelvina Miranda de Araújo and colleagues aim to identify the risk areas for VL and the risk factors involved in transmission in Belo Horizonte, a large urban area of the Brazil. This spatial analysis will be useful for the identification of focal points with a greater risk of VL and displays operational applicability in the control program in any urban environment with an unequal spatial distribution of the disease.

The following new articles are publishing this week in PLOS Pathogens:

Trypanosome transcription differs from most other eukaroytes. Genes are transcribed constitutively into long polycistronic RNAs, some of which contain hundreds of individual mRNAs. Nonetheless, copy numbers of most mRNAs are tightly controlled at the post-transcriptional level. In her Pearl, Christine Clayton discusses selected RNA-binding proteins that influence mRNA levels or translation.

Upon infection of a host cell, viruses encounter a wide range of miRNAs, often more than 50 different types. In his Pearl, Brian Cullen discusses what is known about the interaction of viruses with miRNAs. He concludes that while current evidence is scarce, it seems likely that viruses have evolved a number of strategies to avoid inhibition by these ubiquitous cellular regulatory RNAs.

Studying pneumococcal disease in mice, Vanessa Redecke and colleagues show that IFNβ is an important component of the host immune defense. The cytokine regulates two possible mechanisms that prevent pneumococcal invasion, namely transcytosis and tight junction-dependent migration from the lung to the blood, ultimately limiting progression from a site-restricted lung infection to invasive and potentially lethal disease.

 

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