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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of July 23, 2017


5. Oral Truvada Deemed "Safe & Acceptable Means" of HIV Prevention in Adolescents

With the lofty worldwide goal of putting an end to the AIDS epidemic by 2030, researchers everywhere are working to cut back on the number of new HIV diagnoses by strengthening preventive strategies. However, given the fact that adolescents and younger individuals are representative of a growing share of those living with HIV worldwide, preventive efforts need to be tailored specifically to this population.

At the 9th International AIDS Conference on HIV Science, two teams of investigators reported findings from 2 different studies that focused on preventing HIV specifically in adolescents: a daily oral tablet and a monthly vaginal ring. This article will focus on the trial regarding the daily oral tablet.

The Choices for Adolescent Prevention Methods for South Africa, or CHAMPS PlusPills, was a phase 2 study that set out to evaluate the “safety, acceptability, and use of daily oral Truvada, which contains 2 anti-HIV drugs (tenofovir and emtricitabine), as part of an HIV prevention package” for adolescents.

This was the first time that girls were included in a clinical trial of the oral tablet as a means of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the adolescent population.
Read more about the use of oral Truvada in adolescents, here.

4.  Exploring Rapid Detection for Food Safety: Coverage from the Biodefense World Summit

The 2017 Biodefense World Summit breakout session on food safety detection was a goldmine of information with a whopping 12 presentations. Whether it was nucleic acid aptamers as bioaffinity ligands for detection of human norovirus (try saying that three times fast!), rapid detection of Enterobacteriaceae as indicator pathogen testing, or food-safety microbiology in the metagenomics era, there was a wealth of knowledge presented for those interested in food-safety detection.

Chris Taitt, PhD, from the US Naval Research Laboratory discussed the use of antimicrobial peptides as a broad-based detection method for pathogens. He highlighted the most common uses for rapid detection—food safety, environmental monitoring, biosecurity, and health monitoring—but also how he and his colleagues are looking for specific molecular markers for rapid detection. The most common approaches to rapid detection are nucleic acid-based technologies and immunoassays as they are sensitive and well-developed; however, they also require knowledge of the specific target (ie, you have to know which organism you’re looking for). Dr. Taitt noted that because of these gaps, we really need a broad-spectrum detection method without specific reagents. The use of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) may be that new method for detection of cells. AMPs bind to multiple species and are stable to environmental extremes. The best part is that they are semi-selective, and so they can detect a broad range of targets. Dr. Taitt highlighted that a broad-based, semi-selective recognition platform, such as using AMPs, may be the next step in rapid detection in which discrimination is needed.

Continue reading coverage from the Biodefense World Summit, here.

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