HIV/AIDS Newsroom: September 29, 2000
Intranasal Immunization With Gonococcal Outer Membrane Preparations Reduces the Duration of Vaginal Colonization of Mice by Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Journal of Infectious Diseases Online (www.journals.uchicago.edu/JID)
09/00 Vol. 182, No. 3, P. 848; Plante, Martin; Jerse, Ann; Hamel, Josee; et al.
A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers investigated the use of nasal immunization to prevent vaginal colonization by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonococcal outer membrane preparations were given through nasal immunization to mice. The study found that bacterial clearance was approximately two times as fast for mice that received intranasal preparations compared to the control mice.
A study of 114 infants born to mothers with HIV-1 infection investigated the neurodevelopment of the babies at four, nine, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months of age. The children were grouped according to estimated time of infection. Early infection, or in utero transmission, was defined as a positive HIV-1 test during the first two days of life. Of the 114 subjects, 22 percent were infected early and 78 percent were defined as late infected. The researchers found no differences regarding education level, illicit drug use, and ethnicity. The researchers did note, however, that early infected infants performed significantly poorer on the Bayley mental scale that measures mental functioning by 24 months of age. Children with early HIV infection were also at risk for delayed neurodevelopmental functioning compared to later infection times. Children with HIV-1 cultures early in life had a trend for decreasing mental functioning over time. This may be because children with early HIV infection were threatened with the virus while their organs were developing and have thus been infected for a longer period of time. In addition to further research, the authors recommend that infants identified with early HIV-1 positivity undergo multiple drug therapy to reduce potential central nervous system problems.
Evidence for Long-Term Cervical Persistence of Chlamydia Trachomatis by omp1 Genotyping
Journal of Infectious Diseases Online (www.journals.uchicago.edu/JID)
09/00 Vol. 182, No. 3, P. 909; Dean, Deborah; Suchland, Robert J.; Stamm, Walter E.
Sexually active women often have recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infections. While some recurrent cases may be the result of reinfection, some recurrences may be due to persistence, according to new research from the University of California School of Medicine at San Francisco. A study of 552 women with more than three recurrences over two years found that 24 percent had same-serovar recurrences. Fifty-eight of the women were C class serovars, and four women had identical genotypes at each recurrence. The data shows the persistence of infection with C class serovars, sometimes lasting for years.
The recent discovery of HIV clusters in a small town in rural Mississippi would indicate that the risk of AIDS extends well beyond cities, and that teenage girls in poor areas who are of African-American origin may be at particularly high risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after a local health department started to track down the sex partners of a person who tested positive for HIV, seven people -- two men, whose average age was 25, and five girls, whose average age was 16 -- were discovered to be infected. Eventually, the health department discovered a so-called sex network of 44 people, including the seven who had been infected, who all resided in a disadvantaged area where there was little to do after school or work. The study confirms a situation that public health specialists have already recognized, namely that poor black teenage girls in the southern United States have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country and require prevention messages aimed specifically at how they live.
Anne De Groot, Brown University professor and founder of EpiVax, is attempting to a develop a vaccine for HIV and tuberculosis through a computer-driven algorithm process that screens amino acid chains for possible patterns that can stimulate the body's immune system. Sequella Global TB Foundation president Carol Macy feels that De Groot's innovative process efficiently looks at the problem and eliminates a lot of the errors that previous researchers have made. Tuberculosis and HIV annually kill 1.9 million and 2.3 million people, respectively, and are becoming more prevalent in industrialized nations. The efficacy of the available drugs is being hampered as mutant virus strains begin to sprout. Of the $1 billion that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has devoted to vaccine development, approximately $25 million is earmarked for AIDS vaccine development. The Millenium Vaccine Initiative, sponsored by the administration of President Bill Clinton, is battling the worldwide AIDS problems with over $100 million in funds. Clinton would also like to spur the development of malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS vaccines by proposing to grant $1 billion in tax incentives to drug companies over 10 years.
In Atlanta, Ga., 3,300 representatives from HIV/AIDS service providers and advocacy groups are expected to meet shortly for the U.S. Conference on AIDS. The four-day conference, which is being sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council, will feature daily plenary sessions on various topics, including treatment research, prevention, public safety, nutrition, and housing. Special guests will include U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, Sandra Thurman, presidential envoy for AIDS Cooperation, and Bill Campbell, the mayor of Atlanta. Georgia has the eighth-highest number of AIDS cases in the United States, and among black women aged 20 years to 44 years in the state, AIDS is the leading cause of death.
South African Airways has been required by the country's Constitutional Court to hire a man infected with HIV because the judges feel that the denial of his employment was discriminatory and in violation of his constitutional rights. National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS director Nkululeko Nxesi hopes that the court-ordered end to the practice of not hiring people because of HIV infection will encourage people to assert their employment rights when they face discrimination. Employers are not even permitted to conduct HIV tests on workers and potential workers, according to a new law. HIV infects 1,700 new people everyday in South Africa.
Speaking in the United Kingdom at the recent annual conference of the ruling Labour Party, the former South African president Nelson Mandela claimed that AIDS poses a crisis for his country that is too big to express in words. According to Mandela, one student dies every week of AIDS in each university in South Africa, while 10 teachers die every month.
A study that followed over 100,000 women screened during the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program reveals that it is safe to undergo Pap smears at three-year intervals instead of annually. The CDC will soon revise its recommendations, so that women with three consecutive normal Pap smears can get the test done every three years. George Sawaya, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the University of California at San Francisco, said the change will reduce overscreening of women and focus more on women who are rarely screened and are most at risk for cervical cancer. Sawaya explained that most women who develop cervical cancer never get Pap smears. While gynecologists say the three-year interval is appropriate for low-risk women, it is not recommended for women with multiple sex partners, short-term relationships, or those who do not use barrier methods during sex. The three-year interval is also not appropriate for women with a history of human papillomavirus or other sexually transmitted diseases. It is important that women still visit the doctor for breast and pelvic exams as usual. The CDC's Dr. Nancy Lee, the director of the agency's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, noted that as part of an effort to reach women who have never been screened or who are not screened enough, the program will collaborate with community centers, churches, local clinics, and retirement homes.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.