Archive for February 28th, 2012

Antivirals for Treatment of Influenza: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

Meta-analyses of the few studies providing effects with adjustment for confounders suggest that in high-risk populations, oral oseltamivir may reduce mortality (odds ratio, 0.23 [95% CI, 0.13 to 0.43]; low-quality evidence), hospitalization (odds ratio, 0.75 [CI, 0.66 to 0.89]; low-quality evidence), and duration of symptoms (33 hours [CI, 21 to 45 hours]; very low–quality evidence) compared with no treatment. Earlier treatment with oseltamivir was generally associated with better outcomes. Inhaled zanamivir may lead to shorter symptom duration (23 hours [CI, 17 to 28 hours]; moderate-quality evidence) and fewer hospitalizations (odds ratio, 0.66 [CI, 0.37 to 1.18]) but more complications than no treatment. Direct comparison of oral oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir suggests no important differences in key outcomes. Data from 1 study suggests that oral amantadine may reduce mortality and pneumonia associated with influenza A. No included study evaluated rimantadine.   Image courtesy of Russell Kightley Media
Via www.annals.org

allAfrica.com: South Africa: New Reports Chart Progress – and Costs – in HIV Fight

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

Although in its sixth year of publication, this year’s barometer is the first to include data on early infant HIV testing for babies born to HIV-positive mothers and shows that about half of all babies born to HIV-positive mothers are now being tested for the virus at six weeks of age, an important step to ensuring they access the early HIV treatment recommended for all children younger than one under national guidelines. In 2009, only about a quarter of such babies were being tested using the sensitive polymerase chain reaction – tests that confirm whether HIV-exposed infants are HIV-positive. The report also found that almost all pregnant women are now tested for HIV, which has helped lower mother-to-child HIV transmission to below 4 percent in the country.
Via allafrica.com

Mmegi Online :: Facebook is the new front in HIV/AIDS war

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News
FRANCISTOWN: Poor knowledge about HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases among young people has compelled a Gaborone-based youth to create a group on the popular social network, Facebook, to enlighten his peers about the scourge.   Ex Africa, semper aliquid novi.  Or a Facebook page, in this case.
Via www.mmegi.bw

Flu Virus Discovered In Bats

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

Scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discovered evidence of a new influenza type A virus in Guatemalan fruit bats.   “…for reassortment to occur, the bat flu virus would have to be capable of infecting a different animal, such as a pig, horse or dog, at the same time as a human flu virus. So far, the bat flu virus has only been found in little yellow-shouldered bats. These fruit bats are not native to the US, but quite common in Central and South America. The bats don’t bite people, but it is feasible they could shed the virus onto foods like fruit and vegetables that are then eaten by humans and other animals.”   And if you watched “Contagion”, you will rmember the bulldozer knocking down the tree, which disturbed the bat, which roosted in a pigpen, where pigs ate the faeces, and – recombination occurred!
Via www.medicalnewstoday.com

HIV epidemic “driven by colonialism in Africa” a century ago

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It, attempts to pinpoint the birth and early life of HIV and AIDS.   Considering a wealth of evidence, the authors suggest that the European Scramble for Africa during the late 19th and early 20th century helped turn localised outbreaks of the infection into a global epidemic.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2107605/HIV-epidemic-driven-colonialism-Africa-century-ago.html#ixzz1nhlAqwEM
Via www.dailymail.co.uk

Weaponising bird flu? We don’t need to weaponise no bird flu….

28 February, 2012

Via Scoop.itVirology News

My family and I just watched “Contagion” on pay TV – and were most impressed.  Reasonably true to life, all sorts of realistic scenarios, Ian Lipkin appearing as an extra – and one wonderful quote:   “Someone doesn’t have to weaponise the bird flu. The birds are doing that”. Contagion is only a movie – but that’s so true.   Oh, and an uncredited appearance by Darren Martin’s wonderful recombination analysis package, RDP 2.0 – at 1hr 15 min from the end.