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 “” to “” 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 …

3 Responses to “Promising C diff Rx, and Google as Surveillance Tool”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Re Gallo: It is not that he’s not impressed. The German case is in no way an answer to our global pandemic. Listen here:

  2. Paul Sax says:

    >>The German case is in no way an answer to our global pandemic.

    Of course not, I completely agree. Logistically, economically, medically, genetically all impossible.

    Yet the mere success (from the HIV perspective) of this one case is notable, as a “proof of concept” if nothing else. Let’s hope it leads to something more broadly applicable.

  3. Richard S. Barr says:

    In an attempt to feel and look better, mankind will try anything that seems to work, be it strong medicines or dung. With almost an entire world population, many under STRESS, lousy nutrition,poor sleep combined with malaise, along with just plain old aging,is there any wonder people’s immune systems, HIV or not are compromised? The only affordable medicines, I believe are the ones free from nature…There are no medicine-induced down sides to a diet rich in sulphur.My healthy sysem I explain partially to the blue sulphur water found in places like Sharon Springs, NY ,combined with good diet and personal affermations,blessing countings on how fortunate I am and still able to ‘laugh about it’when life comes at you.

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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