This week PLOS Pathogens publishes our 200th Pearl, marking nearly 5 years of Pearls headlining our frontmatter section. We thank our Pearls editors, authors, diligent readers and fans for making our Pearls collection a success. The Pearls collection is now available as a Flipboard series, with seven sections of Pearls: Bacteria, Fungi, Host-interactions, Parasites, Plant Pathogens, Prions, and Viruses, presenting one Pearls section for each day of the week. Explore these mini-reviews and the Flipboard collection with Editor Joseph Heitman on Speaking of Medicine, as well as our 199th and 200th Pearls below.
Helminths, which infect over 1,000,000,000 people worldwide, have complex relationships with their hosts, often blurring the line between what is host-mediated and what is parasite-driven. In this Pearl, Deborah Boyett and Michael Hsieh focus on five major themes by which numerous helminths manipulate host tissues to survive and reproduce.
In general, viruses evolve resistance to the restriction factors of their natural hosts but may still be sensitive to homologs of the same restriction factors from other organisms. In this Pearl, Kevin McCarthy and Welkin Johnson discuss how comparative evolutionary analyses strengthen the hypothesis that restriction factors are potentially major determinants of virus host-range in nature.
Interferons (IFNs) are proteins released by host cells to fight many viral infections. Michael Gale Jr., Michael Diamond, and colleagues investigate the key cell types requiring type I IFN signaling for immunity against West Nile virus in a mouse model lacking the type I IFN receptor gene. Their findings illuminate how type I IFN signaling restricts infection, controls inflammation, and prevents pathogenesis in vivo.
Genome-wide screens for host factors affecting tombusvirus (TBSV) replication in yeast indicate that subverted cellular RNA helicases likely play major roles in virus replication. In this article, Nikolay Kovalev and Peter Nagy show that two different groups of cellular helicases promote TBSV replication via selectively enhancing positive-strand synthesis through different mechanisms.
Malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects many regions of the world. Children are especially vulnerable to this disease. See two featured research articles in PLOS Pathogens this week on malaria infections in children.
Image Credit: Peter Crompton
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