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Infection and Immunity nieuws

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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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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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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Mar 29: Multiomics and machine learning can predict optimal therapy in rheumatoid arthritis

Machine learning models based on molecular signatures (also named multiomics) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) accurately predict the individual clinical response to the biological TNF inhibitors adalimumab and etanercept. This innovative approach is expected to pave the way toward personalized anti-TNF treatment in RA patients, as was concluded by Weiyang Tao (UMC Utrecht) in his PhD thesis that he will defend on March 30.

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Mar 26: UMC Utrecht is looking for 20,000 participants for wrist device to detect COVID-19

This month, a study was started in UMC Utrecht to see whether a "smart" bracelet can help in the fight against corona. The "smart" bracelet continuously measures changes in physiological parameters such as temperature, heart rate and respiration. A change in these indicators may indicate contamination with COVID-19. For example, the bracelet could signal an infection, perhaps days before the wearer develops symptoms.

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Mar 25: UMC Utrecht investigates effects of corona vaccination in patients with immune disorders

Last week, a study was started at UMC Utrecht and six other academic medical centers in the Netherlands into the effects of vaccination against patients with a congenital or hereditary (primary) immune disorder. This so-called VACOPID study was initiated by Erasmus MC and UMC Utrecht and is funded with a grant from ZonMw. A total of 500 patients and 200 control subjects will be examined.

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Mar 22: Corona antigen rapid test effective when used with close contacts

The results of a study into the effectiveness of early antigen rapid testing in people who have been closer than 1.5 meters to a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 for more than 15 minutes, were published last week. More than 8 percent of the group of close contacts who had no complaints at the time of making the appointment were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from day 5 after the contact with an RT-PCR. The antigen rapid test is also sufficiently accurate to detect a corona infection in such close contacts at an early stage without complaints but with a high viral load.

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Mar 16: Effect of schools measures depends on other options for social distancing

A new modelling study from UMC Utrecht shows that a reduction of contacts associated with infection in schools can lead to a significant decrease in the effective reproduction number Re if other measures fail. Such school measures are most effective in the oldest age groups, in higher education and in the oldest groups in secondary schools.

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Mar 12: 12 million for European COVID vaccine research

Will the current vaccines be sufficiently effective if new virus variants emerge? Can you combine two vaccines while there is a shortage? Does it make sense to vaccinate children? These kinds of questions are expected to be answered by VACCELARATE: a European network set up for clinical trials with COVID-19 vaccines in 21 countries. The UMC Utrecht is coordinating the capacity building of the trial sites.

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