UGA mycologists partner with the CDC to tackle fungicide resistance

by Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

There are a limited number of compounds available to combat fungal infections in both plants and people. A team of University of Georgia researchers is helping to assess the risk posed by fungi developing widespread resistance to the stable of antifungal compounds used in the United States.

Michelle Momany, professor in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of Plant Biology, and Marin Brewer, associate professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Plant Pathology, recently received a $197,798 contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study antifungal resistance in agricultural settings. Continue reading

University of Florida scientists find way to detect Zika virus in mosquitoes

In PCT Magazine

A University of Florida entomologist is working with other scientists to detect the Zika virus in minutes, rather than days or weeks, allowing for faster and more targeted mosquito control practices and detection in patient samples.

Zika can lead to multiple symptoms in adults, including fever, rash, headache and joint pain. It also can cause microcephaly, a condition that causes infants to be born with a head that’s much smaller than that of a normal baby.  Continue reading

CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence seeks Program Manager Position in Vector Borne Diseases

This is a full-time (39 hrs/wk) 12-month term appointment with possibility of extension, dependent on funding and successful performance. 

Program Development. Implementation and Evaluation

  • Provide leadership for planning, implementing activities and progress reports for the Northeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector borne diseases. Develop needs assessment surveys and administer them to public health practitioners in the northeast US.
  • Plan and implement educational programs including curricula, short courses and seminars utilizing a variety of methods including direct teaching through group experiences, mass media, newsletters, electronic technology and distance learning.
  • Supervise undergraduate interns.
  • Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
  • Communicate evaluation results, findings, and recommendations as appropriate.
  • Prepare quarterly reports and yearly impact statements on program progress and accomplishments. Write and disseminate news reports on the Center’s research and training programs.
  • Support the efforts of Center director and co-Investigators.

Continue reading

New Guidance on Environmental Control of Candida auris with Antimicrobial Pesticides

Last fall the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified drug resistant Candida auris infections in hospitals in the United States. At that time, CDC issued a clinical alert on Candida to U.S. healthcare facilities and has recently revised its recommendation to include thorough daily and after-discharge cleaning of rooms of C. auris patients using EPA-registered hospital disinfectants active against Clostridium difficile. The previous recommendation was to use a hospital disinfectant effective against fungi. CDC’s disinfection recommendations for C. auris will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Drug resistant C. auris is a fungus that poses a global health threat and may cause serious and sometimes fatal fungal infections. C. auris infections tend to occur in hospitalized patients and can be resistant to antifungal drugs. Continue reading

EPA Webinar: Protecting Students from Mosquitoes & the Zika Virus at School

These days, we can’t turn to TV, radio, or social media without hearing alarming stories of Zika virus. Mosquito-borne diseases have been responsible for much suffering throughout human history. Today, the diseases they transmit in the United States and its territories, including Zika virus, Dengue, chikungunya virus, and several forms of encephalitis, are continuing threats.

Join us as we learn about the mosquitoes that are of concern to schools and the interim guidance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers for district and school administrators to help schools keep their students, faculty and staff safe from Zika virus. Also hear firsthand the steps a school district in Florida is taking to reduce mosquito populations in an effort to prevent mosquito-borne illness. Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading

CDC develops guidelines for Zika virus response in schools

The Centers for Disease Control has developed interim guidance for kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) district and school administrators for public health actions pertaining to Zika virus infection. This guidance is intended to address concerns about the risk for Zika virus infection in K–12 schools in the continental United States and Hawaii, provide school districts with information for planning school-related activities, and recommend actions that can be taken, in consultation with local public health authorities and government officials, to reduce the potential risk for Zika virus transmission on school premises and among students. This guidance provides an overview of the potential roles and responsibilities of public health authorities and school officials, describes prevention measures that schools can take to reduce mosquito exposure, and provides information on responding to a case of travel-associated Zika virus infection or confirmed local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus (See Key Points). Considerations for child care, camp, and higher education settings also are addressed. This guidance will be updated as needed when new information becomes available. The latest available Zika virus information, including answers to commonly asked questions, can be found online.

New publications on Zika available from Texas A&M AgriLife

From the Insects in the City blog, Texas A&M AgriLife extension entomologist Mike Merchant provides some new resources for homeowners on how to prepare for the Zika virus.