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December 2007 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for December 2007. 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.

Photodynamic Therapy Targets Root Canal Microorganism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy can inactivate Enterococcus faecalis in experimentally infected root canals of extracted teeth after their sensitization with methylene blue, according to a report published in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Effect of Helminth Treatment on HIV Unclear

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Existing data is insufficient to establish the potential benefit of eradicating helminth infections in adults also infected with HIV-1; however, data from a handful of studies indicate that it may reduce plasma viral load. These findings were published Dec. 19 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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Pneumococcal Rates Fall Despite Vaccination Shortage

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Programs to vaccinate children against invasive pneumococcal disease in the United States got off to a fast start in 2001-2002, but many children did not receive a complete series of recommended doses during a period of vaccine shortages, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Epidemiology of Herpes Zoster Reviewed

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Herpes zoster occurs primarily in immunocompetent individuals aged 50 and older, according to a report published in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The researchers also report that herpes zoster complications increase with age and affect one in four patients.

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CDC: Defer Hib Boosters Until Vaccine Supply Improves

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In response to a shortage of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that health care providers temporarily defer routine Hib vaccine boosters in children aged 12 to 15 months until the vaccine situation improves, according to a report in the Dec. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC.

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Bacteria May Form 'Communities' in Bladder Cells

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Bladder infections in some women may follow a pathway recently demonstrated in mice, with bacteria invading epithelial cells and forming intracellular bacterial communities that could serve as reservoirs for recurrent infections, according to research published online Dec. 18 in PLoS Medicine.

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Mouse Study Points to Shorter Tuberculosis Drug Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A daily or three times weekly regimen including rifapentine and moxifloxacin might cut the treatment time for tuberculosis from the current six-month duration to three months or less, according to the results of a mouse study published online Dec. 18 in PLoS Medicine.

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Telbivudine Tops Lamivudine for Chronic Hepatitis B

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic hepatitis B who are hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive, telbivudine is associated with improved rates of therapeutic response, and, regardless of HBeAg status, superior viral suppression and less development of resistance compared to lamivudine, according to an article published in the Dec. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antibiotics Sharply Reduce Vaginal Streptococcus in Labor

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Vaginal group B streptococcus (GBS) colony counts fall quickly and dramatically with intrapartum doses of penicillin-G, researchers report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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U.S. Influenza Activity Low This Season

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Since the current U.S. influenza season began on Sept. 30, activity to Dec. 1 has been low, according to an article published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Semen Protein Enhances HIV Infection

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- An abundant protein found in human semen dramatically enhances HIV infection by forming fibrils that promote the capture and attachment of HIV virions to target cells, according to study findings published in the Dec. 14 issue of Cell.

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Sharp Decline of Comorbidity of Tuberculosis and HIV

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Comorbid cases of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV declined sharply in the United States between 1993 to 2004, researchers report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA & CDC Advise Public on Childhood Vaccine Recall

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co. has voluntarily recalled 1.2 million doses of the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine due to an error in manufacturing that could allow the potential for contamination. But the vaccine does not pose a health threat to children, announced officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

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Conflicting Data on Steroid Use in Bacterial Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A study of adults in sub-Saharan Africa with acute bacterial meningitis showed no benefit of corticosteroid adjuvant therapy, while a study of Vietnamese adults and adolescents reported a beneficial effect in only those with microbiologically confirmed disease, according to research published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obesity Impairs Anti-Bacterial Immune Response

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Obese mice display an impaired immune response to bacterial infection, developing more severe periodontitis and alveolar bone loss than lean mice, according to study findings published online Dec. 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Tesamorelin Associated with Reduction in Visceral Fat

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The growth hormone-releasing factor tesamorelin may be helpful in reducing visceral fat and improving lipid profiles in patients with HIV who are receiving antiretroviral therapy, according to research published in the Dec. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Acute Sinusitis Does Not Respond Well to Medication

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In a primary care setting, neither antibiotics nor topical steroids effectively treat acute sinusitis, according to study findings published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cytomegalovirus Retinitis Is Neglected HIV Complication

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In developing nations, cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a commonly overlooked but highly treatable complication of HIV infection, according to a report published in the December issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Test Vaccine Shows Promise Against Japanese Encephalitis

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A novel inactivated vaccine for Japanese encephalitis virus provides at least an equivalent immunogenicity benefit as a licensed vaccine that is no longer being produced for developed countries, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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