MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Archives of infectious disease blog


Go Back to the main infectious disease blog

Subscribe To Health Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Archives Of Infectious Disease Blog From Medicineworld.Org


October 4, 2006, 9:53 PM CT

New Drug To Blocks Influenza Virus And Bird Flu

New Drug To Blocks Influenza Virus And Bird Flu
Opening a new front in the war against flu, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have reported the discovery of a novel compound that confers broad protection against influenza viruses, including deadly avian influenza.

The new work, reported online this week in the Journal of Virology, describes the discovery of a peptide -- a small protein molecule -- that effectively blocks the influenza virus from attaching to and entering the cells of its host, thwarting its ability to replicate and infect more cells.

The new finding is important because it could make available a class of new antiviral drugs to prevent and treat influenza at a time when fear of a global pandemic is heightened and available antiviral drugs are losing their potency.

"This gives us another tool," says Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a UW-Madison professor of medical microbiology and immunology and the senior author of the new report. "We're quickly losing our antivirals".

The new drug, which was tested on cells in culture and in mice, conferred complete protection against infection and was highly effective in treating animals in the early stages of infection. Untreated infected animals typically died within a week. All of the infected animals treated with small doses of the drug at the onset of symptoms survived.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 3, 2006, 10:04 PM CT

Food Sources Of Disease

Food Sources Of Disease
As the recent U.S. outbreak of E. coli infections caused by contaminated spinach demonstrates, the safety of the food we eat cannot be taken for granted. Two studies in the Nov. 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, further illustrate the point, one adding a new bacterial culprit to the mix and the other showing that use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock increases the risk of antibiotic resistance in humans.

In one study, scientists led by Katri Jalava, DVM, of the Finnish National Public Health Institute, and J. Pekka Nuorti, MD, DSc, of the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traced an outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection among children in a Finnish town to carrots grown on a single farm. An epidemiologic investigation linked illness to eating raw carrots. Laboratory tests confirmed that the bacteria in infected children's stool samples were indistinguishable from the bacteria isolated from the farm.

The authors noted that this marked the first time that the bacterium had been recovered from an epidemiologically implicated source of food-borne illness. They pointed out that it is well known as a pathogen in wild mammals, and that the farm stored the carrots in a barn in open containers for months. "A combination of direct contact with wildlife feces during storage and cross-contamination during washing and peeling," they concluded, "are the most likely contributing factors." To prevent such outbreaks, "regulations addressing the production, storage and shipping conditions for fresh produce are needed".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 2, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

Foodborne Pathogens Hard To Remove From Produce

Foodborne Pathogens Hard To Remove From Produce Fruits and spinach
Will you ever feel comfortable eating fresh spinach again? All raw agricultural products carry a minimal risk of contamination, said a University of Illinois scientist whose research focuses on keeping foodborne pathogens, including the strain of E. coli found recently on spinach, out of the food supply.

That won't keep Scott Martin, a U of I food science and human nutrition professor, from eating bagged greens or other produce eventhough he can see why it gives consumers pause.

"I definitely wouldn't eat spinach from the three California counties implicated in this latest outbreak of E. coli H0157:H7, but there have been no problems with spinach grown in other parts of the country," Martin said.

Martin said that food companies have recalled the particular products implicated in the outbreak, and that the contaminated spinach had a sell-by date of September 20, so none should remain on the shelves at this time.

If his reassuring tone makes the scientist sound less than aggressive toward E. coli 0157:H7 and other foodborne pathogens, you're mistaken. Martin and fellow U of I professor Hao Feng are dedicated to discovering ways to keep these microorganisms out of the food supply.

Martin's research is focused on finding ways to eliminate the biofilms that attach to produce and cause illness. "Once the pathogenic organism gets on the product, no amount of washing will remove it. The microbes attach to the surface of produce in a sticky biofilm, and washing just isn't very effective," he said.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 2, 2006, 9:38 PM CT

How White Blood Cells Eat Virus-infected Cells

How White Blood Cells Eat Virus-infected Cells
Scientists at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) at Oregon Health & Science University have demonstrated how certain white blood cells literally eat virus-infected cells while fighting disease at the microscopic level. The research not only helps provide a clearer understanding of the body's immune system, it also offers hope of a new method for gauging vaccine effectiveness. The research is reported in the current edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

CD8 T-cells are specialized white blood cells that serve an important role in the body's immune system. The cells attack and destroy disease "invaders" such as viruses in the body. Prior studies indicated that T-cells may consume parts of cells with which they interact, but this new research shows this can happen in response to a systemic viral infection.

"If you use a fluorescent dye to stain infected cells, you can literally watch T-cells consume membranes and outer surfaces of diseased cells. As they destroy and cannibalize the fluorescently labeled cells, they become labeled with the fluorescent dye themselves," explained Mark Slifka, Ph.D., a researcher in the VGTI who led the research. Slifka is also a scientist in the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and holds a concurrent appointment in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 2, 2006, 9:24 PM CT

Strategies To Combat Flu Vaccine Shortage

Strategies To Combat Flu Vaccine Shortage
We all know about the flu-vaccine shortage that occurred during the last flu season. Scientifics are formulating strategies to combat flu vaccine shortage in case of shortage during the peak flu season. Public health officials are now making mathematical model at The University of Texas at Austin to determine the best way to distribute the vaccine.

The researchers used contact network epidemiology to model various vaccine distribution strategies, including the United States Centers for Disease Control strategy of targeting high-risk groups, like infants, the elderly and people with health complications. They also tested the idea of targeting school children, who are critical vectors in moving diseases through communities.

They observed that the best vaccine distribution strategy depends on the contagiousness of the flu strain.

"If we only have a limited flu vaccine supply, the best distribution strategy depends on the contagiousness of the strain," says Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, assistant professor of integrative biology. "We can more effectively control mildly contagious strains by vaccinating school children, while we can more effectively control moderately and highly contagious strains by vaccinating high-risk groups".

If there is no information available about the contagiousness of a flu strain or if the vaccines are only available after the outbreak is underway, the study recommends prioritizing vaccines for those people in high-risk groups who can experience the greatest complications due to the disease.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 1, 2006, 8:34 PM CT

Tamiflu Reduces Death From Influenza

Tamiflu Reduces Death From Influenza
Tamiflu (oseltamivir), is effective in reducing the risk of death linked to seasonal influenza in severely ill patients,1 as per new data presented today. Treatment of infected adults was linked to a 71 per cent reduction in mortality.1 These results demonstrate the importance of the role of antivirals in the management of seasonal influenza and highlights the seriousness and risk of mortality linked to it.

"The neuraminidase class of antivirals were originally assessed during their clinical development for their ability to reduce influenza symptom severity and duration in healthy adults", comments Dr. Allison McGeer, Primary Investigator who led today's research and Microbiologist and Infection Disease Consultant at the Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, "This new analysis contributes to the accumulating evidence that oseltamivir also has a significant impact in preventing serious complications including death in older at-risk individuals".

The population-based surveillance study was conducted during the two consecutive influenza seasons on a total of 512 patients who were admitted to hospital for illness linked to a positive test for influenza in Ontario, Canada. Over half of patients, mainly those with underlying illness, had been previously vaccinated. 84% were treated with antibacterial agents and 32% with antivirals (3% amantadine; 97% oseltamivir) at time of admission/diagnosis. Of the total patients with influenza who mandatory hospital admission, 67% were diagnosed with influenza with or without pneumonia, 13% with respiratory infection (e.g. acute bronchitis) and 62% with fever/viral syndrome. 1 Of all adult patients, 6.4% patients died and these deaths were attributed to influenza.1 Treatment of adults with an antiviral was linked to more than a two third reduction in death from influenza.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 1, 2006, 7:27 PM CT

Antibiotic Inhibits Cancer Gene

Antibiotic Inhibits Cancer Gene
Have you ever heard of antibiotic called siomycin A? Probably not, but this antibiotic would probably find a place in the fight against cancer. At least that's what the scientists say.

This little-known antibiotic, siomycin A shows early promise as an anti-cancer agent, inhibiting a gene found at higher-than-normal levels in most human tumors, as per scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Their findings are reported in the lastest issue of Cancer Research.

"We chose to target a gene thought to beover-expressed in cancer cells to screen for promising anti-cancer agents," said Andrei Gartel, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at UIC and principal investigator on the study.

The FoxM1 gene is responsible for turning on genes needed for cell proliferation and turning off genes that block proliferation. Uncontrolled proliferation is characteristic of cancer cells.

The scientists developed a new screening system, based on a naturally fluorescent protein called luciferase, to identify small molecules that inhibit proteins that turn genes on and off. Using this system, they identified an antibiotic, siomycin A, that specifically targets FoxM1 without affecting other cell functions.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 8:33 PM CT

Largest US Study On HIV Treatment In Women

Largest US Study On HIV Treatment In Women
Tibotec Therapeutics Clinical Affairs, a division of Ortho Biotech Clinical Affairs, LLC, announced recently the initiation of the largest clinical study conducted to date in therapy-experienced adult women with HIV to evaluate gender differences in response to an HIV medication.

GRACE (Gender, Race And Clinical Experience), a multi-center, open-label Phase IIIb trial, will compare gender differences in the efficacy, safety and tolerability of PREZISTA (darunavir) tablets administered with other antiretroviral agents over a 48-week therapy period. The study also will explore racial differences in therapy outcomes.

PREZISTA, co-administered with 100 mg ritonavir (PREZISTA/rtv) and with other antiretroviral agents, is indicated for the therapy of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in antiretroviral therapy-experienced adult patients, such as those with HIV-1 strains resistant to more than one protease inhibitor. PREZISTA received accelerated approval based on the 24-week analysis of HIV viral load and CD4+ cell counts from the pooled analysis of the TMC114-C213 (POWER 1) and TMC114-C202 (POWER 2) studies. Longer-term data will be mandatory before the FDA can consider traditional approval for PREZISTA (see the full indication and important safety information below).........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 28, 2006, 8:31 PM CT

Virulence Of 1918 Influenza Virus

Virulence Of 1918 Influenza Virus
It always puzzled the scientists, why the pandemic flu in 1918 was so rampant and the virus was so virulent.

The first comprehensive analysis of an animal's immune response to the 1918 influenza virus provides new insights into the killer flu, report federally supported researchers in an article appearing online today in the journal Nature. Key among these insights, they observed that the 1918 virus triggers a hyperactive immune response that may contribute to the lethality of the virus. Furthermore, their results suggest that it is the combination of all eight of the 1918 flu virus genes interacting synergistically that accounts for the exceptional virulence of this virus.

Michael G. Katze, Ph.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, led the research team with University of Washington's John Kash, Ph.D. The work with the fully reconstructed 1918 virus was conducted by coauthor Terrence Tumpey, Ph.D., in a biosafety level 3-enhanced laboratory at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

"Understanding as much as possible about the virus that caused the devastating 1918-1919 influenza pandemic is an urgent imperative as we pursue efforts to prepare for--and possibly thwart--the next flu pandemic," says NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 27, 2006, 8:35 PM CT

The Mystery of Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The Mystery of Flesh-Eating Bacteria
A Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar in Israel has discovered one reason why so-called "flesh-eating" bacteria are so hard to stop.

Emanuel Hanski, a microbiologist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his colleagues have observed that the success of group A Streptococcus is due in part to a protein that blocks the immune system's distress calls. The findings, reported in the October 4, 2006, issue of the EMBO Journal, could lead to new strategies for treating necrotizing fasciitis and halting its rapid destruction of tissue. The paper was published in advance online.

The bacterium, group A Streptococcus, wreaks destruction on muscle and skin tissue in the form of necrotizing fasciitis, which kills roughly 30 percent of its victims and leaves the rest disfigured. Antibiotics and surgical interventions, the known therapys, often fail. Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious but rare infection of the skin and the tissues beneath it.

The work began two years ago, when Hanski developed a mouse model for necrotizing fasciitis. After injecting the mice with a virulent strain of Streptococcus of a type known as M14, isolated from a necrotizing fasciitis patient, the team noticed that unlike most strep infections, in which white blood cells swarm invading bacteria to clear them from the body, few white blood cells appeared at the M14 infection site. A similar phenomenon had been observed in patients with necrotizing fasciitis but did not receive sufficient attention at the time.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15  

Did you know?
Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston have found a genetic marker that may identify individuals at greater risk for life-threatening infection from the West Nile virus. Results of the study are reported in the Nov. 15 print edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of infectious disease blog

SARS Main| SARS Abroad| SARS and Goverment| SARS Information in different languages| Media about SARS| Physicians resources for SARS| Reference information for SARS| Updates on SARS|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.