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Is there a Black Market for Ebola Convalescent Blood Products?

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog posts, Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

Is there a Black Market for Ebola Convalescent Blood Products?

“There have been reports about Ebola survivors selling their blood on the black market in the affected countries,” one audience member from Lagos, Nigeria said at a roundtable discussion on Ebola during the recent American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans in early November. “Is there any effort to regulate this? Are they selling it to facilities or individuals, and is there any evidence that it is working?” The blood of patients who have recovered from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) may contain antibodies that could...

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Coordination of new teams of Ebola responders a big challenge

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog posts, Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

Coordination of new teams of Ebola responders a big challenge

“Coordination has been a routine failure in Ebola outbreak after Ebola outbreak,” Dr Armand Sprecher of MSF said during a roundtable discussion at the ASTMH conference in response to a question from a healthcare worker from Taiwan. She said her country would be sending a number of healthcare workers to the field soon and wanted to know who was going to be coordinating all the different groups and efforts. “At MSF and WHO our resources are managed internally and although we talk to each other, I wouldn’t call it coordination. Coordination has...

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MSF doctor feels safe working in field fighting Ebola

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog posts, Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

MSF doctor feels safe working in field fighting Ebola

Dr. Tim Jagatic of Médecins Sans Frontières spent March and April in Guinea when the Ebola outbreak was first recognized — and returned to West Africa to fight the disease in July. “When I went to West Africa the second time, people might have thought: 1) I’m masochistic and don’t have any sense of self-preservation, 2) I was lied to about the reality of the risk, or 3) I was told the truth about the risk, and it wasn’t that bad,” he said at a roundtable discussion on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa at the American Society of...

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Ebola’s impact on West African countries health infrastructure

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog posts, Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

Ebola’s impact on West African countries health infrastructure

Ebola experts at the ASTMH conference in New Orleans concerned about the effect of Ebola on the health systems in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — as the Ebola response has drawn physicians and nurses away from the normal care system. “A lot of the health infrastructure has collapsed in these countries. For instance, maternal health is a serious issue right now,” said Dr. Lina Moses of Tulane University. “In Sierra Leone, which already has a very high maternal mortality rate, there were currently no physicians alive and willing to do...

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Operational aspects of the response: MSF in West Africa

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog posts, Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

Operational aspects of the response: MSF in West Africa

“The number of things that need to go right for an outbreak to be controlled is significant — a lot of working pieces are interdependent,” said Dr Armand Sprecher of Médecins Sans Frontières at the 63rd Annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference this November in New Orleans. The health promoters and the people in the treatment centers need good information from the epidemiologists — coordination is very important to make sure that all of those things work well.” Dr. Sprecher has worked with MSF since 1997. He has been...

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Incidence of HIV dual infections in US men who have sex with men

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Blog posts, News | 0 comments

  A new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases confirms that HIV dual infection and HIV reinfection are common. Researchers at University of California in San Diego and colleagues used new sequencing technology and phylogenetic analyses to determine the incidence and prevalence of dual infection by more than one strain of HIV in the same individual. [1] Dual infection can include either: Co-infection, in which infection with a second viral strain occurred simultaneously or very soon after primary infection; or...

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Have HDAC inhibitors fallen from grace?

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Blog posts, News | 0 comments

Two recent papers present conflicting data on the efficacy of histone deacteylase (HDAC) inhibitors, the leading class of latency reversing agents (LRAs). Replication-competent integrated HIV provirus is able to form a persist reservoir in cellular compartments such as resting memory CD4 T cells by remaining in a long-term latent state that is highly stable.  Activation of latent integrated HIV occurs when host CD4 T cells are activated by normal immunological signals, affecting only a miniscule fraction of the persistent HIV reservoir at any...

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HIV reservoir: CD4 T stem cells may facilitate long-term persistence

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog posts, News | 0 comments

A report in Nature Medicine is important for suggesting that a recently discovered and little understood subset of CD4 T cells are a long-term hiding place for the HIV reservoir. Maria Buzon and colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Boston, describe their analysis of the HIV reservoir in different T cell subsets before and after several years of ART [1]. T cells are divided into different maturational subsets according to their exposure to antigen. These are: Naive T cells (TNA), which...

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London’s HIV crisis: A storm seeded in the noughties?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Blog posts | 5 comments

  An alarming increase in the incidence of both HIV-infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been occurring amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) in England over the last two years. A number of news reports highlight an alarming increase in the incidence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis among MSM, particularly in London (http://newsle.com/article/0/122167058/). Sexual health epidemiologists suggest these sexually transmitted bacterial infections, that become clinically apparent much more rapidly than...

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The critical role of the emerging middle-income countries in eliminating TB

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Conference coverage, News | 0 comments

The critical role of the emerging middle-income countries in eliminating TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is largely under control in the industrialised countries of the ‘Global North’, which means that most of the effort to eliminate TB will fall on the shoulders of those emerging middle-income countries where TB is still an epidemic. HOW CAN BRICS PROMOTE RESEARCH TO END TB? In January this year (2013), the health ministers of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) met in New Delhi, and agreed that the five countries will collaborate on research to better control TB. The BRICS countries have a...

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