Infection and Immunity nieuws

Infection and Immunity nieuws

Alternatives to antibiotics: Adapting phages to overcome bacterial defense barriers

3D rendering of bacteriophage

Collaborating researchers from University Medical Center Utrecht and Delft University of Technology have received funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to develop more broadly acting bacteriophages. With help of such adapted phages, the researchers want to overcome bacterial defense barriers, which are important mechanisms in the bacterial resistance against bacteriophages.

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Study of new treatment for severe influenza pneumonia

Van elke vijf patiënten die met ernstige longontsteking door influenza op de intensive care (IC) worden opgenomen, overlijdt er gemiddeld één. Om dit relatief hoge risico op overlijden te verlagen, gaan Nederlandse onderzoekers onder leiding van UMC Utrecht geneesmiddelen die eerder succesvol waren bij de behandeling van patiënten met ernstige Covid-19 op de IC terecht kwamen, nu ook onderzoeken bij IC-patiënten met ernstige longontsteking door influenza. ZonMw heeft voor deze studie een subsidie van ruim € 2.1 miljoen beschikbaar gesteld.

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Apr 23: Existing drugs now available in study for patients with rare immune diseases

Hand of a man with rheumatoid arthritis

This DRIMID study will investigate the efficacy and safety of the drug filgotinib (approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis) in three rare immune diseases (Behçet's disease, idiopathic inflammatory myositis, IgG4-related disease)

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Apr 15: "The Next Step" - Jeanette Leusen's inaugural lecture

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, Jeanette Leusen, professor of Antibody Therapy at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht, delivered her inaugural lecture. There she addressed the discovery, development and clinical application of antibodies. Partly due to the research of Jeanette and her group, antibodies based on immunoglobulin A (IgA) also appear to have great potential as a next generation treatment option in cancer, and perhaps also in infectious diseases. A first drug candidate is now ready for the next step: a ‘first-in-human’ study, but this will require more investment.

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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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Focus on side effects of immunotherapy

IV drip agains a blurred background

More research into the side effects of immunotherapy for cancer is highly needed. That is the message of researchers from Utrecht with their article in the journal Nature Cancer. These side effects vary widely, from skin rashes to inflammation of the heart. Focus on side effects of immunotherapy

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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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