Search for: "vaccination" - 250 articles found

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Lab-on-a-chip

Multiplexed lab-on-a-chip bioassays for testing antibodies against SARS-CoV 2 and its variants in multiple individuals

The coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 and its variants is still a major public safety issue worldwide. The “alpha” variant B.1.1.7, the “gamma” variant P.1, the “beta” variant B.1.351, and the “delta” variant B.1.617 are of particular concern because of their high prevalence. Large-scale vaccination and sensitive detection are vital for preventing the spread of Covid-19.

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Article • Infection prevention

Vaccination: why ‘positive consensus’ is crucial

Vaccination projects across the world are at a pivotal post-Covid moment, according to one of the leading experts in the field. Speaking to Healthcare in Europe ahead of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) congress in Qatar – where vaccination will be a central topic – Dr Jerome Kim said there is an urgent need to regain a ‘positive consensus’ around the value of vaccines. He…

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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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Article • Diabetes

Microneedles: Nano-sized, huge impact

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

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Article • Accelerating the pace of development

Fighting the pandemic with microfluidic

The Corona pandemic has a major impact on all areas of life. Nearly everyone is affected in some way – in their health, in their jobs, in their entire lives. But there are also notable bright spots. Chief among these effects is the rapid development of vaccines, test kits and, in the future, medicines that are making a significant contribution to overcoming the crisis. Microfluidic components…

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News • Gender equality in clinical trials

Women in Covid-19 research: a good start, but...

There has been a "positive shift" in inclusive gender practices in Covid-19 vaccine research, but there is still room for improvement, experts say. Women have been equally recruited and represented in randomised control trial research about Covid-19 vaccine safety, efficacy and effectiveness, according to a new study by The George Institute for Global Health and The Australian National…

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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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Video • Prevention of triple-negative BRCA

Breast cancer vaccine: clinical trial started

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic have opened a novel study for a vaccine aimed at eventually preventing triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease. This phase I trial is designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the vaccine in patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer and to characterize and optimize the body’s immune response. The…

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News • Coronavirus inhibition

Highly potent antibody against SARS-CoV-2 discovered

Scientists at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have discovered a highly potent monoclonal antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and is effective at neutralizing all variants of concern identified to date, including the delta variant. Their findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

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News • Immune response study

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

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

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News • Immunological memory

How our lungs 'remember' a Covid-19 infection

After infection with SARS-CoV-2, where does the immune system store the memory to provide long-term protection against reinfection? Though numerous studies have examined blood to track immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, a new study of Covid survivors shows that the memory of the infection is primarily stored in T and B cells within the lung and the lymph nodes surrounding the lung.

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News • Respiratory research

Covid-19 infection does not affect lung function in kids, young adults

Covid-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to new research presented at the ‘virtual’ European Respiratory Society International Congress. In the first study to investigate the impact of Covid-19 infection on lung function, researchers led by Dr Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that even…

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News • Resource management

Automated filling machine could stave off Covid-19 vaccine shortage

Researchers in Thailand have developed a device to get the most out of vaccine supplies: The automated vaccine filling machine from the Faculty of Engineering at Chulalongkorn University can fill AstraZeneca vaccine into syringes with precision, speed, and safety, helping to increase the number of vaccinated people by 20 percent. The prototype is now operating at Chula Vaccination Center and more…

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News • Coronavirus prevention

Double vaccination cuts risk of Long Covid in half

Adults who have received a double vaccination are 49% less likely to have Long Covid should they contract a Covid-19 infection, according to new research from King's College London. The scientists analysed data from participants logging their symptoms, tests and vaccines on the UK ZOE COVID Symptom Study app between 8th December 2020 and 4 July 2021, including 1,240,009 (first dose) and 971,504…

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Article • Overheard at ISRRT

Radiography reflection of Covid on the frontline

Delegates at an international radiography conference were given an insight into the impact Covid-19 has had on their profession and practice in five countries across the world. A special session at the online ISRRT (International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists) congress in Dublin (August 20-22) heard experiences from Thailand, Nigeria, Italy, India and Ireland, with…

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News • SARS CoV-2 B.1.621

WHO classifies Coronavirus "Mu" as new 'Variant of Interest'

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a closer look at coronavirus variant B.1.621. The strain, first encountered in January 2021 in Colombia, shows traits that could enable the virus to circumvent immune response to vaccination. As a result, the variant, named "Mu", has been classified as "Variant of Interest" (VOI). Despite its prominence in Colombian new infection,…

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Video • Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

Scientists have grown beating heart cells to attempt to identify drugs to prevent Covid-19-related heart damage. Concerns over the extent of cardiac damage among Covid patients emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and there are also suggestions that the impact on cardiomyocytes could contribute to the symptoms of long Covid. To explore these issues, a research team at the University of…

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News • Variants of concern

Are Covid-19 vaccines still effective against Delta variant? New study says yes

Obtaining two vaccine doses remains the most effective way to ensure protection against the Covid-19 Delta variant of concern dominant in the UK today, according to a study from the University of Oxford. Conducted in partnership with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the study found that with Delta, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca…

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Article • Hybrid care models

Telemedicine or in-person care: Why not both?

Will telehealth replace traditional in-person healthcare? Healthcare and digital health professionals around the world have moved beyond this question. Telehealth scenarios are here to stay, and so is traditional healthcare. The relevant question is how both can be combined for optimum results. This is the focus of hybrid care models. Jonah Comstock of HIMSS recently presented a webinar on…

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News • Public health worldwide

Sharing Covid-19 vaccines between nations: a mathematical approach

New research from the University of Oxford and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology uses mathematical modelling to determine the most equitable way to share vaccines between nations. Vaccines provide a route to achieving high levels of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 across populations, and provide a route to reopening economies, tourism, and livelihoods. However, vaccine resources amongst…

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News • Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia

Rare blood clotting in brain after Covid-19 vaccination: study gives new insights

A new study of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 vaccination provides a clearer guide for clinicians trying to diagnose and treat patients. The research, led by University College London (UCL) and UCL Health and published in The Lancet, is the most detailed account of the characteristics of CVT, when it is caused by the novel condition vaccine-induced immune…

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Article • AI in public health

Inspiring women to create technology that impacts society

Some people change the narrative about technology and society. One of them is Nuria Oliver, Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Vodafone Institute, and Co-founder and Vice-president of the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS). In an interview with HiE, she explains how she develops computational tools and uses artificial…

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News • Cell delivery vehicles

Bio-inspired nanocontainers could enter cells and release their medical cargo

Nanocontainers can transport substances into cells where they can then take effect. This is the method used in, for example, the mRNA vaccines currently being employed against Covid-19 as well as certain cancer drugs. In research, similar transporters can also be used to deliver labelled substances into cells in order to study basic cellular functions. To take advantage of their full potential,…

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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 • Immune response determined

How Covid-19 vaccines prepare our immune system for the virus

In view of the continuing high numbers of infections, vaccination offers important protection against severe Covid-19 disease. Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine – University of Freiburg have now been able to determine in detail at what time point initial immune protection is established after vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine and how the reactions of the various components of the…

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News • MSI tumors

Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer shows promise

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have for the first time been able to delay the development of hereditary colorectal cancer with a protective vaccination. Mice with a hereditary predisposition to colorectal cancer survived significantly longer after vaccination than unvaccinated animals. Combining the vaccination with an anti-inflammatory drug…

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News • Search for signatures

‘Long Covid’ biomarkers in blood could lead to diagnostic test

Markers in our blood – ‘fingerprints’ of infection – could help identify individuals who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, several months after infection even if the individual had only mild symptoms or showed no symptoms at all, say Cambridge researchers. The team has received funding from the National Institute for Health Research to develop a test…

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News • Covid-19 detection

New blood test measures immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and EPFL teamed up to develop a new test that’s sensitive enough to measure the amount of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies present in the bloodstream. The scientists’ discovery, published in Science Translational Medicine, opens promising new avenues for tracking immunity acquired by infection or vaccination.

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News • Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

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

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News • Analysis of 2nd and 3rd Corona wave

Rapid tests effectively contain Covid-19

Rapid tests effectively broke Covid-19 infection chains in spring 2021. This is shown by a model developed by researchers of the ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy Cluster of Excellence of the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 224 EPoS of the Universities of Bonn and Mannheim, and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). According to the…

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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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News • Long Covid research

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

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

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News • Coronavirus epidemiology

A cloud-based software for the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants

In-vitro-diagnostics company bioMérieux has launched Episeq SARS-CoV-2, a genomic software solution to support microbiology labs in identification and reporting from raw sequencing data related to SARS-CoV-2 variants. Viral mutation is a naturally occurring phenomenon leading to the emergence of variants that can have different characteristics. Today, a number of SARS-CoV-2 variants are…

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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 • Good news

Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection

Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

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News • Corona in healthcare workers

Covid-19 and hospital staff: many infections, but few re-infections

A study of healthcare workers shows they were three times more likely to become infected during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the general population. Around one in five of workers who were infected were asymptomatic and unaware they had Covid-19. The study published in ERJ Open Research also shows that it was not only frontline staff who faced the higher risk, suggesting that there was…

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News • Victims of the pandemic

Covid-19 death toll: experts estimate 1 million excess deaths

Almost 1 million extra deaths relating to the Covid-19 pandemic occurred in 29 high income countries in 2020, finds a study published by The BMJ. Except for Norway, Denmark and New Zealand, all other countries examined had more deaths than expected in 2020, particularly in men. The five countries with the highest absolute number of excess deaths were the US, UK, Italy, Spain, and Poland.

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News • Coronavirus diagnostics

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

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

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News • 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 • Covid-19 prevention side effects

Rare blood clots after Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: study sheds more light

A large study from Denmark and Norway published by The BMJ sheds more light on the risk of rare blood clots in adults receiving their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The findings show slightly increased rates of vein blood clots including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. However, the researchers stress that the risk of…

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News • Labs processing 2,000 to 5,000 tests a day

Workflow automation solutions for mid-volume laboratories

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter announced the European launch of the DxA 5000 Fit, a workflow-automation solution designed to fit into medium-sized labs that run fewer than 5,000 tests a day. The clinical laboratory has gone through trial by fire in 2020, where total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with ~55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests. Despite vaccines, many industry…

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News • Medication testing

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

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

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News • After vaccination

Covid-19: Clinicians uncover rare blood clotting syndrome

A team led by a clinical academic at University College London (UCL) has outlined the mechanism behind rare cases of blood clots and low platelets seen in patients who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights the importance of rapidly spotting this new syndrome, known as vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia…

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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 • Lipid research

Solving the sub-zero challenge of Covid-19 vaccines

New research by University of Texas at Dallas scientists could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain Covid-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage. In a study published online in Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline…

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News • CVT risk evaluation

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

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

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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 • Reverse genetics system

SARS-CoV-2: An easier and quicker way to analyse mutations

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have…

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News • CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

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News • SARS-CoV-2 detection and sequencing

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

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

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News • Here comes the tooth fairy

New drug shows promise for regenerating lost teeth

A new study by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may offer hope for adults who have lost their teeth. The team reports that an antibody for one gene - uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1 - can stimulate tooth growth in mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition. The paper was published in Science Advances. Although the normal adult mouth has…

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News • Proof of concept

Surveillance system tracks Covid infection hotspots in hospital

A University of Manchester team has applied new techniques to detect and track the transmission of Covid-19 in hospital. The proof of concept system combines the movement and interaction of staff and patients with genomic sequencing of the virus, helping to signpost how best to improve patient pathways, staff movement and reduce risk. They identified hotspots within hospitals where patients and…

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Article • Digital pathology

AI delivers cervical cancer screening to rural areas of Kenya

Experts from Sweden, Finland and Kenya are using digital microscopy combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver a rapid and effective cervical screening service to rural locations in Kenya. The project sees AI and digital diagnostics bridge the gap between low-resource settings and the availability of centralised AI-enhanced expertise and pathology services, located in larger cities in…

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News • Malignant brain tumor

Successful test for mutation-specific vaccine against diffuse gliomas

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated proteins. For the first time, physicians and cancer researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim have now carried out a clinical trial to test a mutation-specific vaccine against malignant brain tumors.…

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News • Immune response in pregnant and lactating women

Mothers pass on Covid-19 protection to their babies after vaccination

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have found the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to be highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. They also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns…

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News • SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

Covid-19 immunity may last from days to decades

Scientists from Singapore found that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wane at different rates, lasting for mere days in some individuals, while remaining present in others for decades. The study, published in The Lancet Microbe, shows that the severity of the infection could be a deciding factor in having longer-lasting antibodies. Individuals with low levels of neutralising antibodies may still be…

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News • Asymptomatic disease spread

Why vaccines alone may not be enough to end the Covid-19 pandemic

Even as vaccines are becoming more readily available, protecting against the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19 is key to ending the pandemic, say two infectious disease experts at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In their Perspective, “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Without Symptoms,” published in the journal Science, they make the case…

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News • AI, blockchain, hybrid cloud technology

Cooperation for smarter Covid-19 vaccine management

Moderna and IBM announced their intentions to explore technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud, that could help support smarter Covid-19 vaccine management. Central to the effort will be a pilot of open, standardized, technology-enabled vaccine distribution approaches aimed to improve supply chain visibility and foster near real-time tracking of vaccine…

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News • New study confirms

Covid-19 vaccines highly effective in nursing homes

In what is believed to be the first published study of Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, a research team co-led by the Yale School of Public Health found a widely used vaccine is highly successful in preventing infections. Residents of such facilities, particularly those in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), have experienced disproportionately high…

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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 • Cancer vaccine research

Tackling tumors with two types of virus

An international research group led by the University of Basel has developed a promising strategy for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Using two different viruses as vehicles, they administered specific tumor components in experiments on mice with cancer in order to stimulate their immune system to attack the tumor. The approach is now being tested in clinical studies.

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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 • 'Vaccelerate' cooperation

Building a Covid-19 vaccine network across Europe

The European Commission has launched a contingency plan to meet the challenge of the various mutations of the coronavirus. Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital are contributing to a new network for the evaluation and testing of new vaccines. The network is called "Vaccelerate" and it will contribute both to the evaluation of ongoing and future vaccinations, as well…

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News • EC proposal

Health industry welcomes European innovation partnership

The European Commission has proposed a European Partnership for Health Innovation under Horizon Europe - an endeavour that is supported by health industry stakeholders representing pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. In a joint statement, COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe voice their approval: The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the importance of an environment…

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News • Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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News • Legal, ethical, medical challenges

12 things to consider before introducing Covid-19 vaccine passports

Covid-19 vaccine passports could be created, but significant challenges need to be overcome first, according to a report from a panel led by Oxford Professors Melinda Mills and Chris Dye, which outlines a dozen issues which must be addressed before passports can be introduced. The report is published by the SET-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking: Covid-19) group at the Royal Society and it…

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News • Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor…

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Article • Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

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News • Study from Zambia shows many more deaths

Experts: Impact of Covid-19 in Africa “vastly underestimated”

The impact of Covid-19 in Africa has been vastly underestimated, warn researchers in a new study. Outside of South Africa, this is the first study to provide systematic surveillance data capturing the impact of Covid-19 in Africa. Their findings are based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for 364 deceased people of all ages at the University Teaching Hospital morgue in Lusaka,…

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Video • Portable testing solution

A corona lab that fits in a suitcase

The PCR test is the most accurate tool to identify SARS-CoV-2. However, valid results are often available only after days. Moreover, the laboratory must be well equipped, have trained personnel and sufficient financial resources. All of this is usually a problem in Africa. A portable suitcase could help. In cooperation with several African universities, scientists at Leipzig University have found…

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News • Lessons learned from Covid-19

A 'blueprint' for preventing the next pandemic

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

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News • Herd immunity explained in virtual reality

Using VR to win over vaccine skeptics

People who are sceptical of getting vaccinated against infectious diseases may soon get a whole new perspective on things. Professor Robert Böhm and Associate Professor Guido Makransky from the Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen have received DKK three million in funding from EIT Health for developing a virtual reality app to…

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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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Article • Covid-19's impact on studies

Clinical trials during the pandemic: lessons for future cancer research

The continuing corona virus epidemic has impacted strongly on cancer care and research, including the delay of treatments and diagnoses as well as on trials of new therapies, and the shift in research to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. However, the session ‘Cancer research and Covid-19’, during the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Virtual Showcase (online 2-3 November) looked at how UK…

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News • Viral sequencing

How SARS-CoV-2 spreads and evolves

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

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News • Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

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

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News • Fight against COVID-19

AI lung scan analysis rolled out across Europe

The Belgian initiative icovid, which supports radiologists in the assessment of CT images of the lungs of COVID-19 patients, has grown into a multicentre European project, co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Icovid was set up in March by UZ Brussel, KU Leuven, icometrix and ETRO, an imec research group of VUB.

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News • Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

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

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News • Coronavirus infection response

SARS-CoV-2 IgG II antibody test launched in CE Mark countries

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter launched its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay in countries accepting the CE Mark. The new Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay quantitatively measures a patient’s level of antibodies in response to a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The ability to establish a quantitative baseline to evaluate an individual’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus allows…

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News • WHO online courses

Corona, Ebola & Co: conveying life-saving knowledge in real-time

The corona pandemic, which has been rampant for a year, and the Ebola epidemic of 2017 have shown the value of online courses for the rapid worldwide dissemination of life-saving knowledge, the German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) points out. One year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its first online course on Covid-19 diseases. HPI head Prof. Christoph Meinel reflects on its…

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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 • Variant COH.20G/501Y

New Coronavirus strain discovered

Scientists at The Ohio State University have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States. The College of Medicine researchers also report the evolution of another U.S. strain that acquired three other gene mutations not previously…

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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 • Frontal part of the nose

Covid-19 Antigen Test: CE Mark for easier sample collection

Siemens Healthineers announced CE mark has been achieved to use anterior nose swab sampling for the Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen test. This sampling method can be less cumbersome and time consuming for both the provider and the patient. The test is a point-of-care cassette test that does not require laboratory instruments or specialized lab personnel to administer, and it delivers results in…

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News • Lasts longer, causes more damage

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

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

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News • Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

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News • Promising candidate

Single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for Covid-19 in development

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

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News • High-risk group

Covid-19 doubles death rate in acute heart failure patients

Patients with acute heart failure nearly double their risk of dying if they get Covid-19, according to new research. The small, single centre study highlights the need for patients with heart failure to take extra precautions to avoid catching Covid-19. “Our results support prioritising heart failure patients for Covid-19 vaccination once it is available,” said study lead investigator Dr.…

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News • Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay

Startup develops breakthrough IgG antibody test for Covid-19

ZTA Biotech, a Budapest-based biotech startup, has developed a Covid-19 antibody (IgG) test using the ELISA protocol. This new detection method represents a great step forward in determining if patients have had a coronavirus infection and if they might still have immunity to the disease. Early results have proven 100% in specificity after testing 280 samples, and 100% sensitivity by testing 260…

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News • HPV vaccines and pap smear tests

Keys to prevent many cervical cancer cases

Hundreds of thousands of cervical cancer cases per year could be prevented through widespread vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) and annual pap smear tests, says an expert at a top American hospital, Cleveland Clinic, marking Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January. Dr. Robert DeBernardo, Section Head of Gynecologic Oncology and Vice Chair Subspecialty Care for Women’s Health at…

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News • For use across the UK

Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca approved

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Following a rigorous, detailed scientific review by the MHRA’s expert scientists and clinicians and on the basis of the advice of its scientific, independent…

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Article • Lessons learned from the pandemic

Health professionals have to ask: “What’s next?”

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock but not a surprise. Bodies around the world have been warning for years of a novel disease that could wipe out millions and crash the global economy. In February 2019, Dr Jonathan Quick, chair of the Global Health Council, told Raconteur: “Our greatest fear is being blindsided by a new virus, most likely due to animal-human spill over, which then readily…

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News • Supply and demand

Covid-19 vaccine will probably be unavailable for many until 2022

Nearly a quarter of the world’s population may not have access to a covid-19 vaccine until at least 2022, warns a study published by The BMJ. A second study estimates that 3.7 billion adults worldwide are willing to have a covid-19 vaccine, highlighting the importance of designing fair and equitable strategies to ensure that supply can meet demand, especially in low and middle income countries.

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Article • Pandemic management

How the Covid-19 crisis defines good leadership

A senior UK health figure has highlighted how contrasting leadership approaches are impacting the response to the global coronavirus crisis. Dr Clare Gerada also fears that response is affecting health professionals and leaders within the sector, with a significant rise numbers seeking help for mental health issues. Delivering the prestigious Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Lecture to the 2020 British…

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Article • Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2

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

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

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News • Intratumoral B cells

Another side to cancer immunotherapy?

Scientists report on their detailed look at B cells' presence inside tumors. B cells represent the other major arm of the adaptive immune system, besides T cells, and could offer opportunities for new treatments against some kinds of cancers.

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News • For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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News • Coronavirus assay receives CE Mark

Quantitative Covid-19 test to measure neutralizing antibodies

Siemens Healthineers announced its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test (sCOVG) has proven to measure neutralizing antibodies and has achieved CE Mark. The test is an enhanced version of the assay which became available globally this summer. It demonstrates the ability to detect neutralizing antibodies and reports quantitative results measuring the amount of neutralizing antibodies present in a patient's…

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Article • MEDICA session

PCR tests excel during Covid-19 pandemic

In early 1990, at Analytica, in Munich, a young US-American researcher Kary B Mullis received the award for biochemical analytics for his 1983 invention: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a success topped in 1993 by the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Mullis’ work revolutionised DNA copying, a process which, before PCR, had taken weeks. Whilst initially PCR was used to create digital…

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News • Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after wounding, leading to more effective skin healing. This new material, which quickly degrades once the wound has closed, demonstrates that activating an adaptive immune response can trigger regenerative wound healing, leaving behind stronger and…

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News • Preclinical data

COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer

An innovative nanoparticle vaccine candidate for the pandemic coronavirus produces virus-neutralizing antibodies in mice at levels ten-times greater than is seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19 infections. Designed by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the vaccine candidate has been transferred to two companies for clinical development.

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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 • Flaws in study design

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

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

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News • 'QCOVID' model

New COVID-19 tool predicts risks of hospital admission and death

A new risk tool, developed by UK researchers to predict a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital and dying from COVID-19 has been published by The BMJ. With cases increasing in the UK and elsewhere, and winter approaching, there is an urgent need for reliable models that predict the likely course of COVID-19, to support decisions about shielding, hospital admission, treatment, and…

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News • Therapy development

New approach to 'BEAT' COVID-19

The present Coronavirus pandemic with all its effects on society – both health and economic – highlights the urgency of developing new therapies for COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, it demonstrates the necessity to become well prepared for new virus infections we may be facing in the future. To help control the current pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future…

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News • COVID immunity research

Coronavirus re-infection: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19? To date, there have been six published cases of COVID-19 reinfection, with various other unverified accounts from around the world. Although this is a comparably small fraction of the millions of people known to have been infected, should we be…

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Video • New insights on the virus' ‘survivability’

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

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

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Video • List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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News • Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

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

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Video • For breakthroughs against Hepatitis C

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

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

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News • Fending off the coronavirus

The role of T-cells in SARS-CoV-2 virus defense

Our immune system can efficiently fend off viral diseases. Two types of immune cells play an important role in this process: The T-cells, which firstly can directly destroy virus-infected cells and secondly enable the formation of efficient, virus-neutralizing antibodies by B-cells. These two cell types also play a crucial role in the immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whereas antibody…

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News • Managing coronavirus testing

Successful pilot study for new COVID-19 screening management software

With COVID-19 testing an important part of controlling the spread of the virus, finding an effective software system to manage the testing process and collate the results, on a national level and individually within businesses, hospitals, care-homes and schools etc., is essential. Thomson Screening developed SchoolScreener Imms in order to manage health testing within schools, but with the…

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News • 'Rush to publish'

Have research standards suffered during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a flood of potentially substandard research amid the rush to publish, with a string of papers retracted or under a cloud and a surge in submissions to pre-print servers where fewer quality checks are made, a leading ethicist has warned in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This has implications for patients, clinicians, and potentially government policy, says…

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