Health Security Digest


    Persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in beef cattle backgrounding environment over two years after cessation of operation

    15 February 2019 - Plos One

    Via CIDRAP

    Getahun E. Agga et al.,

    Confined animal feeding operations can facilitate the spread of genes associated with antibiotic resistance. It is not known how cattle removal from beef cattle backgrounding operation affects the persistence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment. We investigated the effect of cessation of beef cattle backgrounding operation on the persistence and distribution of ARGs in the beef cattle backgrounding environment.

  • OIE

    New report shows global shift in use of antibiotics in animals

    14 February 2019 - OIE

    Figures released in a new report today by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) show positive global progress on the regulation and monitoring of antimicrobial use in animals. The report aims to build the capacity of all countries to collect critical data on the use of antimicrobials in animals.  

  • SGS is conducting its first malaria human challenge trial

    14 February 2019 - Outsourcing-Pharma

    Melissa Fassbender

    The malaria volunteer infection study begins this month and is being conducted at SGS’ 200-bed unit in Belgium. The contract research organization (CRO) is conducting the trial on behalf of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a not-for-profit public-private partnership. The experimental compound – a potential long-acting injectable chemoprotective drug – will be tested for its ability to kill malaria parasites in the liver before they reach the bloodstream.

  • News Asia & Pacific

    Vietnam rolls out plan to prevent, ontrol bird flu for 2019-2025

    14 February 2019 - Xinhuanet

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has unveiled a national plan on bird flu prevention and control for the 2019-2025 period, Vietnam News Agency reported on Thursday. The plan seeks to prevent and control bird flu outbreaks and help form disease-free poultry farming zones and chains, thus minimizing the disease's impact on Vietnam's public health, food safety, and trading activities.

  • The star

    Health Ministry: No approval for products claiming to cure dengue, Zika

    13 February 2019 - The Star

    Loh Foon Fong

    The Drug Control Authority (DCA) has never approved any herbal products that claim to cure or prevent dengue, Zika or Chikungunya, says the Health Ministry. Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the ministry had received complaints about herbal products advertised on social media that claimed to be able to cure as well as prevent dengue fever.

  • Infectious diseases outbreak increasing threat to global public health: Speakers

    12 February 2019 - The Nation

    Infectious diseases outbreak are an increasing threat to global public health, while the strengthened public laboratory sector plays a key role in managing health security, speakers said on Monday.  

  • EurekAlert!

    Investing in antibiotics critical to saving lives during pandemic influenza outbreaks

    12 February 2019 - Eurek Alert

    Via CIDRAP

    There have been roughly three global pandemic influenza outbreaks each century for the past four hundred years, each of which have resulted in larger numbers of infections and deaths. Secondary bacterial infections have been responsible for a significant proportion of deaths in previous pandemics. Pandemic preparedness plans call for maintaining stocks of antivirals, antibiotics, and vaccines; however, the value of stockpiling or conserving the effectiveness of antibiotics remains unexplored despite the high morbidity of secondary bacterial infections and the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics due to the emerging public health threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

  • Healthcare co-payment plan opposed

    12 February 2019 - Bangkok Post

    Four major political parties have voiced disagreement over a co-payment proposal while stressing the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UC) scheme would be improved to ensure efficiency in and equal access to healthcare. 

  • Gen bio

    Studying Malaria Transcriptomics Directly from Patients

    11 February 2019 - GEN

    A critical barrier to advancing malaria research has always been the difficulty in culturing the parasite in vitro. Thankfully, in the 1970s, researchers made some critical discoveries that allowed them to continually culture the most pathogenic strain of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, allowing for crucial discoveries that have helped prevent millions of new infections. However, difficulties remain as scientists have been unable to culture the most widespread malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax.


    Rational design of a live-attenuated eastern equine encephalitis virus vaccine through informed mutation of virulence determinants

    11 February 2019 - PLOS Pathogens

    Derek W. Trobaugh et al.,

    Live attenuated vaccines (LAVs), if sufficiently safe, provide the most potent and durable anti-pathogen responses in vaccinees with single immunizations commonly yielding lifelong immunity. Here, we have used a rational approach to attenuation of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus. Four virulence loci in the EEEV genome were identified and were mutated individually and in combination to abrogate virulence and to resist reversion. All viruses containing three or more mutations were avirulent after intracerebral infection of mice, indicating a very high degree of attenuation. These results suggest that informed mutation of virulence determinants is a productive strategy for production of LAVs even with highly virulent viruses such as EEEV.


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