Infectious Diseases

Top Medical News
Another breakthrough for HIV: Fourth patient goes into long-term remission
Audrey Abella, 4 hours ago
Hope springs yet again in the field of HIV treatment, as another HIV patient (reportedly the fourth in the world) goes into remission 3 decades following diagnosis. The patient stopped antiretroviral therapy (ART) after receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) of CCR5-Δ32/Δ32 donor cells for acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML).
MRNA shots effective against COVID-19 Delta variant
Tristan Manalac, Yesterday
Immunizations with mRNA-based vaccines are strongly effective against symptomatic and severe COVID-19 disease associated with the virus’ Delta variant, according to a recent Singapore study.
Coagulation abnormalities compromise COVID-19 survival
Patients with abnormalities in coagulation parameters such as prothrombin concentration (PC) and D-dimer (DD) levels are at greater risk of more severe COVID-19 infection and subsequent death, reports a recent study.
1 week off methotrexate works okay for RA patients receiving flu shot
Temporarily discontinuing methotrexate treatment for 1 week appears to induce satisfactory response to a seasonal influenza vaccine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with a similar effect as a 2-week interruption schedule, according to a study.
Coronavirus surrogates may stay on meat, fish in cold storage for up to a month
Audrey Abella, 2 days ago
Surrogates of SARS-CoV-2* – a lipid enveloped RNA bacteriophage (Phi6) and two animal coronaviruses (CoVs; MHV and TGEV**) – survived in cold-storage temperatures for 30 days, a study finds, highlighting the risk of viral survival on food products and potential transmission on humans upon consumption.
Gastric disease prevalence peaks during middle age, late adulthood
Tristan Manalac, 2 days ago
There appears to be a twin-peak prevalence profile (TPP) for diseases of the stomach, including Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection, gastric cancer (GC), gastric intraepithelial neoplasia (GIN), and gastritis, according to a recent China study. The first peak typically occurs during middle-adulthood while the second peak happens in late life.
Special Reports
Burden of Dengue amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
12 Jul 2022
Dengue fever (DF) is endemic in many tropical countries, including Singapore, and is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. All four serotypes of the dengue virus (DENV 1–4) are found in Singapore, with serotype distribution fluctuating from year to year. DENV-1 and DENV-2 were previously the dominant serotypes in outbreaks, but DENV-3 has now replaced DENV-2 as the most common serotype in 2022. Along with a larger proportion of people staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has resulted in an increase in dengue incidence in Singapore. In the week of 12th to 18th June 2022, 1,258 new dengue cases were reported. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), this number is expected to rise and exceed the highest weekly figure of 1,787 cases recorded in 2020.
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Kids hard-hit by Delta; which ART performs best?
Elvira Manzano, 24 Oct 2021
That COVID-19 mostly spared children might be changing. The Delta variant has taken a severe, unthinkable toll on kids – at least in Arkansas, US, reports an expert at IDWeek 2021.
Rapid antigen test: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
Pearl Toh, 23 Oct 2021
While rapid antigen test is less sensitive than conventional nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) such as RT-PCR* in detecting SARS-CoV-2 virus, “a test does not have to be perfect to be clinically useful,” said Professor Angela Caliendo during a session in IDWeek 2021 — echoing the maxim that perfect should not be the enemy of good in the pandemic era.
ID NOW rapid molecular assay an effective COVID-19 test for kids
Roshini Claire Anthony, 20 Oct 2021

A large retrospective study from the US, presented at IDWeek 2021, has shown that the Abbott ID NOW rapid molecular COVID-19 assay is highly sensitive and specific at detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in a paediatric population.

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Conference Reports
Negative attitude towards MSM living with HIV tied to low knowledge, worry about HIV
Stephen Padilla, 08 Aug 2022
Ignorance and fear of HIV both contribute significantly to the negative attitudes towards men who have sex with men (MSM) living with the virus, suggests a study presented at the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) in Montreal, Canada.
Long-acting injectable HIV drug works for all ages
Jairia Dela Cruz, 07 Aug 2022
The long-acting combination of cabotegravir plus rilpivirine, administered as monthly or once-every-2-months jabs, appears to be effective in both older and younger patients living with HIV, with most maintaining virologic suppression through week 96, according to pooled data from the phase III ATLAS, FLAIR, and ATLAS-2M studies.
HIV intervention uptake remains low among transgender men; campaign helps
Stephen Padilla, 05 Aug 2022
Transgender individuals, particularly transgender men (TGM), show poor acceptance of HIV prevention interventions (HPI) in the Philippines, according to a study presented at the AIDS 2022 conference in Montreal, Canada. Although some transgender individuals who prefer having sex with men make use of HPI, it remains relatively lower among TGM who have sex with men (SM).
One in five women living with HIV engages in drinking, smoking
Tristan Manalac, 05 Aug 2022
Co-occurring and long-term heavy drinking, smoking, and depressive symptoms are common among women living with HIV, according to a study presented at the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022). In turn, such sustained syndemics appear to worsen mortality in this population.
Expectant mums’ use of dolutegravir safe for babies
Jairia Dela Cruz, 04 Aug 2022

Treatment with dolutegravir during pregnancy does not appear to pose an excess risk of adverse birth outcomes, according to two studies presented at the 24th International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada.

Ibalizumab induces consistent HIV response when paired with partially active agents
Tristan Manalac, 03 Aug 2022
Ibalizumab appears to be a promising treatment option in heavily treatment-experienced (HTE) patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 infections, yielding consistent efficacy outcomes even when used in combination with partially active agents, according to a study presented at the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022).
Unexplained hepatitis outbreak in kids: Are COVID-19, adenovirus the triggers?
Elvira Manzano, 19 Jul 2022
Cases of acute, severe hepatitis of unknown aetiology in young children have increased recently and investigations are underway, says an expert during a media briefing at ILC 2022.