Search for: "vaccines" - 457 articles found

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Genomic tracking

Retracing the Covid-19 pandemic in England

The Covid-19 crisis that gripped England between September 2020 and June 2021 can be thought of as a series of overlapping epidemics, rather than a single event, say researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the German Cancer Research Center. During this period, the country wrestled with multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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CVT risk evaluation

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

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

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Coronavirus transmission

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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Immune response or breast cancer?

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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Basis for a passive vaccination

Researchers identify highly effective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified highly effective antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination. In this process, they have also discovered that some SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bind to tissue samples from various organs, which could potentially…

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Overheard at AAIC 2020

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

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

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Taking control

How the coronavirus hijacks cells

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the coronavirus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus.

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Research shows

Children are silent spreaders of COVID-19 virus

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

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EU collaboration proposal

Looking forward to a better European Health Partnership

Health industry sectors, representing pharmaceutical and medical technology companies (COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe) welcome the publication of the European Partnership for Innovative Health Proposal as a significant milestone towards a European Partnership for Health Innovation. The future partnership will showcase to researchers, patients, and citizens that Europe…

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Coronavirus

Lab-made virus mimics COVID-19 virus

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

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'ChAdOx1' delivers promising results

Breakthrough for coronavirus vaccine candidate

A team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus. The results of the Phase I/II trial published in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

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COVID-19

Scientists uncover SARSCoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

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Growth segment focus, resource optimization, massive restructuring

Healthcare experts: 2020 will be 'unforgiving but transformational'

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Post-Pandemic Global Healthcare Market Outlook, 2020, forecasts that 2020 will be an unforgiving but transformational year for the healthcare industry. As the world grapples with a global emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is expected to witness a drop in growth from 5.3% to 0.6% in 2020, with revenues remaining below the…

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Restriction research

COVID-19: The earlier the lockdown, the fewer new cases, study shows

Physical distancing measures, such as closing schools, workplaces, and public transport, and restricting mass gatherings, are associated with a meaningful reduction in new COVID-19 cases, finds a study published by The BMJ. The data, gathered from 149 countries and regions, also show that implementing lockdown restrictions earlier was associated with a greater reduction in new cases. “These…

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Corona management in Taiwan

Standing united against COVID-19

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

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Paediatric health risks

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

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

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Coronavirus research

Immunity to COVID-19 is probably higher than tests have shown

New research from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that many people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 demonstrate so-called T-cell-mediated immunity to the new coronavirus, even if they have not tested positively for antibodies. According to the researchers, this means that public immunity is probably higher than antibody tests suggest. The article is freely…

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COVID-19 diagnostics

SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization

Beckman Coulter announced that its Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Beckman Coulter has already shipped tests to more than 400 hospitals, clinics and diagnostics laboratories in the U.S., and has begun distribution of the new antibody test globally to countries that accept the FDA EUA and CE Mark. The…

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Immune system

Tuberculosis vaccine also makes less susceptible to other infections

A tuberculosis vaccine developed 100 years ago also makes vaccinated persons less susceptible to other infections. While this effect has been recognized for a long time, it is not known what causes it. Together with colleagues from Australia and Denmark, researchers from Radboud university medical center the universities of Nijmegen and Bonn have now presented a possible answer to this question.

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Protective equipment

Face masks could shrink the 'R' number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave

Population-wide use of facemasks keeps the coronavirus ‘reproduction number’ under 1.0, and prevents further waves of the virus when combined with lockdowns, a modelling study led by the University of Cambridge suggests. The research suggests that lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2, and that even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce…

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Immunology

COVID-19 study reveals universally effective antibodies

The first round of results from an immunological study of 149 people who have recovered from COVID-19 show that although the amount of antibodies they generated varies widely, most individuals had generated at least some that were intrinsically capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibodies vary widely in their efficacy. While many may latch on to the virus, only some are truly…

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Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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Utilizing findings from cancer research

Understanding immunity to SARS-CoV-2

Why does every person react differently to an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2? Why do some people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms of COVID-19, the disease which it causes? And why do some people become so severely ill that they require ventilators or even die? These questions are being investigated by Professor Mascha Binder, director of the Department of Internal Medicine IV at…

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Estimating the 'Deep-Replicability' of scientific findings

AI speeds up search for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

Researchers at Northwestern University are using artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up the search for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. The AI-powered tool makes it possible to prioritize resources for the most promising studies — and ignore research that is unlikely to yield benefits. In the midst of the pandemic, scientific research is being conducted at an unprecedented rate. The Food and…

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Going viral

Coronavirus clone produced in the lab

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method developed in Bern can also be used in future to combat other highly infectious viruses. In the…

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Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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Coronavirus treatment

Can stem cells treat COVID-19?

Niels-Bjarne Woods, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has developed lung-specific mesenchymal stem cells to treat inflammation of the lungs and fibrosis. This research now may be the needed breakthrough for treatment of the severe respiratory issues related to COVID-19. A clinical study may soon be underway contingent on a successful application to the Swedish Medical Products Agency.…

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Coronavirus analysis

AI-generated design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines published

NEC Corporation announced analysis results from efforts using AI prediction platforms to design blueprints for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that can drive potent T-cell responses in the majority of the global population. This initiative by the scientific teams within the NEC Group to help combat outbreaks of COVID-19 and support international vaccine development efforts is led by NEC OncoImmunity (NOI) in…

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COVID-19 gateway

Nose cells identified as likely coronavirus entry points

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

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Infection control in hospitals

Nosocomial influenza: The enormous effect of mask wearing

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

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Coronavirus structured reporting

Radiology and COVID-19: How to establish safe workflows

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

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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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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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Existing solutions to a new problem

COVID-19 vaccine candidate could cover global demand

Any new coronavirus vaccine that works well and is safe will still have the daunting challenge of needing to be produced to scale in a very short amount of time. It will also have to be safely delivered into the hands of the most remote populations. The more complex and untested the vaccine approach, the more difficult it will be to both scale its production and deliver it around the world. By…

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COVID-19 research

Clues to coronavirus’s vulnerability emerge from SARS antibody

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

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Reprogramming viruses

From cancer to corona: UK scientists switch research focus

A team of Cardiff University scientists has switched from researching cancer to work that could help towards a vaccine for coronavirus. The team at the School of Medicine usually work on reprogramming viruses so they can target and kill cancer - but are now focusing their efforts to help in the fight against the new virus which is gripping the world. Dr Alan Parker and his team, whose work on…

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Global community

Taiwan provides help to combat COVID-19 pandemic

The severity of the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused lots of countries to face shortage of medical supplies and resources, and some medical care systems are on the brinks of collapsing. Taiwan, with strong medical care capabilities and experiences, is standing with the world as an active member of the global community to provide assistance, exchange experiences and conduct further…

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IgM/IgG identification

Coronavirus antibody test in development

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Beckman Coulter announced that it is developing assays to identify IgM and IgG antibodies to the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The assays will be designed for use on any of its high-throughput Access family of immunoassay systems, including the Access 2 and DxI series installed globally. Research has shown that after infection with SARS-CoV-2, viral…

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Cultural differences matter

Study shows: Hand washing is key against COVID-19

Countries where people do not have a habit of washing their hands automatically tend to have a much higher exposure to coronavirus, a new study reveals. University of Birmingham researchers have discovered that at least 50% of people do not have a habit of automatic handwashing after using the toilet in China (77%), Japan (70%), South Korea (61%) and the Netherlands (50%). These countries are…

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Public health

The fight against COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

The sunny Sunday of March 22, 2020, may well go down as a watershed date in the context of Coronavirus in the UK. A couple of days earlier, UK schools had closed en masse – open only thereafter for children of key workers – and the British government had advised that pubs, bars, cinemas, gyms and restaurants should close and people should adhere more rigorously to social distancing.

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Flu forecast

Portable AI device predicts outbreaks based on coughing

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

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Understanding COVID-19

Why children are vital to slowing the coronavirus pandemic

Though the coronavirus disease COVID-19 so far appears to be largely sparing children, researchers are cautioning that it is critical to understand how the virus affects kids to model the pandemic accurately, limit the disease’s spread and ensure the youngest patients get the care they need. The warning comes from Steven L. Zeichner, MD, PhD, the head of UVA Health’s Division of Pediatric…

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Chest X-ray, CT and more

Imaging the coronavirus disease COVID-19

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

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Dutch experts discuss

On the implications of the coronavirus

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

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After the denoidectomy

Using tonsils as an 'immune testbed'

Biomedical researchers in Munich have isolated immune cells from human tonsils obtained following routine surgery, and used them to analyze aspects of the immune response and test the effects of anti-inflammatory agents at the cellular level. Human tissues that have been surgically removed from patients are normally treated as waste, especially when they are derived from a ‘dispensable’ organ…

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COVID-19 in radiology

CT outperforms lab diagnosis for coronavirus infection

In a study of more than 1,000 patients published in Radiology, chest CT outperformed lab testing in the diagnosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Researchers at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, concluded that CT should be used as the primary screening tool for COVID-19. In the absence of specific therapeutic drugs or vaccines for COVID-19, it is essential to detect the disease at an…

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Myths around SARS-CoV-2 busted

Coronavirus FAQ to dispel fake and harmful advice

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

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BCG vs tumour recurrence

Modified tuberculosis vaccine shows promise against bladder cancer

The human immune system can recognize and eliminate not only germs but also cancer cells. This is why treatments with weakened germs can help the immune system in its fight against cancer. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin have genetically modified the tuberculosis vaccine BCG in a way that it stimulates the immune system more specifically. Consequently, the…

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Smart infection control

China uses AI to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak

Infrared thermometers are now used in most subway stations in China to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia (MCP). Many stations have implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) based fever screening system developed by the Beijing-based company Megvii Technology Limited. The system supports non-contact remote temperature screening from a distance of 3 meters. "This…

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New virus 2019-nCoV

Scientists grow Wuhan coronavirus in the lab

Scientists from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2) from a patient sample, which will provide expert international laboratories with crucial information to help combat the virus. This is the first time the virus has been grown in cell culture outside of China. The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s…

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Research award shortlist

Soft cardio-robot and 'Google Maps' of the heart face Big Beat Challenge

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced its shortlist of four research projects competing for a single £30 million award. The charity says it is one of many radical new approaches needed to address a frightening mismatch in research funding compared with the burden of heart and circulatory diseases. With the World Health Organization forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths…

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SARS-like virus from China

What we know about the new corona virus

Nine people have died and more than 400 have been sickened by the new corona virus spreading in China. A few cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S., and on Wednesday, the World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting on the outbreak. How worried about a new pandemic should we be? Virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department…

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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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Subdermal quantum tattoo

Nano-patch stores medical information under the skin

Every year, a lack of vaccination leads to about 1.5 million preventable deaths, primarily in developing nations. One factor that makes vaccination campaigns in those nations more difficult is that there is little infrastructure for storing medical records, so there’s often no easy way to determine who needs a particular vaccine. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)…

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Multiple myeloma therapy

Finding a formula for blood cancer vaccine

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a way to move precision immunotherapy forward by using genomics to inform immunotherapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in December. This is the first study to experimentally determine which…

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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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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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Nanoswarm

Tiny transporters deliver treatment to stroke patients

Swarms of nanoparticles which are 15,000 times smaller than a pinhead may be able to deliver vital drugs to the brain, offering new hope to patients in the early stages of a stroke. The research, carried out at The University of Manchester, shows that tiny vesicles called liposomes, just 100 nanometres in diameter can translocate through the damaged blood brain barrier following stroke. And that…

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Tricky virus

Measles infections erase 'immune memory' – vaccination confers protection

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

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Product of the Month

Using safety products reduces the risk of needlestick injuries

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

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Chronic inflammations

GATA-3: 'Switching off' allergies and asthma

Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as allergies and asthma, are not only an acute problem but also a major research and prevention challenge. We spoke with Professor Harald Renz, Director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine at the University Hospital Gießen/Marburg, Germany, and discussed the major reason for increases in the number of these widespread diseases.

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Breakthrough against C. diff

New Clostridioides difficile vaccine on the horizon

Researchers at the University of Exeter first identified a gene in the 'hospital bug' Clostridioides difficile responsible for producing a protein that aids in binding the bacteria to the gut of its victims. In collaboration with researchers at Paris-SUD University, they then showed that mice vaccinated with this protein generated specific antibodies to the protein – and that C. diff that did…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Catching flu by the stalk

One step closer to a universal influenza vaccine

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

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Immune response alteration

Can a parasite infection protect against HIV?

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

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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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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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Safety products

Abolish needlestick injuries

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

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Elderly in the ICU

Can flu vaccine reduce stroke risk?

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

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Economic and social rights

Women’s rights strongholds are healthier, study finds

Nations with strong women’s rights are more likely to have better health and faster growth than those who don’t promote and protect these values, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open. This trend is evident in even in resource-poor countries, say the researchers. While many parts of the world have made good economic progress, women’s rights have often been overlooked, say…

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Why do we get sick?

Mechanism behind development of viral infections uncovered

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

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Human papillomavirus

HPV vaccination could dramatically reduce head and neck cancers

Vaccinating schoolboys against the potentially deadly human papillomavirus (HPV) could dramatically reduce head and neck cancers in men, according to research involving the University of Strathclyde. The two-year project studied 235 patients in Scotland with head and neck cancer and found that 78% of people with head and neck cancers were men, while HPV was present in 60% of the cancers. This…

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Boosting our immune surveillance

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

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

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MERS-CoV

Seeking answers to combat Middle East respiratory syndrome

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

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Sexually transmitted infections

New findings could improve STI vaccinations

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

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Neurology

On-going malignant astrocytoma vaccine tests

A new vaccination for malignant astrocytoma brings such patients hope. However, research is still in its infancy. We spoke with Professor Michael Platten, Medical Director of the Neurological Clinic at Medical University Mannheim, about the present state of research and the serious opportunities this presents. During the interview, he also revealed how cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry…

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Differentiate and select

Myths and truths about antibiotics, antiseptics and vaccination

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

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Blood transfusions

Donor organs become immunologically invisible

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

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body. The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a…

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Dial 'M' for microfold cells

Identifying a key player in gut defense development

A joint team from Hokkaido University and Keio University has identified a gut protein essential for neonatal mice to fight infections, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The insight could help understand how infants develop their own intestinal immune systems after weaning. The gut is constantly exposed to potentially harmful bacteria that come with food and…

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X-ray crystallography

Seeing the unseeable life inside a virus

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

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Seasonal influenza

Why the flu is especially dangerous for kidney failure patients

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

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Glioblastoma

New actively personalized therapeutic vaccine for brain cancer

The prospect of an actively personalized approach to the treatment of glioblastoma has moved a step closer with the recent publication in Nature of favorable data from the phase 1 study GAPVAC-101, testing a novel therapeutic concept tailored to specific characteristics of patients’ individual tumors and immune systems. For the first time, the feasibility of such a highly personalized form of…

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Immunotherapy

Toward an “ultra-personalized” therapy for melanoma

With new immunotherapy treatments for melanoma, recovery rates have risen dramatically – in some cases to around 50%. But they could be much higher. A new study led by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science showed, in lab dishes and animal studies, that a highly personalized approach could help the immune cells improve their ability to recognize the cancer and kill it.

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Therapy

Could these special antibodies lead to HIV vaccine?

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

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Autophagy

Pathway Ebola virus uses to enter cells pinpointed

The new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus declared just last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have claimed more than 30 victims so far, highlighting the continued urgency to find a way to stop the pathogen from killing the people it infects. A new study is shedding light on the role of specific proteins that trigger a mechanism allowing Ebola virus to enter cells to…

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Lab equipment

Thermo Fisher presents new compact refrigerators for clinical storage

The Thermo Scientific TSG Series of refrigerators maintain optimal cold storage conditions with minimal energy consumption and noise output. They have been specifically developed to address the need of clinical laboratories and patient care facilities for cold storage equipment that enable secure and energy-efficient storage of vaccines, medicines, lab kits and breast milk, while offering quiet…

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Resistance-building

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

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

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Brain cancer

Typical mutation in cancer cells stifles immune response

The exchange of a single amino acid building block in a metabolic enzyme can lead to cancer. In addition, it can impair the immune system. It thus blocks the body’s immune response in the battle against the mutant molecule and also impedes immunotherapy against brain cancer. This finding opens new insights into cancer development and progression and it also suggests that rethinking antitumor…

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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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New function assessment

Measuring immune cell response within minutes

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

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Terror protection

Promising vaccines against anthrax, plague and tularemia

Anthrax, plague and tularemia are three potent agents terrorists would be likely to use in an attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each is highly and quickly lethal to humans. But there are no licensed vaccines for tularemia and plague, and although there is an anthrax vaccine, it requires a burdensome immunization schedule and has severe side effects. Now, a…

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Medication development

Support from the other end of the world

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

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Immunotherapy

Promising vaccine suppresses peanut allergies in mice

A vaccine may successfully turn off peanut allergy in mice, a new study shows. Just three monthly doses of a nasal vaccine protected the mice from allergic reactions upon exposure to peanut, according to research from the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center at the University of Michigan. The study, funded by grants from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) and the Department of Defense, was…

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Small molecule, huge effect

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

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

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Right in the stomach

Helicobacter creates immune system blind spot

While gastritis and gastric ulcer disease used to be put down to stress and dietary factors, it was discovered in the 1980s that the actual culprit is infection with a bacterium, H. pylori. This pathogen is now classed as a type I carcinogen by the WHO, as it is the major risk factor for development of gastric carcinoma. Attempts to develop a vaccine against H. pylori have been unsuccessful and…

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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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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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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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Initiative

Knowledge dissemination key to defeating cancer?

Half of cancers can be avoided if institutions would exchange knowledge, according to Joxel García, executive director of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who opened the Center’s meeting in Madrid in October 2016. Technology has progressed enormously and there has never been that much knowledge of cancer to prevent it and find treatment tools.

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Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

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

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Beyond skepticism

Why vaccines are an especially tough sell on conspiracy theorists

People who believe Princess Diana was murdered or that John F. Kennedy’s assassination was an elaborate plot are more likely to think that vaccines are unsafe, despite scientific evidence to the contrary, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. “Vaccinations are one of society’s greatest achievements and one of the main reasons that people live about 30…

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HPV infections

Cervical cancer awareness

No woman should die from cervical cancer. Indeed, cervical cancer is the deadliest, yet most preventable gynecologic malignancy. According to the American Cancer Society, there are 13,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer leading to 4,100 cancer-related deaths each year in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these deaths could have been prevented with either regular screening with Pap…

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Oncology

Why liver cancer screening rates must improve

Patients with cirrhosis should be screened regularly for liver cancer, though few are – in part because busy physicians often don’t order the screening tests, said UT Southwestern oncologists. “The frequency of liver cancer is increasing rapidly in the U.S. and liver cancer-related mortality has nearly doubled over the past decade. The poor prognosis of the disease is largely driven by the…

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Nomen est omen?

Sleeping sickness – more than just a sleeping disorder

Sleeping sickness could use a more encompassing moniker. An international study from the O’Donnell Brain Institute shows one of Africa’s most lethal diseases is actually a circadian rhythm disorder caused by the acceleration of biological clocks controlling a range of vital functions besides sleep. By understanding which clock genes are affected by the parasitic disease, scientists hope the…

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In development

A more accurate tool to track new HIV infections

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

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Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

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

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Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses…

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Innovative approach

New “Swiss Army Knife” nanovaccine to battle tumors

Scientists are using their increasing knowledge of the complex interaction between cancer and the immune system to engineer increasingly potent anti-cancer vaccines. Now researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a synergistic nanovaccine packing DNA and RNA sequences that modulate the immune response, along with anti-tumor antigens, into…

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Possible vaccine in sight

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective treatments or drugs. However, an unexpected finding made by a team of University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers sheds light on the development of a new…

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Human papillomavirus

A vaccine against cervical cancer for poor countries

A novel vaccine against cancer-causing human papillomaviruses (HPV) is intended to help raise vaccination rates especially in developing countries. To this end, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg are developing a completely new vaccination concept based on a low-cost vaccine that protects from almost all known oncogenic HPV types. The project has now been…

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Virus spread

New flu forecasting tool uses evolution to make earlier predictions

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

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Cancer research

Researchers release the brakes on the immune system

Many tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural “brakes” in the immune defense mechanism, which normally prevent an excessive immune response. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to take off one of these brakes. The study, which involved colleagues from Hamburg and Würzburg, could pave the way for more…

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Diagnosing Zika

Commercial blood test proves reliable

The Society for Virology (GfV) which promotes virology through the increase and exchange of research within German speaking countries, as well as via cooperation with other scientific societies, announced this year that a new test can unambiguously confirm the diagnosis of a Zika virus infection – leading to fast diagnosis and identification of an infection.

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Infection control

Zika-vaccine receives boost

A promising Zika vaccine is on its way. Themis Bioscience GmbH (Vienna, Austria), a company specialised in vaccine development, has announced that the firm will receive One milion pounds sterling in funding by the innovation agency of the United Kingdom, Innovate UK, for the further development of this prophylactic vaccine and the conducting of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

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Infection control

Virologists are today’s universal necessities

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

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Kidney Transplants

White Blood Cells Control Virus Replication

Certain white blood cells play an important role in bringing a harmful virus under control after kidney transplantations. The results of a research group at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel could contribute to improving control of immunosuppression, avoiding transplant rejection and developing relevant vaccines.

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Imaging Infections

Zika birth defects decrease, but…

ECR 2017 Guest Lecturer Maria de Fatima Vasco Aragao, a radiologist from Pernambuco state, Brazil, has been tracking the Zika virus ever since it broke out in her country in 2015. She will highlight how CT and MRI can help reach diagnosis, especially in the absence of microcephaly. In an exclusive interview with European Hospital correspondent Mélisande Rouger, the radiologist warned there might…

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Frontline medical advances

Virology is now a key discipline

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

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Diabetes

Friendly Fire in the Pancreas

n type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, and their colleagues at Technical University of Munich have now reported in the journal ‘PNAS’ about a mechanism used by the immune system to prepare for this attack. They were able to inhibit this process through targeted…

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Altering the ‘flavor’ of humans could help fight Malaria

A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that a specialized area of the mosquito brain mixes tastes with smells to create unique and preferred flavors. The findings advance the possibility, they say, of identifying a substance that makes “human flavor” repulsive to the malaria-bearing species of the mosquitoes, so instead of feasting on us, they keep the disease to themselves,…

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Mobile fridge could save lives

A mobile fridge invented by a British student could help save countless lives across the globe. The “Isobar” has been designed to keep vaccines at the required temperatures when being transported around developing countries.

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Oncology

Nanovaccine could enhance cancer immunotherapy

NIBIB researchers have created a nanovaccine that could make a current approach to cancer immunotherapy more effective while also reducing side effects. The nanovaccine helps to efficiently deliver a unique DNA sequence to immune cells – a sequence derived from bacterial DNA and used to trigger an immune reaction. The nanovaccine also protects the DNA from being destroyed inside the body, where…

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Watson

Predicting flu epidemics with Twitter data

Osnabrueck cognitive scientists and their students are developing new and intelligent expert systems, which help to effectively utilize the flood of daily information in everyday life. To enable working with large amounts of data, the Institute of Cognitive Science at Osnabrück University has engaged in a cooperation with the global corporation IBM, and will be able to access the IBM computer…

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Infection

Antibodies identified that thwart Zika virus

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified antibodies capable of protecting against Zika virus infection, a significant step toward developing a vaccine, better diagnostic tests and possibly new antibody-based therapies. The work, in mice, helps clarify recent research that also identified protective Zika antibodies but lacked important details on how the…

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E. Coli

The ideal transport vehicle for next-gen vaccines?

Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Researchers experimenting with harmless strains of E. coli — yes, the majority of E. coli are safe and important to healthy human digestion — are working toward that goal. They have developed an E. coli-based transport capsule designed to help next-generation…

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Politics

Medics urged to organise refugee screening

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

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Epidemic

Ebola leaves a health legacy

First the good news: the most severe Ebola outbreak ever has been contained. Last December, Guinea, where the first infection was reported in late 2013, was declared free of Ebola cases. Liberia was considered free of Ebola in mid-January after no new case had been reported for 42 days (the WHO criterion for ‘free of Ebola’).

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Experts

Europe needs to be prepared for Zika virus epidemic

The Zika epidemic has long assumed global proportions, experts told the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Copenhagen. Europe needs to get prepared to deal with the relentless spread of the health threat, in particular with a view to “imported” infection. Awareness for prevention and personal protection is important, in particular with thousands of athletes and fans soon…

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Epidemic

Global spread of Zika "of utmost concern"

The President of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) Prof Raad Shakir (London), said today that following the first confirmed Zika-related case of microcephaly on US territory, in Puerto Rico, and the ever-growing number of sexually-transmitted Zika infections in Europe, “it is increasingly obvious that the Zika epidemic has long assumed global proportions.” As the opening of the Olympics…

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Fraud

Fighting against counterfeit medicine

Around the world, especially in developing nations, counterfeit medicines are a real problem. Until now, in many countries there hasn't been a standard protocol to conduct investigations and pursue prosecution. New research, led by Michigan State University, is providing the foundation to apply criminology theory to preventing the production and sale of fake and substandard medicines.

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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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Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

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

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Immune system

How can two types of immune cells arise from one?

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

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Virus

The Zika mystery: scapegoat or villain?

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

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Prevention

Next step in preventing diabetes

A team of scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, in collaboration with Technische Universität München and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), have shown in a preclinical model that specifically modified insulin mimetopes may lead to an immune tolerance. The results, published in ‘Nature Communications’, may be a step to improved prevention of type 1 diabetes.

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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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Infections

Zika virus 'a game changer' for mosquito-borne diseases

The Zika virus, unlike other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue, is relatively unknown and unstudied. That is set to change since Zika, now spreading through Latin America and the Caribbean, has been associated with an alarming rise in babies born in Brazil with abnormally small heads and brain defects – a condition called microcephaly.

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Antibodies

A ‘silver bullet’ for Ebola viruses?

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

Zika virus

ESCMID experts gather data to prepare for potential outbreaks

Experts at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) – an organization promoting research, risk assessment, knowledge sharing and best practices in the fight against infectious diseases – are developing tools to monitor the spread of the Zika virus and are conducting research to gather more solid data to better assess the risks associated with the…

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Refugees

The major healthcare challenge

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

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MERS

First reported autopsy of patient with MERS provides critical insights

Since 2012, at least 1,500 individuals have developed Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), resulting in more than 500 fatalities. Only now are results being reported of the first autopsy of a MERS patient, which was performed in 2014. Not only do these findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, provide unprecedented, clinically-relevant insights about how MERS progresses, they…

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'Self-Sabotage' prevents immune protection against Malaria

Australian scientists have for the first time revealed how malaria parasites cause an inflammatory reaction that sabotages our body's ability to protect itself against the disease. The discovery opens up the possibility of improving new or existing malaria vaccines by boosting key immune cells needed for long-lasting immunity. This could even include vaccines that have previously been ineffective…

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Genome

Research could help in fight against infection and cancer

Researchers from Medicine, Chemistry and Biological Sciences in the University’s Institute for Life Science (IfLS) have been collaborating with Microsoft Research UK to investigate the function of the antigen-presenting protein MHC1. Their research, which started more than a decade ago and has been part-funded by Cancer Research UK, has explored the pliability of the protein and how its ability…

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New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline

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

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

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

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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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Infectious disease

Ancient origins of deadly Lassa Virus

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

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Tissue definition

PET/MR is promising

PET/MR has long been studied for oncology but the technique also holds promise in cardiovascular applications, according to a panel of experts at the recent International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT (ICNCT).

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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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Market

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

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

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New Study

Seeking to identify what causes death

A new study group that aims to establish guidelines on forensic microbiology sampling and encourage increased communications between European and global organisations, has been launched by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID).

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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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HIV

Identification of a molecule that recognizes HIV in immune cells

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

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Nosocomial infections I

Microbes vs. viruses

In European acute care hospitals, on any given day, an estimated 80,000 patients – roughly six percent of all patients – receive antimicrobial treatment to fight a healthcare associated infection (HAI), according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Report: Walter Depner

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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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Fighting HIV with antibodies

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

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ECCMID

Scientists gather to fight infectious diseases

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

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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IVD Market

Santa’s bag full of cash

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

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Could the virus endanger Europe?

The welcome logic of a World Bank expert

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

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Metal attacks norovirus head on

The Norovirus, which affects around 267 million people and is attributed to cause over 200,000 deaths annually (usually among the very young, elderly or immune-suppressed, or in 3rd world areas) can be rapidly destroyed by copper and copper alloys, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton confirm.

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Shunning the flu vaccine

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

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New cancer research targets

‘We aim to develop an understanding of which novel research activities could bring benefits for patients,’ explained Professor Christof von Kalle, Director of the Department of Translational Oncology, NCT (German National Centre for Tumour Diseases) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), speaking on translational activities during the New Cancer Targets gathering in Heidelberg this…

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The 129th Congress of the German Society of Surgery

Meeting with EH editor Brigitte Dinkloh, Congress Secretary Professor Alexis Ulrich MD (left), Assistant Medical Director at the Clinic for General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery at the University of Heidelberg, outlined the scientific programme, discussed some impressive advances in surgical procedures, and explained why the gathering bears the slogan Surgery in Partnership.

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Sepsis – a Global Medical Emergency

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

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Molecular Imaging for Alzheimer’s Disease May Be Available in Hospitals Within One Year

Researchers the world over are advancing positron emission tomography (PET) as an effective method of early detection for Alzheimer’s disease, a currently incurable and deadly neurological disorder. Three studies presented at SNM’s 58th Annual Meeting are providing new insights into the development of Alzheimer’s disease while opening the door to future clinical screening and treatments.

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Integration to combat diabetes

To face the national and worldwide increase in diabetes mellitus cases, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiated the foundation of the German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), aiming to improve basic research, prevention, diagnostic and therapy of diabetes. Inaugurated in Berlin a few months ago, the centre has five strategic partners.

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Germany’s international medical travel card

The Swiss-based World Medical Centre Holding SA and German Centre for Travel Ltd. medicine have launched, an international personal medical record system -- the CRM travel.CARD – for travellers to keep their essential medical data with them at all times. Representatives of the two firms, both specialised in travel medicine, presented the CRM travel.CARD at a press conference this January in…

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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.

Implementing shared decision making in the NHS

The British government’s plans to introduce wider choice and shared decision making within the NHS may be challenging to implement, says an expert on bmj.com. In its new plans for the NHS, the government wants to extend the offer of choice beyond what is currently available to include choice of specialist team, choice of general practice, and choice of treatment. But do patients want a choice…

AACC 2010

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

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Advanced melanoma

An increase in survival in metastatic melanoma – the cancer with the most rapidly increasing incidence across the EU – has been shown for the first time in a major international study by researchers from across Europe. The results showed that patients who received a novel monoclonal antibody called ipilimumab lived 34% longer than control patients given gp100 peptide vaccine.

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The European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE)

Since June 2009, the focus of research in the European Network for Cell Imaging and Tracking Expertise (ENCITE) has been on finding biomarkers to aid cell transplantation. Funded with €11 million from the European Commission (EC), this major project that runs until 2013, involves 10 countries. Their work is coordinated by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) network,…

Overall benefits of HPV vaccination

The overall potential benefits of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations or frequent HPV screenings for women over the age of 41 are low, concludes a new study published online February 15 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study found that the rate of new infections preventable by vaccination declines with age. Furthermore, new infections among women at any age typically do…

New report on China's pharmaceutical and healthcare market

In the Q110 update of “China Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report” from Research and Markets, China has maintained its fourth place in the Pharmaceutical Business Environment Ratings matrix for the 15 key markets in the Asia Pacific region. Globally, the country places 18th out of the 71 countries surveyed worldwide, indicating its vast potential. Key attractions are its sheer size and the…

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World Cancer Day 2010

"Cancer can be prevented too" is the theme of a new campaign being launched today in the lead up to World Cancer Day on 4th February, by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The campaign is backed by a new scientific report: 'Protection against cancer causing infections' which focuses on the nine infections that can lead to cancer.

Papilloma virus infection

The latest analysis of a vaccine’s safety, efficacy and immunogenicity indicates that Cervarix, a human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine offers sustained protection for over six years against infection by viral types HPV-16 and HPV-18, most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

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The e-Health Insider Conference

Considering the huge tasks and issues involved, the connection of health services, digitised EPRs, and text messaging via mobile phones, all are progressing -- some slowly, others at a more rapid pace – as many speakers at the e-Health Insider Conference underlined.

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Human papilloma viral infection

A global vaccination programme against human papilloma virus (HPV), to include boys as well as girls, could lead to eradication of the virus and virtual disappearance of cervical cancer, according to Nobel Prize winner, Professor Emeritus Harald zur Hausen (University of California, San Diego) after recently delivering a keynote lecture at the 16th International Meeting of the European Society of…

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Cervical cancer prevention

ECCO 15 – ESMO 34, the joint congress of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), is Europe’s largest oncology meeting; the event drew to Berlin 15,000 participants from 120 countries this September, when more than 2,000 presentations were made. Among the presentations on prevention, treatment and survivorship, proteomics, biomarkers,…

GE Launches $250 Million Healthymagination Fund

GE announced today the formation of the GE Healthymagination Fund, a new equity fund that will make investments in highly promising healthcare technology companies. The fund will invest in companies globally that have innovative diagnostic, IT, and life sciences technologies aligned with the strategic objectives of GE´s Healthymagination initiative. The fund will also support healthcare…

HPV vaccines indicate further benefits for cervical cancer protection

New human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine studies presented at the 16th International Meeting of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) in Belgrade, Serbia, this week have confirmed sustained protection against precancerous cervical lesions in healthy young women, as well as beneficial effects for women previously treated for cervical, vulvar or vaginal precancers or genital warts.

Nobel scientist urges wider vaccination against HPV infection

A global vaccination programme against human papilloma virus (HPV), to include boys as well as girls, could lead to eradication of the virus and virtual disappearance of cervical cancer, predicted Nobel Prize winner, Professor Harald zur Hausen, after delivering the key-note lecture at the 16th International Meeting of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) in Belgrade, Serbia,…

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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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Roche Launches Complete Detection Kit for Influenza A /H1N1

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

Swine flu and hygiene standards

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

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Swine flu spreads

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

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“Health IT is as important as water or electricity”

The Nordic countries have a reputation for being among Europe's avant-garde in the field of digital healthcare solutions. HealthTech Wire talked to Arto Ryymin, executive Vice President of Tieto's healthcare and welfare business, about what the rest of Europe can learn from the Nordic countries and about how health IT companies can support the standardization efforts under way in Europe.

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Deal to progress Alzheimer's vaccine

AFFiRiS GmbH has granted GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. (GSK) exclusive rights to develop and commercialise its Alzheimer's disease vaccine candidates. Two are currently in Phase I clinical development, and others are in preclinical development.

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EHFG

The programme for this year's European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) - its 10th gathering - covers a far broader range of topics than before. During over 20 plenary sessions, forums and workshops, with about 120 lectures, key topics that embrace European and the national health politics of EU member states will be presented and discussed by experts.

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ESCAIDE 2008

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

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How measles virus spread in its host

Every kindergarten undergoes it several times a year: the German measles. Nobody knew exactly how measles enter the body. But it has been thought they come through the surface of airways and lungs. But that is wrong, as researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota found recently.

Inhaled TB vaccine

USA - A new tuberculosis vaccine successfully tested at the University of North Carolina (UNC) is easier to administer and store and just as effective as one commonly used worldwide, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Development of potential Hepatitis C vaccine

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

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Virtual TB bacillus should help finding new drugs

Today little is known about the metabolism of the tuberculosis bacillus and, because of its slow growth, experiments for new drugs take a long time. Now a team of researchers form the University of Surrey built an in silico model of the agent that causes TB - a virtual TB bacillus - that promises to speed up the drug discovery process.

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US$ 1.5 billion for pneumococcal vaccines development

Canada, Italy, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today committed US$1.5 billion to launch a pilot Advance Market Commitment (AMC) to help speed the development and availability of a new vaccine which is expected to save the lives of 5.4 million children by 2030. The new initiative will target pneumococcal disease, a major cause of pneumonia and meningitis…

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PNEUMONIA

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

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Bird flu vaccine production to be based in CR

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

Don't just go there!

Many medical organisations have warned that no one who wishes to help in the relief work in tsunami-hit regions should travel there individually, i.e. without being officially affiliated with an already involved organisation.

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