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Global Health News


smallholder-farmers-story

Agricultural Sustainability Project Reached 20.9 Million Smallholder Farmers Across China

Smallholder farmers who cultivate perhaps only a few hectares of land dominate the agricultural landscape in places like China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing their efficiency while reducing their environmental impact are critical steps to ensuring a sustainable food source for the world’s growing population.

Using a naturally occurring species of mouse Cryptosporidium, a team led by researchers from Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine has developed a model of infection that affects immunologically normal mice.

Intestinal Infection and Immunity Symposium

The Intestinal Infection and Immunity Symposium explore how recent scientific advances in microbiology, immunology, and medicine can help solve this global problem.

one-health

Special Session - CUGH Global Health Conference

Penn Vet Dean Joan Hendricks welcomed a special session of the CUGH Global Health Conference exploring how a One Health approach can tackle pressing global issues.

Dr. Boris Striepen, Penn Vet Faculty

Penn Vet’s Boris Striepen Receives $1.8M Grant to Find Drugs against Deadly Diarrheal Disease in Infants

Boris Striepen, PhD, Professor of Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received a $1.8-million, three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enable the development of drugs for cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites.

toxo-story

Diseases caused by parasites

Toxoplasma infection in humans is very common, but is largely asymptomatic unless the patient is immunosuppressed or infected in utero, in which case it can have devastating consequences.

Dr. James Lok, A Lethal Parasite's Vulnerabilities

Finding a lethal parasite’s vulnerabilities

An estimated 100 million people around the world are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic nematode, yet it’s likely that many don’t know it. The infection can persist for years, usually only causing mild symptoms. But if the immune system is compromised by the use of immunosuppressing drugs such as steroids or chemotherapeutics, for example, the parasite can reproduce uncontrollably, leading to a potentially life-threatening infection.

Swine Production Facilities at New Bolton Center

Penn and Chinese pork producers swap ideas to share and learn

Pork is the world’s most consumed meat, thanks in large part to the Chinese. China consumes half of the planet’s pork and, accordingly, is home to roughly 50 percent of the world’s pigs.

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Developing a drug to fight a deadly childhood parasite

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 people around the world do not have a safe water supply close to home. Around the world, diarrheal diseases are responsible for one in 10 deaths of children under the age of 5. One of the leading causes is Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that is typically transmitted through contaminated water and usually lives in the small intestine. Yet it doesn’t lend itself to easy laboratory investigation and, until recently, scientists have been flummoxed in their attempts to make progress toward finding a treatment.

Leishmania-parasite

Penn Vet Team Identifies New Therapeutic Targets for the Tropical Disease Leishmaniasis

Each year, about 2 million people contract leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a sand fly. The cutaneous form of the disease results in disfiguring skin ulcers that may take months or years to heal and in rare cases can become metastatic, causing major tissue damage.

ebola-slider

Penn Vet Research Identifies New Target for Taming Ebola

Viruses and their hosts are in a eternal game of one-upmanship. If a host cell evolves a way to stop a virus from spreading, the virus will look for a new path. And so on and so forth.

The Changing Landscape of Mosquito- and Tick-borne Diseases

Targeting Mosquito Immunity to Fight Disease

Before a mosquito can transmit a disease like dengue fever, Zika, or malaria to a human, the mosquito itself must get infected. That means the parasite or virus must find a way around the natural defenses of the insect’s immune system.

Dr. Zhengxia Dou, Penn Vet, Agricultural Systems

Penn Vet Professor Assists in Effort to Empower Smallholder Farmers

To ensure the global population is food secure, it’s estimated that food production must increase at least 50 percent by 2050. One of the best means to achieve that increase is by boosting yield, that is, producing more food on existing cropland with fewer resources.

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Penn Vet Study Blocks Ebola Virus Budding by Regulating Calcium Signaling

The Ebola virus acts fast. The course of infection, from exposure to recovery, or death, can take as little as two weeks. That may not leave enough time for the immune system to mount an effective response.

one-health-award-2015

Penn Engineering’s Drs. Haim H. Bau and Changchun Liu to Receive 2015 One Health Award

Haim H. Bau, PhD, and Changchun Liu, PhD, of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania have been named the 2015 recipients of Penn’s One Health Award, recognizing their exemplary contributions to expanding interdisciplinary collaboration and improving health care for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment. The One Health Award was established in 2013 by the deans of the four health schools at Penn—the Perelman School of Medicine (Penn Medicine), the School of Nursing Science (Penn Nursing), the School of Dental Medicine (Penn Dental), and the School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet).

Salmonella

One Health - Penn Vet’s Collection of 50,000 Salmonella Strains

The 50,000 glass vials locked away in a building on Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center campus hold the keys to new research into Salmonella, the number-one cause of foodborne illness in the United States.  Read this story...

mosquitoes-header

Mosquitoes Ramp Up Immune Defenses After Sucking Blood

If you were about to enter a crowded subway during flu season, packed with people sneezing and coughing, wouldn’t it be helpful if your immune system recognized the potentially risky situation and bolstered its defenses upon stepping into the train?