ASCLS eNewsBytes
March 2, 2010

Classification system for diabetic nephropathy may advance patient care
Medscape Medical News
An international group of physicians has designed a categorization system for diabetic nephropathy, the chief cause of kidney failure, according to an article in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The number of people with diabetes worldwide is 285 million and rising. The increasing incidence will result in more cases of DN, according to the authors.More

Rising threat of infections unfazed by antibiotics
The New York Times
A minor-league pitcher in his younger days, Richard Armbruster kept playing baseball recreationally into his 70s, until his right hip started bothering him. Last February he went to a St. Louis hospital for what was to be a routine hip replacement. By late March, Armbruster, then 78, was dead. After a series of postsurgical complications, the final blow was a bloodstream infection that sent him into shock and resisted treatment with antibiotics. Not until the day Armbruster died did a laboratory culture identify the organism that had infected him: Acinetobacter baumannii. More

Salmonella found in crushed red pepper
Two wholesale lots of crushed red pepper linked to the ongoing national salmonella outbreak have been recalled, and the FDA is looking at whether to recall retail products. The FDA has confirmed salmonella contamination of red pepper samples collected at Daniele International Inc. in Rhode Island. Sausages made by Daniele have previously been linked to the salmonella outbreak.More

Vitamin D deficiency likely among many patients starting dialysis
Medscape Medical News
Vitamin D deficiency is almost universal in patients with kidney disease with low blood albumin levels who begin long-term dialysis during the winter, according to the results of a study reported in the March issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The goal of this study was to examine whether routinely measured clinical and demographic factors could identify patients starting dialysis who are deficient in vitamin D.More

Experts: Lactose intolerance misunderstood, 'gaps' found
USA Today
Many Americans avoid dairy products, an important source of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients, because they mistakenly think they're lactose intolerant, a panel of experts concluded at a National Institutes of Health conference. Solid estimates of the prevalence of lactose intolerance are lacking, because medical studies have different interpretations of the condition, the experts write in their concluding statement, which is published at

New Red Cross blood donation Web site
United Press International
The American Red Cross in Washington has created a single Web site to make it easier for people to donate blood. The Web site replaces the individual Blood Region Web sites, as well as the national site previously hosted at

Regulus and Glaxo will work on hepatitis C drugs
The Associated Press via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Drugmaker Regulus Therapeutics LLC said it is expanding a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, and will begin researching new treatments for hepatitis C. Regulus said it will identify a potential drug candidate in late 2010, and file an application with the Food and Drug Administration in 2011. Regulus said it could get more than $150 million from the new collaboration, along with royalty payments of up to 10 percent on sales of any drugs developed under the agreement.More

1 in 6 new HIV cases involves drug-resistant virus HIV/AIDS Treatment News
About one of every six new HIV cases diagnosed in 2007 involved virus with antiretroviral (ARV) drug-resistance mutations, according to data reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco. More