Pneumonia risk higher in sleep apnea sufferers

People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, which causes the breathing airway to collapse intermittently during slumber, may be at a higher risk for developing pneumonia, according to a study from Taiwan

The study was published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal after researchers tracked 34,100 people for 11 years, including 6,815 who had sleep apnea.

Researchers excluded patients younger than 20 and those with an existing lung abscess or infection.

They found that 9.36 per cent of those in the sleep apnea group developed pneumonia within five years, compared to 7.77 per cent of subjects without the sleep disorder.

“This study showed that sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for incident pneumonia,” said the researchers, who added that patients with more severe sleep apnea may have a higher risk of pneumonia than patients with sleep apnea of milder severity.

They said disturbances in the immune system, brought on by sleep deprivation that is common to the breathing disorder, may have made subjects in the study more susceptible to the invasion of pathogens that can lead to pneumonia.

An estimated 860,000 Canadians — or three per cent of the population — have been diagnosed as having sleep apnea, and many more may not know they have it.

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with what‘s called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, a machine that prevents the airway from collapsing.

Source: CBC news

Soon, more efficient vaccines for meningitis and pneumonia

Researchers have discovered the presence of a novel subtype of innate lymphoid cells in human spleen essential for the production of antibodies.

This work was done by the B cell Biology research group at IMIM (Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mediques) in Barcelona, directed by Dr. Andrea Cerutti, ICREA research professor and leader in the field of B lymphocyte biology.

Innate lymphoid cells were recently described by the scientific community and represent the first line of immunological defence on our body surfaces, which are constantly exposed to bacteria, such as the intestine or skin.

Dr. Giuliana Magri, member of the research group of B Cell Biology at IMIM and first author in the paper, said that for the first time it has been described both their presence and function in human spleen. We have discovered how these cells regulate the innate immune response of a subset of splenic B lymphocytes that are responsible to fight against encapsulated bacteria, causative agents of meningitis or pneumonia.

This new finding improves our understanding on how the immune system protects us against infections.

This research has been published in the journal Nature Immunology.

Source: sify news

Twins Die in Incubator At Kinamba Health Centre

A couple in Kinamba, Laikipia West is mourning the death of one-week-old twins due to what they termed as negligence by medical practitioners.

The twin boys, who were in an incubator, died on Sunday morning at Kinamba health centre following a power blackout. The father of the twins Alfred Muchangi said they had been in the health facility for a week since they were born.

He said the boys died after medics who were on duty during the 2am incident did not remove the babies from the incubator after a power blackout.

“The boys had been with their mother at the health centre for the last week. On Sunday night, the power went off for hours and the health centre does not have a standby generator. They died,” Muchangi said.

John Githinji, the officer in charge of the facility. said upon examining them he noted that they may have died from a condition known us perspiration pneumonia.

“It is true that the facility does not have a standby generator and power loss could have contributed to the deaths,” he said. He however said the hospital is overstretched due to shortage of clinical officers and nurses.

Githinji said only one staffer was on duty on the fateful night. He said she was attending to outpatient and inpatient at the same time, thus being overwhelmed.

Source: all Africa