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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of November 19, 2017

NOV 25, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF

#3: Can Tooth Decay Explain the Pathogenesis of Certain Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease specialists looking for breakthrough findings have something to, well, sink their teeth into.

A review published October 30, 2017, in the journal Trends in Microbiology, highlights the importance of biofilms in improved understanding of the “local microenvironment where pathogens and commensals interact.” As the authors, from the Division of Community Oral Health at University of Pennsylvania Dental Medicine; the Center for Oral Biology at the University of Rochester (NY); and the Department of Oral Biology in the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida note, tooth decay (known clinically as “dental caries”) is arguably the most well-known example of a “polymicrobial biofilm disease,” as it is “driven by the diet” (namely sugar, which serves as a catalyst for emerging pathogens) and “microbiota-matrix interactions… on a solid surface.” Of course, polymicrobial diseases are infections that involve multiple agents; examples include respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, and conjunctivitis.

Read more about how tooth decay and infectious disease, here.

#2: HIV Suppression: Separating Fact From Fiction

If you’re confused about HIV and what viral suppression means, you’re not alone. The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently published a blog post entitled “10 Things to Know About HIV Suppression,” which offers a wealth of information for physicians and patients alike. Among the highlights:

*Viral suppression means the disease is undetectable thanks to ever more advanced antiretroviral (ART) drug treatment. Although HIV doesn’t disappear from the body, the levels of the virus fall so low that blood tests cannot detect them.

*It doesn’t take long to achieve viral suppression. Within 1 to 6 months of beginning treatment, a patient’s viral load will drop below detectable levels, according to the blog. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the NIAID, asserted that this time frame is fairly conservative; with new medication, people can achieve viral suppression very rapidly.

Read more highlights here

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