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Infections News

Antibacterial Agent May Not Be a Dirty Word After All: Study

Posted 9 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016 – Triclosan, an ingredient used in some antibacterial products and toothpaste, is a dirty word in certain circles. But triclosan might not cause the harms that some fear, new research suggests. "There are a lot of people who are fearful of triclosan, but we didn't find anything to support that concern in our study," said principal study investigator, Dr. Julie Parsonnet. The small study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, found triclosan doesn't dramatically alter the microbiome of the gut or the mouth, or significantly affect the endocrine system. In the early 1960s, triclosan was introduced in a wide range of cleaners and personal hygiene products. The chemical was so prevalent that by 2008 it was detected in 75 percent of human urine samples, the researchers said. More recently, chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, have ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Triclosan, Digiclean Slim-Line, Antiseptic Hand Soap, Sanygel, Bacti-Stat, Aquasept, Septisol, Cetaphil Antibacterial, Digiclean E, Aktif, Gel-X, Asept, Septi-Soft, Cadisept, Triclotrex-B

Cutting Brand-Name Drug Use Could Save U.S. $73 Billion: Study

Posted 18 days ago by

MONDAY, May 9, 2016 – Overuse of brand-name drugs may be part of the reason why the United States spends more on medication than any other country, a new study contends. Too many brand-name drugs also contribute to greater out-of-pocket expenses for American consumers, researchers said. "We wanted to see how much patients and society as a whole could save through the use of therapeutic substitution, in terms of both overall and out-of-pocket expenses on brand drugs, when a generic drug in the same class with the same indication was available," said lead investigator Dr. Michael Johansen. He is a family medicine physician with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus. What the researchers found was that Americans could save tens of billions of dollars with more efficient drug use. That means replacing brand-name drugs with their generic equivalents whenever possible. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Psychiatric Disorders, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Persistent Critical Illness May Keep Patients From Leaving ICU

Posted 5 May 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – A small group of patients uses one-third of intensive care unit resources, a new study contends. Researchers analyzed data from more than one million ICU patients in Australia and New Zealand, and found that just 5 percent of them accounted for 33 percent of all days that ICU beds got used. These are critically ill patients who go from one health crisis to another and may never get well enough to leave the ICU, according to the study authors. The findings could lead to better care and efforts to find ways to prevent patients from slipping into this situation, which the researchers called persistent critical illness. "We have found that this truly is a separate 'thing' – a state patients transition into where you're there because you're there, stuck in this cascade that we can't get you out of," said study leader Dr. Theodore Iwashyna. He is a University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Sepsis, Bacteremia, Septicemia, ICU Agitation, Wound Sepsis

Hepatitis C Now Leading Infectious Disease Killer in U.S.

Posted 4 May 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – The number of hepatitis C-linked deaths in the United States reached a record high in 2014, and the virus now kills more Americans than any other infectious disease, health officials report. There were 19,659 hepatitis C-related deaths in 2014, according to preliminary data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those tragically high numbers aren't necessary, one CDC expert said. "Why are so many Americans dying of this preventable, curable disease? Once hepatitis C testing and treatment are as routine as they are for high cholesterol and colon cancer, we will see people living the long, healthy lives they deserve," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin said in an agency news release. He directs the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. If not diagnosed and treated, people with hepatitis C are at increased risk for liver ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Hepatitis C, Infectious Hepatitis

Could Infant Colds, Other Infections Raise Type 1 Diabetes Risk?

Posted 3 May 2016 by

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – Colds and other infections in the first six months of life may boost the odds of a child developing type 1 diabetes by nearly 20 percent, new research suggests. The suspicion that infections play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes isn't new. Experts have long suspected that viral infections may trigger the disease. "This study really just bolsters the idea of early life events being crucial for the development of the immune system," said Jessica Dunne, director of discovery research for JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). JDRF provided some of the funding for the new study. "But the jury is still out," she added. And the study authors themselves noted that their study can't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It also isn't clear exactly how such infections might play a role in type 1 diabetes. "Various mechanisms have been ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Insulin, Influenza, Diabetes, Type 1, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Too Many People Still Take Unneeded Antibiotics: Study

Posted 3 May 2016 by

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – Nearly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States aren't appropriate for the conditions being treated, a new federal government study shows. "We were able to conclude that at least 30 percent of the antibiotics that are given in doctors' offices, emergency departments and hospital-based clinics are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotics were needed at all," said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra. Such misuse has helped fuel the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which infect 2 million Americans and kill 23,000 every year, said Fleming-Dutra, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotics are most misused in the treatment of short-term respiratory conditions, such as colds, bronchitis, sore throats, and sinus and ear infections, the researchers reported. "About half of ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Bacterial Infection, Cephalexin, Sinusitis, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis, Keflex, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Erythromycin, Cold Symptoms, Minocycline, Clarithromycin

Cities May Have Distinct Microbial 'Citizens,' Too

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – Every city has its own character, and new research suggests that could even extend to a municipality's microbial communities. Researchers analyzed microbes collected over one year from three offices in each of three places: Flagstaff, Ariz., San Diego and Toronto. Microbes are bacteria, viruses and fungi that are too small to see without a microscope. The Flagstaff offices had richer microbial communities than those in San Diego or Toronto, which were more similar. But, the reasons for those differences are unknown, according to the study published April 12 in the journal mSystems. The researchers also found that human skin is a major source of office microbes and that office floors have more microbes than walls or ceilings, likely due to materials carried in on workers' shoes. Study senior author J. Gregory Caporaso, assistant director of the Center for ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Skin Infection

Health Care Workers Skipped Hand Washing One-Third of the Time: Study

Posted 13 Apr 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 – Staff at many outpatient health care facilities in New Mexico failed to follow recommendations for hand hygiene more than one-third of the time, a new study found. Many also fell short on injection safety, putting patients at increased risk for infection, the study authors said. For the study, the researchers looked at 15 outpatient facilities. The investigators found 93 percent had U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outpatient infection control policies in place. Yet, staff at the facilities failed to follow proper hand hygiene 37 percent of the time, the study found. And safe injection procedures weren't followed one-third of the time, the research revealed. "This project highlights the importance of assessing both the report of recommended infection prevention policies and practices, as well as behavior compliance through observational ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

Scientists Create Bacteria in Lab With 'Minimal' Genes Needed for Life

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – Scientists are closer than ever to cracking the hidden code of life itself, having engineered a synthetic bacteria with a "minimum" number of genes needed to support its existence. The lab-created bacteria – called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0 – contains only 473 genes. That's fewer than any other healthy, replicating cell currently found in nature. By stripping an artificial cell down to the bare necessities, researchers hope to learn more about how life began on Earth and evolved over time, the study authors said. "We view life as DNA software-driven and we're showing that by trying to understand that software, we're going to get a better understanding of life," said senior author J. Craig Venter. He's a renowned genetics researcher and founder, chairman and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit genomics research group. However, the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation

Antibiotics Don't Boost Baby's Weight: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – Infants who receive antibiotics during the first six months of life don't seem to gain excess weight by the time they reach the age of 7, a new study suggests. Antibiotics are the most widely used prescription drugs in children, but little has been known about the long-term health effects in people. Meanwhile, animal studies have linked early exposure to antibiotics with increased body fat, the researchers said. The study included data on nearly 40,000 children in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. About 14 percent of the children were given antibiotics in the first six months of life. The average age children received antibiotics was just over four months, the study showed. The study also included 92 pairs of twins. One twin was given antibiotics in the first six months of life while the other didn't get the drugs. In both groups, there was no significant ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy

Location is Key to Help Hospital Hand Sanitizers Get Used

Posted 15 Mar 2016 by

TUESDAY, March 15, 2016 – The location of hand sanitizer dispensers in hospitals significantly affects how likely visitors are to use them, a new study finds. Researchers observed the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers by more than 6,600 visitors to Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. Use of the dispensers more than quintupled when they were placed in the middle of the lobby in front of the visitor entrance. The three-week study also found that hand sanitizer use was nearly 50 percent higher among children and young adults than older adults, and nearly 40 percent higher among people in groups than those who were alone. The findings appear in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. "Visitors represent an additional vector by which health care-associated diseases can be transmitted to patients, and thus visitor hand hygiene is an opportunity to further ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

Seniors Often Bring Drug-Resistant Germs to Rehab Centers

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Seniors transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility often bring dangerous germs with them, a new study suggests. The finding stems from an investigation that looked at resistant germ rates in the kind of post-hospital recovery centers that seniors often spend time in before returning home. "Hand hygiene is considered to be the most important strategy to prevent infections and spread of drug-resistant organisms," explained study lead author Dr. Lona Mody. She is associate division chief of geriatric and palliative care medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. The problem is that most of the current focus is placed on ensuring caregiver hand hygiene, not patient hand hygiene, noted Mody, who is also a professor of internal medicine. A focus on patient hand hygiene is going to be increasingly important, because "we are now ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

Diabetes May Raise Risk for Dangerous Staph Infection

Posted 11 Mar 2016 by

FRIDAY, March 11, 2016 – People with diabetes may be significantly more likely to develop potentially deadly "staph" blood infections than those without diabetes, a new study suggests. As the Danish researchers explained, Staphyloccus aureus bacteria live on the skin and are normally harmless. However, the germs can cause dangerous infections if they enter the bloodstream. In fact, the 30-day death rate from such infections is 20 percent to 30 percent, according to the research team from Aalborg University Hospital and Aarhus University Hospital. In their new study, the researchers tracked the medical records of 30,000 people in Denmark over 12 years. Overall, they found that people with any form of diabetes were almost three times more likely to acquire a staph blood infection outside of a hospital, compared to those without diabetes. The risk jumped to more than seven times higher ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Diabetes, Type 2, Diabetes, Type 1, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Diabetic Neuropathy, Diabetic Nerve Damage, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

Transplant From Incompatible Living Donor Boosts Kidney Patients' Survival

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – In what experts call a possible "paradigm shift," a new study shows kidney disease patients may live far longer if they receive a transplant from an incompatible living donor rather than wait for a good match. The findings could offer another choice for kidney patients who might otherwise die waiting for a compatible deceased donor. Specifically, experts said the results offer hope to "highly sensitized" transplant candidates. That refers to patients who have a large number of immune system antibodies ready to attack a donor organ. It's common among people who've had a prior kidney transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Patients who have had multiple blood transfusions while on dialysis, or who have been pregnant several times, can also become sensitized. Finding a compatible donor for sensitized patients is "nearly impossible," said ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Organ Transplant, Organ Transplant - Rejection Reversal, Rejection Prophylaxis, Rejection Reversal

CDC Says Hospitals Making Progress Against 'Superbugs'

Posted 3 Mar 2016 by

THURSDAY, March 3, 2016 – Although U.S. hospitals are making gains in the fight against some antibiotic-resistant superbugs, too many people are still getting these infections in health care facilities, federal health officials report. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to be at the forefront of the fight against these infections. "Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference Thursday. Study senior author Dr. Clifford McDonald, said, "We are seeing progress in several areas, but more needs to be done." McDonald is the associate director for science of the division of healthcare quality promotion at the CDC. More than 700,000 U.S. patients are infected by bacteria in hospitals, and 75,000 die from hospital-acquired infections each year, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy

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