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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of July 30, 2017


#5: New Study Evaluates Risk of HBV Reactivation in Veterans Receiving DAA Therapy

Hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B (HBV) viral infections cause a considerable disease burden worldwide. Globally, it is estimated that 400 million individuals have HBV, and approximately 170 million have HCV.

Because HCV and HBV have shared modes of transmission, such as through sharing needles during intravenous drug use, it is common to find patients coinfected with both viruses. Patients coinfected with HCV and HBV have worsened disease prognosis, often leading to liver cirrhosis; they also have an increased chance of developing liver cancer. 

Interestingly, HCV has been shown to suppress HBV, raising concerns that HBV reactivation may occur in patients treated with HCV antiviral therapy. Indeed, there have been isolated cases reported, leading the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a warning about HBV reactivation in patients treated with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy.

Read more about the new study evaluating the risk of HBV reactivation in veterans on DAA therapy, here.

#4: Florida Mosquitoes Highly Susceptible to Transmitting Chikungunya Virus

Other important findings include the fact that Aedes albopictus exhibited higher rates of infection and transmission of the Indian Ocean strain immediately after ingesting infected blood. "Aedes aegypti had higher body infection and saliva infection later during infection with the Asian strain of chikungunya virus than Ae. albopictus,” according to the study. The researchers also concluded that, over time, both species experienced sharp declines in transmission and infection rates.

The information gleaned from the evaluation " can provide useful measurements that can be used in risk assessment by scientists as they model chikungunya transmission," according to the press release. Outbreaks of the illness are difficult to predict; however, because the presence of Aedes albopictus or Aedes aegypti does not necessarily mean that either strains of the virus are present. Both species of mosquitoes are commonly found in areas across the United States that have not, thus far, experienced any outbreaks; however, individuals should still ensure they are taking preventive measures to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses, such as wearing protective clothing, eliminating standing water, and wearing insect repellant.

Learn more about Florida mosquitoes’ susceptibility to transmitting chikungunya virus, here.

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