Nysha Recent News

Health News

January 23, 2017      

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Scientists repair genetic defect in rare immune disorder

That’s not to say they’ve cured the disorder.

But scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have now repaired mutations in a gene called CYBB.  The gene, with certain mutations, causes a rare genetic immune disorder called X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD), in which the body’s white blood cells cannot effectively fight off infections.

The scientists first edited defective versions of the CYBB gene in stem cells taken from people with X-CGD.  They then transplanted them into mice.  The repaired CYBB genes produced healthily functioning white blood cells in the mice.

The federal scientists’ ultimate goal is developing the approach into a treatment for people with X-CGD.  They suggest that this approach to gene correction also may be applicable to other blood diseases caused by mutations in a single gene, such as sickle-cell anemia.

For kids’ ear infections, no benefit to less antibiotics

For years, the standard treatment for your child’s ear infection at your local pediatrician’s office was ten days of antibiotics.

In recent years, what with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many doctors have tried to prescribe fewer antibiotics, including for the ear infections common in babies and toddlers.  The idea was to help limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

However, a new study by the University of Pittsburgh now shows that giving little kids with ear infections only five days of antibiotics doesn’t reduce their resistance to antibiotics—meaning that the standard ten-day course of antibiotics is still safe resistance-wise.

The study divided 520 children with ear infections, ages 6 to 23 months, into two groups—one getting antibiotics for five days and the other for ten days.  (Those in the five-day group were given a placebo for the 2nd five days.)

After monitoring participating kids during and after treatment, researchers found that 34 percent of the five-day group had worsening symptoms and signs of infection, while only 16 percent of ten-day group did.  They also found equal levels of resistant bacteria in samples taken after treatment from both groups of children.

The study was published Dec. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.