US’ 49 states gripped with influenza

Influenza activity has been picking up in the US; flu widespread in 49 states, CDC reports. – After relatively low levels of influenza activity in the early part of the season, since January influenza activity has been picking up in the US. This week 44 states are reporting widespread influenza activity. This is up from 31 states reporting widespread activity last week. Five states are reporting regional activity, making 49 states overall.

New hope for hepatitis C sufferers

Adelaide scientists will lead a $2 million five-year project to develop new vaccines and explore better treatment options for hepatitis C sufferers. – University of Adelaide virologists Dr Michael Beard and Dr Karla Helbig will work with colleagues from the University of NSW to develop new strategies to treat and prevent hepatitis C, which infects more than 170 million people around the world.

Study examines effectiveness of antiviral drug to treat mononucleosis

University of Minnesota researchers have begun studying a new drug to treat infectious mononucleosis, commonly known as mono. – University of Minnesota researchers have begun studying a new drug to treat infectious mononucleosis, commonly known as mono. The goal of the study is to find out if people who take the antiviral drug valomaciclovir recover from mono faster.

European influenza viruses resistant to tamiflu, oseltamivir

Preliminary results from a survey of antiviral drug susceptibility among seasonal influenza viruses circulating in Europe has revealed that some of the A (H1N1) viruses in circulation this winter are resistant to the antiviral drug, oseltamivir (also know by the brand name Tamiflu). – Preliminary surveillance into antiviral drug susceptibility against seasonal flu viruses currently circulating in Europe has revealed that some of the A (H1N1) viruses (13%) have shown resistance to the antiviral drug, oseltamivir (Tamiflu). These viruses however, remain sensitive to the antivirals, zanamivir and amantadine.

Ebola virus disarmed by excising a single gene

Ebola virus disarmed by excising a single gene

Ebola virus ranks among the most feared of exotic pathogens, due to its virulent nature, and because no vaccines or treatments are available. – The deadly Ebola virus, an emerging public health concern in Africa and a potential biological weapon, ranks among the most feared of exotic pathogens. Due to its virulent nature, and because no vaccines or treatments are available, scientists studying the agent have had to work under the most stringent biocontainment protocols, limiting research to a few highly specialized labs and hampering the ability of scientists to develop countermeasures.

Prodesse’s ProFlu+ Test for Respiratory Viruses receives FDA clearance

Prodesse’s ProFlu+ Test for Respiratory Viruses receives FDA clearance for Marketing Real-Time Test, detects four viruses, including influenza; results available in about 3 hours. – Prodesse, Inc., the leader in multiplex real-time PCR for infectious disease, announced that it received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its ProFlu+? Assay.

Intelence, etravirine HIV Drug approved in US

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved etravirine tablets for the treatment of HIV infection in adults who have failed treatment with other antiretrovirals. Etravirine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) that helps to block an enzyme which HIV needs to multiply. – US FDA approved Tibotec Therapeutics’ Intelence, etravirine tablets for the treatment of HIV infection, to be used in combination with other anti-HIV medications, in adults who have failed treatment with other antiretrovirals.

AIDS drugs may prevent vaginal transmission of HIV

There are 33 million people infected with HIV. This study is a highly significant breakthrough because it offers proof-of-principle that pre-exposure prophylaxis with currently available anti-retroviral drugs can potentially prevent vaginal HIV transmission, empowering women throughout the world to protect themselves from this deadly disease. – Prescription drugs now used to treat human immunodeficiency virus infection in adults may prevent the vaginal transmission of HIV, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

273 human proteins required for HIV propagation

Using a technique called RNA interference to screen thousands of genes, researchers identified 273 human proteins required for HIV propagation. The vast majority had not been connected to the virus by previous studies. – Current drugs attack HIV itself, leaving patients vulnerable to counterattack by the rapidly mutating virus, which often evolves resistance. But the human proteins exploited by HIV represent potential therapeutic targets that could avoid this problem. The challenge will be to develop drugs that inhibit HIV by interacting with these human proteins without hurting our cells.

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