There is an urgent need to improve the classification of rare diseases due to a lack of consistent definitions, which impairs diagnosis and treatment, research on rare disease mechanisms, access to patient resources, and potential therapies, according to The American Journal of Managed Care. The study authors described a collaborative effort to harmonize disease definitions, called Monarch Disease Oncology, which estimates the number of specific rare diseases at more than 10,000. The study called for funding and regulatory agencies, patient advocacy groups, and other organizations in the rare disease field to join forces globally to collect, consolidate, and curate the most current knowledge on rare diseases.

A strain of Clostridioides difficile (C diff) has been identified, despite being previously misclassified, according to Contagion Live. A previous polymerase chain reaction test had misidentified a new C diff strain, originally labeling it BI/027, and the study found that it should now be classified as DQ/591 despite being genomically similar to BI/027. Since the conclusion of their work, the study authors wrote that DQ/591 was reported as the most prevalent C diff strain in 3 tertiary hospitals in Columbia and have stressed that further monitoring is required to determine whether the strain carries risk for increased and death.

A research team at the University of Pennsylvania have determined whether inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) medications are linked to changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a key indicator of kidney function, according to HCP Live. The investigators performed a retrospective cohort study of the data from The Health Improvement Network, which included a total of 17,807 patients with IBD. They found that IBD is associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in patients aged 16 to 77 years.