Infection and Immunity nieuws

Infection and Immunity nieuws

Home measurement of blood oxygen level by corona patients themselves easily applicable

When corona patients themselves measure the oxygen level in their blood at home, this is well applicable through the general practice. This was shown in a study conducted by UMC Utrecht during the pandemic. The study showed that patients could easily perform the oxygen measurement themselves at home, they felt safe doing so and the number of GP or hospital visits did not increase. The researchers believe that - by enabling care close to home - patients experience more control and that it contributes to relieving caregivers and keeping healthcare affordable.

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Apr 28: BCG vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 in healthcare workers

A world-leading international trial into the immune boosting benefits of the tuberculosis vaccine, BCG, has found it does not protect healthcare workers against COVID-19. The BRACE trial to test whether the BCG vaccine could protect healthcare workers against SARS-CoV-2 in the first six months after vaccination found it didn’t reduce the risk of developing COVID-19 among those on the pandemic frontline.

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Apr 25: "Building bridges": inaugural lecture by prof. Marjolein de Bruin-Weller

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Marjolein de Bruin-Weller, professor of atopic dermatitis, delivered her inaugural lecture in Utrecht. In her speech, she discussed the significant progress that has been achieved in the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis. Scientific research at UMC Utrecht under her leadership has yielded a great deal of knowledge in recent years, enabling prescribers to match the right medicine to the individual patient better than before, with optimal dosage and duration of treatment.

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Apr 19: Vacationers wanted to help scientists map mosquitoes and ticks

Dutch citizens going on vacation in the coming months can advance science by helping to map mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they can transmit. Anyone of 18 years and older who will be on vacation for seven days or more this year in the Netherlands, Europe or the Dutch Caribbean can participate. While on vacation, a few questionnaires need to be answered via an app. In addition, participants will be asked to donate a few drops of blood once through a finger prick. Interested parties can easily register at

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Apr 6: Vaccinating babies and elderly against RS virus is now possible

It is becoming possible to vaccinate babies, pregnant women and the elderly to prevent serious infection with the RS virus. This is according to three studies by prof. dr. Louis Bont, pediatrician-infectiologist at UMC Utrecht. The findings were published this week in Lancet Infectious Diseases and the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Apr 4: Strong together - the power of medical immunology within laboratory medicine

On Friday, March 31, 2023, Dörte Hamann, professor of Integral Immunological Diagnostics at UMC Utrecht held her inaugural lecture, titled “Strong together - the power of medical immunology in laboratory medicine”. In her lecture, Dörte elaborated on the collaboration between and integration of immunological research, medical-immunological diagnostics and clinical immunology. In addition, she focused on the increasing use of predictive biomarkers to select the best medicine for an individual patient with a chronic inflammatory disease. She concluded by calling on all medical diagnostic specialties to join forces.

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Mar 31: ZonMw 'Parel' award for better HIV treatment in South Africa

On Thursday 30 March, Dr Anne Wensing, virologist at Utrecht University Medical Center, received the ZonMw Parel Award from ZonMw director Véronique Timmerhuis for the ITREMA project. This successful cooperation project between the Netherlands and South Africa has led to improvements in HIV-treatment in South Africa, including in rural areas.

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Mar 8: Babies receive essential bacteria from their mothers after natural birth as well as after cesarean section

Babies receive essential bacteria from their mothers during birth and immediately afterwards, regardless of whether they are born via natural delivery or cesarean section. Researchers led by UMC Utrecht and the University of Edinburgh report this week in Cell Host & Microbe that mothers are able to transfer bacteria to their babies via multiple transmission routes, which can compensate for each other where necessary. For example, babies born via cesarean section receive less of their mother's gut microbiome (the bacterial population in the intestines) during birth, but appear to compensate that in part by receiving bacteria from breast milk.

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Feb. 20: Another HIV cure after stem cell transplant

After four years of thorough observation, an international team of researchers has been able to determine that they have once again cured a patient with HIV. The HIV infection disappeared after the patient received a stem cell transplant as part of a therapy for leukemia. The patient - who is under treatment at the University Hospital of Düsseldorf - is part of the European IciStem program coordinated by UMC Utrecht.

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Feb 17: Making neuroblastoma findable for the immune system

Neuroblastoma tumor cells are not well recognized by the immune system of children with a high-risk variant of this form of childhood cancer. PhD student Annelisa Cornel (UMC Utrecht and Princess Máxima Center, Utrecht) identified an existing drug – entinostat - that might change this. On February 16, 2023 Cornel received her doctoral degree.

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