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FDA approves tavaborole (Kerydin™) for the treatment of Onychomycosis

September 03 2014

The first oxaborole antifungal agent has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, for topical treatment of onychomycosis (caused by Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes). KERYDIN™ (tavaborole), prepared as a 5% topical solution, will provide a new topical treatment option, for the estimated 35 million people in the United States who are infected with onychomycosis. Anacor Pharmaceuticals expect to launch KERYDIN™ in the autumn. Fungal toenail infection is notoriously difficult to treat - and use of azole antifungals requires careful monitoring of the patient, so this topical treatment provides a convenient , safe and easy to use treatment option. KERYDIN is a clear, colorless, alcohol-based solution applied with a dropper to the infected toenail once daily for 48 weeks. Debridement of the nail is not required during the treatment period. Due to its topical application, KERYDIN has low systemic absorption and has not demonstrated systemic side effects.
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Follow up lumbar puncture - days after diagnosis, reduces death from cryptococcal meningitis in AIDS

August 18 2014

High opening pressure at lumbar puncture (LP) (spinal tap) is recognised as a poor prognostic feature of cryptococcal meningitis. For these patients repeated LP is advocated, including the use of lumbar drains or ventricular shunts in some cases. In a provocative paper from Uganda, Rolfes and colleagues found that at least one ‘therapeutic’ LP for high opening pressure or a change in clinical status reduced death significantly, regardless of the actual opening pressure. 75 (30%) individuals had at least one therapeutic LP and only 5 deaths (7%) occurred in this group compared with 31 deaths (18%) occurred among 173 individuals without a therapeutic LP. The adjusted relative risk of mortality was 0.31 (95% confidence interval: 0.12-0.82). Those individuals receiving therapeutic LPs were in a poorer prognostic group, having higher CSF opening pressures, higher CSF fungal burdens, and were more likely to have altered mental status at baseline than those with no therapeutic LPs.
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Increased awareness of fungal infections in Brazil yields increased cases of paracoccidioidomycosis

August 12 2014

Tracking cases of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) in Rio Grande over 5 decades, Dr Xavier and colleagues found many more cases from 1990 onwards than in the 3 decades before. Rio Grande do Sul is one of 6 states with high rates of PCM, yet infrequently documented.
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GAFFI President delivers keynote speech in Montreal on global burden of human fungal diseases

July 29 2014

To a packed audience of researchers and science policy makers, GAFFI President Dr David Denning described the enormous and under-appreciated burden of fungal infections at the International Union of Microbiological Societies meeting in Montreal. Very large numbers of people are affected, and many fungal disease estimates have yet to be made, so estimates are incomplete. Summary statistics include:
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New device to detect invasive aspergillosis

July 28 2014

A new lateral flow device has been invented by Prof Chris Thornton of Exeter University , UK, to accurately diagnose invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. The affordable device uses a highly specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) which detects a diagnostic biomarker of Aspergillus infection in blood or BAL samples. Aspergillosis is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose -affecting many immunosuppressed individuals such as cancer patients, transplant or HIV patients. Invasive aspergillosis is a principle cause of death in acute leukaemia and bone marrow transplant patients. The new device costs just £10 is rapid and the compatibility of the device with hospital procedures, means that detection of aspergillosis can be accurately monitored at the point of care using either a blood sample or fluids from the lung.
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