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Weekly Digest: Malaria vaccine for children; A new checklist of reporting standards for One Health antimicrobial resistance studies

Malaria vaccine for children. In a historic and long-awaited moment for child health and malaria control, the World Health Organization recommended the widespread use of the new malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas with high rates of P. falciparum malaria transmission. This recommendation follows results from a pilot program in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, which has vaccinated more than 800,000 children since 2019 and led to a 30% reduction in deadly severe malaria. [WHO]

 A new checklist of reporting standards for One Health antimicrobial resistance studies. To address issues with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data reporting from environmental studies, researchers consulted with a panel of experts on a set of reporting standards for AMR research in wastewater and aquatic environments. The expert panel developed a checklist across five categories: sampling, microbiology, comparability, analysis, and results. The majority of items in the checklist focused on the methods section, providing strong standards, examples, and rationale for conducting One Health studies. [One Health]

Antibiotic stewardship intervention to reduce broad-spectrum antibiotic use. A cluster-randomized trial in Dutch hospitals showed that a bundled antibiotic stewardship intervention consisting of education and prospective audit and feedback reduced the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in adult patients with pneumonia without compromising patient safety. Following the intervention period, the mean broad-spectrum days of therapy per patient were reduced from 6.5 to 4.8 days, while 90-day mortality remained the same. [The Lancet]

Few new antibiotics to address widespread antimicrobial resistance. A recent literature review highlights the limited number of antibiotics against high-priority organisms. New antibiotics in the pipeline included those targeted to treat acute bacterial skin infections, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, and pneumonia acquired in health care settings. However, the authors cite that “novel” antibiotics were often based on previously known molecules. [Infection]

Single-dose HPV vaccine just as effective as two or three-dose regimens. Researchers in India conducted a randomized trial that compared human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18 vaccine efficacy ten years post-vaccination with one, two, or three doses in adolescent girls aged 10-18. Vaccine efficacy against incident and persistent HPV 16/18 infections responsible for nearly 70% of cervical cancers was 95.4% in the single-dose cohort, 93.1% in the two-dose cohorts, and 93.3% in the three-dose cohort. [The Lancet]

High prevalence of cephalosporin-resistant S. Typhi in Mumbai. A third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Salmonella Typhi was detected in isolates collected from patients with S. Typhi infections in a tertiary care hospital between January 2017 and December 2018 in Mumbai. Detection of a high-risk lineage resistant to ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin, in an area with a high burden of typhoid fever, emphasizes the urgent need for active surveillance and preventive measure to avoid larger outbreaks and international dissemination. [Clinical Infectious Diseases]

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted routine childhood vaccination rates. A recent study shows that the proportion of children in the United States who are up to date with their vaccinations has fallen significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, only 74 % of children aged seven months and 57% of those aged 18 months were up to date on their vaccines, compared to 81% and 61% in previous years. Non-Hispanic Black children had the lowest proportion of up-to-date vaccinations both during and before the pandemic. [JAMA Pediatrics]

Childhood influenza vaccine program associated with reductions in antibiotic prescribing. Researchers in England investigated the impact of live attenuated influenza (LAIV) programs on community antibiotic prescribing rates and revealed a reduction in antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections in pre-school age children. Antibiotic prescribing was reduced by 2.7% (95% CI: 2.1% to 3.4%) for every 10% increase in influenza vaccine uptake among 2-3-year-olds. [Vaccine]

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases among vaccinated healthcare workers in Israel. A study at a large medical center in Israel recorded only 39 breakthrough COVID-19 infections among 1497 vaccinated healthcare workers. The majority of the cases (85%) were attributed to the B.1.17 variant and were mild or asymptomatic. [NEJM]

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