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Infection and Immunity nieuws

un 2: Platelets involved in coagulation ánd host defence

Platelets are not only involved in blood coagulation and the development of thrombosis. Researchers from Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht and Erasmus MC have now discovered that they also play a role in our immune system: they appear to be indispensable in protecting our respiratory system against pathogens. "In patients with flu, the platelets absorb virus particles from the lungs, after which they return to the bloodstream”, says lead researcher Erhard van der Vries. This insight is also important for research into coagulation and acute cardiovascular problems in corona patients, such as strokes and blood clots in the pulmonary vessels.

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Jun 30: The accelerated search for a COVID-19 drug

In previous virus outbreaks, the search for effective medication often only started when the epidemic was over. Partly thanks to the REMAP-CAP research, this is now earlier possible. How far-sightedness after the Mexican flu in 2009 made it possible to start testing medicines for COVID-19 shortly after the outbreak. "If things go well, we will learn how to treat patients during the pandemic."

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Jun 29: Olaf Cremer new professor of "Clinical epidemiology of sepsis"

Olaf Cremer (intensivist at division Vital Functions) will be appointed as professor of "Clinical epidemiology of sepsis" on July 1, 2020. The chair falls within the UMC Utrecht strategic program Infection & Immunity.

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Jun 10: Dutch study into anti-malarial drug against COVID-19 discontinued

In the Netherlands a study into the effect of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on patients with a COVID-19 infection has been discontinued. These old anti-malarials could have an inhibitory effect on the complaints of patients with COVID-19. However, the initial results show no effect in European studies or in the Dutch study. In addition, there are fewer and fewer hospital admissions of patients with COVID. That is why the participating Dutch centers decided last night to prematurely discontinue the study. The study was funded by ZonMW.

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May 27: Europe is preparing for COVID-19 vaccinations

As soon as vaccination against COVID-19 on a large scale is available, one should be able to monitor the efficacy and possible side effects of the various vaccines, says Miriam Sturkenboom. She is one of the Utrecht project leaders within the ACCESS project who, together with many scientists, have to ensure that Europe is prepared for this in good time.

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May 15: Detecting contacts COVID-19 patient only makes sense with faster testing

Detecting contacts of people infected with the new corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) makes no sense if there is too much lag time between infection and testing. Research at UMC Utrecht shows that the lag time currently is too long. Therefore, microbiologist Marc Bonten argues that everyone should be able to easily access a test location.

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May 13: Signaling COVID-19 with a bracelet

A bracelet that continuously measures your temperature and breathing and thus may detect any symptoms of COVID-19 at an early stage. To that end, Rick Grobbee, professor of clinical epidemiology at UMC Utrecht and his team, will test an existing wearable among 40,000 people. For this he has received a grant of € 10 million from the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

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May 4: Six million euros for international BCG research against COVID-19 among 10,000 healthcare workers

An investigation in Australia into the possible protection of the BCG vaccine against COVID-19 will be further expanded in the coming weeks thanks to a grant of € 6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this grant, the research will be extended to the Netherlands and Spain. In the Netherlands, Radboudumc and University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht will coordinate the research, in which 4,000 healthcare workers can participate in 13 locations.

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Apr 29: How does COVID-19 spread within the family?

What if one of your family members is infected with the COVID-19 virus? Do you have to take all kinds of measures to avoid contact with him or her, or does that not really matter? Patricia Bruijning, associate professor of epidemiology at UMC Utrecht, investigates how the coronavirus spreads within the family. She and her team are still looking for families who want to participate.

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Apr 23: Derailment of the immune system in COVID-19 provides handle for treatment

Crowdfunding has started at UMC Utrecht for a study to provide more insight into the immune system of patients with COVID-19. This allows doctors to better predict the severity of the infection and the disease course per individual patient. On the basis of this, they can also treat patients with the best available medicine, aimed at preventing further damage.

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