Bacteria blocks Zika transmission in Aedes, study findsResearchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison report that a harmless bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis prevents transmission of the Zika virus by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The research was published today in the journal Scientific Reports and offers hope that Wolbachia could be a cost-effective weapon against Zika.The research team introduced Wolbachia into Aedes mosquitoes in Medellin, Colombia. In the study, female mosquitoes housing Wolbachia fed on Zika-infected mice or membranes containing Zika-infected sheep’s blood. They had low to undeductible levels of Zika virus compared with the controls and were incapable of transmission. In comparison, 95% of the control mosquitoes were capable of spreading the virus 7 days after feeding.Wolbachia has previously been investigated as a tool to control dengue virus transmission, and other studes have shown it to be effective against Zika, as well. The bacterium is often found in butterflies and bees but not mosquitoes. Researchers are optimistic the bacteria could provide a low-cost way to control the spread of Aedes-transmitted illnesses, including chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue. Currently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding pilot testing and introduction of Wolbachia to mosquito populations in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Researchers hope that once the bacterium infects 80% of mosquitoes in a region, the rate of Zika transmission will be greatly reduced. Once a female mosquito is infected with Wolbachia, she passes the infection to her offspring.It’s estimated that the Zika virus could infect 4 million people this year, causing illnesses ranging from mild, transient fever to microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome.Jul 1 Sci Rep study May 5 CIDRAP News story “Bacteria shown to curb mosquitoes’ ability to spread Zika” CIDRAP Zika resource page Whole-blood testing may provide wider window for Zika diagnosisWhole blood isolated from five patients with Zika tested positive for the virus for up to 58 days following symptom onset, a much longer diagnostic window than that provided by urine or serum samples, according to a study yesterday in Eurosurveillance.A research team led by Israel’s Ministry of Health analyzed whole-blood, serum, and urine specimens from six travelers to Zika-endemic areas diagnosed with the illness between December 2015 and April 2016. The patients ranged in age from 3 to 61 years, and two were male, the authors said.Among six whole-blood samples obtained from five patients who tested positive for Zika RNA by real-time polymerase chain reaction), one remained positive for 58 days following symptom onset. In contrast, among urine specimens, the longest duration of positive results was 26 days in one of the three positive samples, and among five positive serum samples the longest was only 3 days. The authors also found a substantially higher quantity of Zika virus RNA in whole blood (88 plaque-forming units, or PFUs) in comparison with the 16 PFUs in urine samples.The authors said that all samples of whole blood were positive for viral RNA during the first month following illness onset, three were positive during the second month, and all were negative after 2 months.Whole blood may provide a more accurate and larger diagnostic window for Zika virus, an improvement in detection capability that may help in addressing the illness during pregnancy and in preventing sexual transmission, the authors said.Jun 30 Eurosurveillance study Feds award $25 million to local health departments for Zika preparationFunding in the amount of $25 million to support Zika virus protection has been provided by the federal government to 53 state, city, and territorial health departments in the United States, says an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today.The recipients are areas of the country deemed at risk for local Zika transmission as determined by the estimated range of the Aedes mosquito species known to transmit the virus, a history of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, and population, says the CDC press release.The funds are available as of today and can be used through June of next year to identify and investigate possible outbreaks, coordinate comprehensive responses across all levels of government and nongovernmental partners, identify and connect families affected by Zika to community services, and buy preparedness resources like repellent, screens, and supplies for prevention kits.The announcement also says that the CDC “has awarded $567.5 million in cooperative agreements to 62 public health departments across the country to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health systems.” These monies come from Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement funds, which annually provide resources for local communities to plan for and respond to various emergency events.The Obama administration has asked for $1.9 billion in federal Zika funding, but action on the request has so far been held up by various congressional controversies.Jul 1 CDC press release
The 1st XV see the return of the international players this week, as Bern, Molloy, Cleall, Moore, Snowsill and Jones all return to the starting line up.Kayleigh Armstrong earns another Premiership start after solid performances through the season so far, and Belcher also retains the starting 11 shirt, continuing her form after return from injury.Since the first time Bristol and Worcester met, Worcester have strengthened their side, signing some strong players and building the strength of their team and have won their last three fixtures.Bristol put 62 points on their West Country rivals back in September, and will be hoping to return to winning ways this weekend, and repeat the result.The 2nd XV team are also in action and take on Teddington Ladies. Bristol have a team of new and experienced faces, with Trish Brown moving to centre and Jessie Hood and Ellie Mulhearn combining to make a fierce front row.Many of these players have performed well over the last few weeks, and coach James will be looking at the potential in this new look side.Both games kick-off at 2pm at Cleve RFC and it is FREE to watch the games. Follow @Bristol_L_Rugby to keep up-to-date on all the action. Bristol Ladies Media – sponsored by Wring Group.
DURBAN, (Reuters) – Seamer Vishwa Fernando bagged four wickets as Sri Lanka took the honours on day one of the first test against South Africa by reducing their hosts to 235 all out at Kingsmead yesterday. The tourists were 49 for one in reply, trailing by 186 runs on a lively wicket that appeared to get easier to bat on.Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (28 not out) and the attacking Oshada Fernando (17 not out) will resume on the second morning, hoping to lay the platform for a sizeable first innings lead.Sri Lanka opener Lahiru Thirimanne was their only wicket to fall, batting for close to half an hour before he was caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for a duck off seamer Dale Steyn. It was the perfect start to the tour for the Sri Lankans, who endured two heavy test defeats on their recent trip to Australia and have not won a game in any format since October.South Africa’s innings was rescued to a degree by a fighting 80 from De Kock before he was the last man out, having at least taken his side past the 200 mark.“We need to get off to a good start tomorrow and try and find a way to strike early,” De Kock told reporters. “They (Sri Lanka) have shown some good intent within their batsmen and will look to score quickly. We will have to figure out how we go about getting wickets.”HELPFUL WICKETDe Kock said they were not surprised by the quality of the visitors’ bowling attack on a helpful wicket. “Sri Lanka have always had a good pace attack, they have skill and their lines and lengths were tight as always. Here, a bit more movement off the wicket really assists them.”After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Sri Lanka had South Africa three wickets down with 17 runs on the board before Faf du Plessis (35) and Temba Bavuma (47) put on 72 for the fourth wicket to calm home nerves.But the tourists continued to chip away at the wickets column despite a positive run-rate from the hosts. Fernando (4-62) was impressive with the new ball as he had both openers Dean Elgar (0) and Aiden Markram (11) back in the changing rooms early.Bavuma showed good application before he was out in unfortunate circumstances, a straight drive from De Kock deflecting off the boot of bowler Fernando and onto the stumps with the batsman out of his crease.Keshav Maharaj (29) put on 47 with South African ‘keeper De Kock but was caught by Niroshan Dikwella off Fernando just before tea, with South Africa adding a potentially crucial 57 before being bowled out.
Walt Disney Television/Jeff Neira(NEW YORK) — Nik Wallenda, the so-called “King of the highwire,” successfully traversed a 1,300-foot-long cable suspended 25 stories above street level over New York’s legendary Times Square Sunday night, joined by his sister, Lijana, in her first performance since she fell 30 feet off a tightrope and was critically injured in 2017.The walk was televised live Sunday night on ABC in a special entitled, Highwire Live in Times Square with Nik Wallenda.Nik and Lijana met at the middle of the wire, which was roughly the width of a cork, at which point Lijana had to lower herself a sit on the wire so Nik could step over his sister, after which Lijana had to stand up again on the wire so that each could continue the walk. A particularly tense moment came as Nik had to temporarily unhook Lijana’s harness for the bypass.The two talked to each other constantly along the way, while Nik offered Lijana encouragement, and she sang spiritual songs to help calm her nerves.Nik, who finished before Lijana, raced over from One Times Square to greet her when she completed her walk at Two Times Square. The entire stunt took a little over 36 minutes to complete.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.