When humans have parasites, the organisms live in our bodies, co-opt our resources, and cause disease. However, it turns out that parasites themselves can have their own co-habitants.Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University have found that the pathogenicity of the sexually transmitted protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis — the cause of trichomoniasis — is fueled by a viral invader. Trichomoniasis infections are more common than all bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STD) combined. Annually, trichomoniasis affects nearly 250 million people, typically as vaginitis in women and urethritis in men.“Trichomoniasis is associated with devastating consequences for women due to inflammation and related risks of reproductive disease,” said Raina Fichorova, leader of the research team as well as associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Our future goal is to determine how the viral symbiont and its inflammatory ‘halo’ affect the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.”“This is only one of two incidences that we know of for which the pathogenicity of a protozoan virus has been characterized,” said Max Nibert, Harvard Medical School professor of microbiology and immunology and co-author of the paper. “When found together, the result is an increase in virulence of the protozoan parasite to the human host, leading to exacerbated disease.”This study, which was initiated by a Harvard Catalyst Pilot Grant, will be published online in Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.Rather than invading human cells, Trichomonas vaginalis attaches to their surface and feeds on them, sometimes remaining asymptomatic for a period of time. The virus, called Trichomonasvirus, infects the protozoan and increases its pathogenic power by fueling virus-specific inflammatory responses.Moreover, carrying the protozoan parasite predisposes women to acquire sexually transmitted viruses, particularly HIV and human papillomavirus, or HPV, both of which can lead to serious diseases such as AIDS and cervical cancer, respectively. Fichorova and Nibert have recently obtained funding from the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research to find out if the virus itself is directly responsible for increased HIV risk.According to Nibert, the virus-parasite symbiosis is the norm rather than the exception with this particular protozoan. Upwards of 80 percent of Trichomonas vaginalis isolates carry the virus. “Unlike flu viruses, for example, this virus can’t spread by jumping out of the cell into another one,” said Nibert, who has pioneered molecular biology work on double-stranded RNA viruses, a category that includes Trichomonasvirus. “It just spreads between cells when they divide or mate.”According to the researchers, it is this double-stranded nature of the viral genome that contributes to increased virulence of the protozoan parasite. “The double-stranded RNA seems important to the signaling process,” added Nibert.Currently, trichomoniasis is treated with the antibiotic metronidazole. But this treatment is only effective on the protozoan. “When the medication is used, the dying or stressed protozoa release unharmed virions, which then signal to the human cells,” explained Fichorova. As a result, the symptoms are aggravated, and this in turn might increase the danger trichomoniasis poses to pregnant women and their children.“Ahead is more research to better understand the viral cycle and structural features that might be vulnerable to drugs, which will lead to opening new doors for better treatment of trichomoniasis and related diseases,” said Fichorova. “Our complementary expertise, interdisciplinary team efforts, and strong collaboration is the key to our future success.”Nibert added that basic research on Trichomonas vaginalis is not nearly as supported as he thinks it should be. “It is unfortunate that a human pathogen of such worldwide significance has been neglected to such a degree,” he said.The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a Harvard Catalyst Pilot Grant, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center, and the National Center for Research Resources.
Published on September 7, 2017 at 11:32 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+ UPDATED: Sept. 10, 2017 at 10:33 p.m.After a lopsided victory in Week 1, Syracuse (1-0) gets its next challenge in the form of Middle Tennessee State (0-1) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. MTSU defensive coordinator Scott Shafer will be making his first return to the Carrier Dome since being fired as head coach of the Orange in 2015.Here’s what to know about the Blue Raiders:All-time series: This is the first matchup between the two schools.The Middle Tennessee State report: MTSU owned one of the most effective offenses in the country a year ago, finishing eighth in total offense while racking 517.7 yards of offense per game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat total is mainly fueled by the passing attack, which also finished eighth in passing yards per game. Quarterback Brent Stockstill, son of head coach Rick Stockstill, is all the all-time leader in career touchdowns at MTSU, throwing for 62 in just 25 games.Stockstill’s most trusted target is Richie James, who has caught more than 100 balls in each of his first two seasons. He hauled in 10 receptions for 112 yards last week against Vanderbilt but the MTSU offense as a whole was stalled against the Commodores. Stockstill was sacked five times as the Blue Raiders managed to score just six points in the loss.On defense the Blue Raiders have Mike Minter Jr., a top corner who should defend Steve Ishmael for much of the game. Ishmael was a big part of SU’s offense Friday and negating him could be a deciding factor for MTSU.How Syracuse beats Middle Tennessee State: Get to the quarterback. Vanderbilt developed the blueprint a week ago and Syracuse would be wise to follow it. Now, head coach Dino Babers admitted that SU might not have as good of a personnel group as Vanderbilt does. But it’ll still be paramount to the Orange’s success.Defensive tackle Chris Slayton was a force against Central Connecticut State as he normally is and transfer defensive ends Brandon Berry and Alton Robinson impressed in SU’s first game. Somehow, whether it’s strictly from the front four or if SU brings out various blitz packages, someone will need to get to the Stockstill and rush him.Player to watch: Richie James, wide receiver, No. 3James caught 213 balls over the first two years of his career. If he continues his pace of catching 100 balls a year he’d break the all-time receptions record set by Zay Jones and would be the first receiver ever to catch 400 balls. He got off to a hot start last week against Vanderbilt and needs just 16 catches to become the MTSU all-time receptions leader. He’s also been used effectively as a running threat, racking up 339 rushing yards on 38 carries a year ago to go with his 1,625 receiving yards. SU will need to find a way to slow down James on Saturday. Comments
That they didn’t break somewhere along the line represents a significant change for the Clippers, whose league-wide reputation coming into this season was they crumbled when alternate paths to victory needed to be forged.Or to be more blunt, the Clippers were easily intimidated.“In the past, people came in here trying to push us around,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “And mentally I think it worked.”That’s happening less and less under Rivers and with a more mature Blake Griffin elevating his game physically and mentally.There is an undeniable resiliency to these Clippers, who continue to defy injuries and multiple roster additions to continue their ascent in the Western Conference.Their win against the Warriors was their ninth in a row and strengthened their hold on the third seed in the Western Conference — and with it, home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.And they are playing without J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, two key role players.Yet they continue to win.Better yet, they continue to find ways to win.Like Wednesday, when they overcame the slow shooting nights of Chris Paul and Darren Collison and others to beat the Warriors.“I’m proud,” Griffin said. “Proud of the way we fought. Proud of the way guys handled themselves. Guys were fighting. I’m just proud of the way we played.”In years past, that probably didn’t happen.Not long ago, the knock on the Clippers was they were front runners, just a high-flying, high-wire act that was fun to watch when things were going well.But the minute someone turned up the heat and took them out of their comfort zone with some hard fouls or aggressive defense, the trouble started. They’d get angry or down on themselves. The body language changed, their flow slowed to a crawl. The defense and communication waned and the silly fouls and mental errors mounted.At that point, the Clippers would crumble.This year, that no longer seems to be the case.The Warriors were a prime example.“It was one of those games you just had to keep fighting and finally it kind of broke our way,” Rivers said. “To me, that’s growth. I don’t know if we win this game earlier in the year. It’s one of those games where some teams let go of the rope. But I thought we hung in there, and I’m proud of them.”There is a reason for that, according to Barnes.“Now that we’re mentally locked in, I think it’s harder to (get in our head),” he said,” “You’re going to have to beat us playing basketball, and that’s hard to do.”As one of the Clippers’ noted agitators, even Barnes openly questioned their toughness last year. It all came to a head in the first round of the playoffs against Memphis when he blasted the Clippers for getting punked by the Grizzlies.The Clippers lost that series, and over the summer sweeping changes were made — not the least of which was getting rid of Vinny Del Negro as coach in favor of Rivers, the hard-driving force behind the Boston Celtics’ championship run in 2009.Rivers didn’t just bring instant credibility to a locker room starving for proven leadership. He brought a no-nonsense, no-excuse philosophy in which misfortune is quickly dealt with and overcome — not the justification for failure.The Clippers are acquiring a similar taste for adversity, having won in a variety of fashions with an ever-changing lineup.“We’ve had so many injuries, so many ups and downs, and we’re still getting guys acclimated,” Barnes said. “But with all that being said, we’re able to win tough games and blowouts. All different kinds of wins.”Said Griffin: “To have J.J. hurt for so long and (Paul) and Jamal and Matt Barnes hurt, to have all the guys we’ve had hurt this year, yet to be where we are, it’s great.”The true test comes in the playoffs, of course.But the more the Clippers show they can win when Plan A and Plan B aren’t working, the better off they’ll be in April and May.“Listen, in the playoffs every game’s not going to be pretty,” Collison said. “It’s going to be hard, especially against a very good team.“There’s going to be times you aren’t playing well, but you have to do whatever it takes to win.”The Clippers are doing that now. The source of which dramatically increases the odds of a long playoff run by the Clippers.Despite so many factors working against them, they dug deep enough to forge a path to victory against one of the best teams in the Western Conference — not to mention their recent nemesis.It wasn’t pretty or artistic or imaginative.But in many ways, it was better than all of those things combined.They won ugly, relying more on mental toughness than physical prowess. It didn’t come easy. They had to keep chipping away until the game tilted their way long enough to prevail. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Doc Rivers wasn’t quite done listing everything that didn’t work for the Clippers against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, yet already he was running out of breath.“We were awful offensively. We just scored on happenstance. Guys found the ball and made a shot,” Rivers said. “We had no rhythm. We had no pace. We had no execution. And we were fighting ourselves.”It was a bleak assessment, to be sure.But behind the raspy voice detailing the woes, an unmistakable sense of satisfaction grew more and more obvious.
Rafa Benitez had a bad weekend; Real Madrid losing 4-0 to arch-rivals Barcelona certainly wasn’t on the Spaniard’s wish list.Following the heavy defeat, the talkSPORT translator picked up on some exclusive footage from Benitez’s Monday night press conference, but typically has mistranslated a few key phrases.Watch the spoof video above to see Benitez lose it with a Spanish journalist, and give his views on Cristiano Ronaldo moving back to England to play alongside Jamie Vardy.*DISCLAIMER: There is not a single fact in this video.For more translator videos, check out talkSPORT on YouTube!