HIV/tuberculosis co-infection: Tunneling towards better diagnosis
An international team led by researchers at the CNRS and Inserm have revealed that in the presence of tuberculosis, HIV-1 moves from one cell to the next via nanotubes which form between macrophages, drastically increasing the percentage of infected cells. In a case of severe TB, the development of nanotubes between macrophages accelerates, increasing the spread of the AIDS virus and viral production as a result. Because the presence of this specific type of macrophage can be measured, diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from both illnesses could be made easier. This research paves the way to new therapeutic approaches aimed at limiting viral load increases in tuberculosis patients.
Opinion: India aspiring malaria-free status: the long and short of it
Dr Vas Dev
Malaria elimination is a buzz word and, given the present-day intervention tools, it has become reality. The world malarial map is shrinking with many countries having acquired malaria-free status. Among these, in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Maldives (2015) and Sri Lanka (2016) have been certified to be malaria free and Bhutan is fast approaching towards elimination in the foreseeable future. However, the road ahead to elimination is fraught with many bottlenecks. So much so that WHO has listed India among 11 ‘high burden to high impact’ countries for contributing 4% of the global malaria burden.
Widely used malaria treatment to prevent malaria in pregnant women
A global team of researchers, led by a research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), are calling for a review of drug-based strategies used to prevent malaria infections in pregnant women, in areas where there is widespread resistance to existing antimalarial medicines. Professor Feiko ter Kuile, an expert in malaria in pregnancy, recently worked with a multi-disciplinary team including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and Duke University to complete the most comprehensive study to date of the impact of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) drug resistance on the effectiveness of intermittent preventative treatment (IPTp).
Building tuberculosis awareness in low-risk countries
On a global scale, the impact of tuberculosis in Australia is small — the country holds just over 1,400 of the 10 million people affected annually. But experts believe that this lack of exposure to TB among Australians — including medical practitioners — is reducing TB awareness among the community. And this is playing an important role in limiting the advocacy to pressure governments into greater action.
Effects of dengue immunity on Zika virus infection
Stephen S. Whitehead et al.,
Zika virus (ZIKV) was discovered in Africa in 1947. Its impact on public health seemed restricted to sporadic local outbreaks associated with an illness characterized by mild fever. But in 2013–14, ZIKV was introduced into the Americas, where it spread quickly. The large number of infections that occurred during the resulting epidemic revealed a previously unappreciated link between ZIKV infection of pregnant women and a devastating congenital neurodevelopmental disease in their babies. The analysis of well-characterized study populations in areas where these diseases are endemic, using innovative serological methods, holds great promise for identifying elements of the immune response and mechanisms of disease that will guide the development of countermeasures.
Four countries report avian flu outbreaks in poultry
In the latest avian flu developments in poultry, China reported a highly pathogenic H7N9 outbreak in zoo birds, Nepal reported three more highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks, Iraq reported an event involving highly pathogenic H5N8, and Cambodia reported three outbreaks involving low-pathogenic H7N4.
DOH fights dengue in Calabarzon areas
The Department of Health in Calabarzon has intensified its anti-dengue campaign to bring down the cases of the disease in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon. DOH Calabarzon regional director Eduardo Janairo said local government units are monitoring the increase in dengue cases, adding that all logistics are in place should there be an outbreak.
Opinion: The UN’s Political Declaration on the fight against Tuberculosis must be operationalized to rapid effect
Given the Political Declaration on the Fight against TB that was subsequently endorsed, and which sets a series of interim targets crucial to ending TB by or before 2030, that truth is especially significant. There is not a moment to lose in recognizing and acting on it. In fulfilling the Declaration’s targets, the WHO South-East Asia Region will do much of the heavy lifting. Not only does the Region account for almost half of the 10 million people who contract TB every year; it also makes up more than 50% of the 1.27 million TB deaths which, when TB-HIV mortality is accounted for, is estimated to be 1.6 million annually.
Opinion: Ending tuberculosis: we can get there with a new roadmap
Robert W. Eisinger and Anthony S. Fauci
Two recent events have nudged tuberculosis, the leading infectious cause of death around the word, onto the world stage. The first was the World Health Organization’s Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB, which was held in Moscow in 2017. The second was the United Nations High Level Meeting on tuberculosis in September 2018. At that seminal gathering of national leaders, a political declaration laid out two goals to achieve by 2022: prevent at least 30 million people from becoming ill with TB, and successfully treating 40 million people who are already infected with the disease.
TB threat a risk to our wellbeing
According to the Angau Memorial General Hospital’s 2017 Annual Report, the TB DOTS Clinic in 2014 attended to a total of 6978 TB patients, then 6805 patients in 2015. In 2016 the clinic attended to a total of 8892 which increased to 10,945 in 2017. And PNG is recognised by the World Health Organisation as having a ‘high TB burden’.That is definitely a health security issue for PNG to deal with.