Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates

A New Weapon in the Fight Against Abscesses

A peptide developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia prevented drug-resistant bacteria from forming abscesses, or painful pus-filled lesions.

The peptide is a mini-protein, and works by disrupting the bacterial stress response.

There are 3.2 million emergency room visits each year in the United States due to abscesses. Standard treatment typically involves cutting to remove the infected tissue, or draining it. Antibiotics rarely work as a treatment.

This peptide offers a less invasive alternative.

“Abscesses can occur almost anywhere in the body, and antibiotics aren’t usually effective on them,” said Bob Hancock, a Professor in UBC’s department of microbiology said. “Our peptide offers a new strategy, because its mechanism is completely different from every known antibiotic.”

Hancock is also the senior author of the study published in EBioMedicine.

Hancock and UBC researchers used DJK-5, their synthetic peptide to interfere with the bacteria’s stress response and heal abscesses in mice.

Hancock said he is hoping for clinical trials to begin within a year.

His study “Bacterial Abscess Formation Is Controlled by the Stringent Stress Response and Can Be Targeted Therapeutically” appears online in EBioMedicine.


More Than Half of American Adults With a Mental Illness Do Not Receive Treatment

56 percent of the 43.7 million people in the U.S. with a mental illness do not receive any treatment for their condition, according to Mental Health America’s Annual Assessment of Americans with Mental Illness.

That percentage is higher amongst the younger population, where 80 percent of the children and adolescents are receiving insufficient treatment, or none at all – even with depression rates on the rise.

Fox News expounded on the findings of the study, stating: “Health care reform expanded mental health care coverage for Americans, but about 56 percent of U.S. adults with mental illness still do not receive treatment.

The Washington Post and Fox News reported on the study.


Consumers Saved $230 Billion on Generic Drugs Last Year

Generic drugs made up 88 percent of prescriptions filled, and account for 28 percent of total drug spending, according to a recent report from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

Generic brand drugs have saved consumers about $230 billion in prescription spending, according to the report. Generic costs are declining overall, even as more are sold, according to the USA Today.

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