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Nanotechnology for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases

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The emergence of co-infections and the evolution of drug-resistant pathogens limit the utility of current therapies against infections, and developing countries in particular are facing a great challenge in combating infectious disease. Moreover, any failure to control the spread of infectious diseases would also represent a threat to developed countries. Recent developments in nanotechnology allow us to address this issue at two levels: diagnostics and treatment. Prevention of the spread of infectious pathogens requires rapid and accurate identification of the infectious agents for proper treatment. Recently developed fluorescent nanoparticles are so sensitive that even a single nanoparticle is capable of emitting a strong enough signal to be captured, thus enabling early identification of infections. Proper and effective treatment not only saves the patient, but also prevents the spread of the pathogens. Specific nanoparticle vehicles developed to encapsulate therapeutic agents and deliver them to a target site represent a promising strategy to boost immune responses for vaccination and boost the efficacy of drugs for treatment. Here, we describe a variety of nanotechnologies for use in applications such as immune response modulation, drug delivery, diagnostics, and treatment, which are especially needed in developing countries.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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