Common Cold Can Be Treated By Plasma

The telegraph

Common cold are difficult to treat and patients have to rely on their immune systems to fight off the infections. However, now plasma which is a fourth state of matter in addition to solid, liquid and gases, and is created when particles of gas or liquid become electrically charged can cure the common cold, said the scientists.

When exposed the plasma – a stream of ionised gas – for just a couple of minutes, almost all the viruses were inactivated, meaning they couldn’t spread or cause disease.

It has led to hopes that cold plasma devices could be used as hand sanitisers in hospitals and even

In future, plasma is believed to be inhaled directly in the lungs to treat virus and provide a new way of treating the common cold as well as other respiratory viruses such as flu.

That is study by researchers at Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany. Scientists hoped that cold plasmas can become an effective tool in hospital hygiene and will effectively to control viral infections compared with one of the traditionally known antibiotics therapy.

Cold remedy with natural therapies

Cold or flu is one of the common symptom most in winter, easy to be suffered but also simple to cure. When someone having cold, they will have typical symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, scratchy, sore throat, cough, headache, etc.

Ofte, cold can be treated with adjusting diet, having rest or using antibiotics. However, there cannot be better than a natural remedies at home. Up to now, many people are still prone to use these home therapies each time there exist cold symptoms.

Honey and lemon combination is one of the most wonderful therapies to treat cold naturally

If you are suffering these specific symptoms, you can take the equal remedies.

To treat general symptoms:

  • Make an infusion of a teaspoon of bay leaves, a cinnamon and sage in a cup of boiling water.
  • Stir two tablespoons of honey and two of apple cider vinegar in a glass of hot or cold water and drink three glasses during the day.
  • Heat, without actually boiling, one cup of milk, which must pour a tablespoon of butter, ground black pepper. Instead of butter and pepper Use 1 / 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ginger, more honey to taste.

To treat chest congestion:

  • Mix one tablespoon of honey with enough horseradish
  • Prepare a poultice of mustard for chest congestion caused by colds or flu. To do so, forms a paste with equal parts dry mustard and flour mixed with warm water. Before you apply the plaster, it must cover the breast with olive oil ..

To treat stuffy nose:

  • Keep a clove of garlic between your teeth and the inside of the cheek, lightly bitten, but not chew or swallow it helps fight colds and nasal congestion.
  • Wash your nose with salt water.

To enhance the body’s health:

  • Onion syrup:  you need a large onion, 2 glasses of white wine and 150 g of honey. It is prepared in a clay pot, which takes a large onion, peeled and chopped and added two glasses of white wine. Allow to marinate 24 hours. After that time, strained, and add the honey, and dissolve easily. Once well blended, stored in a glass jar. It takes half a glass, four times a day: fasting, at midmorning, mid afternoon and before bedtime. Continue treatment for about a week.
  • Hot chicken soup with onions.
  •  Crush a piece of grapefruit skin and pour, with a hint of mint and 2 fresh sage leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes, strain, sweeten with honey and take 2 cups a day.
  • Use a teaspoon of grated elderberries per cup, allow to stand in boiling water for twelve minutes. Three cups a day.

To be cold-free with steaming therapy:

  • Inhaling steam for 10 minutes twice a day. You do this by covering the head with a towel and, with eyes closed, inhale the fumes coming out of a bowl with boiling water. To enhance the effect, inhale the eucalyptus infused steam or juniper.

These natural therapies do not always heal all symptoms of cold if severe, they can not be replaced medicine or specialized treatments by doctors. Go for a doctor to take advices for any thing you are not sure about.

Scientists find H1N1 Flu Virus Prevalent in Animals in Africa

ScienceDaily

UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa. In one village in northern Cameroon, a staggering 89 percent of the pigs studied had been exposed to the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu.

“I was amazed that virtually every pig in this village was exposed,” said Thomas B. Smith, director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research and the senior author of the research. “Africa is ground zero for a new pandemic. Many people are in poor health there, and disease can spread very rapidly without authorities knowing about it.”

H1N1 triggered a human pandemic in the spring of 2009, infecting people in more than 200 countries. In the U.S., it led to an estimated 60 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations and 12,500 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The virus, known scientifically as Influenza A (H1N1), is made up of genetic elements of swine, avian and human influenza viruses. The pigs in Cameroon, the researchers say, were infected by humans.

“The pigs were running wild in that area,” said lead author Kevin Njabo, a researcher in UCLA’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology and associate director of the Center for Tropical Research. “I was shocked when we found out it was H1N1. Any virus in any part of the world can reach another continent within days by air travel. We need to understand where viruses originate and how they spread, so we can destroy a deadly virus before it spreads. We have to be prepared for a pandemic, but so many countries are not well-prepared — not even the United States.”

Njabo and his colleagues randomly collected nasal swabs and blood samples from domestic pigs that were part of 11 herds in villages and farms in Cameroon in 2009 and 2010. The results are published in the current issue of Veterinary Microbiology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal specializing in microbial animal diseases.

Nasal swabs can detect a current infection, and blood samples reveal past exposure to a virus. Because an active infection lasts only about five days, “we have to be lucky to get an active infection in the field, but evidence of the infection stays in the blood.”

In the village in northern Cameroon, Njabo found two pigs with active H1N1 infections, and virtually every other pig had evidence of a past infection in its blood.

“The pigs got H1N1 from humans,” Njabo said. “The fact that pigs in Africa are infected with the H1N1 flu virus illustrates the remarkable interconnectedness of the modern world with respect to diseases. The H1N1 virus that we found in livestock in Cameroon is virtually identical to a virus found in people in San Diego just a year earlier, providing an astonishing example of how quickly the flu can spread all over the globe.

“The discovery of H1N1 in African swine is also important because it shows how farming practices can trigger disease outbreaks and suggests opportunities for improving human and livestock health. Our studies indicate that H1N1 infections are more common in swine that wander freely in villages than in animals that are confined to farms.”

The biologists used a diagnostic test called ELISA — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay — to test for potential viruses. ELISA revealed the pigs had the human strain of H1N1.

Viruses in pigs can mix into a much more virulent strain that can spread extremely fast, Smith and Njabo warned.

“We are studying the interface between viruses in humans, wild animals and domestic animals and how viruses move among them,” Njabo said.

A pandemic as in ‘Contagion’ could occur

“This particular H1N1 strain is ubiquitous,” said Smith, who is also a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a member of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “When different strains of influenza are mixed in pigs, such as an avian strain with a human strain, you can get new hybrid strains that may affect humans much more severely and can potentially produce a pandemic that can allow human-to-human infection. This is how a pandemic can arise; we need to be very vigilant.

“It would be comforting to believe that the deaths of tens of millions of people, or more, as depicted in the movie ‘Contagion’ is merely science fiction, but something that resembles what is depicted there could happen under a certain set of circumstances.”

In the 20th century, the world experienced three influenza pandemics that collectively killed more than 40 million people, Smith and Njabo noted.

In addition to studying pigs, Njabo and colleagues have also collected samples from hundreds of wild birds, ducks and chickens in Cameroon and Egypt. Their colleagues at other institutions are conducting similar studies in China, Bangladesh and elsewhere.

Smith and Njabo work with UCLA’s Global Bio Lab, in collaboration with Hilary Godwin, a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health, to identify new diseases, speed up the development of new vaccines and try to prevent the next pandemic.

“The world is a global village; no area is truly isolated,” said Njabo, who was born and raised in Cameroon. “There are so many unknowns about the transmission rates of viruses between humans and wild animals. We have to expand screening.”

Since 2007, Njabo has gone to Cameroon two to three times a year to collect samples and is there currently. He informed the government’s Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries of the findings to try to reduce the spread of the disease. Smith, Njabo and colleagues will hold a workshop in Cameroon next year to tell people how to raise pigs in a way that reduces the risk of disease.

Co-authors of the study included Trevon Fuller, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Anthony Chasar, a UCLA research associate at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; John Pollinger, director of UCLA’s Conservation Genetics Resource Center and assistant director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research; Giovanni Cattoli, Calogero Terregino and Isabella Monne at Italy’s Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie; and Jean-Marc Reynes and Richard Njouom at Cameroon’s Centre Pasteur.

The research was conducted under the auspices of the Zoonotic Influenza Collaborative Network, led by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. The collaborative network is supported by international influenza funds from the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

US Researchers Find Another Flu Antibody

US scientists have found an antibody that acts against 30 of 36 strains of influenza.

 

US scientists have found an antibody that acts against 30 of 36 strains of influenza, the latest discovery in the hunt for a universal treatment and a vaccine, said a study published Monday.

The new broadly neutralizing antibody, called CH65, can stick to the surface part of the flu virus known as hemagglutinin which mutates every season, forcing medical experts to regularly come up with a new vaccine.

It was found in cells from a human volunteer who was given the flu vaccine for 2007, said the study in the Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences.

“What this tells us is that the human immune system can fine-tune its response to the flu and actually produce, albeit at a low frequency, antibodies that neutralize a whole series of strains,” said lead author Stephen Harrison of Children’s Hospital Boston.

“Our goal is to understand how the immune system selects for antibodies and use that information to get better at making a vaccine that will take you in a direction that favors breadth over specificity.”

Last week, researchers in Britain and Switzerland reported in the US journal Science that they had found the first human antibody that can knock out all influenza A viruses.

That antibody, FI6, was tested in all 16 subtypes of A flu viruses and consistently worked against the often-changing hemagglutinin, the protein that is on the virus’s surface.

Source: yahoo

Usual Remedies for Common Cold

It can not shorten and prevent colds but some things can provide relief from symptoms.

There is only one cure for the common cold – time but relief from cold symptoms can be provided by the following common options:

•        Resting in bed

•        Drinking plenty of fluids

•        Gargling with warm salt water (or using throat sprays or lozenges)

•        Using a cool-mist humidifier

•        Taking medications.

Fluid and rest

Such fluids as water, juice, soup, and non-caffeinated beverages can loosen your mucus. Especially, in case you have a fever, alcohol and drinks can keep you hydrated and make you feel better.

Gargle and Humidify

Gargling with salt water is a good way to relieve a sore throat while a cool-mist humidifier can breaks water into droplets and releases them into the air and therefore relieve stuffy noses. To avoid a buildup of mold which could be harmful if inhaled, humidifier should be kept clean.

Medications

There is no cure for the common cold. Therefore, over-the-counter cough and cold medicine can make you more comfortable but can not prevent — or even shorten — the length of your illness. Moreover, most of these drugs may cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia, or upset stomach.

Never use antibiotics to treat a cold because antibiotics do not kill viruses which cause colds. These prescription medicines should be used only if you have a rare bacterial complication, such as sinusitis or ear infection.

Common Cold and Children

Consult a pediatrician or your family physician before giving common cold medication to children in order to ensure the correct drug at the proper dosage based on your child’s weight.

As for infants and small children, saline nasal drops and suctioning with a bulb syringe can help them breathe better but parents should not bundle up their children if they have a fever because that can make it worse.

 

 

Bird Flu, a Potential Pandemic of the 21st Century and Treatment

Bird flu is is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu)  (H5N1) viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among migratory waterfowl – most notably wild ducks. However, bird flu can spread from wild fowl to domestic poultry including chickens, ducks, turkeys and then to humans.

Those who contact with infected birds or bird droppings have a high risk to catch bird flu. Infection may be spread simply by touching contaminated surfaces. People don’t catch the virus from eating fully cooked chicken or eggs. However, one can transmit the virus to another but only after close personal contact.

The first case of avian influenza virus to infect humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. Bird flu epidemics have occurred worldwide. When a human comes in contact with a bird that is infected with H5N1 and the human contracts the virus there is an over 50% chance of death for the individual. As of February 27, 2007 the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 275 cases and 167 people have died across the world.

Symptoms of avian flu infection in human change every year and depend on the strain of virus. Symptoms may start out as normal flu-like symptoms which might include:

•        Cough (dry or productive)
•        Diarrhea
•        Difficulty breathing
•        Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
•        Headache
•        Malaise
•        Muscle aches
•        Runny nose
•        Sore throat

But it may become a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal.

There are various types of treatment of avian flu virus depending on different symptoms. In general, taking the antiviral medication oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) may make the disease less. The persons who live in the same house as those diagnosed with avian flu may also be prescribed with  Oseltamivir.

If an H5N1 outbreak occurs, it is recommended the antiviral medicines amantadine and rimantadine should not be used because the virus that causes human avian flu appears to be resistant to these medication. Persons with avian flu should be put in isolation. People with severe infection may need the support with a breathing machine.

To prevent being infected with avian flu, people should:
•    Use protective clothing and special breathing masks when working with  birds.
•    Avoiding undercooked or uncooked meat
•    Avoid visits to live-bird markets in areas with an avian flu outbreak

H1N1 Flu Vaccine Very Effective: Study

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) — A single dose of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine was 93 percent effective during the 2009 pandemic, a new study found.

Canadian researchers focused on children and younger adults.

In order to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine — known as the AS03-adjuvanted pandemic H1N1 vaccine — Canadian researchers looked at 552 patients with flu-like illness who visited clinics in four provinces between Nov. 8 and Dec. 5, 2009.

Pandemic H1N1 was detected in 209 (38 percent) of the patients. Two (1 percent) of the patients with H1N1 flu had received a single dose of the H1N1 vaccine at least two weeks before they became ill, compared with 58 (17 percent) of patients who didn’t have H1N1 infection.

The findings show that the vaccine was 93 percent effective, said the researchers, who were led by Danuta Skowronski at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver.

The findings apply not only to Canada but other countries where vaccines were used, and may help guide the further development of influenza vaccine options, the researchers said.

More than 80 percent of the people in the study were younger than 50, so evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccine in the elderly is still needed, they noted.

The study appeared in the Feb. 3 online edition of BMJ.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about H1N1 flu.

SOURCE: BMJ, news release, Feb. 3, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Cold Viruses Appear Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) — While the causes of type 1 diabetes aren’t known for certain, a new analysis backs the possibility that cold-like viruses might trigger the disease.

Along with other factors, these viruses may trigger the disease, researchers say.

Australian researchers looked at a number of studies, and concluded there is a strong association between enteroviruses and the development of type 1 diabetes. In fact, children with diabetes were 10 times more likely to have had an enterovirus infection than children without the disease.

“The finding implies that enterovirus infection is a very important cause of type 1 diabetes,” said lead researcher Dr. Maria Craig, an associate professor at Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes in Sydney.

Craig noted that the idea that enteroviruses are involved in the development of type 1 diabetes is not new, but this study makes use of new data that makes the association more likely.

“It is time to look at how these viruses are involved in the disease process,” Craig said. The goal would be to find a way to “stop these viruses from contributing to diabetes — potentially leading to vaccination,” she added.

The report is published in the Feb. 3 online edition of the BMJ.

For the study, Craig’s team, using a type of research known as a meta-analysis, reviewed 24 papers and two abstracts involving 4,448 individuals to see if there was an association between type 1 diabetes and enterovirus infection.

The data suggested a strong association, especially among children, Craig said.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic factors, the immune system and environmental factors, the researchers explained. And enteroviruses are common viruses in infants and children. Enteroviruses can cause cold or flu symptoms, fever, muscle aches, rash or even meningitis, they noted.

Recently, there has been a worldwide increase in the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes, especially in children under 5, which could be partially because of more exposure to these viruses, the researchers suggested.

Dr. Didier Hober, a professor of virology at University Lille in France and author of an accompanying journal editorial, said “the increased incidence rate of type 1 diabetes can be explained by a role of environmental factors, especially enteroviruses, like coxsackievirus B.”

However, it is unclear whether enteroviruses are involved in all patients or just some, he added. “Enteroviruses could act as inducers of the disease or as accelerators of the progression of the disease. A persistent infection or consecutive infections could play a role,” he said.

“The relationship between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes opens up the possibility of developing new preventive and therapeutic strategies to fight the disease,” Hober said.

Another expert, Dr. Joel Zonszein, a professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said for 40 to 50 years it has been proposed that these viruses may trigger type 1 diabetes.

“There is an association,” he said. “It doesn’t show a cause-and-effect; it shows an association. Maybe patients with type 1 diabetes are more susceptible to get these enteroviruses.”

“It’s a good reminder that we don’t know the causes of type 1 diabetes,” he added.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, which is essential in metabolizing sugar. The resulting extra sugar in the blood can cause serious complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, loss of sight or limbs and an early death. The condition is controlled with doses of insulin and a diet that keep blood sugar levels in normal ranges.

In Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, the body produces insulin but doesn’t utilize it properly. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 is linked to overeating and under-exercising.

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

More information

For more on type 1 diabetes, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Maria Craig, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., associate professor, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sydney, Australia; Didier Hober, M.D., Ph.D., professor, virology, University Lille, Lille, France; Joel Zonszein, M.D., professor, clinical medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 3, 2011, BMJ, online

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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H1N1 Flu Is Raging in Britain; Could U.S. Be Next?

THURSDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) — This winter, influenza seems to be behaving very differently depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on.

Different strain predominates now among Americans, but that situation could change, experts say.

As of last week, for example, H1N1 (“swine”) flu still predominated in Britain, where 112 people have died, hospitals are filling up with very ill flu patients, and some doctors report running out of vaccine, according to the BBC. Experts are concerned that the virus — known as 2009 H1N1 — could create a similar situation in mainland Europe.

However, in the United States, clinicians are only now starting to see cases of the flu — mostly of the traditional, H3N2 variety — and the atmosphere is much more calm. Vaccine is plentiful and much of it is going unused.

Still, with modern air travel allowing viruses to spread easily around the globe, could the British flu experience travel to America?

That question remains unanswered. According to experts, it’s still relatively early in the flu season and anything could happen.

In Rochester, N.Y., “we’re getting a mix of a little bit of H1N1 but not much. We’re seeing more of H3N2 and some influenza B, so all three players are in the pot,” said Dr. Edward Walsh, an infectious diseases expert and professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “As to which one is going to be dominant, we’re waiting and seeing. I don’t think we can predict that yet.”

Walsh’s reports mirror those of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says — for the week ending Jan. 8, 2011 — about 8 percent of samples tested were 2009 H1N1 and 31.5 percent the H3N2 variety.

Still, H3N2’s dominance “could change very quickly,” Walsh said.

One theory as to why H1N1 hasn’t made a strong showing in the United States this year is that many Americans gained immunity last season.

“So much of the U.S. population was vaccinated against H1N1 last year and so much immunity developed as the thing spread like wildfire, that’s the reason the predominate strain is H3N2 — it’s all about immunity,” said Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University in New York City.

But a comeback for the strain — which is typically more serious for younger patients — isn’t out of the question.

H1N1 “appeared at a distinctly odd time in its initial debut in April/May of 2009 [flu season usually ends in March or even a little earlier] so it’s obviously got an unpredictable course as to when it’s going to actually attack a population,” noted Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“What will happen in any individual country or area, we just don’t know. It’s impossible to estimate,” added Dr. John Carpenter, professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and division director of infectious diseases at Scott & White in Temple. “We just don’t know if it will come over here. If somebody hops on a plane with it and comes over here…”

But, he added, “if it jumps to Europe, there’s a better chance it will jump here.”

And experts aren’t ruling out the possibility that there could be regional variations in the United States, with different strains leading in different areas.

“You don’t always get the exact same thing in every country or even within every region,” Walsh said.

In the meantime, people should not underestimate the potentially deadly nature of H3N2, which tends to hit the elderly the hardest. Siegel expects to see more elderly patients than last year — and more deaths. H3N2 tends to cause more pneumonia and other complications than other forms of flu, he said.

“Last year, there were 10,000 deaths compared to the normal 34,000 [from flu],” he said. If H3N2 continues to predominate, “the age distribution of deaths this year will be back to the elderly,” Seigel said.

Whatever strain ends up as the predominant one, this year’s vaccine — which contains H1N1, H3N2 and Influenza B — should help protect Americans.

“It’s not definitive yet but it’s reasonable to think it will be a good match,” said Walsh.

According to the Associated Press, this has been a banner season for flu vaccine production in the United States, with 160 million doses already made. So while Britain is running short on vaccinations, the U.S. supply should hold up to any spikes in demand.

The CDC recommends that all people aged 6 months and over get the seasonal flu shot, with priority given to pregnant women, young children, the elderly and certain other groups.

More information

There’s more on the seasonal flu vaccine at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University, New York City; Edward Walsh, M.D., professor, medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center; John Carpenter, M.D., professor of internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and division director of infectious diseases, Scott & White, Temple; Len Horovitz, pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; BBC, Associated Press

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Study Questions Safety of Pneumonia Treatment Guidelines

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) — Intensive care patients who may be infected with strains of pneumonia that are resistant to many drugs may be more likely to die if current treatment guidelines are followed, a new study suggests.

In cases with suspected multi-drug resistance, multiple antibiotics may not always be best.

The findings highlight the need to reassess the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines, said the researchers.

Current guidelines call for immediate antibiotic treatment — before culture results are known — of patients at risk for multiple drug-resistant (MDR) infection. The guidelines state that patients should receive a regimen of three antibiotics: two drugs against so-called Gram-negative pathogens and one drug against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The logic in this approach is that at least one drug should be active against any likely infectious agent.

However, several studies conducted since the guidelines were released in 2005 have failed to show that dual Gram-negative therapy is better than treatment with a single drug, the researchers noted.

For their study, a team led by Dr. Daniel Kett, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, enrolled 303 patients at risk for MDR pneumonia from four academic medical centers in the United States. Of those patients, 129 were treated according to the ATS/IDSA guidelines and 174 received a different treatment.

The rate of survival after 28 days was 65 percent in the guidelines-compliant group and 79 percent in the group that didn’t adhere to the guidelines, the investigators found.

“Our results further question the need for combination Gram-negative empirical treatment for patients with pneumonia, even those who are severely ill and at risk of multi-drug resistant pathogens,” the researchers wrote.

One expert was not surprised by the findings.

“Who gets pneumonia with resistant bacteria? It is a person in such weakened condition that they are vulnerable to pathogens that would otherwise be trivial,” noted Dr. Bruce Hirsch, attending physician in the infectious diseases division at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. “It is a person who has suffered multiple infections already and has been exposed to multiple courses of antibiotics. It is a person with structural lung abnormalities that prevent the lungs from recovering from infections.”

According to Hirsch, the new study “demonstrates high mortality rates in patients given recommended antibiotics as well as individualized antibiotics. Even in this age of sophisticated and powerful medications, adherence to the best guidelines can fail us.”

For their part, the study authors “recommend that the planned, revised ATS-IDSA guidelines be reassessed before widespread implementation. Since the most common reason for non-compliance was failure to use a secondary anti-Gram-negative drug, we suggest a comparison of regimens employing MRSA treatment and single versus dual Gram-negative coverage.”

The study was published in the Jan. 19 online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about pneumonia.

SOURCES: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, news release, Jan. 19, 2011; Bruce Hirsch, M.D., attending physician, infectious diseases division, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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