May 2011 Briefing - Infectious Disease
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for May 2011. 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.
Effect Estimates May Be Inflated in Biomarker Studies
TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Biomarker effects are often overestimated in highly cited studies compared to the effects reported in subsequent meta-analyses of the same associations, according to a review published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dificid Approved to Treat C. diff Diarrhea
TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Dificid (fidaxomicin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile infection.
Lupus Factors Tied to Weak Response to Influenza Vaccine
THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), particularly those with a history of hematological disorder or taking prednisone, may have a low antibody response to influenza vaccination, according to a study published online May 19 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Bacterial Meningitis Rates Have Decreased in the United States
WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of bacterial meningitis in the United States has decreased since 1998, but there has been no change in the fatality rate, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Contact With Drug Industry Linked to Positive Attitudes
WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The extent of contact that medical students have with the pharmaceutical industry is associated with positive attitudes about marketing, according to a review published online May 24 in PLoS Medicine.
Infection Control Breach in 15 Percent of Nursing Homes
TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fifteen percent of U.S. nursing homes receive deficiency citations each year for infection control, and this may be associated with low staffing levels, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
Viral Load Tied to Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis C
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- High maternal viral load is associated with vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV-VT), but polymorphisms in interleukin 28B (IL28B) are not, according to a study published online March 16 in Hepatology.
Severe Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Pneumonia Deaths
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia, severe vitamin D deficiency, but not antimicrobial peptide levels, is associated with increased 30-day mortality, according to a study published in the May issue of Respirology.
Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing Common in Asthma
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing appears to be relatively common among children with asthma, according to two studies published online May 23 in Pediatrics.
PCR Test Unreliable in Post-Antibiotic Lyme Arthritis
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with persistent Lyme arthritis (LA) which has been treated with antibiotics, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) DNA in the synovial fluid (SF) is not a reliable indicator of active infection, according to a study published online May 17 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Edurant Approved to Treat HIV-1
FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Edurant (rilpivirine), in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV-1 infection in adults who haven't taken any prior HIV therapy
Many Medical Students Lack Confidence in Medical Law
FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical students lack confidence in their knowledge and skills across many areas of medical law, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
New Test Detects Recent Infection With Toxoplasmosis
THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new test to detect whether a toxoplasmosis infection has been acquired within the past four months has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Lower HIV-Related Mortality, Increased Treatment in China
THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-related mortality has decreased and concomitant treatment coverage has increased in China, but mortality is higher and treatment cover lower in injecting drug users and those infected sexually, according to a study published online May 19 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Obesity Linked to Increased Infection After Colectomy
TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity increases the risk of surgical site infection (SSI) after colectomy, which is correlated with an increased cost of treatment, according to a study published online May 16 in the Archives of Surgery.
Victrelis Approved for Chronic Hepatitis C
MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Victrelis (boceprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C in tandem with two additional drugs, pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin.
MRKAd5 Vaccine Found Ineffective Against HIV-1
MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine tested in a cohort of men and women in South Africa failed to prevent acquisition of HIV-1 or a decrease in viral load in those who acquired the virus, according to research published online May 12 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Early HIV Therapy Reduces Partner's Infection Risk
FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- People with HIV may be able to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to sexual partners by starting an antiretroviral regimen early, while their immune systems are healthy, according the results of the HPTN 052 trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The trial was slated to end in 2015, but the findings are being released early after a scheduled interim data review by an independent data and safety monitoring board.
Peginterferon in Hepatitis C Linked to Higher Mortality
FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term peginterferon treatment in patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C is associated with higher overall mortality mainly due to non-liver-related causes, according to a study published in the April issue of Hepatology.
Neonatal Vitamin D Deficiency Tied to Respiratory Disease
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy neonates with vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in the first year of life, according to a study published online May 9 in Pediatrics.
Medical Education Participants Recognize Funding Bias
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although most medical professionals believe that commercial funding of continuing medical education (CME) introduces bias, most are not willing to pay higher fees to offset or eliminate such funding sources, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
FDA OK's Test to Spot Drug-Resistant Staph
MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- The first Staphylococcus aureus diagnostic that can quickly identify the staph bacterium and whether it's resistant to methicillin and similar antibiotics has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Community Intervention Can Improve HIV Testing Rates
THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- The use of community-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) appears to improve initial and repeat HIV testing rates in remote communities as compared with standard, clinic-based VCT (SVCT), according to a study published online May 4 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Condition-Specific Comorbidity Index May Improve Accuracy
THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A condition-specific comorbidity index may be significantly better than the commonly used Deyo Comorbidity Index for adjusting mortality, morbidities, and hospital disposition measures, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.
Caregiver English Skills Tied to Length of Hospital Stay
WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric inpatients with infection requiring long-term antibiotic treatment whose primary caregiver has limited English proficiency are likely to have a longer length of stay (LOS) in the hospital, and fewer home health care referrals, according to a study published online May 2 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Insecticide Strategies May Worsen Dengue Epidemics
TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Insecticide-based strategies for dengue control may result in worse future epidemics due to increased insecticide resistance and lower herd immunity, according to research published online May 3 in The Lancet.
Children Infected With HIV Perinatally Faring Well
MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most children with perinatal HIV infection are achieving virologic suppression and have normal CD4 lymphocyte counts, according to a study published online March 9 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.