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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.
Doctors should consider underlying inflammatory conditions when selecting anti-epilepsy drugs, say researchers

Doctors should consider underlying inflammatory conditions when selecting anti-epilepsy drugs, say researchers

Physicians at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have been investigating if established anti-epilepsy drugs have anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory properties - an effect for which these pharmaceutical agents are not usually tested. [More]

Laser measurements show pollen has major influence on air quality

Leipzig, Germany. Pollen reflects more sunlight than previously known, and makes up to one third of the total amount of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Aerosol particles influence optical depth which provides a measure of the opacity of the atmosphere. [More]
Scientists establish a goal of creating vaccine gene chip to speed up vaccine testing

Scientists establish a goal of creating vaccine gene chip to speed up vaccine testing

Testing the efficacy of vaccines in clinical trials takes years, even decades. Yet challenging infections like HIV, malaria and dengue are striking today. To speed up vaccine testing, scientists at the Emory Vaccine Center have established a goal of creating a "vaccine gene chip." [More]
IBN and IBM discover new medical application for converted PET bottles

IBN and IBM discover new medical application for converted PET bottles

Researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California's IBM Research - Almaden (IBM) have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. [More]
New material effective in destroying drug-resistant fungi

New material effective in destroying drug-resistant fungi

Researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California’s IBM Research – Almaden (IBM) have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. [More]

Prolonged febrile seizures can affect pediatric patients

A long-standing hypothesis holds that prolonged febrile (fever induced) seizures, the most common form of childhood convulsive status epilepticus, cause mesial temporal sclerosis. CSE is a single seizure, or two or more seizures between which consciousness is not regained, lasting for more than 30 minutes. [More]
Genocea commences GEN-004 Phase 1 study to prevent pneumococcus infections

Genocea commences GEN-004 Phase 1 study to prevent pneumococcus infections

Genocea Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage company pioneering novel T cell vaccines, announced today that it has initiated a Phase 1 study of GEN-004, an investigational vaccine candidate for pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae), a major cause of infectious disease-related death globally. GEN-004 is the first vaccine candidate designed to prevent infections caused by all strains of pneumococcus through a novel T cell-mediated mechanism of action. [More]
Viewpoints: Senate should reconsider treaty on protections for people with disabilities; HHS treading wrong way on payments for bone marrow donors

Viewpoints: Senate should reconsider treaty on protections for people with disabilities; HHS treading wrong way on payments for bone marrow donors

About a year ago the Senate fell five votes short of ratifying an international treaty that would improve protections for the disabled. It was an ignoble spectacle as the opponents rebuffed Bob Dole, a former colleague and disabled veteran, who came to the Senate floor to lobby for it. [More]
Garlic compounds can kill foodborne pathogen present in infant formula powder

Garlic compounds can kill foodborne pathogen present in infant formula powder

Garlic may be bad for your breath, but it's good for your baby, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. [More]
Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria anticipates and turns immune defenses against the host

Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria anticipates and turns immune defenses against the host

Around 20 percent of all humans are persistently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a leading cause of skin infections and one of the major sources of hospital-acquired infections, including the antibiotic-resistant strain MRSA. [More]
Advanced cytotoxins help bacteria survive antibiotics treatment

Advanced cytotoxins help bacteria survive antibiotics treatment

In spite of the fact that the first antibiotics were discovered almost a century ago, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, encephalitis and meningitis are still serious diseases for humans in the twenty-first century. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are more than 8 million new cases of tuberculosis per year on a global scale, and that more than 300,000 of these are due to multidrug-resistant strains that are not only difficult to treat, but are also emerging rapidly in regions such as Eastern Europe. [More]

Senate gives final approval to bill tightening control over drug-compounding pharmacies

The Senate gave final approval to a bill Monday that gives federal regulators greater oversight of compounding pharmacies like the ones responsible for a deadly meningitis outbreak last year. The President is expected to sign the bill. [More]
Adverse events linked with HPV vaccine appear to be related with media coverage

Adverse events linked with HPV vaccine appear to be related with media coverage

The number of adverse events associated with the HPV vaccine reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appeared to be related to media coverage and online controversy about the vaccine, finds a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. [More]

First Edition: November 19, 2013

Today's headlines include news that Obama administration officials were warned about the possibility of website difficulties months ago by an outside consulting firm. [More]

Senate compounding pharmacy oversight bill faces 'Obamacare' test

A year after a meningitis outbreak from contaminated pain injections killed at least 64 people and sickened hundreds, Congress is ready to increase federal oversight over compounding pharmacies that custom-mix medications. [More]
Researchers find zinc starves bacteria by preventing its uptake of essential metal

Researchers find zinc starves bacteria by preventing its uptake of essential metal

Australian researchers have found that zinc can 'starve' one of the world's most deadly bacteria by preventing its uptake of an essential metal. [More]
Reduce tobacco consumption, reduce childhood asthma

Reduce tobacco consumption, reduce childhood asthma

A scientific study recently published on International Journal of Statistics in Medical Research states that tobacco consumption must be decreased by 15% in Spain, particularly at home, in order to reduce the number of childhood asthma cases. [More]
UTHealth researchers investigate clot-buster for children with acute ischemic stroke

UTHealth researchers investigate clot-buster for children with acute ischemic stroke

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are part of a multi-center, international study investigating the safety and best dosage of a clot-buster for children with acute ischemic stroke. [More]
Study evaluates role of enteroviruses in human type 1 diabetes

Study evaluates role of enteroviruses in human type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a disease caused by the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It is often diagnosed in childhood and requires life-long treatment with daily insulin injections. It is associated with an increased risk for long-term complications which decrease the quality of life and average life-expectancy. [More]
European Commission approves updated label of Prevenar 13 for high risk pneumococcal disease

European Commission approves updated label of Prevenar 13 for high risk pneumococcal disease

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced today that the European Commission approved updates to the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) for the company's pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevenar 13* (pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine [13-valent, adsorbed]), regarding its use in certain populations at high risk of pneumococcal disease. [More]