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March 2012 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for March 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

HIV Superinfection Broadens Immune Response in Women

FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Sequential HIV infections lead to the development of a broad neutralizing antibody (NAb) response, according to a study published online March 29 in PLoS Pathogens.

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Pay for Performance Does Not Improve Mortality Rates

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in the Medicare Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (Premier HQID) program does not lead to lower 30-day mortality rates, according to a study published online March 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Genetic Variants Explain Podoconiosis

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic variants in the HLA class II region are associated with podoconiosis, a tropical lymphedema resulting from long-term barefoot exposure to soil derived from volcanic rock, according to a study published in the March 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vaccine Cuts Risk of Subsequent HPV-Related Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women surgically treated for human papillomavirus (HPV)-related disease who were previously vaccinated with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine have reduced incidence of subsequent HPV-related disease, according to a study published online March 27 in BMJ.

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Early, Temporary HIV Treatment Reduces Viral Load

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treating HIV patients with antiretroviral drugs temporarily when they are first infected reduces viral load and lengthens the time off treatment, according to a study published online March 27 in PLoS Medicine.

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Anal HPV, Cancer Common in Men Having Sex With Men

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), according to a meta-analysis published online March 23 in The Lancet Oncology.

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New Guidelines Issued for Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- As the majority of rhinosinusitis cases are viral, antimicrobial therapy should be initiated after establishment of a clinical diagnosis of bacterial rhinosinusitis, and β-lactam agents are recommended for initial therapy, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America's first rhinosinusitis guidelines published online March 20 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Health Care Team Members Key for Antimicrobial Stewardship

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) that use health care epidemiologists (HEs) and infection preventionists (IPs) have a crucial role to play in the effort to combat health care-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Survey Describes Docs' Online Professionalism Violations

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical licensing authorities receive and act upon reports of physicians' online professionalism violations, according to a research letter published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship Saves Millions of Dollars

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial stewardship programs save hospitals millions of dollars, according to a study published in the April issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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H. Pylori Associated With Impaired Glucose Tolerance

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) seropositivity is associated with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, an interaction which may be augmented by a high body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online March 13 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Bevacizumab Active in HIV-Linked Kaposi's Sarcoma

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (HIV-KS), bevacizumab is tolerated and induces a response in some patients, according to a study published online March 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Statin Use May Reduce Pneumonia Incidence

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with statins, such as rosuvastatin, is associated with a modest reduction in the incidence of pneumonia, according to a study published online March 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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National Estimate of Retention in HIV Care Is About 75 Percent

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Between 71 and 75 percent of HIV-infected patients retain care consistently, according to a national study published online Feb. 29 in AIDS.

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Most California Hospitals Implementing Infection Control

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Most California hospitals implement some policies to improve infection control for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), primarily methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but few policies are associated with lower MDRO rates, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Poorer Health Literacy Linked to Increased Mortality

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of older adults in England have medium or low health literacy, which is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online March 15 in BMJ.

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HIV Burden High Among Female Sex Workers Globally

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among female sex workers in low-income and middle-income countries, the burden of HIV is disproportionately high, compared with other similar-aged women, according to a study published online March 15 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Personal Mobile Computers Improve Resident Efficiency

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of personal mobile computers (Apple iPads) by internal medicine residents improves efficiency, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Antibiotic Treatment of E. Coli Reduces Bacterial Shedding

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with azithromycin is associated with a lower frequency of long-term carriage of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and a shorter duration of shedding of the bacteria in stool specimens during the 2011 German Shiga toxin-producing enteroaggregative E. coli (STEC) O104:H4 outbreak, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Higher Spending by Hospitals Improves Outcomes

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that are part of the universal health care system in Canada that spend more on inpatient care have lower rates of deaths and hospital readmissions, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Mortality Rates Dropped 60 Percent From 1935 to 2010

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- From 1935 to 2010, the death rate in the United States decreased considerably, although the single-year improvements in mortality were often small, according to a March data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Staph Sepsis Increases Mortality in Preterm Infants

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 1 percent of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants develop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, and the morbidity and mortality are similar to that seen in infants with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) infections, according to a study published online March 12 in Pediatrics.

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Hepatitis E Virus May Cause Acute Liver Dysfunction in HIV

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- For HIV-infected individuals, hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one cause of acute liver dysfunction, accounting for 4 percent of acute liver abnormalities, according to a study published in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Flu Vaccine Up Among Medical Staff When They Believe It Works

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital health care workers (HCWs) are more likely to receive the seasonal influenza vaccination if they believe it works and are committed to preventing this highly contagious virus, according to research published in the April issue of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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One in Four Tuberculosis Cases Due to Recent Transmission

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- About one in four cases of tuberculosis in the United States can be attributed to recent transmission, with groups such as men and persons born in the United States at higher risk, according to a study published in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Surrogates Tend to Misinterpret Poor Prognosis Information

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Surrogate decision makers for critically ill patients interpret prognostic statements expressing a low risk of death accurately, but interpret statements conveying poor prognosis optimistically, according to a study published in the March 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Buprenorphine Maintenance Therapy Not Recommended

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid substitution therapy with buprenorphine is not recommended for opioid-addicted health care professionals (HCPs), according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Financial Burden of Medical Care Affects One in Three

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- In the first half of 2011, one in three individuals was in a family that experienced the financial burden of medical care in the United States, according to the results of the National Health Interview Survey published March 7 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Double Gloving Prevents Exposure to Pathogens in OR

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Double gloving during surgery reduces the risk for transmission of bloodborne pathogens to medical personnel as well as minimizing the transfer of health care-associated infections to patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the AORN Journal.

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Electronic Test Result Access Does Not Reduce Test Ordering

TUESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- For office-based physicians, electronic access to patient imaging and laboratory test results does not decrease -- and may actually increase -- the number of diagnostic tests ordered, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Ultrasound IDs Post-Transplant Recurrent Hep C Cirrhosis

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound-based transient elastography (TE) provides diagnostic accuracy for detecting cirrhosis due to recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection following liver transplantation, according to a meta-analysis published in the March issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Fecal Transplant Feasible for Recurrent C. difficile Infection

FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI) can successfully be treated in the vast majority of patients through a fecal transplantation procedure via colonoscopy, according to research published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

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Hypoferremia Predicts Treatment Response to IFN-α

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepcidin, a regulator of iron homeostasis, is induced following a single dose of pegylated interferon-α (PEG-IFNα), and may be a surrogate marker of immediate efficacy of IFN-α, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Hepatology.

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