#3: NIH Study Suggests New Mechanism for HIV Spread
Using new magnetic technology involving antibodies, National Institutes of Health researchers have discovered that tiny cell particles released by HIV-infected cells might help the virus spread to new cells.
The tiny “bubble-like structures” are called extracellular vesicles (EVs), and are “thought to ferry molecules from one cell to another, providing a means of communication.” These small particles can be formed and released by HIV-infected cells, and it is thought that through this process, the EVs are able to “manipulate ‘prospective host cells,’ thus allowing HIV to spread to other cells.”
Senior author Leonid Margolis, PhD, postulated that by removing EVs from HIV laboratory preparations, they will be able to “reduce HIV infection of human tissues in culture.” New therapies that specifically target EVs “could potentially hinder the ability of the virus to infect new cells.”
Find out more on HIV research through studying EVs, here
#2: A Broken Chain of Hospital Reporting
A new report highlights that all links in the hospital reporting chain are tragically weak.
The report was put out by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and details the quality tracking of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) investigations into suspicious data for hospital-associated infections.
Data highlighted in the report found that “CMS failed to perform in-depth reviews of 96 hospitals that submitted suspicious data patterns in 2013 and 2014.” In addition, the report shows that “CMS failed to use [required criteria measures] when they did a targeted sample review in 2016 (which looked at data from 2013 and 2014). During this review, CMS only selected 49 hospitals and none of these hospitals were chosen from analysis-based criteria (ie, they were not looking for those with aberrant data patterns or suspicious changes in reporting).”
The report brings attention to “the growing concerns that hospitals are ‘gaming’ the system and taking advantage of limited CMS validation.” The quality standards are not uniform in nature and the amount of hospitals reviewed in the overall sample (400), “only accounted for about 10% of the nation’s hospitals.”
Read more concerns over these reporting practices, here