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Casting light on COVID-19 and ‘guest’ agricultural workers

May 3, 2021: An editorial by UF professors, published in the American Journal of Public Health, casts a spotlight on the plight of guest agricultural workers during the pandemic. Read More


Mapping the spread of COVID-19 in Brazil

April 30, 2021: New research published in Science looks back at how COVID-19 spread over time throughout Brazil, to create a pandemic hotspot. Read More


Understanding Salmonella infections in Florida

April 22, 2021: New research by UF investigators on Salmonella infections in Florida highlights the influence of seasons, geography and age upon transmission patterns. The team also developed new AI-based methods for detecting outbreaks and linking cases to environmental or food sources. Read More


New malaria vaccine candidate seeks to block transmission

April 15, 2021: Two new studies advance a potentially groundbreaking transmission-blocking malaria vaccine. UF researcher Rhoel Dinglasan's approach is completely different: Immunizing mosquitoes with malaria transmission-blocking antibodies produced in people. Read More


COVID-19 vaccine effective against new variant in Brazil

April 9, 2021: UF investigators participate in the first study to determine that the CoronaVac vaccine is 50% effective at preventing COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil where the P.1 variant is widespread. Read More


UF researcher’s “mop up” malaria vaccine funded for trials in people

March 31, 2021: A malaria vaccine designed by UF professor Rhoel Dinglasan is expected to advance to phase 1 clinical trials, thanks to new funding. The vaccine is designed differently from all others: It immunizes mosquitoes via people. Read More


Coronavirus ‘spillovers’ more frequent than thought

March 25, 2021: Coronaviruses common to animals may ‘spillover’ into people more frequently than once thought, according to new research from UF and Haitian investigators. Read More


UF research finds genetic markers for cattle health, growth

March 1, 2021: New UF/EPI study uncovers a connection between an animal's genetics and helpful gut bacteria that are associated with faster animal growth and resistance against disease. Read More


Keynote talks from EPI's Research Day 2021

February 25, 2021: EPI's annual Research Day was virtual this year, and the recorded keynote talks are available here. Read More


SARS-CoV-2 virus isolated from air within a car

Feb. 18, 2021: UF researchers collected the virus that causes COVID-19 from air within a car that was driven by someone with mild symptoms — but who was not wearing a face mask. Read More


New maps predict where medically important ticks are found in Florida

Feb. 1, 2021: New maps detailing the distribution of key tick species will help the Florida Department of Health with investigations into reports of tick-borne illnesses. Read More


New TB drug regimen slashes treatment time

Feb. 1, 2021: Tuberculosis is an age-old respiratory scourge, with a new twist: growing resistance to multiple first- and second-line drugs. UF researchers and physicians report on using a novel treatment to slash treatment time — and cure — a patient with extensively drug-resistant TB. Read More


Partial dose of yellow fever vaccine works in emergencies

Jan. 20, 2021: UF researchers contributed to a clinical trial that found using one-fifth of a standard dose of yellow fever vaccine is an effective strategy for emergency outbreak scenarios. Read More


National study refines proportion of illness due to microbes in food, water

Jan. 5, 2021: UF researchers led a comprehensive study estimating the proportion of food- and waterborne diseases in the US attributable to five major transmission pathways. Read More


How to shorten COVID-19 quarantines

Dec. 8, 2020: Hint: Rethink testing. New research shows how to reduce COVID-19 quarantine times by almost half simply by testing on exit from quarantine instead of entry. Read More


COVID-19 Vaccine Seminar Series

Dec. 1, 2020: UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute is pleased to announce the launch of an all-virtual seminar series focused on COVID-19 vaccine topics. Read More


Biothreat specialist

Nov. 23, 2020: A molecular biologist cultures an ecological perspective of biothreats in his new role at the Emerging Pathogens Institute. Read More


COVID-19 pandemic is worsened without coordination

Nov. 10, 2020: A lack of coordination in measures to control COVID-19 may accelerate cyclical outbreaks, according to a team of UF researchers. Read More


UF study examines effect of pandemic on children and households

Oct. 13, 2020: UF researchers ask how knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the COVID-19 pandemic may affect infection rates, and the mental health, of children and their parents. Read More


UF researcher Ira Longini has COVID-19's number

October 5, 2020: Infectious disease modeler and biostatistician Ira Longini is applying decades of experience to help design and analyze clinical trials to identify a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Read More


UF researchers scour coronavirus studies for clues to a future shared with COVID-19

Sept. 17, 2020: UF researchers sifted through several thousand studies on human coronaviruses related to the novel SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19, with the goal of learning from the past to help shape the future. Read More


Smartphone-based saliva test that can detect COVID-19 earns UF professor honors in national contest

Sept. 17, 2020: UF infectious disease researcher Rhoel Dinglasan was part of a team that devised a saliva-based test for COVID-19. The team's design was one of six winners of the first-ever National Institutes of Health Technology Accelerator Challenge competition. Read More


Air-tight test: How a UF duo learned to sample aerosols for viruses

September 14, 2020: UF researchers Chang-Yu Wu, an engineer, and John Lednicky, a virologist, teamed up a decade ago to solve long-standing challenges in how air samples are collected and tested for viruses. Few people grasped the public health value of their work until a novel respiratory virus gave rise to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More


UF study reveals how Chlamydia acquires essential nutrients

Aug. 12, 2020: New work from the lab of Tony Maurelli, associate chair of the department of environmental and global health in UF's College of Public Health and Health Professions, has solved a quirky mystery about parasitic bacteria that cause the sexually-transmitted disease known as Chlamydia. Read More


Evaluating global crop risks: How crop landscapes affect disease

Aug. 5, 2020: When it comes to managing risks to food crops from pathogens, landscape connections may be just as key to the spread of diseases as are networked trade routes and a changing climate. Read More


UF researchers devise new measures of flu immunity

July 23, 2020: Two UF researchers collaborated with international colleagues to measure how an individual’s immunity to flu is shaped over a lifetime of exposures to multiple influenza viruses. The team devised new metrics to analyze a person’s antibody profile and how it changes over time. Read More


COVID-19’s sneaky spread: half of transmission is silent

July 11, 2020: A UF/EPI professor helped develop a model that estimates slightly more than half of COVID-19 transmission is due to people with no symptoms. A third or more of these cases would need to be isolated, in addition to most symptomatic cases, to quell the pandemic. Read More


Harnessing genome editing for COVID-19 drug discovery

June 30, 2020: A trio of interdisciplinary UF researchers are searching for genes that either hasten or thwart the growth of SARS-CoV-2 virus inside a human host. Their results may contribute to the search for a COVID-19 drug or therapeutic arsenal. Read More


Needed: a national tick strategy

June 17, 2020: Findings from a first-ever nationwide survey of tick management methods reveal the most significant roadblocks to creating a uniform, national tick strategy. Read More


EPI statement on racial public health disparities

June 9, 2020: EPI Director J. Glenn Morris, M.D., issues a statement about racial public health disparities and how his research organization supports eliminating racism and health inequities. Read More


Autopsies of COVID-19 victims reveal blood vessel damage

June 5, 2020: A UF virologist assisted a team of medical researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City with interpreting microscopic images of tissue samples from COVID-19 victims. The researchers found extensive damage to small blood vessels, and they propose a mechanism linking vessel injury with biological pathways that lead to an immune system in overdrive. Read More


A rare melioidosis case: from pathogen to commensal

May 15, 2020: An unusual melioidosis infection in Australia offers researchers a rare window into understanding how highly pathogenic bacteria can adapt to life within a host. Read More


The big picture: EPI's director speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic

April 10, 2020: In a wide-ranging discussion, UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute Director J. Glenn Morris, M.D., fields big-picture questions about the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding nationally and in Florida. Read More


EPI delivers: high capacity COVID-19 testing lab built in 10 days

April 9, 2020: Behind the scenes in mid-March, a group of researchers, students and lab technicians across campus came together and built a high throughput testing lab in the Emerging Pathogens Institute in just 10 days. “The timeline was so compressed, something like this would normally take at least a month,” says UF molecular biologist Tony Maurelli. Read More


Cholera bacteria colonize Haitian rivers, evolve

April 1, 2020: UF researchers uncovered evidence that the bacteria which cause cholera, Vibrio cholerae, have established an aquatic reservoir in Haitian waterways where they are now adapting and evolving. This marks the first time the pathogenic bacteria are known to have a reservoir outside of the Bay of Bengal, which is traditionally viewed as their home. Read More


Prevent COVID-19 spread in communities

March 12, 2020: Visit the CDC communities page. Read More


Expert: outbreak transmission dynamics

March 10, 2020: Researchers who study outbreak transmission dynamics can offer insight to the spread and containment of COVID-19 based on past emerging coronaviruses. UF biology professor Derek Cummings has investigated outbreak dynamics of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which emerged in 2012. Read More


Study shows limits of travel bans in controlling new coronavirus spread

March 6, 2020: A new study published today in Science coauthored by EPI member Ira Longini analyzes effects of China's travel ban in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Read More


Curing mosquitoes, eliminating malaria

Nov. 25, 2019: A new study authored by EPI researcher Rhoel Dinglasan, Ph.D., and colleagues, twists the narrative in the fight against malaria by treating mosquitoes. His team showed that feeding a known antimalarial drug — intended for humans — to infected Anopheles mosquitoes rendered them unable to transmit malaria parasites to new hosts. Read More


Coronavirus consultant

March 4, 2020: UF research professor John Lednicky can pull live viruses out of thin air—and grow them. His past decades of inquiry into coronaviruses have positioned him as one of UF’s go-to experts on the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that is spreading globally. Read More


Science Scenes: Central and East Africa

March 2, 2020: 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 — hunting for data and building relationships with the people and places they study. This is the second photo essay in an occasional series, Science Scenes, in which we invite you to explore how EPI's faculty and affiliate researchers work across the globe. Read More


Chlamydia’s covert reproduction

Feb. 18, 2020: UF researchers have resolved a two-decade old mystery centered upon how the bacteria Chlamydia divide and reproduce. Newly published results from the lab of Anthony Maurelli, a microbiologist in UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and the EPI, reveal that how these parasitic pathogens replicate diverges from a nearly universal norm. Read More


Research Day recap: a dengue duet

Feb. 14, 2020: EPI's thirteenth annual research day took place yesterday, with nearly 150 poster presentations and two keynote speakers who both addressed the latest research in dengue, a growing global public health menace. Read More


Research Day 2020

Feb. 10, 2020: Join us Thursday, February 13 in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom for the thirteenth annual EPI Research Day! Research Day is an event where EPI members and collaborators showcase their wide range of pathogen-related research. Read More


CAGED: Making food safer

Jan. 28, 2020: An international interdisciplinary project led by EPI investigator Arie Havelaar seeks to identify bacterial causes of enteric dysfunction and chronic gut inflammation in Ethiopian children. By studying complex interactions between livestock and people, the project aims to identify reservoirs and exposure pathways by which Campylobacter bacteria colonize kids. But interventions are the ultimate goal. Read More


Dengue double punch: Combo controls

Jan. 20, 2020: Dengue elimination may soon be within reach in Yucatán, Mexico if novel control methods are combined, according to a new study by UF researchers Ira Longini and Tom Hladish. The pair used 37 years of regional public health data to build a model which tested how unique combinations of dengue control measures perform. Read More


USVI healthcare stormed by 2017 hurricanes

October 17, 2019: When Hurricanes Irma and Maria lashed the Caribbean in 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands experienced devastation similar to Puerto Rico, including massive disruption to their healthcare system, but with less media fanfare. The extent of damage unleashed by these storms on medical care in the U.S. Virgin Islands is only now coming into focus, thanks to research by UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute Director J. Glenn Morris and College of Medicine Interim Dean Adrian Tyndall. Read More


Zika epidemic likely suppressed dengue in Latin America

Dec. 16, 2019: New findings published today in Nature Communications show that the Zika virus epidemic in Latin America likely suppressed the incidence of dengue in subsequent years to aberrantly low levels. Then, dengue came roaring back. Read More


Gut bacteria blocks and enhances virus

Dec. 10, 2019: A new study published in Nature Microbiology reveals that bacteria present in different regions of the gastrointestinal tract either enhance or block murine norovirus infections. The startling findings expand our understanding of how the virus interacts with both its host immune system and the intestinal microbiome, which may one day be useful for developing an antiviral therapy. Read More


Taking Ebola’s measure

Dec. 4, 2019 : New research by EPI’s Burton Singer quantifies how civil disruption and violence has unraveled Ebola control measures in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province. His work demonstrates causative links between ongoing regional civil strife and upticks in Ebola incidence due to cycles of disrupted disease control. Read More


Eggplant’s newest pathogenic fungus

Nov. 22, 2019: A known pathogenic fungus, so far only reported to cause disease in two crops, has ensnared a third victim: eggplants. UF plant pathologists affiliated with both UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the EPI, were the first to describe Lasiodiplodia hormozganensis’s jump to a new host. Read More


Unlocking Chlamydia’s persistent state

Nov. 6, 2019: New research from the EPI and UF’s College of Public Health & Health Professions found that exposing the sexually-transmitted bacterial pathogen Chlamydia to fosmidomycin — an antibiotic which is usually lethal to bacteria — causes Chlamydia to enter a protective bunker-like “persistent” state. The findings could bolster future efforts to intentionally disrupt the molecular changes that induce chlamydial persistence, leading to the prevention of chronic chlamydial infections. Read More


A host’s genetics shape its gut microbiome

Oct. 21, 2019: New research by EPI investigator KC Jeong looks at how a host’s genetic background strongly influences the composition and development of its gut microbiota. Read More


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


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


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


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