Subscribe to Newsletter
Diagnostics COVID-19, Technology and innovation, Screening and monitoring

What’s New in Infectious Disease?

Credit: Image sourced from

Flipping the script. A study that assessed the ecological and human health profiles of quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) – a frequently used antimicrobial – has found multiple areas of concern. Researchers discovered that exposure not only has chronic toxicological effects for vulnerable aquatic organisms, but also has a number of respiratory, immunological, and dermal implications for humans (1).

Making a splash. A group of researchers have conducted Typhi-specific bacteriophage surveillance in surface water bodies to identify typhoid endemic settings. The low cost tool proved there was a strong link between the presence of Typhi-specific phages in the environment and the burden of typhoid fever. The team hopes that environmental bacteriophages can be leveraged for the future collection of data on disease burden (2).

In it for the long run. Measuring neutralizing antibody (nAB) durability after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is critical to understand the level of protection given by the vaccine. New evidence reveals that mRNA vaccines initially produce higher nAb responses compared with the adenovirus-vectored vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S. However, after a period of six months, follow-up investigations revealed that patients who received the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine showed an increase in neutralization and, overall, had more nABs (3).  

Breathe in, breathe out. Cavity-enhanced direct frequency comb spectroscopy – a novel laser-based technique – has successfully detected SARS-CoV-2 in real-time by identifying volatile molecules in exhaled breath. The researchers hope that the non-invasive method can identify other medical conditions – particularly those with respiratory, gastrointestinal, or metabolic origin (4).

No cap. Researchers have discovered that the enzyme MTr1 is essential for influenza A and B replication. In a process called “cap snatching,” the virus hijacks the cellular RNA molecules of MTr1 for its own replication. The team also found that trifluoromethyl-tubercidin (TFMT) successfully inhibits MTr1 in human lung explants, providing a potential molecule for the treatment of influenza (5).

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Pathologist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. W A Arnold et al., Environ Sci Technol, [Online ahead of print]. PMID: 37157132
  2. S Shrestha et al., medRxiv, [Preprint] (2023).
  3.  A A Prather et al., Sci Rep, 13 (2023). PMID: 37160978
  4.  Q Liang et al., J Breath Res, 17 (2023). PMID: 37016829
  5.  Y Tsukamoto et al., Science, 379, 586 (2023). PMID: 36758070
About the Author
Georgia Hulme

Associate Editor for the Pathologist

Register to The Pathologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine