ASCLS eNewsBytes
Aug. 6, 2013

New study paves way for novel approaches to protect people from infections
University of Utah via
A new study published by University of Utah researchers is paving the way for novel approaches related to how people are immunized to protect them from diseases. Utah researchers Luke R. Donius, Jennifer M. Handy, Janis J. Weis and John H. Weis released the findings of their study recently in The Journal of Immunology. The study, formally titled, "Optimal Germinal Center B Cell Activation and T-Dependent Antibody Responses Require Expression of the Mouse Complement Receptor Cr1" used a mouse model system to examine receptors on a select set of cells that centralize antigens in sites of high immune activity, which are substances that cause a person's immune system to produce antibodies.More

Researchers examine HCW ring wearing and potential for
HAI transmission

Infection Control Today
Tens of thousands of healthcare workers worldwide can only wear a plain wedding ring at work, if any at all. This arose from policies citing early laboratory evidence that rings can carry clinically relevant bacteria, but with little supporting clinical data. A 2013 study by Dyar, et al. says that policies that are both invasive and perceived as lacking evidence create a broader skepticism of infection control guidelines; it is therefore important to regularly review the evidence for such guidance.More

New type of protein modification may play a role in cancer and diabetes
The Scripps Research Institute via ScienceDaily
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a new type of chemical modification that affects numerous proteins within mammalian cells. The modification appears to work as a regulator of important cellular processes, including the metabolism of glucose. Further study of this modification could provide insights into the causes of diabetes, cancer and other disorders.More

Researchers witness new type of cell division, use it to battle cancer
Medical Xpress
The surprise discovery in humans of a type of human cell division previously seen only in slime molds has put a University of Wisconsin research team on a path to prevent some common and deadly cancers. While on their way to finding a means to attack certain types of cancers, the researchers made the first observations of cytofission in humans, a type of cell division that occurs at a different time than normal division.More

Cyclospora outbreak: FDA seeks possible link to 200 more cases
Despite recently naming a source of a salad mix that was tainted with the cyclospora virus, the Food and Drug Administration is busy playing a game of connect the dots to see if other cases of greens may be linked to the outbreak. The FDA said Aug. 1 that the prepackaged salad that sickened more than 300 people in Iowa and Nebraska came from Taylor Farms in Mexico and was served at both Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. That cyclospora outbreak sent 22 people to the hospital with intestinal infections, and now officials want to know if it's linked to 200 more cases in 14 other states.More

Clinical decision support tool reduces tests, antibiotic use
Medscape Medical News
Providers who used an integrated clinical decision support tool for the management of patients with respiratory tract infections were less likely to prescribe antibiotics or order point-of-care testing when compared with providers not using the tool. Results of the randomized controlled trial were published online July 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Thomas G. McGinn, MD, MPH, from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Manhasset, N.Y., and colleagues evaluated the use of clinical prediction rules among 168 primary care providers within two large urban practices between November 1, 2010, and October 31, 2011.More

As climate, disease links become clearer, study highlights need to forecast future shifts
University of Georgia via
Climate change is affecting the spread of infectious diseases worldwide, according to an international team of leading disease ecologists, with serious impacts to human health and biodiversity conservation. Writing in the journal Science, they propose that modeling the way disease systems respond to climate variables could help public health officials and environmental managers predict and mitigate the spread of lethal diseases. The issue of climate change and disease has provoked intense debate over the past decade, particularly in the case of diseases that affect humans, according to the University of Georgia's Sonia Altizer, who is the study's lead author.More

New cancer biomarker tests stunted by 'vicious cycle'
Medscape Medical News
Cancer biomarker test development and adoption has "lagged far behind" recent advances in cancer therapies, according to a commentary published in the July 31 issue of Science Translational Medicine. "Despite prodigious advances in tumor biology research, few tumor biomarker tests have been adopted as standard clinical practice," write the authors, a blue ribbon panel of representatives from industry, academia, and professional organizations led by Daniel Hayes, MD, clinical director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.More

New model for staph bone infections outlined
Vanderbilt University Medical Center via ScienceDaily
Osteomyelitis, a debilitating bone infection most frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, is particularly challenging to treat. Now, Vanderbilt microbiologist Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, and colleagues have identified a staph-killing compound that may be an effective treatment for osteomyelitis, and they have developed a new mouse model that will be useful for testing this compound and for generating additional therapeutic strategies. James Cassat, M.D., Ph.D., a fellow in Pediatric Infectious Diseases who is interested in improving treatments for children with bone infections, led the mouse model studies.More

Teens missing recommended vaccines
Infection Control Today
Healthcare providers are missing opportunities to improve teens' vaccination coverage, reports a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Recommendations for routine vaccination of meningococcal, tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis and human papillomavirus in adolescents are fairly new and many parents may be unaware of the need for adolescent vaccines. "Our study found that when adolescents who are vaccine-eligible come to their health care provider for preventive visits, there are missed opportunities for vaccination. Adolescents who come in for non-preventive visits have even greater missed opportunities," says Rachel A. Katzenellenbogen, MD, lead author, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital.More

NCI panel: Stop calling low-risk lesions 'cancer'
Medscape Medical News
The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute. Perhaps most dramatically, the group says that a number of premalignant conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, should no longer be called "cancer."More

WHO recommends earlier treatment for HIV
Infectious Disease Special Edition
The World Health Organization has released updated guidelines on the use of anti-retroviral therapy for the treatment and prevention of HIV. The biggest change is that the WHO now recommends starting ART at the CD4 threshold of 500 cells/mm cubed or less in all adults, adolescents and older children. This update is part of what the authors called "a consistent global trend towards expanding access and the earlier initiation of treatment." According to a press release from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, about 25.9 million people will now be eligible for ART — 9.2 million more than the 2010 guidelines that recommended treatment at a CD4 count of 350 cells/mm cubed or less.More

New study paves way for novel approaches to protect people from infections
University of Utah via
A new study published by University of Utah researchers is paving the way for novel approaches related to how people are immunized to protect them from diseases. Utah researchers Luke R. Donius, Jennifer M. Handy, Janis J. Weis and John H. Weis released the findings of their study recently in The Journal of Immunology.More

Banned for life: Why gay men still can't donate blood
Men's Health via Today
Even with a clean bill of health, a gay man is considered more of a threat to the blood supply than a straight man who was treated for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, venereal warts, and genital herpes within the past year. That's because gay men, the Food and Drug Administration argues, are at "increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections" like AIDS and hepatitis B.More

Women's height linked with cancer
USA Today
Taller women are at higher risk of developing cancer, but that doesn't mean taller women need more mammograms or that shorter women should skip screening tests, a new study says. Some genetic variations involving height have been linked to cancer risk, the study authors say. Tall people also have more cells and larger organs, increasing chances of mutations.More

10 tips for reducing the risk of employment-related litigation
By D. Albert Brannen
This article offers tips for minimizing or avoiding employment-related liability. These tips apply even to employers who may not have enough employees to be covered by the major federal employment laws such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act.More