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Daytime television host Katie Couric courted controversy where it does not exist, yesterday. She featured Emily Tarsell a woman who said the HPV vaccine Gardasil is responsible for her her daughter’s death. Remaining guests, including medical doctors, discussed their support and opposition to the HPV vaccine. Couric builds ‘controversy’ by rising fear of vaccines based on non or … Continue reading →
By PLoS Medicine Blog
Peter Hotez and Kristy Murray from Baylor College of Medicine highlight the potential for yellow fever to return to the southern cities of the United States Endemic regions of yellow fever in Africa (Image Credit: CDC) In the summer-fall of 1878 an epidemic of yellow fever destroyed the city of Memphis, Tennessee. Likely introduced into the Caribbean by trade from the West Coast of Africa and later brought up the Mississippi River by a steamer ship (the Emily B. Souder) with sick and dying sailors, yellow fever killed an estimated 5,000 Memphis residents, almost one-third of its population who did not flee the city that August . According to Molly Caldwell Crosby in her detailed account, the summer-fall 1878 yellow fever epidemic in the Mississippi Valley was possibly “the worst urban disaster in American history” . Among the factors responsible for the 1878 tragedy were an unusually warm winter and spring that year, which helped Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to flourish in the Mississippi Valley, together with a lack of adequate urban drainage and a functioning sewer system, and a susceptible (non-immunized) population – the yellow fever vaccine would not be developed for another 50 years. Today, the world’s yellow fever-endemic areas are restricted to Sub-Saharan Africa (figure image) and tropical regions of South America, but there are a few red flags suggesting the possibility that the “yellow jack” (a historical term used to once describe yellow fever) could return to the US. The Ae. aegypti mosquito can now be found in many areas of the southern United States. This is an area where US poverty rates are at their highest, along with its fellow travelers poor urban housing and neglected foci of standing water
By PLoS Medicine Blog
The following new articles are publishing this week in PLOS NTDs: Hester J, Chan ER, Menard D, Mercereau-Puijalon O, Barnwell J, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(12): e2569. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002569 P.
But Shanchol may be weaker than it seems as it was tested on people who may already have resistance, says expert.
By International Health Policies
Stephanie M. Topp Research Associate and Health Systems Advisor, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As part of the current cohort of Emerging Voices (in residence in Cape Town preparing for the upcoming ICASA conference) those of us in the Health Systems track have been engaging in a lively debate around post-2015 HIV financing and policy options. As we approach the MDG target date and move towards the post-MDG era, many questions are being posed about the threats to, and opportunities for, disease-specific programs. Front and centre in this debate is the future of financing and technical support to maintain and continue scaling up HIV prevention, care and treatment services in high-burden countries, and how these HIV-specific needs will be influenced by the gathering momentum to invest in Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In 2012, following the AIDS conference in Washington, human rights lawyer and global health researcher Gorik Ooms described what he saw as a conscious distancing of AIDS practitioners and activists from the UHC agenda. He noted that this trend appeared to be linked to AIDS activists’ concern over the weak articulation of the need for continued global financing by the UHC movement.
By Suchita Shah
The dry New Mexico wind whips up a dust cloud in the distance. Alone on a highway that stretches for miles through expanses of arid desert soil, I am travelling to visit Donald Chee, a public health community liaison at Diné College, the first Indian*-owned college in the USA. “Diné,” in Navajo, means “The People,” […]
By International Health Policies
Dear Colleagues, This week we go for a short newsletter as we’re in Cape Town for the 2013 EV venture. All apologies. Also, we just learnt that Nelson Mandela passed away, after a long struggle. Even the best of us die someday, sadly. In fact, at this very moment, people are singing outside, remembering the man who meant so much for this country.
By Malaria Journal
Background: Malaria treatment efforts are hindered by the rapid emergence and spread of drug resistant parasites. Simple assays to monitor parasite drug response in direct patient samples (ex vivo) can detect drug resistance before it becomes clinically apparent, and can inform changes in treatment policy to prevent the spread of resistance. Methods: Parasite drug responses to amodiaquine, artemisinin, chloroquine and mefloquine were tested in approximately 400 Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections in Thies, Senegal between 2008 and 2011 using a DAPI-based ex vivo drug resistance assay. Drug resistance-associated mutations were also genotyped in pfcrt and pfmdr1. Results: Parasite drug responses changed between 2008 and 2011, as parasites became less sensitive to amodiaquine, artemisinin and chloroquine over time.
By Malaria Journal
Background: A series of elegant experiments was recently published which demonstrated that transmission of malaria parasites through mosquitoes elicited an attenuated growth phenotype, whereby infections grew more slowly and reached peak parasitaemia at least five-fold lower than parasites which had not been mosquito transmitted. To assess the implications of these results it is essential to understand whether the attenuated infection phenotype is a general phenomenon across parasites genotypes and conditions. Methods: Using previously published data, the impact of mosquito transmission on parasite growth rates and virulence of six Plasmodium chabaudi lines was analysed. Results: The effect of mosquito transmission varied among strains, but did not lead to pronounced or consistent reductions in parasite growth rate. Conclusions: Mosquito-induced attenuated growth phenotype is sensitive to experimental conditions.
by Delphin Mavinga Phanzu, Patrick Suykerbuyk, Paul Saunderson, Philippe Ngwala Lukanu, Jean-Bedel Masamba Minuku, Désiré Bofunga B. Imposo, Blanchard Mbadu Diengidi, Makanzu Kayinua, Jean-Jacques Tamfum Muyembe, Pascal Tshindele Lutumba, Bouke C. de Jong, Françoise Portaels, Marleen Boelaert Background Cutaneous infection by Mycobacterium ulcerans, also known as Buruli ulcer (BU), represents the third most common mycobacterial disease in the world after tuberculosis and leprosy. Data on the burden of BU disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo are scanty. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence rate and the distribution of BU in the Songololo Territory, and to assess the coverage of the existing hospital-based reporting system.
by Thaddeus T. Gbem, Mario Waespy, Bettina Hesse, Frank Dietz, Joel Smith, Gloria D. Chechet, Jonathan A. Nok, Sørge Kelm Trans-sialidases are key enzymes in the life cycle of African trypanosomes in both, mammalian host and insect vector and have been associated with the disease trypanosomiasis, namely sleeping sickness and nagana. Besides the previously reported TconTS1, we have identified three additional active trans-sialidases, TconTS2, TconTS3 and TconTS4, and three trans-sialidase like genes in Trypanosoma congolense.
by Brian K. Chu, Michael Deming, Nana-Kwadwo Biritwum, Windtaré R. Bougma, Améyo M. Dorkenoo, Maged El-Setouhy, Peter U. Fischer, Katherine Gass, Manuel Gonzalez de Peña, Leda Mercado-Hernandez, Dominique Kyelem, Patrick J.
by Sanchita Das, Priyanka Shah, Rajendra K. Baharia, Rati Tandon, Prashant Khare, Shyam Sundar, Amogh A. Sahasrabuddhe, M. I. Siddiqi, Anuradha Dube Background Sodium antimony gluconate (SAG) unresponsiveness of Leishmania donovani (Ld) had effectively compromised the chemotherapeutic potential of SAG
by Paulo Victor Pereira Baio, Juliana Nunes Ramos, Louisy Sanches dos Santos, Morgana Fonseca Soriano, Elisa Martins Ladeira, Mônica Cristina Souza, Thereza Cristina Ferreira Camello, Marcio Garcia Ribeiro, Raphael Hirata Junior, Verônica Viana Vieira, Ana Luíza Mattos-Guaraldi Background Nocardia sp. causes a variety of clinical presentations. The incidence of nocardiosis varies geographically according to several factors, such as the prevalence of HIV infections, transplants, neoplastic and rheumatic diseases, as well as climate, socio-economic conditions and laboratory procedures for Nocardia detection and identification. In Brazil the paucity of clinical reports of Nocardia infections suggests that this genus may be underestimated as a cause of human diseases and/or either neglected or misidentified in laboratory specimens.