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Drug-resistant shigellosis outbreak; Otherwise healthy patients over 80 benefit from aggressive treatment for MI; FDA approves Anthrasil to treat inhalational anthrax



Drug-resistant shigellosis outbreak


The United States is currently experiencing an outbreak of shigellosis caused by a strain of the Shigella sonnei bacteria that is resistant to ciprofloxacin, the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial treatment for shigellosis.

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC revealed that 243 individuals in 32 states and the territory of Puerto Rico have come down with shigellosis between May 2014 and February 2015. Of those 243 cases, 126 isolates were tested and 109 (87%) of those were found to be nonsusceptible to ciprofloxacin. The largest clusters of the disease were found in Massachusetts (45 cases), California (25 cases), and Pennsylvania (18 cases).

Ninety-five of the cases associated with the current outbreak were traced back to the homeless population of San Francisco; about half of the remaining cases were attributed to international travelers – specifically, those visiting the Dominican Republic and India – who contracted the bacteria while abroad and unknowingly brought it to the United States. The disease is known to spread quickly in populations of children who attend child care facilities, homeless individuals, and men who have sex with men.

“These outbreaks show a troubling trend in Shigella infections in the United States,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, said in a statement. “Drug-resistant infections are harder to treat and because Shigella spreads so easily between people, the potential for more – and larger – outbreaks is a real concern. We’re moving quickly to implement a national strategy to curb antibiotic resistance because we can’t take for granted that we’ll always have the drugs we need to fight common infections.”

Shigellosis causes an estimated 500,000 cases of diarrhea in the United States each year. To help curb the growing number of shigellosis cases, the CDC recommends that international travelers wash their hands meticulously while abroad, and follow strict dietary precautions, such as eating hot foods and drinking beverages only from sealed containers, especially when consuming water.

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Otherwise healthy patients over 80 benefit from aggressive treatment for MI



Key clinical point: An early invasive treatment strategy improved most outcomes in patients aged 80 years and older with acute coronary syndromes.

Major finding: Myocardial infarction, need for urgent revascularization, stroke, and death were significantly lower with invasive vs. conservative care (41% vs. 61%; risk ratio, 0.48; P < .00001).

Data source: Randomized study in 457 patients aged 80 years or older with non-STEMI or unstable angina.

Disclosures: The Norwegian Health Association sponsored the study. Dr. Tegn reported nothing to disclose. Dr. Kandzari reported research and grant support from Abbott Vascular, Biotronic, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic, and minor consulting honoraria from Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

SAN DIEGO – Patients aged 80 years and older benefit from more invasive early treatment after non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction or unstable angina, the After Eighty Trial showed.

After a median follow-up of 1.5 years, an invasive strategy that included coronary angiography significantly reduced the primary endpoint of myocardial infarction (MI), need for urgent revascularization, stroke, and death from 61% with optimal medical treatment to 41%.

That drop was driven primarily by significantly fewer MIs (17% vs. 30%) and urgent revascularizations (2% vs. 11%), lead author Dr. Nicolai Tegn reported at the American College of Cardiology/Cardiovascular Research Foundation Innovation in Intervention Summit.

There were no significant differences between the invasive and conservative strategy groups in rates of stroke or all-cause death.

The composite of death and MI, however, significantly favored the invasive group (35% vs. 48%), he reported.

After Eighty randomly assigned 457 patients, aged 80 years or older, to either optimal medical therapy with no invasive treatments or coronary angiography at a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center the day after inclusion, plus optimal medical therapy after about 4-5 hours if PCI was not performed or about 6-18 hours if it was. Of the 225 patients receiving angiography, 48% went on to balloon angioplasty and/or coronary stenting, and 3% had bypass surgery. The patients were selected from nearly 4,200 elderly patients at 17 community hospitals in Norway; over 3,700 of the patients were ineligible for the study because their life expectancy was less than 12 months because of a serious comorbidity; ongoing or recent bleeding; inability to comply with protocol; clinically unstable including ongoing ischemia; refusal to participate; logistic reasons; or other reasons.

After Eighty is a welcome study because of the under-representation of the elderly in clinical trials, Dr. David Kandzari, director of interventional cardiology at the Piedmont Heart Center in Atlanta, said during a press briefing at the meeting. But it raises the challenge of identifying patients in clinical practice with the same qualifying characteristics, he added, given that the study population represents only 10% of the entire screened population, “The coronary anatomy does not know the age of the patient, meaning that the findings of a benefit of an early invasive strategy seem consistent with previous studies we know across the management of patients with acute coronary syndromes,” Dr. Kandzari said.


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