(CIDRAP News) Donald A. Henderson, MD, public health expert and director of the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, has been appointed to coordinate the national response to public health emergencies. Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), named Henderson last week as director of the newly created Office of Public Health Preparedness.
(CIDRAP New) Officials from the Mayo Clinic and Roche Molecular Biochemicals today announced the development of a DNA test that they say can accurately detect anthrax bacteria in human and environmental samples in less than an hour, far faster than currently available tests. They said they will begin making the test available free to public health laboratories this week to help combat the current spate of anthrax attacks.
(CIDRAP News) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice in the Federal Register this week to make clear that doxycycline and penicillin G procaine, along with ciprofloxacin, already are approved for use as postexposure prophylaxis following inhalational exposure to anthrax. The notice also details postexposure dosing regimens for these medications.
(CIDRAP News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives a detailed report on its ongoing investigation of the current anthrax attack in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report includes a detailed treatment protocol for inhalational anthrax related to the current attack, calling for use of either ciprofloxacin or doxycycline plus one or two other antimicrobials.
Oct 25 (CIDRAP News) Two studies published online by Nature this week help explain how anthrax toxin works, possibly paving the way for the development of drugs that could block the toxin's action. One group of researchers explains how it identified the cell-surface receptor that enables anthrax toxin to invade host cells, while another group describes the precise molecular structure of a key component of the toxin.
(CIDRAP News) – Macrolide antibiotics, the mainstay of treatment for community-acquired pneumonia, are encountering increasing resistance from Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common cause of the disease, according to a report in the Oct 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
(CIDRAP News) – Comparison of an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) assay for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) with the standard tuberculin skin test (TST) suggests that the interferon assay is less likely to produce false-positive results in people with prior BCG vaccination or reactivity to nontuberculous mycobacteria, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Oct 10, 2001 (CIDRAP News) Genetic mapping of Yersinia pestis, the agent that causes plague, indicates that the organism used numerous genes collected from other bacteria and viruses to change from a relatively innocuous enteric pathogen into a lethal bloodborne pathogen, according to a report in the Oct 4 issue of Nature.
(CIDRAP News) – Predicting that 44% of this year's supply of influenza vaccine won't be available until November and December, federal health officials are recommending that vaccine doses available in October be reserved for healthcare workers and people who have an increased risk of influenza complications.
(CIDRAP News) – Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine have reported laboratory evidence of Plasmodium falciparum cross-resistance between trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, one of the standard treatments for HIV patients in Africa, and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, the first-line antimalarial drug in parts of Africa.