The Handoff: Your Week in Infectious Disease News – 6/30/17

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.

— New cases of hepatitis C are on the rise across the state of California. The number of HCV cases increased by 55% and 37% among young men and women, respectively, from 2007 to 2015. The health department is specifically urging injection drug users and baby boomers to test for hepatitis C. In July 2015, the California Legislature allocated $2.2 million for a 3-year pilot program for testing and treatment for HCV.

Imprecise iron supplementation may impair an individual’s ability to fight off bacteria such as Salmonella, according to a study published in Frontiers in Cellular Infection and Microbiology. While the findings from this study were based on a mice study, the research team noted that physicians should be attuned to this trade-off when treating individuals with anemia

— Two scientists at the University of Texas at El Paso have been granted a patent for Chagas disease vaccine. The preventive vaccine has been in development since 2008 and tested on nonhuman primates with very promising results.

— A new mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-3, in Escherichia coli of pig origin has been discovered. Researchers note that this gene may already be widely disseminated and are urging that screening for mcr-3 should be urgently included in the surveillance of colistin-resistant Gram-negative pathogens from animals, humans, and the environment.

— Yemen is facing the worst cholera outbreak, the United Nations declared this month. One million doses of cholera vaccine was approved to send to Yemen on June 15 to curb the outbreak that has reached over 200,000 cases.

— Two former executives of an egg company in Iowa have been sentenced to 3 months in jail for their roles in the Salmonella outbreak in 2010. The CDC linked 1939 illnesses to the outbreak but as many as 56,000 people may have gotten sick. The DeCosters’ Quality Egg company paid a $6.8 million fine as part of a plea agreement.

— A laboratory health information exchange, where laboratory data exchange interfaces within an EHR system, may help to reduce disparities between blacks and whites in HIV health care and outcomes.

— Andrew Roberts, a British bacterial scientist, has started a crowdsourcing campaign, called Swab and Send, to enlist people from all over the world to send him bacteria samples in the hopes of finding new antibiotics. To find out more about the campaign, watch the video below.

Video Credit: The Atlantic