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December 2008 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

Medicaid Coverage Affects Male Circumcision Rates

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Children born in families covered by Medicaid may be at higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections because there are lower rates of male circumcision among Medicaid recipients, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Woman and Dog Infected with Bovine Tuberculosis

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A woman and her dog were infected with bovine tuberculosis, demonstrating that human infection with the bacterium can still occur, according to a case report in the January issue of Thorax.

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HIV Therapy May Affect Human Papillomavirus

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV-infected women with pre-existing abnormal cervical cytology, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may enhance clearance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in those who already have cervical disease, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Cervarix Vaccine Is Safe and Effective in Adolescent Boys

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In boys aged 10 to 18, Cervarix -- a human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine -- is immunogenic and well tolerated, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Covariance Network Analysis Predicts Hepatitis Outcomes

FRIDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hepatitis C infection, analyzing genome-wide virus amino acid covariance networks can predict response to treatment with interferon-alpha and ribavirin, according to a report published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Needle and Syringe Programs Reduce HIV in Prisons

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing injection drug use in prison to reduce HIV transmission is most effectively done by needle and syringe programs and methadone treatment, according to a review in the January issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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UK Implements New Global Health Strategy

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Health is global is a new global health strategy launched by the U.K. government in September, and it is described in an article published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus Season Varies Year by Year

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- During 2007-2008, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season lasted for 22 weeks from October to March in the United States, although there were regional variations, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Prophylactic Antibiotics Beneficial After Chemotherapy

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- After patients undergo chemotherapy, infection-control interventions that include prophylactic antibiotics are the most effective treatment within a protective environment, according to research published online Dec. 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Pneumococcal Resistance to Penicillin Redefined

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have reviewed the prevalence of penicillin resistance in the light of changes to the definition of pneumococcus resistance to the drug, which distinguish between meningitis and other infections, as well as intravenous versus oral administration, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hepatitis C Reinfection More Likely Than First Infection

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Reinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) following a prior HCV infection and clearance is more likely to occur than a primary HCV infection amongst injection drug users, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Factors Predict Response to Hepatitis C Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A pretreatment predictive model encompassing four viral and host factors can accurately predict the sustained virologic response (SVR) for patients treated with combination therapy comprised of pegylated interferon alpha-2b (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin, according to research published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Countries Overstate Success of Immunization Programs

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The success of global diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) immunization initiatives has been overstated, and governments tend to over-report the extent of coverage, according to a report published in the Dec. 13 issue of The Lancet.

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Antibody Improves Immunity Against Monkey Form of HIV

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Monkeys chronically infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a monkey form of HIV, have improved immune responses and better survival after treatment with an antibody, according to research published online Dec. 10 in Nature.

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Measles Vaccination Coverage Steadily Improving

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Coverage of initial measles vaccination in 47 targeted countries continued to improve in 2007, although coverage varied widely from region to region, according to a report published in the Dec. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Half-Dose of Influenza Vaccine Works Well in Under-50s

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A half-dose of influenza vaccine protects adults aged 18 to 49 who have previously been vaccinated against influenza almost as well as a full dose, according to study findings published in the Dec. 8/22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Malaria Vaccine Proves to Be Safe and Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- RTS,S shows promise as a safe and effective malaria vaccine, and artesunate can be a useful malaria treatment, according to several studies published online Dec. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.

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Carraguard Does Not Prevent Vaginal HIV Transmission

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A carrageenan-based compound, Carraguard, is not effective in preventing vaginal transmission of HIV, researchers report in the Dec. 6 issue of The Lancet.

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Immune System More Effective in HIV-Resistant People

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Rare individuals who are able to control their HIV infection without drugs have immune systems that are much more effective at killing HIV-infected cells, according to study findings published in the Dec. 4 issue of Immunity.

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Smallpox Vaccination Produces Long-Lasting Immunity

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Even a single immunization against smallpox decades earlier produces high and stable antibody levels, suggesting that scarce resources should be directed to unvaccinated individuals in the event of a bioterrorist attack, according to a report in the December issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Virus-Associated Kidney Transplant Failure Avoidable

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Graft failure can be reduced in kidney transplant patients who develop BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN) -- a normally dormant virus in healthy individuals -- by withdrawing one immunosuppressive drug soon after diagnosis, researchers report in the November issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Tenofovir Superior to Adefovir to Treat Chronic Hepatitis B

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF) is superior to adefovir dipivoxil for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection regardless of prior lamivudine exposure, according to data published in the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Liver Disease Progression May Occur Despite Peginterferon

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term therapy with peginterferon does not prevent liver disease progression in hepatitis C patients who had no response to initial treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin, researchers report in the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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College Students Benefit from Preventive Health Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although psychiatric disorders are common among college students, fewer than 25 percent seek treatment, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A different study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, points to the benefits of influenza vaccination of college students.

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Adverse Reaction to Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Rare

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Very few girls vaccinated with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine, and most of those that do can tolerate subsequent doses, according to research published Dec. 2 in BMJ Online First.

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Providers Report Inadequate Vaccination Reimbursement

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Providers report inadequate reimbursement for vaccine purchase or administration, and many are experiencing increased financial burden resulting from giving immunizations, according to the results of a survey published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Physician's Briefing
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