A retrospective cohort study in JAMA Internal Medicine conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that the age and gender of the donor of blood transfusions had no effect on the survival of recipients. The findings were based on data from 968,264 Scandinavian patients. The methodology used -- similar to that of a large Canadian study which found an age/gender association with outcomes -- highlights "the importance of extreme caution in assessing epidemiologic analyses in this field," according to the authors.
CME: Myeloma, blood screening, and CD38 mAb panreactivity Patients receiving anti-CD38 mAb therapy show false-positive results on routine blood bank screening and thus face delays in receiving crossmatched compatible RBC units. This activity examines the problem of anti-CD38 mAb panreactivity in blood bank testing and reviews current strategies for negating this interference. Click here to participate.
Children whose mothers with hepatitis B received the antiviral drug tenofovir in the second or third trimester of pregnancy were 77% less likely to have virus transmission, compared with those whose mothers didn't, South Korean researchers reported in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The findings were based on an analysis of 10 studies involving 733 women.
Choline, a nutrient found in meats and eggs, may increase production of the chemical trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, which can make blood more likely to clot, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. Researcher Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic said moving toward a plant-based diet may inhibit TMAO formation for people at risk of cardiovascular disease.
An analysis of the MODIFY trials indicated one infusion of bezlotoxumab reduced the incidence of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection in inflammatory bowel disease patients, researchers reported at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Researchers cautioned, however, that the study cohort was small and more data are needed.
The deadly Ebola outbreaks in Western Africa taught the global health community many lessons about the lack of preparedness to battle devastating pathogens, and one of the key lessons was the need for a ready vaccine that could stem the potential loss of lives and its effect on a country's economy, write J. Stephen Morrison and Chris Millard of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is a step in the right direction that allows governments, health practitioners and drugmakers a chance to forge partnerships to facilitate a more rapid response to future global health threats.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Akebia Therapeutics have expanded their existing US licensing deal for Akebia's chronic kidney disease candidate vadadustat to give Otsuka exclusive rights to the drug in Canada, China, the Middle East, Europe and Australia. In exchange, Otsuka will make a $73 million upfront payment to Akebia and provide research and development funding, and potential milestone fees and royalties.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a grant of more than $3 million by the CDC to study potential diagnostics for the Zika virus. Researchers are working to create tools for early detection of the virus.
The FDA has approved use of Sanofi Genzyme's Thymoglobulin, or anti-thymocyte globulin [rabbit], along with immunosuppression, just prior to kidney transplantation to lower the risk of organ rejection.
AABB asks preparedness advisory committees to consider sustainability of US blood system
AABB is urging the National Preparedness and Response Science Board (NPRSB) and the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD) to consider current threats to the sustainability of the United States blood system. AABB sent comments to the two groups noting that threats to the blood system also jeopardize national health security, emergency preparedness and the public's health. AABB also invited NPRSB and NACCD to work with the association to explore feasible solutions to current challenges to blood system sustainability.