A 97% rate of sustained virologic response was found among liver transplant patients with hepatitis C genotypes 1-4 who were treated with sofosbuvir/velpatasvir following their transplants, no matter their cirrhosis status, according to a study in the Journal of Hepatology. No episodes of rejection were reported.
The Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center is using procalcitonin testing to guide sepsis and respiratory infection treatment while debate continues on whether the tests improve clinical care. "The jury is still out on whether it has helped curb use of antibiotics," but "it has allowed providers to give second thought about antibiotic use," says Allison Chambliss, director of clinical chemistry and point-of-care testing at LAC+USC.
Pregnant women who tested negative for cytomegalovirus infection in the first trimester had a 13.9% rate of seroconversion during pregnancy, researchers wrote in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Infants with cytomegalovirus were most frequently born to women who had pre-existing seroimmunity.
A study in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases found that private insurers denied coverage to 52.4% of patients with chronic hepatitis C infections receiving prescriptions for direct-acting antiviral therapy. The overall rate of denials, including Medicare and Medicaid, was 33.5%, according to an analysis of data for over 9,000 patients from specialty pharmacy records from January 2016 to April 2017.
Global Blood Therapeutics reported on data from a Phase IIa study of drug candidate voxelotor in 22 adolescents with sickle cell disease. Durable and sustained improvements were seen in hemoglobin levels, and clinical measures of hemolysis decreased, according to a presentation at the European Hematology Association's annual meeting.
Researchers at Hong Kong University's AIDS Institute found that a bispecific antibody was associated with viral control and elimination of infected cells, according to an animal study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study team said the antibody could be ready for clinical trials in three to five years.
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that Xarelto, or rivaroxaban, was associated with reduced rates of stroke and systemic embolism compared with warfarin in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and frailty. The risk of major bleeding was similar in the study.
Almost 1% of surgery patients who receive transfusions may develop venous thromboembolism within the next 30 days, according to a 751,000-patient study in JAMA Surgery. Further research is needed, but the data support efforts to limit blood transfusions to situations where they are necessary, said lead researcher Dr. Aaron Tobian, director of transfusion medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The SMART, or Sickle and Malaria Accurate Remote Testing, point-of-care technology platform won top honors at the Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project grant competition, and its developers will receive $300,000 over three years to continue their work. The wireless device can be used to diagnose, track and monitor patients with sickle cell disease and malaria in underserved communities and can interpret data in eight minutes.
Paraguay has been declared malaria-free, the first country in the Americas to achieve this status in 45 years, according to the World Health Organization. "Success stories like Paraguay's show what is possible. If malaria can be eliminated in one country, it can be eliminated in all countries," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
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