National University of Singapore scientists are developing a portable test for a range of diseases including hepatitis, dengue, Ebola, malaria and Zika. The assay is also intended to detect human papillomavirus, cancer and genetic conditions.
The US Preventive Services Task Force says there is not enough evidence to support adding C-reactive protein levels measured by high-sensitivity assays, coronary artery calcium score, or ankle-brachial index to traditional cardiovascular disease risk assessments in asymptomatic adults. USPSTF recommended more research on how adding hs-CRP, ABI, CAC and CVD outcomes affects clinical decision thresholds and patient outcomes, particularly in diverse populations.
Hepatic circulating epithelial cells have potential as a biomarker for diagnosing and monitoring chronic liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. In a recent study, circulating epithelial cells of hepatocyte origin in the blood were detected using a novel liquid biopsy cell-sorting device.
Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo said five new cases of Ebola virus infection have been confirmed, raising the total to 137. UNICEF announced it is sending specialists to support communication and education efforts against the outbreak.
Officials have declared a health emergency on the Indonesian island of Lombok, where 128 cases of malaria have been reported in the wake of earthquakes that displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The local government is requesting financial support for response efforts, including testing resources and mosquito nets.
Sangamo Therapeutics and Pfizer are developing SB-525, an investigational gene therapy for hemophilia A, and preliminary results from a Phase I/II study indicate the treatment has been well tolerated. The primary endpoints for the trial involve factor VIII levels and treatment-related adverse events.
Egypt is planning a massive hepatitis C screening initiative from October to April with the goal of testing 50 million citizens. The World Health Organization has said Egypt has highest prevalence of HCV globally, and an estimated 10% of people ages 15 to 59 have the virus.
The American Heart Association and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology said in the journal Circulation that health care providers should be prepared to recognize, diagnose and treat Chagas' disease outside areas where it is traditionally endemic. "Early detection of Chagas' disease is critical, allowing prompt initiation of therapy when the evidence for cure is strong," said co-author Dr. Caryn Bern of the University of California at San Francisco.
Blood banks are seeking supplies for areas that could be affected by Hurricane Florence, and some hospitals are moving patients out of coastal areas and preparing for power outages and increased casualties. HHS has declared a public health emergency in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
A six-week study in the Journal of the International AIDS Society of low-dose aspirin taken once a day was associated with reductions in levels of HIV target cells among seronegative women in Kenya.