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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for July 2017


#5: As the Temperature Rises, So Does Incidence of Surgical Site Infections

The implications of these findings point to the possibility that “a 25% reduction in the average number of at-risk surgeries in the months of July and August would be associated with a decrease of nearly 1,700 surgical site infections (SSIs)” annually, according to the study authors.

Furthermore, according to Christopher A. Anthony, MD, first author of the study and surgery resident physician at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine,

“These results tell us that we need to identify the patients, surgeries, and geographic regions where weather-related variables are most likely to increase patients’ risk for infections after surgery.” He continued, “This way, we can identify the patients at the greatest risk for surgical site infections during warmer summer months.”

The authors stress in their article that “more granular data including exact surgery date and specific procedures” is needed to “help determine whether shifting the timing of some surgeries away from peak SSI months can help reduce SSIs in patients with specific procedures.”

Learn more about the relationship between temperature and SSIs, here.

#4: HIV Vaccine Moves One Step Closer to Becoming Reality

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology may have found the best delivery mode for a vaccine against HIV. The results of their new study show that “optimizing the mode and timing of vaccine delivery is crucial to inducing a protective immune response in a practical model,” according to a press release on the study.
For their study, published in the journal, Immunity, the scientists found that, “administering the vaccine candidate subcutaneously and increasing the time intervals between immunizations improved the efficacy of the experimental vaccine and reliably induced neutralizing antibodies.” These antibodies are key in promoting an effective immune response as they inactivate an invading virus before it is able to set up shop in the body. According to the press release, these neutralizing antibodies, “have been notoriously difficult to generate for HIV.”

Continue reading about the progress towards an HIV vaccine, here.

Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.