The health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported that four people in the eastern part of the country have tested positive for Ebola. The World Health Organization said it is bringing personnel into the area, about 60 miles from the border with Uganda.
In a study of 376 people from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, researchers found that platelets killed about 20% of circulating Plasmodium parasites and up to 60% of Plasmodium vivax parasites. Platelets bound themselves to red blood cells carrying the parasites and released the peptide PF4, according to the researchers with Menzies School of Health Research in Australia.
A study in The Lancet found that pre-hospital plasma administration was not associated with improved mortality for trauma patients, while another study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that administrating plasma on the way to the hospital was tied to a reduction of almost 10 percentage points in 30-day mortality. The authors of the Lancet study said the disparity may be related to transport duration, which was typically about 20 minutes in their study, compared with 40 minutes in the other study.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative and other development agencies have arranged a deal to cut the price of HIV viral load tests to $12 per piece, a decline of over 50% in some markets, in efforts to increase the accessibility of the tests. Equipment and supplies required for the tests will be provided by Hologic.
First-line treatment with Otsuka's guadecitabine was not associated with higher rates of complete response or overall survival than were reported in a control group, the primary endpoints in a late-stage trial for patients with acute myeloid leukemia who could not receive intense induction chemotherapy.
The European Medicines Agency granted accelerated review status to bluebird bio's LentiGlobin TDT, which is being developed to treat adolescents and adults with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and a non-β0/β0 genotype. The company intends to file its gene therapy with the EMA by the end of this year.
Multiplexed meningitis testing, used as part of a broader diagnostic strategy, can help speed diagnosis and improve treatment of central nervous system infection. It is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the test, and "labs need to develop criteria to optimize the benefit from [the FilmArray ME panel] including selecting appropriate patient populations and rejecting specimens," writes Blake Buchan, associate director of clinical microbiology at Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories.
SeraCare Life Sciences has launched its hepatitis C virus RNA recovery monitoring panel, the AccuSpan HCV RNA Linearity Panel. SeraCare will discuss its AccuPlex recombinant technology, which resembles the "wild-type mammalian pathogenic virus," at the 2018 meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
Researchers compared over 2,300 HIV sequences from patients in Saskatchewan with data from the US and elsewhere in Canada and identified high rates of immune-resistant mutations, which could lead to faster development of AIDS-related illnesses, according to a study in the journal AIDS. The immune-resistant strains do respond to treatment.
A study in the journal Scientific Reports found that newborns with elevated levels of the immune protein IL-12 in their umbilical cord blood were less likely to develop malaria during the first 24 months of life. The findings were based on 349 mother-child pairs.