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Infection and Immunity nieuws

Infection and Immunity nieuws

Apr 8: British GPs too often write repeat prescriptions for antibiotics for respiratory infections

Research into repeat prescriptions for antibiotics for respiratory infections by GPs has shown that they are widely prescribed in the UK, despite evidence that they provide little benefit to the patient. Researchers (from the universities of Bristol and Bath, King's College London and UMC Utrecht) are therefore calling for repeat prescriptions to be reduced and that they are specifically targeted in interventions to promote rational antibiotic use.

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Apr 3: In vitro studies for a better understanding of bacteriophage-bacteria interactions

PhD research by Julia Egido Egido (UMC Utrecht) has shown in in vitro studies that bacteriophages may act synergistically with certain antibiotics to kill bacteria. On the other hand, she found that the human complement system can inhibit certain phages in vitro which may compromise their antibacterial activity. These findings provide new insights that are helpful in the development of phage therapy.

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Feb 29: One Health project to predict antimicrobial resistance in low-income setting awarded with ZonMw grant

Together with international partners from high- and low-resource settings, epidemiologist Esther van Kleef PhD (Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, UMC Utrecht and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp) has received a JPIAMR grant of € 1.9 million to develop a low-cost surveillance approach to monitor antimicrobial resistance (AMR) outside the hospital setting in sub-Saharan Africa and predict AMR in clinical infections. This project is pioneering the use of metagenomics, which examines DNA from bacteria in pooled fecal samples to predict which antibiotics are still effective against serious infections.

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Annelies Verbon appointed professor of Internal Medicine

Annelies Verbon

Internist Annelies Verbon (chair of the Division of Internal Medicine and Dermatology, UMC Utrecht) has been appointed professor of Internal Medicine at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht as of January 1, 2024. The chair is part of UMC Utrecht's strategic research program Infection & Immunity.

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Feb 27: Pediatric dengue incidence increasing, but fewer deaths

Dengue fever remains a significant health problem as was shown by an increased incidence in Indonesia, an endemic region. At the same time, infection with the dengue virus appears to result in fewer deaths. According to Mulya Rahma Karyanti MD, who recently defended her PhD thesis at UMC Utrecht/Utrecht University, research efforts should be directed towards reducing the delay in diagnosis in children. Therefore, education on warning signs of dengue should be reinforced to increase awareness of dengue progression among the general population as well as healthcare providers.

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Feb 20: Unraveling the interaction between Klebsiella pneumoniae, antibodies and the complement system

PhD research conducted by Sjors van der Lans from UMC Utrecht delved into the complex interplay between antibodies, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and the complement system, shedding light on crucial aspects of immune response to bacterial infections. Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant challenge to infection treatment, necessitating innovative therapeutic approaches. Understanding the interactions between bacteria, antibodies, and the immune system is essential for developing effective treatments, particularly against antibiotic-resistant bacteria like K. pneumoniae.

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Feb 19: Engineering the next-generation of T cell-based cancer immunotherapies

By developing the novel concept of bispecific molecules as well as by improving the potency and purity of investigational T cell based cancer immunotherapies, in her PhD research Patricia Hernández-López (UMC Utrecht) provided new insights for development and improvement of γδ-TCR and αβ-TCR based therapies.

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Paediatricians happy with Health Council advice on vaccination against RS virus

UMC Utrecht and The Wilhelmina Children's Hospital think it is good news for babies and their parents that the Health Council recommends including a vaccination against the RS virus for infants in the National Vaccination Programme. This vaccination protects infants against the RS virus during their first vulnerable months, and it also provides broad societal benefits. The number of hospital admissions due to the RS virus can fall by 80 per cent, scientific research shows.

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Research TNO and UMC Utrecht for more reliable allergen information on food labels

As of January 1, 2024, the Netherlands has implemented a new allergens policy. Exposure standards have been set and regulations on warning about the potential (unintended) presence of substances that can cause allergy (allergens) on food labels have been tightened. This will make the presence and absence of a warning for allergic consumers significantly more reliable. By January 1, 2026, all producers of pre-packaged foods must comply with the new regulations. The new policy is based on recommendations from the WHO (World Health Organization) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Research conducted by TNO and UMC Utrecht on the sensitivity of individuals with food allergies and their eating habits formed the basis for these scientific recommendations.

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Jan 26: Multiomics provides deeper insight in molecular mechanisms and biomarkers in psoriasis

With help of multiomics researchers found that environmental microbial triggers may be responsible for activation and recruitment of neutrophils and dendritic cells into the skin. This stimulation leads to the secretion of antimicrobial peptides by keratinocytes. Circulating monocytes and effector memory T cells may respond to these processes and migrate to the skin, where they contribute to the proinflammatory loop that drives the development of psoriatic lesions, concluded fresh PhD Jingwen Deng from UMC Utrecht.

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