August 2006 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for August 2006. 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.

Vaccination Infrequent Among Patients with IBD

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), treatment with long-term immunosuppressive therapies increases the risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses, but immunization against these illnesses is uncommon, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Incidence Declines in Two AIDS-Related Cancers

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART, has resulted in a dramatic decline in incidence of two major AIDS-related cancers: Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a study published in the August issue of AIDS.

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Multiple Variants of Marburg Virus Found in Outbreak

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- An investigation of an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in Africa has found a high fatality rate and multiple genetic variants, suggesting multiple introductions of virus and the possibility that the reservoir hosts live in caves or mines, according to a study in the Aug. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Small Hepatitis C Relapse Risk After Successful Retreatment

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven out of 97 hepatitis C-positive patients who failed to respond to initial interferon treatment but seemed to clear the virus after combination interferon-ribavirin retreatment relapsed within two years, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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CD4 Count Moderately Predicts Undetectable HIV Viral Load

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- After HIV-positive patients start highly active antiretroviral therapy, an increased CD4 cell count is only a moderate predictor of undetectable viral load and its predictive power is even more limited in patients with lower baseline CD4 cell counts, according to a study published in the August issue of AIDS.

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HIV, Hepatitis C Co-Infection Worsens Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may have significantly greater neurocognitive declines than patients infected with HIV alone, although these differences largely disappear after antiretroviral treatment, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of AIDS.

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Non-H. Pylori Bacteria Found in Hypochlorhydric Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Hypochlorhydric patients may harbor strains of non-Helicobacter pylori organisms that produce urease, which can lead to false-positive breath tests and rapid urease tests, according to the results of a small study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Molecule Involved in T Cell 'Exhaustion' in HIV

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Blocking the function of a molecule found at high levels on HIV-specific CD8+ T cells restores some T cell function and helps overcome the T cell "exhaustion" observed during chronic HIV infection, according to two studies published online Aug. 20 in Nature Medicine and Nature.

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CDC Colloboration Makes Flu Data Available Worldwide

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its database of genetic blueprints for over 650 genes of influenza viruses isolated in the United States to make them available to international researchers. This is the first collaborative action between CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

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Researchers Create Risk Model for Chagas Disease Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Investigators have developed and tested a simple model to predict the risk of death from Chagas heart disease, which currently affects more than one million Latin Americans, according to a report in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Decreasing

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), the primary cause of genital herpes, has significantly declined since the late 1980s and early 1990s in the United States, especially among teenagers, according to a study in the Aug. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Two Florida Melioidosis Cases Imported from Honduras

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Slow identification and poor laboratory procedures, including sniffing or unsafely handling patient cultures, exposed nine Florida laboratory workers to Burkholderia pseudomallei in 2005, after two patients infected in Honduras traveled to the state, according to a report in the Aug. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Transmitted by inhalation or inoculation, the bacteria cause melioidosis, usually pneumonia, but can provoke abscesses of the skin, soft tissues and internal organs.

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Daptomycin a Safe Alternative for S. Aureus Bacteremia

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The cyclic lipopeptide antibiotic daptomycin appears to be as effective as standard therapy for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia complicated by right-sided endocarditis, according to a report in the Aug. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Socioeconomic Status Linked to Late-Life Disability

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- While the link between extreme poverty and poor health has long been recognized, a new report in the Aug. 17 New England Journal of Medicine extends the socioeconomic disparity to functional limitation and disability later in life.

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Most ED Patients with S. Aureus Infection Have MRSA

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is the most common cause of skin and soft-tissue infections in patients presenting to emergency departments in 11 U.S. cities, according to a study conducted in August 2004 and reported in the Aug. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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SAFE Strategy Effective in Trachoma-Endemic Areas

MONDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental change, collectively known as SAFE, is effective in tackling trachoma in areas where it is endemic, according to a study in the Aug. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Hib Vaccine Cuts Childhood Disease in Kenya

MONDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine into the routine infant immunization program in Kenya has dramatically reduced disease incidence in young children, according to a report in the Aug. 9 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fewer U.S. Students Engaging in Risky Sexual Behavior

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of sexual experience dropped to 46.8 percent from 54.1 percent among U.S. high school students between 1991 and 2005, according to a report in the Aug. 11 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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About Four Percent of Teens Have Traded Sex for Money

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- About four percent of U.S. adolescents have traded sex for money or drugs, possibly leading to health problems such as depression or sexually transmitted infections, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Nursing Home Residents at Risk for Surgical Site Infection

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients who reside in nursing homes are more than four times as likely as those who don't to develop surgical site infections following orthopaedic surgery, according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Infection May Raise Risk of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is a common problem for several years after acute gastroenteritis caused by water contamination, according to a study published in the August issue of Gastroenterology.

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Inadequate Staffing Ups Infection Risk in NICU

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Too few nurses or having nurses with too heavy a workload may increase the risk of bloodstream infections among infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Adherence to HIV Therapy at Favorable Levels in Africa

TUESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Favorable levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa, but remain a concern in North America, researchers report in the Aug. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ring Vaccination Best Strategy for Smallpox Outbreak

TUESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The best strategy to control an outbreak of smallpox would be to quarantine affected individuals and immunize people they've had contact with, according to mathematical simulations of an outbreak in Great Britain published online Aug. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Females Have Higher Hepatitis C Virus Infection Clearance

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are infected with hepatitis C virus may be more likely than men to have spontaneous viral clearance, according to a study of Egyptian patients in the August issue of the journal Gut.

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Low Vaccine Rates Among Amish Linked to Pertussis

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis still occur in populations where vaccine rates are low, especially isolated communities such as the Amish, according to a report in the Aug. 4 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Treatment Interruptions Reduce HIV Load and Costs

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Interruptions in drug treatment are as effective as continuous treatment at reducing viral load in HIV-1-infected patients, while reducing drug costs by about 60 percent, according to a report in the Aug. 5 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA Approves Next Season's Influenza Vaccine

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved this year's seasonal influenza vaccines. The vaccines include the new strains of virus judged likely to cause flu in the Northern Hemisphere in 2006-2007.

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HIV-1 Treatment Successful But Rise in AIDS Events Seen

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has improved the virological response to HIV-1 in the last decade in Europe and North America, there has been a rise in AIDS events that may be due to an increased incidence of tuberculosis, according to a report in the Aug. 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Low-Income Countries More Likely to Use Grants

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income countries that have less-developed health care systems but are politically stable are more likely to use grants from organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria than higher-income countries, according to a report in the Aug. 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Metallo-β-Lactamase-Producing P. Aeruginosa More Deadly

THURSDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired pneumonia's already high mortality rate is doubled by metallo-β-lactamase (MβL) production from the causative organism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, according to a paper published in the August issue of Critical Care.

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Hyponatremia Risk Low with Oral Rehydration Solution

THURSDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A reduced osmolarity oral rehydration solution (ORS) recommended in 2002 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to treat diarrhea is 50 percent less likely than an older formulation to cause hyponatremia, according to a study published in the Aug. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lessons Learned from the 2005 Indiana Measles Outbreak

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Important lessons can be learned from a 2005 measles outbreak in Indiana that can help sustain the elimination of this disease in the United States, according to a case series investigation in the Aug. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Race May Determine Persistence of HPV Infection

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- European variants of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 persist longer in white women and African variants persist longer in African American women, according to a study in the Aug. 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Lack of Weight Gain May Predict Tuberculosis Relapse

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Underweight tuberculosis patients who regain less than 5 percent of their weight during the first two months of intensive therapy are significantly more likely to relapse, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing