Infections

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Better ventilation needed

COVID-19 virus gets better at becoming airborne

Study suggests need for better ventilation and tight-fitting masks, in addition to widespread vaccination to help stop spread of the virus.

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Combined with antibiotics

Bacteria-killing viruses to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Researchers have found a way to defeat the multi-resistant bacterium Mycobacterium abscessus, a relative of the causes of tuberculosis and leprosy.

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Orthopedy

Antimicrobial coating for implants prevents infections

Customizable to individual patients and requiring less than 10 minutes to prepare and use, new surgical implant coating prevented 100% of infections in mice.

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Autoimmune reaction study

Severe Covid-19 linked to increase in self-attacking antibodies

Hospitalized Covid-19 patients are substantially more likely to harbor autoantibodies — antibodies directed at their own tissues or at substances their immune cells secrete into the blood — than…

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SARS-CoV-2 in the media

Does 'beautifying' the Coronavirus make us underestimate its danger?

Colourful, 3D rendered scientific images are fascinating - but can they deceive viewers? New research from Spain suggests this might be the case. According to the study by the Instituto de Radio…

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Battle against Covid-19 & other infectious diseases

WHO opens Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin

To better prepare and protect the world from global disease threats, H.E. German Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO)…

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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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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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Research on after-effects

Viruses leave traces long after the infection is over

Viruses do not always kill the cells they infect. Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered in experiments with mice that cells have the power to self-heal and eliminate viruses. However, these cells undergo long-term changes. The findings may provide a hint as to why cured hepatitis C patients are more susceptible to liver cancer for years after.

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Coronavirus research

Contagious cash? The role of banknotes and coins in Covid-19 infections

How long do coronaviruses remain infectious on banknotes and coins? Is it possible to become infected through contact with cash? Experts at the European Central Bank, in collaboration with the Department of Medical and Molecular Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, wanted to clarify this question. The researchers led by Professor Eike Steinmann and Dr. Daniel Todt developed a method specifically…

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AMR insights platform

Antibiotic resistance: a global problem in urgent need of solutions

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

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Support for T cells

Improving immune response against severe viral infections

Researchers have identified a way to improve the immune response in the face of severe viral infections. It is widely known that severe viral infections and cancer cause impairments to the immune system, including to T cells, a process called immune ‘exhaustion’. Overcoming immune exhaustion is a major goal for the development of new therapies for cancer or severe viral infections.

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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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Prevention

Specimen diversion devices lower blood culture contamination

Blood cultures are among the most important laboratory tests a patient can have, especially to diagnose serious infections. Contamination is a constant concern – a patient could be misdiagnosed due to a false-positive test. Even with the most diligent quality control measures to limit contamination, including rigorous skin disinfection, contamination may occur from skin fragments colonised with…

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AI-assisted analysis

Prediciting viral infections with microscopy & deep learning

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

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Handheld rapid testing

New tech to diagnose infections in minutes - without a lab

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

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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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Molecular research

How retroviruses become infectious

Understanding every step in the life cycle of a virus is crucial for identifying potential targets for treatment. Now, scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria were able to show how a virus from the retrovirus family – the same family as HIV – protects its genetic information and becomes infectious. Furthermore, they show an unexpected flexibility of the virus. This…

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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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Safety study

Covid-19: Investigating the infection risk from ventilated patients

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

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Helminths

Worm infestation in the gut can lower viral defenses

Infection with parasitic intestinal worms (helminths) can apparently cause sexually transmitted viral in-fections to be much more severe elsewhere in the body. This is shown by a study led by the Universities of Cape Town and Bonn. According to the study, helminth-infected mice developed significantly more severe symptoms after infection with a genital herpes viruses (Herpes Simplex Virus). The…

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