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November 2007 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

Lyme Disease Arthritis Can Be Slow to Respond to Antibiotics

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Some Lyme disease patients respond more slowly than others to antibiotic treatment for arthritis, but they do respond, suggesting that synovial inflammation persists in non-responsive patients after the period of infection, according to a report published online Nov. 29 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Viral Outbreak in Italy Traced Back to Visitor from India

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, which has caused outbreaks in recent years in tropical regions in Africa, islands in the Indian Ocean, and India, was the cause of an outbreak of febrile illness in northern Italy in the summer of 2007, according to research published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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Myths Contributing to Continuing HIV Epidemics

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ten misconceptions are hindering HIV prevention efforts in Africa, according to a commentary published in the Dec. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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Chlamydia Rapid Test Provides Rapid, Accurate Results

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The new Chlamydia Rapid Test can quickly and accurately detect chlamydia infections, and allow for same-day treatment, according to a report published online Nov. 30 in BMJ Online First.

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Ultrashort-Course Chemotherapy Cures Spinal Tuberculosis

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with spinal tuberculosis who undergo surgery and an ultrashort-course of chemotherapy for less than six months achieve a complete clinical cure with fewer complications than patients on longer chemotherapy regimens, according to a report in the November/December issue of The Spine Journal.

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Simple Techniques Can Control Respiratory Infections

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Handwashing, wearing gloves, gowns and masks, and isolation of infected people are effective measures for reducing the spread of respiratory tract infections, according to a review of studies published Nov. 27 in BMJ Online First.

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Doctors and Patients Have Different Perception of Herpes

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with genital herpes and their doctors have similar attitudes toward some aspects of the disease, they also have very different perspectives on treatment and management, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Impasse with Indonesia Over Bird Flu Demands Solution

FRIDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Indonesia's recent reluctance to share samples of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus poses a potential threat to global public health, and it may require a novel approach to resolve, according to an essay in the November issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Watchful Waiting Best for Many Children's Throat Symptoms

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Treating children with adenotonsillectomy for mild to moderate symptoms of throat infection or adenotonsillar hypertrophy has little clinical benefit and significantly increases treatment costs, researchers report in the November issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Vector Tested in HIV-1 Vaccine Falls Short

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors, tested as potential carriers of vaccines for HIV-1, may not stimulate the appropriate immunological response required for a vaccine, according to research published online Nov. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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CNS Infections Rare, Serious in Heart Transplant Patients

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In a cohort of patients who'd undergone heart transplantation, 3 percent developed central nervous system (CNS) infections, all of which occurred within four years of the transplant, according to research published online Oct. 8 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Cystatin C Is Marker of Kidney Function in HIV Patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, cystatin C measurement may be a useful clinical tool to help identify those who have an elevated risk of developing kidney and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Nov. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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New Guidelines Issued for Cystic Fibrosis Drug Therapy

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new set of practice guidelines for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, issued by the Pulmonary Therapies Committee of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, provides recommendations for or against more than a dozen drug therapies used in the maintenance of pulmonary function. The guidelines are published in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Vaccine Programs Reduce or Eliminate 13 Major Diseases

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Cases of 13 vaccine-preventable diseases have been dramatically reduced and in some cases eliminated by vaccination programs in the United States, researchers report in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Virulence Factors of Community MRSA Identified

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a novel group of peptides, termed phenol-solube modulins (PSMs), that appear to contribute to the virulence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), according to a report published online Nov. 11 in Nature Medicine.

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Human Genome Remnants Could Be HIV Vaccine Target

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Normally inactive remnants of ancient infections that are integrated in the human genome are active in HIV-1-infected people and could present a target for immunotherapeutic vaccination, according to study findings published in the November issue of PLoS Pathogens.

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Rates of Diarrhea in Kids Fall After Sanitation Project

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- An urban sanitation intervention in a Brazilian city led to a 22 percent drop in the prevalence of diarrhea in young children, demonstrating the powerful impact sanitation measures have on public health, according to an article published in the Nov. 10 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA Approves Agento Silver-Coated Endotracheal Tube

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The Agento endotracheal tube, which is coated with a thin layer of silver to help prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia, received approved Nov. 8 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Chickenpox Vaccination Reduces Severe Complications

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Universal vaccination of children against varicella-zoster virus would prevent severe complications due to chickenpox, according to the results of a study published online Nov. 8 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Sex Abroad Points to Riskier Sexual Lifestyle

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- One-fifth of young travelers from the United Kingdom find sexual partners while overseas, and are putting themselves at increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, according to a report published online Nov. 8 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Humoral Immunity Has Long Duration to Viral Antigens

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The duration of humoral immunity to common viral antigens is remarkably long, but its duration to common vaccine antigens is somewhat shorter, according to a report published in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Immigrants with TB Not Driving Up TB Incidence

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Tuberculosis-infected immigrants to low-incidence host countries like Norway do not seem to cause increased transmission of the disease, researchers report in the November issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Antibiotic Worsens Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), minocycline leads to more rapid disease deterioration, reduced forced vital capacity and muscle strength, and higher mortality, according to a report published online Nov. 1 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Better Cleaning Could Curb Spread of MRSA in Hospitals

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Better hospital cleaning, with particular attention to frequently touched objects such as bed rails and doorknobs, could be key in curbing transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within hospitals, according to a review published online Oct. 31 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Races Face Vastly Different Kidney Burden with HIV

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Race is a critical factor in determining the risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in people with HIV, with the incidence of ESRD roughly 10 times higher among blacks with HIV than whites with the virus, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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