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Weekly News Roundup 10-5-12

The World Health Organization has reported mounting evidence showing that Artemisinin-resistant malaria has spread to Myanmar and Vietnam. WHO is particularly concerned because it was believed that artemisinin-resistant TB had been contained at the Thailand borders. Drug resistance is made more prevalent by the common use of counterfeit and poor quality drugs on the market in Southeast Asia. examiner

The NIH, NSF, NIFA, and UK’s BBSCR have announce joint funding of 12 grants totaling $12.7million for research into how changes in the environment due to human activity have affected diseases such as West Nile, Lyme, and other ailments, many of which are drug resistant. The grants will focus on how habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution and other human caused environmental factors, have affected the spread of a number of diseases. redorbit

Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have reported an outbreak of a new pathogen called invasive non-Typhodial salmonella (iNTS) in sub-Saharan Africa. The intestinal and blood-borne infection has a 45% mortality rate and has shown itself to be evolving genetic resistance to the drugs used to treat the disease. The outbreak is being exacerbated by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the region which is compromising many patients ability to fight off the infection. Using the power of whole-genome sequencing researchers are monitoring the emergence and spread of iNTS. counselheal

Researchers at UCLA medical center have announced the discovery of a drug which can be used to fight antibiotic resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacteria which has been plaguing hospitals and post-surgical patients. The drug, LpxC-1, does not kill the drug-resistant bacteria, instead it blocks the bacteria from producing proteins which then causes an inflammatory response which is the actual cause of death in many patients. mBio

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have announced the results of a recent study on the use of chloroquine against malaria in Senegal. The results show that 70% of malarial parasites are once again vulnerable to chloroquine, the malarial drug of choice until the parasite developed immunity. Chloroquine was the frontline drug used against malaria for 50 years, before overuse and misuse led to the parasite developing immunity to the drug American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

500,000 people have signed a petition pushing for grocery store giant, Trader Joe’s, to stop selling meat from animals treated with antibiotics. The nationwide push is being led by the Meat Without Drugs Campaign and has received national attention. The campaign has targeted Trader Joes because of its past polices on similar topics such as cage-less hens, and the fact that it already sell some antibiotic free meats. NPR

The WHO has announced "pre-qulaification" for a malaria drug produced by Cipla, an Indian pharmaceutical company. The drug, a combination of artesunate and mefloquine, is a fixed dose of either a single dose a day, or 2 doses over three day. the simplicity of the treatment regime should increase patient compliance, a significant problem in malaria erradication efforts and for growing drug resistance. The drug will be used to treat malaria across Southeastern Asia. . Reuters