Today’s Headlines: HIV, Salmonella and Multiple Sclerosis

Targeted radioactive bomb might clean out AIDS virus, study finds: “A radioactive smart bomb might help mop up the last bits of AIDS virus hiding out in a patient’s body, even getting into the brain,” researchers reported in a new study. The new treatment strategy for HIV is based on a modified version of a leukemia treatment. The treatment uses an antibody “tied to a bit of radioactive material called bismuth-213” to recognize and hone in on infected immune cells, killing them with radiation. The treatment was effective in mice, and when it was subsequently tested on 15 patients with HIV, “it killed the infected cells that were still circulating in the patients, and even penetrated into the brain – something that not many drugs can do.” However, this approach is still experimental and requires further study. (NBC News)

USDA announces new plan to combat salmonella: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled a new plan Wednesday to reduce the number of salmonella outbreaks linked to meat and poultry.” The move comes after several recent food-related outbreaks of the bacteria, which can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain and infects an estimated 1.3 million Americans each year. Meat and poultry are often to blame. “The USDA said the new plan would focus inspectors more greatly on food safety, a change that could potentially reduce 5,000 illnesses a year.” (Los Angeles Times)

TB Vaccine May Work Against Multiple Sclerosis: Study: “A vaccine normally used to thwart the respiratory illness tuberculosis also might help prevent the development of multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, a new study suggests.” Researchers administered the vaccine to people who had experienced one episode of symptoms suggesting they might develop the neurologic disease. When the patients underwent subsequent brain scans, they had fewer brain lesions than people who received a placebo injection. “After five years, 70 percent of those who received the placebo had developed MS, compared to 42 percent of those given the vaccine.” (U.S. News & World Report)