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Infection and Immunity nieuws

Jul 31: International study with BCG vaccine against COVID-19 among health care workers also starting in the Netherlands

A large international investigation into the possible protective effect of the BCG vaccine against COVID-19 has now also started in the Netherlands. The Dutch part of the study, in which 2,000 healthcare employees can participate, is coordinated by UMC Utrecht and Radboudumc.

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Jul 22: Self-imposed measures and governmental interventions may halt spread of COVID-19

A modelling study performed at UMC Utrecht indicates that self-imposed prevention measures (handwashing, wearing face masks, social distancing) as well as governmental interventions (e.g. closure of restaurants and bars, cancellation of mass events) may significantly contribute to tackling the spread of COVID-19. Increasing disease awareness among the general public is essential for controlling the ongoing pandemic and preventing a 2nd wave of infections.

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Jul 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) was 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 18: Differentiating between orbital inflammation and lymphoma

A clinical model composed of five variables was able to distinguish between lymphoma and orbital inflammation in patients presenting with an orbital mass lesion. In addition, using a systems medicine approach, molecular characterization of the immune system was found to have potential to complement conventional diagnostics and may result in the development of powerful diagnostic tools that are less invasive. These were the main findings by Kamil Laban in his PhD research, performed at UMC Utrecht.

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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-19. That is why the participating Dutch centers decided 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 current the lag time 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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