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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss Tuberculosis at the General Discussion; New Blood Test For Detecting TB Risk in Children... Blood Test Called Highly Effective in Detecting TB Risk in Children ...

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Old 02-22-2017, 03:24 AM
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Lightbulb Tuberculosis

New Blood Test For Detecting TB Risk in Children...

Blood Test Called Highly Effective in Detecting TB Risk in Children
February 21, 2017 - A simple blood test is highly effective at identifying children infected with tuberculosis so they can be treated before it progresses to a life-threatening disease, according to research by scientists who say it is often difficult to diagnose TB in children.
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One of the biggest challenges in the global war on TB is identifying people early so they can be treated before the disease becomes full-blown and potentially fatal. Finding TB in young children, in particular, poses a hurdle because youngsters often can’t produce a sputum sample necessary to diagnose the disease. The other problem, according to infectious disease specialist Jason Andrews of Stanford University, is children’s infections often settle in their kidney, spine or brain. Unlike TB infections in the lungs, a sputum test cannot diagnose infection in other organs.

'Vast majority can be cured'

“If you find them early and treat them, the vast majority — close to 100 percent — can be cured,” Andrews said. “For the preventive therapy [in children with latent infection], a single antibiotic can be given that has very good ability to prevent against going on to develop active disease." Andrews and his colleagues conducted a study on the use of a blood test to diagnose children at risk of developing TB and found it highly effective. While the test, called QuantiFERON, is sometimes used in adults, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend it for children. The researchers analyzed the data from a clinical trial of an experimental TB vaccine trial in South Africa, just outside Cape Town. The vaccine turned out to be a flop, but investigators were curious about how well the blood test performed in diagnosing latent TB in young children — those at highest risk of developing an active infection.

2,500 children tested

The study involved approximately 2,500 healthy, HIV-negative babies and children. At the start, none was infected with the TB bacterium. The test was repeated one year later, to check for the development of an infection. At that point, 172 of the children tested positive for TB, and 30 were already being treated. Researchers then looked at data on the other 142 kids who had not yet developed active disease.

Testing them at the two-year mark, they found that those children with the highest levels of a blood biomarker called interferon gamma had a 40-fold increase in the risk of developing active tuberculosis. “When we saw the data in children, we were just astounded by the exceptional predictive value that it had,” Andrews said. The study was published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Based on the findings, Andrews would like to see the WHO change its recommendation to include the use of the blood test in children.

Powerful killer
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Lab on a Paper Card Can Test Drugs for Purity
February 22, 2017 — Whether it’s brake fluid in Nigerian teething syrup, melamine in Chinese baby formula, or talcum powder in Kenyan antibiotics, contaminated food and medicine is a deadly problem. But a group of scientists, led by Notre Dame chemistry professor Marya Lieberman, hopes to eliminate the problem for millions of people in developing nations by offering a simple solution.=
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A ‘lab on paper’

The PAD - or Paper Analytical Device - project began six years ago as a collaboration between Notre Dame and St. Mary's College. The simple invention replaces expensive machinery that might not be available in developing countries. Each of the 12 lines on the paper card is laced with a different chemical. When medicine is smeared across the lines and the card is soaked in water, a color change indicates whether the drug is safe. Drugs can be tested at any stage of the distribution process.

While not all alterations are deadly in and of themselves, not getting the right medicine or the correct dosage can still have fatal consequences for severely ill patients. “One in ten children who go to the hospital with pneumonia in Kenya don’t make it out,” Lieberman notes. “That’s because there is kind of a golden hour for patients to recover. If they don’t get the needed medicine in the correct dose, bacteria take over and they won’t make it.” During a trip to Kenya last year, her team discovered amoxicillin caplets cut by half with talcum powder. In that case, they devised a simple water test to check for purity. But most contamination cases need a more comprehensive test to discover errors.

A world of contaminants

In addition to testing pharmaceuticals, Lieberman’s team is developing cards to test lead, iodine, and even urine. Notre Dame graduate student Jamie Luther is working on a card to identify contaminants in milk. "There are tests that are published for people at home to mix chemicals to test their own milk,” she says. “I thought to myself, that’s so cumbersome. People shouldn’t be handling acids in their home. They shouldn’t mix dangerous chemicals with their hands." In order to discover the most common contaminants, Lieberman’s team works with 18 universities throughout the U.S. The labs use High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machines to test drugs gathered from pharmacies throughout the developing world.

Notre Dame graduate student Nicholas Myers never considered what a big problem altered pharmaceuticals were before he started working on the project. "I just took it for granted that chemical analysis could happen anywhere,” Myers admitted. “I didn’t know the extent to which low and middle income countries did not have the capacity to do chemical testing." Veripad, a New York startup company is developing a complimentary smartphone app to help read and evaluate the cards. Because less experienced testers may not fully understand color results, and some may be color blind, the app takes away the guesswork. Testers can take a photo with their phones and get almost instantaneous results.

Lieberman says if there’s one thing this project has taught her, it’s that it’s sometimes necessary to look at a problem from a new angle to find the best answer. "If we can’t increase the capacity of analytical labs in the developing world,” she observes, “maybe we can come up with a way to bring that technology in a portable form that will be usable in the field." The World Health Organization says a functioning health care system should have 343 pharmaceuticals on hand. So far, Lieberman’s team has developed PADs to identify 60 different drugs and eventually hopes to have tests for them all.

Lab on a Paper Card Can Test Drugs for Purity
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Tuberculosis

Thanks for the data, but does this seem contradictory ?
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QuantiFERON, is sometimes used in adults, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend it for children.
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they found that those children with the highest levels of a blood biomarker called interferon gamma had a 40-fold increase in the risk of developing active tuberculosis.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:13 PM
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Who knew that the answer to TB could be right under our feet?...

A Bacterium Found in Soil Could Fight Tuberculosis
March 06, 2017 - Scientists are developing an antibiotic from a microorganism found in soil to fight the tuberculosis bacterium. As TB becomes increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics, soil could hold the key to new drugs against this global killer.
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Tuberculosis is treatable with antibiotics, but in thousands of cases, antibiotic misuse has caused the disease to become non-responsive to the drugs. According to the World Health Organization, there are 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis every year, killing 1.8 million people. In 2015, it was estimated that 480,000 infections were not responsive to two major drugs commonly used to treat TB. A quarter-million patients died reportedly of drug-resistant infections. An international team of researchers has been hunting for new sources of antibiotics in nature to treat deadly illnesses like TB. Investigators have hit upon a species of bacteria in a large family called Streptomyces found in soil.

Making synthetic compounds

In the laboratory, they’ve extracted compounds from Streptomyces that target a specific enzyme called MraY in mycobacterium, the pathogen that causes TB. The compounds effectively kill mycobacterium. Using synthetic chemistry, the researchers were able to recreate these compounds, turning them into more potent versions of the originals. Structural biology professor David Roper of England's University of Warwick is part of the team that includes scientists in the United States and Australia sleuthing for novel agents to treat disease.


A doctor points to an X-ray showing a pair of lungs infected with tuberculosis on board a mobile X-ray unit screening for TB in London

In the case of the Streptomyces microorganism, Roper said researchers have extracted compounds that target how mycobacterium makes its cell walls. He likens them to bones in the human body. “If you knock out our skeletons, you’re not going to be a very competent human being, are you? And the same is true for the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall. It’s exactly the same principle that penicillin inhibits, although that’s a different enzyme and other antibiotics like vancomycin for example. So, the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall is a good target for antibiotics,” said Roper.

Finding the right tools

The work was published in the journal Nature Communications. In the soil, Roper said the bacteria use the compounds to kill other microorganisms near them, giving them a survival advantage. “One of the reasons for looking at natural product compounds in general is that these things have been derived from nature, therefore they’ve gone through many millennia years of evolution in the first place, and they’ve been retained by nature so they must have, as it were, long-standing efficacy.” The challenge has been growing soil bacteria like Streptomyces in the lab with available tools so they can be made into drugs. The team is looking for ways to do that and they are beginning to find the right tools.

There is no timetable for turning soil bacteria into drugs against diseases like TB, just that it will take time. As new drugs from soil bacteria become available, Roper doesn’t rule out the possibility that TB eventually may become resistant to them too. Researchers, however, have learned from experience with tuberculosis that antibiotics must be used with great care to preserve their effectiveness.

A Bacterium Found in Soil Could Fight Tuberculosis
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Tuberculosis

And mothers all over get upset when a child eats dirt, saying it is unhealthy and dirty.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Tuberculosis

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And mothers all over get upset when a child eats dirt, saying it is unhealthy and dirty.
Some cultures here, noticeably (and I have certainly seen it) people from the Far East, have the habit of spitting on the pavements. They also (and again I have witnessed it) blow their nose into their bare hands (no tissue). With all the phlegm flying around it is no wonder that TB is on the rise.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Tuberculosis

Would these snot hand cream users, be from the Middle East or is it India?

If not either from where then? As I would want to avoid visiting the country with a culture as this!
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Tuberculosis

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Would these snot hand cream users, be from the Middle East or is it India?

If not either from where then? As I would want to avoid visiting the country with a culture as this!
the american northwest and wherever pf saw them
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the data, but does this seem contradictory ?
isnt it two separate tests?
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:54 AM
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Would these snot hand cream users, be from the Middle East or is it India?

If not either from where then? As I would want to avoid visiting the country with a culture as this!
Impoverished European countries (Romania, Bulgaria etc) and yes, the Middle East, Africa and India and surrounding countries. No wonder the Chinese wear face masks when they are here in the UK. We do have high pollution in London, but they probably know about other health risks including TB.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:02 AM
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Exclamation Re: Tuberculosis

Superbug TB threatening to derail decades of progress against the disease...

Rise of Superbug Tuberculosis Hampers Global Control Efforts
March 22, 2017 — Rising rates of superbug tuberculosis (TB) are threatening to derail decades of progress against the contagious disease, experts said Thursday, and new drugs powerful enough to treat them are few and far between.
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TB kills more people each year than any other infectious disease, including HIV and AIDS. In 2015 alone, it is estimated to have killed 1.8 million people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While some new antibiotics with the potential to treat some drug-resistant strains are becoming available for the first time, experts who conducted a global study said that without accurate diagnostics, better case tracking and clear treatment guidelines, their effectiveness could rapidly be lost. "Resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs is a global problem that threatens to derail efforts to eradicate the disease," said Keertan Dheda, a University of Cape Town professor who co-led research published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. "Cure rates for drug-resistant TB are poor and people can remain infectious."


A physician examines an X-ray picture of a tuberculosis patient.

TB is a bacterial infection normally treated with a combination of antibiotics. But extensive overuse of antibiotics worldwide has led to a rise in drug-resistant "superbug" strains. Bacteria can acquire many drug-resistance traits over time, making several types of antibiotics ineffective. Some 1 in 5 cases of TB are now resistant to at least one major anti-TB drug, the researchers found. Around 1 in 20 are classed as multidrug-resistant (MDR) — meaning they are resistant to two essential first-line TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin — or extensively drug-resistant — meaning they are also resistant to fluoroquinolones and second-line injectable drugs. Approximately half of global cases of MDR-TB are in India, China, and Russia, but migration and international travel have allowed these highly drug-resistant strains to emerge in almost every part of the world.

In a commentary on TB in the same journal, David W. Dowdy, a specialist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States, warned that over the next decade, "it is quite possible that we will see a drug-resistant tuberculosis epidemic of unprecedented global scale." He added, however, that it might also be possible for the global health community to bring about "an unprecedented reversal" of the drug-resistant TB problem. "The difference between these two outcomes lies less with the pathogen and more with ... whether we have the political will to prioritize," he said. "Drug-resistant TB is not standing still; neither can we."

Rise of Superbug Tuberculosis Hampers Global Control Efforts
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Last edited by waltky; 03-23-2017 at 05:08 AM..
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