Weekly digest: Tracking malaria with cell phone data, resistant bacteria in artificial snow, and UV light to fight HAIs

22 Oct 2012
Alison Buki

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

Research published in the journal Science, co-authored by CDDEP Associate Director for Research David Smith, explores the impact of human movement, measured by using cell phone data, on malaria transmission in Kenya. [CNN]

Aidspan reports on the recent meeting on the future of the Affordable Medicines Facilty-malaria (AMFm), and its ensuing press coverage. [Aidspan]

An unpublished report shows that artificial snow, to be used in an Arizona ski resort and made from treated sewage water, might contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria. [NYTimes, DiscoverMag]

Another study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology also indicates that antibiotic-resistant genes carried by bacteria increase due to nearby wastewater treatment plants and animal feeding facilities.  [C&EN, Nature]

Key findings presented at the 6th Abu Dhabi Medical Congress show that antibiotic resistance levels in the country have reached critically high levels and call for urgent actions to prevent and control antibiotic resistance. [The Gulf Today]

Researchers are increasingly suggesting an ecological path - which involves fostering the growth of good bacteria in the immune system - to combat diseases and antibiotic resistance. [The Boston Globe]

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, linezolid, a 12-year-old antibiotic, has cured 90 percent of patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). [NPR]

The 2012 global report on tuberculosis published by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that tuberculosis cases dropped by 2.2 percent worldwide during the year but cites slow progress in tackling drug-resistant forms of the disease. [Reuters]

A study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases discovers the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in wildlife. [ScienceMag]

Research published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe identifies a new mechanism through which mosquitoes’ immune system responds to infections. [Infection Control Today]

As a result of low gravity, space flights decrease the ability of the human immune system to respond to infections while they enhance the ability of microbes to cause infections. [RDMag]

Results from a survey in Europe show that 78 percent of healthcare professionals believe that they may not be following the guidelines for testing Clostridium difficile infections. [Science 2.0]

Starting in 2013, the UK has decided to ban the advertisements of antimicrobial medicines to farmers in the country. [World Poultry]

Researchers demonstrate that they can achieve more than a 90 percent reduction in the presence of hospital pathogens by using ultraviolet (UV) radiation. [Scientific American]


Want to receive the weekly digest in your inbox?  Enter your email address in the "receive updates" box.

Image: Sahal Gure Mohamed texts from a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, via Internewseurope/Flickr