An interdisciplinary team of UA researchers has received a $2.098 million grant to study recovery of language in the early phase of recovery after a stroke.Continue reading
PHOENIX—The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.Continue reading
Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council Take Next Steps to Advance ‘Arizona Biomedical Corridor’
- Authorize $180 Million in Revenue Bonds to Finance Mayo Clinic’s Cutting-Edge Cancer Therapy Center
- Renew Agreement with ASU, Mayo Clinic to Develop Corridor
- State Land Dept. Will Auction Corridor Land by Year’s End
Dr. Kenneth S. Knox and his UA College of Medicine – Tucson research team aim to understand the causes of HIV-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), funded by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.Continue reading
Lyme disease identified in Bay Area ticks, and it isn’t alone
Adult western black-legged ticks, which carry B. burgdorferi in California. (Photo courtesy of Ervic Aquino)
Finding evidence of Lyme disease in the San Francisco Bay Area didn’t surprise a team of researchers, although it may be news to many doctors in the region. But identifying another tick-borne pathogen that causes relapsing fever was unexpected and may deserve a closer look.
“There’s conflict about whether the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterial agent of Lyme disease) even exists in these spots,” said Nathan Nieto, assistant professor of microbiology at Northern Arizona University. As a result, he said, the disease—usually accompanied by fever, rash and fatigue—often doesn’t make the list when doctors are trying to make a diagnosis.
Lyme, after all, is named after a town in Connecticut and public awareness associates it with ticks in the northeastern United States, even though the disease has also gained a foothold in the upper Midwest.
Still, Nieto said the research team, which included collaborators from California, is “surprised at the traction” the story is getting, considering that Lyme disease has been investigated there for 35 years. The real surprise, Nieto said, is that his lab also identified Borrelia miyamotoi, only recently recognized as a fever-causing pathogen that affects people.
The findings appear online in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Disease. Nieto sees the attention as just one more step in raising awareness about tick-borne pathogens.
“What we would like, for starters, is for clinicians to understand that Lyme disease is in the West,” Nieto said. “But they also need to know that B. miyamotoi exists there.”
The Nieto lab performed the molecular diagnostics and sampling of ticks recovered from parks throughout the Bay Area and NAU’s Environmental Genetics and Genomics Laboratory performed the sequencing. Nieto said a group of undergraduate students, guided by himself and graduate student Stephanie Cinkovich, extracted DNA from the ticks, sequenced the genes and matched them through an online database.
Nieto explained that the hard ticks carrying Lyme disease do have their geographic limitations, so Arizona—except for a small area in the Hualapai Range near Kingman—remains unaffected. However, soft ticks, which carry pathogens that cause relapsing fever, thrive at higher and drier altitudes, and can be even more of a risk because their bites are less easy to detect.
For now, Nieto said, the current research project will continue to focus on specific areas of California.
“We’re going to keep looking,” Nieto said. “We’re interested in identifying reservoirs of the Borreliae and how that translates to risk.”
The work, he said, relates to the wider mission of his lab, which studies numerous types of zoonotic pathogens, including hantaviruses.
“We would like to show on a map where different variations occur so we can show the public where the areas of highest risk are,” Nieto said.
Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) announces that the company’s abstract submission titled Prevalence of Diseases and Conditions Amenable to Stem Cell Transplant or Infusion Among Families Storing Newborn Stem Cells at a Large Private Cord Blood Bank has been accepted for poster presentation at the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), being held February 26 – March 2 in Grapevine, Texas.Continue reading
The Freedom Driver Won Edison’s 2013 Silver Award for Its Ability to Allow Stable Total Artificial Heart Patients to Live Life at Home Without Human Hearts.Continue reading
Medtronic Enrolls First U.S. Patient in Global Clinical Trial for Miniature Transcatheter Pacemaker SystemContinue reading
Results may help scientists understand which older adults may have impaired immune systems, allowing early intervention to improve protection against infectious diseases, which remain a prominent killer in those over age 65.Continue reading