ASCLS eNewsBytes
Dec. 18, 2012

Drug used to treat HIV might defuse deadly staph infections
Infection Control Today
A new study by NYU School of Medicine researchers suggests that an existing HIV drug called maraviroc could be a potential therapy for Staphylococcus aureus, a pathogen linked to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year. The discovery arose from a serendipitous finding that was a part of a collaborative study between an assistant professor of microbiology, a bacteriologist, and an associate professor of microbiology and pathology and medicine, whose laboratories are adjacent to each other.More

Drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae rises across the US
Medscape Medical News
Klebsiella pneumoniae drug resistance has significantly increased since 1998 for all antimicrobial agents except for tetracycline, according to a study published online recently and in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers analyzed U.S. inpatient data from the Surveillance Network database, a national repository of antimicrobial susceptibility results from about 200 institutions, for the years 1998 through 2010. They found a total of more than 3.1 million Klebsiella pneumoniae susceptibility results. More

Global malaria battle stalls as financing gets tight
Global funding for the fight against malaria has stalled in the past two years, threatening to reverse what the World Health Organization says are "remarkable recent gains" in the battle to control one of the world's leading infectious killers. After rapid expansion between 2004 and 2009, funding for malaria prevention and control leveled off between 2010 and 2012 — meaning there were fewer life-saving steps taken in hard-hit malarial regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.More

VA under scrutiny after Legionnaires' cases in Pittsburgh
VideoBrief Twenty-nine patients at the Veterans Administration hospital in Pittsburgh have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since January 2011, raising questions about the institution's safety practices. Five of the cases "are known to have acquired the disease from the hospital," the VA said. Another eight were infected elsewhere, and the source of the infection in 16 cases cannot been determined.More

Capturing cancer cells with rough surfaces
Chemical & Engineering News
Tumors often shed malignant cells that then travel through a person's bloodstream. Because these cells can seed metastases, cancer researchers want ways of detecting these circulating tumor cells to understand and prevent cancer progression. In a new study, researchers report a cheap method for capturing these cells using just a rough glass slide.More

German researchers create 'smart' test tube
Dark Daily
Researchers in Germany may be on the way to solving the problem with their invention of "smart" test tubes. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering in Saarland developed a test tube that interacts with a central control network, according to a press release. Their primary goal is to enable specimen data to be processed automatically, particularly with regard to documentation.More

Frequent Internet use linked with positive outlook on cancer prevention, diagnosis
Individuals who frequently use the Internet to find health information have a more positive outlook on cancer prevention and diagnosis than those who rarely seek such information online, according to a study published in the Journal of Communication, PhysBizTech reports. According to researchers, Internet use reduced cancer fatalism to a greater extent among individuals with less education and less health knowledge than among people with more education and more health knowledge. More

More physicians on track to get flu shots
American Medical News
Physicians are close to achieving ambitious national objectives set for them for flu vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Healthy People 2020 target is a 90 percent vaccination rate for health professionals. The findings come as the CDC is urging healthcare workers to prepare for what could be a more severe influenza season than usual.More

A breakthrough against leukemia using altered T-cells
The New York Times
When Emma Whitehead was near death from leukemia, her parents sought an experimental treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It was one that had never before been tried in a child, or in anyone with the type of leukemia Emma, then 6, had. The experiment used a disabled form of HIV to reprogram Emma's immune system genetically to kill cancer cells. More

Hard-to-treat Myc-driven cancers may be susceptible to drug already used in clinic
Medical News Today
Drugs that are used in the clinic to treat some forms of breast and kidney cancer and that work by inhibiting the signaling molecule mTORC1 might have utility in treating some of the more than 15 percent of human cancers driven by alterations in the Myc gene, according to data from a preclinical study.More

Georgia researchers find algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate
University of Georgia via Science Codex
Long ago, when life on Earth was in its infancy, a group of small single-celled algae propelled themselves through the vast prehistoric ocean by beating whip-like tails called flagella. It's a relatively unremarkable tale, except that now, more than 800 million years later, these organisms have evolved into parasites that threaten human health and their algal past in the ocean may be the key to stopping them. More

Battle wound foam secures Pentagon funding
Researchers working on a foam designed to limit internal bleeding of soldiers injured on the battlefield have received $15.5 million from the U.S. military to continue their work. The foam is formed by two liquids, injected into the body, which mix, expand and harden to create an internal dressing. More