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June 2008 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

Sexually Transmitted Infections Rising Among Older Adults

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1996 and 2003, the rate of sexually transmitted infections other than HIV more than doubled among people older than age 45 in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online June 27 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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CDC: 2007-2008 Rotavirus Season Unusually Mild

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2007-2008 rotavirus season began three months later than usual and has been significantly milder, suggesting that 2006 recommendations for infants to be vaccinated at ages 2 months, 4 months and 6 months with the RotaTeq vaccine may be having an impact, according to an interim report issued June 25 in the early release edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clean Water for All Can Cut Global Disease Burden

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Safe supplies of drinking water, along with improved sanitation and hygiene, could reduce the global burden in disease by 9.1 percent and reduce it by 15 percent in the 32 worst-affected countries, according to an editorial published in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Most Heterosexual HIV Spread in Africa Within Couples

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of heterosexually acquired HIV transmission in urban Zambia and Rwanda occurs within married or cohabitating couples, suggesting that voluntary counseling or testing for couples is needed, according to a report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Buprenorphine Maintenance Best for Heroin Addicts

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Maintenance treatment of detoxified heroin addicts with buprenorphine is more effective in sustaining abstinence and delaying resumption of heroin use compared with naltrexone or placebo, researchers report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Video May Help Trim Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- New infections among patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics can be reduced by up to 10 percent by showing a brief educational video in the waiting room, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Organ Transplants in Need of Up-Front Consent Policy

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) should create a policy requiring potential organ transplant recipients to go through a comprehensive consent process that allows them to specify whether they'll accept or decline all non-standard organs, according to a Sounding Board feature in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Overcrowding, Understaffing Stressing Health Care Systems

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital overcrowding and understaffing are putting stress on health care systems and increasing the risk of spreading methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a review in the July issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Personal Benefit Motivates Medical Research Participation

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients participated in the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT) study because they hoped to personally benefit from the results, but they also felt a sense of pride in participating to help others, according to a report published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Oral Fluid Rapid HIV Test Accuracy Questioned

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Oral fluid testing with the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test is associated with episodic increases in the number of false-positive results, according to a report published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Experts Discuss Cardiovascular Risks in HIV/AIDS Patients

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The success of antiretroviral drugs has enabled HIV-infected patients to live longer, but recent studies indicate that they are at higher risk of coronary heart disease, which is now a leading cause of death in this population, according to the proceedings of an American Heart Association scientific conference on the topic, published online June 19 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Herpes Suppression Drug Not Linked to Less HIV

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is associated with increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition, HSV-2 suppressive therapy with acyclovir wasn't associated with a reduced incidence of HIV-1, according to research published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet.

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Too Many Asthmatics Don't Get Flu Shots, CDC Warns

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among asthmatics, influenza vaccination coverage is increasing but remains far below the Healthy People 2010 targets of 60 percent for persons aged 18 to 64 with high-risk conditions and 90 percent for all persons aged 65 and older, according to a report published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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A New Pyridopyrimidine Derivative May Treat Diarrhea

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified pyridopyrimidine derivative that works against a toxin released by powerful strains of Escherichia coli may be effective against diarrhea, according to study findings published in the June 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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HIV Screening in Those Over 55 Often Cost-Effective

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- In tested populations with an HIV prevalence of at least 0.1 percent, it is cost-effective to screen those in the 55 to 75 age group as long as streamlined counseling is offered and screened patients have an at-risk partner, researchers report in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Ketosis-Prone Diabetes Associated with Herpes Virus

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- In a sub-Saharan African patient population, antibodies for the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are associated with ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes mellitus, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Electronic Linkage Most Accurate in Recording AIDS Deaths

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- An electronic record linkage found that a large number of deaths in people with AIDS who lived in or received their diagnosis in Washington, D.C. had not previously been reported to the D.C. HIV/AIDS Reporting System (HARS), according to research published in the June 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Intervention Increases Teens' Dual Contraceptive Use

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk women, a transtheoretical model-tailored intervention significantly increases dual contraceptive use but does not affect the incidence of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, according to study findings published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Severe Diarrhea May Be Rising Threat to Pregnant Women

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat, according to a report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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U.S. Death Rates Declined Sharply in 2006

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Death rates in the United States dropped significantly in 2006, and life expectancy reached a record high, according to a report released this week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Post-Liver Transplant Surgical Infection Risks Explored

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In a group of patients who underwent liver transplantation, 8.8 percent developed surgical site infections; certain procedures, previous transplants and amount of transfused blood were all associated with risk of infections, according to research published in the June issue of Liver Transplantation.

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S. Maltophilia Hasn't Earned Its 'Superbug' Label

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite public concerns about the threat of the "superbug" Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, the bacterium actually has trouble meeting the criteria of a true superbug, according to an editorial in the June 14 issue of BMJ.

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Skin Patch Helps Prevent Traveler's Diarrhea

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- A skin patch vaccine containing heat-labile enterotoxin from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli may either help prevent traveler's diarrhea or lessen its effects, according to research published online June 12 in The Lancet.

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Vaccine Shows Promise Against H5N1 Avian Influenza

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two doses of a whole-virus vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza produced on Vero cell cultures induced neutralizing antibodies against multiple H5N1 strains, indicating its usefulness against this virus with pandemic potential, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Infant Pertussis Outbreak Traced to Hospital Worker

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of pertussis in the summer of 2004 in 11 infants born in a Texas hospital was linked to a health care worker at the hospital's newborn nursery with the illness, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Many Nurses Not Trained for Potential Bioterrorist Attack

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Many perioperative nurses may feel unprepared for the challenges of a bioterrorism event, but a relatively brief self-study guide can help improve their sense of preparedness, according to research published in the May AORN Journal.

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Meningitis C Vaccine Booster Dose May Help Protect Teens

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that meningitis C vaccination is part of the United Kingdom's routine infant vaccination program, one in five adolescents has insufficient protection from the disease and may need a booster shot to maintain immunity, according to a report published June 5 in BMJ Online First.

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Trachoma Eradication Effort May Be Nearing Success

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Trachoma -- a keratoconjunctivitis caused by ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis -- is still common in many poor regions of the world. But a World Health Organization (WHO) program launched in 1998 -- the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 -- has helped place this blinding disease on the brink of extinction, according to a seminar published in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Diabetes Adds to Risk for Liver Cancer in Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have chronic hepatitis C and advanced cirrhosis face an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma if they also have diabetes, according to research published in the June issue of Hepatology.

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Weaning Doesn't Improve HIV-Free Survival for Infants

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Studies seeking an optimal approach to preventing HIV transmission between HIV-infected breast-feeding mothers and their newborn babies found that stopping breast-feeding early (at 4 months) ultimately did not reduce HIV-free survival in infants; however, giving extended preventative therapy demonstrated a short-term positive impact. The studies were published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tuberculosis False Positive Rate High in U.S. Army

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of tuberculin skin test conversions among U.S. Army personnel are likely to be false positives, and the personnel have a low risk of tuberculosis infection due to limited exposure to locals, researchers report in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Guidelines Address Vaccination During Pregnancy

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Following Quake, China Responds to Medical Challenges

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The massive earthquake in southwestern China on May 12 left more than 62,000 people dead, over 23,000 missing and an estimated 360,000 injured survivors, creating a multitude of medical challenges, according to an article in the May 31 issue of The Lancet.

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Physician's Briefing