Search for: "flu virus" - 188 articles found

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Report • Super-resolution miscroscopy

PEAR: setting nano-imaging in motion

Ever since the Abbe diffraction limit of conventional microscopy has been surpassed, super-resolution techniques have been diving ever deeper into the most miniscule details of molecular structures. We spoke with Prof. Dominic Zerulla, whose company PEARlabs is developing an imaging technique that sets out to push the boundaries once more – by looking at in-vivo nano-scale processes in motion.

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Report • Diabetes

Microneedles: Nano-sized, huge impact

Drug delivery, blood extraction, contrast agent injection – many procedures in modern medicine would be utterly impossible without needles. Despite the benefits, inserting pointy metal tubes into a patient also comes with several drawbacks. By downscaling the to micrometer-size, Japanese researchers open even more areas of application for needles, while bypassing some of the most important…

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Extraction

Zybio – EXM3000 Nucleic Acid Purification System

Dimensions: 375 × 415 × 440 mm (d × w × h)Sample throughput: up to 32 samples per runAssays: Nucleic extraction for virus, bacteria, stool, FFPE, whole blood samplesMax. input power: 500 VAHighlights:Fast extraction speed, 9 minutes for 32 viral samplesCompact design provides the ability to operate in biological safety cabinet5500GS magnetic flux and 98%+…

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Extraction

Zybio – EXM6000 Nucleic Acid Purification System

Dimensions: 696 × 450 × 460 mm (d × w × h)Sample throughput: up to 96 samples per runAssays: Nucleic extraction for virus, WB, FFPE, bacteria, stool extraction kitMax. input power: 500 VAOperation interface: 8.4 inch touch screenHighlights:Fast extraction speed, 12 min for 96 viral samples5500GS magnetic flux and 98%+ magnetic bead recovery rate, providing…

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News • Rapid detection

Molecular diagnostic test for Covid-19, Flu, RSV receives CE mark

A new rapid molecular diagnostic test from Cepheid has received the CE mark for distribution in the European market. The test, called Xpert Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus, is designed for qualitative detection of the viruses causing Covid-19, Flu A, Flu B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections from a single patient sample. The new plus version of the test provides a third gene target for…

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News • Immune response study

Is a "natural" Covid-19 infection better than vaccination? It's complicated

Hope for a future without fear of Covid-19 comes down to circulating antibodies and memory B cells. Unlike circulating antibodies, which peak soon after vaccination or infection only to fade a few months later, memory B cells can stick around to prevent severe disease for decades. And they evolve over time, learning to produce successively more potent “memory antibodies” that are better at…

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News • Infection research

Understanding lung damage in Covid-19 patients

Covid-19 disease severity is determined by the individual patient’s immune response. The precise mechanisms taking place inside the lungs and blood during the early phase of the disease, however, remain unclear. Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Freie Universität Berlin have now studied the cellular mechanisms…

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News • Genome editing

Using CRISPR to speed up Covid-19 testing

A research team led by scientists in the labs of Jennifer Doudna, David Savage and Patrick Hsu at the University of California, Berkeley, is aiming to develop a rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test that is much faster and easier to deploy than qRT-PCR. It has now combined two different types of CRISPR enzymes to create an assay that can detect small amounts of viral RNA in less than an hour. Doudna…

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News • Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method. The strategy has already been tested against hepatitis and adeno-associated viruses in cell…

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News • Aerosol propagation study

Covid-19: is it safe to play the trumpet and other wind instruments?

Aerosol generated by playing woodwind and brass instruments is less than that produced when vocalising (speaking and singing) and is no different than a person breathing, new research has found. The findings could be crucial to developing a roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions in the performing arts, which have been significantly restricted since the start of the pandemic.

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News • AI-assisted analysis

Prediciting viral infections with microscopy & deep learning

When viruses infect cells, changes in the cell nucleus occur, and these can be observed through fluorescence microscopy. Using fluoresence images from live cells, researchers at the University of Zurich have trained an artificial neural network to reliably recognize cells that are infected by adenoviruses or herpes viruses. The procedure also identifies severe acute infections at an early stage.

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Video • Handheld rapid testing

New tech to diagnose infections in minutes - without a lab

The idea of visiting the doctor’s office with symptoms of an illness and leaving with a scientifically confirmed diagnosis is much closer to reality because of new technology developed by researchers at McMaster University. Engineering, biochemistry and medical researchers from across campus have combined their skills to create a hand-held rapid test for bacterial infections that can produce…

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News • Coronavirus disease biomarkers

New Covid-19 testing method gives results within one second

The Covid-19 pandemic made it clear technological innovations were urgently needed to detect, treat, and prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A year and a half into this epidemic, waves of successive outbreaks and the dire need for new medical solutions — especially testing — continue to exist. In the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, researchers from the University of Florida and…

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News • Coronavirus diagnostics

Rapid Covid-19 test delivers results within 4 minutes with 90 percent accuracy

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides Covid-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0 (Real-time Accurate Portable Impedimetric Detection prototype 1.0). Compared to existing methods for Covid-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and…

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News • Vigorous ventilation

Covid-19: Why faster air exchange in buildings is not always beneficial

Vigorous and rapid air exchanges might not always be a good thing when it comes to addressing levels of coronavirus particles in a multiroom building, according to a new modeling study. The study suggests that, in a multiroom building, rapid air exchanges can spread the virus rapidly from the source room into other rooms at high concentrations. Particle levels spike in adjacent rooms within 30…

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Video • Safety study

Covid-19: Investigating the infection risk from ventilated patients

What happens when patients can no longer breathe on their own and need to be supported by machines? How far does infected air spread throughout a room? And what safety precautions do medical and nursing staff need to take? Respiratory specialists Dr. Dominic Dellweg and Dr. Jens Kerl together with Dr.-Ing. Conrad Völker, Amayu Wakoya Gena, and Dr. Hayder Alsaad from the Department of Building…

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News • Coronavirus research

Promising SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors discovered

A research team of pharmacists at the University of Bonn has discovered two families of active substances that can block the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The drug candidates are able to switch off the the key enzyme of the virus, the so-called main protease. The study is based on laboratory experiments. Extensive clinical trials are still required for their further development as…

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News • Lessons learned from Covid-19

A 'blueprint' for preventing the next pandemic

Scientific and public health experts have been raising the alarm for decades, imploring public officials to prepare for the inevitability of a viral pandemic. Infectious epidemics seemingly as benign as "the flu" and as deadly as the Ebola virus provided ample warning, yet government officials seemed caught off guard and ill prepared for dealing with Covid-19.

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News • Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

This FAQ from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is provided to help answer patient questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These recommendations are based on best knowledge to date, but could change at any time, pending new information and further guidance from the FDA or CDC.

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News • Flu & other aerosolized viruses

Microwaves used to deactivate coronavirus

As the pandemic has continued to spread globally, studies indicate the COVID-19 virus may be contained in aerosols that can be generated and spread through breathing, coughing, sneezing, or talking by infected individuals. Researchers are increasingly focused on developing tools and methods to assist in decontaminating surfaces and spaces.

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News • Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

Blood draws are no fun. They hurt. Veins can burst, or even roll — like they’re trying to avoid the needle, too. Oftentimes, doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease: antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, or cytokines indicative of inflammation seen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and…

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News • "Faces" of the disease

Covid-19: researchers identify at least 5 variants

According to current studies, the Covid-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings…

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News • Lasts longer, causes more damage

Covid-19 pneumonia: not your typical garden-variety pneumonia

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, investigators at Northwestern Medicine show Covid-19 pneumonia is…

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Video • Computer model vs. Covid-19

Discovering new weaknesses of SARS-CoV-2 through bioinformatics

The search for antiviral agents against the new coronavirus is in full swing. Using a novel approach, Bioinformaticians have now discovered a weakness in the virus that could be exploited for drug development. In a computer model, the scientists discovered a human enzyme that is crucial for the virus. When it was switched off in the model, the virus could no longer multiply.

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News • Measuring aerosol travel while talking and singing

Imaging exhaled breath to provide new insights into Covid-19 transmission

A new method for visualizing breath that is exhaled while someone is speaking or singing could provide important new insights into how diseases such as Covid-19 spread and the effectiveness of face masks. “Scientists believe the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets that can be carried in the breath or expelled through coughing or sneezing,” said Thomas Moore from…

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Report • Distinguishing arteriopathies

Deterring paediatric acute stroke

Acute stroke in children has the same incidence as brain tumours and can seriously affect a patient’s life. Two kinds of arteriopathies are common drivers of paediatric acute stroke and radiologists must learn to distinguish their signs as early as possible to improve prognosis, according to Béatrice Husson, a paediatric radiologist at Le Kremlin Bicêtre Hospital in Paris.

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Report • Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

The arsenal: Molecular (PCR), antigen and antibody testing

Germany’s lack of diagnostic ability led to significantly underestimation of its own as well as global Covid-19 infection levels during the first wave. Now, however, improved testing and diagnosis of the condition more realistically reveal nearer 20,000 new cases a day across the country, according to Professor Hendrik Streeck, one of the country’s leading virologists. Speaking at a virtual…

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News • New gargle test

Mass spectrometry to improve Covid testing

A UK biotech laboratory has used mass spectrometry in a new approach to coronavirus testing. MAP Sciences developed a gargle test, which collects samples from the back of the throat, and avoids the unpleasant sensation of the current PCR (polymerase chain reaction) swab tests. From there, the sample is tested for coronavirus using mass spectrometry (MS) with high levels of accuracy.

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Report • Detecting coronavirus infections

Covid-19: CRISPR-based test gives GPs quick results

Recent research in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has identified two enzymes that can detect Covid-19 RNA as simply as a pregnancy test Jesús Pla, an eminent microbiologist at the Complutense University in Madrid, explained in our exclusive interview. CRISPR technology could help alleviate workloads in packed hospitals and expand testing to primary care and…

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News • Uncommon, but reversible

Sudden deaf: permanent hearing loss linked to COVID-19

Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Awareness of this possible side effect is important, because a prompt course of steroid treatment can reverse this disabling condition, they emphasise. Sudden hearing loss is frequently seen by ear, nose and throat…

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Video • New insights on the virus' ‘survivability’

How long does SARS-CoV-2 last on surfaces?

Researchers at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can survive for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes, glass – such as that found on mobile phone screens - and stainless steel.

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News • Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

It is only 120 millionths of a millimetre in size but can bring entire countries to a standstill: the Corona virus. Even if it were to disappear one day, viral infections will still be among the most frequent and difficult-to-treat diseases in humans. Even decades of research have only produced a few standardized vaccines and strategies for treatment to combat just a small number of viruses. Nor…

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Video • For breakthroughs against Hepatitis C

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus.

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News • Testing strategy re-evaluated

COVID-19 testing at random? Here's a better idea

As COVID-19 infections begin to rise again, a novel testing strategy proposed by researchers at the University of Oxford at the start of the pandemic has become urgent once again. The strategy aims to bring the virus’s reproduction number (‘R’) down to below 1, by concentrating testing resources on particular groups in the population that are most likely to spread the infection to others,…

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Report • Overheard at AAIC 2020

Exciting Alzheimer's findings: ’flu vaccines and P-tau217

More than 32,000 people from over 160 countries registered for The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2020) in July. This largest and most influential international conference on dementia science had to be held virtually this year, when important highlights were aired. The ability to identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), or at early…

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News • Gels for drug delivery systems

'Soft' 3D printing could jump-start creation of tiny medical devices

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D-printing gels and other soft materials. Published in a new paper, it has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision. Because many gels are compatible with living cells, the new method could jump-start the production of soft tiny medical devices such as…

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Report • POCT as initial coronavirus screening tool

Ultrasound confirms frontline value in COVID-19 setting

Ultrasound could become the prime modality in emergency settings for tracking disease progression in COVID-19 patients. While chest CT has held a key diagnostic role thus far, many experts now advocate the benefits of ultrasound within the context of the coronavirus epidemic. Dr Rachel Liu, who recently led a high-profile panel discussion with experts from the USA and areas of Europe with high…

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News • Prevalence prediction

COVID-19 will probably become seasonal, but...

Researchers predict that COVID-19 will likely become seasonal, waning in the summer and prevalent in the winter. But, only once herd immunity is achieved through natural infection or vaccinations. Until then, COVID-19 will be here year-round.

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News • Prototype

Portable point-of-care for Covid-19 tests

As COVID-19 continues to spread, bottlenecks in supplies and laboratory personnel have led to long waiting times for results in some areas. In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable…

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News • Aerosol recommendations

How humidity affects indoor spread of SARS-CoV-2

The airborne transmission of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 via aerosol particles in indoor environment seems to be strongly influenced by relative humidity. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig and the CSIR National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi from the analysis of 10 most relevant international studies on the…

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News • After coronavirus infection

Study reveals why people with COVID-19 may lose their sense of smell

Researchers studying tissue removed from patients noses during surgery believe they may have discovered the reason why so many people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell, even when they have no other symptoms. In their experiments they found extremely high levels of angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE-2) only in the area of the nose responsible for smelling. This Enzyme is thought to be the…

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News • Droplet spread simulation

Mathematical model to predict the spread of airborne diseases

A new mathematical model is helping develop the current understanding of how airborne diseases such as COVID-19 can spread during breathing and aerosol generating procedures. Researchers from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh have developed a mathematical model of droplet migration. Dr Cathal Cummins of Heriot-Watt’s School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and…

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Report • Re-evaluation of the coronavirus disease

COVID-19: A tale of two conditions

The SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 may have been named prematurely. As more has become known about the infection, the severe disease does not appear to be a respiratory syndrome at all. Patients who only have a respiratory illness tend not to have a severe condition, while patients who develop a severe condition tend to have non-respiratory conditions, primarily thrombotic or hyper-immune…

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News • Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

Airborne and potentially deadly, the virus that causes COVID-19 can only be studied safely under high-level biosafety conditions. Scientists handling the infectious virus must wear full-body biohazard suits with pressurized respirators, and work inside laboratories with multiple containment levels and specialized ventilation systems. While necessary to protect laboratory workers, these safety…

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News • Surprising find

More than half of heart scans abnormal in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

Half of COVID-19 patients who received a heart scan in hospital showed abnormalities in heart function, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The study, published in the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, found that around one in seven showed severe abnormalities likely to have a major effect on their survival and recovery. It also showed that one…

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Report • Paediatric health risks

Children in the COVID-19 pandemic: Between fear and care

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children with direct impacts of the infection as well as on them leading normal lives. Schooling, play and vaccinations are among issues that can affect children’s health. Delay in taking paediatric patients to the emergency room (ER) has also had a negative impact, for example late treatment of acute appendicitis. Two experts from Spain tackled these topics…

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News • Blocking coronavirus entry portals

Cell ‘membrane on a chip’ could speed up COVID-19 drug screening

Researchers have developed a human cell ‘membrane on a chip’ that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Cornell University and Stanford University, say their device could mimic any cell type - bacterial, human or even the…

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News • COVID-19 detection

New analyzer detects virus antibodies in 20 minutes

Researchers at Hokkaido University have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. If a suitable reagent is developed, this technology could be used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19.

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News • Deadly mechanism uncovered

Inside COVID-19's 'cytokine storm'

Leading immunologists in Japan are proposing a possible molecular mechanism that causes massive release of proinflammatory cytokines, or a cytokine storm, leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. Their suggestions, published in the journal Immunity, are based on recent findings that explain how SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells.

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News • COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells. The identification of these cells by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, University Medical Centre Groningen,…

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News • Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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News • Green light for trial study

Blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients: a promising approach

In a small clinical trial just granted approval, about 30 COVID-19 patients at Karolinska University Hospital may soon begin to receive blood plasma from people who have recovered from the disease. Sweden's Ethical Review Authority has approved the trial treatment, and its effectiveness will be evaluated in a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital.…

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Report • Radiographers in Spain report

Equipment hygiene: taking back center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting extra pressure on radiology services. Radiographers are particularly at risk of catching and spreading the disease. This is why they must follow strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, according to Pablo Valdés Solís, President of the Spanish Society of Radiology (SERAM), who has just published new guidelines on how to protect staff and patients, as the…

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News • Flu forecast

Portable AI device predicts outbreaks based on coughing

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have invented a portable surveillance device powered by machine learning – called FluSense – which can detect coughing and crowd size in real time, then analyze the data to directly monitor flu-like illnesses and influenza trends. The FluSense creators say the new edge-computing platform, envisioned for use in hospitals, healthcare waiting rooms…

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Report • 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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Interview • Chest X-ray, CT and more

Imaging the coronavirus disease COVID-19

Chest X-ray is the first imaging method to diagnose COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Spain, but in the light of new evidence this may change soon, according to Milagros Martí de Gracia, Vice President of the Spanish Society of Radiology (SERAM) and head of the emergency radiology unit at La Paz Hospital in Madrid, one of the hot spots for viral re-production of COVID-19.

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News • At-home testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus testing? There's an app for that

A coronavirus app coupled with machine intelligence will soon enable an individual to get an at-home risk assessment based on how they feel and where they’ve been in about a minute, and direct those deemed at risk to the nearest definitive testing facility, investigators say. It will also help provide local and public health officials with real time information on emerging demographics of those…

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News • Dutch experts discuss

On the implications of the coronavirus

The coronavirus last week reached the Netherlands and began to spread around the country. How has the Dutch population reacted? What is a useful frame of reference for this situation? And what are the legal guidelines for dealing with the outbreak? Four researchers from the University of Amsterdam – a clinical microbiologist, an anthropologist, a social scientist and a health lawyer – explain…

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News • Acoustofluidics

Saliva test to detect mouth and throat cancer earlier and easier

Unfortunately, cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes the use of acoustofluidics, a new non-invasive method that analyzes saliva for the presence of human papilloma virus…

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News • Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

Influenza viruses cause substantial health hazards and claim many lives worldwide each year. Vaccines can keep the virus in check, however, they only protect against influenza when they match the circulating strains – which vary every season. But now, a reasearch team may have found a way to generate a universal vaccine. Led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the…

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News • Neurology

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to brain

For the first time, scientists have found a way that can effectively transport medication into the brain - which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In a study, scientists from Newcastle University have led an international team in a major breakthrough in unlocking the secrets of how medications can infiltrate the brain.

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News • New ideas

MEDICA becomes number one trade fair for health start-ups

Healthcare is going digital worldwide at an incredibly rapid pace. More and more applications for prevention, diagnostics and therapy are being made into apps (with matching hardware) for smartphones and tablets or are even available as wearables for direct use on the body. Digitalisation is also striding forward in Germany, where doctors, therapists and patients still take a fairly analogue…

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News • Biosensors

Using smartphones to detect norovirus

A little bit of norovirus – the highly infectious microbe that causes about 20 million cases of food poisoning in the United States each year – goes a long way. Just 10 particles of the virus can cause illness in humans. A team of University of Arizona researchers has created a simple, portable and inexpensive method for detecting extremely low levels of norovirus. Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a…

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News • Elderly in the ICU

Can flu vaccine reduce stroke risk?

It appears that an influenza vaccine does not just work when it comes to influenza. A new study shows that elderly people who have been admitted to an intensive care units have less risk of dying and of suffering a blood clot or bleeding in the brain if they have been vaccinated. And this is despite the fact that they are typically older, have more chronic diseases and take more medicine then…

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News • Why do we get sick?

Mechanism behind development of viral infections uncovered

A team of researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre’s Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre (ViREMiCS) found that immune cells undergoing stress and an altered metabolism are the reasons why some individuals become sick from viral infections while others do not, when exposed to the same virus. The findings, published in medical journal Nature Medicine, have…

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Report • MERS-CoV

Seeking answers to combat Middle East respiratory syndrome

With a case fatality rate of 35 percent, a Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection – also called camel flu – is a dangerous disease. About seven years ago, when the virus was first isolated, mortality was close to 100 percent since only severe infections that led to the patient being in intensive care were recorded. Today the environment of each victim is…

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News • 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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Report • Differentiate and select

Myths and truths about antibiotics, antiseptics and vaccination

Sixty-two percent of Germans fear antibiotic resistance, according to a survey recently conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. ‘Patients colonised by multi-resistant pathogens are particularly scared. But many of these fears are rooted in misunderstandings,’ explained Professor Mathias Pletz at the Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine (KIT).

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Report • 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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News • 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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News • Seasonal influenza

Why the flu is especially dangerous for kidney failure patients

In patients with kidney failure, influenza-like illness (ILI) likely contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per year. The finding, which comes from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), points to the importance of protection against, surveillance of, and, where possible, treatment of such infections in patients with kidney dysfunction.…

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News • Diagnostics

Heat it and read it

You’re sweating and feverish and have no idea why. Fortunately, Sandia National Laboratories scientists have built a device that can pinpoint what’s wrong in less than an hour. Unlike most medical diagnostic devices which can perform only one type of test — either protein or nucleic acid tests — Sandia’s SpinDx can now perform both. This allows it to identify nearly any cause of…

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Sponsored • 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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News • Innovative material

'Smart' surfaces might pave the way for safer implants and better diagnostics

Researchers at McMaster University have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions. The discovery holds significant promise for medical and other applications, making it possible for implants such as vascular grafts, replacement heart valves and artificial joints…

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News • Research

Zika virus proteins inhibit brain development

In healthy individuals, the Zika virus causes flu-like symptoms. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the unborn child can suffer from severe brain abnormalities as a result of mechanisms that have not yet been explained. A study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPI-B) shows that Zika virus proteins bind to cellular proteins that are…

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News • Diagnostic lab system

DxM MicroScan WalkAway System now available on the market

Beckman Coulter announced commercialization of its DxM MicroScan WalkAway system, a diagnostic solution for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing for microbiology laboratories. The DxM MicroScan WalkAway system uses direct minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for detection of antimicrobial resistance, offering greater confidence in results through gold-standard…

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News • Epidemics

Animal health drug could stop outbreaks of malaria and Zika virus

Medicines given to household pets to kill fleas and ticks might be effective for preventing outbreaks of malaria, Zika fever and other dangerous insect-borne diseases that infect millions of people worldwide, according to a new study led by scientists at Calibr, a non-profit drug discovery institute closely affiliated with Scripps Research and TropIQ Health Sciences, a Dutch social enterprise.

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Report • Medication development

Support from the other end of the world

Partners who could hardly be further apart – yet have a lot in common – have united to fight resistant pathogens. The International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research (iCAIR) is based in Germany and Australia – separated by nearly 16,000 km as the crow flies. This has not stopped the research cooperation from achieving its objectives: the development of new agents against infections.

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Sponsored • 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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News • Small molecule, huge effect

Progress toward a new flu treatment, thanks to a small tweak

This year’s unexpectedly aggressive flu season reminds everyone that although the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who contract the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. Researchers report that a tweak to a small-molecule drug shows promise for future production of new antiviral therapies that could help patients, regardless of the strain with which they are infected. The…

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News • Geographic spread prediction

Flu forecast looks six weeks ahead

Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health developed a system to accurately predict the geographic spread of seasonal influenza in the United States up to six weeks ahead of time.

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Report • Joining strengths

Vaccination and infection control: Two pillars of prevention

Synchronised efforts between preventive medicine and immunology enable powerful vaccination strategies in a Spanish seniors hub. Efficient prevention also comes with proper infection control and regulating antibiotics use in primary care, local expert in preventive medicine explained in an exclusive interview with EH. Working in a small structure has its perks, one of which is that departments…

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Report • Antimicrobial resistance

Facing the front line in the AMR battle

Nurses have a distinctive and crucial role in the development and implementation of sound health policy,’ according to Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses, which represents 135 National Nurses Associations and around 17 million nurses worldwide.

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News • Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer. It's estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have had a hepatitis B virus infection in their lifetime, with about 250 million -- including 2 million Americans -- living with chronic infection. Although a vaccine exists, there…

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News • Risk for pregnancy

How Zika infection drives fetal demise

A powerful antiviral protein may act as a checkpoint for keeping or ending a pregnancy. When exposed to Zika virus before birth, mouse fetuses with the protein commit cell suicide, while fetuses without it continued to develop. The result, published in Science Immunology, suggests that the protein, a receptor involved in immune cell signaling, plays a role in spontaneous abortions and other human…

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News • Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

For many of us, a flu shot is a fall routine. Roll up a sleeve, take a needle to the upper arm and hope this year’s vaccine matches whichever viruses circulate through the winter. The most common method to make that vaccine is now more than 70 years old. It requires growing viruses in special, pathogen-free chicken eggs. It’s not a quick and easy manufacturing process. And, at best, it…

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News • Virus spread

New flu forecasting tool uses evolution to make earlier predictions

Each year, public health officials monitor the spread of influenza to identify which flu strains need to go into that year’s vaccines and where outbreaks will occur. But it can be difficult to predict how bad a particular flu season will be until people actually start getting sick. A new flu forecasting tool built by scientists at the University of Chicago aims to make better predictions by…

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News • Virus study

Close contact not at fault for Zika spread

Saliva is no way to pass a Zika virus infection. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who conducted studies with monkeys, casual contact like kissing or sharing a fork or spoon is not enough for the virus to move between hosts.

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News • Blood test alternative

Oral "Hep E" test could simplify detection tremendously

A saliva test developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health nearly matches the performance of a blood test widely used to assess recent or past hepatitis E virus infections, a new study reports. The findings could offer an easier, less expensive alternative to gathering data for studying and eventually treating the disease, which infects an estimated 20 million…

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News • Understanding procedures

Researchers create ‘Rosetta Stone’ to decode immune recognition

Scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have developed an algorithm that functions like a Rosetta Stone to help decipher how the immune system recognizes and binds antigens. The research should aid development of more personalized cancer immunotherapy and advance diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

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News • Malaria Treatment

Soon to be Simpler, More Flexible, and More Efficient?

Malaria infections may soon be treated much more efficiently than they are at present. Researchers at the Universities of Bayreuth and Jerusalem have developed a novel drug release procedure for this purpose. The procedure enables the active ingredient Artemisone to be administered reliably at quantities and time intervals that are tailored exactly to the patients’ individual needs. The…

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Report • 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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News • Infection

Evidence of Zika virus found in tears

Researchers have found that Zika virus can live in eyes and have identified genetic material from the virus in tears, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The research, in mice, helps explain why some Zika patients develop eye disease, including a condition known as uveitis that can lead to permanent vision loss.

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News • Infection

Why does MRSA ‘superbug’ kill influenza patients?

Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium (or “superbug”) often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, causing them to damage the patients’ lungs instead of destroying the bacterium. The study suggests that inhibiting this response may help treat…

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Interview • Viruses

Measles, mumps, rubella threaten youngsters

Before his presentation at ECCMID 2016, Dr Guillaume Béraud, Infectious Disease Specialist, in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Poitiers, Poitiers, France, talked to European Hospital about the results from his modelling of these three “childhood” diseases measles, mumps and rubella.

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Report • Virus

The Zika mystery: scapegoat or villain?

From the beginning the accusation somehow beggared belief. A ‘mild’ virus was blamed for causing hideous malformations in babies’ heads. Brazil, a country suffering its worst recession since the 1930s, as well as political upheaval, became the focus of a worldwide healthcare scare.

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News • Antibodies

A ‘silver bullet’ for Ebola viruses?

There may be a “silver bullet” for Ebola. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB) reported that they have isolated human monoclonal antibodies from Ebola survivors which can neutralize multiple species of the virus.

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Ebola: Guidelines for treating infected children

When the Ebola virus outbreak erupted in West Africa in 2014, children infected with the virus — particularly those under age 5 — faced overwhelming challenges. Not only was there a high death rate among young children infected with the disease, they often were isolated from their families, leaving them feeling distressed and without the intensive care they needed.

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News • Surfing DNA

Enzyme catches a ride to fight infection

Scientists have shown for the first time that an enzyme crucial to keeping our immune system healthy “surfs” along the strands of DNA inside our cells. The researchers used extremely powerful microscopy to watch how the enzyme AID (activation-induced deoxycytidine deaminase) moves around and interacts with other molecules.

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News • “JEDI” Technology

New understanding of how immune system works

When it comes to fending off disease and helping prevent people from falling ill, the body’s immune system – armed with T-cells that help eliminate cancer cells, virus-infected cells and more – is second to none. But exactly how the immune system works remains, in many ways, a mystery, as there are numerous cell types whose functions and interactions with our immune systems have not been…

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News • Research

Drug engineered from bananas fights deadly viruses

A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. And the process used to create the virus-fighting form may help scientists develop even more drugs, by harnessing the “sugar code” that our cells use to communicate. That code gets hijacked by…

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News • Ultraviolet

The supergerm-zapping robot helpers

Half a million square feet. More than 350 beds. And tomorrow, they clean it all over again. Every day, Environmental Services (EVS) staff members work to disinfect every surface in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in preventing infections and keeping patients safe. Now, on top of scrubbing, spraying, mopping and wiping, they can add another action –…

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Report • Surveillance

Big Data may stream­line epidemic control

It’s a race against the clock; every hour counts in efforts to halt the spread of a disease, but identifying anyone with whom the infected patient has had contact is time-consuming, with Contact Officers generally collecting data on paper. Now, however, scientists from the Nigerian Field Epidemiology Laboratory & Training Programme, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the Hasso…

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News • 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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News • Infectious disease

Ancient origins of deadly Lassa Virus

Working as part of an international team in the United States and West Africa, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published new findings showing the ancient roots of the deadly Lassa virus, a relative of Ebola virus, and how Lassa virus has changed over time.

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Report • Public Health

Romania: Land of hope

Although Romania joined the EU in 2007, only recently has its macroeconomic increases influenced a rise in a middle class and dented the country’s widespread poverty. However, development is still hampered by corruption and red tape in its commercial world. Report: Daniela Zimmermann/Brenda Marsh

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Report • Medical Training

Diagnosing gastrointestinal infections

The human gut literally teems with microorganisms from at least 1,000 different species that are increasingly considered to be a valuable resource for the prediction, aetiology and prognosis of disease. Due to continual contact with the environment, primarily via food, the gut is susceptible to infection when a virus, parasite or bacterium enters and disrupts normal gut microbiota (or flora).

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Respect it, don’t fear it

The current ebola outbreak in West Africa, which began in December 2013 in Guinea and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Congo, is considered the largest ebola outbreak ever in West Africa. As of today more than 2,600 cases were reported and more than 1,400 people have died of the disease.

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Clostridium difficile infection

The realisation that the fight against C. difficile needs its own specific hygiene management dawned relatively recently. Up to the new millennium a common perception regarding European hospital infection prevention and control was that this bacterium was under control; it was considered a marginal phenomenon, which is why C. difficile was not the focus of problematic pathogen monitoring.

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Shunning the flu vaccine

Although receding since late March, the 2012-13 seasonal flu epidemic in metropolitan France, appears to be the longest in some 30 years, even if it did not strike the highest numbers, according to the monitoring network Sentinelles-Inserm.

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Breathing space

If the hopes of inventors are to be believed, in around 20 years’ time there will be ‘real artificial lungs -- for now the endpoint of a history that began 84 years ago with the invention of the iron lung. Until then, non-invasive and invasive mechanical respiration will continue to dominate the hospital, complemented by extracorporeal procedures for blood oxygenation and decarbonisation,…

Cancer screening made simple

Current cervical cancer screening is time consuming and expensive, but now new breakthrough technology developed by European researchers should allow large-range screening by non-medical personnel with almost immediate results and at a much lower cost.

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Influenza

As concern over the potential mutation of the latest form of influenza virus continues to vex governments and their healthcare organisations, WHO 2009 data has shown that acute respiratory infections, influenza and respiratory syncitial virus (RSV) epidemics coincide with epidemics of S. pneumoniae. In fact, half or more of flu-associated mortality in the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu epidemic is…

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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.

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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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Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection for hospital staff is a critical issue. Surgical masks were at one time considered sufficient, but new evidence from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that they do almost nothing to protect the individual wearer. In response to the outbreak of Swine Origin Influenza Virus the CDC recommends all healthcare personnel to wear a fit-tested disposable…

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Swine flu spreads

Swine flu has been confirmed in a number of countries and it is spreading from human to human, which could lead to what is referred to as a pandemic flu outbreak. Pandemic flu is different from ordinary flu because it's a new flu virus that appears in humans and spreads very quickly from person to person worldwide. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization raised the pandemic threat Level to 5…

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Eppendorf cycler can now also be used in medical diagnostics

PCR plays a major part in medical diagnostics. From a few drops of blood, a tissue sample or a bacterial colony will be sufficient to confirm the presence of specific DNA. This approach relies, however, on a prior understanding of the mechanisms underlying the condition e.g. the causative organism in a viral disease. Standard primers are currently available for many pathogenic organisms which is…

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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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Be prepared for the pandemic flu

The next pandemia will come - rather sooner than later. The respiratory protection of frontline staff is a major part of healthcare facilities' preparation. To assist hospitals, ECRI Institute and the International Association of Healthcare Safety and Security present the web conference "Respiratory Protection: Preparing for Pandemic Flu" on July 17, 2008.

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Cold and Flu Etiquette

Do you remember your mother saying “cover your mouth when you cough”? Probably you do, because this exhortation accompanies the whole childhood. Maybe it is a kind of protest then, that in adulthood this simple rule is not followed by many. The British Department of Health now started a new campaign “Coughs and Sneezes spread Diseases” and calls for a better cold behaviour.

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Bird flu vaccine production to be based in CR

Czech Republic - The US firm Baxter International Inc. is to establish a production facility to produce a quite unique vaccine in CR. First discussed in December 2005, the plan appears to have made a significant step forward. Baxter specialises in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology, and globally employs around 48,000 people in 64 manufacturing facilities, which include those in…

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