Multidrug-resistant TB appears less transmissible in households than drug-susceptible TB Some strains of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) may have a lower fitness (be less capable of spreading) than drug-susceptible tuberculosis bacteria, according to a new study. The study compared new tuberculosis cases among household contacts of tuberculosis patients in South Lima and Callao, Peru, to determine the relative fitness of MDRTB vs. drug-susceptible tuberculosis.
New breath test for pneumonia An important new approach has been developed to diagnose infections in critically ill patients rapidly and accurately. Researchers have discovered that chemically analysing breath specimens from patients in intensive care can reveal bacterial infection in the lower respiratory tract of ventilated patients at risk of developing pneumonia
Targeting nerve endings to curb allergic asthma A study supports a surprising alternative approach to controlling asthma: targeting certain sensory nerve endings in the lungs. The researchers show that specialized sensory neurons called nociceptors are not only activated by allergic inflammation, but also exacerbate the allergic immune response. When these neurons are selectively silenced in mouse models of acute and chronic asthma, both inflammation and bronchial twitchiness are reduced.
Severe asthma fails to respond to mainstay treatment The immune response that occurs in patients with severe asthma is markedly different than what occurs in milder forms of the lung condition, according to researchers. People with severe asthma, in which the airways become inflamed and constrict to impair breathing, do not get better even with high doses of corticosteroids, the mainstay of treatment for typical asthma.