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Articles on Infection

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Horseshoe crabs in spawning season at Reeds Beach, N.J., on June 13, 2023. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Horseshoe crab blood is vital for testing intravenous drugs, but new synthetic alternatives could mean pharma won’t bleed this unique species dry

Horseshoe crabs play a unique role in medicine, but they’re also ecologically important in their home waters along the Atlantic coast. Can regulators balance the needs of humans and nature?
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. About 80 per cent of infected people have no symptoms, but the virus can cause encephalitis and can be life-threatening. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

What Canadians need to know about West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne infection that can be life-threatening

West Nile virus arrived in North America in 1999 and spread across the continent by 2005. Here’s what you need to know about this mosquito-borne pathogen.
Being feverish is unpleasant, but it can help your body overcome invading pathogens. Narisara Nami/Moment via Getty Images

How does fever help fight infections? There’s more to it than even some scientists realize

The heat and chills that come with fever are not only uncomfortable but also metabolically costly. Increased body temperature, however, can make all the difference when you’re sick.
Cytomegalovirus belongs to the same virus family, Herpesviridae, as cold sores and chickenpox. Callista Images/Image Source via Getty Images

Cytomegalovirus lies dormant in most US adults and is the leading infectious cause of birth defects, but few have heard of it

Although testing for CMV during pregnancy isn’t routine and there isn’t universal screening for infants, there are steps pregnant people can take to protect themselves and their newborns.
Bacteria (clusters of light pink, surrounded by larger magenta blood cells) can cause deadly infections, but overreactive immune responses can deliver the lethal blow. Scharvik/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Sepsis is one of the most expensive medical conditions in the world – new research clarifies how it can lead to cell death

An overactive immune response to infection can be deadly. Studying how one key player called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, induces lethal immune responses could provide new treatment targets.
Insect bites or stings, like the one on this person’s hand, are a manifestation of inflammation. Suthep Wongkhad/EyeEm via Getty Images

What is inflammation? Two immunologists explain how the body responds to everything from stings to vaccination and why it sometimes goes wrong

Inflammation is a complicated and important part of how the immune system responds to threats to the body. But when the inflammatory response goes awry, it can lead to serious problems.
Critical-care patients in the emergency polio ward at Haynes Memorial Hospital in Boston in August 1955. Associated Press photo

Fears of a polio resurgence in the US have health officials on high alert – a virologist explains the history of this dreaded disease

Health officials say the new case of polio in New York state and the presence of poliovirus in the municipal wastewater suggests that hundreds more could already be infected with the disease.

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