Hepatitis B and D – treatment is highly effective, safe and affordable

Chronic hepatitis B is a major public health burden in most LMICscontributing to unnecessary suffering from liver failure and liver cancer leading to loss of life. Treatment is highly effective, safe, and affordable.   Simplified treatment algorithms along with access to cheaper diagnostics and antiviral therapy has provided a pathway for the expansion of treatment.

Professor Alice Lee, based at Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia,  is international authority on viral hepatitis and the implementation of effective treatment programs across LMICs.  Her organisation’s website, hepatitisBfree has a wealth of extensive guidelines including the algorithm below that derives from WHO treatment and care guidelines and  the Asian consensus recommendations.

She has recently published this review which is important reading :  Hepatitis D Review: Challenges for the Resource-Poor Setting .  Hepatitis Delta is also an incredibly important issue for you to address / understand in your setting as its incidence will influence the impact of Hepatitis B treatment approaches.  Here are the take home messages from Prof. Lee et al.:



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PNG Antibiotic Guidelines on the way!

After quite some planning and with the support of WHO and Burnet Institute,  last week saw the convening of a Guideline Writing Committee in Port Moresby. The committee membership includes many senior PNG clinicians, co-chaired by Dr Goa Tau (NDOH) and Professor Robert Moulds (Therapeutic Guidelines, Australia.  It was a great 2 day meeting with fantastic engagement. The various topic subgroups have now been set their homework and we meet again in November.  The PRIDA representative is Dr Ferguson.

The guidelines will have primacy over antibiotic regimens in existing standard treatment guidelines that are pending updates. Alignment with the recently updated Paediatric Guidelines will be sought before their release. The current work is based on two recent Pacific Nations antibiotic guidelines – Fiji (2019) and Timor-Leste (2022).

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Respiratory specimens – approach to analysis and interpretation

Guest posting: Ms Tessa Oakley, Senior Bacteriology Scientist with the Timor-Leste Fleming Fund Country Grant and PRIDA member. 

This excellent lecture is from a March 2022 session during the PRIDA Scientific Officer Microbiology Diploma course.

A useful adjunct to this talk is the practical 20 minute video masterclass provided by Dr Ashhurst-Smith here.

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Urinalysis, crystals and casts – annotated photographic guides

Produced by Dr Henry Butt, Senior Hospital Scientist, Newcastle, Australia in 1998. 

See also:

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COVID-19 update and the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine – Dr Ian Marr

Guest posting from Dr Ian Marr –MBBS FRACP FRCPA Infectious Disease Physician and Microbiologist

This is a recent lecture provided under the auspices of PRIDA to Samoan physicians and students.   Samoa COVID Marr July 2021

Please add questions to Dr Marr by a posting comment. 


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Yeast 101 – species of medical importance – Dr N Townell

Yeast summary April 2021 Townell

  • Candida species
  • Cryptococcus species
  • Trichosporon species
  • Talaromyces marneffei (previously Penicillium marneffei)
  • Rhodotorula species
  • Malassezia furfur
  • Pneumocysitis jiroveci

Dimorphic fungi not included.

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PRIDA Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Journal club: Pacific and SE asia 2021

These will be run with a 45-60 min Zoom session each fortnight on Friday and focus on an article of relevance to the Pacific and SE asia.   This will focus on Infectious Disease and Microbiology.  We will also use it to discuss any topics of interest at the time. Various PRIDA faculty members will moderate the sessions.

First session: February 12th FRIDAY – 12pm Port Moresby, PNG time

  • 745am: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 9am: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 11am: Dili, Timor-Leste
  • 1pm: Honiara, Solomon Islands
  • 1pm: Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • 2pm: Suva, Fiji
  • 3pm: West Samoa Time, WST

A WhatsApp group will be used to remind everyone each fortnight and send the zoom conference link.   To enrol, please email Ian_Marr[at]gmx.com

Dr Ian Marr – MBBS FRCPA FRACP,  Infectious Disease physician and Microbiologist

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Top 10 Infectious Diseases papers 2020 from Prof Josh Davis

Guest posting from Josh Davis, Infectious Diseases Physician, John Hunter Hospital,  Newcastle,  NSW.

Thanks Josh! He has selected the Top ID papers of 2020 Davis based on:

  • Deal with diagnosis or Rx of infectious diseases (COVID excluded)
  • Relevant to clinical practice
  • Practice-changing, paradigm-shifting, or dogma-challenging

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REVIVE Antimicrobial Encyclopaedia

The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) has announced the launch of their new resource, the Encyclopaedia – REVIVE (gardp.org). A great new resource!   

This resource includes definitions of terms from the field of antimicrobials including ‘Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient’, ‘Bacterial efflux’ and ‘Minimum Inhibitory Concentration’. Each term has links for users to find more information on the subject and wherever available there are also links to REVIVE content such as webinar recordings and
Antimicrobial Viewpoints on the subject. Some terms also include bespoke explanatory videos with clear diagrams featuring REVIVE experts.

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Polioviruses – update 2020

Polio eradication – so close but still not there! Here is an excellent recent 2 page wrap up by Dr S. Naqvi, our senior registrar in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.  Polioviruses Naqvi 2020 tutorial

See also Circulating vaccine derived poliovirus – Papua New Guinea Disease outbreak news, 2 July 2018 (WHO)

Photo and table: Wikipedia 

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