DIR (Division of Intramural Research) News Releases

NIH-Funded Researchers Identify How Hantaviruses Infect the Lungs
November 21, 2018

A human protein associated with asthma is key to how hantaviruses infect the lungs and sometimes cause a life-threatening pulmonary condition known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. They say the most prevalent hantaviruses in North America (Sin Nombre virus) and South America (Andes virus) can recognize the protein, protocadherin-1 (PCDH1), and exploit it to infect the lungs. They hope that disrupting that recognition event could lead to a therapeutic against HPS.

NIH Scientists Illuminate Causes of Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Acute Liver Failure
November 13, 2018

National Institutes of Health scientists and their collaborators found that hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated acute liver failure (ALF)—a rare condition that can turn fatal within days without liver transplantation—results from an uncommon encounter between a highly mutated HBV variant and an unusual immune response in the patient’s liver that is mainly sustained by antibody-producing B cells.

Rapid Development in Central Africa Increases the Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks
August 22, 2018

The Central Africa region is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, and infrastructure development. These changes, while generally positive and welcome, also make the region more vulnerable to explosive infectious disease outbreaks, according to an international group of scientists.

NIH Begins Clinical Trial of Live, Attenuated Zika Vaccine
August 16, 2018

Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. NIAID is sponsoring the trial. 

During HIV Infection, Antibody Can Block B Cells from Fighting Pathogens
August 13, 2018

For the first time, scientists have shown that in certain people living with HIV, a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) stops the immune system’s B cells from doing their normal job of fighting pathogens. This phenomenon appears to be one way the body tries to reduce the potentially damaging effects of immune-system hyperactivity caused by the presence of HIV, according to the investigators, but in so doing, it also impairs normal immune function. 

Tickborne Diseases Are Likely to Increase, Say NIAID Officials
July 25, 2018

The incidence of tickborne infections in the United States has risen significantly within the past decade. It is imperative, therefore, that public health officials and scientists build a robust understanding of pathogenesis, design improved diagnostics, and develop preventive vaccines, according to a new commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine from leading scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

NIAID Scientists Create 3D Structure of 1918 Influenza Virus-Like Particles
July 11, 2018

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies. Because VLPs are not infectious, they show considerable promise as vaccine platforms for many viral diseases, including influenza. Realizing that fine details about influenza VLPs were scant, a team of researchers who specialize in visualizing molecular structures developed a 3D model based on the 1918 H1 pandemic influenza virus.

Natural Lipid Acts as Potent Anti-Inflammatory
July 6, 2018

National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a naturally occurring lipid—a waxy, fatty acid—used by a disease-causing bacterium to impair the host immune response and increase the chance of infection. Inadvertently, they also may have found a potent inflammation therapy against bacterial and viral diseases. 

NIH Scientists Show How Tularemia Bacteria Trick Cells to Cause Disease
May 30, 2018

Francisella tularensis is the bacterium that causes tularemia, a life-threatening disease spread to humans via contact with an infected animal or through mosquito, tick or deer fly bites.  As few as 10 viable bacteria can cause the disease, which has a death rate of up to 60 percent. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—part of the National Institutes of Health—have unraveled the process by which the bacteria cause disease. They found that F. tularensis tricks host cell mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell, in two different phases of infection. In the first eight hours of infection, the bacteria increase mitochondria function, which inhibits cell death and prevents the cell from mounting an inflammatory response to avoid an immune system attack. In the 24 hours after, the bacteria impair mitochondrial function, undergo explosive replication and spread. These basic science findings could play a role in developing effective treatment strategies, according to the researchers.

Microglia Are Key Defenders Against Prion Diseases
May 17, 2018

Prion diseases are slow degenerative brain diseases that occur in people and various other mammals. No vaccines or treatments are available, and these diseases are almost always fatal. Scientists have found little evidence of a protective immune response to prion infections. Further, microglia—brain cells usually involved in the first level of host defense against infections of the brain—have been thought to worsen these diseases by secreting toxic molecules that can damage nerve cells.

Despite Mutations in Makona Ebola Virus, Disease Consistent in Mice, Monkeys
May 8, 2018

Early during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, scientists speculated that the genetic diversity of the circulating Makona strain of virus (EBOV-Makona) would result in more severe disease and more transmissibility than prior strains. However, using two different animal models, National Institutes of Health scientists have determined that certain mutations stabilized early during the epidemic and did not alter Ebola disease presentation or outcome.

NIH Study: No Chronic Wasting Disease Transmissibility in Macaques
April 25, 2018

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) did not cross the species barrier to infect cynomolgus macaque monkeys during a lengthy investigation by National Institutes of Health scientists exploring risks to humans. 

Genetically Altered Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Protect Monkeys from HIV-Like Virus
April 16, 2018

Two genetically modified broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) protected rhesus macaques from an HIV-like virus, report scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. After introducing genetic mutations into two potent HIV bNAbs, researchers prepared intravenous infusions of two bNAbs known as 3BNC117-LS and 10-1074-LS.

NIH Scientists Develop Macaque Model to Study Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
April 9, 2018

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease spread by ticks in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Infection with CCHF virus is fatal in nearly one of every three cases. No specific treatments or vaccines for CCHF exist, primarily because a suitable animal model for studying the disease has not been available. Scientists have used mice to study CCHF but had to weaken their immune systems to cause infection. Studies in larger animals have not consistently replicated human disease.

NIH Scientists Adapt New Brain Disease Test for Parkinson’s, Dementia with Lewy Bodies
February 9, 2018

National Institutes of Health scientists developing a rapid, practical test for the early diagnosis of prion diseases have modified the assay to offer the possibility of improving early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The group, led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), tested 60 cerebral spinal fluid samples, including 12 from people with Parkinson’s disease, 17 from people with dementia with Lewy bodies, and 31 controls, including 16 of whom had Alzheimer’s disease.

Study Links Gut-Homing Protein Levels with HIV Infection Risk, Disease Progression
January 24, 2018

For the first time, scientists have shown a relationship between the proportion of key immune cells that display high levels of a gut-homing protein called alpha-4 beta-7 at the time of HIV infection and health outcomes. Previous research illustrated this relationship in monkeys infected with a simian form of HIV. 

NIH Scientists Find Microbes on the Skin of Mice Promote Tissue Healing, Immunity
January 18, 2018

Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals’ immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.

NIH Study Supports Use of Short-Term HIV Treatment Interruption in Clinical Trials
January 11, 2018

A short-term pause in HIV treatment during a carefully monitored clinical trial does not lead to lasting expansion of the HIV reservoir nor cause irreversible damage to the immune system, new findings suggest. 

Combination HIV Prevention Reduces New Infections by 42 Percent in Ugandan District
November 29, 2017

A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine provides real-world evidence that implementing a combination of proven HIV prevention measures across communities can substantially reduce new HIV infections in a population.

Investigators found that HIV incidence dropped by 42 percent among nearly 18,000 people in Rakai District, Uganda, during a seven-year period in which the rates of HIV treatment and voluntary medical male circumcision increased significantly.

NIAID Scientists Link Cases of Unexplained Anaphylaxis to Red Meat Allergy
November 28, 2017

While rare, some people experience recurrent episodes of anaphylaxis—a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes symptoms such as the constriction of airways and a dangerous drop in blood pressure—for which the triggers are never identified. Recently, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that some patients’ seemingly inexplicable anaphylaxis was actually caused by an uncommon allergy to a molecule found naturally in red meat.

NIH Scientists and Collaborators Find Infectious Prion Protein in Skin of CJD Patients
November 22, 2017

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and collaborators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have detected abnormal prion protein in the skin of nearly two dozen people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The scientists also exposed a dozen healthy mice to skin extracts from two of the CJD patients, and all developed prion disease.

Cell Phone-Based Microscope Leads to Possible Strategy for Treating River Blindness
November 8, 2017

River blindness, or onchocerciasis, is a disease caused by a parasitic worm found primarily in Africa. The worm (Onchocerca volvulus) is transmitted to humans as immature larvae through bites of infected black flies. Symptoms of infection include intense itching and skin nodules. Left untreated, infections in the eye can cause vision impairment that leads to blindness. Mass distribution of ivermectin is currently used to treat onchocerciasis. However, this treatment can be fatal when a person has high blood levels of another filarial worm, Loa loa.

Three-in-One Antibody Protects Monkeys from HIV-Like Virus
September 20, 2017

A three-pronged antibody made in the laboratory protected monkeys from infection with two strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV, better than individual natural antibodies from which the engineered antibody is derived, researchers report in Science today.

NIH Study Sheds Light on Immune Responses Driving Obesity-Induced Liver Disease
June 28, 2017

New findings from mouse models reveal that the type of immune response that helps maintain healthy metabolism in fatty tissues, called type 2 immunity, also drives obesity-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The work, led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that the inflammatory environment in the fatty liver is more complex than previously thought.

Scientists Identify Single-Gene Mutations that Lead to Atopic Dermatitis
June 19, 2017

Researchers have identified mutations in a gene called CARD11 that lead to atopic dermatitis, or eczema, an allergic skin disease. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and other institutions discovered the mutations in four unrelated families with severe atopic dermatitis and studied the resulting cell-signaling defects that contribute to allergic disease.

NIH Scientists Find Real-Time Imaging in Mice a Promising Influenza Study Tool
May 30, 2017

Real-time imaging of influenza infection in mice is a promising new method to quickly monitor disease progression and to evaluate whether candidate vaccines and treatments are effective in this animal model, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists.

Modified Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys from Deadly Malaria
May 22, 2017

WHAT:Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, modified an experimental malaria vaccine and showed that it completely protected four of eight monkeys that received it against challenge with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. In three of the remaining four monkeys, the vaccine delayed when parasites first appeared in the blood by more than 25 days. 

NIH Scientists Advance Understanding of Herpesvirus Infection
April 12, 2017

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections last a lifetime. Once a person has been infected, the virus can remain dormant (latent) for years before periodically reactivating to cause recurrent disease. This poorly understood cycle has frustrated scientists for years. Now, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have identified a set of protein complexes that are recruited to viral genes and stimulate both initial infection and reactivation from latency.  Environmental stresses known to regulate these proteins also induce reactivation.

NIH Study of Ebola Patient Traces Disease Progression and Recovery
April 12, 2017

Analysis of daily gene activation in a patient with severe Ebola virus disease cared for at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2015 found changes in antiviral and immune response genes that pinpointed key transition points in the response to infection. The changes included a marked decline in antiviral responses that correlated with clearance of virus from white blood cells. The analysis also showed that the preponderance of host responses shifted rapidly from activation of genes involved in cell damage and inflammation toward those linked to promotion of cellular and organ repair.

Monkeys Suppress HIV-Like Virus for Extended Period after Dual-Antibody Treatment
March 13, 2017

Giving monkeys two powerful anti-HIV antibodies immediately after infection with an HIV-like virus enabled the immune systems of some of the animals to control the virus long after the antibodies were gone, scientists at the National Institutes of Health and The Rockefeller University have found.  

NIH Research Helps Explain How Antibody Treatment Led to Sustained Remission of HIV-Like Virus
February 15, 2017

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have found that the presence of the protein alpha-4 beta-7 integrin on the surface of HIV and its monkey equivalent—simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV—may help explain why an antibody protected monkeys from SIV in previous experiments. 

NIH Scientists Repair Gene Defect in Stem Cells from Patients with Rare Immunodeficiency
January 11, 2017

Scientists have developed a new approach to repair a defective gene in blood-forming stem cells from patients with a rare genetic immunodeficiency disorder called X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD). After transplant into mice, the repaired stem cells developed into normally functioning white blood cells, suggesting the strategy could potentially be used to treat people with this disease.

NIH Scientists Develop New Mouse Model to Study Salmonella Meningitis
December 9, 2016

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have established in mice a way to study potentially life-threatening meningitis caused by Salmonella. Bacterial meningitis happens when bacteria infect the central nervous system (CNS), causing a serious disease that can be life-threatening and difficult to diagnose and treat. Patients who survive often have permanent brain damage.

NIAID-Supported Scientists Sequence, Explore the Genome of the River Blindness Parasite
November 21, 2016

Scientists have sequenced the genome of the parasitic worm responsible for causing onchocerciasis—an eye and skin infection more commonly known as river blindness.

Two Genetic Markers that Predict Malaria Treatment Failure Found
November 3, 2016

A frontline malaria treatment that combines fast-acting dihydroartemisinin with long-lasting piperaquine is quickly losing power in Cambodia due to the rapid spread of drug-resistant parasites. The presence of piperaquine-resistant malaria parasites in several Cambodian provinces was confirmed earlier this year by National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues.

NIH Scientists Uncover Genetic Explanation for Frustrating Syndrome
October 17, 2016

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified a genetic explanation for a syndrome characterized by multiple frustrating and difficult-to-treat symptoms, including dizziness and lightheadedness, skin flushing and itching, gastrointestinal complaints, chronic pain, and bone and joint problems. Some people who experience these diverse symptoms have elevated levels of tryptase—a protein in the blood often associated with allergic reactions.

Immune System Oxidant Could be Key to Inactivating Prions
September 29, 2016

A product that mimics the natural oxidative killing action of human immune cells against bacteria, viruses, and fungi also can inactivate prions and other proteins, some of which are thought to be important in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers. Prions are deadly protein-based pathogens that are extremely difficult to inactivate; recommended decontamination treatments often are dangerous to people or damaging to surfaces, such as those on surgical devices.

NIH-Supported Researchers Develop Novel System to Grow Norovirus in Intestinal Cells
August 25, 2016

For the first time, researchers have succeeded in culturing norovirus in human intestinal cells, a breakthrough that could help scientists develop novel therapeutics and vaccines against the debilitating effects of the virus.

NIH Explores Connection Between Ebola Survival and Co-Infection with Malaria Parasites
August 16, 2016

People infected with Ebola virus were 20 percent more likely to survive if they were co-infected with malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, according to data collected at an Ebola diagnostic laboratory in Liberia in 2014-15. Moreover, greater numbers of Plasmodium parasites correlated with increased rates of Ebola survival, according to a dozen collaborating research groups in the new study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Zika Infection Is Caused by One Virus Serotype, NIH Study Finds
July 29, 2016

Vaccination against a single strain of Zika virus should be sufficient to protect against genetically diverse strains of the virus, according to a study conducted by investigators from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Washington University in St. Louis; and Emory University in Atlanta.

Studies in Mice Provide Insights into Antibody-Zika Virus Interactions
July 27, 2016

In research that could inform prophylactic treatment approaches for pregnant women at risk of Zika virus infection, investigators conducted experiments in mice and identified six Zika virus antibodies, including four that neutralize African, Asian and American strains of the mosquito-borne virus.

NIH Scientists Discover that Defective HIV DNA Can Encode HIV-Related Proteins
July 18, 2016

Investigators from the National Institutes of Health have discovered that cells from HIV-infected people whose virus is suppressed with treatment harbor defective HIV DNA that can nevertheless be transcribed into a template for producing HIV-related proteins.

Zika Virus Infection May Be Prolonged in Pregnancy
June 29, 2016

Zika virus infection confers protection against future infection in monkeys, but lingers in the body of pregnant animals for prolonged periods of time, according to research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The findings appear in the June 28 issue of Nature Communications.

Zika Vaccines Protect Mice from Infection
June 28, 2016

A single dose of either of two experimental Zika vaccines fully protected mice challenged with Zika virus four or eight weeks after receiving the inoculations. The research, conducted by investigators supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, suggests that similar vaccines for people could be similarly protective.

NIH Scientists Decode How Anthrax Toxin Proteins Might Help Treat Cancerous Tumors
June 27, 2016

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), all parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describe how combining engineered anthrax toxin proteins and existing chemotherapy drugs could potentially yield a therapy to reduce or eliminate cancerous tumors.

NIAID Selects Director of Division of Intramural Research
June 14, 2016

Steven M. Holland, M.D., has been named Director of the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. He will lead the institute’s efforts to conduct basic and clinical research in a wide range of disciplines related to immunology, allergy and infectious diseases.

Zika Virus Protein Could Be Vaccine Target
May 19, 2016

A viral protein known as NS5 is a promising target for vaccines against Zika and related viruses, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.

Single Antibody Infusions Provide Durable Protection Against HIV-Like Virus in Monkeys
April 27, 2016

A single antibody infusion can protect monkeys against infection with an HIV-like virus for up to 23 weeks, researchers have found. The study, published in Nature, was led by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and The Rockefeller University.

Structure of Zika Virus Determined
March 31, 2016

A near-atomic level map of Zika virus shows its structure to be largely similar to that of dengue virus and other flaviviruses, but with a notable difference in one key surface protein, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Statement on World Tuberculosis Day
March 23, 2016

On World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2016, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reaffirms its commitment to researching ways to better understand, prevent, diagnose and treat TB. March 24 marks the day in 1882 when German microbiologist Robert Koch announced he had discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis(Mtb), the bacterium that causes TB—an airborne disease that most often attacks the lungs.

Experimental Dengue Vaccine Protects All Recipients in Virus Challenge Study
March 16, 2016

A clinical trial in which volunteers were infected with dengue virus six months after receiving either an experimental dengue vaccine developed by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or a placebo injection yielded starkly contrasting results. All 21 volunteers who received the vaccine, TV003, were protected from infection, while all 20 placebo recipients developed infection.

Experimental Ebola Vaccines Well Tolerated, Immunogenic in Phase 2 Study
February 23, 2016

Two investigational vaccines designed to protect against Ebola virus disease were well-tolerated and induced an immune response among 1,000 vaccinated participants in the Phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial called PREVAIL I.

Ebola Survivor Study Yields Insights on Complications of Disease
February 23, 2016

Preliminary findings from PREVAIL III, a study of Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors being conducted in Liberia, indicate that both Ebola survivors and their close contacts have a high burden of illness. However, the prevalence of eye, musculoskeletal, and neurological complications was greater among the individuals who survived EVD.

NIH Scientists Discover Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy to Vibration
February 3, 2016

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration, also known as vibratory urticaria. Running, hand clapping, towel drying or even taking a bumpy bus ride can cause temporary skin rashes in people with this rare disorder.

Dengue Vaccine Enters Phase 3 Trial in Brazil
January 14, 2016

A large-scale clinical trial to evaluate whether a candidate vaccine can prevent the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever has been launched in Brazil. The vaccine, TV003, was developed by scientists in the laboratory of Stephen Whitehead, Ph.D., at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Current Malaria Treatment Fails in Cambodia Due to Drug-Resistant Parasites
January 7, 2016

New findings from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), confirm dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in Cambodia, has failed in certain provinces due to parasite resistance to artemisinin and piperaquine.

Prime-Boost H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Concept Promising in Clinical Trial
December 10, 2015

Several candidate H7N9 pandemic influenza vaccines made from inactivated viruses have been shown to be safe and to generate an immune response.

Gene Therapy Restores Immunity in Children and Young Adults with Rare Immunodeficiency
December 5, 2015

Gene therapy can safely rebuild the immune systems of older children and young adults with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency, a rare inherited disorder, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have found.

RSV Pediatric Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in Early Clinical Trial
November 5, 2015

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and colleagues  have developed a vaccine candidate to protect infants and young children against respiratory syncytial virus that appears to elicit a stronger protective immune response than the previous lead vaccine candidate.

NIH Study Reveals Risk of Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreading to Africa
October 20, 2015

Drug-resistant forms of Plasmodium falciparum can infect the type of mosquito that is the main transmitter of malaria in Africa. The discovery suggests Africa is more at risk for drug-resistant malaria infections than previously thought, which could further compromise efforts to prevent and eliminate the disease.

Antiviral Favipiravir Successfully Treats Lassa Virus in Guinea Pigs
October 13, 2015

Favipiravir, an investigational antiviral drug currently being tested in West Africa as a treatment for Ebola virus disease, effectively treated Lassa virus infection in guinea pigs, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues.

NIH Scientists Identify How Normally Protective Immune Responses Kill Neurons
October 6, 2015

National Institutes of Health scientists studying inflammation of the brain have discovered why certain immune responses, which typically help cells recognize and fight viral and bacterial infections, can sometimes be harmful to the brain.

Prion Disease Detected Soon After Infection and in Surprising Place in Mouse Brains
September 22, 2015

In a new study, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists report they can detect infectious prion protein in mouse brains within a week of inoculation, and the protein was generated outside blood vessels in a place in the brain where scientists believe drug treatment could be targeted to prevent disease.

NIH Mourns William E. Paul, Pioneering Immunologist and Laboratory Chief
September 22, 2015

William E. Paul, M.D., an internationally renowned immunologist and long-time laboratory chief at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, died on September 18, 2015, at the age of 79. 

NIH Launches Human RSV Study
August 26, 2015

​A new study will expose healthy adult volunteers to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Better understanding of how adults develop RSV infection and immune system responses to infection will help researchersdevelop and test future antivirals and vaccines to combat the virus. 

NIH-Developed Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine Elicits Potent Neutralizing Antibodies in Animals
August 13, 2015

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases researchers and their collaborators have developed an experimental, nanoparticle-based vaccine against Epstein-Barr virus that can induce potent neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated mice and nonhuman primates.

NIH-Funded Study Establishes Genomic Data Set on Lassa Virus
August 13, 2015

An international team of researchers has developed the largest genomic data set in the world on Lassa virus. The new genomic catalog contains viral genomes collected from patient samples in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, as well as field samples from the major animal reservoir of Lassa virus-the rodent Mastomys natalensis. 

Single Dose Ebola Vaccine is Safe and Effective in Monkeys against Outbreak Strain
August 6, 2015

National Institutes of Health scientists report that a single dose of an experimental Ebola virus (EBOV) vaccine completely protects cynomolgus macaques against the current EBOV outbreak strain when given at least 7 days before exposure, and partially protects them if given 3 days prior.

Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Protects Mice from Many Flu Strains
July 21, 2015

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have devised a way to induce protective immunity in mice against a wide array of influenza viruses.

Investigational Aerosolized Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise in Nonhuman Primates
July 13, 2015

​​An experimental aerosolized (inhalable) vaccine fully protected nonhuman primates against Ebola virus disease. Aerosolized vaccines are delivered using a nebulizer, a device that transforms liquid into a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs.

West African Ebola Virus Strain Less Virulent Than Prototype 1976 Strain
June 9, 2015

The Makona strain of Ebola virus circulating in West Africa for the past year takes roughly two days longer to cause terminal disease in an animal model compared to the original 1976 Mayinga strain isolated in Central Africa, according to a new National Institutes of Health report. 

Scientists Discover Anti-Ebola Virus Activity in Approved Drugs
June 3, 2015

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and colleagues have identified 80 currently licensed drugs that demonstrated antiviral activity against Zaire ebolavirus in laboratory testing. 

HIV Reservoirs Remain Obstacles to Cure
May 19, 2015

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proven lifesaving for people infected with HIV; however, the medications are a lifelong necessity for most HIV-infected individuals and present practical, logistical, economic and health-related challenges. 

Mobile Phone Microscope Rapidly Detects Parasite Levels in Blood
May 6, 2015

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have developed a mobile phone microscope to measure blood levels of the parasitic filarial worm Loa loa. 

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Safe, Prompts Immune Response
April 1, 2015

​An early-stage clinical trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine conducted at the National Institutes of Health and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that the vaccine, called VSV-ZEBOV, was safe and elicited robust antibody responses in all 40 of the healthy adults who received it.

NIH Study Finds No Evidence of Accelerated Ebola Virus Evolution in West Africa
March 26, 2015

The Ebola virus in the ongoing West African outbreak appears to be stable-that is, it does not appear to be mutating more rapidly than viruses in previous Ebola outbreaks, and that is reassuring," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

NIH Researchers Identify Red Blood Cell Traits Associated with Malaria Risk in Children
March 24, 2015

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have determined that certain red blood cell traits in children can increase or decrease their risk for malaria. The findings could help identify future targets for new malaria drugs and vaccines. 

Liberia-U.S. Clinical Research Partnership Opens Trial to Test Ebola Treatments
February 27, 2015

In partnership with the Liberian government, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases launched a clinical trial to obtain safety and efficacy data on the investigational drug ZMapp as a treatment for Ebola virus disease. The study will be conducted in Liberia and the United States. 

NIH Ebola Study in Macaques Provides Timeframes for Post-Mortem Viral Stability
February 12, 2015

To determine how long Ebola virus could remain infectious in a body after death, National Institutes of Healths cientists sampled deceased Ebola-infected monkeys and discovered the virus remained viable for at least seven days.

NIH Researchers Describe Spontaneous Cure of Rare Immune Disease
February 5, 2015

A genetic phenomenon called chromothripsis, or "chromosome shattering," may have spontaneously cured the first person to be documented with WHIM syndrome, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Skin Microbes Trigger Specific Immune Responses
January 5, 2015

New research in mice shows that the immune system in the skin develops distinct responses to the various microbes that naturally colonize the skin, referred to as commensals.

Estrogen Worsens Allergic Reactions in Mice
December 29, 2014

Estradio enhances the levels and activity in mice of an enzyme that drives life-threatening allergic reactions, according to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Imaging Techniques Reliably Predict Treatment Outcomes for TB Patients
December 4, 2014

Two medical imaging techniques, called positron emission tomography and computed tomography, could be used in combination as a biomarker to predict the effectiveness of antibiotic drug regimens being tested to treat tuberculosis patients.

NIH-Led Scientists Describe New Herpes Treatment Strategy
December 3, 2014

Scientists have developed a novel treatment approach for persistent viral infections such as herpes.

NIH Grants License Agreement for Candidate Ebola Vaccines
October 15, 2014

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today announced a new license agreement aimed at advancing dual-purpose candidate vaccines to protect against rabies and Ebola viruses. 

Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
October 8, 2014

Researchers have found that gene therapy using a modified delivery system, or vector, can restore the immune systems of children with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1).

NIH Study Supports Camels as Primary Source of MERS-CoV Transmission
September 24, 2014

National Institutes of Health  and Colorado State University scientists have provided experimental evidence supporting dromedary camels as the primary reservoir, or carrier, of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. 

NIH-Led Scientists Discover HIV Antibody that Binds to Novel Target on Virus
September 3, 2014

An NIH-led team of scientists has discovered a new vulnerability in the armor of HIV that a vaccine, other preventive regimen or treatment could exploit.

HIV Antibodies Block Infection by Reservoir-Derived Virus in Laboratory Study
August 26, 2014

A laboratory study led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases lends further weight to the potential effectiveness of passive immunotherapy to suppress HIV in the absence of drug treatment.

NIH Scientists Establish New Monkey Model of Severe MERS-CoV Disease
August 21, 2014

NIH scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving scientists the best animal model for testing potential treatments.

NIH and Italian Scientists Develop Nasal Test for Human Prion Disease
August 6, 2014

A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study by National Institutes of Health scientists and their Italian colleagues.

Resistance to Key Malaria Drug Spreading at Alarming Rate in Southeast Asia
July 30, 2014

A six-day course of artemisinin-based combination therapy-as opposed to a standard three-day course-has proved highly effective in treating drug-resistant malaria cases.

NIH Scientists Establish Proof-of-Concept for Host-Directed Tuberculosis Therapy
June 26, 2014

Scientists describe a new type of tuberculosis treatment that involves manipulating the body's response to TB bacteria rather than targeting the bacteria themselves, a concept called host-directed therapy.

Vaccine Made from Complex of Two Malaria Proteins Protects Mice From Lethal Infection
June 23, 2014

NIAID scientists have improved on their original vaccine with a new candidate that delivers AMA1 protein together with part of a second parasite protein called RON2.

Scientists Uncover Features of Antibody-Producing Cells in People Infected with HIV
June 2, 2014

A team of scientists has identified previously unknown characteristics of B cells in the context of HIV infection. The findings augment the current understanding of how HIV disease develops and have implications for the timing of treatment.

Scientists Identify Potential Vaccine Candidate for Pediatric Malaria
May 22, 2014

Researchers have identified a substance, or antigen, that generates antibodies that can hinder the ability of malaria parasites to multiply, which may protect against severe malaria infection.

Screen of Existing Drugs Finds Compounds Active Against MERS Coronavirus
May 20, 2014

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health screened a set of 290 compounds already approved by the Food and Drug Administration or far advanced in clinical development for other indications to determine if any might also show potential for working against MERS coronavirus.

Recent Ebola Outbreak Highlights Need for Better Global Response
May 7, 2014

Scientist emphasizes the need for scientists to make their data available to colleagues in real-time to improve the public health response to outbreaks. 

Malaria Severity Not Determined Solely by Parasite Levels in Blood
May 7, 2014

Researchers from the United States and Tanzania regularly examined 882 Tanzanian children beginning at birth and continuing for an average of two years. No simple relationship between parasite density and malaria severity emerged.

Study Sheds Light on How the Immune System Protects Children from Malaria
April 17, 2014

Children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream.

Genetic Defect May Confer Resistance to Certain Viral Infections
April 9, 2014

A National Institutes of Health study reports that a rare genetic disease, while depleting patients of infection-fighting antibodies, may actually protect them from certain severe or recurrent viral infections.

NIH Scientists Track Evolution of a Superbug
March 17, 2014

Using genome sequencing, National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues have tracked the evolution of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 258 (ST258), an important agent of hospital-acquired infections.

NIH Team Identifies New Genetic Syndrome
March 3, 2014

Researchers have identified a new genetic syndrome characterized by a constellation of health problems, including severe allergy, immune deficiency, autoimmunity and motor and neurocognitive impairment. 

NIH Mourns the Death of Albert Kapikian
February 25, 2014

Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D., a pioneering virologist at the National Institutes of Health who discovered norovirus and led a decades-long effort that resulted in the first licensed rotavirus vaccine, died on Feb. 24, 2014.

Camels Have Carried MERS Virus Since At Least 1992, Study Suggests
February 25, 2014

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their colleagues suggest that a coronavirus first identified in people in 2012 has circulated among dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia since at least 1992. Whether Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infected people before 2012 without being diagnosed is a question for further study, the researchers say.

NIH Study Describes New Method for Tracking T Cells in HIV Patients
February 3, 2014

A team of researchers has reported a novel method for tracking CD4+ T cells in people infected with HIV. CD4+ T cells are critical for immune defense against an array of pathogens and are a primary target of HIV. Researchers used a unique, replication-incompetent form of HIV identified in a patient in the early 1990s.

NIH Scientists Find Mechanism that Helps HIV Evade Antibodies, Stabilize Key Proteins
February 3, 2014

NIH scientists have discovered a mechanism involved in stabilizing key HIV proteins and thereby concealing sites where some of the most powerful HIV neutralizing antibodies bind, findings with potential implications for HIV vaccine research.

NIH-Created Toxin Can Kill HIV-Infected Cells that Persist Despite Treatment
January 9, 2014

A research team has demonstrated in a mouse model that an HIV-specific poison can kill cells in which the virus is actively reproducing despite antiretroviral therapy. 

RML Scientist Recognized for Virus Studies
January 8, 2014

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the American Committee on Arthropod-Borne Viruses has presented its Dalrymple/Young Award to Hideki Ebihara, Ph.D., an investigator who studies emerging viruses at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Mont.