An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
November 17th, 2008
Promising C diff Rx, and Google as Surveillance Tool
A few items from recent ID/HIV news:
- Bad enough when it happens once, relapsing C diff is one of the modern plagues for which our bag of tricks sometimes comes up woefully short. (Anything that tests stool transplants as a therapy is pretty desperate.) Here was some bright news on the treatment front, however: an experimental drug named OPT-80 was just as effective as vancomycin, but with a lower rate of relapse (13% vs 24%). What kind of drug is OPT-80? Why, it’s a “macrocycle” (first I’ve heard of them, I confess), and has shown focused activity against gram positive anaerobes only — including C diff. Sounds ideal for this indication.
- Google has quietly convinced us it can do just about anything, so why not influenza surveillance? By the way, note how they switched from “google.com” to “google.org” for their philanthropic activities. Does that not-for-profit designation mean they are the future Gates Foundation, ready to offer vast sums to solve global health problems? Or is it just a subtle PR move? Likely some combination, but I like the idea of their putting their technology skills to the public good.
- I guess Tony Fauci and Robert Gallo were none too impressed with that “cured” case of HIV recently in the news. Oh well, I guess it takes a lot to impress you when you’ve been at this HIV/AIDS game from the start. Still …