Hot Topics in IPC: STI Antibiotic Plans, Marburg, COVID-19, and Medicine's Rat Problem

Publication
Article
Infection Control TodayInfection Control Today, June 2023, (Vol. 27 No. 5)
Volume 27
Issue 5

Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC, gives the latest on COVID-19, Marburg Virus Disease, and a 1-hit STI antibiotic plan.

Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC, gives the latest in IPC topics.

Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC, gives the latest in IPC topics.

A 1-Hit STI Antibiotic Plan

What if we had a “morning-after pill” to combat sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? That’s the very thing being proposed and discussed now. As syphilis rates increase in the United States and we’re struggling to intervene in the spread of STIs, one proposal is a single-dose antimicrobial that acts almost as a morning-after pill. According to science journalist Maryn McKenna, "a 200-milligram tablet of the antibiotic doxycycline—has been studied for a decade, and people have taken it covertly for years. But study results published in The New England Journal of Medicine look likely to tip the pill into clinical practice. In the study, conducted in San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington, participants who took a single dose within 72 hours of having sex without a condom were only a third as likely to contract chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis as those who didn’t take the pills.”
But perhaps the biggest factor is the lack of the diagnostic tools to determine the right antibiotic needed for a patient's infection—or if an antibiotic is needed at all.” This serves as an important reminder that diagnostics are key, and timely diagnostics and data sharing are critical.

In the same thought of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), check out this study, which looked at the global burden and what encouraged AMR in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). “The study, along with many others conducted in LMICs, cited several reasons AMR disproportionately impacts low-resources settings. Among them are the inappropriate use of antibiotics that can be easily purchased without a prescription, counterfeit and substandard antibiotics, and poor sanitation and hygiene. All play a role in driving up resistance rates.

But perhaps the biggest factor is the lack of the diagnostic tools to determine the right antibiotic needed for a patient's infection—or if an antibiotic is needed at all.” This serves as an important reminder that diagnostics are key, and timely diagnostics and data sharing are critical.

Marburg: Do We Have an Update?

Since first identified earlier this year, there have been growing questions regarding the Marburg Virus disease outbreak in Equatorial Guinea. For weeks, there was little reporting coming out, but with a bit of international attention (and likely pressure), we’re hearing more. As science reporter Helen Branswell noted, the country is pushing that the outbreak is over and proposing that surveillance should end 21 days after the last known case, which is one incubation period, rather than the 42 days proposed by the World Health Organization. Currently, there are 23 probable cases.

COVID-19: SitRep

As news of many hospitals dropping universal masking requirements implemented during COVID-19 has become increasingly shared, it begs the question, where are we with COVID-19? The CDC has recently signed off on a second dose of the Omicron-updated booster for higher-risk populations, including those of advanced age. “Adults aged 65 years and older can take a second dose of the updated vaccine, the CDC said, while people who are immunocompromised can get additional doses. It also said the original COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be recommended for use in the United States.” As most COVID-19 data sources created during the pandemic are no longer in service, the best sources are now within national and local public health agencies like the CDC. Weekly, there have been over 101k cases and 1,327 deaths. You can see state and regional information here to view your local data.

Fun Article to Read:

Medicine’s Rat Problem: “Mice and rats, the world’s most commonly used laboratory animals—creatures whose many biological similarities to us have enabled massive leaps in the treatment of HIV, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more—are rather useless in one very specific context: They simply can’t throw up.”

Related Videos
Infection Control Today and Contagion are collaborating for Rare Disease Month.
Rare Disease Month: An Infection Control Today® and Contagion® collaboration.
Vaccine conspiracy theory vector illustration word cloud  (Adobe Stock 460719898 by Colored Lights)
Rare Disease Month: An Infection Control Today® and Contagion® collaboration.
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Infection Control Today's topic of the month: Mental Health
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Lucy S. Witt, MD, investigates hospital bed's role in C difficile transmission, emphasizing room interactions and infection prevention
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in hospitals  (Adobe Stock 339297096 by Melinda Nagy)
Related Content