Tag Archives | Tuberculosis

Thirty Patients Contract TB After Visits To Acupuncture Clinic

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Cough. Cough. Cough. STICK. Cough. Cough.

Add another drawback to acupuncture: possible infection with primary inoculation tuberculosis. That does not sound good. A new paper is published showing a correlation of acupuncture and electrotherapy with onset of a form of tuberculosis.

PLOS ONE: Analysis of 30 Patients with Acupuncture-Induced Primary Inoculation Tuberculosis.

Abstract:

Primary inoculation tuberculosis is a skin condition that develops at the site of inoculation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in tuberculosis-free individuals. This report describes the diagnosis, treatment and 1 year follow-up of 30 patients presenting with acupuncture-induced primary inoculation tuberculosis. Our data provide a deeper insight into this rare route of infection of tuberculosis. We also review effective treatment options.

The study looked at 30 patients who had primary inoculation tuberculosis. They had all received acupuncture and electrotherapy treatment from the same clinic in Wenzhou City, China. Even the same clinician is mentioned. Luckily none tested positive for HIV.

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TB Bacteria May Have Once Helped Break Down Nutrients Needed For Bigger Brains

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Talk about unforeseen consequences: A group of scientists think that tuberculosis started out as a symbiotic bacteria that extracted food nutrients  needed to grow bigger, more powerful brains. Scientific American has an article on the study, but it’s behind a pay wall. I’ve just pulled the abstract from the study they cited, and can remember just enough from my neurological psychology classes to sort of piece it together. Interesting stuff. (Note: The paragraph breaks are my own. I have trouble absorbing information what I read when it’s presented in a giant block of text.)

Meat eating has been an important trigger for human evolution however the responsible component in meat has not been clearly identified. Here we propose that the limiting factors for expanding brains and increasing longevity were the micronutrient nicotinamide (vitamin B3) and the metabolically related essential amino-acid, tryptophan.

Meat offers significant sourcing challenges and lack causes a deficiency of nicotinamide and tryptophan and consequently the energy carrier nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) that gets consumed in regulatory circuits important for survival, resulting in premature ageing, poor cognition and brain atrophy.

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Florida Accused Of Keeping Tuberculosis Outbreak Secret

All signs point to Florida being the most likely ground zero for a future zombie apocalypse. The Palm Beach Post reports:

The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years.

As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo’s 25-page report describing Jacksonville’s outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it – went unseen by key decision makers around the state.

That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tough tuberculosis cases have been treated for more than 60 years.

Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails.

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Tuberculosis Strain Totally Resistant To Antibiotics Spreads In India

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Are we approaching the end of the wondrous age of antibiotics? Scientists have nothing to combat this strain of TB, as Eryn Brown  reports for the LA Times:

At least a dozen people in India are infected with a type of tuberculosis that is resistant to all antibiotics used to treat the disease.

In December, the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases published an online report that documented four of the cases. This weekend, news outlets in India reported that there were actually at least 12 people with the drug-resistant lung disease.

Officials fear that what they’ve seen so far is just the beginning, and that many more cases are lurking undetected.

“It’s estimated that on average, a tuberculosis patient infects 10 to 20 contacts in a year, and there’s no reason to suspect that this strain is any less transmissible,” study co-author Zarir Udwadia of the Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre in Mumbai told New Scientist.

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Venezuelan Inmates Take 22 Hostages Including Prison Director

Miranda State, Venezuela. Photo: Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H.(CC)

Miranda State, Venezuela. Photo: Wilfredo R. Rodríguez H.(CC)

In an effort to bring attention to the outbreak of tuberculosis in El Rodeo II prison, inmates are holding officials hostage. Prisoners are hoping such actions are a loud enough shout for help to have medical teams sent in to examine them. BBC reports:

Inmates at a jail in Venezuela have taken the prison director and 21 other officials hostage in an effort to draw attention to an alleged tuberculosis outbreak.

The prisoners at El Rodeo II prison in Guatire in Miranda state are demanding a medical team be sent into the jail to deal with the alleged outbreak.

The government denies there is a tuberculosis outbreak.

Officials say they will not negotiate until the inmates release the hostages.

Deputy Interior Minister Edwin Rojas said holding the officials hostage was “not the most adequate way [for the inmates] to proceed to make their grievances known”.

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Drug Resistant TB Appears in United States

From Yahoo News/AP:

LANTANA, Fla. – It started with a cough, an autumn hack that refused to go away.

Then came the fevers. They bathed and chilled the skinny frame of Oswaldo Juarez, a 19-year-old Peruvian visiting to study English. His lungs clattered, his chest tightened and he ached with every gasp. During a wheezing fit at 4 a.m., Juarez felt a warm knot rise from his throat. He ran to the bathroom sink and spewed a mouthful of blood.

I’m dying, he told himself, “because when you cough blood, it’s something really bad.”
It was really bad, and not just for him.

Doctors say Juarez’s incessant hack was a sign of what they have both dreaded and expected for years — this country’s first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. The Associated Press learned of his case, which until now has not been made public, as part of a six-month look at the soaring global challenge of drug resistance.

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Vaccines For AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Herpes

The AP reports (question: why is it that vaccines are suddenly front page news every day?):

Malaria. Tuberculosis. Alzheimer’s disease. AIDS. Pandemic flu. Genital herpes. Urinary tract infections. Grass allergies. Traveler’s diarrhea. You name it, the pharmaceutical industry is working on a vaccine to prevent it.

Many could be on the market in five years or less.

Contrast that with five years ago, when so many companies had abandoned the vaccine business that half the U.S. supply of flu shots was lost because of factory contamination at one of the two manufacturers left.

Vaccines are no longer a sleepy, low-profit niche in a booming drug industry. Today, they’re starting to give ailing pharmaceutical makers a shot in the arm.

The lure of big profits, advances in technology and growing government support has been drawing in new companies, from nascent biotechs to Johnson & Johnson. That means recent remarkable strides in overcoming dreaded diseases and annoying afflictions likely will continue…

[more at AP]

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