Search for: "resistance" - 954 articles found

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Printer

DTM Medical – Primera Signature Cassette Printer

Highlights:The Signature Cassette Printer is designed for printing text, graphics or bar codes directly onto cassettes, ­helping to reduce the risk of misidentification of specimens. It is available as a stand-alone, manual printer (printer on the right side) or as a completely automated system consisting of a printer and a robotic picking system called Autoloader (system on the left…

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Clinical Chemistry

Beckman Coulter – Psychiatry Antipsychotic Assays

Assays: Clozapine, Risperidone, Aripiprazole, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Paliperidone Highlights:Antipsychotic drug monitoring provides healthcare professionals accurate and vital information.Testing of antipsychotic drugs can help manage patient therapy by providing greater clarity on the causes of treatment failure (i.e., adherence, drug resistance, drug-drug interactions and drug…

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Printer

DTM Medical – Primera Signature Slide Printer

Highlights:The Signature Slide Printer can significantly increase the efficiency of labs while helping to reduce the risk of misidentification of specimens.On-demand, full-colour printing – prints only the number of slides neededPrints directly onto slides – eliminates handwriting that is hard to read and labels that are hard to applyCost reduction by inventorying only white-frosted…

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Histology Equipment

KABE Labortechnik – Consumables for pathology / histology

Highlights:Tissue embedding cassettesDifferent variants: standard, universal, biopsy, bionet and each type also for laser printersAvailable in different coloursWithout, with separate or with pre-attached hinged lidAvailable pre-stacked – ready for use in cassette printersHigh quality material is resistant to solvents, guarantees dimensional stability and offers good writing and…

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DR Detectors

Konica Minolta – AeroDR HD

HighlightsPortable digital X-ray detectorPixel size: 100 μm – high definitionAble to display micro structuresBetter visibility of bone trabecularNo “pixel shape” when zooming inLightweight for easy handling: 2.6 kgLoad resistance of 400 kg130 kg bending resistanceTwo second previewWaterproof IPX6

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DR Detectors

Fujifilm - FDR D-EVO series

Highlights Now including the new Ultra-lightweight, FDR D-EVO III featuring an innovative flexible film based TFT layer, significantly reducing weight and further improving durability.FDR D-EVO series detectors are rugged, lightweight, water-resistant digital detectors, available in CsI or GOS and featuring high DQE and low noise at ultra-low doses.Patented IIS technology, Smartswitch AED,…

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Sponsored • Disease management

Multiplex Testing: A Solution to Manage Surge in Respiratory Illnesses as Concerns over “Multi-demic” Rise

Eunsin Bae, M.D. specializes in laboratory medicine and leads the Institute of Clinical Research at Seegene Inc. Her research focuses on microbiology, molecular biology, and hematology. Dr. Bae is currently working toward implementing a global clinical study and establishing an international network of clinical investigations.

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Article • “Taiwan Excellence” at Medica 2022

Sustainable solutions for post-pandemic healthcare

Innovative gastrointestinal imaging, medical panel PCs with hygiene optimisation, smartphone-based diagnostic tools, and sustainable hardware setups: At Medica 2022, manufacturers from Taiwan again showed their capability to adapt and provide solutions for a world radically changed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the “Taiwan Excellence” banner, outstanding products from the island nation’s…

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Sponsored • Periprosthetic protection

Bone cements containing antibiotics for infection prophylaxis – quo vadis?

Periprosthetic infections and revisions are on the rise in Germany and worldwide, with significant consequences for affected patients as well as for the healthcare systems. Precisely because the number of patients at higher risk of infection in arthroplasty continues to rise, attention is increasingly focused on how this dreaded complication can be avoided.

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Article • Tissue-engineered glioblastoma model

3D brain tumour in a dish to personalize cancer treatment

It is the size of a common pencil eraser, but it could have a huge impact on the therapy of glioblastoma: Scientists in Virginia have developed a novel 3D tissue-engineered model of the brain tumour microenvironment, which can be used to assess how the glioma cell invades healthy tissue, proliferates, and reacts to chemotherapy drugs.

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News • Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

Promising new treatment for deadly pediatric tumor

Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare pediatric tumor. For more than 40 years there has not been any new development regarding treatment. Research led by Prof. Dr. Anton Henssen at Charité University Berlin has now identified a new therapeutic option, using a drug that is currently under investigation for other types of cancer.

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Sponsored • Covid-19 management

Rapid and robust PCR testing for infectious diseases at Innklinikum Altötting and Mühldorf

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the fast and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases in clinical settings. Harald Maier discusses the implementation of rapid molecular diagnostics in the central clinical diagnostics laboratory at Innklinikum Altötting and Mühldorf, highlighting how the use of PCR testing has benefitted the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Article • Extended reality

The application of XR in mental health care

Mental disorders are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide, and the demand for a viable solution to battle the mental health crisis has risen. The past two decades have witnessed the emergence of extended reality (XR) as a tool for investigation, assessment, and management in mental healthcare.

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Article • Antimicrobial resistance development

AMR and climate change: a worrying dual threat to global health

Climate change and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are forming an alarming alliance: Global warming creates new breeding grounds for resistant bacteria. A serious and very real threat to public health – but not quite the doomsday scenario some might make it out to be, says Prof Sabiha Essack from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

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News • miR-634 vs. OSCC

Anti-cancer "dream cream" to shrink oral tumors

Modern medicine offers “peel and stick” solutions like nicotine or contraceptive patches to put right on the skin without needing to visit a doctor for an injection or procedure. Now, researchers have found that applying a topical ointment containing anti-tumor factor can increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

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Sponsored • Infection management

New sepsis marker speeds up detection and therapy

Sepsis is the cause of one in five deaths worldwide, killing nearly 11 million people each year, many of them children. It is also a major cause of disability, affecting millions more. To combat the condition, many hospitals have implemented sepsis performance improvement programmes. A meta-analysis of 50 observational studies showed that these programmes are associated with better compliance…

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Sponsored • Senhance robotic system by Asensus

Surgical robots are the future of medicine

Esslingen is one of the most innovative regions worldwide. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that Esslingen‘s 660-bed hospital is interested in adopting cutting-edge technology. A surgical robot, to be precise.

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Article • A potentially devastating impact

Covid-19 alters antibiotic use

The long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on antimicrobial resistance remains difficult to predict. Infectious diseases consultant Professor Alison Holmes reflects on Covid-19's effect on antibiotic use in hospitals and beyond.

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Article • Additive manufacturing

3D printable biomaterial for personalised medicine

Evonik offers a comprehensive portfolio of 3D printable med-tech biomaterials that can be used to produce medical devices with temporary or permanent body contact. Marc Knebel, head of Medical Systems at Evonik, explains the benefits and applications of the new high-performance polymer VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF.

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News • Microbiology

Using 3D printing technique to create biofilms

Researchers at the University of Rochester, and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently developed a 3D printing technique to engineer and study biofilms—three-dimensional communities of microorganisms, such as bacteria, that adhere to surfaces. The research provides important information for creating synthetic materials and in developing drugs to fight the negative effects of…

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News • Hazardous materials

Microplastic pollution aids antibiotic resistance

According to scientists at Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering, discarded polystyrene broken down into microplastics provides a cozy home not only for microbes and chemical contaminants but also for the free-floating genetic materials that deliver to bacteria the gift of resistance.

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News • Synthetic nucleic acid

New approach could help weak hearts

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction was previously considered largely untreatable. A research team at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) led by Professor Michael Gotthardt has now succeeded for the first time in improving cardiac function with the help of a synthetic nucleic acid, as the researchers report in the journal Science…

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News • Relapse research

Multiple myeloma: Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, relapse almost always occurs after treatment. Initially, most patients respond well to therapy. However, as the disease progresses, resistant cancer cells spread in the bone marrow, with fatal consequences for the patients. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the National Center for…

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Article • An estimated 800,000 deaths in 2030

Warning of looming global liver disease pandemic

Professor Dina Tiniakos, from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, predicts that NASH (Non-alcohol related steatohepatitis) cases will soar worldwide by 2030, with 800,000 liver deaths, costing health economies billions of dollars.

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Article • NGS solution

Using liquid biopsy to detect recurrent breast cancer earlier

An innovative collaboration has been formed in the UK between academic researchers and industry to develop a rapid integrated liquid biopsy platform for early detection of recurrent breast cancer. Breast cancer specialists Professor Charles Coombes, who is Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial College London (ICL), and Professor Jacqui Shaw, Head of the Department of Genetics and Genome…

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Sponsored • iQmax® EMS & TENS Wearable technology

AFC Addresses WFH Health Issues and Paradigm Shifts

Leading functional & smart textile manufacturer Asiatic Fiber Corporation (AFC) introduces advanced wearable technology for electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): (EMS module / E-massage module) of the iQmax® series at the international trade fair MEDICA 2021, which will be held in Germany from November 15th to 18th.

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News • Addressing coronavirus vaccine hesitancy

Covid-19: Could a chatbot help overcome vaccine concerns?

French researchers have found that addressing concerns related to the Covid-19 vaccination via a chatbot interface might be capable of swaying the vaccine-hesitant. Vaccine hesitancy is one of the major challenges in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. Previous studies have revealed that mass communication—through short messages relayed by television or radio—is not a very effective means of…

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News • Resistance mechanism discovered

How staphylococci protect themselves against antibiotics

The skin bacterium Staphylococcus aureus often develops antibiotic resistance. It can then cause infections that are difficult to treat. Researchers at the University of Bonn have uncovered an ingenious way in which a certain strain of Staphylococcus aureus protects itself against the important antibiotic vancomycin. The results have now been published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum.

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News • Coronary microcirculation

New measurements improve diagnosis of ‘woman’s heart’

Researchers at the Catharina Heart and Vascular Center, together with Eindhoven University of Technology, have developed a new measurement method to analyze the smallest capillaries of the heart by measuring blood flow and resistance. The new method to assess coronary microcirculation allows cardiologists to make a clearer diagnosis. Until recently, the tests used for this purpose were not…

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News • 'CRyPTIC' research

Global tuberculosis study identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments. The Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis International Consortium (CRyPTIC) research project has collected the largest ever global dataset of clinical M.…

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News • Tumor growth stopped in mice

Antidepressants show promise in cancer growth inhibition

Classic antidepressants could help improve modern cancer treatments. They slowed the growth of pancreatic and colon cancers in mice, and when combined with immunotherapy, they even stopped the cancer growth long-term. In some cases the tumors disappeared completely, researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) have found. Their findings will now be tested in…

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Article • Orthopaedic advances

Virtual training by hip implant simulator

Trainee trauma or orthopaedic surgeons have limited chances to practice hip replacement surgery before their first hands-on case. To change this, a team in the Dynamic HIPS project aim to improve this by creating a dynamic hip replacement simulator for future surgeons to practice the intervention and develop a reality-based feel for the procedure.

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Sponsored • Tools for the lab

Speeding up diagnostics to detect antibiotic resistance

Infectious disease diagnostics are notoriously slow. The gold standard for laboratory diagnosis of bacterial and fungal infection involves growing the pathogen from a clinical specimen – an overnight event, or even longer. The healthcare focus is on improving the use of antibiotics for better patient outcomes and reducing the environmental pressures that drive antibiotic resistance. To impact…

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News • Blood poisoning

Sepsis: 5-country survey shows lack of public awareness

On World Sepsis Day, in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux and the UK Sepsis Trust reveal the results of a survey conducted in Europe regarding knowledge and attitudes towards sepsis. The findings demonstrate the need to accelerate awareness and education of the general population about this life-threatening condition.

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Article • Precision oncology

Personalized health and genomics: Minimizing collateral damage

A solid diagnosis has always been the first step on any patient’s journey to health. However, diagnostic categories are necessarily oversimplifications. In the last decades, medical professionals and scientists have begun to uncover the true variability in patients’ physiological and biochemical make-up that is the principal cause for individual variations in the way diseases present…

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News • Promising material

Organ transplantation: polymer coating reduces rejection rate

Researchers have found a way to reduce organ rejection following a transplant by using a special polymer to coat blood vessels on the organ to be transplanted. The polymer, developed by Prof. Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu and his team at the Centre for Blood Research and Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia, substantially diminished rejection of transplants in mice when…

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News • Anatomy research

Why the appendix might not be so useless after all

Long considered an unnecessary organ, the appendix is now the focus of several studies that aim to better understand its role. Present in many mammals, including humans, it appears to have developed at least 16 times over the course of the evolutionary history of mammals, suggesting that its function must confer a positive selective advantage on those that have it. A new study carried out by…

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News • Compulsory coronavirus prevention

Should Covid-19 vaccination be mandatory for health and care staff?

Italy, France, and Greece have made Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers, and England is making it compulsory for care home workers and consulting on whether to extend this to healthcare workers and other social care staff. Experts debate in The BMJ whether frontline health and social care workers should be compelled to take up the vaccine, if efforts to encourage them fail.…

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News • Early diagnosis proteins

Study identifies 15 new biomarkers for pre­-dementia

A study by an international research group identified 15 novel biomarkers that are linked to late-onset dementias. These biomarkers are proteins, which predict cognitive decline and subsequent increased risk of dementia already 20 years before the disease onset. The proteins are related to immune system dysfunction, blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, vascular pathologies, and central insulin…

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News • Controlling KRAS

New targeted gene therapy could stop lung cancer progression

A newly targeted therapy could help millions of lung cancer patients worldwide keep their cancers from spreading, says an expert at Cleveland Clinic, on the occasion of World Lung Cancer Day. Dr. Khaled Hassan, of the Hematology and Medical Oncology Department at Cleveland Clinic, explains the concept of KRAS targeted therapy – and why the approach should not be mistaken for a cancer cure.

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News • Population bottlenecks

Random effects make it difficult to optimise antibiotic therapy

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens have become one of the greatest threats to public health. The basic mechanisms of resistance evolution have been well studied experimentally and are an important research field at Kiel University. An important factor in this context, but one that has received little attention so far, is the population size of the respective pathogen. Over the course of an infection…

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News • Genetic alterations

Same mutation, different cancers: researchers explore connections

Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the University Medical Center Göttingen have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in…

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News • TB drug development cooperation

Unite4TB: A new era in Tuberculosis treatment development

To advance anti-tuberculosis (TB) science and enable the progression of new, safe, and affordable treatment solutions for TB patients worldwide, a new consortium of 30 partners from 13 countries has officially launched. The 7-year, €185 million project called Unite4TB, aims to accelerate and improve the clinical evaluation of combinations of existing and novel drugs, with the goal of developing…

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Article • Women in medical R&D

Innovation depends on more than just technical skills

Cécile Geneviève is one of the few women who lead research and development (R&D) at a major company and her increasingly female team reflects women’s growing interest in the field. But while gender balance is an important criterion, it takes a broad palette of skills to innovate to alleviate pain for millions of patients, she explained in an interview with Healthcare in Europe.

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Article • AMR Insights platform

Antibiotic resistance: a global problem in urgent need of solutions

Antibiotics have been at the heart of modern healthcare since the 1950s. They are prescribed prior to an operation to minimise the risk of infection after the operation. Or antibiotics are prescribed to fight an infection. This practice, which might seem straightforward at first glance, has proven to cause a number of problems itself: Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly clear…

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News • RAS protein mutation

New treatment approach targets cancer 'Death Star'

A new way to target a mutant protein which can cause the deadliest of cancers in humans has been uncovered by scientists at Leeds. The mutated form of the RAS protein has been referred to as the “Death Star” because of its ability to resist treatments and is found in 96% of pancreatic cancers and 54% of colorectal cancers. RAS is a protein important for health but in its mutated form it can…

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Article • Antibiotic resistance

Five-minute MRSA detection with aptasensor swabs

An international research team from Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Jordan has developed a novel pathogen aptasensor swab designed to qualitatively detect, within five minutes, any methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination that remains in a hospital isolation room or other surface following standard decontamination and cleaning.

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News • Advanced care

This 'smart' wound dressing monitors the healing process with built-in sensors

Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed smart wound dressings with built-in nanosensors that glow to alert patients when a wound is not healing properly. The multifunctional, antimicrobial dressings feature fluorescent sensors that glow brightly under UV light if infection starts to set in and can be used to monitor healing progress.

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News • Virtual reality experiment

Using VR to promote Covid-19 vaccination

234 random passersby got the opportunity to try a new virtual reality game, when researchers from the University of Copenhagen visited Fælledparken to test the efficiency of VR technology within health information. During the event, the participants tried their strength against a new VR game that simulates the effect of herd immunity. The game is developed by researchers at the Virtual Learning…

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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 • Fighting the pandemic

90 drugs against Covid-19

Mining the world's most comprehensive drug repurposing collection for Covid-19 therapies, scientists have identified 90 existing drugs or drug candidates with antiviral activity against the coronavirus that's driving the ongoing global pandemic.

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News • Promising protein "MARK4"

Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure

Switching off a heart muscle protein could provide a new way for drugs to combat heart failure in people who’ve had a heart attack, according to research led by the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Nature. There is an unmet need to find drugs that can successfully improve the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently after it’s been damaged following a heart attack.…

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News • Disease of smallest heart blood vessels

Microvascular angina: the global health problem you've never heard of

For the first time, a prospective, international study has shown that chest pain caused by problems with the very small vessels supplying blood to the heart is an important health problem that increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and death due to cardiovascular reasons. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, recruited 686 patients from 14 institutions in seven…

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News • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Cutting-edge approach to fighting deadly form of pancreatic cancer

By 2030, the most lethal form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Not only are therapeutic options limited, but nearly half of PDAC patients who have their tumors removed surgically experience disease recurrence within a year, even with chemotherapy. For more advanced stages,…

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News • Public health strategy

Covid-19: Delay in second vaccine dose may prevent deaths under certain conditions

Delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines, at least for people aged under 65, could result in up to 20% lower mortality, but only under certain conditions, finds a US study published by The BMJ. These conditions include a one dose vaccine effectiveness (efficacy) of 80% or higher and vaccination rates of 0.1% to 0.3% of the population per day. If these conditions apply, the researchers say…

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News • Intensive care support

AI predicts daily ICU trajectory for critical Covid-19 patients

Researchers used AI to identify which daily changing clinical parameters best predict intervention responses in critically ill Covid-19 patients. The investigators used machine learning to predict which patients might get worse and not respond positively to being turned onto their front in intensive care units (ICUs) - a technique known as proning that is commonly used in this setting to improve…

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News • Hydrogel wound covering

New material to protect against antibiotic resistant bacteria

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The new material offers great hope for combating a growing global problem.​ ​The World Health Organization describes antibiotic-resistant bacteria as one of…

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News • A new tool to combat superbugs

Defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria with 'molecular tweezers'

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a looming super threat – heralding a time when our drugs will no longer be effective against prevalent infections. Hospitals are already coping with treatment-resistant bacterial infections. Cognizant of the threat and thinking outside the box, BGU scientists and German and American colleagues have developed a pair of 'molecular tweezers' to destroy the biofilm…

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Article • Disease management

Covid-19 and beyond: Unlocking the value of diagnostic data

Diagnostic data from the massive amounts of testing being conducted can help make health systems more resilient in dealing with future health crises and pandemics. The importance of diagnostic data was explored during the Medtech Europe online session, “Unlocking the Value of Diagnostic Information – how to make European Health Systems more resilient?” where delegates heard that…

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News • Stopping the spread

Research sheds new light on pancreatic cancer metastasis

With an overall survival rate of 9% for those diagnosed, pancreatic cancer remains exceedingly difficult to treat. However, the patient's primary tumor typically isn't what leads to death - it is the cancer's ability to evade detection and metastasize to other organs. A team of researchers at the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma has published a new study in the journal…

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News • Spread of drug-resistance

WHO reports global shortage of innovative antibiotics

The world is still failing to develop desperately needed antibacterial treatments, despite growing awareness of the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. WHO reveals that none of the 43 antibiotics that are currently in clinical development sufficiently address the problem of drug resistance in the world’s most dangerous bacteria.…

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News • M.O. of Darobactin unveiled

Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry

An increasing number of bacterial pathogens are resistant to antibiotics. And the most dangerous pathogens share a common feature: a double membrane that is difficult to penetrate. Even when antibiotic agents are able to break into this shell, the bacteria just pump them right out again. But a recently discovered compound called Darobactin manages to circumvent these protective measures and kill…

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News • 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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News • Biomarker research

"Jumping" genes might protect against AML and other blood cancers

New research has uncovered a surprising role for so-called “jumping” genes that are a source of genetic mutations responsible for a number of human diseases. In the new study from Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), scientists made the unexpected discovery that these DNA sequences, also known as transposons, can protect against certain blood cancers. These…

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News • Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in iron-deficient conditions by utilizing rubredoxin B, a protein from a rubredoxin family that play an important role in adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

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News • Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

Antimicrobial technologies such as coatings and textiles containing silver and copper are helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring that whatever they touch, whether that is a door handle or their own mask, is free from live SARS-CoV-2 particles. But how exactly do these antimicrobial technologies work? How can a silver, copper or even polymeric coating kill microorganisms such as…

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News • Radiology research

Chest CT illuminates COPD mortality risk

Body composition information derived from routine chest CTs can provide important information on the overall health of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including their risk of all-cause mortality. This is the result of a new study, published in Radiology. COPD is a group of chronic, progressive lung diseases that affect about 30 million people in the United States alone.…

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Video • Uprooting cancer

New hydrogel 'reprograms' cancer cells back to cancer stem cells

An innovative hydrogel – called a double network (DN) gel – can rapidly reprogram differentiated cancer cells into cancer stem cells, researchers at Hokkaido University and the National Cancer Center Research Institute have reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The hydrogel can be used to help develop new cancer therapies and personalized medicines targeting cancer stem cells.

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News • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

A new approach for treating bile duct cancer

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) develops within the liver. With one to two cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, ICC is one of the rare diseases overall, but it is the second most common liver cancer. The aggressive bile duct tumour remains clinically inconspicuous for a long time, so that it is often only detected late. Because the tumour also only responds to chemotherapy to a limited…

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News • A much-needed update

New 'double antibody' delivers dual strike SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Switzerland developed a second-generation ‘double antibody’ that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy. Antibody-based immunotherapy was already shown to be effective against Covid-19 but faces two main obstacles: it needs to work…

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News • Epidemilogical study shows

Covid variant B.1.1.7.: A lot more dangerous than the original form

The highly infectious variant of Covid-19 discovered in Kent, which swept across the UK last year before spreading worldwide, is between 30 and 100 per cent more deadly than previous strains, new analysis has shown. A pivotal study, by epidemiologists from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol, has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, is associated with a significantly higher mortality…

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News • Covid-19 impact on vaccination

Antibiotic resistance could make diphtheria ‘major global threat’ again

Diphtheria – a relatively easily-preventable infection – is evolving to become resistant to a number of classes of antibiotics and in future could lead to vaccine escape, warn an international team of researchers from the UK and India. The researchers, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, say that the impact of Covid-19 on diphtheria vaccination schedules, coupled with a rise in…

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News • Temperature range from 0°C to -85°C

Ultra-freezers for safe vaccine and sample storage

Temperature control equipment and systems company Lauda is expanding its portfolio with its new Versafreeze product line. This consists of high-quality ultra-freezers which have been optimized for the extreme requirements of deep-freeze storage. Lauda thereby meets the requirements of vaccine producers, pharmaceutical service providers, vaccination centers and universities for the safe storage of…

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News • Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Most of the mutations known to confer resistance occur in the genes targeted by a particular antibiotic. Other…

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News • Inactivation of Coronavirus & Co. via electrochemistry

Antiviral mask offers protection at the push of a button

Researchers at ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences are working with the Swiss company Osmotex AG to develop a self-disinfecting mask that inactivates viruses at the push of a button. The prototype of this mask made of electrochemical textiles shows an antiviral effect of over 99 percent. Further applications such as sterilizable seat covers are being examined.

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News • Brain cancer research

New approach could stop glioblastoma growth

Inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth, paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, from growing. Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto (U of T), showed that chemically inhibiting the enzyme PRMT5 can…

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News • 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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News • Insulin inhibitory receptor

New promising target for diabetes treatment

Researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, the Technical University of Munich and the German Center for Diabetes have discovered a novel and druggable insulin inhibitory receptor, named inceptor. The blocking of inceptor function leads to an increased sensitisation of the insulin signaling pathway in pancreatic beta cells. This might allow protection and regeneration of beta cells for diabetes…

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News • Revealing the mechanisms

Unlocking ‘the shape of water’ to fight antibiotic resistance

New high-resolution structures of the bacterial ribosome determined by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago show that a single water molecule may be the cause — and possible solution — of antibiotic resistance. The findings of the new study are published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Pathogenic germs become resistant to antibiotics when they develop the ability to…

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News • TB test shows promise

New method to assist fast-tracking of vaccines

With Covid-19 dominating medical science and human concern, chemists at the University of Sydney have developed a method to quickly and safely synthesise protein vaccines for respiratory diseases for pre-clinical tests. Their approach can be used to test vaccine strategies against novel pandemic pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

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News • Osteoarthritis research

New treatment target could halt knee cartilage degeneration

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but a group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the disease’s effects. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Building on that finding, they were able to show that…

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News • Displays in medical equipment

Exploring the benefits of resistive touch panels

When it comes to touch panels for medical equipment, there are some obvious requirements. For instance, medical professionals need the flexibility to use gloves, at any given moment. They may have wet hands or a wet screen but should still be able to operate the touch panel, where the response of the panel should and cannot not be affected.

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News • 'Nanobodies'

Small antibodies show promise against Covid-19

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the…

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News • Disease development, risk, complications

Researchers identify prediabetes subtypes

All prediabetes is not the same: in people in the preliminary stages of type 2 diabetes, there are six clearly distinguishable subtypes, which differ in the development of the disease, diabetes risk, and the development of secondary diseases. This is shown in a study by the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Tübingen,…

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News • Tackling colon cancer

Researchers find 'Achilles’ heel' of cancer stem cells

Colon cancer stem cells have one weak spot: the enzyme Mll1. An MDC team led by Walter Birchmeier has now shown in Nature Communications that blocking this protein prevents the development of new tumors in the body. Since colonoscopies were introduced in Germany for early cancer detection, the number of diagnoses of advanced cancer every year has decreased, as precancerous lesions can now be…

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Video • Resistance pulse

New study reveals how melanoma cells survive targeted therapies

In recent years, targeted therapies have cemented their place as some of the most important tools in cancer treatment. These medicines are designed to block specific signals that tumor cells use to grow and spread, while at the same time leaving normal cells unharmed. Targeted therapies can significantly extend patients’ lives, but the benefits are often only temporary. Over time, many cancers…

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Article • Coronavirus imaging

Covid-19: Is CT more sensitive than PCR testing?

Covid-19 causes characteristic changes in lung tissue visible in CT scans and chest radiographs, known as “ground-glass” opacities. Imaging is now considered a valid alternative, possibly even superior to RT-PCR. ‘This sparked an international debate about the role of CT in the diagnostic work-up of Covid-19,’ said radiologist Professor Cornelia Schäfer-Prokop.

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Sponsored • AI assistance for colonoscopy

Ensuring Patient Safety in Endoscopy

Patient safety in endoscopy must be approached from a holistic perspective, through solutions which increase detection rates of abnormalities, increase confidence in the safety of the reprocessing outcome, and control the risk of infection and cross-contamination. With these important benefits in mind, manufacturers should be continuously working to innovate products to establish solutions that…

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News • At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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News • Revealing innovation potential of new antibiotics

Using proteomic profiling to accelerate drug development

The fight against bacterial infections, especially those caused by resistant pathogens, is in full swing with the search for new antibiotic agents. The aim is to identify substances that attack the pathogens in a truly novel way. The team at the Center for Systems-Based Antibiotic Research (Cesar) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has described in two publications how assess if a new antibiotic…

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Article • Antimicrobial Resistance Action Fund

AMR research gains $1 billion funding

A unique, ground-breaking global campaign, which has seen major pharmaceutical companies unite to fight antibiotic resistant infections, has been launched with a one-billion-dollar investment fund. The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund aims to help save the collapsing antibiotic pipeline and make 2-4 new antibiotics available within a decade.

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Sponsored • Hardware and software solutions

Integrated OR and hygiene belong together

According to the German Federal Ministry of Health, 400,000 to 600,000 patients are diagnosed with hospital-acquired infections every year. The treatment of these nosocomial diseases is complex. Hygiene is a must, especially in the operating room. The IT environment should be designed accordingly.

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News • Antibacterial cellulose

A wound dressing that kills bacteria

In order to combat bacterial wound infections, Empa researchers have developed cellulose membranes equipped with antimicrobial peptides. Initial results show: The skin-friendly membranes made of plant-based materials kill bacteria very efficiently. If germs invade a wound, they can trigger a long-lasting infection that may fail to heal or even spread throughout the body, leading to…

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News • Smart breathing support

Self-learning ventilators could save more COVID-19 patients

As the corona pandemic continues, mechanical ventilators are vital for the survival of COVID-19 patients who cannot breathe on their own. One of the major challenges is tracking and controlling the pressure of the ventilators, to ensure patients get exactly the amount of air they need. Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a technique based on self-learning…

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News • 'Ancientbiotics'

Medieval medicine against antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing battle for scientists to overcome, as more antimicrobials are urgently needed to treat biofilm-associated infections. However, scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick say research into natural antimicrobials could provide candidates to fill the antibiotic discovery gap.

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News • Brain tumor treatment network

'Federated learning' AI approach allows hospitals to share patient data privately

To answer medical questions that can be applied to a wide patient population, machine learning models rely on large, diverse datasets from a variety of institutions. However, health systems and hospitals are often resistant to sharing patient data, due to legal, privacy, and cultural challenges. An emerging technique called federated learning is a solution to this dilemma, according to a study…

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News • ER-positive tumour BC

Drug target for aggressive breast cancer found

A team of British and American scientists have discovered a way to slow the growth of breast cancer stem cells in the lab. The study led by Dr Bruno Simões and Professor Rob Clarke from The University of Manchester could eventually lead to combination drug therapies on previously untreatable breast cancers. Around three quarters of women who have breast cancer have what are known as oestrogen…

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News • Lesion segregation

Explaining the extreme complexity of mutations in tumor genomes

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have been studying the evolution of tumors following chemical damage. They discovered that the DNA lesions caused by the chemical are not eliminated immediately, but are passed on unrepaired over several rounds of cell division. This "lesion segregation" can drive unexpectedly…

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Article • Virtual consultations

COVID-19 pandemic boosts telemedicine in Spain

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the use of telemedicine in Spain with an increase in virtual consultation and positive impact on workflow. The challenge will be to make these changes permanent, according to a panel of experts who took part in a conference last June in Barcelona. Spanish patients and healthcare professionals have widely accepted virtual consultation as a new alternative to…

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News • high-density EEG

A deeper look inside the brain

Understanding the source and network of signals as the brain functions is a central goal of brain research. Now, Carnegie Mellon engineers have created a system for high-density EEG imaging of the origin and path of normal and abnormal brain signals.

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News • Organic lungs, synthetic muscles

Biohybrid model re-creates respiration mechanics

Benchtop tools for studying the respiratory system misrepresent the interdependence between the diaphragm, abdomen and lungs. Meanwhile, computational models often hide the mechanisms in a black box computation, without a clear picture of what transpires in the process. This means students form a poor understanding of respiratory mechanisms and makes it hard to train clinicians for real scenarios…

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News • New mechanism discovered

UPR: Stress raises cancer cells' chemo resistance

Resistance of cancer cells against therapeutic agents is a major cause of treatment failure, especially in recurrent diseases. An international team around the biochemists Robert Ahrends from the University of Vienna and Jan Medenbach from the University of Regensburg identified a novel mechanism of chemoresistance which has now been published in "Nature Communications". It is driven by…

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News • Inspired by insects

Improving the efficiency of antibacterial surfaces

Resistance to antibiotics has become a serious public health problem. Hospital infections, prostheses or surgical implants that become infected and do not respond to treatment are a real challenge to the research community, which has been seeking alternatives for effectively eliminating these bacteria for years. In 2012 the researchers from the Department of Chemical Engineering of the…

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News • 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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News • Immune cell monitoring

AI could predict risk of lung cancer recurrence

Computer scientists working with pathologists have trained an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to determine which patients with lung cancer have a higher risk of their disease coming back after treatment. The AI tool was able to differentiate between immune cells and cancer cells, enabling researchers to build a detailed picture of how lung cancers evolve in response to the immune system in…

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News • Hemolysis monitoring

Measuring blood damage in real-time

Scientists at the University of Delaware and Princeton University have developed a method to monitor blood damage in real-time. “Our goal was to find a method that could detect red blood cell damage without the need for lab sample testing,” said Tyler Van Buren, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with expertise in fluid dynamics. The researchers recently reported their technique…

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Article • Beyond QR and barcodes

Sold: 50 million digital health passports

A British cyber security company, VST Enterprises has signed a contract with international digital health technology firm Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE), owner of ‘Covi-Pass’, to supply 50 million of its ‘digital health passports’ to 15 countries. VST was founded by tech entrepreneur Louis-James Davis to integrate its state-of-the-art VCode & VPlatform technologies into the Covi-Pass…

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Article • Reducing healthcare costs, optimising patient care

The potential of remote patient monitoring

The remote patient monitoring technology and devices market has attracted significant investment in the past decade and is growing at an extraordinary rate. Expected to reach around 28 billion euros by the end of 2023, this market is very attractive to many big name companies that want to be ‘connected’ such as Qualcomm Life, Inc., OSI Systems, Inc., Philips Healthcare, Abbott Laboratories…

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News • Coronavirus mutations

Tracking COVID-19 with genetic ‘barcode’

Drexel University researchers have reported a method to quickly identify and label mutated versions of the virus that causes COVID-19. Their preliminary analysis, using information from a global database of genetic information gleaned from coronavirus testing, suggests that there are at least six to 10 slightly different versions of the virus infecting people in America, some of which are either…

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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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Article • Orthopaedics

VR training to improve hip replacement surgery

More than 200,000 patients undergo hip replacement surgery in Germany each year. To avoid complications and extend the lifespan of the artificial joint, the implants must be fitted precisely in the acetabulum (hip socket). The procedure, particularly milling the acetabulum, is not only difficult but also the technique is difficult to teach and train.

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Article • Breath analysis to aid diagnoses

Breathomics: far more than hot air

In diagnostics, it sometimes makes sense to follow your nose. During the Labmed Forum at Medica 2019, Dr Beniam Ghebremedhin and Dr Simona Cristescu discussed the diagnostic potential of breathomics – the analysis of a patient’s exhaled air for disease indicators.

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News • Acetone sensors

3D printing sensors for diabetes breath tests

The production of highly sensitive sensors is a complex process: it requires many different steps and the almost dust-free environment of special cleanrooms. A research team from Materials Science at Kiel University (CAU) and from Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University of Moldova has now developed a procedure to produce extremely sensitive and energy-efficient sensors using 3D…

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Article • 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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News • Cause for colorectal carcinoma

Loss of protein can drive intestinal cancer

An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development – independent of bacterial-driven inflammation. These findings have implications for the use of MCL1 inhibitors, currently…

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News • Altered chromosomes

Breast cancer: targeted therapy can lead to treatment resistance

If chromosomes are unevenly distributed or otherwise altered during cell division, this normally damages the daughter cells and impairs their viability. Not in cancer cells, however, in which chromosome instability can actually confer a growth advantage under certain circumstances. Moreover, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now demonstrated in mice, changes in the…

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News • Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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News • Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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News • Updating treatments

Sugar and fat can make cancer cells harder to kill

In their quest to find new and better methods to make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment, Karin Lindkvist and her research group at Lund University in Sweden are looking into the world of molecules, using the X-rays at the MAX IV laboratory. The researchers believe that limiting the cells' access to sugar will make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Many of the cancer treatments…

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News • 1 in 5

Sepsis death toll twice as high as assumed

Twice as many people as previously believed are dying of sepsis worldwide, according to an analysis published in The Lancet and announced at the Critical Care Reviews annual meeting in Belfast. Among them are a disproportionately high number of children in poor areas.

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News • Liquid hope

Probiotic drinks vs antibiotic resistance?

A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance. The team is now seeking funding for a clinical trial for the drink which has potential to work against many resistant bacteria commonly…

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News • Personalized treatment

Could B cells turn the tide in sarcoma immunotherapy?

How can the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, these particularly resistant and aggressive forms of cancer, be improved and better personalized? An international team led by Wolf Hervé Fridman with researchers from Inserm, Sorbonne Université and Université de Paris at the Cordeliers Research Center, in collaboration with the French League against cancer and Institut Bergonié, has shown that…

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Video • Outsmarting the immune system

'Super-human’ red blood cells for precise drug delivery

A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The modified red blood cells are designed to circulate in the body for several weeks at a time, seeking out specific targets including…

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News • Woundcare in the age of antibiotic resistance

Next generation wound gel to prevent infections

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new hydrogel based on the body’s natural peptide defense. It has been shown to prevent and treat infections in wounds. The formulation kills multi-resistant bacteria, something that is increasing in importance with antibiotic resistance growing globally. “The ability to effectively heal wounds is key for our survival in evolutionary…

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Sponsored • The Heraeus Symposium at DKOU

Challenges of periprosthetic infection

Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is on the increase internationally. In Germany, for example, around 14,500 cases of PJI in hip and knee replacements occur annually. 5,100 of those are caused by multidrug resistant pathogens. ‘Eighty-seven percent of those affected die within five years,’ orthopaedic surgeon Professor Rudolf Ascherl MD pointed out during the Heraeus Symposium held at the…

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News • Single cell analysis & machine learning

scPred: Finding the ‘fingerprint’ of human cells

Researchers say a new method to analyse data from individual human cells could be a step-change for diagnosing some of the most devastating diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease. By combining single cell analysis techniques with machine learning algorithms, a team led by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has developed a method to ‘fingerprint’ human cells.…

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News • Determining protein structures

3Dseq: New technique to solve biomedical puzzles

“Proteins are the workers in the cell, and it's important to know their shape,” says Chris Sander, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s cBio Center in the Department of Data Sciences. Sander and his colleagues have now demonstrated a powerful “experimental evolution” method to discover details of protein shape and function, and the method may find uses across a very broad spectrum of…

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News • Boosting the microbiome

A vaccine against chronic inflammatory diseases

In animals, a vaccine modifying the composition and function of the gut microbiota provides protection against the onset of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. This research was conducted by the team of Benoît Chassaing, Inserm researcher at Institut Cochin (Inserm/CNRS/Université de Paris), whose initial findings have been…

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News • Lethal brain infection

How current treatment for fungal meningitis fuels drug resistance

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

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News • FDA launches off-label drug database

Cure ID: App finds new ways of treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the global launch of Cure ID, an internet-based repository that will allow the clinical community to report their experiences treating difficult-to-treat infectious diseases with novel uses of existing FDA-approved drugs through a website, a smartphone or other mobile device. The platform enables the crowdsourcing of medical information from…

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News • Sweet infection control

Manuka honey ‘sandwich’ could be the key to fighting infections

Layering minute amounts of Manuka honey between layers of surgical mesh acts as a natural antibiotic that could prevent infection following an operation, new research has shown. Meshes are used to help promote soft tissue healing inside the body following surgery and are common in operations such as hernia repair. However, they carry with them an increased risk of infection as the bacteria are…

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News • Endoprothesis treatment

"Smart" implant coatings to nip infections in the bud

A material that is particularly toxic when bacteria are present in its environment? Physicists from the University of Augsburg, together with colleagues from Hamburg and Munich, have developed just such an "smart" coating. In the future, it could help prevent complications in the healing of endoprostheses. The coating also offers further advantages: It is extremely wear-resistant and…

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News • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

3D model of human liver tissue for better NAFLD diagnosis

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common chronic liver disorder in developed countries. Histological analysis of liver tissue is the only widely accepted test for diagnosing and distinguishing different stages of NAFLD. However, this technique provides only two-dimensional images of the liver tissue in low resolution and overlooks potentially important 3D structural…

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News • Disarming MRSA

Potent antimicrobial to fight staph infections

Research led by scientists from McMaster University has yielded a potent antimicrobial that works against the toughest infectious disease strains. The find could be the beginning of developing new therapeutics to combat drug-resistant infections. The discovery is important as it is directly related to the development of Staphylococcus aureus diseases, known popularly as staph infections, which…

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News • Direct-from-blood diagnostic

T2Resistance Panel receives CE mark

T2 Biosystems, Inc., a leader in the development and commercialization of medical diagnostic products, and CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating R&D innovation to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria, announced the granting of a CE mark to the T2Resistance Panel. With the CE mark, T2 Biosystems has met the requirements of the In-Vitro…

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News • Rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance

How P. aeruginosa becomes resistant during CF treatment

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens pose one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide. In the near future, harmless bacterial infections may no longer be treatable and may again become the most common non-natural cause of death. At the same time, the available repertoire of antibacterial agents is becoming increasingly smaller as resistance rates rise.

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Sponsored • Pocket-size ultrasound device improves diagnosis

Better care for middle ear infections

In children, middle ear infections are the number one indication for antibiotic prescriptions or surgery. Nearly every child around the world will suffer at least one middle ear infection (otitis media) severe enough to see a doctor, and most will experience repeat occurrences throughout childhood. Internationally, there is significant over-prescription of antibiotics for otitis media, leading to…

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Sponsored • A focusable LED exam and minor surgery lamp

Lighting the way forward

ACEMSO15F is a new focusable and flexible LED examination light designed by the Italian firm ACEM. The touch panel controls all lamp functions, including light intensity adjustment and beam focusing. The result is a uniform, homogeneous and shadow-less light.

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Article • Where are the infectiologists?

‘The hygiene plan is nothing but a fig leaf’

Nosocomial infections cause more deaths than traffic accidents – a stunning discovery made in a recent German study. Worse: infectious diseases long thought eradicated in Europe, such as measles, tuberculosis (TB) and, more recently, syphilis, are also implicated. The increasing number of patients places an additional financial burden on healthcare. But – and this might be the good news –…

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Sponsored • Minimising infection risk

Drying in endoscope reprocessing: Essential to patient safety

In practice, the drying of the endoscope is often underestimated and therefore a possible pitfall for hygiene and reprocessing steps. As the importance of endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) procedures and their impact on patients’ lives remains unwavering, the medical community is continuously looking for ways to improve this field of expertise. What better way to learn more…

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News • Promising preclinical study results

Epilepsy: Gene therapy shows long-term suppression of seizures

Teams of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Medical University of Innsbruck have developed a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. It represents a gene therapy capable of suppressing seizures at their site of origin on demand. Having been shown to be effective in an animal model, the new method will now be optimized for clinical use.…

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News • MRSA & Co.

Test to detect antibiotic resistance in less than 45 minutes

Scientists from Scotland are developing a low cost, rapid diagnostic sensor test which aims to show the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics within 45 minutes. Laboratory testing of samples can take up to two days and the new test aims to allow doctors to be able to prescribe the correct antibiotic to a patient for an infection more quickly. In a research paper published in the journal…

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News • Symbiosis study

Tracking down the microbiome

All living creatures – from the simplest animal and plant organisms right up to the human body – are colonised by numerous microorganisms. They are thus in a functional relationship with these microbes, and together form a so-called metaorganism. The investigation of this symbiotic cooperation between host organism and microorganisms is a key challenge for modern life sciences research. The…

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News • Fighting resistant bacteria

Novel class of antibiotics brings new options

Many life-threatening bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. Swiss researchers co-headed by the University of Zurich have now discovered a new class of antibiotics with a unique spectrum of activity and mechanism of action. By disrupting outer membrane synthesis, the antibiotics effectively kill Gram-negative bacteria. According to the World Health Organization…

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News • Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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Article • Artificial intelligence in radiology

Assessing the AI revolution

How will artificial intelligence (AI) affect continuing education and management in radiology? This issue was discussed by an expert panel at the ESR AI Premium meeting in Barcelona. Continuing education – It must be clear what radiologists need to learn about AI; one way to go could be to give it more space in the training curriculum, according to Elmar Kotter, deputy director of the radiology…

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News • Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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News • Statins study

How effective is cholesterol medication? New study sheds light

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world’s most prescribed medications. The research team investigated the genetic network response to cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, a medication prescribed to about 30 million people worldwide. The researchers say it is a significant step towards…

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News • ClpX-ClpP protein complex

Weak spot in pathogens could be key in new antibiotics

Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combatting bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of “ammunition” because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. A research team has now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to development of innovative antibiotics which target the degradation process of defective proteins…

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News • COA vs outside intervention

How bacteria defend against CRISPR-Cas

For the first time ever, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have mapped how bacterial cells trigger their defence against outside attacks. This could affect how diseases are fought in the future. With the aid of highly advanced microscopes and synchrotron sources, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained seminal insight into how bacteria function as defence mechanisms…

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News • Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification. The newly in-house developed process, called SULEEI, makes it possible to sterilize (S) and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet (U) crosslinking…

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Article • Combatting nosocomial infections

A&E Staphylococci POCT

Martin Möckel and Dorothee Riedlinger, from the Charité Medical University Berlin, Emergency and Acute Medicine Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Charité-Mitte report on POCT testing in the A&E Department to screen for Staphylococcus aureus colonisation of the nose or throat. People colonised with Staphylococci are at increased risk of developing a nosocomial, i.e. hospital acquired…

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News • Stopping the seizures

Epilepsy surgery: the earlier the better, study shows

A person with drug resistant epilepsy who gets an early surgical intervention has a better chance of becoming seizure free. This is shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis in which Sahlgrenska Academy researchers, in collaboration with the Swedish Council for Assessment of Health Technology and Social Services (SBU), analysed results from a range of previous studies. They concluded that…

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News • Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the resistance genes spread primarily when antibiotics are used, a rationale backed up by Darwin's theory: only in cases where antibiotics are actually being used does a resistant…

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Article • Highlights from the 30th TCT Meeting

Advancing transcatheter cardiovascular therapies

A remarkable number of studies and innovations were presented at the 30th anniversary of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in San Diego, California. TCT 2019 will take place in San Francisco, CA between 25-29-Sep-2019. On the clinical side, the long-expected results from COAPT trial studying MitraClip device in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation and heart failure…

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Article • 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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Video • VR simulator "HIPS"

Hip joint implantation in virtual reality

Researchers from Chemnitz and Bremen are developing a virtual reality simulator for a particularly critical step in hip joint implantation. Each year, more than 200,000 people receive a prosthetic hip in Germany. The success of these operations has a major impact on the quality of life of those affected. However, the procedure is often difficult, particularly the step that involves the so-called…

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News • Therapy-resistant cells

Von Hippel-Lindau: How to kill hereditary cancer

Researchers identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau hereditary cancer. In a recent publication in PNAS, the research group identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) hereditary cancer.

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News • Subgroup detected

A new Diabetes classification?

The traditional classification of diabetes, mainly in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, has been challenged by studies from Scandinavia. In the current issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers from DDZ together with colleagues from DZD and University of Lund published a cluster analysis of diabetes allowing for phenotyping into subgroups, which extended the findings by showing that…

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News • Pathogenic microbes

Cigarette smoke makes MRSA superbug bacterium more drug-resistant

Cigarette smoke can make MRSA bacterial strains more resistant to antibiotics, new research from the University of Bath has shown. In addition cigarette smoke exposure can make some strains of Staphylococcus aureus – a microbe present in 30-60% of the global population and responsible for many diseases, some fatal – more invasive and persistent, although the effect is not universal across all…

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News • Hidden chemistry

This flower might hold the key to killing cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that it’s possible to produce a compound with anti-cancer properties directly from feverfew – a common flowering garden plant. The team was able to extract the compound from the flowers and modify it so it could be used to kill chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells in the laboratory. Feverfew is grown in many UK gardens, and also…

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News • XDR Klebsiella pneumoniae

Antibiotic resistance in Europe: Hospitals are part of the problem

New research has found that antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, an opportunistic pathogen that can cause respiratory and bloodstream infections, are spreading through hospitals in Europe. Certain strains are resistant to the carbapenem antibiotics that represent the last line of defence in treating infections and are therefore regarded as extremely drug resistant (XDR).

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News • UV exposure

Spike in female skin cancer rates reveals alarming tanning trends

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime. Limiting exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the number one way individuals can reduce their risk of skin cancer, though new data suggests that UV exposure is on the rise, particularly among Caucasian girls and young women. Research presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Summer…

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Video • Drug delivery, microsurgery

Microbots show promise in tumor treatment

Targeting medical treatment to an ailing body part is a practice as old as medicine itself. A Band-Aid is placed on a skinned knee. Drops go into itchy eyes. A broken arm goes into a cast. But often what ails us is inside the body and is not so easy to reach. In such cases, a treatment like surgery or chemotherapy might be called for. A pair of researchers in Caltech's Division of Engineering and…

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News • 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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News • Bacterial virus

Machine learning detects inuviruses

A team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) developed an algorithm that a computer could use to conduct a similar type of search in microbial and metagenomic databases. In this case, the machine “learned” to identify a certain type of bacterial viruses or phages called inoviruses, which are filamentous viruses with small, single-stranded DNA…

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Article • Microbiology & hygiene

HAIs are one problem – MDROs another

In view of the increase of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health. MDROs have become a major problem particularly in hospitals. Professor Dr Georg Häcker, President of the German Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) and Director of the Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene at…

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News • 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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Article • Rapid, reliable microbe identification

The Bologna Workflow System

Many countries across the world are challenged with a rising number of incidences of multi-drug resistant (MDR) organisms infecting the population, and for several years, a clear pattern of increased resistance has emerged in southern and eastern European countries. For example, in countries such as Italy, a reduced number of therapeutic options remain available for highly pathogenic infections,…

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News • Oncology

Response to gene-targeted drugs depends on cancer type

Cancers with the same genetic weaknesses respond differently to targeted drugs depending on the tumour type of the patient, new research reveals. The study is set to prompt changes in thinking around precision medicine—because it shows that the genetics of a patient's cancer may not always be enough to tell whether it will respond to a treatment. The researchers are already starting to design…

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News • Infection control

Global opportunity to tackle antibiotic production waste

As leaders gather for the International Ministerial Conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), hosted by the government of The Netherlands and organised in close cooperation with the FAO, OIE and WHO, experts and responsible manufacturers are calling for a 'One Health' approach to AMR and recognition of the impact of antibiotic production on the environment. "With two thirds of the worlds…

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Article • Boosting our immune surveillance

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

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

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News • Product launch

New instrument for automated antimicrobial susceptibility testing

A new benchtop automated reading and incubation system is now available in Europe for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). The new instrument provides microbiology laboratories with the accurate MIC results that clinicians need to confidently select an effective antibiotic for critically-ill patients while safeguarding future patient care through more successful antimicrobial stewardship.…

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News • Intervention in fat metabolism

Improved diabetes in spite of obesity

Eating too much fat and sugar makes you overweight and unhealthy – even young children know that. But why is that, and is there anything we can do about it? In a study published in the journal Cell, Prof. Jens Brüning's research group at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne has shown how altering fat metabolism in the liver can make obese mice thinner, despite eating an…

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News • Survival specialists

Systems biology of antibiotics

Bacteria have fascinating properties. They adapt excellently to their respective environment, and they existed long before humans. Their toughness has led to the fact that bacteria have successfully spread all over the world for three billion years – even in places where humans could not survive, for example in the hottest springs and in the coldest places on earth. However, they were only…

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News • New discovery

Cancer drugs promote stem cell properties of colorectal cancer

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Mannheim University Medical Center have now discovered that a certain group of cancer drugs (MEK Inhibitors) activates the cancer-promoting Wnt signalling pathway in colorectal cancer cells. This can lead to the accumulation of tumor cells with stem cell characteristics that are resistant to many…

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Sponsored • Hematology

Early sepsis indicator helps identifying patients at risk

The critical element of testing for sepsis lies not so much in the location but in the timing and rapidity of results, according to Professor Jeannine T. Holden from Beckman Coulter Early identification enables treatment protocols to be delivered more quickly, offering better patient outcomes. Those most at risk, suggests Holden, are not patients within the intensive care unit – who are already…

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Sponsored • Sysmex

With the UN-Series, the choice is yours

Using urine to obtain diagnostic insights has been done for thousands of years and still remains an important tool to obtain crucial information. Covering a range of tests, urinalysis may be used to screen for or help to diagnose ailments such as urinary tract infections, kidney disorders, liver problems, diabetes or other medical conditions, just to name a few. Because urinalysis has been around…

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News • Fake pills

'Decoy' antibiotics dupe bacteria’s defences

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

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News • Be prepared

This 3D printed baby dummy could improve resuscitation training

Two millions: this is, worldwide, the number of babies which suffer suffocation during birth every year. A resuscitation procedure is sometimes the key to avert irreparable damages for the baby. And, for successful outcomes, promptness of action and preparation are vital. Researcher Mark Thielen (Industrial Design) from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) developed a 3D printed baby…

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News • ctDNA vs. HGSOC

Taking 'molecular snapshots' of ovarian cancer

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer. The HGSOC tumors consist of several heterogeneous cell populations with a large number of mutations. This genetic variability makes it difficult to find drugs that would kill all the cancer cells, and to which the cells would not become resistant during treatment. Over half of the patients…

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News • Epidemiology & economics

Bacterial resistance costs French hospitals up to 290 million Euros per year

A team of researchers from Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ), Inserm and Pasteur Institute has been able to provide for the first time an accurate estimate of both the incidence (annual number of new cases) and added direct cost of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in patients hospitalised in French hospitals during 2015 and 2016.

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News • Survival of the fittest

How bacteria can adapt to resist antibiotic treatment

In a joint collaboration, researchers from Denmark and Switzerland have shown that bacteria produce a specific stress molecule, divide more slowly, and thus save energy when they are exposed to antibiotics. The new knowledge is expected to form the basis for development of a new type of antibiotics. All free-living organisms are under constant pressure to survive. Darwin dubbed this…

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News • Targeted treatment

Cancer: Blood sample to help select the right early phase clinical trials

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood. The researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charity, AstraZeneca and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), demonstrated in their feasibility study that a blood test can be carried out…

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News • A new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Programming a hunter/killer toxin

When the first antibiotics were discovered in the early 20th century, the rate of death from infectious diseases fell dramatically. But the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria as a result of antibiotic misuse is raising fears that by 2050, these same diseases will once again become the leading cause of death worldwide. In a bid to boost the arsenal available to tackle this threat,…

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News • Nosocomial infections

Global-PPS: Hospital antibiotic resistance study tops 200k

BioMérieux and the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp announced at ECCMID (European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases) the 2018 results of the Global Point Prevalence Survey (GLOBAL-PPS), a study of antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in hospitals around the world. Since its launch in 2015, this survey has been conducted in…

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Article • 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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Article • 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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News • Symposium @ ECCMID 2019

How laboratories can help detect AMR and sepsis sooner

Beckman Coulter, a global leader in clinical diagnostics will be demonstrating its latest comprehensive solutions in microbiology, urinalysis and hematology at the 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). During the conference, Beckman Coulter is also hosting a symposium where attendees will learn how the laboratory can help physicians detect…

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Article • Hospital hygiene

Nosocomial infections: a positive trend, but...

Hospital hygiene and how Germany compares in a European survey is somewhat divisive. Some believe Germany does well, whilst others emphasise the need to improve and for a stronger alignment with countries such as the Netherlands. As hygiene specialist Professor Petra Gastmeier, at the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in Charité University Medical Centre Berlin, pointed out:…

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Article • Carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae

Detecting drug-resistant CPE quickly is still a challenge

Early detection and confirmation of carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are essential when choosing the appropriate antimicrobial therapy and to implement infection control measures. Here, a leading Spanish microbiologist reviews an arsenal of tools currently available to clinicians. Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics in enterobacteriaceae (EBc) is due to one or more of these…

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Article • Antimicrobial resistance

Apocalypse postponed: upcoming antibiotics bring hope

Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue, with 700,000 deaths per year and 10 million expected deaths by 2050, according to predictions. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy can help to save lives, and a long awaited cure for carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) will soon be released, according to eminent Spanish expert Jose Mensa Pueyo, speaking at a Madrid meeting in March. The past…

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News • Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature…

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News • Rapid diagnostics

T2 Biosystems hosts integrated symposium at ECCMID 2019

T2 Biosystems, maker of rapid diagnostic technology to aid in the detection of blood stream infections to prevent sepsis, will host an integrated symposium titled “Rapid Diagnostics Direct from Whole Blood: A Solution for Fast and Appropriate Antimicrobial Therapy,” at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Monday, April 15, 16:00-18:00…

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News • Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of remission-resistance-relapse is particularly true for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease in which early success is often countered by eventual disease progression. To wit: The one-year relative survival rate…

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News • Twisted by design

Stretchable electronics to move wearables forward

Stretchable electronics is emerging as a promising new technology for next-generation wearable devices, according to a review published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. The technology has many possible applications for healthcare, energy and the military. But there are several challenges involved in finding suitable materials and manufacturing methods. The biggest challenge for…

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News • Mitochondria mystery solved

Researchers uncover key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment

Why do cancer cells react differently to treatments? Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy. In a Nature Communications paper, researchers reveal for the first time that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug…

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News • Microbiome

Examining the "forgotten organ"

Shahid Umar, PhD, researcher with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has dedicated two decades of his scientific exploration to better grasp the connection between colon cancer and the human microbiome. Called the “forgotten organ,” the microbiome comprises trillions and trillions of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, in our body.

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News • Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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News • MRSA

Decolonization protocol can prevent dangerous infections

Antiseptic soap, mouthwash, and nose ointment after hospital discharge reduced infections and infection-associated hospitalizations due to MRSA in high-risk patients. Hospital patients who have methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can prevent future MRSA infections by following a standard bathing protocol after discharge. The Changing Lives by Eradicating Antibiotic Resistance, or…

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News • Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the germs that make them sick. However, new research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that a chemical that is supposed to kill bacteria is actually making them stronger and more capable of surviving antibiotic treatment. The study, available online in…

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News • Biosensor

New rapid test for sepsis could save thousands of lives

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have developed an innovative, low cost test for earlier diagnosis of sepsis which could save thousands of lives. The simple system for sensitive real-time measurement of the life threatening condition is much quicker than existing hospital tests, which can take up to 72 hours to process. Using a microelectrode, a biosensor device is used to detect if…

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News • Alarming results

Antibiotic resistance spreads faster than previously thought

By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred between bacteria. According to the study published in the journal ‘Microbiome’, those mechanisms are more varied than previously thought. “In…

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News • Machine learning tool

AI can predict survival of ovarian cancer patients

Researchers have created a new machine learning software that can forecast the survival rates and response to treatments of patients with ovarian cancer. The artificial intelligence software, created by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne, has been able to predict the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer more accurately than current methods. It can also…

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News • Foodborne illnesses

Machine learning gets to the source of Salmonella

A team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in Griffin has developed a machine-learning approach that could lead to quicker identification of the animal source of certain Salmonella outbreaks. In the research, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Xiangyu Deng and his colleagues used more than a thousand genomes to predict the animal sources,…

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News • Gene therapy instead of anitibiotics

New treatment for Chlamydia discovered

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new way to prevent and treat Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. The new treatment differs from the traditional antibiotic treatment as it is a type of gene therapy that is delivered via nanotechnology and is showing a 65 per cent success rate in preventing chlamydia infection on a single…

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Article • Wound care

Healing helped by fish skin or bio-ink

Many methods to treat current or chronic wounds are available. However, the differences in general conditions prevailing in hospital, or for out-patient care, make effective therapy more difficult. Each patient also has other preconditions for healing. Improved communication between everyone involved in the treatment would benefit patients. We see a lot of progress with the issue of “wounds”,…

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News • Pediatrics

Predicting the aneurysm risk for kids with Kawasaki disease

When Olivia Nelson was 3 years old, her parents noticed that she had a fever that wouldn’t get better. They brought her to a nearby hospital, where she spent about two weeks being screened for diseases. As doctors tried to find a diagnosis, a lymph node on Olivia’s neck became swollen. Alarmed and wanting an answer, the Nelsons asked to transfer to Seattle Children’s. “It was very…

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News • Keeping a clear head

Alzheimer's: key to early prediction in the blood

Alzheimer's disease is often marked by a creeping progression: Years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest, the brain starts changing and neurons are slowly degraded. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) and the University Hospital Tübingen now show that a protein found in the blood can be used…

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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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Article • Chronic peripheral inflammation and schizophrenia

The network approach to mental illness research

As European health services are pressured to provide the best possible care for best possible value, some medical fields are now very much the poor relation; this is particularly true for mental health. Mental illnesses represent a great health burden and cause huge financial and societal pressure in terms of direct and indirect costs from repeated hospitalisation and treatment failures, while…

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News • Tropical parasite

Treating leishmaniasis with natural compound 2HF

Current treatment options for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis are largely ineffective, expensive, and tend to be plagued by resistant parasites and side effects. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have showed that a natural flavonoid is effective at treating Leishmania amazonensis infections. Leishmaniasis is endemic to 98 countries and affects more than 12 million…

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Video • Controversial research

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

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

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News • Hepatology

Fatty liver: especially dangerous during the holidays

More than 100 million Americans have potentially deadly fatty liver disease and most do not even know it. Overeating and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol this holiday season could put someone with the disease on the fast track to liver failure. “There are no symptoms associated with fatty liver disease and no pain, so most people never get checked or treated for it and, over time, if it is…

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Article • Infection control

Local antibiotics improve results

Hip and knee joint surgeries are among the most common procedures in orthopaedics and trauma surgery and complications can occur. Rare, but serious, among these is periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), which causes high costs in healthcare and stress for patients. PJI is caused by microorganisms that form a biofilm on the surface of the implant and, in this sessile state, they are difficult to…

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Sponsored • Wound closure

Gluing outdoes stitching

Results after suturing are not always aesthetic. Wound treatment with tissue adhesives offer a quick healing process, good tolerance and low scarring. Among these, EPIGLU is an especially fast polymerising product, an Ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate with good closure properties even for injuries that are under tension, Meyer-Haake GmbH Medical Innovations reports: ‘The product, which has been on the…

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Article • Antibiotic stewardship

Screening with multiplexed kits

Antibiotic stewardship is becoming a critical concern in hospitals as antibiotic resistance spreads globally and some organisms become resistant to antibiotics of last resort. Molecular diagnostics can play a role in antibiotic stewardship programs by providing timely and accurate advice to clinicians on which antibiotics to use, Professor Keith Stanley advises. "Antibiotic resistance in the…

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Sponsored • Lighting

Illuminating medical care

Cold light, long life and low energy consumption – these assets are offered by the Starled3 NX lamp from Italian firm ACEM, for many uses including surgery. The homogeneous and shadow-less light is due to special LED optics created by the firm, which directs light beams according to need. ‘The visual area is perfectly illuminated assuring both excellent visual comfort and working…

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News • Infections

No chance for bacteria on implants

Hip and dental implant operations are routine. But not entirely risk-free. They may result in infection that is difficult to control with oral or intravenous antibiotics. In such cases, the implant will probably need to be replaced. Fraunhofer researchers can now apply a precisely matched drug directly to the replacement implant while significantly increasing the effectiveness of the antibiotic…

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News • Bacterial infection

Laser-activated silk sealants outperform sutures for tissue repair

Researchers have developed laser-activated nanomaterials that integrate with wounded tissues to form seals that are superior to sutures for containing body fluids and preventing bacterial infection. Tissue repair following injury or during surgery is conventionally performed with sutures and staples, which can cause tissue damage and complications, including infection. Glues and adhesives have…

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Sponsored • Point-of-care

Improving the safety and quality of pediatric emergency care with POC ultrasound

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become an important adjunct to clinical diagnosis and procedural guidance in the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED), supported by literature demonstrating that its use can improve patient safety and expedite life-saving care. POCUS further helps to reduce costs and children’s exposure to ionizing radiation. Not only is POCUS ideally suited for…

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News • Blood pressure

How does the baroreceptor reflex work?

The baroreceptor reflex is a fascinating medical phenomenon. The reflex is controlled by specialized neurons that react in just a fraction of a second to keep blood pressure fairly consistent. For example, when you stand up, your blood pressure normally drops—rapidly. Yet you don't faint thanks to baroreceptors, which tell your heart rate to increase and push more blood to your brain. A new…

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News • Research

Path to deadly sepsis varies by bacterial infection

Sepsis remains a common and deadly condition that occurs when the body reacts to an infection in the bloodstream. Scientists know little about the early stages of the condition; however, physicians must act fast. Every hour that passes without one or more of the few treatments available increases the risk of death.

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News • Research

Link between obesity, the brain, and genetics

Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to new research. The study, led by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), was an examination of MRI and cognitive test data from 1,200 individuals, supplied as part of the Human…

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News • Personalised drug treatment

AI approach to help myeloma patients

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform that could potentially change the way drug combinations are being designed, hence enabling doctors to determine the most effective drug combination for a patient quickly. Applying the platform towards drug resistant multiple myeloma, a type of…

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News • Hospital hygiene

Will resistant bacteria be the end of alcohol hand sanitizers?

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been a mainstay in hospital hygiene for decades. But now, strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria show signs of overcoming these handwashing agents as well. Does this mean we should just stop sanitising our hands? Not so fast, say researchers from Melbourne – however, hospitals now need to re-think their strategies to protect their patients from deadly…

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News • Gastroenterology

High-fat diet can cause pancreatic cancer – but there's hope

A high-fat diet may promote the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK), a digestive hormone. In addition, blocking CCK may help prevent the spread of pancreatic tumors to other areas of the body (metastases). The new findings are published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal…

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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 • Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

Austrian researchers have accomplished an astounding feat: They created organoids that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

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Article • 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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News • Acute myeloid leukaemia

Researchers draw AML ‘family trees’ in patients treated with enasidenib

For the first time, a team of international researchers have mapped the family trees of cancer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) to understand how this blood cancer responds to a new drug, enasidenib. The work also explains what happens when a patient stops responding to the treatment, providing important clues about how to combine enasidenib with other anti-cancer drugs to produce…

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Article • Heard at the EBCC11

Identifying circulating tumour cells with liquid biopsy

Liquid biopsies can increasingly help diagnose and monitor breast cancer, and tracking circulating tumour cells (CTC) in metastatic patients could prove effective in these applications and treatment planning. Efforts are currently underway to demonstrate CTC clinical use and much can be learned from completed studies in prostate cancer, speaker Michail Ignatiadis MD PhD highlighted in a dedicated…

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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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News • Health IT

Computer algorithm maps cancer resistance to drugs

New methods of studying the evolution of treatment resistance in head and neck cancer are being developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The scientists wanted to examine how cancers acquire resistance to treatment over time and whether those changes could be modeled computationally to determine patient-specific timelines of resistance.

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News • Research

Unravelling the mystery of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Another piece in the puzzle that is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has been solved by a University of Queensland researcher in a step towards developing treatments for a disease that affects about one in every five Australians. PhD student Laurence Britton has discovered a pivotal mechanism by which iron is able to make the liver more vulnerable to the injury and metabolic dysfunction that…

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News • Sepsis treatment

Bedside testing can prevent antibiotic-induced hearing loss in new-borns

More than a million neonatal deaths worldwide each year are estimated to be due to sepsis. In the UK there are approximately 90,000 admissions to neonatal intensive care units per year. Nearly all these patients receive antibiotic therapy during their hospital stay, but babies with a specific genetic change can suffer irreversible hearing loss as a result. Now, in a collaboration between…

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News • Infections

Tuberculosis: new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise worldwide. This is becoming a problem for infectious diseases like tuberculosis as there are only a few active substances available to combat such diseases. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now found a way to increase the efficacy of a common tuberculosis agent while, at the same time, reducing resistance to it. The…

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Video • Mystic reptile

This green-blooded lizard could help fight malaria

Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard. The muscles, bones and tongues of these lizards appear bright, lime-green due to high levels of biliverdin, or a green bile pigment, which is toxic and causes jaundice. Surprisingly, these lizards…

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News • A new approach

"Universal antibodies" disarm various pathogens

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been studying how the immune system succeeds in keeping pathogens in check. For the first time, the researchers have now discovered antibodies that are capable of disarming not only one specific bacterium but a whole variety of microorganisms at once. The newly discovered antibodies recognize a tiny sugar structure found on the surface…

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News • ECCMID

Antibiotic combination against multidrug-resistant pathogens

Gram-negative pathogens are responsible for half of all healthcare-associated infections and their ability to resist traditional antibiotics makes them more dangerous for seriously ill patients in a healthcare setting. The need for new approaches to treat these pathogens is essential and there are a number of trials trying to find suitable answers. One of them is the RESTORE-IMI 1 pivotal Phase…

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News • Increasing prevalence

Oral antibiotics may raise risk of kidney stones - especially in kids

Pediatric researchers have found that children and adults treated with some oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones. This is the first time that these medicines have been linked to this condition. The strongest risks appeared at younger ages and among patients most recently exposed to antibiotics. “The overall prevalence of kidney stones has risen by 70…

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News • Heat therapy

Soaking in a hot tub has unexpected benefits, researchers find

According to new research, obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be able to improve their health outlook with a particularly enjoyable form of therapy: regular sessions in a hot tub. The research found that soaking in a hot tub several times per week for two months results in improved measures of cardiovascular health, beneficial changes in fat tissue and other improvements…

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News • Small pill, great impact

Antibiotic resistance can be caused by small amounts of antibiotics

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a global and growing problem in health care. To be able to prevent further development of resistance developing, it is important to understand where and how antibiotic resistance in bacteria arises. New research from Uppsala University shows that low concentrations of antibiotics, too, can cause high antibiotic resistance to develop in bacteria. In the present…

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Sponsored • Innovation

A real time saver at the highest level of molecular diagnostics – the eazyplex® platform!

This platform enables you to perform high class molecular diagnostics at an unbelievable speed. All assay run times are as short as 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the sample material. The lyophilised reactions are shippable and storable at room temperature and ready to use, with a shelf life of 18 month. Due to the robustness of the polymerase you don’t need any DNA extraction. The…

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Article • Hygiene and microbiology meeting

No all clear for nosocomial infections

Experts at the 70th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, held in Bochum, exchanged information on newly discovered resistances. ‘Specifically, resistance against a class of antibiotics that has, so far, always been viewed as a reserve appears to be developing more intensively than previously assumed,’ explained Professor Sören Gatermann, congress president and…

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Article • 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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Article • Disease control

Common sense defeats infection outbreaks

Loreen Herwaldt doesn’t believe there is a ‘gold standard’ for infection prevention, but she knows there are common sense steps that hospitals can take to prevent disease outbreaks. ‘I don’t think there’s a gold standard, or a silver bullet, but more like standard operating procedures,’ says Herwaldt, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Iowa, USA. ‘These are…

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News • Enigmatic enzyme

How bacteria recover from antibiotics exposure

Beta-lactam antibiotics, including penicillin, are one of the most widely used classes of antibiotics in the world. Though they’ve been in use since the 1940s, scientists still don’t fully understand what happens when this class of drugs encounters bacteria. Now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have elucidated how an enzyme helps bacteria rebound from damage inflicted by…

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News • Odilorhabdin

A new class of antibiotics to combat drug resistance

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, are part of an international team reporting on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics. The antibiotic, first identified by Nosopharm, is unique and promising on two fronts: its unconventional source and its distinct way of killing bacteria, both of which suggest the compound…

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News • Antibiotic overuse

Could a paper device diagnose infectious disease?

Imagine a small paper device that can rapidly reveal from a drop of blood whether an infection is bacterial or viral. The device could help reduce the overuse of antibiotics – which kill bacteria, not viruses. Misuse of antibiotics has led to antimicrobial resistance, a growing global public health issue. Senior biomedical engineering students at Rutgers University–New Brunswick came up with…

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News • Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

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

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News • DNA analysis

Magnetic biosensor array simplifies cancer detection

In standard settings, the analysis of each DNA modification requires a carefully optimised assay that runs under specific conditions. This increases cost and labour and is a severe limitation to throughput. Now, however, researchers at Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark have come up with a new method that will enable doctors to make a more precise diagnosis, prognosis and…

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Article • 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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Article • Antibiotic resistance

End animal growth drugs to tackle superbugs

A major summit meeting in London, Great Britain, has seen politicians, doctors, scientists, farmers and other experts come together in a bid to tackle the growing global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis. Among these experts was Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, who described AMR as a ‘problem without a face’ because most patients are not told they have a resistant…

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Article • Disinfection

Going for high-performance hospital hygiene

Room decontamination using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has proved to be a powerful solution for complete surface and final disinfection as well as outbreak management in modern hospital hygiene. Most final disinfections in hospitals are carried out using the scrub and wipe method, the specialist disinfection company Diop GmbH and Co. KG explains. ‘However,’ the firm adds, ‘this essential…

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Video • Paradigm shift

Diabetes has 5 subtypes, not 2, study suggests

A completely new classification of diabetes which also predicts the risk of serious complications and provides treatment suggestions. The major difference from today’s classification is that type 2 diabetes actually consists of several subgroups, the results indicate. “This is the first step towards personalised treatment of diabetes”, says physician and diabetes expert Leif Groop.

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News • Advances in manufacturing

Easy printing of biosensors made of graphene

Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now…

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Article • MobileDaRt Evolution MX8 Digital Mobile X-Ray System

Superior functionality and drivability

‘With Your Stories – lifetime healthcare support’: this future-driven approach combines the best of two worlds, using Shimadzu’s insights and expertise in medical imaging systems and laboratory instrumentation to benefit patients through ever improving prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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News • Replicas from the lab

Growing 'mini tumours' to personalise drug treatment

Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient’s tumour could help doctors tell in advance which treatments will work, a major new study reports. The exciting new technique involves growing ‘mini tumours’ from biopsy samples – and could help end reliance on trial and error in selecting cancer treatments for patients where genetic tests are not predictive of response. Researchers…

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News • Cooperation

Fraunhofer and Mologic partner on UTI solutions

Mologic Ltd, which develops powerful, personalised diagnostics to improve the lives of patients, and Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (Fraunhofer CAP), a world-leading centre in the field of applied laser research and development, announced they are working together to develop a rapid, point-of-care test to immediately diagnose bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) and any associated…

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Article • Education

The nurse’s role in endoscopic procedures

Hygiene is still a leading topic in endoscopy, and education remains crucial in Europe, according to Ulrike Beilenhoff, scientific secretary of the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA). The two subjects took centre stage during the 21st ESGENA Conference, held during UEG Week in Barcelona this October. With around 600 participants, lectures, posters,…

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Article • 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 • New data

WHO: High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide

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

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News • Stealthy survivors

Tracing the evolution of E. coli

Bacteria are stealthy organisms. They can multiply in minutes and evolve to survive what we throw at them—including antibiotics. The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” Each year, about 2 million people in the United States become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to…

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News • Melanoma therapy

Why pregnancy could literally save your skin

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous pregnancy with better outcomes after a melanoma diagnosis. Now, a research team from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania says it may have…

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News • Gene exchange

Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors

Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the released genetic material, which may also carry drug resistance genes, the…

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News • Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

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

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News • Better together

Making diabetes and hypertension management a community activity

Managing diabetes and high blood pressure can feel like a solitary enterprise dependent on relationships with objects (like pills or foods) and activities (like brisk walks or early bedtimes) instead of relationships with people, but a group of West Virginia University researchers is hoping to change that. The National Institutes of Health has awarded $450,000 to Ranjita Misra, a professor of…

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Article • Infection - defect - regeneration

Challenges in septic bone surgery

Infections associated with osteosynthesis and prostheses are not to be underestimated: the infection rate is reported to be one to three percent after joint prosthetic surgery and five to 10 percent after osteosyntheses. ‘When you include later infections, the rate is twice as high,’ says Professor Andrej Trampuz, infectologist and Head of the Centre for Septic Surgery at the Centre of…

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News • Share information, improve care

FDA launches new tool for improved antibiotic management

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing a new approach to get critical updates regarding antibiotics and antifungal drugs to health care professionals as part of an overall effort to combat antimicrobial resistance. The agency created a website that will provide direct and timely access to information about when bacterial or fungal infections are likely to respond to a specific drug.…

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News • Enzyme discovery

Epigenetic agitator of pancreatic cancer cells identified

Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells’ chromatin. The study, which will be published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that targeting this enzyme could make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to existing therapies that currently have only limited effect…

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Video • LIMA project

Agena Bioscience’s liquid biopsy technology awarded Horizon 2020 grant

Agena Bioscience, a global provider of molecular genetic solutions, announced it has been selected to participate as an innovative technology provider in the ‘Liquid biopsies and IMAging for improved cancer care’ (LIMA) project. The LIMA project has been awarded a EUR 6.3 million Horizon 2020 European Union research grant to develop an integrated approach for personalized cancer treatment.…

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News • AT/RT and medulloblastoma

Promising target for treating brain tumors in children

Findings published in Oncotarget offer new hope for children with highly aggressive brain tumors like atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) and medulloblastoma. Previously, the authors of the study have shown that an experimental drug that inhibits polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) stopped pediatric brain tumor growth in vitro. Now, they have demonstrated its success in an animal model – the drug…

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News • Meyenburg Award

A high distinction for a pioneer in liquid biopsy

Nitzan Rosenfeld from Cancer Research UK in Cambridge is being honored with the 2017 Meyenburg Award, which carries a €50,000 monetary prize. He receives the award for his excellent work on the detection of tumor DNA in the blood. Rosenfeld has made seminal contributions to advancing a method for detecting cancer DNA in the blood to applicability in cancer medicine. The Meyenburg-Award will be…

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News • Key in the stem cells

This is why testicular cancer is so responsive to chemo

Cornell researchers have taken a major step toward answering a key question in cancer research: Why is testicular cancer so responsive to chemotherapy, even after it metastasizes? Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, for example, had testicular cancer that spread to his lung and brain, yet he made a full recovery after conventional chemotherapy. The key to such success appears to lie in the…

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News • Lung infections

Four simple tests to help spot pneumonia and reduce unnecessary antibiotics

Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection that can be life-threatening and often requires treatment with antibiotics. However, it is notoriously difficult to…

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News • Microtechnologies and automated systems

How emerging tech can help identify bacteria and antibiotic susceptibility

An SLAS Technology review article by Yiyan Li, Xing Yang and Weian Zhao of University of California, Irvine highlights and synthesizes representative emerging micro- and nanotechnologies, as well as automated systems for bacterial identification (ID) and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST), including both phenotypic and molecular methods and those at the point-of-care (POC) setting. Also…

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News • Direct from whole blood samples

LiDia demonstrates rapid and sensitive BSI identification

DNAe, the inventor of semiconductor-based genomic analysis technologies, and the developer of a new, game-changing test for bloodstream infections that can lead to sepsis announced new data on its test for bloodstream infections, LiDia BSI. The data demonstrates the ability of the LiDia BSI closed cartridge-based test to rapidly identify low levels of bacterial and fungal pathogens and resistance…

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Interview • AI & EHR

Savana goes data mining

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken centre stage during the Medica Academy sessions. While talks focus on initiatives made in Germany, European Hospital took a look at Spain and spoke with Ignacio Hernández Medrano, a neurologist recently elected as one of the most influential people in healthcare (HC). At just 34 years old, Medrano has already founded two flagship AI projects, one of which…

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Sponsored • Non-invasive sensors

Manometry v. BioBeat

A preliminary human study was conducted to validate an advanced wearable sensor which has been developed by the start-up company BioBeat Technologies Ltd, comparing it to the common manometry method. The 2015 guidelines of the European Society of Hypertension on The requirements of the International Protocol (revision 2010) were used to define the difference between the commonly used device and…

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Sponsored • A bed suitable for wash tunnels

The gentle patient lifter

Among products demonstrated at Medica 2017 will be those from Dewert-Okin GmbH, which manufactures and sells single and double drives, lifting columns, control keypads and control units, products that are used for bedding, seating, medical and office application. The firm’s MEGAMAT 12 extra-quiet single drive for hospitals and nursing beds features wash-tunnel resistance on request. ‘With the…

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Interview • 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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News • ABC4 II

Advanced breast cancer: Excercising is vital

Taking part in regular exercise can reduce fatigue and pain, and improve cardiovascular health and quality of life in women being treated for advanced breast cancer, according to new research presented at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fourth International Consensus Conference (ABC 4). Hundreds of thousands of women around the world are being treated for advanced breast cancer, where the tumour has…

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Article • IT solutions

Big data: Utilising potential where it presents itself

Useful IT tools are abundant in today’s laboratories – ranging from software to evaluate analyses to specialist software for quality control, and middleware linking different devices. However, all these tools generate data, the adequate utilisation of which is not an easy task, said Udo Margraff, CEO of Laboratoires Réunis in Luxembourg, during our European Hospital interview. Among other…

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News • Antibiotic resistance

A strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

Antibiotic resistant bacteria lead to infections that are difficult to treat, particularly in hospitals. Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria which have developed special enzymes that render antibiotics ineffective frequently cause such infections. DZIF scientists from Gießen University examined these bacteria more precisely and discovered a strain of Escherichia coli that has been…

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News • Oncology

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

As cancer grows, it evolves. Individual cells become more aggressive and break away to flow through the body and spread to distant areas. What if there were a way to find those early aggressors? How are they different from the rest of the cells? And more importantly: Is there a way to stop them before they spread?

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News • Study

Zika virus could be used to treat brain cancer

Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have revealed that the virus causes brain defects in unborn children. But researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, San Diego report that the virus could eventually be used to target and kill cancer cells in the brain.

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News • 'Mito-riboscins'

Scientists stumble across new method of making antibiotics

Cancer researchers in the UK may have stumbled across a solution to reverse antibiotic drug resistance and stop infections like MRSA. Experts warn we are decades behind in the race against superbugs having already exploited naturally occurring antibiotics, with the creation of new ones requiring time, money and ingenuity. But a team of scientists at the University of Salford say they may have…

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News • Ocular microbiome

Bugs in your eyes? More helpful than you think

Resident microbes living on the eye are essential for immune responses that protect the eye from infection, new research shows. The study demonstrates the existence of a resident ocular microbiome that trains the developing immune system to fend off pathogens. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. "This is the first…

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News • Biomarker validation

Plodding toward a pancreatic cancer screening test

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of malignancies, with a 5-year survival rate after late diagnosis of only about 5%. The majority of patients—about 80%—receive their diagnosis too late for surgery. The disease spreads quickly and resists chemotherapy. In short, there is an urgent need for diagnostic tools to identify this cancer in its earliest stages.

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Article • Anti-infection strategies

Antibiotic stewardship programmes bear fruit

Today’s dilemma for hospitals and institutions are increasingly multi-resistant bacteria and decreasingly effective antibiotics to beat them. New substances to fight pathogens are not on the horizon. What can be done? Professor Constanze Wendt, microbiology and infection biology specialist at MVZ Labor Dr. Limbach & Kollegen GbR, in Heidelberg, Germany, describes current anti-infection…

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Article • Side-effects of global mobility

Multi-drug resistant bacteria: Dangerous travel companions

Trips around the globe, healthcare tourism, migration; we are mobile – and so are bacteria. Particularly dreaded are multi-drug resistant bacteria that ‘hop’ on their host during a hospital stay and are carried across the border. At MEDICA 2017 Labmed Forum Dr Andreas Ambrosch, Head of the Central Lab at Krankenhaus Barmherzige Brüder in Regensburg, Germany, will discuss these unwelcome…

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Article • MRSA and refugees

Screening, isolation, hygiene equal money well spent

Comprehensive examinations of 143 refugee patients hailing mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, which were conducted between June and December 2015, showed a high prevalence of MRSA, ESBL and MDRGN upon hospital admission. The figures exceed not only those of the general population but, alarmingly, also those found in high-risk groups, such as residents of nursing homes or home care service…

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Interview • Deep learning

Samsung: AI develops beyond the breast

Access, accuracy and efficiency are at the core of Samsung’s healthcare strategy, explained Insuk Song, Vice President of Product Planning, Healthcare and Medical Equipment at Samsung Electronics, during our exclusive European Hospital interview. Samsung, the Korean giant, is now proceding with its artificial intelligence (AI) deployment, notably with the S-Detect software to help ultrasound…

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News • Strategic cooperation

SpeeDx and Cepheid announce partnership on European distribution

SpeeDx Pty, Ltd. announced an agreement with Cepheid for distribution of its PlexPCRTM and ResistancePlusTM molecular diagnostic products in key markets throughout Europe. The agreement, covering Germany, France, Italy, and the UK, will increase coverage for the market-leading ResistancePlus MG test, the first CE-IVD test for Mycoplasma genitalium to combine detection with testing for…

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News • Glucose control

"Sugar sponges" - diabetes treatment of the future?

Many diabetes patients must inject themselves with insulin, sometimes several times a day, while others take medications orally to control blood sugar. The injections, as well as the side effects from both regimens, can be painful. Now, one team reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society progress toward an insulin-free diabetes treatment that requires fewer injections.

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News • Cancer development

Tumor induction from a distance

Current view is that cancer development is initiated from cells that acquire initial DNA mutations. These in turn provoke additional defects, and ultimately the affected cells begin to proliferate in an uncontrolled manner to develop primary tumors. These can later spread and create metastases, or secondary tumors, in other parts of the body. However, according to a study by researchers at the…

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News • Animal testing

Scientists identify protein linked to chronic heart failure

Researchers in Japan have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure. The study, “Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 exacerbates chronic cardiac dysfunction” suggests that inhibiting this protein could help treat a disease that affects more than 20 million people worldwide.

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News • Global database

Scientists create leukaemia online tool to aid search for cure

Finding a cure for a rare type of blood cancer could be accelerated by a new virtual platform that allows researchers easy access to data from patient samples generated by laboratories around the world. LEUKomics, which has been launched by scientists at the University of Glasgow and the University of Melbourne, is a comprehensive database describing over 100 chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)…

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News • Going Viral

An unusual 'friend' to help fight ovarian cancer

In some cases, the Lassa virus starts with a fever and general weakness, moving toward headache, muscle pain, possible facial swelling, deafness, and worse. About 15 percent of patients hospitalized with severe cases die. Lassa fever is contagious, endemic in West Africa, and Dr. Anthony van den Pol thinks he can use it to cure ovarian cancer.

News • Laboratory

Partnership for molecular diagnostic test

SpeeDx Pty. Ltd., a developer of innovative molecular diagnostic solutions, has signed an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. The announcement was made at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID) in Vienna to submit its ResistancePlus MG Test for the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium to the US Food & Drug…

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Article • Infections

Call to re-evaluate sepsis screening tool

New criteria used as an initial screening tool in the emergency department need to be re-evaluated, a specialised surgeon highlighted in a dedicated talk during the Spanish national congress of surgery this November.

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Article • Infections

Start of advanced genetic antibiotic resistance testing

Curetis, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced that the Company has established Ares Genetics GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Curetis GmbH. Ares Genetics builds on GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility Database and associated assets recently acquired for Siemens. The Company will use GEAR to investigate the genetic foundations of antibiotic…

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Article • Monitoring

Down to earth devices

Space missions are famous for driving innovation, from Mylar blankets to microchips. So when French scientists learned one of their compatriots would be aboard the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS), they gathered cutting edge technologies for him to carry into orbit.

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News • Faster Throughput

Automation and the Future of Microbiology Laboratories

When it comes to automation, clinical microbiology has for many years lagged behind other laboratory disciplines. Robotics and computer processing revolutionized chemistry and hematology instruments decades ago. Meanwhile, clinical microbiologists continue to open specimen containers by hand and grow bacteria using methods familiar to microbiology’s founding fathers from the 19th century.

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Article • Spanish expert separates fables from facts

Seasonal over-indulgence

In the early months of a New Year many of us are tightening our belts after Christmas gastronomic indulgences. However, the belt may not be as long as it used to be and the gym treadmill may be the only answer.

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News • Infections

Philips and Diagnostics Development win European Union ‘Horizon Prize – Better Use of Antibiotics’

Philips and Diagnostics Development, a P&M Venge company, evaluate the novel human neutrophil lipocalin (HNL) biomarker for the rapid detection of bacterial infection. Based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 handheld diagnostics platform, the Minicare HNL assay is recognized for its potential to provide physicians with 10-minute confirmation of bacterial infection, helping to ensure that…

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News • Contamination

Painful knee prosthesis: loose, infected or both?

The implantation of knee and hip joints is considered one of the success stories of recent years. But periprosthetic joints infections (PJI) are one of the severe complications, with an infection rate of 2%. The probability of revision surgery increases with concomitant diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, with fracture prosthesis or after previous surgery.

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Article • Embedded computing

Sensing and communicating our ups/downs and many needs

The power of computing grows more pervasive as it is increasingly integrated into everyday items within our immediate environment, as in smart toothbrushes, for example, or a vortex whistle for managing chronic lung function via smartphones. This September, scientists, developers and designers from around the world met in Heidelberg, Germany, for two parallel events: ACM International Joint…

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News • Blood poisoning

"Pulling" bacteria out of blood

Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection. This involves the blood of patients being mixed with magnetic iron particles, which bind the bacteria to them after which they are removed from the blood using magnets. The initial laboratory tests at Empa in St. Gallen have been successful, and seem promising.

News • Antibiotic-loaded bone cement

Reduction of infection risk in femoral head fractures by 66%

Good news for World Antibiotics Day on November 18th. As local substances carriers, antibiotic-loaded bone cements from Heraeus help in the battle against implant-associated infections in orthopaedics and trauma surgery to prevent infection. This is demonstrated by a new randomised study from Great Britain in which the use of double-loaded antibiotic bone cement following femoral head fracture…

News • Infections

Europe must do more to stop drug-resistant ‘superbugs’

On European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), the European Public Health Alliance and the European Patients Forum jointly call on the European Commission and national governments to step up the fight against drug-resistant infections in the follow-up EU Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance announced for 2017. The EU has a vital role to play in protecting health security in Europe and empowering…

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Article • Zincmolybdat

The sustainable pathogen killer

Professor Peter Guggenbichler is only too aware of infection prevention and control issues in hospitals. Prior to his retirement in 2013, from the Children’s Hospital at Erlangen University Hospital, in Germany, he led the Infectiology and Preventive Medicine Department, for 25 years. ‘After countless nights on the intensive care ward I realised that the staff does not adhere to infection…

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Article • 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 • MRSA

Are door handles spreading drug-resistant bacteria around the world?

Airports are international travel hubs visited by large numbers of people. London Heathrow, for example, has an average of 205,400 travellers every day and saw 75 million people arriving and departing from all over the world in 2015. A study just published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection suggest that international travellers can acquire antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and may…

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Article • Infections

Carbapenem resistant strains

The increasing numbers of bacteria resistant to the newer generations of antibiotics is a public health problem on a global scale. Bacteria have an extraordinary capacity for adaptation, mutating permanently to overcome the action of our increasingly impotent antimicrobial armamentarium. A situation further aggravated by the use of the powerful ‘large spectrum’ antibiotics, creating further…

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News • Infections

‘Open Science’ paves pathway to develop Malaria drugs

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading causes of mortality in developing countries. Last year alone, it killed more than 400,000 people, mostly young children. An international consortium of researchers unveiled the mechanics and findings of a unique “open science” project for malaria drug discovery that has been five years in the making.

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Overcoming multidrug-resistant cancer with smart nanoparticles

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, resulting in minimal cell death and the expansion of drug-resistant tumors. To address the problem of resistance, researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed nanoparticles that…

News • Market

Curetis Acquires Rights to GEAR Database

Curetis announced the signing of an asset acquisition agreement with the Siemens Technology Accelerator GmbH (STA). Under the terms of the agreement, Curetis has acquired sole commercial rights from STA to the GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility platform and database with all its content, numerous GEAR-related patents and patent applications, as well as all corresponding…

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Article • Predicting plaques

Exposing the secrets of the heart

Coronary interventions often rely more on art than science as the decision to treat a patient tends to be based on what clinicians can see, a subjective interpretation of cardiac imaging. Two new techniques have emerged for cardiovascular diagnostics that are enabling software to help surgeons and cardiologists measure, and thereby better manage cardiac disease. Both rely on powerful computer…

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Article • Controversy

TAVI is approved for lower risk patients

The Medtronic CoreValve Evolut R System received its CE Mark of approval this August to treat aortic stenosis in patients with an intermediate risk for undergoing conventional surgery for a valve replacement. This is a controversial indication for transcatheter aortic valve implantations (TAVI) – one that has been eagerly sought by some clinicians but resisted by others. Younger patients will…

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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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News • Counterproductive

Breast tumors evolve in response to hormone therapy

Many breast tumors grow in response to female hormones, especially estrogen. Drugs that reduce estrogen levels in the body often are effective in reducing tumor size and preventing recurrence of the cancer. But some tumors become resistant to these therapies and continue to grow and spread.

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Sponsored • Screening

What’s new in Cardiac Risk Testing?

It’s well known that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the UK and worldwide. In the UK it is responsible for more than 73,000 deaths annually, affecting 1 in 6 men and 1 in 10 women. With the emergence of such startling statistics, this begs the question, why do routine cholesterol tests still rely on the basic biomarkers high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density…

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News • Molecular troublemakers

How proteins prevent communication between bacteria

They may be slimy, but they are a perfect environment for microorganisms: biofilms. Protected against external influences, here bacteria can grow undisturbed, and trigger diseases. Scientists at Kiel University, in cooperation with colleagues at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg, are researching how it can be possible to prevent the formation of biofilms from the…

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Article • Automated tasks

Fast, efficient, cheaper microbiology diagnostics

A fully automated clinical microbiology laboratory system went into service at Heidelberg University Hospital this April. Produced by medical technology firm BD Life Science, this first installation at a German university hospital will play a major role in a study exploring the potential benefits of lab automation in containing the spread of pathogens in a hospital.

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Article • Politics

Medics urged to organise refugee screening

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

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News • Active substance

Promising treatment prospects for invasive breast cancer

Scientists from the University of Zurich have been able to understand for the first time why many cancer cells adapt relatively quickly to the treatment with therapeutic antibodies in invasive forms of breast cancer. Instead of dying off, they are merely rendered inactive. The researchers have now developed an active substance that kills the cancer cells very effectively without harming healthy…

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News • Antimalarial drugs

Kill a Malaria parasite with Cholesterol

Drexel University scientists have discovered an unusual mechanism for how two new antimalarial drugs operate: They give the parasite’s skin a boost in cholesterol, making it unable to traverse the narrow labyrinths of the human bloodstream. The drugs also seem to trick the parasite into reproducing prematurely.

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Article • Infection control

Scientists gain ground against resistance

The mechanism by which drug-resistant bacteria maintain a defensive barrier has been identified by researchers at England’s University of East Anglia (UEA) and their findings could result in a new wave of drugs that can bring down those defensive walls rather than attack the bacteria – thus they may not develop drug-resistance at all.

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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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Article • Resistance

Last resort antibiotic under treat

Data presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases diseases has highlighted how a recently-discovered mechanism could mean one of the last-resort antibiotics is under threat. Evidence put before ECCMID suggested the genetic mechanism allowing bacteria to develop and transfer resistance to colistin has been present in several countries around the world –…

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Article • Evaluation

Calculated therapy is the objective

At a recent focus meeting held in Berlin by the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, Dr Andreas Weimann, managing director at the Laboratory Berlin – Charité Vivantes Services, spoke of the challenges that laboratories working with hospitals face due to the management of pathogens and the diagnosis of infections.

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News • Lung cancer

“Liquid biopsy” blood test detects genetic mutations

A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

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News • Small cell lung cancer

Clues to the cause of chemoresistance discovered

Small cell lung cancer is not usually detected until it is at an advanced stage, when metastases have already formed. Chemotherapy is very effective initially but, within a year, cancer recurs and this time does not respond to a course of chemotherapy. The research group headed by Gerhard Hamilton, University Department of Surgery at MedUni Vienna, has now managed to identify the reason for this…

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News • mcr-1 gene

Antibiotic resistance mechanism continues to spread

Researchers presented findings on the prevalence of the mcr-1 gene, a transferable genetic mechanism of antimicrobial-resistance to colistin - the last resort antibiotic in a number of circumstances. At a session dedicated to late-breaking abstracts on colistin resistance, researchers presented evidence on the prevalence of the gene in bacteria (including Enterobacteriaceae such as Escherichia…

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News • Chemotherapy

Novel compounds could be less toxic

A novel class of compounds developed by a University of Saskatchewan (U of S)-led research team could yield more effective and less toxic chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer. Team leader Jonathan Dimmock, a medicinal chemistry researcher in the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, explained their compounds work by interacting with thiols, naturally occurring chemicals that perform several…

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News • PET study

Functional interplay between two transporters at blood-brain barrier

A team of researchers at the MedUni Vienna has, in collaboration with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, developed two new PET tracers that allow the activity of drug transporters at the blood-brain barrier to be measured. The studywas able to demonstrate that people with a genetic polymorphism in a transporter gene have lower transporter activity at the blood-brain barrier, which can lead…

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News • bacterial enzyme

Possible approach to tackle infections from hospital germs

Microbiologists at the Universities of Münster and Nottingham, in England, have analysed an enzyme which might play an important role in the treatment of infections from the hospital germ pseudomonas aeruginosa. They have decoded the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme and revealed its function.

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News • Antimicrobial Resistance

AMR may cause over 10 million deaths per year globally by 2050

Following a meeting of professional organisations on the healthcare workforce implications on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) held at World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters on 2 March 2016, the International Council of Nurses calls on governments to support the Global Action Plan on AMR and stresses the key role of nurses in reducing the impact and limiting the spread of this major threat to…

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Article • Ovarian cancer

The story of the silent killer

Andrea G. Rockall, Consultant Radiologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Visiting Professor of Radiology at Imperial College in London, delivered the prestigious Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Honorary Lecture at ECR 2016 on ‘Imaging the invisible killer: towards personalisation of ovarian cancer care’.

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Article • Risks

Managing the threats of cybercrime

Cases of cybercrime are growing every year, demonstrating a threat scenario not just in the private area, for banks or companies, but also for insurance companies, because criminals steal data and whole databanks with private information. At this years’ HIMSS, Stephen Cobb, Senior Security Researcher at ESET North America, speaks about the growing risk and the need to manage such health IT…

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News • Oncology

Pancreatic cancer: Enzyme renders tumors resistant

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Stem Cell Institute HI-STEM in Heidelberg have discovered the reason why some pancreatic tumors are so resistant to treatment. They have found that these tumor cells produce larger quantities of an enzyme that usually occurs in the liver and degrades many drugs. If this enzyme is blocked, the cancer cells become sensitive towards…

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News • Fighting cancer

Stopping tumour cells killing surrounding tissue

Tumours kill off surrounding cells to make room to grow, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Although the study was carried out using fruit flies, its findings suggest that drugs to prevent, rather than encourage, cell death might be effective at fighting cancer – contrary to how many of the current chemotherapy drugs work.

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Cancer cells poised for growth when opportunity knocks

Researchers have identified a mechanism that allows cancer cells to respond and grow rapidly when levels of sugar in the blood rise. This may help to explain why people who develop conditions in which they have chronically high sugar levels in their blood, such as obesity, also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

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Article • Infection control

Topical antibiotic therapy is an indispensable add-on

Locally applied antibiotics are a component of effective infection management in orthopaedics and trauma surgery. Successful concepts are based on patient-specific surgical and antimicrobial treatment. At the symposium “Infections and high-risk patients: solutions for joint replacements and traumatology” at this year’s Congress on Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (DKOU) in Berlin last…

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Gene variation promotes uncontrolled cell division

Mom’s eyes and dad’s tumor? Cancer is due to genetic defects, some of which can be hereditary. The gene variant rs351855, for example, occurs in one in two cancer patients. A team headed by Axel Ullrich from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried identified the gene variant a decade ago. Now, they succeeded for the first time in showing that the variation exposes an otherwise…

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News • Epigenetic marks

Sperm carries information about dad's weight

Turns out dads are also eating for two. A study published in Cell Metabolism reveals that a man's weight affects the heritable information contained in sperm. The sperm cells of lean and obese men possess different epigenetic marks, notable at gene regions associated with the control of appetite. The comparisons, which included 13 lean men and 10 obese men, offer one biological explanation for…

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Treating colon cancer with vitamin A

A leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, colon cancer is famously resistant to treatment. There are many reasons for this, but one has to do with a group of persisting cancer cells in the colon that cause relapses. Conventional therapies against them are mostly ineffective. EPFL scientists have now identified a biological mechanism that can be exploited to counteract colon cancer relapses.

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News • Biogel

Intelligent gel attacks cancer

A new injectable “biogel” is effective in delivering anti-cancer agents directly into cancerous tumours and killing them. This technology, developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), has already been successfully tested in the laboratory. If it works in patients, the therapy could one day revolutionize treatment for many forms of cancer.

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New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline

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

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Article • Infection

Trial pitches MGB-BP-3 against clostridium difficile

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have been working to identify compounds with important anti-infective activity and suitable for treating serious infectious diseases caused by bacteria and parasites, such as Clostridium difficile. Their work has led to the creation of the new drug known as MGB-BP-3 (MGB = minor groove binder). Report: Mark Nicholls

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Article • Robotic

The long arm of ultrasound

Now there are two ways to remotely examine a patient with ultrasound without leaving your office. With the novel, Melody robotic ultrasound method, the expert consultant is connected to the remote patient site through a video conference link and, using a mouse-like device, the radiologist can perform the exam by manipulating an ultrasound probe positioned on the patient’s body. Report: John…

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News • MEDICA 2015

Schiller: DEFIGARD Touch7

The latest member of SCHILLER’s rescue family is extremely compact and offers the latest defibrillation technology in combination with comprehensive monitoring functions. It is the first emergency monitor/defibrillator equipped with a touch screen, making it the most intuitive device on the market.

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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 • MRSA

Breast cancer drug eats superbug

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen…

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Scientist designs bio-inspired robotic finger

Most robotic parts used today are rigid, have a limited range of motion and don’t really look lifelike. Inspired by both nature and biology, a scientist from Florida Atlantic University has designed a novel robotic finger that looks and feels like the real thing. In an article recently published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Erik Engeberg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the…

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News • Cleaning hospital rooms

UV rays cuts superbug transmission

In a hospital, what you can’t see could hurt you. Healthcare facilities continue to battle drug-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that loiter on surfaces even after patient rooms have been cleaned and can cause new, sometimes-deadly infections.

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News • Lung cancer

Immunotherapy superior to chemotherapy?

Researchers compared an immunotherapy and a chemotherapy drug in patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease continued to progress after first-line chemotherapy. They found that nivolumab improved overall survival and was generally well tolerated. The results are significant because options for patients whose lung cancer progresses after initial treatment are…

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News • Cancer

New molecular markers for high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers from the University of Cologne and NEO New Oncology AG today jointly published in Nature* the findings of an extensive genomic analysis of neuroblastoma, a malignant pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. In the most aggressive forms of this tumor, the researchers identified previously unknown genomic alterations leading to up-regulation of the telomerase reverse…

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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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Article • Management

A challenging shift from cure to care

Healthcare systems need to move beyond reform and transform services delivered outside hospitals for the chronically ill patients. After 20 years of reform and reorganization efforts, many countries in Europe continue to deliver antiquated and inadequate care for chronically ill patients, according to Yann Bourgueil, the Director of the Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics…

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Sponsored • New platform

A new era in endoscopy display technology

NDS Surgical Imaging’s new Radiance® Ultra 27” is a revolutionary visualization platform for operating rooms and minimally invasive suites to help clinical staff see more, know more, and ultimately do more for their patients. The first surgical display to feature Corning® Gorilla® Glass for durability and scratch resistance, the Radiance® Ultra also boasts the brightest LED backlight in…

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News • Parenteral nutrition

Blocking light improves premature babies' survival rates

The survival rate of premature babies born between 26 to 31 weeks of gestation is improved by blocking light from reaching the intravenously-fed infused nutritious mixture they depend on for survival, researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and the University of Montreal have revealed in a new study.

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Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

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

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New method to treat antibiotic resistant MRSA

MRSA is bad news. If you've never heard of it, here's what you need to know: It's pronounced MER-suh, it's a nasty bacterial infection and it can cause serious disease and death. Senior molecular biology major Jacob Hatch knows MRSA as the infection that took his dad's leg.

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News • mTOR

Cells in limbo hold clues for tackling cancer and ageing

For some, TOR may bring to mind a Celtic mountain or perhaps an Internet privacy group. In the world of molecular biology it’s a cellular pathway that’s found in everything from yeast to mammals. mTOR (as it’s called in mammals) plays a central role in instructing the cell to grow and divide in response to nutrients. When it’s turned down, the cell shifts into a second, tidying mode,…

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Article • 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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Article • Politics

Spain’s response to EU directive

Increasingly resistant bacteria are a global problem and require innovative action from all parties concerned, says Jesús Rodriguez-Baño, President of the Scientific Committee of the annual meeting of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), which unfolded last May in Seville. EH asked him why the creation of a national plan has become necessary to tackle…

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News • New Method

Detecting blood clots with a single scan

A blood clot is a dangerous health situation with the potential to trigger heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies. To treat a blood clot, doctors need to find its exact location. But current clinical techniques can only look at one part of the body at a time, slowing treatment and increasing the risk for complications. Now, researchers are reporting a method, tested in rats, that…

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News • Global vaccine-development fund

Saving thousands of lives

Ebola is a preventable disease, and yet a safe and effective vaccine has not been deployed. As with many vaccines, financial barriers persist: pharmaceutical companies see high costs with limited market potential, and government support is lacking. But there may be a solution to this vaccine crisis with the ability to save at-risk populations, according to a perspective piece written by…

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News • Aspergillus

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

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

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Article • Politics

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to global health

Within 15 years effective antibiotics will run out and, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, a world in which common infections and minor injuries can kill is a very real possibility for the 21st Century. Geoff Sussman, one of the world’s foremost wound experts has warned that antibiotic resistance is posing the biggest single threat to global health. Report: Mark Nicholls

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News • Immunotherapy

apceth and University of Cologne to Join Forces

apceth announced a broad partnership with the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, to combine technologies and expertise, on the development of immunotherapies for solid tumors and haematological malignancies. The collaboration will start immediately and is based on combinations of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells, developed at the laboratory of Prof Hinrich…

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News • Figthing cancer

Triple treatment keeps cancer from coming back

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, responsible for some 1.59 million deaths a year. That figure is due, in part, to the fact that the cancer often returns after what, at first, seems to be successful treatment. And the recurring cancer is often resistant to the chemotherapy and other drugs that originally drove it into remission. According to new research by the Weizmann…

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Article • UTI pathogen

Boosting the Body’s Natural Ability to Fight Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and widespread antibiotic resistance has led to urgent calls for new ways to combat them. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report that an experimental drug that stabilizes a protein called HIF-1alpha protects human bladder cells and mice against a major UTI…

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Article • Infectious diseases

Carrying home a nosocomial infection

About 6-8% of Spanish patients will develop an infection during or after a hospital stay. Can these infections be avoided? How is Spain facing up to the challenge? Dr Juan Pablo Horcajada, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, and spokesperson of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), assessed the situation and…

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Article • Antimicrobial stewardship

A diagnostic marker reduces antibiotics use

Since 2009, as part of diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship strategies, Hampshire Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust has used serum procalcitonin (PCT) – an innovative and highly specific marker to diagnose clinically relevant bacterial infections and sepsis. Report: Mark Nicholls

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Article • Research

Genetic alterations

This article discusses examples of applications of genetic analyses in coagulation disorders and haematological and oncological diseases. Professor Christine Mannhalter highlights the impact changes have on the occurrence and severity of diseases and their influence on therapy response. Report: Christine Mannhalter

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News • Microscope technique

Speeding identification of deadly bacteria

A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon,…

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News • Microbiology

ESCMID launches study groups for forensic and veterinary microbiology

The ESCMID Study Group for Forensic and Postmortem Microbiology will create a new network of microbiologists, virologists, anthropologists and archaeologists working in the field of forensic medicine. Professor Amparo Fernandez-Rodriguez, from the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, Madrid, is the head of ESGFOR and stresses the importance of this group in facilitating…

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Article • Infections following joint-replacement surgeries

How to optimize prevention and therapy strategies

For all the advances being made in this discipline, postoperative infections remain a great challenge for orthopaedists and trauma surgeons. More than 7,000 experts from around the globe are gathering in Prague for the 16th EFORT Congress to consult on ways to optimise prevention and therapy for these dreaded complications.

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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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Who benefits from a catheter - and who does not?

A new detailed guide gives doctors and nurses information to help decide which hospital patients may benefit from a urinary catheter - and which ones do not. That should help spare patients the pain, embarrassment, and potentially serious side effects that can come with having a catheter placed - which may bring more risk than benefit to the patient.

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High-tech textiles – more than just clothes

High-tech textiles must fulfill a number of functions and meet many requirements. That is why the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC dedicated some major developing work to this most intriguing research area. The result can now be seen at Techtextil trade show in Frankfurt from 4 to 7 May. On display will be novel textile-integrated sensors, a unique multifunctional coating system for…

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Article • DRUG resistance

Cut prescriptions and choose treatments wisely!

Prescribing antibiotics for a viral infection with fever, a cold and a cough? There is no point! This is the best-known example of over-use in medicine. There are also numerous examples of diagnostic procedures and therapies that are pointless, yet still being doled out in surgeries and hospitals – sometimes even harming a patient. This is set to change, according to the German Society of…

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Article • Preamble

Keeping up with an ever-evolving science

Expecting 10,000 participants, prior to the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Copenhagen, Denmark (25-28 April) its Programme Director, Professor Winfried V Kern MD, was keen to point out: ‘The findings and recommendations that emerge from this vibrant platform each year have, in the past, had a tremendous impact not only on guidelines and best…

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News • ECCMID 2015

Curetis launches next-generation pneumonia application

Curetis AG, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, announced the successful completion of the clinical and analytical CE performance evaluation of its next-generation Unyvero P55 Pneumonia Application. The upgraded cartridge will launch at the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID, April 25 – 28, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark) and is…

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Sponsored • New platform

The beginning of a new era in surgical visualization

NDS Surgical Imaging (NDSsi) designed a revolutionary visualization platform for operating rooms and minimally invasive suites to help surgeons see more, know more, and ultimately do more for their patients. The company released its highly anticipated 27" Radiance® Ultra, a next-generation surgical visualization platform boasting the brightest LED backlight in its class*. The ultra-high…

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News • New guidance

Contact precautions for hospital visitors

Leading infectious diseases experts have released new guidance for healthcare facilities looking to establish precautions for visitors of patients with infectious diseases. The guidance looks to reduce the potential for healthcare visitors in spreading dangerous bacteria within the healthcare facility and community. The recommendations are published online in Infection Control & Hospital…

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Fighting HIV with antibodies

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

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Article • Non-invasive Ventilation

Two in one

The recently launched Respironics V680 ventilator, from Philips Healthcare EMEA, was guided onto the market by Arne Cohrs, its Sales and Marketing Director of Therapeutic Care in Patient Care and Monitoring. We asked him about his department and the merits of non-invasive and invasive ventilators. Report: Chrissanthi Nikolakudi

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Interview • Sequencing

Precision medicine in oncology

Professor Hedvig Hricak MD PhD, Chair of the Department of Radiology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, and Professor of Radiology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, is a notable expert on crosssectional anatomic and molecular imaging, particularly of gynaecologic and prostate cancers. EH interviewed her about the potential and impact of more precise viewing of inter-…

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News • ECCMID

Scientists gather to fight infectious diseases

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

News • Fighting Infection

WHO joins ESCMID to fight global infections

The European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) has been joined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to launch the 7th annual ‘International Day for Fighting Infection’ (April 24th, 2015). This year’s event sees the European society exploring vaccines as a possible solution in the global, cross-border fight against antimicrobial resistance.

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Interview • Structured reporting

Liberating radiologists to be expert consultants

Where some decry the commoditisation of radiology, Gabriel Krestin MD, sees an opportunity to redefine the profession, for radiologists to rise up from basement reading rooms to consult as equals with other medical specialists in multi-disciplinary conferences focused on patient care. ‘If we are going to think about the future, we should not be looking in a rear view mirror. We need to be open…

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Article • Infection Control

Periprosthetic infections: a new disease

Early diagnosis and effective therapy of periprosthetic joint infections (PJI) remain a challenge for many physicians due to the complexity and heterogeneity of clinical symptoms. As individual solutions are needed, opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas are welcome, as clearly shown during the satellite symposium on the diagnosis and treatment of periprosthetic knee infections held at this…

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News • Infectious Diseases

Abbott’s Testing Platform Iridica Now Available in Europe

Abbott announced its innovative diagnostic platform, known as Iridica, is now available in Europe and other CE–Mark recognized countries. The new platform can identify more than 1,000 infection–causing pathogens in less than six hours.

News • Politics

Call for urgent action to improve CDI management

CDI Europe, the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) and MEP Karin Kadenbach hosted an event at the European Parliament to highlight the urgent action needed to address the current issues relating to the management of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

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Article • Infection Control

POCT accelerates diagnosis of STDs

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

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Article • 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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Liquid biopsy

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

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News • manufacturer

Cutting the risks of injury and contamination

Austrian firm Greiner Bio-One is presenting products for the pre-analysis and diagnostics industry at this year’s Medica. Vacuette safety products have been developed to minimise this risk of injuries from contaminated puncture devices – a significant safety hazard to healthcare workers, the firm underlines.

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A new tool for biochemical analyses

Although telemedicine could improve the quality of life of patients with chronic liver diseases, viable home care systems are still lacking. However, within the EU-project ‘d-LIVER’ (www.d-liver.eu) scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, in St. Ingbert, Germany, are working with European partners to develop an IT- and cell-based system that will help chronic…

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Endogenous bacteria

Is chlorhexidine still the best decolonisation method? For many decades decolonisation – be it selective intestinal, oral or skin decolonisation – has been the accepted procedure to prevent infections by endogenous bacteria. Report: Brigitte Dinkloh

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Zero percent and other illusions

Professor Tobias Welte MD, President of the 24th International Congress of the European Respiratory Society, gave EH some personal views on the symposium ‘New perspectives in the management of nosocomial pneumonia’. Interview: Ralf Mateblowski

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News • Study

Sepsis cases are rising

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

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US trails Europe in facilitating novel antibiotics development

While the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act of 2012 has been a significant step in the right direction for encouraging novel antibiotics research, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains one step behind its European equivalent, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

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Nosocomial infections

More than four million people acquire a healthcare associated infection (HAI) in the European Union (EU) annually; of these 37,000 die as a direct consequence of the infection, according to a European Centre for Disease Control 2008 estimate.

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NICE sets new guidelines

Pointing out that it is unacceptable that some 300,000 people become adversely infected while being in the care of the UK’s National Health Service every year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, has launched a new set of quality standards.

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Delayed diagnoses result in high mortality

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

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HAI present large economic burden for Ireland

Ahead of the Irish Infection Prevention Control Conference to be held in Portlaoise on 16 May 2014, Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), a Division of Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, is calling on Irish healthcare practitioners to consider the significant economic burden of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) on hospitals, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the wider…

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Pictures help illiterate patients take medicines correctly

Using pictures and symbols, rather than handwritten words, on prescriptions helps illiterate patients take their medicines correctly when they leave hospital, say doctors today. The idea was first tested in a hospital in Pakistan using simple pictures of the sun, moon and stars to help patients understand when and how long to take their medication for.

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Seeing is believing

Virtual observation of patients taking prescribed TB medication could prove an effective technique to ensure they effectively complete their treatment course, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress held in Barcelona.

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Responses to six misperceptions

Ageing populations, struggling healthcare systems, medical staff shortages, rising costs – all are well recognised. Thus telemedicine, dubbed the ‘gold rush of the 21st century’ earlier in the year by Jonathan D Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), is gaining momentum.

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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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The complex science behind microbubbles

At Bracco Suisse SA in Geneva all efforts are dedicated to contrast media for ultrasound scans. During their visit to the firm’s research centre and manufacturing site, Daniela Zimmermann and Ralf Mateblowski met with François Tranquart MD PhD, general manager of the Bracco Suisse research centre, to hear why SonoVue is now Europe’s most popular ultrasound contrast agent, with research…

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Hygiene: Back to basics

Two statements from publications by Dr Stephanie Dancer, Department of Microbiology, Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride (UK) prompted Ralf Mateblowski to interview Professor Markus Dettenkofer, Acting Director of the Institute for Environmental Medicine and Hospital Hygiene, Freiburg University Medical Centre about environmental and infection control

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Nosocomial infections

As in so many European countries, nosocomial infections have hit the headlines in Germany over and over again in recent years – as when three premature babies died in a Bremen neonatal clinic in 2011.

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Article • Paediatrics

In-line filters significantly lower severe complications

The use of in-line filters for infusion therapy significantly lowers the rate of severe complications in children aged between 0-18 years being treated in intensive care units, according to a new study from the Paediatrics Clinic at Hannover Medical School (MHH). The study also confirmed that the number of cases of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, SIRS, dropped substantially through the…

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Controlling antimicrobial resistance

There is no other way: We need a comprehensive approach, with everyone living up to their responsibility to combat this serious health threat in their respective areas. The most basic instinct of every living organism is survival. What selects one organism or species over another, in fact, is its capacity to withstand any kind of adverse condition that comes its way – what scientist Herbert…

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New modular roll stands on show

Physicians and nurses need flexible solutions to monitor and administer patient data, and the devices they seek must be ergonomically designed, easy to clean and made of high-quality materials, CIM med, specialist in carrier arms, points out.

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Mounting systems for anaesthetic units

Intelligent mounting systems featuring CIM med GmbH’s integrated data and power lines for anaesthetic technology increase hygiene in operating theatres and protect cables from damage, the manufacturer reports.

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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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W.A.R. against wound infections

Prevention is better than a fight against an infected wound – but, to avoid a battle you must know your enemy – and the wound’s infection risk level. Unfortunately, there are no generally accepted definitions for those risk levels. Now, the introduction of a new clinical assessment score – named W.A.R. (wound at risk) – which makes standardised classification of ‘risky’ wounds…

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System identifies more pathogens and antimicrobial resistances than any other

By integrating all necessary pre-analytical and analytical steps into one solution, the recently CE-marked Unyvero system, which is now commercially available in Europe, provides pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance marker information without needing expert staff and a sophisticated infrastructure, its manufacturer Curetis reports. Of even greater interest is its range of targets.

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Surgeons ‘fire a warning shot’ over Germany’s hospitals

Are surgeons still opting for surgical procedures solely for medical need – or are economics forcing their decisions? That vexatious question, posed at the 129th Congress of the German, was spurned at the outset by Markus W Büchler MD, President of the Society and Medical Director of the Department of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery at University Hospital Heidelberg. ‘We surgeons…

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The digital broadband MR experience

Ingenia 3.0-T, the digital broadband MR system launched by Philips at RSNA 2010, is today used in almost 200 hospitals worldwide. Eight months after the installation of an Ingenia at Germany’s Bonn University Hospital, the radiology department’s managing physician Dr Winfried A Willinek sums up her experience with this new technology that is increasingly competing with whole body CT and pet-CT…

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Centre Hospitalier de Rambouillet

Copper and its alloys reduce the rate of nosocomial infections in hospitals by 40%, according to an American study led by Michael Schmidt (University of South Carolina). For the first time in France, one hospital near Paris chose to bet on the antibacterial quality of copper on commonly touched items to lower risks of HAIs, which annually claim 3,500 lives in the country – comparable to the…

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Growing presence of drug-resistant tuberculosis

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

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Malta’s Saint James Hospital Group

Embarking on any business enterprise is never a small feat, but when that business is healthcare the task becomes gargantuan – and even greater if opening a healthcare facility in a country where the economies of scale create immediate difficulties. There’s also the problem of the main competitor being the free-of-charge public sector.

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Surgery proves successful for Type 2 diabetes remission

Obesity is physically debilitating – and costly for healthcare. Losing excess weight has positive effects on the entire metabolism and improves life expectancy. However, for patients who cannot lose their morbid, excess weight through diet, today’s surgical interventions can help towards permanent weight loss – and reduction in insulin dependency for diabetics.

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Brain Cancer Blood Vessels Not Substantially Tumor-Derived

Johns Hopkins scientists have published laboratory data refuting studies that suggest blood vessels that form within brain cancers are largely made up of cancer cells. The theory of cancer-based blood vessels calls into question the use and value of anticancer drugs that target these blood vessels, including bevacizumab (Avastin).

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Administrators struggle to find cost savings in hygiene and many other areas

‘Before each ward round my students and I wash our hands’ – so said Ignaz Philip Semmelweis in the mid-19th century, in his drive to reduce the hospital mortality rate. Today, the World Health Organisation states that ‘Clean care is safer care’ – and yet, particularly in recent times, the lack of hygiene in numerous hospitals has resulted in mortalities. Who is to blame? What can be…

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Dysglycaemia

Dysglycaemia is a new term in critical care that recognises the vital importance for glucose monitoring of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Beyond the clinical consensus over this word for grouping critically ill patients with hyperglycaemia, hypoglycaemia or high blood sugar, there is no broad agreement on how best to manage these patients. Report: John Brosky.

Trust leads research knowledge transfer

UHB is leading the way in creating key networks with other European centres of excellence to share knowledge between renowned specialists. The project is already enhancing the Trust’s profile as a focus of translational research in Service Delivery, Haematology, Liver Disease, Diabetes and e-Prescribing.

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When overweight kids become heart condition adults

A modern-day childhood totally differs from what was common just a few decades ago. It is mostly spent sitting -- at school desks, in front of TV screens or before computer monitors – all combined with the sweet temptations of the kid’s food industry. According to a WHO worldwide estimate, an estimated 10% of school-age children between five and 17 years old are overweight or obese. The…

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A new strain of MRSA discovered

While researching bovine mastitis (an S. aureus infection that occurs in the cows’ udders), researchers led by Dr Mark Holmes at the University of Cambridge, UK, identified a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which occurs both in human and dairy cow populations.

At war with nosocomial infections: Software that looks hard to beat

The clinical informatics firm ICNet International Ltd, which develops case management and surveillance software, has produced a software package using the SSI (Surgical Site infection surveillance) Monitor to combine information about patient movements in a hospital with data held by the laboratory and theatre systems -- and to alert staff if a patient is either infected or at risk of contracting…

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Antibiotic resistance spreads rapidly between bacteria

The part of bacterial DNA that often carries antibiotic resistance is a master at moving between different types of bacteria and adapting to widely differing bacterial species, shows a study made by a research team at the University of Gothenburg in cooperation with Chalmers University of Technology. The results are published in an article in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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Imaging for diabetes and vascular occlusive disease

Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and vascular disease: What do we need to know? During ECR session this important question is addressed by vascular specialist Professor Erich Minar, Assistant Head of the Department of Angiology at the Vienna General Hospital (AKH), President of the Austrian Society of Angiology, and scientific researcher working closely with research centres in the USA.

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Easy breathe - new tools for prolonged lung support

Often a life-saving intervention, mechanical ventilation also has some serious drawbacks: the need for sedation, the risk of ventilator associated pneumonia, intubation or tracheostomy related complications. In 1972, Donald Hill from Pacific Medical Centre, Los Angeles, reported the first successful long-term mechanical lung assist device with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

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Obesity from the lab point of view

Over the last 25 years overweight and obesity have become a global epidemic. According to WHO figures, at least 400 million adults are obese worldwide. Part of this phenomenon relates to lifestyle changes - lack of exercise, wrong eating habits - whereas genetic factors also play a role (according to twin studies, the determination of obesity is 70% nature and 30% nurture).

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Proton therapy

As one of the most advanced forms of precision radiotherapy, proton therapy enables the irradiation of tumours located deep within the body, in the proximity of critical organs, such as the optic nerve or some brain areas. The Institut Curie has renovated its proton therapy centre in Orsay near Paris. Since 1991, when the original centre opened, it has treated over 5,000 patients (4,000 for eye…

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Breast imaging in 2025

A leading radiologist is forecasting a ‘paradigm shift’ in breast imaging. Dr Peter Brader, from Department of Radiology, Division for Molecular and Gender Imaging, Medical University Vienna, envisages that diagnosis and treatment will move from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to one of personalised molecular medicine by 2025. He also foresees greater use of theranostics with combinations…

ENCITE Scientific Symposium

This one-day symposium will expose the Europe and Israeli research communities to the latest advanced technologies that provide temporal and spatial information on cell fate from the living organism. This event is open to anyone interested, please feel welcome to attend! Registration is mandatory. Participation is free of charge.

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Plasma therapy: an alternative to antibiotics?

Cold plasma jets could be a safe, effective alternative to antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant infections, says a study published this week in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The team of Russian and German researchers showed that a ten-minute treatment with low-temperature plasma was not only able to kill drug-resistant bacteria causing wound infections in rats but…

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Advancing POC diagnostics

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

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Superantigens could be behind several illnesses

Superantigens, the toxins produced by staphylococcus bacteria, are more complex than previously believed, reveals a team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg in an article published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Their discovery shows that the body’s immune system can cause more illnesses than realised.

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Ventilation-associated pneumonia

Every year in German hospitals about 15,000 patients acquire ventilation-associated pneumonias (VAP). This number, and the associated mortality, is striking enough to make it one of the topics at HAI 2010, the annual conference of the German Society for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI). Like many physicians, Dr Maria Deja, senior physician at the Charité Clinic for…

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Cancer stem cells

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the engine that drives tumour growth. They can not only reproduce themselves but also differentiate to form all the specialised cells found within a tumour. While chemotherapy and radiotherapy non-specifically target all rapidly dividing cells, there is increasing evidence that CSCs are more resistant to these treatments. Report: Karoline Laarmann

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Modern radiological diagnostics for the evaluation of muscle diseases

Muscular diseases belong to a heterogeneous group with various causes like neurogenic, metabolic, dystrophic, or inflammatory mechanisms as well as channelopathies leading to disorders of the muscle cell membrane potential. In most progressive disease cases the result is a focal or general muscle weakness that, unfortunately, is a very unspecific symptom. Standard neuromuscular literature…

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French biologists resist invasion by legions of labs

Facing the risk of an invasion by big international operations, French medical laboratories drew inspiration for their defence from a national hero - Asterix. While the newly launched reform of the French laboratory system will bring the traditionally independent medical labs into conformance with international quality standards, the law builds an elaborate defence against foreign operators to…

Standardised algorithms and protocols for diabetic in-patients

Dr Susan S Braithwaite, a visiting clinical professor in endocrinology at the Department of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago, specialises in the management of hyperglycaemia among hospitalised patients. Hyperglycaemia, the presence of an abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood, is a common occurrence in adults who are hospital in-patients, especially among diabetic…

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Rethink breast cancer surgery

Italian surgeon and oncologist Prof. Dr. Umberto Veronesi, Founder and Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and former National Health Minister (2000 – 2001), is considered to be one of the biggest authorities on breast cancer research of our time. Many breakthrough changings in cancer medicine sustainably go back on his researches, which once earned him also a…

TROCAR is on track

The 3-year Translational Research On Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (TROCAR) project, a consortium of 14 European institutes, has completed its first year of molecular study of high-risk antibiotic-resistant bacteria. With expertise ranging from medical microbiology to computational analysis, this network of excellence is on track to identify and target the resistant and multi-resistant…

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Postprandial blood glucose

The daily management of diabetes mellitus is a complex interaction between blood glucose measuring, lifestyle aspects and drug therapy. Large epidemiological trials such as UKPDS (United Kingdom Diabetes Prospective Study) have shown that an optimal blood glucose adjustment has beneficial long-term effects on type-2 diabetics’ risk of micro- and macrovascular secondary complications.

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MRSA - Keeping up with the neighbours

The border between Germany and the Netherlands in the so-called EUREGIO region is of no particular importance in the daily life of the people who live there. Every day, thousands commute between towns and cities in both countries, to work, shop or even receive medical treatment. The latter, however, presents Dutch hospitals with a problem.

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Type 2 diabetics have elevated risk of 24 types of cancer

Type 2 diabetics run an elevated risk of developing cancer, according to the world’s largest study on the combined risk of diabetes and cancer, conducted by scientists at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). The study focused on 24 types of cancer. The effect is most evident for liver cancer and pancreatic cancer. However, by contrast, diabetics have a significantly lower rate of prostate…

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Surgical site infections

Post-operative wound infection occurs after an estimated 17% of surgical operations – sometimes with devastating consequences for the patient. The list of preventive measures is manifold and long. However, one strategy is increasingly moving into the spotlight: the use of antibacterial coated sutures. Ethicon Products is at the cutting edge in this field. Sandra Rasche, head of this Business…

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Article • MRSA

Effective screening can kill several birds with one stone

The MRSA problem has been ignored almost stoically in many European countries for the past 20 years. Thus the number of resistant Staphylococci cases exploded from 1% in 1990 around 25% in 2010. However, the recognition that an infection can result in additional hospital costs of up to €10,000 has led to a change in thinking. The Netherlands, for example, declared war on MRSA with ‘search and…

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Article • Enzyme extended-spectrum beta-lactimase

ESBL: A greater danger than MRSA?

In hospitals, MRSA is considered Public Enemy Nr 1, and the increase in nosocomial infections, worldwide, has drawn universal attention to this ‘superbug’. However, Staphylococcus aureus is not alone – other pathogens are proving their resistance to antibiotics, in the last decade, gram-negative enterobacteria, which form the enzyme extended-spectrum beta-lactimases (ESBL), have joined the…

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C. difficile - Molecular scientists design a very quick cheap test

A small team of researchers at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, in London, has developed a rapid, cheap and effective kit to test for the presence of Clostridium difficile. And, they report that the new kit costs as little as 50 pence to £1 per test and can deliver results in under an hour, compared to commercial kits that cost up to £25 and in some cases take significantly…

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New weapons enter the un-ending war against MRSA

A decade ago the battle against hospital-acquired MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strain) infections appeared to be lost, or at least without end. However, today, we see very important science-to-business achievements in this field. Report: Rostislav Kuklik

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Boldly tackling catering and hygiene issues

Although food for in-patients can be integral to healing, the standard of catering can be disappointingly low in some hospitals. In addition, sometimes even the help needed by those patients unable to eat or drink unaided can be overlooked. In addition, the problems of poor hospital hygiene can, at worst, result in deaths as well as legal issues for management. These two difficult areas are now…

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The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain

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

Insulin regulates itself

In type 2 diabetes, which is occurring at alarming rates, the hormone insulin does not work effectively to lower blood sugars and patients also do not make enough insulin. These two processes have been widely considered as separate. However, a surprising discovery was made by Joslin Diabetes Center researchers in animal models of diabetes: insulin is important in regulating its own production.…

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Pneumonia research in Spain

In November 2009 about 150 leading infectious disease researchers gathered in Berlin for the National Forum for Innovation in Medicine. During the meeting, Professor Antoni Torres MD (Hospital Clinic-Ciberes, University of Barcelona) gave Meike Lerner insights into community acquired pneumonia research projects and findings

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Communicable disease programmes in Europe

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

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Quick accurate cervical cancer test

The United Kingdom has a strong medical devices industry; more than 2,000 companies employ over 50,000 people and support the employment of many more in this field. About 200 of these medical manufacturers are at Medica this year, at various pavilions, including those representing Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Among the UK exhibitors, Zilico Ltd is presenting, for the first time, a…

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A better way to take temperature

The temporal artery thermometer was developed in response to the clinical requirements for a truly non-invasive, accurate method of taking temperature. GE now offers, in Germany and Middle-East, the Exergen handheld temporal artery thermometer TAT 5000, which provides several benefits including accuracy, ease of use and cost effectiveness.

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The GE Venue 40 series

GE Healthcare is presenting its new Venue ultrasound product line at Medica. The Venue 40, the first product launched, provides visualisation for needle guidance procedures and rapid diagnostics in real-time at the bedside. These point-of-care (POC) settings are the fastest growing in ultrasound internationally (USA growth: 30% average in the last four years. Source: industry report by Klein…

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The biology of cancers

Cancer research is progressing rapidly. For a large part, biology contributes to its most significant advances, which aim to renew the whole model of cancer care.

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40 years of MEDICA

When we organised the first Diagnostic Week in Karlsruhe, in 1969, no one could have known that this event would one day turn into the annual highlight in the world of medicine, reflected Dr Wolfgang Albath, laboratory medicine pioneer and one of the founding fathers of MEDICA the world`s largest medical trade show. Initially planned as a moving exhibition, the show has been based in…

Biochips to aid in cancer diagnosis

It is very difficult to predict whether a cancer drug will help an individual patient: only around one third of drugs will work directly in a given patient. Researchers at the Heinz Nixdorf Chair for Medical Electronics at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have developed a new test process for cancer drugs. With the help of microchips, they can establish in the laboratory whether a…

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The role of nutrition in the elderly

At the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) congress in Vienna, experts highlighted the important relationship between nutrition and functionality in the elderly. They discussed the importance of an effective and flexible screening tool for the measurement of nutritional status, the impact of nutritional status on fall and fracture risk, and the role physical exercise…

Microbiology lab automation

Full automation has now become the gold standard for clinical laboratories. Without hospital microbiology labs, which according to the Centres for Disease Control deal with 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths annually in the US alone, the growing threat of community-acquired and nosocomial infections could prove insuperable.

J&J acquires Cougar

Positive CB7630 (Abiraterone Acetate) Phase II Data was presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago this May/June, Cougar Biotechnology Inc, a development stage biopharmaceutical firm with a specific focus on oncology. In mid-July, Johnson & Johnson announced its acquisition of Cougar, which is now working with Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a division of the J&J firm Centocor…

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Roche and google.org start initiative for early discovery of new diseases

Roche Applied Science and Google.org recently started a joint project to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a multidisciplinary surveillance, research and response system. This system will enhance the ability to predict and prevent emerging infectious diseases in East Africa. The East African region is known as one of the major hot beds for emergence of new infectious viral agents and new…

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LightCycler MRSA Advanced Test cheats time

How the PCR-Test works The MRSA bacterium contains an additional 'mobile gene cassette' (SCCmec cassette) in its genetic makeup, which contains the so-called mecA gene. All beta-Lactam antibiotics such as Methicillin are therefore no longer effective. The LightCycler MRSA Advanced Test facilitates the detection of all five known SCCmec types within 85 to 100 minutes. This test principle is based…

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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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Copper fittings beat bacteria

Following an international field trial of "Antimicrobial copper surfaces", Asklepios Clinic, in Hamburg, Germany, has fitted door handles and light switches made of special copper alloys combat the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Futures: HIV self-monitoring

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

Positive action in the war against MRSA

The first strain of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was isolated in the 1960s, and its presence was reported worldwide in the late 1990s. A higher incidence of MRSA was noted in communities, at the dawn of the new millennium, leading to two basic MRSA strains being differentiated - CA-MRSA (community acquired MRSA) and HA-MRSA (healthcare associated MRSA). In clinical practice…

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Nosocomial infections

According to ECD statistics for Europe, three million cases of nosocomial infections occur annually, and 50,000 are fatal. Evelina Tacconelli MD PhD (below) is Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy. Her scientific focus is on epidemiology, clinical and therapeutic aspects of nosocomial infections and infection control policies aimed to…

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International TB support from KfW Development Bank

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

Minimally-invasive hip surgery benefits patients

According to the WHO, some 3 million people across the world require artificial hips as primary joint replacement surgery. Increasingly, surgeons are using minimally-invasive procedures to implant artificial hips, with direct anterior access. It is an ideal extension to the conventional method as the deployment of these procedures for suitable patients, usually results in a significant shortening…

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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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Breast screening in Belgium

Not so long ago this country, of considerable linguistic division, was a split into three regions, referred to as Flemish (with five provinces), Walloon (with five provinces) and the Brussels Capital. Each has its own parliament, with governments responsible for their individual region's affairs; these include health. Dr Catherine Breucq, head of the Breast Imaging Department at Brussels…

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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…

Faster, More Affordable Test Being Developed for Improved MRSA Screening

A rapid, portable, point-of-care test for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), developed by TwistDx based on a new way of detecting DNA, was one of nine products chosen from approximately 250 applications submitted to the Smart Solutions for HCAI programme, an NHS project that aims to identify innovative technologies with the potential to fight hospital bugs.

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Genome Structural Variation Consortium used Roche technology

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

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Small device counts viruses in minutes

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

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Further increase in number of exhibitors

The COMPAMED, the leading specialist international trade fair for suppliers to the medical manufacturing market, is held parallel to the MEDICA, the world's largest medical trade fair, each year and showcases the dynamism and innovative power of the medical technology sector. The COMPAMED 2008, High tech solutions for medical technology, will, with around 500 exhibitors from 30 nations, once…

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Drug resistant tuberculosis test within hours

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

Spotlight Cholesterol: the role of diet, statins and genetics

The inverse epidemiological association between serum levels of HDL-C and risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) is graded and has been validated in multiple studies. However, there is remaining controversy whether a low HDL-C should not predominantly be considered a marker of poor lifestyle (obesity, lack of exercise, hypertriglyceridemia, diet, etc.), rather than a primary causal agent for…

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Nosocomial and community MRSA infections

First emerging at the beginning of the '60s, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as a nosocomial infection - healthcare associated MRSA (haMRSA) - has become an increasingly prevalent infection control problem in many countries.

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Focus: hygiene and nosocomial infections

They are one of the major threats in today's hospital: tiny pathogens that hide out in catheters, in ventilation tubes, on instruments or on the keyboards of medical technological equipment only waiting to attack patients whose immune system is already weakened. This week, EH Online will take a closer look at nosocomial infections, their causes, their effects and the available ways and means to…

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