“Vitamin D is needed to activate the immune system’s response to tuberculosis (TB),” a finding that “could lead to new treatments for the lung disease,” researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) said in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Agence France-Presse reports. “Researchers have long known that vitamin D plays a role in the body’s response to TB, but the study … shows it must be present in adequate levels to trigger the immune response,” AFP writes.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded United Therapeutics Corporation a contract for up to $45 million over five years “to help develop a potential oral treatment for viruses like influenza and the mosquito-borne tropical fever dengue,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (10/10). The funding comes from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and will be used “for studies directed at the development of a broad-spectrum antiviral drug based on [United Therapeutics'] glycobiology antiviral platform,” according to a press release from United Therapeutics, which adds, “Funding will support the development of a candidate compound through preclinical safety and efficacy studies toward potential clinical trials against dengue” (10/10).
“An attenuated, or weakened, strain of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can be used as a vaccine to prevent or reduce the severity of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness, suggest findings from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in monkeys,” an NIH press release reports. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine on Tuesday, used cynomolgus macaque monkeys in the experiment “because their immune responses closely predict those of humans,” the press release states. “If this approach demonstrates continued success, the implications could be enormous for the tens of millions of people affected by trachoma, a neglected disease of poverty primarily seen in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, according to the press release (10/10).
Fred Sawe, deputy director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project HIV Program in Kericho, Kenya, and Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, report in Global Health Magazine that “[t]he Department of the Army is set to slash 73 percent of the U.S. Military HIV…
Experts Take Study On Contraceptive Use, HIV Risk Seriously But Warn About Drawing Conclusions Prematurely Because Of Study's 'Methodological Weaknesses'
In this post in RH Reality Check, Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of the blog, responds to an article published in the New York Times on Tuesday regarding a study suggesting that “HIV-negative women using injectable contraception might face a two-fold risk of acquiring HIV from their infected partners, and that HIV-positive women using…
This post in the Malaria Policy Center blog recaps a Tuesday Capitol Hill briefing, hosted by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on Malaria, “that highlighted research and development advancements by the U.S. military and U.S. academic institutions to develop the tools to eliminate malaria…
In a special report, CNBC.com examines “the world of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, from the dangers they pose and where they’re made, to what is being done to combat them.” The news service notes that “[i]n some countries, counterfeit prescription drugs comprise as much as 70 percent of the drug supply and have been responsible for thousands of deaths in some of the world’s most impoverished nations, according to the World Health Organization (WHO),” and adds that counterfeit drugs also affect people in developed nations (Toscano, 10/4).
“Indoor spraying with the insecticide bendiocarb has dramatically decreased malaria transmission in many parts of Benin, new evidence that insecticides remain a potent weapon for fighting malaria in Africa despite the rapid rise of resistance to an entire class of mosquito-killing compounds,” researchers from Benin’s Entomologic Research Center in Cotonou…
“A laboratory that will research and monitor emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) such as yellow fever and dengue” was launched in Kenya last month “in an attempt to tackle growing vector-borne health threats in the region,” SciDev.Net reports. “The Martin Luscher Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases was launched with support from the German and Swiss governments at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) … and is expected to add capacity to respond to disease outbreaks,” the news service writes.
A new quick test to determine the CD4 levels of individuals who test positive for HIV “resulted in a substantial increase” in the percentage of people returning to a clinic get those results, according to a study conducted in Mozambique and published last week in the Lancet, the New York Times reports. “Before quick testing was available, 42 percent of infected patients returned to learn their CD4 count at a subsequent visit. After point-of-care testing began, 78 percent of infected patients were evaluated — that is, almost twice as many infected people took this important first step toward drug treatment,” the newspaper writes (Bakalar, 10/3).