The best of 2017 – an A–Z of infectious diseases research

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Antibodies

This year antibodies have demonstrated promise as a strategy for treatment or prevention. For example, the discovery that dengue antibodies may have therapeutic potential against Zika, or the exciting development of broadly neutralizing trispecific HIV antibodies, a study we looked into for World AIDS Day in our interview with author, Richard Koup.

Bacteriophages

There has recently been renewed interest in phages as a potential alternative antibiotic. In the last 12 months, there has been promising research into phages against Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Group B streptococcus, in addition to work on the importance of the host’s immune response in vivo and hybrid phages with a broader host range.

Conferences

Infectious Diseases Hub attend some fantastic meetings this year, including the British Society for Parasitology’s Autumn Symposium and the ISNTD’s Water event, which emphasized the links between sanitation and neglected tropical diseases. However, the highlight has to be the ECCMID, where the whole ID Hub team had the opportunity to attend talks on hot topics, such as updates on Zika and colistin resistance.

Discrimination

Mental health is a burgeoning area of research, and its wide implications are extremely relevant in infectious diseases. In June, research from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (UK) suggested that lymphatic filariasis patients are more likely to suffer depression. In addition, the theme for World AIDs Day this December focused on the stigma and discrimination often suffered by HIV positive individuals.

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