USDA confirms more H5N1 detections in dairy herds and cats

News brief

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed H5N1 avian influenza in three more dairy herds, two in Colorado and one in Iowa, raising its number of affected herds to 129 in 12 states. 

cow and cat
Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr cc

In related developments, Iowa yesterday became the latest state to announce new testing requirements for dairy cattle participating in state exhibitions and fairs. The order goes into effect on July 1.

In an update announcing the testing requirement, the state's agriculture secretary Mike Naig reiterated a request for USDA support for affected farms and thanked Iowa farmers for their cooperation with testing and research efforts. Officials said the USDA has authorized more epidemiological strike teams to help with investigations on affected poultry and dairy farms. 

More detections in cats, other mammals, wild birds

APHIS today added reports of nine more H5N1 detections in mammals across four states, of which five were domestic cats. The infected cats were from Minnesota (Kandiyohi County) and Texas (Hartley County). Other detections involved raccoons from Michigan and New Mexico, a striped skunk for New Mexico, and a red fox from Minnesota.

The group also added eight more detections in wild birds, including five bald eagles from Iowa, New Jersey, and Virginia and three agency-harvested birds from New Mexico.


Quick takes: AI for antibiotic discovery, bedaquiline gets traditional approval, oral antifungal shows promise

News brief
  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly announced yesterday that it will collaborate with artificial intelligence (AI) company OpenAI in an effort to identify new antimicrobials. In a press release, the company said it will use OpenAI's generative AI to invent novel antimicrobials to treat drug-resistant pathogens. "Our collaboration with OpenAI represents a groundbreaking step forward in the fight against the growing but overlooked threat of antimicrobial resistance," said Diogo Rau, MS, executive vice president and chief information and digital officer at Lilly. "Generative AI opens a new opportunity to accelerate the discovery of novel antimicrobials and the development of custom, purpose-built technologies in the battle against drug-resistant pathogens."
  • The US Food and Drug Administration last week converted the tuberculosis (TB) drug Sirturo (bedaquiline) from accelerated approval to traditional approval. The FDA said in a news release that it made the decision after determining a confirmatory clinical study required under the accelerated approval pathway verified the clinical benefits of the drug, which is a key component of the regimens for rifampicin-resistant and multidrug-resistant TB. 
  • In a study published this week in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School report promising results from five case studies involving the use of MAT2203, an investigational oral formulation of the antifungal amphotericin B (AmB) that is currently available under a compassionate-use program. The drug, which has lower toxicity than intravenous AmB, cured fungal infections in four patients and led to improvement in one patient, with only modest gastrointestinal side effects. "It appears to provide a safer treatment option for patients requiring therapy for AmB for weeks to months, and the oral formulation allows patients to be treated in the outpatient setting," the study authors wrote.

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