#3: New Hepatitis C Treatment Option Available for Patients Who Failed DAA Therapy
In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, lead investigator Marc Bourliere, MD, from the Hospital Saint Joseph in Marseilles, and his colleagues conducted 2 phase 3 clinical trials to explore treatment options for those chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV) who have had no success with direct-acting antiviral therapy (DAA) therapy.
HCV is the causative agent of hepatitis and can result in both acute as well as chronic infections. In those infected with HCV, 15 to 45% will develop an acute infection which may clear within 6 months without treatment. However, 55% to 85% of HCV-infected patients will develop a chronic HCV infection. The World Health Organization estimates that 71 million people are currently infected with HCV. Treatment with highly effective DAA is now the standard of care for HCV. Treatment with DAAs has been shown to be very efficacious, leading to a sustained viral response (SVR) in most patients. However, for patients that do not respond positively to treatment with DAAs, there is currently no approved retreatment option.
Learn more about the new hepatitis C treatment option here
#2: New Study Provides Clues on How Ebola Spreads While Outbreak in DRC Remains Under Control
Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center may have found the answer to why the Ebola virus spread so rapidly during the outbreak of 2014-2015. It seems a small protein in the virus may be to blame. According to their research, recently published in the Journal of Virology, the protein, known as a viroporin, is “damaging host cells by making the membranes more permeable.” The researchers have identified this viroporin to be the “delta peptide,” and this compound is “produced in large amounts in Ebola virus-infected patients,” according to Tulane’s press release on the research.
Read coverage of the study and the latest update on the Ebola outbreak here
#1: CDC Provides Updates on Lyme Disease Diagnostics
In a recent webinar, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fort Collins, Colorado, provided updates on Lyme disease diagnostics.
According to Martin Schriefer, PhD, one of the challenges of diagnosing Lyme disease is in the lack of pathognomonic features associated with the disease, which increases the need for effective laboratory testing methods. The small number of spirochetes in a clinical sample also poses a challenge, he said, thus increasing the need for an amplification step (of either the disease marker or causative organism) in the testing method. These amplification steps may involve techniques such as polymerase chain reaction or microbial culture, for example.
More on the CDC’s updates for Lyme disease diagnostics here
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