COVID-19 Transmission To Wildlife

Posted on WORT FM
This fall, researchers in Utah began surveying wildlife populations after a breakout of the COVID-19 SARS-2 virus in domestic mink farms.  They found one wild mink who had contracted the virus, apparently from contact with farmed mink.  Interspecies infection has been a hallmark of the SARS-2 Cov2 virus from the start.  Nevertheless, the new finding raises questions about what impact the pandemic might have on wildlife populations.  Tony Goldberg is a Professor of Pathobiological Sciences at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Director for Research at the UW Global Health Institute.

What Is Killing Wisconsin’s Bald Eagles?

Posted on Audubon Magazine
When Tony Goldberg received an exuberant, enigmatic text message — “You gotta come into the lab!” — the epidemiologist turned his car around and headed straight back to his office at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He found his postdoc, Sam Sibley, transfixed by the computer monitor. Sibley had just finished running blood serum from a long-dead Bald Eagle through a powerful machine that searches out all traces of genetic material. Comparing the results to a database of all the world’s known viruses, the computer had spit back a surprising match.
Tom Friedrich, professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, explains a consent form and the process of volunteers spitting in a small vial as part of a trial of a new COVID-19 saliva test

COVID Questions: Different Tests

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Note: UW-Madison will be publishing answers to questions about COVID-19 and the pandemic each week in a COVID questions column. If you have a question, please email it to covid19update@uc.wisc.edu. This post was originally published here. …

UW-Madison Study Could Spell the End for Yearly Flu Vaccine

Posted on NBC 15

As flu season gets underway, a new UW-Madison vaccine study could mean a yearly flu shot will not be necessary for much longer. Researchers are developing a new experimental vaccine which would be taken through the nose. The vaccine activates a different part of the immune system called T-cells, which can rapidly protect against multiple strains of influenza. Marulasiddapa Suresh, a UW-Madison professor of immunology who led the research, said he hopes the vaccine could take the guesswork out of fighting influenza and even create a universal flu vaccine.

UW Research Provides Alternative Approach To Flu, COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Posted on The Badger Herald
University of Wisconsin scientists published research on an alternative vaccine approach Tuesday, which could aid in efforts to create a universal flu vaccine and develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The research captures the capacity of a T-cell-based vaccine approach to provide broader protection of the immune system against respiratory illnesses, according to a UW news release. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that kills viral illnesses through an immune response. Professor of immunology in the School of Veterinary Medicine Marulasiddappa Suresh led the study.
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Mass Freshwater Mussel Die-offs Linked to New Virus

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Until now, no one has been able to pin down why the world’s wild, freshwater mussels—often unnoticed and underappreciated engineers of stream and river health—are facing massive, unexpected die-offs. In a paper published today (September 2, 2020) …