News & Perspective

Sep 20, 2001

Sep 20, 2001

New prion assay suggests ophthalmic surgical instruments could transmit vCJD

(CIDRAP News) – A new immunoblot method for detecting prion protein related to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is much more sensitive than existing bioassay techniques, according to a recent report in The Lancet. The new assay revealed significant amounts of prion protein in the eye tissue of vCJD patients, prompting researchers to suggest that ophthalmic surgical instruments may pose a risk of transmitting the disease.

Sep 21, 2001

Sep 21, 2001

Sprouts called dangerous food in view of California disease outbreaks

(CIDRAP News) – Contaminated alfalfa and clover sprouts caused 600 confirmed cases of illness and probably triggered thousands of unreported cases in California and neighboring states from 1996 through 1998, according to a recent report in Annals of Internal Medicine. In view of their findings, the authors say sprouts at present are an “inherently dangerous food.”

Sep 24, 2001

Sep 24, 2001

Study implicates eating out as risk factor for foodborne disease

(CIDRAP News) – A recent study conducted in a hospital emergency department in London suggests that in the realm of food safety, there's no place like home. In the 6-month study, patients who were treated for a food-related illness were significantly more likely to have eaten away from home shortly before their illness than were patients treated for other conditions, according to a research letter published in The Lancet.

Oct 01, 2001

Oct 01, 2001

Standard HIV drug used in Africa may spawn resistance to a first-line malaria drug

(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.

Oct 04, 2001

Oct 04, 2001

October flu shots should be reserved for vulnerable groups, CDC says

(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.

Oct 09, 2001

Oct 09, 2001

Plague genome suggests organism evolved from gut to blood pathogen

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.

Oct 12, 2001

Oct 12, 2001

Interferon assay for latent TB may be more specific than skin test

(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 18, 2001

Oct 18, 2001

S pneumoniae resistance to macrolides is now common, CDC says

(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.

Oct 25, 2001

Oct 25, 2001

Studies raise hopes for invention of drugs to block anthrax toxin

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.

Oct 26, 2001

Oct 26, 2001

In report on anthrax probe, CDC recommends multidrug treatment

(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.

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