Search for: "influenza" - 155 articles found

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Deep learning vs Aids

AI app could help diagnose HIV more accurately

Pioneering technology developed by University College London (UCL) and Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) researchers could transform the ability to accurately interpret HIV test results, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Academics from the London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL and AHRI used deep learning (artificial intelligence/AI) algorithms to improve health workers’…

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Long Covid research

Covid-19 symptoms persist in half of young adults 6 months after

A new paper on long-Covid describes persistent symptoms six months after acute Covid-19, even in young home isolated people. The study from the Bergen Covid-19 Research Group, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, followed infected patients during the first pandemic wave in Bergen. "The main novel finding is that more than fifty per cent of young adults up to 30 years old,…

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Medication testing

'Airway-on-a-chip' to find new Covid-19 drugs

A collaboration spanning four research labs and hundreds of miles has used the organ-on-a-chip (Organ Chip) technology from the Wyss institute at Harvard Univesity to identify the antimalarial drug amodiaquine as a potent inhibitor of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The Organ Chip-based drug testing ecosystem established by the collaboration greatly streamlines the…

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Expert debate on coronavirus protection

Covid-19: The pros and cons of wearing masks outdoors

Wearing face coverings outside should be normalised because it may reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in some situations—and may encourage mask wearing indoors, where risks are greater—say Babak Javid, Dirk Bassler, and Manuel B Bryant. But Muge Cevik, Zeynep Tufekci, and Stefan Baral argue that outdoor transmission contributes very little to overall infection rates and that efforts should…

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CVT risk evaluation

Thrombosis risk after Covid vaccination: actual infection far more dangerous, say experts

Researchers at the University of Oxford report that the risk of the rare blood clotting known as cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 infection is around 100 times greater than normal, several times higher than it is post-vaccination or following influenza. The study authors, led by Professor Paul Harrison and Dr Maxime Taquet from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry and…

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Coronavirus transmission

Experts: Covid-19 prevention efforts should focus on airborne transmission

Any future attempts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 should be focused on tackling close airborne transmission of the virus which is considered to be the primary route for its circulation, according to experts. Respiratory experts argue that it is now clear that SARS-CoV-2 is most likely to transmit between people at close range through inhalation rather than through contact with surfaces or…

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Immunoassays

Quidel – Sofia 2 - Fluorescent Immunoassay Analyzer

Dimensions: 120 × 120 × 220 mm (h × w × d)Weight: 1 kgHandheld/Stationary:SARS-CoV-2 Antigen, Influenza A+B,Influenza A+B + SARS Antigen, SARS-CoV-2Antibody IgG*, RSV, C. difficile GDH + Toxin*,Legionella, S. pneumoniae, Lyme, Strep A *New tests in developmentHighlights:Proven lateral-flow technology, proprietary advanced fluorescence chemistry and assay…

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Amplification /Detection

Quidel – Solana - molecular testing platform

Dimensions: 150 × 240 × 240 mm (h × w × d)Weight: 4 kgPower consumption:Bordetella pertussis, C. difficile, Group A Strep,Group B Strep, HSV 1+2 / VZV, Influenza A+B,RSV + hMPV, Strep A+C / G, Trichomonas,SARS-CoV-2* *New test in developmentHighlights:A simplified molecular testing platform with a small footprint, is making molecular diagnostics faster and…

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SARS-CoV-2 detection and sequencing

'Nirvana': Fast, portable test diagnoses Covid-19, tracks variants

Clinicians using a new viral screening test can not only diagnose Covid-19 in a matter of minutes with a portable, pocket-sized machine, but can also simultaneously test for other viruses—like influenza—that might be mistaken for the coronavirus. At the same time, they can sequence the virus, providing valuable information on the spread of Covid-19 mutations and variants. The new test, dubbed…

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Immune response or breast cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes after Covid-19 vaccination: what women should know

For many women, swollen lymph nodes are a red flag pointing to breast cancer – but may also be a normal immune reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. So, to avoid anxiety or downright refusal of the vaccine, the Society of Breast Imaging Patient Care and Delivery Committee has developed a comprehensive resource to help patients understand the most important facts and guide them in making the most…

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Wako β-glucan test

Better detection and diagnosis of fungal infections

Beta-glucan tests are proving to be pivotal in the better detection and diagnosis of fungal infections. As a robust complimentary test for traditional testing techniques and biomarkers, it is helping clinicians deliver rapid results and offering greater reassurance in more accurately identifying such infections. β-glucan testing, which is an in vitro diagnostic test, is regularly used at…

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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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A closer look at thapsigargin

Potential antiviral treatment for Covid-19 found

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have discovered a novel antiviral property of a drug that could have major implications in how future epidemics/pandemics – including Covid-19 – are managed. The study, published in Viruses, shows that thapsigargin is a promising broad‑spectrum antiviral, highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, a common cold coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus…

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Viral sequencing

How SARS-CoV-2 spreads and evolves

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants that are adding twists in the battle against COVID-19 highlight the need for better genomic monitoring of the virus, says Katia Koelle, associate professor of biology at Emory University.

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"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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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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Virion recreated

First computational model of entire SARS-CoV-2 virus

Researchers at the University of Chicago have created the first usable computational model of the entire virus responsible for Covid-19—and they are making this model widely available to help advance research during the pandemic. “If you can understand how a virus works, that’s the first step towards stopping it,” said Prof. Gregory Voth, whose team created the model published in…

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Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of Covid-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise,…

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Coronavirus Update

FDA Authorizes First Covid-19 and Flu Combination Test for Use with Home-Collected Samples

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first diagnostic test for at home collection of patient samples to detect both Covid-19 and influenza A and B (flu). The FDA authorized Quest Diagnostics RC Covid-19 +Flu RT-PCR Test for prescription use with the Quest Diagnostics Self-Collection Kit for Covid-19 +Flu by individuals who are suspected of respiratory viral infection consistent…

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Amplification

Orion Diagnostica Oy – Orion GenRead

Assays: C difficile, campylobacterHighlights:Orion GenRead system is a small benchtop system for molecular pathogen detection, based on proprietary technology SIBA (Strand Invasion Based Amplification).Flexibility with 1 – 12 samples in one runFast test results are available in less than one hourReady to use kits contain all needed reagentsBi-directional HIS / LIS connectivityPortable and…

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Using virus particles in exhaled breath

New SARS-CoV-2 test to deliver results in under 5 minutes

Research and innovation hub Imec announced that it has started developing a groundbreaking SARS-CoV-2 test. Unlike current approaches (using blood, saliva, or a nasopharyngeal swab), the new test will identify SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in a person’s exhaled breath. The solution promises the accurate identification of a contagious case in less than five minutes.

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Flaws in study design

Will COVID-19 vaccines save lives? Right now, we cannot tell

Vaccines are being hailed as the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the vaccine trials currently underway are not designed to tell us if they will save lives, reports Peter Doshi, Associate Editor at The BMJ. Several COVID-19 vaccine trials are now in their most advanced (phase 3) stage, but what will it mean exactly when a vaccine is declared “effective”? Many may assume that successful…

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Challenges in acute care

POCT: Understanding sources of error

In an emergency, point-of-care-testing can provide results in minutes. However, sources of error must be understood to ensure result accuracy and confident diagnosis (particularly important during the current pandemic). Medical teams frequently use POCT devices to assess acutely ill patients; a hospital’s diagnostic laboratory is responsible for the analysers, plus training non-laboratory…

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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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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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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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Reduced complications, death

COVID-19: The benefits of vitamin D

Adequate levels of vitamin D reduces complications and deaths among COVID-19 patients, reveals new research performed at the Boston University School of Medicine. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status), had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including…

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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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Research shows

Children are silent spreaders of COVID-19 virus

In the most comprehensive study of COVID-19 pediatric patients to date, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Mass General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) researchers provide critical data showing that children play a larger role in the community spread of COVID-19 than previously thought. In a study of 192 children ages 0-22, 49 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and an additional 18…

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Combined against corona

COVID-19: promising drug combination opens up new therapeutic avenues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding a treatment to effectively fight the disease remains a major research challenge. Researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIRI) have developed a unique strategy for selection, evaluation and repositioning of drugs already on the market to assess their…

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Coronavirus in radiology

Why we need a global view of COVID-19

There are major complications from COVID-19 – ARDS, pulmonary embolism and neurological – that imaging can help detect, manage and/or follow up in the long term, radiologists from France and the UK explained during a recent ESR Connect session. ARDS is the most dreaded complication and the number one morbidity in COVID-19 patients. The incidence was up to 30% of patients in initial reports.…

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Coronavirus research

How type 1 interferon deficiency hints at severe forms of COVID-19

Which patient will develop a severe form of COVID-19? This is an essential question which must be answered in order to improve the individual management and the prognosis of these patients. In a publication in the journal Science, teams from the Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Inserm, Université de Paris, Institut Pasteur and Institut Imagine describe a unique and unexpected…

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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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Teixobactin against superbugs

Researchers find 'resistance resistant' antibiotic

University of Melbourne researchers are finding ways to beat dangerous superbugs with ‘resistance resistant’ antibiotics, and it could help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) complications. As bacteria evolve, they develop strategies that undermine antibiotics and morph into ‘superbugs’ that can resist most available treatments and cause potentially lethal infections. The…

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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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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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What radiologists need to know

How lung disorders like COVID-19 affect children

Although the clinical symptoms of new pediatric lung disorders such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), swine-origin influenza A (H1N1), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia may be nonspecific, some characteristic imaging findings "have emerged or are currently…

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Calculating course and resolution

New COVID-19 model predicts light at the end of the tunnel

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia. The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and Future Fellow Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a…

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Infection control in hospitals

Nosocomial influenza: The enormous effect of mask wearing

The Coronavirus dominates everyday conversation as well as medical and scientific discussions, but in a Leipzig hygiene congress, other topics – such as nosocomial influenza – took a strong position. Dr Andreas Ambrosch, head of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene at the Brothers of Mercy Hospital in Regensburg, Germany, presented a new study on the spread…

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Coronavirus structured reporting

Radiology and COVID-19: How to establish safe workflows

Radiology experts from Norway and Germany highlighted the role of structured reporting in communicating clear results to the rest of the team, to improve patient and staff safety during the pandemic. They also related Germany’s experience of the crisis and what lies ahead in an online conference organized by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) last week.

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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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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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SARS-CoV-2 durability

New coronavirus can remain stable for hours on surfaces

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three…

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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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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is making headlines by the minute. However, some less-than-trustworthy advice can be found among the information. Understandably, many people are concerned and confused. To prevent unnecessary panic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assembled advice for the public. Is it safe to receive parcels from China? Will sesame oil…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of, “what is happening in other countries.” On Feb. 17, the number of infections totaled around 71,000 globally based on data of the WHO. COVID-19 – the official shorthand name of the novel corona virus…

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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

Measles infections are not harmless – they can cause disease courses that may be of fatal outcome. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in co-operation with researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have now found out that measles viruses erase part of the immunological memory over several years. Affected persons are thus more susceptible to infections with other pathogens beyond…

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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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Measles

Vaccine hesitancy threatens global health

Globally, a trend of falling public trust in vaccines is alarming health officials and the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health. The UK’s Wellcome Trust 2018 Global Monitor – a survey of more than 140,000 people in over 140 countries – highlighted regions where confidence in vaccinations is lowest.

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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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Not just the climate changes

Global warming might be behind the rise of Candida auris

Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris. According to a new study published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change.

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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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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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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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Infection control

Knowledge is one thing - implementation another

Insufficient knowledge of infection control, resulting in insufficient compliance, increases the risk of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and multiresistant pathogens that put patients at risk. At the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology e.V. (DGHM) in Göttingen, Professor Frauke Mattner, Senior Consultant at the Institute of Hygiene, Kliniken der…

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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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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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Resistance-building

‘Why not take a risk?’ belief boosts antibiotic overuse

Antibiotics are mostly prescribed for acute respiratory infections (ARIs), yet most of these infections are viral. A new study shows that inappropriate antibiotics prescriptions are widespread, contributing dangerously helping antibiotic-resistant organisms to grow. Overuse could be due to attitudes among patients and clinicians, current George Washington University research suggests.

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Air disinfection and purification device

Closing the infection control loop

Novaerus, an Irish company specialising in non-chemical air disinfection using patented ultra-low energy plasma, announced the launch of the Defend 1050, a portable, easy to use device ideal for rapid disinfection and purification of the air in large spaces and high-risk situations such as operating theatres, ICUs, IVF labs, emergency and waiting rooms, and construction zones.

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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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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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Mortality increase

What's behind the rising deaths in England and Wales?

Health chiefs are failing to investigate a clear pattern of rising death rates and worsening health outcomes in England and Wales, argue experts in The BMJ today. Lucinda Hiam at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Danny Dorling at the University of Oxford say weekly mortality figures show 10,375 additional deaths (a rise of 12.4%) in England and Wales in the first seven…

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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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Study

Secrets of Ebola uncovered - in the heart of a devastating outbreak

In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified signatures of Ebola virus disease that may aid in future treatment efforts. Conducting a sweeping analysis of everything from enzymes to lipids to immune-system-associated molecules,…

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Multiresistant pathogens

'Antibiotics don’t generate large profits'

During our European Hospital interview with specialist in microbiology, virology and infection epidemiology Beniam Ghebremedhin MD, from the University Hospital Wuppertal, spoke about the impact of migration on infections, and ways to tackle the problem of multiresistant pathogens. ‘There is a lack of specialists in infectious diseases, for direct patient care on hospital wards as well as in…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Epidemics

Open Science to track virus outbreaks

In recent years, we have witnessed multiple epidemics of viral diseases such as Ebola or Zika. Rapid targeted intervention is key to containment. Real-time data integration and analysis can help public health authorities to maximize efficacy of intervention strategies. Dr. Richard Neher from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany and Dr. Trevor Bedford from the Fred…

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New technology breakthrough in fighting viral diseases

As one of medicine’s largest challenges, viral infections often escape vaccines due to their natural ability to mutate rapidly and develop drug resistance easily. Many viruses, such as Zika, Ebola and dengue fever, have grown into major global health epidemics with great human and economic toll. IBM Research and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering, Nanotechnology (IBN) announced they have…

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Immune system

How can two types of immune cells arise from one?

The fates of immune cells can be decided at the initial division of a cell. Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered that the production of daughter cells with different roles in the immune system is driven by the lopsided distribution of the signaling protein c-Myc. Nudging c-Myc in one direction or the other could make vaccines more effective or advance…

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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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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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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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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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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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Paediatrics

New for paediatric intensive care

Critically ill children hospitalised with traumatic injuries have a high risk of acquiring nosocomial infections, especially if their immune function is impaired. A nosocomial infection, such as sepsis, can become as deadly as a traumatic injury, the leading cause of death in children. Report: Cynthia E Keen

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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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MRSA cases doubled in five years

Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) doubled at academic medical centers in the U.S. between 2003 and 2008, according to a report published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

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Sepsis

Along with a call for earlier identification and intervention in sepsis cases, intensive care consultant Dr Ron Daniels also stressed that timely intervention is cost-effective for health systems as it leads to fewer sepsis patients needing treatment in intensive care units (ICU).

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The contact killer

Bacteria, viruses and fungi are killed on copper surfaces within seconds. This powerful germicidal effect, termed ‘contact killing’, is increasingly noted by hospitals due to several recent studies that confirm its antimicrobial effects.

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Plugging the gaps in Europe?

Professionals back EU-wide action on cross-border health emergencies: A new cross-border Health Security initiative should refine EU preparations for, and response to, health crises ranging from terrorist attacks to SARS epidemics, experts reported at the European Health Forum Gastein. If Europe was to be serious about facing up to major threats a real change of mind-set was of the essence,…

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Colder days raise the risk of more heart attacks

In the light of global climate change, the relations between weather and health are of increasing interest. A drop in the average temperature outside is linked to a higher risk of people having heart attacks, according to a new study published on bmj.com today. UK researchers found that each 1°C reduction in temperature on a single day is associated with around 200 extra heart attacks.

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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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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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Influenza A (H1N1) update

WHO has been carefully monitoring the spread of influenza A (H1N1) and has now raised the alert level to level 6. Raising the alert to level 6 is a measure of geographical spread of the virus and not a measure of its severity. At this time, WHO considers the overall severity of the situation to be moderate.

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Roche Launches Complete Detection Kit for Influenza A /H1N1

Roche Applied Science announced the availability of a new detection kit for the Influenza A/H1N1 virus. The detection kit is offered for use in life science research. Roche currently is filing to get approval of the local health authorities worldwide for use of the kit in emergency situations.

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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…

Swine flu and hygiene standards

Flu preparations - Under the UK´s National Health Service (NHS) code of practice for nosocomial infections, the hospital Trusts and others are required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that healthcare workers are free of, and protected from, exposure to communicable infections.

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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…

Wipes meet international regulations

Pal International, which has manufactured a wide range of hygiene products and protective clothing for over three decades and currently supplies products to over 70 countries, has launched a new range of healthcare wipes that are compliant with the Medical Devices Directive (93/42/EEC), international quality standard ISO13485:2003 and carry the CE mark.

Products meet international medical device regulations

Well-known wipes manufacturer, Pal International Ltd, which produces various healthcare disinfectant and cleaning wipes, is launching a new range of healthcare wipes, all complying with the Medical Devices Directive (93/42/EEC), international quality standard ISO13485:2003 and carrying the CE mark.

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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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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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An essential tool for detection of respiratory illnesses

By performing just a single test healthcare personnel is now able to simultaneously detect eighteen of the most prevalent respiratory infections in patients. The Seeplex 18-plex Respiratory Test is a highly economical method for molecular diagnostics of respiratory infections. It achieves results rapidly at minimal costs per test.

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Expanding medical horizons

This was the motto of the ECR 2007 in Vienna, where a group of high-ranking experts discussed diseases of the 21st century; research competition between the US and Europe; the conditions needed to progress leading medical R&D - moderated by Congress President Professor Christian J Herold.

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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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PNEUMONIA

It kills more children than any other illness. According to UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) that includes AIDS, malaria and measles combined - yet pneumonia remains a forgotten disease. A report published by the two organisations aims to provoke action to reduce child mortality from pneumonia.

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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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