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Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of illness and the treatment differ. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability. For bacterial meningitis, it is also important to know which type of bacteria is causing the meningitis because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, but new vaccines being given to all children as part of their routine immunizations have reduced the occurrence of invasive disease due to H. influenzae. Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
SLU's Center for Vaccine Development receives $2.9 million to study new vaccine to combat TB

SLU's Center for Vaccine Development receives $2.9 million to study new vaccine to combat TB

Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development has received a $2.9 million award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study a new tuberculosis vaccine. [More]
Researchers develop device to diagnose bacterial meningitis in babies

Researchers develop device to diagnose bacterial meningitis in babies

Currently the only test to diagnose bacterial meningitis in babies is through a lumbar puncture, a painful and difficult procedure to perform. For this reason, a group of biomedical engineers decided to search for an alternative and developed a portable device that can detect this illness with a simple ultrasound scan of the fontanelle. [More]
Second-generation antibiotic shows promise against common bacterial infections

Second-generation antibiotic shows promise against common bacterial infections

Researchers led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have developed a second-generation antibiotic that shows early effectiveness against common bacterial infections that pose a serious health threat to children and adults. [More]
WHO: Progress towards global vaccination targets 'far off track'

WHO: Progress towards global vaccination targets 'far off track'

Progress towards global vaccination targets for 2015 is far off track with 1 in 5 children still missing out on routine life-saving immunizations that could avert 1.5 million deaths each year from preventable diseases. In the lead-up to World Immunization Week 2015 (24 -30 April), the World Health Organization is calling for renewed efforts to get progress back on course. [More]
Inflammation plays causal role in neurologic changes associated with Lyme disease

Inflammation plays causal role in neurologic changes associated with Lyme disease

About 15% of patients with Lyme disease develop peripheral and central nervous system involvement, often accompanied by debilitating and painful symptoms. New research indicates that inflammation plays a causal role in the array of neurologic changes associated with Lyme disease, according to a study published in The American Journal of Pathology. [More]
Study suggests new approach to help prevent meningococcal outbreaks

Study suggests new approach to help prevent meningococcal outbreaks

Nasal drops of harmless bacteria can inhibit a related bug that sometimes causes meningococcal disease, according to new findings published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study--conducted among college students, a group at higher risk for this often serious illness--suggests a new approach that could help suppress outbreaks of the disease, if supported by future research. [More]
IV cosyntropin therapy matches EBP in relieving pain from post-dural puncture headache

IV cosyntropin therapy matches EBP in relieving pain from post-dural puncture headache

Intravenous (IV) cosyntropin therapy was equivalent to epidural blood patch (EBP) in relieving pain from post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) with potential for fewer complications and lower costs, data from a randomized, controlled trial showed. [More]
Study: Countries most affected by Ebola outbreak may soon have 100,000 more measles cases

Study: Countries most affected by Ebola outbreak may soon have 100,000 more measles cases

An international study involving the University of Southampton suggests there could be a rise in measles cases of 100,000 across the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa due to health system disruptions. [More]
Ebola crisis increases susceptibility to measles, other vaccine-preventable illnesses

Ebola crisis increases susceptibility to measles, other vaccine-preventable illnesses

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say that major disruptions in the health care systems in West Africa caused by the Ebola crisis have led to significant decreases in vaccinations for childhood diseases, increasing susceptibility to measles and other vaccine-preventable illnesses. [More]
Simple low-cost intervention could help reduce HIV-related deaths in Africa

Simple low-cost intervention could help reduce HIV-related deaths in Africa

A new approach to care for patients with advanced HIV in Tanzania and Zambia, combining community support and screening for a type of meningitis, has reduced deaths by 28%. [More]
Efficacy of ebola vaccine to be assessed in large-scale clinical trial

Efficacy of ebola vaccine to be assessed in large-scale clinical trial

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today that they will soon be commencing the first large-scale clinical trial to assess the efficacy of an experimental ebola vaccine. [More]
Study: 20% of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California not referred for follow-up care

Study: 20% of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California not referred for follow-up care

The tiniest babies need special follow-up care when they go home from the hospital after birth. But, of the thousands of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California during 2010 and 2011, 20 percent were not referred to the state's high-risk infant follow-up program, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. [More]
Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

Leading microbiologist warns of killer fungi’s increasing threat

A leading microbiologist has warned of the increasing threat that killer fungi poses to humans and the environment. [More]
Fast-track diagnostics releases CE-labelled Real-time PCR kit to detect Zaire Ebolavirus

Fast-track diagnostics releases CE-labelled Real-time PCR kit to detect Zaire Ebolavirus

Fast-track diagnostics, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of infectious disease detection kits, has released a CE labelled Real-time PCR kit for the detection of the Zaire Ebolavirus – the strain responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa. [More]
Study confirms safety of two measles-containing vaccines

Study confirms safety of two measles-containing vaccines

A 12-year study of two measles-containing vaccines, published today in Pediatrics, found that seven main adverse outcomes were unlikely after either vaccine. [More]
Roche announces launch of cobas Liat System for on-demand testing in different settings

Roche announces launch of cobas Liat System for on-demand testing in different settings

Roche today announced the launch of the cobas Liat System—a fast, compact , easy to use, molecular diagnostic platform, designed for on-demand testing in physician clinics, pharmacies and hospital lab settings. [More]
Scientists reveal how bacterial nanodrills enter into our cells to kill them

Scientists reveal how bacterial nanodrills enter into our cells to kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial 'nanodrills' assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells' outer membranes. [More]
Researchers create synthetic surface to control adhesion of E. coli bacteria

Researchers create synthetic surface to control adhesion of E. coli bacteria

A research team from Kiel University and Goethe University Frankfurt has jointly created a synthetic surface on which the adhesion of E. coli bacteria can be controlled. The layer, which is only approximately four nanometres thick, imitates the saccharide coating (glycocalyx) of cells onto which the bacteria adhere such as during an infection. This docking process can be switched on and off using light. [More]
Great Basin Scientific seeks FDA approval for Group B Strep assay

Great Basin Scientific seeks FDA approval for Group B Strep assay

Great Basin Scientific, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company, today announced it has submitted its Group B Strep assay to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance. [More]
A goodwill ambassador of palliative care

A goodwill ambassador of palliative care

Leanne Schoberl could have put anyone's picture on the home screen of her cell phone. "She loved American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. She envisioned marrying him one day," says Leanne's father John Schoberl. [More]
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