Meta-analysis estimates 1 in 3 men worldwide have genital HPV infection

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HPV vaccine syringe
Province of British Columbia / Flickr cc

A new meta-analysis published in The Lancet Global Health finds that nearly one in three men around the world have one or more types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and about one in five have at least one kind of high-risk HPV (HR-HPV).

Researchers from the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, and the World Health Organization led the analysis of 65 studies involving 44,769 boys and men aged 15 years and older from 35 countries published from January 1, 1995, to June 1, 2022.

The study authors note that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted viral infection in the world, and research has shown that most sexually active men and women contract one or more genital HPV infections during their lives—most of them causing no symptoms.

Of the more than 200 types of sexually transmitted HPV, at least 12 can cause cancer, including cervical cancer. In men, HPV infection tends to cause anogenital warts and is linked to penile, anal, and throat cancers.

Prevalence peaked at ages 25 to 29

Worldwide, the pooled prevalence of genital HPV in men was 31% for any HPV type and 21% for HR-HPV. The most common genotype was HPV-16 (5%), followed by HPV-6 (4%). HPV prevalence peaked between ages 25 and 29, then leveled off or declined slightly.

Pooled HPV prevalence estimates were comparable in the UN Sustainable Development Goal regions in Europe and Northern America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Australia and New Zealand. Estimates for East and Southeast Asia were half that of other regions.

These estimates emphasise the importance of incorporating men in comprehensive HPV prevention strategies.

The researchers said the results show that HPV prevalence in boys and men in young men is high and support that sexually active men of all ages are an important reservoir of the virus. "These estimates emphasise the importance of incorporating men in comprehensive HPV prevention strategies to reduce HPV-related morbidity and mortality in men and ultimately achieve elimination of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases."

NIAID awards $11.5 million to better understand drug-resistant bloodstream infections

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MRSA under the microscope

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded an $11.5 million grant to develop a program to identify immune system and microbial pathogen patterns that result in persistent bloodstream infections, including those caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

The Lundquist Institute (TLI) at Harbor-UCLA Medical Centers announced the grant yesterday, which was awarded to TLI principal investigator Michael Yeamen, PhD, who is a professor of medicine at UCLA and chief of the division of molecular medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The grant is a collaborative multicomponent award that allows a team of investigators to work with on a specific research objective.

Defining the immune system and pathogen patterns will allow new ways to predict which patients are at risk for persistent infections and guide the best treatment. The grant focuses on infections caused by Staphylococcus, including methicillin-resistance S aureus (MRSA), and Candida, an invasive fungus that is often drug-resistant.

The challenge of infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics is growing every day.

The grant is intended to fund work beyond traditional genetic sequencing to determine correlates of immunity and infection. Instead, the focus is epigenomics, which explores patterns in how DNA is modified beyond sequence in ways that affect immune response and antibiotic efficacy.

TLI said detecting hidden epigenomic patterns within vast datasets will help with efforts to speed the discovery and development of new anti-infective agents, immunotherapies, and vaccines.

In the statement, Yeamen said, "The challenge of infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics is growing every day—and will pose an increasing threat to public health unless we find new, improved ways to predict, prevent, and cure these infections."

Florida reports Broward County dengue cases, bringing state's total to 11

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Aedes mosquito
frank600 / iStock

The Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) Broward County office has issued a mosquito-borne illness alert following the recent detection of two local dengue cases.

The dengue cases from Broward County were noted in the state's weekly arbovirus surveillance report for the week ending August 5. That report also noted two other cases from Miami-Dade County. The surveillance report for the week ending August 12 includes one more case from Miami-Dade County, bringing the state's total for the year to 11.

Broward County neighbors Miami-Dade County and includes Fort Lauderdale. Florida Health said Broward County had two local dengue cases in 2022. In late June, Florida Health issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory following the detection of four local malaria cases in Sarasota County. No other malaria infections have been reported since then.

Florida Health said dengue virus doesn't normally circulate in Florida, but infected travelers can pass the virus to Florida mosquitoes.

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