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Close up of nurse monitoring blood pressure on a man's arm

A new study from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine shows that, depending on the interpretation criteria, serological tests can distinguish recent Zika infections in areas where dengue is endemic. The study was published online in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The body’s immune responses to the Zika and dengue viruses are so similar that it is very difficult to differentiate a recent Zika infection from a historical dengue infection. The study offers evidence that Plaque Reduction Neutralization Tests (PRNT), the historical gold standard for serological diagnosis of a viral infection, can differentiate between Zika and dengue infections if the appropriate interpretation criteria are used, according to Matthew Ward, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Tropical Medicine and first author on the paper. Dr. Pierre Buekens, outgoing dean and W.H. Watkins professor of epidemiology, and Dawn Wesson, professor of tropical medicine, were coauthors along with several collaborators in Honduras and Argentina. Keep reading>>

Research Highlights

Almost 36 percent of US adults recommended for blood pressure treatment under new guidelines

New, more intensive high blood pressure treatment guidelines could increase the number of U.S. adults categorized as having high blood pressure by 31 million and those receiving antihypertensive treatment by 11 million, according to a new study by Tulane University researchers. The study, published in JAMA Cardiology, used national health data to estimate the impact of implementing the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association hypertension guidelines, which call for doctors to more intensively manage hypertension for adults, aiming for blood pressure targets well below the 2014 guidelines. Keep reading>>

Tulane study examines pediatricians’ views on spanking

A new study involving Tulane University researchers finds three out of four pediatricians don’t approve of hitting children for corrective purposes, often referred to as spanking. Catherine Taylor, an associate professor of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, surveyed pediatricians around the U.S. and found that most think spanking seldom or never results in positive outcomes for kids. The study is published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Keep reading>>