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Infectious Diseases

Study tracks COVID-19 infection dynamics in adults

A team led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign tracked the rise and fall of SARS-CoV-2 in the saliva and nasal cavities of people newly infected with the virus. The study was the first to follow acute COVID-19 infections over time through repeated sampling and to compare...

Machine-learning model can distinguish antibody targets

A new study from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology shows that it is possible to use the genetic sequences of a person’s antibodies to predict what pathogens those antibodies will target. Reported in the journal Immunity, the new approach successfully differentiates between antibodies...

Meet MCB: Microbiology professor Paola Mera

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute spotlights microbiology assistant professor Paola Mera and shares how she discovered her passion for research. Mera's research aims at filling the gaps in knowledge to control the life cycle of bacteria so that they can design better ways to enhance...

Biochemistry professor Nicholas Wu earns NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Nicholas Wu, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, part of the Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.

Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds

People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a...

U of I president honors MCB researchers for their work on COVID-19 response

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen on Monday honored 28 key leaders of the system’s COVID-19 response with the Presidential Medallion. The medallion is the highest honor that the system president can bestow.

Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds

The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days.

Effort to curb COVID-19 leads to a deeper understanding of communities and the disease

Several faculty from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, including microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker, are collaborating to help and learn from a town struck by the pandemic.

Investigating the role of Brd4 in diet-induced obesity

A new study, published in JCI insight, looks at how Brd4, a regulator of the innate immune response, influences diet-induced obesity. The researchers believe that Brd4 could be used as a target for obesity and insulin resistance.

Geographies of death: Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater Santiago

People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science. People ages 41-80 in low...