Weekly digest: AMFm decision approaches, Get Smart Week, and health organizations unite to preserve antibiotic effectiveness

9 Nov 2012
Alison Buki

A roundup of news on drug resistance and other topics in global health.

As the meeting of the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to decide the fate of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) approaches, supporters and opponents of the program actively voice their research and opinions. In this Science news article, CDDEP’s Ramanan Laxminarayan worries that the recommendation by a working group and a taskforce to integrate AMFm into the Global Fund’s regular country activities would effectively bring an end to the project. [ScienceMag]

Barry Bloom, Ken Arrow, and CDDEP’s Ramanan Laxminarayan and Dean Jamison draw lessons from the pilot phase of the AMFm in a Science Policy Forum article. Read our summary here, and hear Barry Bloom speak about AMFm in this accompanying podcast. [Science, CDDEP]

November 12-18 is observed as the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, an initiative created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [CDC]

On November 13 at 10am EST, CDDEP, in conjunction with CDC and 25 other leading national health organizations, will unveil the details of an unprecedented joint statement to fight against antibiotic resistance. Find out more here. [CDDEP]

Three CDDEP abstracts presented at IDWeek last month are now available on our website. See our Tools section to download posters from a multicenter cohort study of antibiotic use, de-escalation patterns and presence of adverse reactions across six US hospitals. Oral abstracts available here and here.

With drug-resistant malaria spreading in the Southeast Asian nations, this article discusses attempts in Thailand to reduce infection rates.  [AFP, NPR]

The UN’s Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) discusses the controversies surrounding AMFm. Citing new research that shows that private pharmacies have handed out costly malaria drugs indiscriminately due to the drug subsidies, NPR’s health blog also furthers the discussion on the AMFm project. [IRIN, NPR]

Doug Call, a molecular epidemiologist at Washington State University, will be analyzing the ecological and socio-economic factors behind antibiotic resistance with funding from the National Science Foundation. [WSU News]

Decoded Science discusses Dr. Tara C. Smith’s findings on the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) in wildlife. [Decoded Science]

A press release by Weill Cornell Medical College reports that researchers at the school have successfully used mass spectrometry to visualize how antibiotics function inside bacteria. This research might enable scientists to improve existing antibiotics and develop new antibiotics.

In the past two years, the National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in the UK have had a twofold increase in the number of patients getting infected in hospitals, while the payouts to infected patients have quadrupled in the past seven years. [Mirror]

Even though India faces an epidemic of dengue fever that threatens hundreds of millions of people, the disease is massively underreported in the country. Watch Ramanan Laxminarayan discuss India’s dengue problem in this news segment for CNN-IBN. [NYTimes, IBN]

New research published in the journal mBio shows that the long-term use of antibiotics in honey bees might have weakened their resistance to other diseases and contributed to the decline in their population in the US. [VoA]

According to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, MRSA and MSSA were found in all of the four wastewater treatment plants used in the study, with the presence of the superbugs declining as treatment progressed. [Medical News Today]

With superbugs like the NDM-1 being reported in Hong Kong, the island could be at risk of outbreaks of drug-resistant infections. [South China Morning Post]

Do you have a background in object-oriented programming and a desire to contribute to cutting-edge global health research? We may have job for you. [CDDEP]

 

Want to receive the weekly digest in your inbox?  Enter your email address in the "receive updates" box.

Image via Sparktography/Flickr