The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Mediating Obesity

Connie Hsiao  Introduction.  Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive adipose tissue and increases an individual’s risk for health, social and mental issues. Obesity is a major issue in the United States, where more than one- third of Americans are clinically obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2).[1] Environmental and genetic factors both affect an individual’s propensity […]

Mechanisms of Nervous System Damage and Immunological Escape by Zika Virus

Ahmed Ebrahim Introduction. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single-stranded RNA flavivirus that is believed to be primarily spread through vector-born transmission such as mosquitos and can cause neurologic illness such as microcephaly.[1] Most adult cases of ZIKV are asymptomatic. Symptomatic adult cases typically present with mild symptoms such as fever and conjunctivitis and resolve within […]

A Global Health Crisis: Zika Virus Infection, Tropism, Potential Therapeutics, and Moving Forward

Vivian Diep Introduction. The 1947 discovery of Zika Virus (ZIKV) in Uganda has evolved from sporadic outbreaks to a global health emergency. ZIKV is an Aedes mosquito-borne flaviviridae and its presentation resembles that of other arboviruses such as dengue. Studies have shown that in addition to flu-like symptoms, ZIKV can lead to complications such as […]

The Role of the Intestinal Microbiome in the Pathogenesis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Rachael Helpenstell Counts  Introduction.  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by limited social communication skills and stereotypical behavioral patterns.1,2 Many ASD patients also have gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.2 Because of the heterogeneity of ASD, it is difficult to identify a single cause. However, environment, especially the intestinal microbiome, plays an important role.1-3 The […]

Fecal Transplantation to Modulate Abnormal Gut Microbiota in Autism Spectrum Disorder Individuals

Christian Beltran  Introduction. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that presents with early deficits in social communication and unusual restricted and repetitive behaviors.1 It has been established that the gut microbiome differs between children with ASD with functional gastrointestinal disorders and neurotypical (NT) children functional gastrointestinal disorders.2,3 There is a strong link between […]

Potential mechanisms of Zika Neuropathogenesis

George Bailey Introduction: Zika virus (ZIKV) is a single stranded positive RNA flavivirus originally thought only to cause mild illness that rarely needed treatment; however, in recent outbreaks it has been associated with severe neurological conditions such as Guillan-Barre and fetal microcephaly. Studies show that ZIKV utilizes different cell-surface receptors (AXL and TIM-1) to mediate […]

Pathogenic Role of Gardnerella vaginalis associated Bacterial Vaginosis with Sequelae During Pregnancy

Allison (Aslin) Mighell  Introduction. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a microbial imbalance of the vaginal flora characterized by the absence of normally dominant lactobacilli and overgrowth of complex communities dominated by gram-negative bacteria.1 BV is the most common disorder of the female reproductive tract that is characterized by malodorous vaginal discharge, increase in vaginal pH, and […]

Association of bacterial and viral infections with preeclampsia

Sophia Ali  Introduction. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication defined as hypertension with either proteinuria, thrombocytopenia, impaired liver function, renal insufficiency, pulmonary edema, or new-onset cerebral or visual disturbances1. The incidence of preeclampsia is between 3-5% of all pregnancies complications of preeclampsia result in one-third of all pregnancy-related deaths1. Additionally, women who develop preeclampsia are at […]

The link between the gut microbiota and airway inflammation

Anh-Vu Nguyen Introduction. Inflammation associated airway diseases (IAADs), which include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect millions of Americans every year. COPD, for example, is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. Despite this, there are no cures for IAADs at this time. Currently, treatment for IAADs is supportive and includes […]

The AXL Receptor: An Incomplete Explanation of how Zika Virus Infects the CNS

Braden Danbury  Introduction. The ongoing Zika epidemic has drawn attention to the neurological consequences of congenital ZikV infection1-3.  Studies have established a causal link between ZikV and abnormal brain development in murine models and models using cerebral organoids3, 6.  Preventing this irreparable damage caused by ZikV has fueled research to understand the mechanisms behind vertical […]