Latest Hep C report card paints a bleak picture
Without efforts to significantly increase testing and treatment, Australia will struggle to achieve its hepatitis C elimination targets by 2030, the latest report card shows. While the report by the Burnet Institute and the Kirby Institute showed a decline in newly acquired hepatitis C infections, it identified a concerning decline in the number of people testing for hepatitis C and treatment uptake. Long standing issues such as stigma, discrimination and inequity of access to treatment also needed addressing, the report said. The COVID-19 pandemic was likely to hamper Australia’s efforts to reach its goal of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.
Hookworms no cure for coeliac disease
Hookworm treatment does not cure coeliac disease but may improve symptoms, an Australian led study finds. The placebo controlled trial involving 54 people with coeliac disease found hookworm infection did not improve tolerance to a moderate gluten challenge (2g a day). However, the authors from Brisbane and New Zealand found hookworm-treated participants had fewer adverse symptoms and improved quality of life scores during lower gluten challenges. According to the authors the finding “seems real” and might have some clinical relevance for the wellbeing of people with coeliac disease.
Children with moderate to severe Crohn’s benefit from early infliximab
Children and adolescents with newly diagnosed moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease benefit from early, first-line therapy with infliximab, a randomised trial suggests. The trial of 100 untreated and newly diagnosed patients with Crohn’s disease found that patients randomised to the biologic were more likely at 12 months to be in clinical remission 19/46 (41%) on azathioprine monotherapy without need for treatment escalation compared to 7/48 (15%) of patients randomised to receive enteral nutrition or oral prednisolone (p=0.004).