News Scan for Jun 06, 2022

News brief

Researchers identify colistin-resistant bacteria in Brazilian rivers

A study of samples from two Brazilian rivers found a high incidence of colistin-resistant bacteria and MCR-1 producers, Brazilian and Portuguese researchers reported today in the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance.

The analysis of eight water samples taken along the course of the Sapucai and Sapucaizinho rivers in Sao Paulo found 11 strains of bacteria (8 Escherichia coli, 2 Klebsiella pneumoniae, and 1 K quasipneumoniae) that were resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic for multidrug-resistant (MDR) infections. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that six of the strains were positive for the MCR-1 gene, with four carrying MCR-1.1 and two carrying MCR-1.26. All of the E coli strains and one of the K pneumoniae strains were MDR and carried numerous antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms.

The analysis also identified several E coli sequence types, including the high-risk clones ST10 and ST131-H22, which have been found to cause infections in humans and animals, and revealed that the MCR-1 genes were detected in highly similar IncX4 plasmids—the mobile pieces of DNA that have been associated with the global dissemination of MCR-1 genes in humans and food-producing animals.

The study authors say the findings likely reflect anthropogenic activities nearby and that the presence of high-risk MDR E coli clones at the human-animal-environment interface is of concern because of the risk of human exposure.
Jun 6 J Glob Antimicrob Resist study


FDA approves GSK's measles, mumps, rubella vaccine

Pharmaceutical company GSK today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine—called Priorix—for people ages 12 months or older, which adds an MMR vaccine from a second company to the US market.

Priorix has already been licensed in 100 countries, with 800 million doses distributed so far, GSK said in a statement. Currently, Merck makes two MMR vaccines for the US market: one targeted to just MMR and another that is designed to also protect against chickenpox (varicella).

Temi Folaranmi, MD, GSK's vice president of therapeutics for US medical affairs, said measles outbreaks in recent years show how quickly diseases can return. "Missed vaccinations during the pandemic makes children even more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases like measles," he said, adding that having Priorix available in the United States will give healthcare providers more than one option as they work toward getting kids caught up on their vaccines.

The vaccine is given in two doses and can be also administered as a second dose in people who have received a first dose of a different MMR vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is expected to consider including Priorix in a June discussion about vaccine schedules and recommendations.
Jun 6 GSK statement

COVID-19 Scan for Jun 06, 2022

News brief

Nearly all patients at long-COVID clinic had fatigue, half slept poorly

Nearly all long-COVID patients at an Ohio health system reported moderate to severe fatigue, and about half said they had serious sleep disruptions, which were up to three times more common in Black participants, according to findings presented this week at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies' annual meeting.

The research abstract was published May 25 in an online supplement of Sleep.

Cleveland Clinic researchers parsed data from 962 patients at the health system's COVID-19 clinic who completed the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement (PROMIS) sleep disturbance and fatigue questionnaires from February to November 2021.

PROMIS scores are standardized to the US adult population on a T-scale, with sleep disturbance and fatigue scores of 60 or higher indicating at least moderate severity, and 70 or higher indicating severe impact.

T-scores among the 682 patients who completed the sleep disturbance questionnaire were, on average, 57.7; 41.2% had at least moderate sleep problems, while 7.3% had severe disruptions. The average fatigue T-score was 63.0; 68.6% had at least moderate fatigue, and 22.6% were severely fatigued.

Relative to patients reporting normal or mildly disturbed sleep, those with moderate or severe impairments had a higher body mass index (BMI) (32.3 vs 30.9 kg/m2), were more likely to be of Black race (40.0 vs 41.0), and had worse scores for generalized anxiety disorder (2.8 vs 1.6) and fatigue (66.7 vs 60.4), regardless of age, sex, or infection severity. After adjustment, Black race was linked to moderate or severe sleep difficulties (odds ratio, 3.42).

In an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) news release, lead author Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, said that debilitating sleep problems are very common in long-COVID patients. "Our study suggests that the prevalence of moderate to severe sleep disturbances is high and that Black race confers increased odds to suffer from moderate to severe sleep disturbances highlighting the importance to further understand race-specific determinants of sleep disturbances in order to develop race-specific interventions," she said.
May 25 Sleep study
Jun 3 AASM
news release


COVID-19 antibody test visualizes levels in real time in vaccinated people

A new microfluidic device directly visualizes SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in vaccinated people, which could help clinicians to time booster doses better, as it measures waning immunity. The test is detailed in Science Advances.

Traditional antibody tests include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and chemiluminescence immunoassay, which are labor-intensive and require laboratories. The new test uses magnetic microparticles (MMPs) to detect antibodies, producing a readout that can be seen in as little as 20 minutes.

During the test, a capillary-driven microfluidic chip loaded with a solution containing MMPs and polystyrene microparticles that bind to SARS-CoV-2 antibodies simultaneously.

The test was used on 91 vaccinated participants 21 to 35 days after they received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Participants who had received mRNA vaccines had higher antibody levels than those who had received inactivated vaccines. All volunteers, however, showed a significant decrease in antibody levels at day 45.

The authors, from the University of Hong Kong, said the test could be used as an "immunity passport"—a better way to check protection against COVID-19 infection than standard vaccination records.

"Our device is particularly suitable for the general public to routinely check immune protection at local clinics, testing booths at border entry control, or other public sectors, providing a solution for accelerating economic recovery without adding to the medical burden on health care systems," they concluded.
Jun 3 Sci Adv

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