Plague in New Mexico

The Plague Is Back, This Time In New Mexico
June 29, 2017


Raw Milk Cheese & Listeria

Two Dead From Raw Milk Cheese Contaminated With Listeria
Mar 9 2017
by Maggie Fox

Unpasteurized milk is an important vehicle for transmission of pathogens, which include Brucella species, Mycobacterium bovis, Salmonella species, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter species, Yersinia species, Coxiella burnetii, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.
[ProMED Digest, Vol 57, Issue 26]

Mosquitoes. What Are They Good For?

Mosquitoes. What Are They Good For?
February 19, 2016

they’re food for fish and other insect predators and birds. They pollinate plants.

Correction: Only the female has the need for the iron from our blood for her offspring.


the biting midge, a tiny bloodsucker that can spread diseases to animals and filarial worms to humans.
Dina Fonseca, a professor of entomology at Rutgers University, is that the biting midge is the only known pollinator of cacao.

Ecology: A world without mosquitoes
Nature 466, 432-434 (2010)
Eradicating any organism would have serious consequences for ecosystems — wouldn’t it? Not when it comes to mosquitoes, finds Janet Fang.

The Cockroach of Mosquitoes

Fighting the ‘Cockroach of Mosquitoes’
The Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti species bites by day and hides indoors by night, making it hard to eliminate
By Betsy McKay et al.
Feb. 11, 2016

Experts working to halt the spread of the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses face a stubborn foe in the main mosquito that transmits them, and some of the many methods under consideration for fighting them are stirring controversy.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito primarily responsible for spreading these diseases has been called “the cockroach of mosquitoes.” It thrives around people, particularly in the densely packed neighborhoods that are common in the tropics. It bites during the day and hides at night in dark corners,…

Vibrio vulnificus

Vibrio vulnificus

from the “Bad Bug Book,” Center for Safety
and Applied Nutrition, US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) at

There are 2 points to be emphasized:

  • that vibrios are normal flora in warm saltwater (not indicative of any sewage contamination) and that
  • most of the life-threatening illnesses occur in individuals with
    underlying medical illnesses, including immunocompromised states, chronic liver disease, and diabetes. So-called normal individuals often just get gastroenteritis. The range of disease due to V. vulnificus can involve more northern geographical areas if the area is affected by a substantial heat wave.

figure from:
The genomic code: inferring Vibrionaceae niche specialization
Nature Reviews Microbiology 4, 697-704 (September 2006)

Measles-associated immune memory loss

Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality
Science 8 May 2015: Vol. 348  no. 6235  pp. 694-699
Michael J. Mina, et al.

Immunosuppression after measles is known to predispose people to opportunistic infections for a period of several weeks to months. Using population-level data, we show that measles has a more prolonged effect on host resistance, extending over 2 to 3 years. We find that nonmeasles infectious disease mortality in high-income countries is tightly coupled to measles incidence at this lag, in both the pre- and post-vaccine eras. We conclude that long-term immunologic sequelae of measles drive interannual fluctuations in nonmeasles deaths. This is consistent with recent experimental work that attributes the immunosuppressive effects of measles to depletion of B and T lymphocytes. Our data provide an explanation for the long-term benefits of measles vaccination in preventing all-cause infectious disease. By preventing measles-associated immune memory loss, vaccination protects polymicrobial herd immunity.

journalistic version: