Top Infectious Disease News of the Week—June 24, 2018

In case you missed them, we've compiled the top 5 articles from this past week.

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) and granted Priority Review to Genentech’s first-in-class, investigational oral medication, baloxavir marboxil, for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated influenza in individuals aged 12 and older. The drug was developed to hamper the cap-dependent endonuclease protein within the flu virus, affecting the virus’ ability to replicate. Baloxavir marboxil is designed to fight influenza virus strains, including those that are resistant such as H7N9 and H5N1.

Read more about the approval.

#4: Implants for Delivery of Antiretroviral Drugs for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

The most effective form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is one that users will use appropriately and consistently. As such, many organizations are developing different forms of PrEP—from pills, to injections, to implants—to offer a multitude of options for end users. In this article, which appears as the feature in the June 2018 issue of Contagion®, researchers from RTI International describe recent progress that has been made in the development of implants for PrEP, including the company’s own model.

Read more about implants for PrEP.

#3: Flu Season 2017-2018: A Look at What Happened and What's to Come

There’s no doubt that the 2017-2018 flu season was one of the worst on record. In fact, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Contagion® that, “Within the past 10 years, not counting the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic of 2009, and just looking at seasonal influenzas, there’s no doubt that this has been the worst season we’ve had in the last decade.” In this article, Contagion® medical journalist, Laurie Saloman, MS, includes insights from infectious disease experts such as Dr. Fauci and others to learn what led to such a severe flu season and what we can expect in the future.

Read more about the 2017-2018 flu season.

#2: Searching for the Cause of Hearing Loss in a Patient With HIV

Infections with syphilis continue to increase around the world, particularly in men who have sex with men. Dr. Yasir Al-Khalili, chief fellow in clinical neurophysiology in the Department of Neurology at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, details a case of a man who presented to his hospital with vertigo, headache, and hearing loss for the past 2 months, and the journey of the team to diagnose the patient with otosyphilis.

Read more about the cause of hearing loss in a patient with HIV.

#1: New Research Reinforces Efficacy of Plazomicin

Plazomicin (ZEMDRI) was approved this week to treat adults with complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) including acute pyelonephritis, caused by certain Enterobacteriaceae, in those patients with limited or no options for alternative treatment. The drug, developed by Achaogen, Inc, is given as once-daily aminoglycoside intravenous infusion therapy. Additional research in support of plazomicin, presented at the 2018 ASM Microbe Meeting, revealed the ability of the antibiotic to inhibit the growth of virtually all Enterobacteriaceae isolates, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and over 90% of isolates resistant to gentamicin and tobramycin. Further studies revealed that age, sex, race, or infection type do not influence decisions regarding dosing.

Read more about plazomicin.