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Vi typhoid vaccine is effective

A currently available and yet unused typhoid vaccine has been found effective in protecting young children in India, according to researchers.

The research team from National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata and International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Korea, showed that vaccine Vi polysaccharide is ideally suited to use in developing countries and can offer protection to almost 80 per cent of the children.

Multidrug-resistant Salmonella typhi has spread to many parts of the world, limiting the ability to treat typhoid fever with available antibiotics. Typhoid is both a waterborne and food-borne gastrointestinal infection.

The researchers revealed that despite a recommendation by the World Health Organisation for use of Vi vaccines in developing countries, its use has been limited, partly because of doubts about Vi’s ability to protect pre-school age children.

Omega 3 oils for better vision

A diet high in Omega 3 oils can lower the risk of developing age related macular degeneration, says a new study.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), loss of vision in the centre of the visual field (macula) due to retinal damage, is one of the leading causes of legal blindness among the elderly.

Now, a group led by Dr Chi-Chao Chan at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, in America, has found that mice fed a diet high in omega three oils had slower progression of the leisons in the eye and some improvement.

Potentially safer anaesthetic

A novel general anaesthetic developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) physicians may be safer for critically ill patients, says a report.

The report describes the drug called MOC-etomidate as a chemically altered version of an exiting anaesthetic that does not cause the sudden drop in blood pressure seen with most anaesthetics, or prolonged suppression of adrenal gland activity, a problem with the original version of the drug.

“We have shown that making a version of etomidate that is broken down very quickly in the body reduces the duration of adrenal suppression while retaining etomidate’s benefit of keeping blood pressure much more stable than other anaesthetics do,” says lead researcher Dr Douglas Raines.

Almost all general anaesthetic agents reduce blood pressure immediately after they are administered.

Though not a problem for young and healthy patients, it can have serious consequences for those who are elderly, critically ill or suffering from blood loss.

Ozone may affect lung function

Researchers at the University of California Davis have warned that the lungs may get adversely affected even when exposed to such levels of ozone as are deemed safe by current clean air standards.

“The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone was recently revised to set lower limits for ozone concentrations. Our research indicates that the threshold for decrements in ozone-induced lung function in healthy young subjects is below this standard,” said Dr Edward Schelegle.

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