Search for: "HIV" - 206 articles found

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Corona management in Taiwan

Standing united against COVID-19

Despite its proximity to China, Taiwan contained COVID-19 successfully, without a lockdown or movement restriction measures introduced elsewhere. With few new cases reported, life almost returned to normal. Behind the scenes, however, efforts have continued to maintain that positive situation.

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Coronavirus and gender

Why COVID-19 hits men harder than women

When infected by the new coronavirus, women may mount a more potent adaptive immune response than do men, a new study suggests. By comparison, the male immune response appears to progress less effectively, fostering inflammation that’s harmful to the body. This study is the first to delve into sex differences in how the immune system defends itself against the virus SARS-CoV-2. It could help…

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research. The study, published in Science, is the first to map a human antibody’s interaction with the new coronavirus at near-atomic-scale resolution. Although the antibody was…

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Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder and less infectious, while the later-emerging ‘L-type’, is more aggressive, spreads more quickly, and currently accounts for about 70 per cent of cases. Worldwide, medical researchers are exploring…

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COVID-19 medication safety

New traffic light system to prevent coronavirus drug interaction

The University of Liverpool launched a new website featuring a traffic light system to aid the safe prescribing of experimental drugs being trialled against coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, created by the University’s Liverpool Drug Interactions Group, provides vital information on whether or not combinations of an experimental drug and co-medications are safe to prescribe. This is of…

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Surprising discovery

Fatty liver disease can also affect lean people

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mostly diagnosed in overweight and obese people. However, severe forms of NAFLD can also be detected in rare genetic diseases such as lipodystrophy or in patients with HIV, putting them at a high risk for developing liver failure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Norbert Stefan and colleagues have now detected a yet unknown cause of NAFLD in lean…

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Lethal brain infection

How current treatment for fungal meningitis fuels drug resistance

A common first-line treatment approach for cryptococcal meningitis in low-income countries is being compromised by the emergence of drug resistance, new University of Liverpool research warns. Published in the journal mBio, the findings highlight the need to develop new drugs and treatment regimens for the lethal brain infection, which kills around 180,000 people each year. Cryptococcal…

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Product of the Month

Using safety products reduces the risk of needlestick injuries

If a health sector employee falls ill with a bloodborne illness, the cause is often a previous injury from a sharp, contaminated object. Direct blood-to-blood contact, such as with an NSI, is one of the recurring causes of infection. It isn’t possible to vaccinate against HIV, for instance, and the consequences of an infection remain fatal. Don’t take the dangers posed by NSI lightly: get…

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Tiny biomaterials

On the way to safer nanomedicine

Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should…

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

Parasitic worm infections can reduce the susceptibility of immune cells to HIV infection, according to new University of Liverpool research. Some species of parasitic worm, such as the water-borne Schistosoma mansoni, have developed strategies to evade, skew and dampen human immune responses. This includes being able to alter the response of a type of immune system cell called a CD4+ T cell,…

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Safety products

Abolish needlestick injuries

If a health sector employee falls ill with a bloodborne disease, the cause is often a previous injury from a sharp, contaminated object. Direct blood-to-blood contact, such as with a needlestick injury (NSI), is among the recurring causes of infection. It isn’t possible to vaccinate against HIV, for instance, and the consequences of an infection remain fatal. Among the most effective ways to…

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Global health

WHO updates list of essential medicines and diagnostics

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) Essential Medicines List and List of Essential Diagnostics are core guidance documents that help countries prioritize critical health products that should be widely available and affordable throughout health systems. Now, updated versions of the two lists have been published, focusing on cancer and other global health challenges, with an emphasis on effective…

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Boosting our immune surveillance

Antibodies PD-1 and PD-L1: a quantum leap in cancer therapy

Immuno-oncology is a therapy in which the body’s immune system treats a tumour. Dr Eric Borges, from the Research and Development Centre at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH in Germany, explains why this is revolutionary. Unlike conventional cancer therapies, with immuno-oncology the tumour cell is not the direct target, it’s the patient’s immune system. The medication stimulates this to…

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Detecting migrant health risks

‘Refugees do not bring diseases to western shores’

The migrant population is fast growing and heterogeneous. Experts at a session held during the European Congress of Radiology (ECR 2019) concluded that radiologists can play a key role in detecting and differentiating related diseases. Migration is a growing phenomenon and has an impact on health, according to Jozef Bartovic from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Copenhagen, Denmark.…

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Gene-editing

CRISPR baby mutation significantly increases mortality

A genetic mutation that a Chinese scientist attempted to create in twin babies born last year, ostensibly to help them fend off HIV infection, is also associated with a 21% increase in mortality in later life, according to an analysis by scientists from UC Berkeley. The researchers scanned more than 400,000 genomes and associated health records contained in a British database, UK Biobank, and…

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Sexually transmitted infections

New findings could improve STI vaccinations

In a new study, researchers from King’s College London have shown how skin vaccination can generate protective CD8 T-cells that are recruited to the genital tissues and could be used as a vaccination strategy for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). One of the challenges in developing vaccines for STIs, such as HIV or herpes simplex virus, is understanding how to attract specialised immune…

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Fake pills

'Decoy' antibiotics dupe bacteria’s defences

Imperial medical students have helped to devise a new type of ‘decoy’ drug to tackle infections that are resistant to antibiotics. In lab tests on bacterial cultures, the new drug successfully killed a strain of drug-resistant bacteria. It works by delivering two antibiotics, one of which is effectively hidden. When the bacteria fight against the first ‘decoy’ antibiotic, this action…

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Blood transfusions

Donor organs become immunologically invisible

The safety of blood transfusions is questioned again and again by the mass media. Sometimes ‘bad’ blood causes infections; sometimes a transfusion leads to cancer years later. The fact is that transfer blood is subjected to the highest safety standards – there are very clear statutory regulations. Nonetheless, there will be shortages of ‘life’s fluid’ because, given increasing…

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Gene editing

DNA “shredder”: a different kind of CRISPR

In the last six years, a tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has transformed genetic research, allowing scientists to snip and edit DNA strands at precise locations like a pair of tiny scissors. But sometimes, it takes more than scissors to do the job. Now, a collaborative international team has unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool that acts more like a shredder, able to wipe out long stretches of DNA in human…

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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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X-ray crystallography

Seeing the unseeable life inside a virus

Researchers at Cardiff University have used x-ray crystallography and computer simulation to get a closer look at how viruses bind cells and cause infection. The new insight could help in the development of drugs and therapies for infections and further advance the exploitation of viruses for medical treatments. The first author of the study, Alex Baker from Cardiff University’s School of…

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Dormant virus

Finding 'hidden' HIV in cells

Until now, researchers haven’t been able to accurately quantify a latent form of HIV that persists in patients’ immune cells. A new genetic technique is fast and 10 to 100 times more accurate than previous diagnostics. This hidden, inactive version of HIV embeds into cells’ genomes and can persist despite otherwise successful therapies – thwarting attempts to cure the infection. Using a…

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ß-D Glucan

New test for early fungal infection detection

At the National Reference Centre for Invasive Fungal Infections (Hans-Knöll Institute Jena) and the Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology, Würzburg University, Professor Oliver Kurzai and team utilise the fast and user-friendly β-D-Glucan Test, supplied by Fujifilm Wako Chemicals Europe GmbH, to check immunocompromised patients for signs of life-threatening, invasive fungal infections.…

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Medica 2018

The Czech med-tech market is thriving

The Czech Republic has a long tradition of ground-breaking medical innovations. At Medica 2018, the presence of Czech companies and traders underlined that medical devices and technologies from this country have continuing strength and value. Having recorded steady growth over the past few years, the Czech medical technology sector now produces a volume of around €870 million. 13,400 people…

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Controversial research

HIV and gene editing: beware of the butterfly effect, cautions expert

The claim of a chinese professor has caused quite a controversy: He Jiankui announced that he successfully modified human DNA to prevent two girls from contracting HIV. Upon the leak of this research, ethicists and scientists alike condemned Jiankui's gene editing in humans. West Virginia University Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences Dr. Clay Marsh says that although “a lot…

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Evolving technique

Flow cytometry rises to new challenges

Flow cytometry has proved an invaluable diagnostic tool for leukaemia and lymphoma for almost three decades. Now, however, this is evolving in applications to seek out residual disease in cases and in fusion with molecular testing to advance its diagnostic potential. However, although recognised as fast, flexible and accurate, flow cytometry suffers from a lack of standardisation, according to…

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Real walkaway automation

The all-in-one molecular laboratory system

The lab-in-the-box design of LabTurbo SP-qPCR All-in-one system offers true automation for the molecular laboratory, the manufacturer reports, adding that this ‘delivers testing confidence and laboratory efficiency. LabTurbo fully automates the complete workflow of molecular diagnostic laboratories. The sample-to-result procedure includes: automatic sample transfer from primary tubes, DNA/RNA…

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Tick-borne infection

New techniques detects Lyme disease weeks before current tests

Researchers have developed techniques to detect Lyme disease bacteria weeks sooner than current tests, allowing patients to start treatment earlier. The new techniques can detect an active infection with the Lyme bacteria faster than the three weeks it takes for the current indirect antibody-based tests, which have been a standard since 1994. Another advantage of the new tests is that a positive…

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Therapy

Could these special antibodies lead to HIV vaccine?

Around one percent of people infected with HIV produce antibodies that block most strains of the virus. These broadly acting antibodies provide the key to developing an effective vaccine against HIV. Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have now shown that the genome of the HI virus is a decisive factor in determining which antibodies are formed.

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Patient and staff safety

‘Any needlestick injury is one too many’

‘With Vacuette safety products you can minimise the risk of contamination and injury,’ the manufacturer Greiner Bio-One reports. ‘Needlestick injuries from contaminated puncture devices are the most common source of infection for diseases transmitted by blood or other bodily fluids and are still among the most common occupational accidents today. This is a serious danger!

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Patient safety

Greiner Bio-One expands blood collection product range

The Vacuette Safety Winged Set is a new addition to Greiner Bio-One’s (GBO) range of safety products. GBO now offers its customers an even wider selection of safety blood collection sets. In response to high demand for Greiner Bio-One safety products, the existing range will be joined by the new Vacuette Safety Winged Set. As always, the aim is to provide functional, user-friendly and…

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When the phosphate decides...

Defense against viruses or autoimmune disorder?

The first defense line of the body against virus infections is composed of so-called restriction factors. SAMHD1, one of such restriction factors, does not only play a role in the defense against viruses but also in the development of autoimmune disorders and cancer. The question of which effect SAMHD1 exertsin the cell is decided by addition or removal of phosphate groups.

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New function assessment

Measuring immune cell response within minutes

T cells fight pathogens and tumors: Researchers from the Universities of Tübingen and Lübeck present a simple and fast method to rapidly assess their function. Due to its simplicity, reliability and versatility, it could be broadly implemented for basic research and in the clinical setting. Methods so far to test T-cell response were technically cumbersome and time-consuming and therefore only…

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Sexually-transmitted infections

Are Facebook and Twitter to blame for increasing STI rates?

While specific data remains limited on a possible connection between online forums and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), this has become an area of increased focus. The subject was, for example, aired in April by one of the UK’s leading experts in the field, during the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), in Madrid. At the four-day event, Dr…

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Tuberculosis

New blood test predicts TB onset up to two years in advance

A new blood test has been found to more accurately predict the development of tuberculosis up to two years before its onset in people living with someone with active TB, according to research published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal. Those living with someone with active TB are at highest risk for developing the…

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Innovative test

Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infectious disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. Women of all ages are at risk for BV and its complications, which include a greater susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes simplex virus and HIV. If left undetected and untreated, BV can increase a woman's risk of upper genital tract infections such as pelvic…

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Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

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Clinical practice

LC-MS/MS enters the medical laboratory

Over the last four years, Dr Thomas Stimpfl and his team have integrated mass spectrometry into routine analysis. The analytical technique liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (or HPLC) with the mass analytical capabilities of mass spectrometry (MS). LC- and MS procedures were not originally developed for…

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Is the "American Dream" slipping away?

Drugs, alcohol and suicides contributing to alarming drop in US life expectancy

Drugs, alcohol and suicides are contributing to an alarming drop in US life expectancy, particularly among middle-aged white Americans and those living in rural communities, warn experts in The BMJ. Steven Woolf at Virginia Commonwealth University and Laudan Aron at the Urban Institute in Washington DC, argue that the ideal of the “American Dream” is increasingly out of reach as social…

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New data

WHO: High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide

WHO’s first release of surveillance data on antibiotic resistance reveals high levels of resistance to a number of serious bacterial infections in both high- and low-income countries. WHO’s new Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS) reveals widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among 500 000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries.

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Blood Donor Month

Things you should know about blood donation

Donating blood is a tangible way to help people who are struggling with serious health conditions, yet many people may not think about it or make time for it. In January – which the American Red Cross has dubbed National Blood Donor Month – blood bank supplies are typically among the lowest of the year, as many people have been traveling or busy with the holidays. Inclement weather can also…

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Antiviral design

CAR-T gene therapy could provide long-term HIV protection

Through gene therapy, researchers engineered blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, or HSPCs) to carry chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes to make cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. These engineered cells not only destroyed the infected cells, they persisted for more than two years, suggesting the potential to create long-term immunity from the virus…

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In development

A more accurate tool to track new HIV infections

Researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have led an effort to develop a more accurate way to gauge the incidence of HIV infections in large populations, which will improve research and prevention strategies worldwide. The new method more correctly identifies new vs. long-standing infections – an important distinction for determining where to target public health measures and research,…

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Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Viral infections kill millions of people worldwide every year, but currently available antiviral drugs are limited in that they mostly act against one or a small handful of related viruses. A few broad-spectrum drugs that prevent viral entry into healthy cells exist, but they usually need to be taken continuously to prevent infection, and resistance through viral mutation is a serious risk. Now,…

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Prognosis and diagnosis

Deep insight into the heart

By no means are only elderly people at risk from heart diseases. Physically active individuals can also be affected, for example if a seemingly harmless flu bug spreads to the heart muscle. Should this remain undetected and if, for example, a builder continues with his strenuous job or an athlete carries on training, this can lead to chronic inflammation and in the worst case even to sudden…

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Infectious disease

One in two people living with HIV in Europe is diagnosed late

The WHO European Region is the only region worldwide where the number of new HIV infections is rising. With more than 160 000 people newly diagnosed with HIV across the Region, including more than 29 000 new cases from the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), this trend continued in 2016. One reason for this worrying trend: over half (51%) of the reported HIV diagnoses happen in a…

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Preventing Alzheimer's

$20 million lifestyle intervention trial to prevent cognitive decline

The Alzheimer's Association announced the launch of a $20 million U.S. two-year clinical trial to test the ability of a multi-dimensional lifestyle intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in 2,500 older adults with no current cognitive symptoms but who are at increased risk for later cognitive decline. The announcement was made at the 2017 Alzheimer's Association International…

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Infection control

Virologists are today’s universal necessities

Globalisation has been a defining term in this 21st century: with almost anybody able to visit any place at any time, diseases, viruses and bacteria can be travel companions. Thus virology is gaining increased attention. Professor Barbara Gärtner, President of the German Association of Virology, talks about the issues and challenges arising from this development.

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Infections

Viruses Overheard Talking to One Another

Viruses may be stealthy invaders, but a study at the Weizmann Institute of Science reveals a new, chatty side of some: for the first time, viruses have been found communicating with one another. This communication – short “posts” left for kin and descendants – helps the viruses reading them to decide how to proceed with the process of infection. The research was reported in Nature.

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Wound Management

Using fat to help wounds heal without scars

Doctors have found a way to manipulate wounds to heal as regenerated skin rather than scar tissue. The method involves transforming the most common type of cells found in wounds into fat cells – something that was previously thought to be impossible in humans. Researchers began this work at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, which led to a large-scale, multi-year…

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Frontline medical advances

Virology is now a key discipline

Virology is fast emerging as a key discipline within modern healthcare against a backdrop of a shifting global demographic and the impact of climate change.

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Melanoma treatment

Dermatology develops an effective immunotherapy against solid cancer

Melanomas account among the eight most frequent deadly cancers in Europe and Northern America. Two major clinical criteria separate melanomas from most other cancers: the risk to die from a melanoma is a question of being less or more than 1 mm – and not a question of cm. About 95% of patients with melanomas ≤0.5 mm in thickness are clinically cured by early detection and appropriate melanoma…

HIV

Experts Launch New Healthcare Trends Report

The HIV: The Long View initiative launches today with the release of an evidence-based report that examines the potential implications of future healthcare trends on HIV care and management in Western Europe.

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EU regulation

Stopping unsafe medical device production

According to Dr Peter Liese (CDU), speaker for health issues for the European People’s Party (EPP Group), the largest parliamentary group, this is an important step for Europeans who have long awaited appropriate consequences to follow scandals such as poor quality breast implants, stents or unsafe HIV tests. Due to extremely complex issues, it took several years to reach an agreement,…

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Disaster areas

Winners on the firing line

Jens Hahn MD is an Internal Medicine and Intensive Care Specialist who works with the international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF in English: Doctors Without Borders). Here he describes his work in Afghanistan and South Sudan, and the use of rapid diagnostic tests in the field.

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Politics

Medics urged to organise refugee screening

Thousands upon thousands of humans have taken and are continuing to take flight from wars, persecution and economic stress, seeking the chance of survival in European and other countries. They arrive not only physically exhausted, but also in mourning for those killed in their own countries, or during hellish journeys – therefore many also suffer unimaginable mental traumas. Clearly they need…

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EADV Symposium

Dermatologists and Venereologists discuss refugee crisis

The 13th Symposium of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, which opened its doors last Thursday 19th May and took place in Athens, Greece, came to a conclusion yesterday, after more than 2,000 participants benefited from a series of scientific sessions focusing on the latest developments in Dermatology and Venereology.

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Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

An international research group with essential participation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has identified NLRX1, a cellular factor of the human cell that is indispensable to the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1). This factor plays a key role in attenuating the innate immune system towards HIV-1. Until now, the significance of NLRX1 for the replication of HIV-1 and the…

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Infectiology

Immune factor allows viral infections to become chronic

Many viral diseases tend to become chronic – including infections with the HI virus. In persons affected, the immune response is not sufficient to eliminate the virus permanently. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now identified an immune factor which is partially responsible for this. Their results give rise to hopes for new therapeutic approaches. The work, which included researchers…

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Refugees

The major healthcare challenge

The refugee wave rolls on with no ebb in sight. For many, Germany remains their travel destination. In August and September alone, tens of thousands refugees arrived in Munich, presenting the Bavarian capital with a major challenge: How could the city provide initial medical care for everyone? While the German Asylum Procedure Act governs the appropriate procedures, in this unprecedented…

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Diagnostics with birefringence

Nothing could be simpler: a drop of blood is placed on a special carrier substance; after a wait of a few minutes, the slide is placed on a device that emits polarised light thanks to an inexpensive polarisation filter. It is covered with a lid containing a second polarisation filter, which blocks the light from all materials except crystalline or materials with directional properties.

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New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline

A new report gives the first ever picture of global investment in Ebola research and development (R&D), reporting that this investment might have come at the expense of efforts to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for other neglected diseases, which collectively cause more than six million deaths every year in developing countries.

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

A unique molecule developed at Duke Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MacroGenics, Inc., is able to bind HIV-infected cells to the immune system’s killer T cells. It could become a key part of a shock-and-kill strategy being developed in the hope of one day clearing HIV infection.

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Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University…

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Fighting AIDS

Targeting HIV in semen to shut down AIDS

There may be two new ways to fight AIDS -- using a heat shock protein or a small molecule – to attack fibrils in semen associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the initial phases of infection, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Infectious diseases

Developing vaccines and nanotechnology

Vaccination remains one of the most efficient strategies against infectious diseases, often being the best protection against infections such as hepatitis B, or influenza. European Hospital reports on expert reviews of vaccines in the pipeline and the potential of nanomedicine given during the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) annual meeting in…

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Aspergillus

ESCMID cautions that Europe is now a hotbed of global fungal resistance

ESCMID Fungal Infection Study Group (EFISG) argues that fungal resistance now represents a huge healthcare threat – with many cases remaining massively undiagnosed even in the developed world – and that there is a rising prevalence of the most invasive and deadly forms. Conversely, in the developing world we are seeing very treatable fungal infections killing huge numbers – half a million…

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Market

EIB supports Cavidi’s development of HIV viral load monitoring device

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR 10 million long-term loan to Swedish biotech company Cavidi AB for developing a next generation automated testing device for HIV viral load. This is the first transaction under InnovFin Infectious Diseases, an innovative high risk-taking financial instrument recently established within the new generation of financial products for innovative…

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HIV

Identification of a molecule that recognizes HIV in immune cells

In collaboration with colleagues from California and New York, researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified a cytosolic receptor which enables cells of the immune system to recognize HIV and to trigger an immune response. The findings of the researchers may be a useful tool for creating an effective endogenous immune response against HIV and helpful to boost vaccine responses.

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Test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster

The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a team at University College London (UCL). This could help health service providers to better treat disease, control transmission of this infection, and monitor outbreaks.

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POCT

This market will boom

The turnover in POCT diagnostics will continue to increase substantially according to participants in an ‘In Vitro Diagnostic Products’ meeting held in Toronto, Canada last October. Sponsored by the German Institute for Standardisation, the event included participation by the DIN Standards Committee Medicine (NAMed; NA 063) and the Working Committee on Point of Care Testing (POCT) (NA…

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Health Apps

Can medical apps replace conventional medical diagnostics?

The question as to whether or not there is a point in using medical apps on private smartphones is being asked more frequently. Issues around medical diagnostics are among the key points here. We asked Prof. Dr. Dr. Norbert Gässler, Head of the Centre for Laboratory Diagnostics at the St. Bernward Hospital, Hildesheim, for competent advice. Interview: Walter Depner

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Fighting HIV with antibodies

30 years after HIV was discovered to be the cause of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS, and despite intensive research, no vaccine or cure has yet been found. An international team of scientists, in collaboration with the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the University Hospital of Cologne, has now tested a new generation of antibodies in humans for the first time. They…

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ECCMID

Scientists gather to fight infectious diseases

The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) announces that the globe’s most prominent infection specialists will be gathering in Copenhagen to explore solutions to the biggest infection problems during its annual congress – the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) taking place on 25-28 April 2015.

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Giant virus revealed in 3-D using X-ray laser

For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The virus, called Mimivirus, is in a curious class of “giant viruses” discovered just over a decade ago.

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IVD Market

Santa’s bag full of cash

We are seeing great priority shifts in China’s funding for R&D and manufacturing expansion. Even the agency responsible for selecting the recipients has changed, Jie Ren reports from the Beijing-based market analysis consultancy Whitney Research Inc. Report: John Brosky

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Infection Control

POCT accelerates diagnosis of STDs

Trichomonias, with an estimated 187 million cases, and Chlamydia with around 100 million, are the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). There are approximately 36 million cases each of gonorrhoea and syphilis. HIV1/2 cases are around 34 million. Report: Cynthia Keen

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Liquid biopsy

It sounds amazingly simple: a structured medical Seldinger guidewire is inserted via a peripheral venous catheter to ‘fish’ for circulating tumour cells (CTC) in the blood of cancer patients. Report: Bettina Döbereiner

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Could the virus endanger Europe?

The welcome logic of a World Bank expert

‘Ebola does not present a direct epidemiological danger for Europe,’ according to Dr Armin Fidler, Lead Advisor on Policy and Strategy at the World Bank, but, he added, ‘Inevitably some Europeans will become infected with Ebola, such as those in the healthcare professions or aid workers.’ Report: Michael Krassnitzer

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Study

Sepsis cases are rising

Sepsis kills around a hundred and thirty patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. The delayed diagnoses result in high mortality. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such…

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Delayed diagnoses result in high mortality

Sepsis kills around 130 patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such scary figures.

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Curse or blessing?

A small prick to sample blood instead of complex pathological or other diagnostic procedures – this is how early cancer diagnosis will be in the near future. Blood tests to diagnose tumorous diseases early are already being researched for clinical use.

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Chronic disease

There is a global shortage of doctors that is getting worse every year. With the demographic shift in many countries from a predominantly young to an increasing aging population, a steep increase in chronic disease is occurring.

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An international impact on immunoassay

Snibe, the Shenzhen New Industries Biomedical Engineering Company Ltd., is a leading Chinese biomedical technology company dedicated to developing and manufacturing clinical laboratory equipment and in vitro reagents. Founded 18 years ago and a growing force in the Chinese market, the firm is based in Shenzhen, China’s fourth largest city, situated in Guangdong Province.

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Molecular diagnoses will become routine

Molecular diagnostics is one of the most important technological advances in clinical diagnostics, seeing the €3.6 billion market grow 10% in constant currency (CC) in 2010 and predicted continual growth well above the diagnostic industry rates. The recipe for success in this field lies in three critical components: core technology, automation and menu. During our interview with Marc Meyer, the…

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Growing presence of drug-resistant tuberculosis

Johns Hopkins experts in the prevention and treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are calling for increased screening and more rapid testing of the 9 million people worldwide estimated to be infected each year with TB, and now at risk for this form of the highly contagious lung disease.

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Sepsis – a Global Medical Emergency

The Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) is urging healthcare providers, patients and policymakers worldwide to treat sepsis as a medical emergency. “Tens of millions of people die from sepsis each year, making it the likely leading cause of death worldwide. Sepsis kills regardless of age, ethnicity, location and access to care,” said Konrad Reinhart, M.D., Chairman of the GSA and director of the…

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Advancing POC diagnostics

Improvements in microfluidics and detection technologies are beginning to expand the range of point-of-care diagnostics beyond simple blood chemistry tests to sophisticated immuno-assays and molecular diagnostics. Though yet to see much adoption in European hospitals, these point-of-care (POC) diagnostics are coming into use in the USA, initially in emergency rooms and ICUs where fast results are…

AACC 2010

California, USA: 20,000 visitors and 700 manufacturers showing products in almost 2000 booths at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting (July 5-29, 2010) underlined the importance of this, the world’s largest gathering of clinical laboratory professionals.

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Neurological diseases on the rise

„Diseases of the nervous system and the brain occur more frequently than cancer. According to recent calculations of health care costs, they represent a burden of 386 billion euros a year on European economies,“ says Prof. Gérard Said, newly elected president of the European Neurological Society (ENS) at the annual meeting in Berlin, Germany. „This is often greatly underestimated.“

Causes of death in AIDS patients

New research from the University of Bristol and a large group of international collaborators shows that Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) continues to dramatically reduce rates of mortality from HIV infection in high-income countries, such that non-AIDS-related deaths exceed AIDS deaths after approximately four years of taking ART.

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The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain

The Opening Lecture at ECR always draws immense attention. On March 4th, it was the “First Lady of Radiology” as Congress President M. Szczerbo-Trojanowska called her, Professor Dr Anne G. Osborn, University of Utah, USA, who opened the event. The internationally renowned doctor of diagnostic neuroradiology spoke about “The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain” – a matter close to her…

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Communicable disease programmes in Europe

One of the main topics at Health Forum Gastein 2009 was the way in which various healthcare systems struggle to cope with communicable diseases and their prevention. During the event, Dr Hans Kluge, Head of the Country Policies and Systems Unit, at the WHO regional office for Europe, spoke with Meike Lerner about omnipresent factors that work against effective TB and HIV/AIDS prevention…

Controlling infectious diseases in north-east Europe

Several years ago the Partners of the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) was organised to serve the Baltic Sea region. Due to the very different levels of public healthcare systems in north-east European countries, the NDPHS decided its main mission is to reduce social and economic differences and improve quality of life and demographic issues.

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ESCAIDE 2009

The European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE) aims to strengthen and expand the network of specialists, share scientific knowledge and experience internationally, and provide a dedicated platform for EPIET/FETP (field epidemiology training programme) fellows to present their work.

European Practice Assessment wins Health Award 2009

The "European Health Award" presented this year at the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) goes to the European Patient Assessment (EPA) project. EPA is designed to improve the exchange of knowledge and experience by practical physicians in the area of primary care. Cross-border healthcare initiatives are distinguished every year with the European Health Award.

European Health Forum Gastein

600 international politicians, economists, scientists, NGOs and healthcare organisations will discuss the effects of the global economic crisis on European healthcare systems during this autumn's European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG).

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International TB support from KfW Development Bank

Within the World Health Organisation European region three quarters of all new tuberculosis (TB) infections occur in Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine and Turkey. The multi-resistant TB viruses, which can no longer be treated with conventional medication, are particularly common there.

Futures: HIV self-monitoring

HIV/AIDS has reached pandemic proportions. 35 million people are infected. Given the situation of hard pressed general practitioners (GPs) today, as well as geographical and other difficulties (as in Africa, for example), a new device that will enable HIV patients to monitor their own health and the effectiveness of treatments, without visiting their doctors so often, is indeed promising.

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Speeding up vaccine production

During the race to produce vaccines against evolving influenza viruses the slowness of their manufacture has turned producers more sharply towards cell culture technology. Using the traditional process, fertilised chicken eggs must first be inoculated with live flu virus, then the resulting egg-adapted virus must be purified and inactivated to produce trivalent inactivated virus (TIV), during…

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New assay to identify acute HIV infections

A new HIV antigen-antibody combination assay, currently available in Europe, can be useful for high-volume screening to identify individuals with acute HIV infection, who would be missed by traditional HIV antibody tests, according to research presented by Johns Hopkins University, Abbott and others at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

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Genome Structural Variation Consortium used Roche technology

Roches NimbleGen´s CGH microarray platform was used to generate the highest-resolution map of human genome copy number variation. Recent advances in microarray technology have led to the discovery of extensive copy number variation in the human genome, including DNA copy number gains (duplications), losses (deletions), and multiallelic or complex rearrangements.

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Small device counts viruses in minutes

The machine 'qViro' which is the size of a coffee grinder will make virus counting much cheaper than traditional virus counting technology. The revolutionary new invention offers the potential to quickly muster and count the number of viruses in a sample in minutes - it is a portable, desktop instrument, powered from the USB drive of a computer - current competitors are the size of washing…

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Drug resistant tuberculosis test within hours

GenoType® MTBDR plus, a new molecular test for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has recently been approved in Europe. The test, developed by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and Hain Lifescience, offers a fast solution to detect MDR-TB and XDR-TB at a reasonable price, a good condition for the application in poorer countries.

French to the fore in HIV tests

During the XVII International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City this August, keynote speakers from Europe, Latin America and Africa addressed issues including the importance of early detection of HIV infection, the relevance of rapid testing for epidemiology studies, the use of Dried Blood Spots for routine viral-load testing in remote areas, and the experience of South Africa in routine…

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Hypertension worldwide

Countries vary widely in their capacity to manage hypertension, but globally the majority of diagnosed hypertensives is inadequately controlled. Not treated it can cause cardiovascular disease (CVD), myocardial infarction and stroke. According to the WHO, hypertension is estimated to cause 4.5% of the current global disease burden and is as prevalent in many developing countries as in the…

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ESCAIDE 2008

For the second time the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, Sweden, invites to the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE). The ECDC published now a forecast about expectations and the global hot topics of the international event in Berlin, November 19-21.

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India's world experts on TB

Every three minutes, two people living in India die of tuberculosis. This equates to approximately 370,000 deaths each year, and a staggering economic toll: an estimated US$300 million in direct costs and US$3 billion in indirect costs.

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Nurses receive award for their work in tuberculosis

By putting the World TB Day slogan 'I am stopping TB' into action, 11 nurses have earned the 2008 ICN/Lilly Award, for their outstanding work in fighting tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB)[1]. The award recipients come from six TB affected countries: from Kenya (Diana Jelegat Kipsoisoi), Lesotho (Likhapha Ntlamelle ), Malawi (Chrisie Bwazi, Rodwell Gundo and Shouts Simeza),…

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HIV

By Tamar Jehuda-Cohen PhD, Biomedical Engineering Department, Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

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At a glance

Where are the most high-tech start-ups? That`s an easy one: Silicon Valley. But who comes in a close second? Surprisingly: Israel. Further: Israel ranks Number 1 in terms of availability of scientists and engineers and Number 2 in quality of higher education. The result of this impressive track record is a wide range of successful enterprises and products, particularly related to the life…

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The SMARTube

SMARTube technology enables super-stimulation of lymphocytes, which leads to enhanced production of antibodies in vitro. This enables better and earlier detection of infections.

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Development of potential Hepatitis C vaccine

The British Midlands' University of Nottingham discovered a possible vaccine for use in the treatment of Hepatits C. At the 161st. meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Edinburgh, UK, a paper titled “Human Antibodies to Hepatits C Virus – Potential for Vaccine Design” was presented.

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AACC emphasises preventive diagnostics

San Diego, California - 20,000 international physicians, scientists and other visitors travelled to the Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) in July, and 750 exhibitors emphasised the increasing importance of this gathering

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Breakthrough in lymphatic cancer treatment

Celebrating his 71st birthday this year, Czech chemist Professor Antonin Holy will also be able to celebrate the launch of clinical testing of a drug to treat non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL) - adding another to his 60+ registered patents.

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Libyan HIV Infection case becomes EU wide affair

At second instance a Libyan court sentenced five Bulgarian nurses to death. The healthcare workers are accused of allegedly infecting more than 400 children in Libya with HIV through contaminated blood products. Now Bulgaria will bring charges against 11 Libyan police officers for torturing the nurses into confessing that crime, that they allegedly did not commit.

Help for the helpers

Healthcare systems in Africa are facing a huge threat in their fight against AIDS - an increasing shortfall of nursing staff. Workers are either infected themselves or can no longer cope with the daily fight against the disease. Despite this, there is hope - the first wellness centre for healthcare workers, which provides medical and psychological help to nursing staff and their families, was…

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Cardiovascular disease

Europe - Every year, 4 million people die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Europe as a whole (as many as 800,000 of them under 65 years old) and, in the EU Member States, over 1.5 million people die annually from CVD.

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Award for HIV monitoring

The CyFlow and CyLab technique (e.g. for economical CD4/CD8 counting in HIV monitoring in developing countries) has received 1st prize in the Innovations Award 2003, given by the State Ministry of Economy, Dresden, Germany.