The Handoff: Your Week in Infectious Disease News – 5/26/17

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.

— A modified experimental malaria vaccine successfully protected monkeys challenged with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum parasite. To improve vaccine efficacy, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) modified an AMA1 vaccine to include RON2L so that it more closely mimics the protein complex used by the parasite. The experimental vaccine completely protected 4 of 8 monkeys.

Researchers have developed a test to rapidly and efficiently diagnose sepsis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis. The TaqMan-Based Multiplex real-time PCP detection system identifies bloodstream pathogens for sepsis within a few hours.  

Aedes aegypti, the mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, may also transmit chikungunya and dengue viruses in the same bite. Researchers at Colorado State University found that these coinfections in humans are significantly under diagnosed.

— In studying the blood of an Ebola survivor, researchers have identified 2 antibodies that may effectively treat those infected with the virus, in a study published in Cell. Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that the 2 antibodies, ADI-15878 and ADI-15742, protected mice and ferrets against several different Ebola viruses.

— Researchers at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute identified the molecular mechanism in which Staphylococcus aureus resists antibiotics. The study, published in MBio, revealed that the bacteria mutates or evolves, changing the shape of the molecule that the antibiotic would bind to.

Surgical site infections are associated with seasons, increasing in the summer and decreasing in the winter. A study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, showed that surgical site infections increased 26.5% more in the peak month of August than at the low point in January.

— Genome sequencing was used to discover a rare strain of superbug Klebsiella pneumoniae in one-third of Houston study participants. Researchers at Houston Methodist Research Institute analyzed 1777 K pneumonia strains in the period of September 2011 to May 2015.

— Human induced deforestation has been linked to an increase in malaria cases. Researchers at Lehigh University state that patterns in climate change, deforestation, and other human-induced changes are increasing malaria transmissions.

— Researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have located a gene that confers resistance to the fosfomycin antibiotic. The gene, fosA7, found in isolates of Salmonella enterica from broiler chickens, uses an enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase to bind to fosfomycin, inactivating it.

— This year, ASM Microbe 2017 to be held June 1-5 in New Orleans, is organized under 7 tracks. Tracks will encompass basic science, translational, clinical research, and the profession of microbiology. In the video below, listen to David Aronoff, MD, one of the vice-chairs for ASM Microbe 2017, talk about the Antimicrobial Agents and Infectious Diseases track.

Video Credit: American Society for Microbiology