Month: August 2020

Highlights from HIV and AIDS reviews

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels Immunity The forces driving clonal expansion of the HIV-1 latent reservoir Authors reviewed here how viral, immunologic and genomic factors contribute to clonal expansion of HIV-1-infected cells, and how clonal expansion shapes the HIV-1 latent reservoir. Targeting clonally expanding HIV-1 latent reservoir without disrupting CD4+ T cell function is a top priority for HIV-1 eradication. Effects of HIV infection and ART on phenotype and function of circulating monocytes, natural killer, and innate lymphoid cells HIV infection causes upregulation of markers of inflammation, immune activation and apoptosis of host adaptive, and innate immune cells...

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Sexual minority middle-aged and older adults are at high risk for having multiple chronic diseases

Older lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults are an underserved and understudied population that experience specific health disparities. A study just published in BMC Public Health finds that gay men and bisexual women age 50 and older are at particularly high risk for having co-occurring conditions. Authors Joseph Palamar and Benjamin Han tell us more about their research...

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Breast (and formula) feeding have analgesic effects during routine childhood immunizations

Image by Alfonso Cerezo from Pixabay In this blog, Prof. Pietro Vajro (PV), Dr. Claudia Viggiano (CV) and Dr. Annachiara Occhinegro (AO) discuss their study published in Pediatric Research, where they compared the analgesic effect of sucking breast or formula milk while receiving routine childhood immunizations vs. holding only the child during the vaccines procedures of the first year of life. What did the study find? PV: We found that breastfed children showed the longest crying latency, i.e. the time in seconds elapsed between the introduction of the needle at the moment when the child starts to cry. Breast-...

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Antibiotic prescribing in England, and how this relates to the local area

Promoting the appropriate use of antibiotics Since the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in the 1920s, there have been over 150 antibacterial drugs developed and marketed for human or veterinary use. The effect these drugs have had on infectious diseases and population health is remarkable. A once considered serious bacterial infection can now be successfully managed using antibiotics prescribed from the doctor. This was not always the case, as our grandparents may testify: bacterial infections were often fatal and the choices available to manage such infections were limited. Doctors have been urged to reduce the amount of antibiotics...

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Are kissing bugs moving to the city?

Three species of kissing bugs. Credit: Curtis-Robles et al. PLoS NTD 2015, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0004235. An estimated 6 million people live with Chagas disease in Latin America. The disease can be fatal and is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is mostly transmitted to humans when they contact the infected feces or urine of blood-sucking triatomine bugs. There are many species of triatomine bugs that can transmit T. cruzi. In environments with humans, they live in cracks in the walls and roofs of houses or buildings. Control often focuses on reducing habitats for triatomines through improving houses and/or...

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