September 2007 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

FDA Issues Warning on 'Organic Pastures Raw Cream'

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes -- the organism that causes Listeriosis -- prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning Sept. 21 against consuming raw cream labeled as "Organic Pastures Grade A Raw Cream," which is packaged in one-pint plastic bottles coded "SEP 14" through "SEP 21."

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Larger Children at Risk in Meningococcal Infections

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Larger, better nourished children with invasive meningococcal infections are more likely to have severe cases of the disease and are more likely to die from it than smaller children with poorer nutrition, according to the results of a prospective observational study published in the September issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Review Questions Influenza Vaccine Benefits for Seniors

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may have reaped significantly fewer survival benefits from influenza vaccination than is commonly believed, according to a review article published in the October issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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FDA Issues Warning on Baby's Bliss Gripe Water

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A Minnesota case of cryptosporidium illness in a 6-month-old infant prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning Sept. 20 against consuming Baby's Bliss Gripe Water, apple flavor, which has a code of 26952V and an expiration date of October 2008 (shown as "10/08" on the label).

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Prompt Replacement May Work in Some Implant Infections

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The traditional approach to breast infections following implant surgery entails removing the implant and waiting until the infection clears to replace it. However, surgical exchange of the implant without delay may be appropriate in some patients who have had breast reconstruction following mastectomy, according to a presentation of cases in the Sept. 1 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Familiar Doctor Linked to More Satisfaction for Urgent Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive urgent medical care from family physicians or after-hours clinics affiliated with their physicians are more likely to be satisfied with the encounter than patients who use other sources of urgent care, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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New Method Detects Avian Virus Quickly, Economically

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new system for rapidly and inexpensively detecting avian influenza virus from a throat swab is described by researchers in an article published online Sept. 23 in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Scientists Sequence Genome of Elephantiasis Worm

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have sequenced the genome of the mosquito-borne parasitic worm Brugia malayi, which causes elephantiasis, revealing possible targets for drug and vaccine development, according to a report in the Sept. 21 issue of Science.

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Flu Vaccine Rates Dropping in United States

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination rates for Americans dropped during the 2005-2006 flu season to levels below those prior to the 2004 flu vaccine shortfall, according to a report in the Sept. 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Approves Rapid Test for Platelet Contamination

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a disposable test strip that can be used in hospitals to detect bacterial contamination of blood platelets prior to transfusions. The Platelet Pan Genera Detection Test System is made by Verax Biomedica Inc. of Worcester, Mass., and can be used to retest platelets shortly before use.

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Less Virus in Hepatitis B Antigen-Negative Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus who are negative for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) have lower levels of hepatitis B virus DNA due to lower intrahepatic virion productivity, according to a report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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FDA Warns Against Procter & Gamble Hand Sanitizer Ads

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned Procter & Gamble against marketing its foaming hand sanitizer, Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer, to schoolchildren because the company claims that it kills germs that cause colds.

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FDA Approves FluMist for Use in 2- to 5-Year-Olds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the FluMist intranasal influenza vaccine for children ages 2 to 5. The vaccine should not be given to any patient with asthma or children under 5 with wheezing as it may increase the risk of wheeze.

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Medical Schools Vary in Approach to Case Reports

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical school institutional review boards (IRBs) don't treat individual case reports as "research," as it's defined by the United States Government Code of Federal Regulations, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Proportion of New HIV Cases in Patients Over 50 Rising

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of patients over age 50 with newly diagnosed HIV grew significantly from 1992 to 2004 and warrants greater attention in the design of HIV prevention educational programs, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Gene is Key to Immunity from Herpes Encephalitis

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Human Toll-like receptor 3 is essential for natural immunity against herpes simplex-1 infection of the central nervous system, but not other infections, suggesting that it evolved in response to this specific viral challenge, according to research published in the Sept. 14 issue of Science.

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Pneumocystis Pneumonia Prophylaxis Thresholds Identified

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In non-HIV immunocompromised adults whose risk of Pneumocystis pneumonia is greater than 3.5 percent, prophylaxis is warranted despite the risk of severe side effects. Because the risk of side effects is lower in children, prophylaxis may be warranted at an even lower incidence level in these patients, according to study findings published in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Contact Lens Culture Can Identify Keratitis Organisms

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with microbial keratitis whose corneal scrapings are culture negative, a contact lens culture may help identify the causative organism, according to study findings published in the September issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Intestinal S. aureas Can Contaminate Hospital Surfaces

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- When hospitalized patients have Staphylococcus aureus in their stool and nostrils there is an increased risk of contamination of surrounding surfaces as well as their skin, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in BMC Infectious Diseases.

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Eating Raw Tomatoes Cause of Salmonella Outbreak

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The 2005-2006 U.S. outbreak of Salmonella infections was caused by consumption of raw tomatoes in restaurants, according to a report published in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HIV Patients Feel Stigmatized by Health Care Providers

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income patients with HIV may feel stigmatized by health care providers, which may prevent them from receiving an optimal level of care, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

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Newer Cell Phones Still Interrupt Medical Equipment

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- New-generation mobile phones should still be kept at least one meter away from hospital equipment, as they can cause electromagnetic interference with critical care devices, according to a report published online Sept. 6 in Critical Care.

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FDA Approves New Smallpox Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, which is intended for use among those at high risk of exposure and as a preventive measure during a bioterrorist attack. The only other FDA-approved smallpox vaccine, Dryvax, is no longer manufactured and supplies are limited.

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HIV Protease Inhibitors Can Also Kill Cancer Cells

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Clinically approved HIV protease inhibitors such as nelfinavir are effective in killing many types of cancer cells, including drug-resistant cancers, according to a report in the Sept. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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FDA Approves Test for West Nile Virus in Blood Donors

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an additional test that can detect the West Nile virus in donated blood, cells and other tissues shortly after infection. The cobas TaqScreen WNV test, which is made by Roche Molecular Systems Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the second such test to be approved.

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