Thursday, 3 January 2013

Clinical news in brief

Malnutrition and anaemia are rife in Shaanxi infants

One in three infants in impoverished rural Shaanxi have anaemic and malnutrition, a study has found
Researchers from the Maternal and Child Health Centre of the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical
College in Xi’an sampled 336 infants in 28 rural villages from two counties of Shaanxi province. They found that 35% of infants in suffered from anemia, 32% had malnutrition, stunting or
wasting. Anemia was linked with malnutrition, while low birth weight, having more siblings, less maternal education, low family income, crowded living conditions, and inappropriate complementary food introduction significantly increased the risk for infant anemia. Serum concentrations of iron, zinc, and retinol (vitamin A) were significantly lower in anemic infants, they study showed.
"Health education focusing on feeding practices and nutrition education could be a practical strategy for preventing anemia and malnutrition in young children.," the researchers suggest.
Source: BMC Public Health

Vaccine against tooth decay

Wuhan researchers have developed a vaccine that could make tooth decay - and visits to the dentist - a thing of the past.
The researchers from Hubei have shown that an anti-caries DNA vaccine induced salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) antibodies to Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) the main causative agent for dental caries.
By stimulating the production of the antibodies, the vaccine  was effective in preventing adhesion of the S. mutans bacteria to a tooth model.
"These results demonstrate that the anti-caries DNA vaccine induces the production of specific S-IgA antibodies that may prevent dental caries by inhibiting the initial adherence of S. mutans onto tooth surfaces, thereby reducing the accumulation of S. mutans on the acquired pellicles," they say.
Read more: Acta Pharmacologica Sinica.

Tamiflu resistance emerges in China

Two new mutant forms of influenza virus detected in China are resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors drugs such as Tamiflu that are the only option for treatment.
Researchers from the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, tested more than 600 influenza B virus samples collected in 2010 and 2011 for susceptibility to oseltamivir and zanamivir. They found four influenza B virus samples showed reduced susceptibilities to oseltamivir, but not zanamivir, while another showed resistance to both.They say that "[antiviral] drug resistance is a public health concern" and that "this report underlies the importance of continued influenza antiviral susceptibility surveillance globally, even in countries where the use of neuraminidase inhibitors  has been low or non-existent."
Read more: Antiviral Research

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