Aflatoxin is a hidden burden. It is spread by a deadly pathogen affecting five billion people across the world, but rarely making headlines. It is not carried by birds or mosquitoes, but hidden in staple foods like maize and groundnut. Common moulds, Aspergillus fungi growing naturally on food crops, can produce poisons called aflatoxins, which have serious effects on health, suppressing immune systems, hindering child growth and even causing liver cancer. Taming this fungal threat with a biotechnological double-defence line offers hope to controlling this toxin. Read more
Historically, vaccination has been the best method for protecting people from infectious diseases. While an array of techniques are available for preventing HIV infection, the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine remains key to realizing a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. NIAID-supported scientists are working toward an HIV vaccine from two complementary angles: an empirical approach that quickly moves vaccine candidates into human testing, and a theoretical approach that designs vaccine candidates based on an understanding of the immune response to HIV infection.