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


December 11, 2007, 10:10 PM CT

Microbial risks in the water we drink

Microbial risks in the water we drink
It is a familiar scenario experienced around the world: an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness suddenly emerges in a community, and no one knows where it came from or how to stop it. At the start of the outbreak, only a few people are affected, most often the very old and the very young. As the outbreak worsens, more and more people fall ill, and people who were weak or unwell may develop life-threatening complications.

Such outbreaks sometimes originate from a source that most people in the United States and other developed countries trust unquestioningly: drinking water. However, there is much we do not know about the causes and likelihood of waterborne illness, and we can and should do more to assess the risks, as per a new report, Clean Water: What is Acceptable Microbial Risk", released by the American Academy of Microbiology.

In the developing world, where diarrheal illnesses claim roughly 2 million lives each year, access to clean water is a serious public health challenge, says Mark LeChevallier of American Water Works Service Company in Vorhees, New Jersey, one of the authors of the report. Fortunately, the United States and other developed countries have managed to rein in the biggest waterborne disease problems, but water quality is still a very real concern. Sporadic illnesses and outbreaks still occur, and they can have a serious impact on public health and commerce.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 10, 2007, 11:00 PM CT

bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn's disease

bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn's disease
Crohn's is a condition that affects one in 800 people in the UK and causes chronic intestinal inflammation, leading to pain, bleeding and diarrhoea.

The team observed that a bacterium called Mycobacterium paratuberculosis releases a molecule that prevents a type of white blood cell from killing E.coli bacteria found in the body. E.coli is known to be present within Crohn's disease tissue in increased numbers.

It is thought that the Mycobacteria make their way into the body's system via cows' milk and other dairy products. In cattle it can cause an illness called Johne's disease - a wasting, diarrhoeal condition. Until now, however, it has been unclear how this bacterium could trigger intestinal inflammation in humans.

Professor Jon Rhodes, from the University's School of Clinical Sciences, explains: "Mycobacterium paratuberculosis has been found within Crohn's disease tissue but there has been much controversy concerning its role in the disease. We have now shown that these Mycobacteria release a complex molecule containing a sugar, called mannose. This molecule prevents a type of white blood cells, called macrophages, from killing internalised E.Coli." .

Researchers have previously shown that people with Crohn's disease have increased numbers of a 'sticky' type of E.coli and weakened ability to fight off intestinal bacteria. The suppressive effect of the Mycobacterial molecule on this type of white blood cell suggests it is a likely mechanism for weakening the body's defence against the bacteria.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 6, 2007, 7:56 PM CT

Software for detection of infectious disease outbreaks

Software for detection of infectious disease outbreaks
A newly released software program will let health authorities at the site of an infectious disease outbreak quickly analyze data, speeding the detection of new cases and the implementation of effective interventions.

The program, called TranStat, was developed by a team of epidemiologists and computer researchers from the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), an international program supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build computational models for studying disease spread.

A main goal of MIDAS is to make the models developed by the scientists available to the public health community and policymakers, said Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the NIH component that funds MIDAS. TranStat is a great example of how MIDAS is providing tools to help communities prepare for emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

Available for free and downloadable at http://www.midasmodels.org, TranStat can be used by public health officials to systematically enter and store infectious disease data. These data include details about the infected individuals, such as their sex, age, and onset of symptoms; their close contacts; and any interventions they might have received. The program also prompts the field personnel to enter details about exposed but uninfected individuals. The system does not collect names or other personally identifying information.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 4, 2007, 10:33 PM CT

Common treatments for sinus infections may not work

Common treatments for sinus infections may not work
A comparison of common therapys for acute sinusitis that included an antibiotic and a topical steroid found neither more effective than placebo, as per a research studyin the December 5 issue of JAMA.

Acute sinusitis (sinus infection) is a common clinical problem with symptoms similar to other illnesses, and is often diagnosed and treated without clinical confirmation. Despite the clinical uncertainty as to a bacterial cause, antibiotic prescribing rates remain as high as 92 percent in the United Kingdom and 85 percent to 98 percent in the United States, as per background information in the article. Because there are no satisfactory studies of microbiological etiology from typical primary care patient practices, wide-scale overtreatment is likely occurring, the authors write. Concerns about wide-spread antibacterial use include increasing antibiotic resistance in the community. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as topical steroids are also used as a therapy and may be beneficial, but there has been limited research.

Ian G. Williamson, M.D., of the University of Southampton, England, and his colleagues conducted a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of the antibiotic amoxicillin and topical steroid budesonide in acute maxillary sinusitis (rhinosinusitis; inflammation of the nasal cavity and sinuses). The study included 240 adults with acute nonrecurrent sinusitis treated at 58 family practices between November 2001 and November 2005. Patients were randomized to 1 of 4 therapy groups: antibiotic and nasal steroid (500 mg of amoxicillin 3 times per day for 7 days and 200 g of budesonide in each nostril once per day for 10 days); placebo antibiotic and nasal steroid; antibiotic and placebo nasal steroid; placebo antibiotic and placebo nasal steroid.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children

Vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children
An international team of experts has published the first comprehensive review of evidence on pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) for children with HIV infection. Now available in the on-line edition of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the review shows that HIV increases the risk of pneumococcal infection by up to 40 fold, that the disease is commonly due to serotypes in the PCV, and that the vaccine can protect HIV-infected infants. The authors conclude that PCV can improve the lives of HIV-infected children and should be considered a potentially valuable complement to existing therapy strategies for HIV-infected children (1)

In the run up to World AIDS Day (1st December 2007), the study authors are calling for action to make pneumococcal vaccines available for all children in resource-poor countries, particularly those with a high burden of HIV infection.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that is a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis and blood stream infections, kills over 800,000 and up to one million children every year (2) Tragically children with HIV are at a vastly increased risk of getting pneumoccocal disease, due to their weakened immune system (3) (4)

The expert review, authored by seven leading experts in pneumococcal disease and HIV medicine, based in the US and Africa, summarises available data on the burden of pneumococcal disease and the safety and efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in HIV infected children. The review found: (1)........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 27, 2007, 9:56 PM CT

Decoding Genomes Of Tuberculosis Bacteria

Decoding Genomes Of Tuberculosis Bacteria
An international collaboration led by scientists in the US and South Africa announced Nov. 20 the first genome sequence of an extensively drug resistant (XDR) strain of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one associated with more than 50 deaths in a recent tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

As part of this work, genomes of multi-drug resistant (MDR) and drug sensitive isolates were also decoded. Initial comparisons of the genome sequences reveal that the drug-resistant and drug-sensitive microbes differ at only a few dozen locations along the four-million-letter DNA code, revealing some known drug resistance genes as well as some additional genes that may also be important to the spread of TB.

The scientists have taken an unusual step of immediately sharing both the genome sequence and their initial analysis far in advance of submitting a scientific paper, in order to accelerate work on drug-resistant TB by scientists around the world.

"Tuberculosis is a major threat to global public health that demands new approaches to disease diagnosis and therapy," said Megan Murray, one of the project's principal investigators, an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. "By looking at the genomes of different strains, we can learn how the tuberculosis microbe outwits current drugs and how new drugs might be designed".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 21, 2007, 4:43 AM CT

SARS: a model disease

SARS: a model disease
SARS virus
A new model to predict the spread of emerging diseases has been developed by scientists in the US, Italy, and France. The model, described in the online open access journal BMC Medicine, could give healthcare professionals advance warning of the path an emerging disease might take and so might improve emergency responses and control.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) spread rapidly in 2002-2003, revealing just how vulnerable we might be to emerging diseases and how global transportation is critical to the spread of an epidemic.

Now, Vittoria Colizza and Alessandro Vespignani of Indiana University, Bloomington, USA and the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation, in Turin, Italy, and his colleagues in France have developed a predictive model of the spread of emerging diseases based on actual travel and census data for more than three thousand urban areas in 220 countries. The model provides predictions of how likely an outbreak will be in each region and how widespread it might become. The research highlights just how the accuracy in predicting the spreading pattern of an epidemic can be correlation to clearly identifiable routes by which the disease could spread.

In order to assess the predictive power of their model, the scientists turned to the historical records of the global spread of the SARS virus. They reviewed the initial conditions before the disease had spread widely, based on the data for the arrival of the first patient who left mainland China for Hong Kong, and for the resulting outbreak there. They then simulated the likelihood that SARS would emerge in specific countries thereafter, as brought by infectious travelers. The simulated results fit very accurately with the actual pattern of the spread of SARS in 2002. Analysis of the results also identified possible paths of the virus' spread along the routes of commercial air travel, highlighting some preferred channels which may serve as epidemic pathways for the global spread of the disease.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 9:30 PM CT

Cranberry sauce: good for what ails you

Cranberry sauce: good for what ails you
Cranberry sauce is not the star of the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, but when it comes to health benefits, the lowly condiment takes center stage. In fact, scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have observed that compounds in cranberries are able to alter E. coli bacteria, which are responsible for a host of human illnesses (from kidney infections to gastroenteritis to tooth decay), in ways that render them unable to initiate an infection.

The findings are the result of research by Terri Camesano, associate professor of chemical engineering at WPI, and a team that includes graduate students Yatao Liu and Paola Pinzon-Arango. Funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the Cranberry Institute and Wisconsin Cranberry Board, the work has been reported in many publications and presentations, including FAV Health 2007 (The 2nd Annual Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables), the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in September 2006, and the January/February 2007 issue of the Italian publication AgroFOOD industry hi-tech.

For the first time, the research has begun to reveal the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that appear to underlie many beneficial health effects that have long been ascribed to cranberries and cranberry juicein particular, the ability of cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The mechanism by which cranberry juice prevents such infections has not been clear, though researchers have suspected that compounds in the juice somehow prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 12, 2007, 9:44 PM CT

Early, routine testing for HIV is key

Early, routine testing for HIV is key
Half of all new HIV infections in the United States occur among 13 to 24 year olds, but adolescents rarely seek HIV testing. Now, new research from the Bradley Hasbro Childrens Research Center suggests that early and widespread testing both in schools and community centers may be the key to effectively curbing the spread of HIV within this age group.

This study, which would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health and is currently available online, is the first to take a prospective look at the factors linked to HIV testing among adolescents.

Our goal was to determine why some high-risk teens would get tested for HIV, and others would not, explained lead author Marina Tolou-Shams, Ph.D., of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and an assistant research professor of psychiatry with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Scientists assessed the sexual behavior, substance use and HIV testing behaviors of 1,222 sexually active adolescents, ages 15 to 21, from Providence, Miami, and Atlanta over three months. They observed that teens were more likely to get tested for HIV if theyve already been tested before. In fact, approximately half of all study subjects had a history of HIV testing, and of those, one-third got tested within three months even without having gone through a specific HIV testing intervention.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 8, 2007, 9:58 PM CT

A Dose of Radiation May Help Knock Out Malaria

A Dose of Radiation May Help Knock Out Malaria
How are physicists helping an effort to eradicate malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than one million people every year? Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) used their expertise in radiation science to help a young company create weakened, harmless versions of the malaria-causing parasite. These parasites, in turn, are being used to create a new type of vaccine that shows promise of being more effective than current malaria vaccines.

The new vaccine is a departure from prior approaches, which have commonly depended on proteins derived from only part of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous species of parasite that causes malaria. Using vaccines based on whole living parasites had been on scientists' minds for several decades, after they discovered that volunteers built up high levels of protection to malaria after being exposed to mosquitoes containing live, radiation-weakened parasites. But manufacturing technology only recently has been developed to the point where it is possible to efficiently extract weakened parasites from their mosquito carriers in order to make a vaccine.

With their knowledge of measuring radiation doses for industrial processes such as medical equipment sterilization, NIST scientists have been lending their expertise for several years to Maryland-based biotech firm Sanaria Inc., which is creating the new vaccine. In the manufacturing process, live mosquitoes containing the parasite are exposed to gamma rays. To ensure that the parasites are sufficiently weakened for the vaccine, yet remain alive, they must be exposed to a radiation dose of at least 150 gray, but not much more. Coincidentally, this is also the dose used to delay sprouting in potatoes and onions.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26  

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.