News

Universal Flu Vaccine: Worth Every Cent

October 7, 2019: New modeling by EPI researcher Burton Singer calculates that the substantial costs involved in developing a universal flu vaccine are worth every cent. Singer collaborated with a team from Yale University, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Maryland to calculate that a universal flu vaccine would save $3.5 billion in direct medical costs annually and save 19,500 lives in the U.S. alone. Read More


Tuberculosis: It’s not the Clone Wars

Oct. 2, 2019: Whole genome sequencing allows researchers to quantify diversification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within a host, showing that the individual bacteria comprising an infection are not all identical clones. Using a known TB cluster, Emerging Pathogens Institute researchers confirm that hosts can transmit all — or just some — of the genetic diversity unique to their mTB population to a new victim. Read More


Malaria's Spit Solution

Sept. 30, 2019: A new $1.29 million grant from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund will support EPI malaria investigator Rhoel Dinglasan’s work to develop a novel saliva-based malaria diagnostic test that catches infections even when victims don’t show symptoms. Read More


Medical masks as good as respirators at preventing flu transmission

Sept. 3, 2019: A new study coauthored by EPI researcher Derek Cummings, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, resolves a long running debate over whether paper medical masks or respirator-style masks are more protective for health care workers against flu. Read More


Next-gen antimicrobials

August 21, 2019: EPI investigator KC Jeong aims to uncover the next generation of antimicrobials. From his microbiology lab to an experimental farm, his research explores how food animals are affected by novel and drug-resistant pathogens — and what kills them. Read More


UF researchers help discover novel compounds that curb melioidosis, a lethal tropical disease

August 20, 2019: Four EPI researchers have contributed to the discovery of two molecules shown to be effective at curbing Gram-negative Burkholderia bacterial infections, which cause the highly lethal tropical disease melioidosis in humans and animals. Read More


Science Scenes: El Oro, Ecuador

August 2, 2019: Ever wonder what scientists are up to behind the scenes, when they are not consumed with crunching data, or endlessly editing papers for publication? They just may be traveling in far-flung places — not only to hunt for data, but to build relationships with the people and places they study. This is the first photo essay in a new occasional series, Science Scenes, in which we invite you to explore how EPI's faculty and affiliate researchers work across the globe. Read More


Lethal bronzing spreads to new palm hosts, counties

July 17, 2019: A new study adds four additional species to the growing list of palm trees susceptible to lethal bronzing disease, for a revised total of 16. Researchers with UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences sampled hundreds of palms in Florida to identify the new hosts, all of which are common ornamentals found throughout central and southern portions of the state. They also found the disease has spread to eight new counties. Read More


Global crop surveillance system, bulwark against disease

July 11, 2019: A proposed global surveillance system would act as a bulwark against diseases that threaten food crops. UF plant pathologist Karen Garrett, who is affiliated with both IFAS and the EPI, coauthored a policy paper in Science outlining a visionary system that would link existing local and national programs to identify, predict, monitor and mitigate outbreaks of emerging crop diseases. Read More


Rising insecticide resistance challenges mosquito control

July 8, 2019: Mosquitoes are developing high levels of resistance to all major classes of chemical insecticides. UF medical geographers investigate how resistance can fluctuate across seasons and geography, revealing useful data for real-time adaptive strategies to mitigate mosquito-borne diseases in people. Read More


New study maps risk of citrus greening establishment

July 2, 2019: A new study by an international research team, including UF medical geographer and EPI investigator Sadie Ryan, identifies global regions most at risk of -- and most resilient to -- citrus greening. There is no cure for infected trees, and the disease has wiped out millions of acres of citrus crops worldwide. Read More


Wilting Away

July 1, 2019: Plant pathology researchers with UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute and IFAS seek to uncover what drives the spread of laurel wilt disease, an emerging forest pathogen responsible for killing more than 300 million redbays. A new study led by IFAS-EPI postdoctoral researcher Robin Choudhury found that the biggest indicator of a Laurel family trees’ susceptibility was having a large diameter trunk and dense clustering. Read More


More Nitrogen in Mosquito Diet Reduces Its Ability to Transmit Zika

June 24, 2019: Feed mosquitoes more nitrogen when they’re young, and the adults are less likely to transmit the Zika virus, University of Florida scientists say. Now, researchers want to know why, and they’re determined to discover how the findings can help further their research into the dangerous virus. Read More


DEET: Safer than you think

May 30, 2019: EPI investigator Jeffrey Bloomquist reviewed the insect repellent DEET's safety record, and finds it poses little to no risk when used in compliance with product label directions. In fact, he says, it's a useful tool to prevent insect-borne diseases when utilized intermittently. Read More


New maps reveal first global estimate of anthrax risk

May 13, 2019: Newly published maps reveal, for the first time, where anthrax poses global risks to people, livestock and wildlife. The maps are the result of 15 years of data collection covering 70 countries compiled by Emerging Pathogens Institute associate research professor Jason Blackburn and his colleagues. Read More


Small delays can have a big impact on spread of Ebola

May 1, 2019: EPI investigator, and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences mathematics professor, Burton Singer has developed a model describing the spatial dynamics of Ebola transmission and the efficacy of its vaccine. Read More


EPI undergraduate research spans from Africa to Argentina

April 29, 2019: EPI investigator Song Liang enjoys introducing undergraduate students to the mesmerizing world of pathogens research. His most recent mentee, Lindsay Richards, recently won UF’s campus-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium best paper competition in the STEM/Medicine category. Read More


New maps show where mosquitoes will invade Ecuador’s Andes mountains

April 25, 2019: New research by EPI and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences medical geographers offers Ecuadorian health officials a sneak preview of where mosquito-borne diseases may shift into the Andean mountain foothills as our planet’s climate warms into the midcentury. Read More


Decoding Legionnaire’s disease

April 22, 2019: New research led by EPI-IFAS researcher KC Jeong describes for the first time precisely how the Legionnaire's disease bacterium evades detection by the immune system. Read More


Malaria cases in Ecuador and Peru raise alarm

April 9, 2019: Several cases of malaria have been confirmed in regions of Ecuador and Peru where the disease was once considered eliminated. New research by EPI investigator and medical geographer Sadie Ryan ties these cases to the collapse of Venezuela’s public health infrastructure and subsequent flow of emigrants through neighboring countries. Read More


Climate change will expose more people to mosquito-borne diseases

March 29, 2019: EPI researcher and medical geographer Sadie Ryan led a study that uses innovative maps to show how a warming world will open up new land regions, and the half billion people or more who inhabit them, to mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, Zika, dengue and chikungunya over the next 30 years. Read More


Stalking arboviruses

March 18, 2019: EPI and UF College of Veterinary Medicine researcher Maureen Long helped build a patient surveillance system in Pakistan to track and diagnose mosquito-borne diseases. The project captured outbreaks and laid the groundwork for a countrywide surveillance, detection and reporting system. Read More


New study explores Galapagos Islands’ dengue risks

March 13, 2019: In a first-of-its kind study on the Galapagos Islands, EPI researcher Sadie Ryan investigated social and ecological factors associated with dengue, as well as the presence of the mosquito that spreads it. Read More


Venezuela’s public health woes are poised to become South America’s

Feb. 22, 2019: Three EPI investigators are coauthors to published research on Venezuela’s public health crisis and how it is affecting bordering South American countries. Vaccine-preventable diseases and insect-borne diseases are increasing as mosquito-control measures subside and public health infrastructure crumbles. Read More


Grazing cows acquire antibiotic resistant microbes from soil, water

Feb. 21, 2019: An Emerging Pathogens Institute microbiologist has identified high concentrations of naturally-occurring antibiotic-resistant microbes within the guts of grazing cows and calves fed a diet free from antibiotics. The source? Soil, water and forage found in the cows’ environment. Read More


EPI's Annual Research Day

Feb. 12, 2019: Hundreds of students, faculty and state employees gathered at U.F.'s Reitz Union to present posters and share ideas and interests on pathogens affecting plants, animals, humans, and food safety. Keynote speakers discussed trends in plant pathogens and challenges to reduce and eliminate neglected tropical diseases. Read More


Dengue immunity may buffer against Zika

Feb. 8, 2019: EPI Researcher discovers that people who have developed immunity against dengue virus have built-in protection against infection from the Zika virus. Read More


Venezuela's next crisis: rampant spread of infectious diseases

Jan. 30, 2019: The nation's crippled vaccination program has led to record numbers in cases of measles, diphtheria and other vaccine-preventable diseases, creating a regional public health crisis. Read More


Madariaga virus spreads to Haiti

Jan. 18, 2019: EPI members, including director Glenn Morris, identified Madariaga virus for the first time in Haitian children in 2015-2016. Prior to their work, this emerging infectious agent had been found mostly in animals of South and Central America, with the first human outbreak occurring in Panama in 2010. Read More


UF/EPI researchers develop rapid, inexpensive test for Zika

Jan. 14. 2019: UF researchers with Emerging Pathogens Institute affiliations have created a rapid, cost-effective point-of-care test for the Zika virus. Read More


New saliva-based test detects malaria before symptoms appear

Jan. 10, 2019: An easy-to-use saliva test to screen for the parasite that causes malaria has been developed by a team of researchers led by Emerging Pathogens Institute faculty member Rhoel Dinglasan. Read More


Bacterial Virus Drives Emergence of New Strains of Shigella from Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Oct. 9, 2018: Emerging Pathogens Institute researchers trace the origin of dangerous new strains of Shigella bacteria that present novel threats to public health. Read More


UF Emerging Pathogens Institute researchers make seminal discovery in antibiotic resistance

Aug. 8, 2018: B. pseudomallei possess intrinsic antibiotic resistance, do not always acquire resistance genes from other bacteria via usual route. Read More


UF Researchers Zero in on Potential Threat of New Mosquito Virus

July 17, 2018: A virus responsible for an illness outbreak in Venezuela is spreading to other parts of the Americas, says a University of Florida scientist who is closely monitoring the Mayaro virus. Most recently, the virus was found in a child in Haiti in 2016. Read More


UF Researchers Make New Strides in Predicting Dengue Fever Outbreaks

July 17, 2018: UF medical geography and EPI researchers recently participated in a study that successfully predicted dengue fever outbreaks on the Caribbean island of Barbados, using climate data. Read More


SHARC at the Emerging Pathogens Institute

July 17, 2018: In 2016, Florida was second only to California for the number of new HIV diagnoses, and it consistently ranks among the top three states for its rate of new infections. The Miami metro area in particular has the highest HIV infection rate in the country, and Jacksonville is also counted among the top ten cities in the United States for its HIV infection rate. Read More


Ancient virus may have given mammals the edge during dinosaur extinction era

July 10, 2018: A virus that incorporated itself into mammal genomes over 70 million years ago may have helped humanity’s ancestors survive the cataclysmic conditions that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous era. Read More


UF/IFAS Project Named a Finalist in National Community-Engagement Awards Competition

July 2, 2018: The University of Florida-based project Healthy Gulf, Healthy Communities helped coastal residents recover from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and prepare for future disasters. Read More


Two Mosquito Species Can Transmit New Chikungunya Virus in the Americas

June 19, 2018: Yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes from Florida and Brazil can transmit an Asian strain of chikungunya virus that’s emerging in North, South and Central America, a University of Florida scientist says. Read More


Postdoc in Lednicky Lab publishes article about Madariaga

June 25, 2018: Drs. Gabriela Blohm and John Lednicky wrote an article in The Conversation about how they identified a potentially dangerous pathogen while studying the Zika virus in Venezuela. Read More


Former Research Day speaker passes

June 25, 2018: The UF Emerging Pathogens Institute shares in the sorrow of the passing of Dr. Adel Mahmoud. Read More


Virus found in Florida resident may be widespread throughout the Southeast

June 18, 2018: A virus first found in Tampa Bay-area mosquitoes that appears to cause a rash and mild fever has been identified in humans for the first time, according to University of Florida researchers. Read More


Vector-borne diseases continue to plague the Caribbean

June 13, 2018: The number of vector-borne diseases acquired in the U.S. more than doubled between 2004 and 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported. But what does the future hold? Two studies published recently by University of Florida faculty members at the Emerging Pathogens Institute provide insight into this question, based on research conducted in Haiti. Read More


Arie Havelaar and collaborators invited to submit Bill and Melinda Gates proposals

June 11, 2018: EPI investigators receive prestigious invitation to submit research proposals. Read More


Researchers identify immune profiles that place people at risk of dengue

June 5, 2018: For many viruses, contracting the pathogen can have a silver lining: The subsequent antibodies confer immunity against future infection. Read More


Nelson lab teaches COTS course in Haiti

May 31, 2018: Nelson lab travels to Haiti to educate students at the Université d’État d’Haiti Faculté de Médicine et de Pharmacie in Port au Prince on water-borne diseases. Read More


The social and spatial ecology of dengue presence and burden during an outbreak in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2012

May 18, 2018: EPI Investigators publish paper on the social and spatial ecology of dengue in an Ecuadorean outbreak. Read More


Melioidosis: An emerging infectious disease in the Americas

May 8, 2018: Once thought to live only in Southeast Asia, the bacteria that cause melioidosis are now known to exist in South and Central America plus the Caribbean. Read More


Researchers solve chlamydia mystery; reveal possible new drug target

May 7, 2018: A research team led by a leading UF-EPI scientist has solved a long-standing mystery related to the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Read More


Voices of Malaria

April 27, 2018: Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan discusses the importance of malaria research and what inspired him to search for treatments for the disease in "Voices of Malaria." Read More


EPI faculty members recognized for international achievements

April 26, 2018: Three members of the EPI were recognized for their achievements in international research and education Wednesday at a UF/IFAS awards ceremony. Read More


EU report describes burden of infectious diseases on populace

April 23, 2018: A recent study of European infectious diseases found that one in 14 inhabitants of the European Union and the European Economic Area experience an infectious disease episode each year. Read More


$3.2 Million grant funds development of new malaria vaccine

March 29, 2018: The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund has awarded $3.2 million to UF, and partners in the U.S. and Japan, to advance a promising vaccine for malaria transmission prevention. Read More


How much seafood did you eat? Photos jog memory, aid scientific recommendations

March 28, 2018: Seafood can be a tasty source of protein that supports a healthy, balanced diet. EPI teams up with IFAS to assess health risks versus benefits of consuming certain seafood products. Read More


Toxic cholera bacteria flourish after heavy rains and persist at other times, researchers suggest

March 26, 2018: EPI investigator Afsar Ali led a study characterizing how the pathogen that causes cholera persists in wild, low-nutrient aquatic environments for decades. Read More


Health in Africa Symposium Explores Causes of Child Stunting

March 1, 2018: EPI researchers Arie Havelaar and Sarah McKune discuss role of bacterial pathogens such as Campylobacter, in childhood stunting. Read More


Zika virus likely transmitted through breast milk, report finds

Feb. 20, 2018: Mothers infected with the Zika virus may be able to transmit the virus to newborn infants through breast milk, according to a recent report led by EPI researcher John Lednicky. Read More


EPI Research Day 2018

Feb.15, 2018: Today the Emerging Pathogens Institute celebrated its eleventh annual Research Day with a record number of presentations and nearly 400 attendees. Read More


Dr. Anthony Maurelli and colleagues publish book chapter on Shigella

Jan. 31, 2018: EPI researcher Anthony Maurelli co-authored a chapter entitled “A Brief History of Shigella” as part of the electronic encyclopedia EcoSal Plus, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. Read More