In honor of International Infection Prevention Week, we wrangled together our favorite good news pieces from 2018. See which ones you missed!
“The political declaration proposed for this meeting sets a roadmap for accelerated action to end TB in line with the vision and targets for 2030,” said H.E. Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.
This is big news. “For the first time, an influential medical group [IDSA] is recommending the procedure — in which donor fecal matter is transferred to a patient — for individuals who have repeatedly failed standard treatments for severe diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, commonly known as C. diff….’We are now including the recommendation…that they be at least considered for fecal microbiome transplantation,’ said Dr. Clifford McDonald, one of the authors of the new IDSA guidelines. He is the associate director for science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Fecal transplants promise a quicker recover for patients suffering C.diff, but specifically for stem cell transplants patients whose cancer treatment weakens their microbiome, this study found that transplant of the patient’s own sample, preserved before their treatment, can get their gut balance back on track!
This UK study might convince you it’s cool to switch to non-cash payment methods: it found our coins and cash are covered in MRSA. Time to learn what blockchain means . . .
In a study that’s been confirmed twice since 2015, final results published in JAMA strongly indicate that about 60% of patients with appendicitis are successfully treated with antibiotics, even three years after initial diagnosis. All the more reason to maintain antibiotic stewardship.
“Results from the research by CSU have confirmed the safety and tolerability of using viruses known as bacteriophages to reduce targeted bacterial species in the gut. The new treatment could be used to reduce inflammation-causing bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria known to enhance gastrointestinal health, immune function, and anti-inflammatory processes. The study targeted E.coli and the phages infected and exploded them without upsetting the patient’s bodies.” Imagine what they could do for C.diff!
Biofilms, the protective complex films that bacteria can develop — especially problematic inside catheters and surgical equipment, because they shield bacteria from disinfection or medicines — have a new enemy. Researchers combined diatomaceous earth, magnesium oxide, and hydrogen peroxide
“The chemical, which has been called malacidin, appears to be non-toxic in humans and effective in tackling the hospital superbug MRSA, raising hopes that it could be used to develop a new treatment.” After 30 years of no new antibiotics, this could be very exciting!
One half of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to two scientists for their work on phage display
“The other half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared by George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter. In 1985, George Smith developed an elegant method known as phage display, where a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria – can be used to evolve new proteins. Gregory Winter used phage display for the directed evolution of antibodies, with the aim of producing new pharmaceuticals.
Healthcare workers interact with many patients each day, so their rates of vaccination can have a significant impact on public health. “Overall, 78.4% of health care personnel reported receiving influenza vaccination during the 2017–18 season, similar to reported coverage in the previous four influenza seasons.”