News Scan for Aug 14, 2018

More polio in Papua New Guinea
MERS camel contact findings
Complicated UTI treatment trial

Fourth case of polio recorded in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea record the fourth case of polio in an ongoing vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 outbreak that marks the first return of the disease to the island nation since 2000.

According to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region, a 22-month-old girl from Eastern Highlands Province was diagnosed as having polio on Aug 10, after suffering an onset of paralysis on Jul 8. Based on initial lab tests, her case is genetically linked to the three previous cases recorded this summer; two from Morobe Province, and one from Enga. Health officials are investigating 65 suspected cases.

"The identification of the case highlights the risk of polio in children under 5 years of age. Children can be protected from polio only with vaccination. Given substantial vaccination coverage gaps across the country, the risk of further spread of polio within the country continues to be classified as high," the WHO said.

Several polio vaccination campaigns are planned now through October throughout Papua New Guinea, with the goal of reaching 80% coverage among children under 5.
Aug 13 WHO update


More than half of all primary cases of MERS connected to camel exposure

Camel contact is a known risk factor for MER-CoV transmission. A new study published in Viruses suggests that more than half (55%) of primary cases of Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) occur in people who have direct contact with dromedary camels.

Researchers analyzed all MERS-CoV cases reported to the WHO between Jan 1, 2015 and Apr 13, 2018. Among the 1,125 lab-confirmed cases, 348 (30.9%) were primary (meaning the person did not contract the virus from someone else), 455 (40.4%) were secondary (often household or hospital-acquired cases), and 322 (28.6%) were unclassified.

Among primary cases, 54.9% had contact with dromedaries, while only 1.1 % of secondary or unclassified cases reported camel contact.

Primary cases described both direct and indirect contact with camels: 164 (47.1%) reported physical contact with the animals, and 155 (44.5%) reported contact with products derived from camels, usually unpasteurized camel milk.

"… further understanding the geographic scope of MERS-CoV circulation in dromedaries, and limiting direct and indirect contact with infected dromedaries, remains important for reducing zoonotic transmission of MERS-CoV," the authors concluded.
Aug 13 Viruses study

Promising phase 2 trial for complicated UTI treatment

A phase 2 clinical trial for Entasis Therapeutics' β-lactamase inhibitor, ETX2514, in combination with sulbactam (ETX2514SUL), suggested safe and efficacious treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) including acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection) in adults, the company said in a press release today.

The results will prepare Entasis for a Phase 3 trail in the early part of next year, which will focus on carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections.

"Infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria are a major healthcare challenge today, as resistance to older antibiotics is growing," said Manos Perros, chief executive officer of Entasis in the press release. "The results of this Phase 2 trial support progression of ETX2514SUL into Phase 3, an important next step in developing our pipeline of pathogen-targeted products against drug-resistant bacterial infections."

The phase 2 trial included 80 patients randomized to receive either a dose of ETX2514SUL (ETX2514 1 g plus sulbactam 1 g) or a matching placebo every 6 hours for 7 days. Patients in both arms also received background therapy with 500 mg IV of  imipenem/cilastatin (IMI) every 6 hours.

According to the press release, ETX2514SUL was generally well tolerated. The adverse event profile of ETX2514SUL was similar to placebo with no serious adverse events reported in either arm.
Aug 13 Entasis press release

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