Infectious Diseases

Top Medical News
Paediatric RSV infection risk rises, drops depending on weather, air quality
Jairia Dela Cruz, 21 hours ago
Meteorologic factors appear to influence the risk of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in children, such that the risk is exacerbated when ambient temperature is low and absolute humidity is high, but the risk is decreased in the presence of increased air pollutant concentrations, according to a study in Singapore.
Does molnupiravir improve outcomes in vaccinated COVID-19 patients?
Roshini Claire Anthony, 3 days ago

The addition of molnupiravir to usual care does not reduce hospitalization or death in vaccinated, community-dwelling individuals at high risk of serious outcomes of COVID-19, results of the UK-based PANORAMIC trial showed. However, it may provide other benefits such as reducing time to recovery.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Everything you need to know
5 days ago
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The variants of concern have the potential to impact the transmissibility, virulence, and clinical presentation of the disease, affecting the epidemiology, public health measures, and diagnostic and therapeutic options. Mutations in the spike protein of the virus have increased its ability to infect humans and evade neutralization by natural or immunisation-induced antibodies. The highly mutated Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has multiple sublineages with varying transmissibility and immune evasion potential. Pre-exposure prophylaxis plays a crucial role in protecting the immunocompromised populations against severe disease; however, the rapidly changing landscape of the variants poses a major challenge to the current and future effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylactic monoclonal antibodies.
Study supports safety of fourth BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine
Audrey Abella, 5 days ago
A study from Israel validated the safety of the fourth BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (ie, second booster) using data from a retrospective and a prospective cohort.
Does age influence management of patients with prosthetic joint infections?
Stephen Padilla, 6 days ago
Patients aged ≥75 years with a first prosthetic joint infection following hip or knee arthroplasty have similar presentations and management as their younger counterparts (aged <75 years), according to a study. However, cardiac abnormalities and mortality at 1 year are higher in older patients.
Original New Drug Application Approvals by US FDA (16-31 January 2023)
31 Jan 2023
New drug applications approved by US FDA as of 16-31 January 2023 which includes New Molecular Entities (NMEs) and new biologics. It does not include Tentative Approvals. Supplemental approvals may have occurred since the original approval date.
BNT162b2 vax prevents delta, omicron infection in adolescents; benefits upped with booster dose
Roshini Claire Anthony, 30 Jan 2023

Full vaccination with the SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 vaccine reduced infection and hospitalization due to the delta and omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, with an added benefit against the omicron variant in individuals who received a booster dose, according to a national study of Singaporean adolescents.

Special Reports
SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Everything you need to know
01 Feb 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The variants of concern have the potential to impact the transmissibility, virulence, and clinical presentation of the disease, affecting the epidemiology, public health measures, and diagnostic and therapeutic options. Mutations in the spike protein of the virus have increased its ability to infect humans and evade neutralization by natural or immunisation-induced antibodies. The highly mutated Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has multiple sublineages with varying transmissibility and immune evasion potential. Pre-exposure prophylaxis plays a crucial role in protecting the immunocompromised populations against severe disease; however, the rapidly changing landscape of the variants poses a major challenge to the current and future effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylactic monoclonal antibodies.
The role of oral antivirals in COVID-19 treatment: Who, when, and how?
Dr. Roger Paredes, Dr. Nicola Petrosillo, Dr. Petrick Periyasamy, 30 Jan 2023

Though most countries have eased pandemic restrictions, there is no room for complacency in managing COVID-19, which continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality.

At a recent symposium, esteemed experts Dr Roger Paredes, Head of Department of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain, and Dr Nicola Petrosillo, Head of the Infection Prevention and Control and Infectious Disease Service at University Hospital Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy, gave global perspectives on the continuing unmet needs in the COVID-19 outpatient landscape and discussed the role of antiviral treatment options in patients at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19. Dr Petrick Periyasamy, Head of Infectious Diseases Unit, Medical Department, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, chaired the session.

Antimicrobial resistance: Next global, public health threat after COVID-19
Pank Jit Sin, 10 Jan 2023
As the dust settles from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the lurking threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) once again rears its ugly head. Weighing in on this topic is Professor Dr Sasheela Sri La Sri Ponnampalavanar, Infectious Disease Professor, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). Below is an excerpt from her bylined piece titled ‘Tackling the Next Global and Public Health Threat After COVID-19 – Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).’
Multipathogen testing an essential part of Test-Target-Treat strategy for respiratory illnesses
Dr. Mohan Ravuru, Dr. Johnny Sinon, Assoc Prof. Nuntra Suwantarat, 16 Dec 2022

At a recent webinar, experts discussed the paradigm shift in respiratory illnesses and treatment practices as the COVID-19 pandemic transitions to an endemic phase. The late Dr Mohan Ravuru, Physician Researcher and former Asia Pacific Medical Director, Abbott, Dr Johnny Sinon, Senior Emergency Physician from Makati Medical Center, Philippines, and Associate Professor Nuntra Suwantarat, Infectious Disease Specialist, from Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Thailand, delivered informative presentations and engaged the audience through a stimulating panel discussion.

Among the topics covered were the ‘immunity debt’ phenomenon leading to potential epidemics, challenges in the differential diagnosis of COVID-19 and influenza, and the importance of point-of-care, multipathogen testing as a part of the Test-Target-Treat strategy in respiratory diseases.

Turning the TIDES with Dengue Vaccination
15 Dec 2022
Aedes aegypti mosquito is the epitome of ‘small bite, big threat’. A bite from a female Aedes aegypti mosquito is enough to spread dengue. There are four different serotypes of dengue virus, Dengue Virus 1–4 (DENV1–4), thus, individuals can be infected with dengue up to four times. Repeated infections increase the risk of severe dengue, a risk factor for mortality. These serotypes are endemic to a certain countries and cocirculate in the natural environment. Dengue poses a major global health concern, with approximately 40% of the world’s population at risk of infection and more severe cases linked to a 20% mortality rate.
Timely treatment of patients at risk for severe COVID-19 prevents severe outcomes
Dr. Asok Kurup, Dr. Alex Soriano, 31 Oct 2022

Despite widespread uptake of vaccinations, COVID-19 remains a serious health issue for high-risk patients, owing to the emergence of new variants of concern (VOCs), waning immunity, and breakthrough infections.

At a recent symposium in Singapore, esteemed experts Dr Asok Kurup, Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore, and Dr Alex Soriano, Head of Infectious Diseases Department, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and Assistant Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain, gave insights on the evolution of global trends since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed key challenges in managing high-risk patients with COVID-19 in the ICU. They also highlighted early treatment strategies to minimize the burden of COVID-19 on healthcare systems.

Product Highlight - Ravida
13 Sep 2022
Ravidasvir 200 mg tab
Conference Reports
Age, sex, syphilis risk factors for COVID-19 in PLHIV
Roshini Claire Anthony, 30 Nov 2022

Among people living with HIV (PLHIV), young women and patients with active syphilis appeared to be at an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19, according to a cross-sectional study presented at HIV Glasgow 2022.

TB rates elevated after ART initiation in PLHIV
Roshini Claire Anthony, 21 Nov 2022

People living with HIV (PLHIV) who initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis (TB), particularly in the first 3 months after starting ART, according to a study presented at HIV Glasgow 2022.

Low use of CVD prevention strategies in people with HIV
Roshini Claire Anthony, 18 Nov 2022

There is an underutilization of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention strategies in people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are at risk of CVD, according to a study presented at HIV Glasgow 2022.

Early ART yields better outcomes in HIV
Elvira Manzano, 14 Nov 2022
Early antiretroviral therapy (ART) in individuals with HIV offers better outcomes, particularly in those aged 35 years and younger, in a follow-up analysis of the START trial. Conversely, delayed therapy results in a higher risk of death and serious health issues in this population.
Ibrexafungerp: A potential solution for intolerance to standard antifungals?
Roshini Claire Anthony, 11 Nov 2022

Patients who are refractory or intolerant to currently approved antifungal therapies exhibited a positive response to the novel triterpenoid antifungal ibrexafungerp, according to interim analysis results of the phase III FURI trial.

Doravirine-lamivudine-tenofovir disoproxil well-tolerated as HIV postexposure prophylaxis
Tristan Manalac, 11 Nov 2022
Among people with potential nonoccupational exposure to HIV, a single-tablet once-daily regimen (STR) of doravirine-lamivudine-tenofovir disoproxil is a well-tolerated postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) option, reports a study presented at the recently concluded 2022 HIV Glasgow Conference.
B/F/TAF keeps HIV RNA levels suppressed at 24 months
Tristan Manalac, 10 Nov 2022
Implementing the bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (B/F/TAF) treatment regimen in routine clinical care can effectively suppress HIV in people living with HIV over 24 months of follow-up, reports a study presented at HIV Glasgow 2022.