News Scan for Oct 22, 2013

Korean bioweapon surveillance
HPV vaccine and cervical defects

South Korea, US to set up bioweapon monitoring of North Korea

South Korea and the United States will establish a surveillance system against biological weapon threats from North Korea, Seoul-based The Chosun Ilbo reported today.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said the contract to build a monitoring system against biological weapons was signed Oct 18. The system will be designed to detect about 10 potential bioterror agents such as anthrax and smallpox, the story staid.

The agreement will enable South Korea to receive information on disease threats and vaccines from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, while the United States will benefit from real-time information gathered by the new surveillance system.
Oct 21 Chosun Ilbo story


Study: HPV vaccine may lower cervical defects

A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign in Victoria, Australia, schools was associated with a significant reduction of cervical abnormalities within 5 years, according to a study today in BMC Medicine.

The study involved 14,085 unvaccinated and 24,871 vaccinated women who were eligible for vaccination at school starting in 2007, 85% of whom had received three HPV vaccine doses.

The researchers found that histologically confirmed high-grade (HG) cervical abnormalities and high-grade cytology (HGC) were significantly lower for vaccinated women.

Those who received at least one vaccine dose had an HG rate of 4.8 per 1,000 person-years, compared with 6.4 per 1,000 person-years in unvaccinated women. The rate of HGC was 11.9 per 1,000 person-years in vaccinated women, versus 15.3 in unvaccinated women.

The investigators also found that the greatest effect was in younger women.
Oct 22 BMC Med abstract

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