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Weekly digest: Anti-inflammatories help clear infections, vaccines roll out in Ghana, and PDUFA considers antibiotic prizes

Weekly digest: Anti-inflammatories help clear infections, vaccines roll out in Ghana, and PDUFA considers antibiotic prizes

A round-up of news on drug resistance and other topics in global health.

A study in Nature finds that anti-inflammatories can lessen the antibiotic dose needed to clear infections in mice.

In a historic campaign, Ghana simultaneously introduces vaccines for pneumococcal disease and rotavirus, a cause of diarrhea.  Public health officials estimate that approximately 20% of the under-5 deaths in Ghana in 2008 were attributable to these two conditions.

Research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology finds high levels of antimicrobial resistance in freshwater bacterial communities.

The Indian Express reports that the Union Health Ministry is calling on the Planning Commission to include measures on antimicrobial resistance in its 12th Five Year Plan. The Pioneer has more on mounting pressure in India to enact policies to curtail antibiotic overuse.

Sunday is World Veterinary Day, and its theme is antimicrobial resistance.

Scientists identify a possible genetic driver for MRSA epidemics in China.  The study appears in Nature Medicine.

The Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) releases its short report on antimicrobial resistance for 2010.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology characterizes strains of C. difficile in swine in Ohio and North Carolina.

A CDC morbidity and mortality weekly report (MMWR) describes the seasonal influenza and MRSA co-infections that killed several members of a Maryland family earlier this year.

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association links infections to heart devices.

Research presented at the Society of Hospital Medicine Annual Meeting suggests that patients with healthcare-associated pneumonia may need fewer antibiotics than once thought.

Kevin Outterson of The Incidental Economist explains provisions in the draft Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) to study the effects of prizes on antibiotic development in the United States.

Why do some superbugs evade detection?  Nature News looks at the limitations of commercial testing kits.

The Herald Sun reports on the Australian National Prescribing Service s warning to patients about rising drug resistance in the country.  NPS is launching a campaign to cut antibiotic prescriptions by 25%.

Bloomberg reports on new research that resistance to artemether (a key ingredient in the malaria drug coartem) is emerging in Africa.

Former U.S. senator Bill Frist gives five reasons why the U.S. should continue to invest in global health.

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Image credit: Flickr: Gates Foundation