The Handoff: Your Week in Infectious Disease News – 1/27/17

As infectious diseases evolve, it can be challenging to stay current with the latest research. The Handoff is a weekly roundup of the most important news and updates covering the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Keep your finger on the pulse of infectious diseases with The Handoff.

–The Bay Area Lyme Foundation has launched the Lyme Disease Biobank, providing researchers with blood and urine samples from patients across the country with acute Lyme disease.

–Is a universal flu shot on the horizon? Could be: in the last few years, researchers have pursued multiple approaches, including nanoparticle display, aimed at developing a long-lasting influenza vaccine.

–Sam F. Halabi, JD, MPhil, from Georgetown University, and colleagues examine the potential benefit associated with creating a global compensation system for vaccine-related injuries.

–Pfizer has announced a phase 2 study (NCT02561195) to evaluate the “safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity” of a vaccine targeting Clostridium difficile.  

–Computer information scientists have found that Twitter may have predictive power in identifying outbreaks out diseases like HIV.

–A $2 million award has been granted to the University of California San Deigo School of Medicine by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study new and emerging treatments for Zika virus infections.

–According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the prevalence of hospital-acquired conditions reduced by 21% from 2010-2015.

–The National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Joseph Mizgert, director of the Pulmonary Center at Boston University, a $1.6 million, 4-year grant to study pneumonia immunity.

–Activist organizations are concerned that the global gag rule signed earlier this week by the president will have a “devastating impact” on patients with HIV around the world.