ABC Raviglione and Spigelman 30 October 2014
The Ebola outbreak has thrust infectious diseases into the spotlight, and tuberculosis is among the worst. Greater investment in TB research is literally a matter of life and death for the millions affected, write Mario Raviglione and Mel Spigelman.
The current Ebola outbreak highlights the need for strengthened health systems, strategies and tools to fight infectious diseases. The ongoing global tuberculosis epidemic provides related lessons.
Tuberculosis, though curable, remains one of the world’s deadliest communicable diseases, according to the just released 2014 World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Report. In 2013, nine million people developed TB and 1.5 million died. Of those who developed TB, more than half (56 per cent) were in the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions.
(Brown University 28 October 2014) Ebola has a lot of company. In a novel database now made publicly available, Brown University researchers found that since 1980 the world has seen an increasing number of infectious disease outbreaks from an increasing number of sources. The good news, however, is that they are affecting a shrinking proportion of the world population.
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A potentially lethal bacterium protects itself by causing immune tunnel vision, according to a study from scientists at The University of Chicago published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. By tricking the immune system into focusing on one bug-associated factor, the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus dodges the production of antibodies that would otherwise protect against infection. Continue reading…
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Pauli, N.T., et al. 2014. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20141404
Discover Magazine [Blog] Rebecca Kreston 24 October 2014
Rose-thorn disease, caused by the fungal organism Sporothrix schenckii, is a classic – but generally rare – disease of gardeners around the world. The fungus lurks in dirt, moss, and flowers, and is transmitted by a stabbing inoculation, usually on the extremities and often by the prick of a rose thorn.
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sporotrichosis has blossomed from an uncommon fungal disease into a serious public health problem, with cases escalating beyond the sporadic few into what is now considered an unprecedented “urban endemic/epidemic phenomenon”(2). But it’s not prickly flowers or mucking about in the garden that is to blame for this fungal epidemic: it’s felines.
ABC News Xavier La Canna 25 October 2014
As the world of gut bacteria and other microscopic organisms in our bodies begins to be explored it turns out the organisms are weirder than anyone thought possible.
Professor Charles Mackay from Sydney University is a medical researcher with 35 years’ experience and he believes gut microbiota may hold the key to unlocking most so-called Western lifestyle diseases.
BBC news 22 October 2014
In 2013 nine million people had developed TB around the world, up from 8.6 million in 2012, the WHO said.
However, the number of people dying from TB continued to decline, it added.
TB campaigners said that one of the biggest problems in tackling the deadly disease was gauging how many people were affected.
About 1.5 million people had died in 2013 from TB, including 360,000 people who had been HIV positive, the WHO said in its Global Tuberculosis Report 2014. And in 2012, there had been 1.3 million tuberculosis deaths.
Brisbane Times October 22, 2014 Esther Han
Thousands of Australians are being injured by mislabelled and poor-quality products, with one-third of injury reports made to the consumer watchdog in the past year relating to cosmetics.