Infectious Diseases

Top Medical News
19 cases of severe influenza-associated complication or death (three deaths) were detected.
2 days ago
Influenza in a paediatric population can manifest as a neurologic disease, particularly as febrile seizures, according to a study. Hospitalized children with neurologic manifestation of influenza (neuro-flu) experience several neurologic comorbidities, which suggest that this condition is driven by host-factors rather than by pathogen-factors.
Original New Drug Application Approvals by US FDA (16-31 May 2023)
2 days ago
New drug applications approved by US FDA as of 16-31 May 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.
First-line TB treatment: Faropenem rivals ethambutol in efficacy, with fewer side effects
Jairia Dela Cruz, 3 days ago

Faropenem, when used in combination with the other standard treatment drugs for the first-line treatment of tuberculosis (TB) infection, appears to be noninferior to ethambutol, with faropenem having the added benefit of lower frequency of adverse events (AEs), according to the results of an open-label study in China.

Children attending childcare more prone to respiratory virus infections
3 days ago
Children who attend childcare are at greater risk of adenovirus and human metapneumovirus infection, and they are also often exposed to other respiratory viruses in such environments, reveals a study.
Vaccination protects the young against COVID-19
Audrey Abella, 3 days ago
COVID-19 remains a global health concern, and children and adolescents are equally affected. In fact, COVID-19 hospitalization rates in children increased during the Omicron era. [MMWR 2022;71:271-278] In children aged 5–11 years who were hospitalized during the predominance of Omicron, nearly 90 percent were unvaccinated. [MMWR 2022;71:574-581]
Monkeypox: Why the sudden concern?
4 days ago
Treatment with topical cidofovir leads to faster clearance of skin lesions in patients with monkeypox but mild systemic involvement, according to a study. Time to resolution reduction can shorten isolation time and enhance the cosmetic impact in areas such as the face.
HPV infection among pregnant women common, but vertical transmission infrequent
5 days ago
Vaginal human papillomavirus (HPV) is frequently detected among pregnant women, but perinatal transmission does not appear to occur as often, according to data from the HERITAGE* study.
Special Reports
Long COVID: What we have learned so far
Prof. Ghassan Dbaibo, 27 Apr 2023

The WHO defines long COVID as a condition that occurs 3 months from COVID-19 onset, whose symptoms last ≥2 months and cannot be attributed to an alternative diagnosis. In an interview with MIMS Doctor, Professor Ghassan Dbaibo of the Center for Infectious Diseases, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, describes the evolving attitudes towards long COVID among healthcare professionals (HCPs), some unexpected predisposing factors, potential biological mechanisms behind prolonged symptom duration and shares data on vaccination’s protective effects against long COVID.

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.

Conference Reports
Vaccination protects the young against COVID-19
Audrey Abella, 31 May 2023
COVID-19 remains a global health concern, and children and adolescents are equally affected. In fact, COVID-19 hospitalization rates in children increased during the Omicron era. [MMWR 2022;71:271-278] In children aged 5–11 years who were hospitalized during the predominance of Omicron, nearly 90 percent were unvaccinated. [MMWR 2022;71:574-581]
Maternal influenza vaccination reduces ILI risk in infants
Elaine Soliven, 27 May 2023
Administration of maternal influenza vaccine during the first- or second-trimester of pregnancy reduces the risk of influenza-like illness (ILI) in the offspring, according to a study presented at ESPID 2023.
Paediatric TB care riddled with uncertainty, study says
Jairia Dela Cruz, 25 May 2023
Uncertainty weighs heavily on managing tuberculosis (TB) infection in children, with multi-level factors influencing the decision-making regarding testing and treatment.
Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir effective, safe for paediatric HCV
Audrey Abella, 25 May 2023
The direct-acting antiviral (DAA) sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (SOF/VEL) was effective and safe for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in individuals aged 6–18 years, the PANDAA-PED study has shown.
2-dose, 3-dose vax schedules active against several meningococcal serogroup B strains
Jairia Dela Cruz, 25 May 2023
Both the 2-dose and 3-dose vaccination schedules of the four-component meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (4CMenB) appear to provide protection against a panel epidemiologically relevant strains in adolescents and young adults, according to a phase III study presented at ESPID 2023.
TAK-003 elicits cellular immune response against all dengue serotypes in paediatric cohort
Audrey Abella, 24 May 2023
TAK-003, a live-attenuated, recombinant tetravalent dengue vaccine covering all four dengue virus (DENV) strains, elicited a cell-mediated immune (CMI) response in healthy children and adolescents aged 4–16 years, the phase II DEN-313 study has shown.
Nirsevimab safe, effective against RSV lower respiratory tract infection
Stephen Padilla, 18 May 2023
A single dose of nirsevimab administered before or during the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season provides protection against RSV lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) hospitalization and very severe infection in infants, according to the preliminary results of a clinical trial conducted in real-world settings.