When the H3N2 strain dominates, we see bigger flu seasons and cases affecting the elderly more than the young.
By mid-August, the 2017 year had recorded more flu notifications across Australia than the previous five years. So why is the flu season so bad this time around?
Women’s immune systems mount a significantly stronger response against invaders.
Women have evolved to have stronger immunity than men. But this comes with downsides -
women are more likely to have autoimmune diseases due to their "reactive" immune systems.
A virus like SARS can shut down cytokine production, enabling it to multiply to higher levels and causing significant infection and even death.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Frayer)
We've all endured infections. Here's how it works when our bodies are attacked by viruses, bacteria or parasites, and our innate immune system becomes the first line of defence.
These migratory pied imperial-pigeons in Far North Queensland, like many of Australia’s 22 species of native pigeons and doves, play an important role in our ecosystems but may be at risk from emerging viruses in domestic pigeons.
Two recently emerging viruses in domestic pigeons in Australia may pose a significant threat to Australia's 22 species of native pigeons and doves, many of which have crucial ecosystem roles.
Just as organisms that infect us make changes in us - we too make changes in them and they grow and adapt to their human hosts.
Humans play host to many little passengers. Right now, you’re incubating, shedding or have already been colonised by viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal microorganisms - perhaps even all of them.
Modern diets are changing the compositions of our gut microbiota, and with that, our personalities.
For most of the twentieth century, we were at war with microbes, leading to substantial changes in our body's ecosystem. This has changed our diets, disease profile, moods and even personalities.
What can a single person’s flu infection tell you about how the virus changes around the world?
Xue and Bloom
New genetic technologies are letting us look at flu evolution right where it starts: within individual people, while they're sick.
Those keypads are teeming with microbes.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
What's on your cash? Studies show our money carries everything from pet DNA and old food to E.coli and traces of cocaine.
Medical workers move a woman, who is suspected of having Ebola, upon her arrival at Meioxeiro Hospital, in Vigo, northwestern Spain, 28 October 2015.
SALVADOR SAS (EPA)/ AAP
Professor Peter Doherty on infectious disease pandemics.
The Conversation, CC BY-ND 48 Mo (download)
William Isdale speaks with the University of Melbourne's Professor Peter Doherty about infectious disease pandemics.
Computers may play an important role in preparing us for the next viral outbreak – whether flu or Ebola.
UW Institute for Protein Design
This antivirus software protects health, not computers. Researchers are beginning to combat deadly infections using computer-generated antiviral proteins – a valuable tool to fight a future pandemic.
Cybersecurity jargon can be intimidating, but it needn’t be.
To protect ourselves online, we should all understand a few key terms.
Tiny bug, major disease spreader.
Dr. Paul Howell, USCDCP
Several sites in the US are releasing bacteria-infected mosquitoes as a way to fight mosquito-borne viruses that threaten people. What's the science – and how well will it work?
Many in the Western Front contracted haemorrhagic dysentery.
Wellcome Library, London
When commemorating our troops, doctors and nurses this Anzac Day, consider also tipping your hat to the discovery of bacteriophages. In the post-antibiotic era, our health might just depend on them.
Aedes aegypti, the Zika-carrying mosquito.
The Zika outbreak that started in Brazil in 2015 continues on five continents, causing neurological disease and birth defects.
The latest research dismisses the idea that viruses form a fourth type of life.
Cytomegalovirus infection in the womb is more common in Australia than infection with listeria or toxoplasma in pregnancy.
We can prevent congenital deafness and intellectual disability due to cytomegalovirus by simple hygiene measures. So, why don't pregnant women know about this?
Health centre in Sainte Dominique, Dakar, Senegal.
Viral hepatitis sheds light on key challenges faced by health system in Africa and how social and culture factors can help in prevention.
The HIV virus.
We have an awful lot in common with the viruses that infect us.
Antibiotics are wrongly being prescribed for infections where they won't work and cutting this down could help combat resistance. But change isn't as easy as just providing the means.
New research shows viruses can effectively turn bacteria into animal-like cells.