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Tuberculosis Decline in U.S. Has Stalled, CDC Reports

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – Two decades of progress toward eliminating tuberculosis in the United States has stalled, with incidence of the lung disease holding steady from 2013 to 2015, a federal government report shows. "Resuming progress toward TB elimination in the United States will require intensification of efforts both in the U.S. and globally," said researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Tuberculosis Surveillance System. If not treated, TB can be fatal. The bacterial infection is spread through the air, when someone infected coughs, sneezes or speaks. However, it is not easily transmitted – you must be in close contact with someone who has TB for a long period of time, according to the American Lung Association. Overall, TB incidence leveled off at about three new cases per 100,000 people each year between 2013 and 2015, according to ... Read more

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Screen High-Risk Adults for Tuberculosis, Experts Say

Posted 8 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 – Adults at greater risk for latent tuberculosis infection should be screened for the condition, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends. "The task force recommends that primary care clinicians screen adults at increased risk for [latent TB] to help prevent the progression to active TB," panel member Dr. Francisco Garcia said in a task force news release. Garcia is director and chief medical officer of the Pima County Health Department in Tucson, Ariz. Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is an infection caused by bacteria. Anyone in close contact with someone with tuberculosis may be exposed to the bacteria. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the health panel. TB usually attack the lungs, but the bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. If it isn't treated properly, ... Read more

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New TB Test May Help Simplify Diagnosis

Posted 20 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 – A simple new blood test for tuberculosis may one day help improve diagnosis and treatment of the deadly disease in developing countries, researchers report. The inexpensive test identifies a gene expression "signature" that distinguishes people with active TB from those with either latent TB or other diseases, according to the research team from the Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif. The work is outlined in a paper published online Feb. 19 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. Each year, 9.6 million people worldwide are newly infected with TB, a bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs, and 1.5 million die from the difficult-to-diagnose disease, the researchers noted. "One-third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. Even if only 10 percent of them get active TB, that's still 3 percent of the world's ... Read more

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TB Cases Falling for Foreign-Born People in U.S.

Posted 10 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 – Tuberculosis cases among foreign-born people in the United States fell by one-fifth in recent years, and the reasons for the decline depend on people's country of origin, a new study suggests. Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection affecting the lungs and sometimes other organs. Overall, TB cases in the United States decreased over the past two decades, but TB cases among foreign-born people remained higher than in the general population, the study authors said. Between 2007 and 2011, there was a 19 percent drop in TB cases among all foreign-born people in the nation, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TB cases declined in people recently arriving from Mexico, China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam – the five countries that account for most of the foreign-born people with TB in the United States, the ... Read more

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Toxic Chemicals May Weaken Infants' Response to TB Vaccine

Posted 18 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 – Exposure to toxic chemicals while in the womb or in early life may weaken a baby's immune system response to the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, researchers say. The study focused on two common toxins: PCBs, an industrial chemical; and DDT, used in pesticides. These so-called "persistent" pollutants are not easily broken down and remain a health threat years after being banned. PCBs were banned in the United States in 1979. DDT is banned in the United States, but is still used in some countries to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes, the study authors, from the University of Rochester in New York, said in a university news release. The researchers analyzed blood samples and immune responses from 516 pairs of mothers and infants in an area of Slovakia heavily contaminated with environmental toxins. Each baby received the tuberculosis vaccine in their first four days ... Read more

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Assessing Health Issues of Child Refugees

Posted 29 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 27, 2015 – The main health problems of refugee children from Asia and Africa when they arrive in the United States are outlined in a new study. Based on screenings of more than 8,100 young refugees between 2006 and 2012, the top health concerns were hepatitis B, tuberculosis, parasitic worms, high blood lead levels and anemia, the study found. The refugees, all younger than 19, were from Bhutan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and Somalia. The screenings were conducted shortly after they arrived in Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Washington state. In general, these conditions were more common among children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia, and lower among those from Iraq, researchers said. Among refugees from Myanmar, those who came to the United States from Thailand had more diseases than those who came ... Read more

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Doctors Save Life of U.S. Child With Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Posted 16 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 15, 2015 – A 5-year-old child from the United States, stricken at age 2 with a deadly form of tuberculosis after traveling to India, is finally in remission, researchers report. The case, one of only a handful reported in the medical literature, highlights the difficulties of treating an extensively drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, known as XDR TB, in children, the researchers said. The case also highlights the growing global threat of this virulent form of TB and the risk to Americans traveling in countries where there is a high burden of disease. A detailed account of the child's diagnosis and treatment, and the obstacles that clinicians at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore faced, was published in the Nov. 16 online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Study co-author Dr. Sanjay Jain, an associate professor of pediatrics and international health at ... Read more

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Swiss Report Highlights Danger of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Posted 11 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – A new report on a patient in Switzerland who nearly died after catching a highly drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis illustrates exactly what public health officials around the world fear most. Although antibiotics have largely eradicated tuberculosis in the United States in recent decades, experts say evidence is mounting that the bacteria is becoming increasingly resistant to these medications. Details of the Swiss case are reported in the Nov. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by lead investigator Sebastien Gagneux, head of tuberculosis research with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute at the University of Basel, and colleagues. Normally, Gagneux said, tuberculosis patients are treated for six months with a daily drug "cocktail" comprised of four different first-line medications. The goal: to hem in tuberculosis (TB) while ... Read more

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E-Pillboxes Improve Medication Adherence, Study Finds

Posted 15 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2015 – Electronic reminders may help people with tuberculosis take their medication properly, a new study suggests. Tuberculosis (TB) patients are less likely to miss doses when they receive alerts from an electronic pillbox, researchers report in the Sept. 15 issue of PLOS Medicine. Electronic pillboxes use visual, audio and/or vibration cues to signal when it's time to take medication. TB is a bacterial infection that mainly strikes the lungs. The traditional method of ensuring medical adherence in TB patients is to watch people take their medicine, but the study authors said this isn't doable in remote areas such as rural China. "Innovative approaches to enable patients to adhere to TB treatment are needed. Widespread use of medication monitors in national TB control programs can benefit from the development of a low-cost and reliable medication monitor as well as ... Read more

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U.S. Health Officials Search for Those Exposed to Drug-Resistant TB

Posted 9 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 – U.S. health authorities are trying to find anyone who may have had contact with a woman who has been diagnosed with a highly drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. The woman flew from India to Chicago in April. She then traveled to Missouri and Tennessee before returning to Chicago, where she sought treatment at a hospital about seven weeks after arriving in the United States, The New York Times reported late Monday. At the hospital, the woman was diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). On Friday, she was transferred by special air and ground ambulances to a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) hospital in Bethesda, Md. The woman is in an isolation room and the hospital "is providing care and treatment for the patient in connection with an existing NIH clinical protocol for treating TB, including XDR forms," the NIH said. The U.S. ... Read more

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New Trial Tests Whether TB Shot Fights Type 1 Diabetes

Posted 9 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 9, 2015 – Researchers are launching a clinical trial to see if a vaccine approved long ago to prevent tuberculosis may also hold promise as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. The proposed five-year study is designed to investigate whether repeated injections of the tuberculosis vaccine bacille Calmette-Guerin (or BCG vaccine) can quiet the immune system attack that causes type 1 diabetes and improve blood sugar levels in people with long-standing diabetes. "BCG is showing so much promise in worldwide trials [for conditions such as multiple sclerosis]," said study author Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the immunobiology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. While some may hold out hope that BCG will reverse type 1 diabetes in people, findings from Faustman's earlier – albeit smaller – human trial suggest the effects are likely to be far more subtle. "The ... Read more

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18th Century Mummies Reveal How TB Spread Through Europe

Posted 8 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 – Naturally mummified bodies from an 18th century crypt in Hungary provide new insight into tuberculosis infections in Europe during that time, researchers say. The discovery could also help health officials fight future tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks, the scientists suggested. Analyses of samples taken from the bodies in the crypt in the Dominican church of Vac uncovered 14 TB genomes. The research suggests that some of the victims had several strains of TB, perhaps a common occurrence when the disease was at its peak in Europe, the researchers said. "Microbiological analyses of samples from contemporary TB patients usually report a single strain of tuberculosis per patient. By contrast, five of the eight bodies in our study yielded more than one type of tuberculosis – remarkably from one individual we obtained evidence of three distinct strains," study author ... Read more

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Decline in U.S. Tuberculosis Rates Slows: CDC

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 – As health officials in Kansas struggle with an outbreak of tuberculosis at a local high school, federal officials reported Thursday that the annual decline in U.S. cases is slowing. In 2014, there were slightly more than 9,400 TB cases in the United States, a rate of three cases per 100,000 people. That's about 2 percent lower than the TB rate in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, "This decline in the rate of TB was the smallest decrease in more than a decade and suggests the need for ongoing evaluation of TB elimination strategies overall and within high-risk populations," the CDC researchers wrote. According to the CDC, tuberculosis is more common in certain groups, particularly foreign-born people, who have a TB rate 13 times higher than those born in the United States. Compared to whites, the TB rate ... Read more

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Sanofi Receives FDA Approval of Priftin (rifapentine) for Latent Tuberculosis Infection

Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

Bridgewater, NJ – December 2, 2014 / PR Newswire / — Sanofi announced today that following a priority review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Priftin (rifapentine) in combination with isoniazid (INH) for a new indication for the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in patients two years of age and older at high risk of progression to tuberculosis (TB) disease. Priftin is an antimycobacterial that has been approved since 1998, in combination with one or more antituberculosis drugs, for the treatment of active pulmonary TB caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A person with LTBI is infected with the bacteria that cause TB, but does not feel sick, have symptoms, and cannot spread the bacteria to others. More than 11 million people living in the United States have LTBI, and about five to 10 percent of those – up to more than 1 million people – will develop TB ... Read more

Related support groups: Tuberculosis - Latent, Tuberculosis - Active, Rifapentine, Priftin

Smokers Twice As Likely to Get TB

Posted 12 Jan 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 24 – Smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop active tuberculosis (TB), a new study shows. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 17,000 people who took part in Taiwan's 2001 National Health Interview Survey. They found that current smokers had a 2.73 times higher risk of active TB than nonsmokers, while the risk for people who had smoked at some point in their lives was 2.69 times greater. After adjusting for other potential factors, the researchers determined that current smokers were two times more likely to develop active TB than nonsmokers. They also found that younger smokers were more likely than smokers over age 65 to develop active TB, compared to nonsmokers. The study appears in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. "The small number of TB cases in this study prevented us from examining the age-gradient of ... Read more

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