The Handoff: Your Week in Infectious Disease News – 5/12/17

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.

Bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are less fatal in children than adults, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Researchers also found that children have significantly higher rates of complications if the infections are left untreated for a period of time.

A research team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified how influenza A “hijacks cellular machinery” to reproduce. Researchers found that once inside the nucleus, influenza A hijacks the RNA exosome, an essential protein complex that degrades RNA as a way to regulate gene expression.  Findings were published in Cell.

— A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases showed that adolescents infected with Schistosoma mansoni respond well to a candidate booster tuberculosis vaccine in a phase 2 open label trial.

Children hospitalized with sepsis feel lingering effects months after discharge, according to research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting earlier this month. The researchers found that 23% of patients had a significant decline in quality of life that lasted several months.

— The first clinical trial of a 3-month vaginal ring to prevent both HIV and unintended pregnancy is being tested. The ring releases dapivirine to prevent HIV and contraceptive hormone, levonorgestrel. The primary goal of the study is to assess the ring’s safety and pharmacokinetics.

— A bioinspired antimicrobial treatment involving iodo-thiocyanate complexes was found to quickly kill drug-resistant bacteria. Researchers at the National University of Ireland Galway hope to apply the complexes as a disinfectant.

— Scientists discovered antibodies in blood samples from infected Zika virus patients that block the virus from initiating infection. The study, published in Cell, says the results reveal a potential strategy for Zika vaccine development.  

— An anti-vaccination group in Minnesota is being blamed for the state’s largest measles outbreak in over 2 decades. There are 48 confirmed measles cases in two counties, 46 of the cases involving children under the age of 10.

Enterococci bacteria’s ability to thrive in hospitals may have emerged 425 million years ago when they were carried onto land in the guts of the world’s first terrestrial animals, according to a study published in Cell. Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, hope to design more effective disinfectants and antibiotics by understanding the evolutionary origins of the bacteria.