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September 2008 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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

News Media Under-Report Drug Company Funding of Research

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Reports on medication research published in general news media often fail to disclose that the research received pharmaceutical company funding and frequently refer to drugs by brand name rather than using the generic name, according to an article published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Reduced Dosing Schedule Acceptable for Anthrax Vaccine

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A three-dose intramuscular (3-IM) regimen of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) achieves a similar serological response compared to a four-dose intramuscular (4-IM) or subcutaneous (4-SQ) regimen, and fewer injection site adverse effects are seen with IM administration, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association .

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Higher Doses of Hepatitis C Drugs Improve Outcomes

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Higher doses of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin can improve the virologic response and relapse rate in difficult-to-treat patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, although the higher doses are less well-tolerated by patients, according to study findings published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Treatment Guidelines Exclude Some Hepatitis B Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Current guidelines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection exclude many patients who develop serious liver-related complications, although this can be improved by including additional clinical and viral features, according to a report published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Flu Vaccination Rises in Adults But Still Low in Children

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- During the 2006-2007 flu season, influenza vaccination coverage increased among adults, but only one in five children aged 6 months to 23 months were fully vaccinated, according to two reports from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HIV Prevalence High Among Injection Drug Users

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although the data is limited, injection drug use occurs in most countries and the prevalence of HIV among injection drug users is over 40 percent in some cases, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in The Lancet.

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Monitoring Strategy Cost-Effective in HIV Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Monitoring CD4 counts in people with HIV in resource-limited countries can considerably improve life expectancy and reduce total costs compared to the usual symptom-based approaches, according to research published in the Sept. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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No Change to 2009 Part B Medicare Premium

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no change to the Part B Standard Medicare premium in 2009 compared with 2008. This is the first time since 2000 that the premium has not risen over the prior year, according to an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Hepatitis B Screening Recommendations Expanded

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been issued regarding screening for chronic hepatitis B, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Antibiotic Resistance Has Become a Global Pandemic

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A concerted international and national response, behavior change by consumers and providers, and the development of antibacterial agents are all urgently needed to tackle the global problem of rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance, according to an article published online Sept. 18 in BMJ.

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Vaccine Against H. pylori Shows Promise in Phase I Study

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An intramuscular vaccine against Helicobacter pylori offers promising immunogenicity and appears safe, according to research published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Early Viral Loads Predict Response to HBV Treatment

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) treated with peginterferon and lamivudine are more likely to have a sustained virologic response if their HBV DNA levels are below 10,000 copies/mL after eight weeks of treatment, according to research published in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Timing of C-Section Perioperative Antibiotics Compared

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative antibiotics significantly reduce postpartum endometritis compared to antibiotics given at cord clamping, but do not affect neonatal outcomes, according to research published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Infectious Gastroenteritis Linked to Bowel Disease

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Both a prior episode of infectious gastroenteritis and a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Maternal Vaccine Reduces Influenza in Infants

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The use of influenza vaccine in pregnant women can decrease the risk of influenza in their infants up to six months of age and offer protection against febrile respiratory illness in both mothers and infants, according to research published online Sept. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pathogens May Play Role in Sudden Infant Deaths

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus found in normally sterile sites in cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may be a contributor that should be considered in determining the cause of death, according to research published online Sept. 15 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Gay Men Account for 72 Percent of New HIV Infections

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have sex with men accounted for 72 percent of new HIV infections in the United States in 2006, and blacks and Hispanics were disproportionately represented, according to study findings published in the Sept. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Chronic Disease Is Heavy Burden in Developing World

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although many countries have made significant progress in reducing mortality, the burden of chronic and non-communicable disease remains heavy and requires integrated strategies to tackle it, according to three papers published in the Sept. 13 issue of The Lancet, which has a special focus on the legacy of the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata.

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Primary Care Offers Lifeline to Global Health

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving the Millennium Development Goals requires a renewed commitment to primary health care, while training health care workers and developing meaningful measures of progress are of key importance, according to three papers published in the Sept. 13 issue of The Lancet, which has a special focus on the legacy of the 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata.

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Test Improves Sensitivity of Cervical Cancer Detection

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Overexpression of a protein associated with viral infection and cell growth in women positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) can improve the sensitivity of cervical cancer detection compared with conventional cytology, according to the results of a study published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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No Reduction in Deaths After Flu Vaccine in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination in the elderly does not reduce the likelihood of death outside flu season once other factors are taken into account, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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HIV Infection Linked to More Fractures

FRIDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-infected patients have a higher prevalence of fracture at multiple sites compared with non-infected individuals, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Vaccination Coverage Remains High for US Children

FRIDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Over 77 percent of young children in the United States are fully vaccinated according to the recommended series of vaccines, and all but one of the individual vaccines have at least 90 percent coverage, according to a report published in the Sept. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Episodic HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Seen As Hazardous

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Because HIV-positive patients who are placed on episodic antiretroviral therapy still have an excess risk of opportunistic disease or death after continuous therapy is reinstated, episodic therapy should be avoided, according to research published in the Sept. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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In Some Cases, Vaccination Needles May Be Too Long

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended needle lengths for children's vaccinations pose a considerable risk for overpenetration, according to research in the September issue of Pediatrics.

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ACOG: Clinicians Must Address Non-Coital Sex Risks

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Because non-coital sex including mutual masturbation, oral sex and anal sex can increase the high risk of sexually transmitted diseases, it is important that clinicians ask direct questions about their patients' non-coital sexual activity and provide risk reduction counseling, according to an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Linked to Anaphylaxis Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- While the risk of anaphylaxis was higher in a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program compared to a similar program for meningococcal vaccination, HPV vaccination is remarkably safe, according to an article published online Sept. 1 in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Journal.

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