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Category: Infections | Monthly Briefing

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August 2008 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Last Updated: September 01, 2008.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for August 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Fully Synthetic Vaccine Against Fungus Protective

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Fully synthetic vaccines against the fungus Candida albicans can protect against infection with a normally lethal dose, according to research published online Aug. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Rapid Prison Growth Linked to Tuberculosis Spread

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The rapid growth in the prison population in former Soviet Union countries accounts for the increased levels of tuberculosis (TB) infection since 1990, according to a report published online Aug. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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CDC: Measles Outbreaks Seen in Unvaccinated Children

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Recent measles outbreaks in the United States have primarily occurred among unvaccinated school-aged children, often after exposure to people from other countries with ongoing outbreaks, according to a report published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Can Be Managed

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An aggressive treatment strategy can manage patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, a disease often portrayed in the popular press as incurable, according to a report published online Aug. 25 in The Lancet.

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Comparable Results Seen in Molecular HPV Assays

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Three molecular assays for the detection and typing of human papillomavirus -- the Amplicor HPV test, the LINEAR ARRAY HPV genotyping test, and the new PapilloCheck with the HotStarTaq DNA polymerase -- yield comparable results when performed after extraction on the easyMAG instrument, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Hepatitis B Mutations Linked to Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Viral genotype and common variants in specific regions of the virus are associated with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in people infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), according to a report published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Variables Seen in Cost Effectiveness of HPV Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Optimizing the cost effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination depends on several factors: the duration of vaccine immunity, achieving universal coverage in pre-adolescent girls, targeting catch-up vaccinations among young women and revising screening guidelines, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Silver-Coated Tubes Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Silver-coated endotracheal tubes can reduce the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in patients requiring mechanical ventilation, according to a report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Local Care of Child Pneumonia Studied in Developing World

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing local health facilities in developing countries to treat children with severe pneumonia rather than referring them to hospitals results in better disease management and fewer deaths, according to a report published online Aug. 19 in The Lancet.

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Functional Antibodies Found in 1918 Flu Survivors

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Even after 90 years, survivors of the 1918 influenza pandemic still have functional antibodies to the virus that could help researchers devise strategies to fight a future pandemic, according to a report published online Aug. 17 in Nature.

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Malaria Found in Refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Refugees recently arrived from sub-Saharan Africa may be infected with malaria, even if they received treatment before arriving in the United States, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Improved Oxygen Systems Effective in Childhood Pneumonia

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, improved oxygen systems with pulse oximetry and oxygen concentrators can significantly reduce the death rate for children with pneumonia and are cost-effective compared to other public health interventions, according to a report published online Aug. 18 in The Lancet.

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Screening Changes May Lead to Overdiagnosis of Syphilis

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Due to syphilis testing laboratories reversing the traditional order of screening, there may be overdiagnosis and overtreatment of syphilis, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Comorbidities Worsen Fatigue in HIV-Positive Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Specific types of comorbidities and increasing numbers of comorbidities worsen fatigue severity and symptom scores in HIV/AIDS patients, and health care providers must be able to identify causes of fatigue to intervene more effectively, according to study findings published in the August issue of Applied Nursing Research.

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More U.S. Women Using Contraceptive Services

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- From 1995 to 2002, receipt of contraceptive services dramatically increased among U.S. women aged 15 to 44, according to research published online Aug. 13 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Early Diagnosis Could Cut Bird Flu Deaths in Indonesia

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- About 80 percent of human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) confirmed in Indonesia between June 2005 and February 2008 were fatal, with early antiviral treatment improving the likelihood of survival, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in The Lancet.

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Chronic Hepatitis C Linked to Insulin Resistance

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic hepatitis C have a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can adversely affect the success of antiviral treatment, according to a review in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Domestic Violence Linked to HIV in Indian Women

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Married Indian women are more likely to be infected with HIV if they experience physical and sexual violence from their husbands, researchers report in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many Cellular Components Aid West Nile Infection

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The West Nile virus relies on a number of molecules and cellular pathways in host cells for successful infection, according to research published online Aug. 6 in Nature.

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Cannabis Reduces HIV-Related Neuropathic Pain

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cannabis reduced neuropathic pain in patients with HIV infection and was generally well tolerated, according to research published online Aug. 6 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Valganciclovir May Benefit Liver Transplant Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric liver transplant patients who are infected with Epstein-Barr virus, treatment with valganciclovir may help clear the virus and decrease the risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Novel Nucleoside Analog Suppresses Hepatitis C Virus

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- R1626 -- a novel nucleoside analog -- may significantly reduce hepatitis C virus RNA, either in combination with standard therapy or alone, according to two reports published in the August issue of Hepatology.

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Extensively Drug-Resistant TB Tackled in Outpatients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis can be successfully treated in an outpatient setting, if they are HIV-negative, according to a report published in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Malaria Prevention Strategies Involve Multiple Factors

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In short-term travelers, malaria prevention strategies vary according to the location of the trip and the travelers' medical history, according to a Clinical Practice article published in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lymphocyte Brain Entry May Help in Encephalitis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Inhibiting a chemokine receptor at the blood-brain barrier during West Nile virus infection in mice improved T-cell infiltration in the brain and improved survival, according to research published online Aug. 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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False-Positive Rate High for Rapid Oral HIV Test

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A rapid oral HIV test administered to patients in the emergency department has a high rate of false positives, according to study findings published in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Group B Streptococci Colonization Likely to Recur

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women with group B streptococci genitourinary colonization during an index pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of colonization during a subsequent pregnancy, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Teen Sex Risks Unchanged from 2005-2007

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Though high school students reduced sexual risk behaviors between 1991 and 2007, the prevalence of such behaviors remained unchanged between 2005 and 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Atazanavir/Ritonavir Once-Daily Seen As Advantageous

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In treatment-naive HIV patients, treatment with atazanavir/ritonavir once-daily is as effective as treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir twice-daily, but its superior side effect profile suggests that it should be the preferred first-line treatment, according to an article published online Aug. 2 in The Lancet.

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Penicillin Prophylaxis During Labor May Not Need 4 Hours

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Four hours of intrapartum penicillin G prophylaxis may not be necessary in women positive for group B streptococci, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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Half of Med Students Think Safe Sex Counseling Irrelevant

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly half of U.S. medical students don't believe that counseling patients on safe sex will be highly relevant to their practice, according to an article published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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British Travel Industry Lacks Emphasis on Risk of Malaria

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Because imported malaria is an increasing problem in the United Kingdom, the British travel industry should do more to inform international travelers about their risk of the disease, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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Flu Vaccine Doesn't Reduce Pneumonia Risk in Elderly

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people are at a similar risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season whether or not they have been vaccinated against influenza, researchers report in the Aug. 2 issue of The Lancet.

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Routine HIV Screening for Most Women Recommended

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetrician-gynecologists are well-placed to incorporate routine screening for HIV into their routine gynecologic health checks, and should screen all their patients from age 19 to 64, according to a statement from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published in the August issue of ACOG Committee Opinion.

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