Articles on Infectious diseases

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Antibiotic amoxycillin, widely prescribed to patients with a cough, has been found to be largely ineffective. Sergio Alvarez

Well-known antibiotic amoxycillin found to be ineffective cough treatment

An antibiotic commonly prescribed for infections including coughs and bronchitis is ineffective at relieving symptoms, and…
Bacteria can quickly adapt and overcome the antibiotics that used to kill them. Image from shutterstock.com

Superbugs, human ecology and the threat from within

At the beginning of the 20th century, around one in three children in countries such as Australia and the United States died of infection before the age of five. But since Howard Florey first described…
Around 180,000 hospital-acquired infections occur in Australia each year. Hospital image from shutterstock.com

Washing our hands of responsibility for hospital infections

Infections, like taxes, are inevitable (to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin). Most are acquired in the community and the dangerous ones are, in the main, very difficult to prevent. But many infections are…
Researchers have put to rest links between infectious retroviruses and chronic fatigue syndrome. Flickr/NCReedplayer

Chronic fatigue focus shifts from viruses to the brain

Immunology researchers have established there’s no evidence of an infectious cause behind the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS…
You can’t catch warts from toads, but you can from other people. DaveHuth

Monday’s medical myth: warts aren’t contagious

As a general practitioner (GP), I see a lot of warts. They’re a common skin complaint that most people experience at least one in their lives. Common warts are small dome-shaped lumps on the surface of…
Health-care workers who discover they are infected have an ethical obligation to seek professional advice about their work practise limitations. stevendepolo

Privacy vs safety: should doctors disclose their infectious diseases?

A drug-addicted Melbourne anaesthetist has been accused of infecting 56 of his patients with hepatitis C by injecting himself with opiate-filled syringes, before using them on his patients. While his gross…
Animals and livestock are often the carriers of harmful viruses. AAP

Challenge 8: Tackling global disease threats

In part eight of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Martyn Jeggo argues that we must search the animal world for clues if we are to react in time against the rise of new and emerging viruses…
Viruses passed from animals to humans pose a risk in Asia and Australia. EPA/John Footy

Dealing with the threat of deadly viruses from Asia

AUSTRALIA IN THE ASIAN CENTURY – A series examining Australia’s role in the rapidly transforming Asian region. Delivered in partnership with the Australian government. Here, Professor Martyn Jeggo looks…

Salmonella’s hypervirulent strains

New strains of salmonella that act like a Trojan Horse have been found, giving researchers a better chance at preventing…

Test spots golden staph infections faster

Researchers have developed a faster and more effective method of detecting Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) infections…
Jude Law as Alan Krumwiede in the thriller “Contagion”. Claudette Barius

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion: sounding alarm for the next pandemic?

One touch and you’re infected. By the next day your muscles ache, you have a fever and the beginnings of a headache. You don’t know it yet, but you only have a one in three chance of survival and you’ve…
Encephalitis lethargica seemed to take over its victims’ mind with neurologic and psychiatric changes. Finizio

A viral infection of the mind? The curious case of encephalitis lethargica

Encephalitis lethargica, an infectious disorder that only once appeared in epidemic form (1916-1926), is largely forgotten now. But this curious illness provided significant insights into brain function…

TB bacteria blocks immune cell production

The tuberculosis bacteria has a unique molecule on its surface that blocks a key part of the body’s defense. Research suggests…

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