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Infection and Immunity nieuws

Jun 4: Towards a better understanding of ‘difficult-to-treat’ rheumatoid arthritis

Despite significant progress in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), approximately 5-20 percent of patients do not respond well to treatment (known as ‘difficult-to-treat’ RA). In her PhD research, Nadia Roodenrijs focused on this specific patient population, to define and improve our understanding of difficult-to-treat RA. This has resulted in uniform terminology and a clear definition of this patient group as well as European management recommendations specific for difficult-to-treat RA.

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Jun 1: José Borghans appointed Professor of Quantitative Immunology

Principal investigator José Borghans of the Center for Translational Immunology (CTI), whose research interests include immunological memory in humans, has been appointed Professor of Quantitative Immunology with effect from June 1. “For me, the core of this chair is integrating mathematics and immunology in the lab.”

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May 29: Research into the use of corona self-tests when secondary schools reopen

UMC Utrecht has been commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to investigate the use of corona self-tests in secondary schools in the Netherlands. They have calculated what effects on infections in schools can be expected when education takes place with complete physical presence in the class room. It was examined whether the use of frequent self-testing and vaccination could counteract an increase in infections.

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May 10: Immunotherapy for high-risk neuroblastoma affects fighting capacity of the immune system

In children with high-risk neuroblastoma, immunotherapy results in both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on the immune system. This finding by researchers from UMC Utrecht and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht provides new insights for improvement of therapy timing as well as new therapy strategies enhancing immune cell fighting capacity.

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May 3: Microbiome compositional changes may precede the development of inflammatory bowel disease

The gut microbiome of people at increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) displays IBD-like signatures. The presence of such IBD-like microbiome signatures might precede the onset of IBD. This was concluded from a study, recently published in Gastroenterology, investigating the intestinal microbiome in IBD-discordant and IBD-concordant twin pairs coordinated by UMC Utrecht in collaboration with the UMC Groningen, Netherlands Twin Register and a consortium of Dutch IBD centers.

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Apr 28: Marc Bonten elected as a new member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has announced today that it has elected prof. dr. Marc Bonten as a new member. Members of the KNAW are leading scientists from all disciplines and are chosen based on their scientific achievements. The KNAW has about 550 members. A membership is for life. Together with Marc Bonten, 22 other new members have been elected. The new Academy members will be installed on September 13.

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Apr 14: Intestinal bacteria predict risk of diarrhea from Clostridium bacteria

The bacterial composition in the colon can be used to recognize patients at increased risk of infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile after a course of antibiotics. This was concluded by researchers from UMC Utrecht in collaboration with the University of Antwerp, University of Cologne and the French company Da Volterra on the basis of a study executed in 34 European hospitals affiliated with the COMBACTE consortium. The results were published today in Nature Communications in a back-to-back publication.

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Apr 8: Update BRACE study: follow-up visits ongoing, trial well on track

In the BRACE study, the possible benefits of the BCG vaccine to protect healthcare professionals against COVID-19 are determined. With the first follow-up visits taking place, the progress of the trial, which started in the spring of 2020, is well on track.

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Apr 1: RSV illness is prevalent in older adults but rarely causes severe disease

Studies under leadership of the RSV Research Group at UMC Utrecht show that infection with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is also prevalent in older adults, with an overall prevalence of 5.7 percent in Europe. In contrast to infants, the infection rarely causes severe disease in home-dwelling adults ≥60 years. Nevertheless, a watchful waiting approach to identify patients that are at risk of severe disease is justified when RSV is the suspected pathogen.

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Lex Eggermont appointed as professor of Immunotherapy at UMC Utrecht

Scientific director of the Princess Máxima Center, Lex Eggermont, has been appointed professor of Clinical and Translational Immunotherapy at the Faculty of Medicine of Utrecht University.

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