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EASL 2014: Fatty Liver Disease Is a Risk Factor for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as indicated by atherosclerosis of the carotid artery, according to a study presented at the 49thEASL International Liver Congress (EASL 2014) this week in London. A related study found that fatty liver is also associated with diabetes, and reduction of liver fat lowers diabetes risk.

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March 24 Is World TB Day

Monday, March 24, is World TB Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about tuberculosis and the need for expanded testing and treatment worldwide. TB remains a threat in high-income countries including the U.S. as well as in resource-limited settings, and it is a major cause of death among people with HIV. The Stop TB Partnership estimates that 9 million people worldwide get sick with TB annually, but 3 million of them do not get the care they need.

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Researchers Use Live Ticks to Diagnose Persistent Lyme Disease

Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have used live larval ticks in an attempt to determine whether Borrelia burgdorferi-- the bacteria that cause Lyme disease -- remain in the body of people who continue to experience symptoms after completing antibiotic therapy. In this small study, most patients did not have detectable bacterial spirochetes.

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CROI 2014: New Drugs, Novel Combos Top Tuberculosis News at Conference

Replacing 2 drugs in standard tuberculosis (TB) regimens may shorten therapy and experimental drugs look good in early studies, but a promising diagnostic test did not lead to improvements in mortality, researchers reported at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this month in Boston.

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February 4th Is World Cancer Day

February 4 is the annual observance of World Cancer Day. This year's theme is reducing stigma and dispelling myths about cancer. In the lead-up to the day, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer released a new report emphasizing that treatment alone will not win the global battle against cancer without also focusing on prevention. Recent reports from the U.S. show that cancer death rates continue to decline and fewer years of life are being lost to cancer, but cancer mortality has not fallen as fast of that of other diseases.

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CROI 2014: Natural History of HIV-Related Anal Dysplasia [VIDEO]

The progression of anal dysplasia is highly variable in people with HIV, progressing in some and remaining stable or regressing in others, according to a retrospective analysis of nearly 3000 participants presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) last week in Boston. Progression to invasive anal cancer, however, was uncommon.

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Helicase Inhibitor Pritelivir Shows Promise Against Genital Herpes

Pritelivir, a helicase inhibitor that interferes with viral replication, reduced the rate of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) genital shedding, which has the potential to reduce sexual transmission, according to a small study described in the January 16, 2014, New England Journal of Medicine.

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Researchers Transform Mouse Skin Cells Into Functional Liver Cells

Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF have found a way to transform human fibroblast skin cells into mature functioning hepatocytes that could repopulate mouse livers without first having to be turned into pluripotent stem cells, according to a report in the February 23 advance edition of Nature.

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Mass Screening, Prevention Did Not Improve TB Control in South African Trial

Widespread screening for tuberculosis, treatment of people with active disease, and providing everyone with preventive isoniazid did not significantly improve tuberculosis (TB) control in a study of workers in South African gold mines, researchers reported in the January 23, 2014, New England Journal of Medicine.

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