Weekly digest: AMFm in The Lancet, CDDEP at IDWeek, and new treatments for C. Diff and MRSA

2 Nov 2012
Alison Buki

A roundup of news on drug resistance and other topics in global health.

New independent research published in The Lancet finds that the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm), a groundbreaking global subsidy for malaria treatment, was able to substantially reduce the cost of effective medications over a short period of time. A linked Comment co-written by CDDEP director Ramanan Laxminarayan warns of threats to the program’s continuation. [CDDEP, BBC]

Debates surrounding AMFm’s future are also covered in The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Guardian’s global health blog.

CDDEP researcher Nikolay Braykov attended the inaugural IDWeek conference, where he presented recent work on drug resistance trends and antimicrobial stewardship. Read his post on a session exploring whether pay-for-performance incentives have helped hospitals reduce infection rates. [CDDEP]

Widespread use of outdated anti-malaria drugs due to the unavailability of artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) continues to cost hundreds of thousands of lives each year in Nigeria. [Voice of America]

An article in Business Day explores strategies to decrease the amount of counterfeit malaria drugs in Nigeria, including some that utilize mobile phone networks. [Business Day]

Researchers at the Sanger Institute find that faecal transplant of a cocktail of six bacteria, including three previously unidentified species, can treat Clostridium difficile infections in mice. [BBC]

Research presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s 77th Annual Scientific Meeting suggests a shift in the way Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is acquired. [Science Codex]

According to research published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have been able to increase the potency of a compound that make antibiotics more effective in treating Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. [Science Blog]

At the Challenges in Malaria Research Conference held in Switzerland, experts discuss the future of malaria research and control. [PLOS Blogs]

Newly published research in the journal Ecology Letters challenges the existing ideas on optimal temperature for malaria transmission and predicts a different pattern of malaria’s spread with rising temperatures. [New Scientist]

Two U.N. agencies, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization, have published a document titled “Atlas of Health and Climate” that maps health risks linked to climate change and extreme weather conditions. [Huff Post]

At the “Malaria 2012: Saving Lives in the Asia-Pacific” conference in Sydney, experts warn that the spread of drug-resistant malaria could be catastrophic to public health. [AFP, Radio Australia]

In a new study, scientists develop a technique to detect malaria infections in blood by using cheap magnets and pocket lasers. [Physics World]


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