July 16th, 2012

Sizzling Summer Serratias

Several ID/HIV items to contemplate as the heat really kicks in here in the torrid USA:

  • TDF/FTC approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The challenging issues of defining the best candidates for this strategy — and finding the providers to prescribe it — still remain, but FDA approval should at least help justify insurance coverage if clinicians choose to offer it to their patients. Some other controversies? Sure!
  • Dolutegravir + abacavir/lamivudine bests TDF/FTC/EFV. All the info we have thus far is in the press release, but let the record show that this will be the first time a regimen is significantly better than TDF/FTC/EFV in its primary analysis. The results are driven by more discontinuations for adverse events in the EFV arm. Further details eagerly awaited.
  • Severe Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease outbreak in Asia. It’s apparently caused by enterovirus-71, and to me it’s still perplexing — despite what this brief article in our local paper says.
  • Toxoplasmosis linked to suicide risk. I’m a big believer that many chronic infections are in fact benign — we live with microbes, remember? — but data linking CMV and now toxoplasmosis with adverse outcomes are now out there (here, toxo associated with “self-directed violence” — haven’t heard that one before). And all ID docs know that it’s more appropriate to blame your diet than your cat, right? Last, I’ll say it again — is there a better name for a scary Infectious Disease than Toxoplasmosis gondii?  Yikes, just saying it makes me frightened.
  • Bad tick-related illness season. That was a completely anecdotal impression, my apologies for no reference.

Meanwhile, today’s title is brought to you by the distinctive red color when Serratia grows in culture.

And can anyone provide the “real” pronunciation? (Bonus points.)

3 Responses to “Sizzling Summer Serratias”

  1. Dr Murugan Sankaranantham says:

    TDF/FTC is the first drug approved for PrEP. Ok.,Good. It gives protection up to 42% in MSM population and up to 75% in heterosexual couples.What about the rest who were on this PrEP ? 55% of MSM and 25% of the DISCORDANT
    couple. Likely to get the infection. That too they were already exposed to TDF/FTC which is the first and preferred line of NRTI back bone. Then we have to fin some alternative regimen for these individuals which may be less effective with more side effects and more cost. Are we going in a correct path.

  2. Lenny Berkowitz says:

    When I was a fellow one of our attendings pronounced the name of the organism as sir-AH-ti-uh at a conference and everyone chuckled, but upon further review it was deemed “acceptable” by some sources and correct by others. Have never heard it pronounced that way since then.

    • Paul Sax says:

      Lenny,you got it — apparently that’s the “correct” spelling, but agree that hardly anyone uses it. Tom O’Brien — who happens to be Conan’s father, by the way — pronounces it this way, and he knows a lot about bacteria!


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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