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July 2007 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

Antibiotics in Children Favor Development of Resistance

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are prescribed amoxicillin for acute respiratory infection are twice as likely to carry resistant organisms at 2-week follow-up compared to those who do not receive antibiotics, according to a study published online July 26 in BMJ.

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At Least 18 Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks in 2006

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- At least 18 outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis occurred in the United States in 2006, most of them associated with exposure to pools and water parks, according to a report in the July 27 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Because Cryptosporidium oocysts can survive in chlorinated water, public education and new ways to disinfect recreational water facilities are needed to combat the parasite.

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Study Confirms Poor Outcomes in Chronic Hepatitis C

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of a cohort of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) during the 1970s have developed advanced liver disease, according to a study published in the July Journal of Hepatology, highlighting the importance of identifying and treating HCV infection.

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Nasopharyngeal Aspiration Helps Pediatric TB Diagnosis

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nasopharyngeal aspiration (NPA) is a simple and safe method for confirming pulmonary tuberculosis in young children who have difficulty expectorating sputum, reports a study published in the August issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Taribavirin Shows Promise for Chronic Hepatitis C

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- When given in combination with pegylated interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC), taribavirin and ribavirin produce similar rates of sustained virological response, but taribavirin is less likely to cause severe anemia, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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Gene Therapy Virus May Cause Liver Cancer

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- The adeno-associated virus, a possible candidate vector for use in gene therapy, can integrate into the genome of mice and affect the expression of neighboring genes, possibly explaining the development of liver cancer, researchers report in the July 27 issue of Science.

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Immune System Affects Circadian Clock During Illness

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Sleepiness that commonly occurs during illness or infection may be caused by inhibition of circadian rhythm genes by the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, according to the results of a study in cultured cells and in mice published online July 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Pulmonary Artery Catheterizations Fall Sharply

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1993, pulmonary artery catheterization has dramatically declined in hospitals within the United States in response to a growing body of evidence that the procedure does not benefit and may even harm patients, according to a report published in the July 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hepatitis B Linked to Higher Risk of Gestational Diabetes

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are infected with hepatitis B virus are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than women who are not, according to a retrospective analysis conducted in Hong Kong and published in the July issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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Sun Exposure in Childhood May Cut Multiple Sclerosis Risk

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Sun exposure during childhood appears to reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, independent of genetic background, researchers report in the July 24 issue of Neurology.

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Rapid Assay Detects Infectious Prion Proteins

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new assay method can detect infectious prion proteins in microliter amounts of cerebrospinal fluid with greater speed and sensitivity than other assay methods, according to a report published online July 22 in Nature Methods.

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Screening for Group B Strep Has Helped Protect Infants

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Universal screening for perinatal group B streptococcus (GBS) has helped reduce infections in infants, but a recent increase in the disease, especially among black infants, is concerning, according to a report in the July 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Three Human Gene Variants Affect HIV-1 Load

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of three genes affect the ability of HIV-infected individuals to control their viral load during the asymptomatic phase of infection, according to a study published online July 19 in Science.

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HIV Patients Can Achieve Normal CD4 Cell Counts

THURSDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- In most HIV-positive patients, long-term combination antiretroviral therapy that suppresses HIV viral load to below 50 copies per milliliter may restore CD4 cell counts to levels found in HIV-negative subjects, according to study findings published online July 19 in The Lancet.

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Suppressing Cytokines Won't Protect Against Avian Flu

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chemical suppression of the 'cytokine storm' that occurs after infection with the Avian influenza virus does not prevent death, according to the results of a study in mice published online July 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Human Papillomavirus More Prevalent in Poor Women

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with women with more resources, low-income American women are at higher risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, researchers report in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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PSA Can Be Elevated in Prostate Cancer-Free Men

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- About one in five men with no clinical evidence of prostate cancer have levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) above 2.5 ng/mL and half have a percentage free/total PSA that is less than 25 percent, according to the results of a study in the July issue of the British Journal of Urology.

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Gonorrhea Increasingly Resistant to Fluoroquinolone

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance of gonorrhea to treatment with fluoroquinolone is increasing in the United States, and ongoing monitoring of efficacy of treatment is required, according to study findings published online July 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chlamydia Rates Warrant Screening Young Women

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of chlamydia in the United States is 2.2 percent, compared with just 0.24 percent for gonorrhea, and warrants screening of sexually active young women, according to a report published in the July 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Prevalence, Severity of C. Difficile Colitis Increasing

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence, total mortality rate and colectomy rate of Clostridium difficile colitis has dramatically increased in the United States since 1993, according to a report in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Risk of HIV with Condom Same with or Without Diaphragm

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a diaphragm and lubricant gel in addition to a condom is not more effective at reducing the risk for HIV infection in women from South Africa and Zimbabwe than using a condom alone, according to a report published online July 13 in The Lancet.

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Bird Exposure Linked to Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Common causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis include exposure to birds and exposure to bird contaminated hot-tub water, according to study findings published in the July issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Shorter Treatment Less Effective for Some Types of Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients infected with certain genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a higher sustained virologic response to treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin when they are treated for the standard 24 weeks rather than 16 weeks, according to the results of a study in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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H. pylori May Play Role in Some Cases of Cardia Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although Helicobacter pylori infection is thought to be unrelated to cardia cancer, or possibly to lower the risk of the disease, some cases of cardia cancer appear to be associated with H. pylori-related atrophic gastritis, according to a study in the July issue of Gut.

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New Equipment Cuts Illnesses at Child Care Centers

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Installing high-quality hand-washing and other equipment designed to halt the spread of infectious agents can reduce episodes of illness in children and staff at child care centers, researchers report in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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HIV Mutates in Response to Patient's Immune System

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- HIV is under immune selection based on the patient's human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type, and viral genes appear to mutate in a predictable way depending on a patient's HLA polymorphisms, according to a report published online July 6 in PLoS Pathogens.

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Merck Recalls Three Lots of Invanz Due to Glass Shards

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Three lots of Invanz (ertapenem sodium) were recalled this week due to two incidents in which pieces of broken glass were found in the reconstituted solution for injection. Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., issued a letter to health care professionals noting that it is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inform its direct customers of the recall.

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Pet Turtle Linked to Infant's Death

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Small pet turtles sold in the United States are associated with a risk of salmonellosis in children, and may have caused an infant's death earlier this year, according to a report in the July 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Their sale is banned by federal law in the United States, but sales still occur.

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Conflict Does Not Fuel Spread of HIV

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although it has been suggested that HIV incidence is increased by conflict and the widespread rape and population displacement that accompanies it, populations affected by war do not have a greater incidence of HIV infection than those not affected by war, according to a report published in the June 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Two Doses of Varicella Vaccine Now Recommended

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- All children aged 12 months and older should receive two doses of varicella vaccine, a strategy that should lead to higher levels of immunity, protect against breakthrough disease and reduce the number of outbreaks in school-aged populations, according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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New Hepatitis A Vaccination Guidelines Issued

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- All children aged 12-23 months in all 50 states should receive a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-licensed hepatitis A vaccine, according to new American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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Obese Elderly At Lower Risk of Active TB Than Non-Obese

WEDNESDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated with a lower risk of active tuberculosis in elderly patients with the lung infection, according to the results of a study conducted in Hong Kong and published in the June 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Adolescents on List for Meningococcal Vaccination

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has voted to expand the range of recipients for meningococcal disease vaccination to include all adolescents aged 11 to 18 years.

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Spermicidal May Raise Risk for Sexually Transmitted Disease

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- The commonly used vaginal spermicide, nonoxynol-9, may facilitate human papillomavirus (HPV) infection while vaginal lubricants containing the polysaccharide carrageenan may help prevent infection, according to the results of a study in mice published in the July issue of Nature Medicine.

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Web-Based Infectious Disease Tracking System Launched

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the National Healthcare Safety Network, a secure, Web-based infectious disease tracking system that is accessible to all health care facilities in the United States. The system enables data analysis and information sharing within and between facilities, with the option for institutions to make information available to the public.

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Universal Tuberculosis Screening Not Cost Effective

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Both universal screening and targeted tuberculin skin testing of kindergartners to prevent tuberculosis are not cost-effective unless the prevalence of positive tuberculin skin tests is high, according to a study in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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Human Bite Wounds Pose Management Challenge

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency departments find human bite wounds difficult to manage, according to a report published in the July Issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Physician's Briefing
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