Articles -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Image: female researcher holding a petri dish with cultured germs; Copyright: Goethe University Frankfurt

Research project on dangerous hospital germ extended


German Research Foundation extends project aimed at combating multi-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains.
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Image: laboratory work; Copyright: IRD/PHPT

Hepatitis B: a new strategy for eliminating mother-to-child transmission


A clinical study coordinated by the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development and Chiang Mai University with their Thai, American, and French partners, strengthens the case for a new strategy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the hepatitis B virus.
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Image: Lactobacillus reuteri in a biolfilm; Copyright: Quadram Institute

New pH-sensing mechanism points to how beneficial gut bacteria optimise host colonisation and biofilm formation


Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have discovered a key mechanism by which gut bacteria colonise and adhere to their specific hosts. The finding may lead to new, improved probiotics with optimised abilities to colonise our gut and battle infections by forming strong associations with the host as biofilms.
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Image: blood-patrolling monocytes (red) adhering to inflamed endothelium (green) in the inner curvature of the aortic arch of a mouse with incipient atherosclerosis; Copyright: CNIC

Blocking a protein could improve the effectiveness of intravascular cellular 'policing'


The study shows that blockade of the protease MT4-MMP increases the activity of blood-patrolling monocytes in the circulation.
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Image: Rebecca Hochstein collecting samples in a hot spring in Yellowstone; Copyright: Derek Loudermilk

MSU researchers reveal findings about virus that lives in Yellowstone hot springs


For seven years as a graduate student at Montana State University, Rebecca Hochstein hiked into the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park.
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Image: man in a laboratory; Copyright: Helena Hiltunen

Bacteria-eaters to prevent food poisoning? Phages eliminate Yersinia from food


Bacteria-killing viruses could be employed not just in health care, but also in the food industry, a study conducted at the University of Helsinki indicates. The researchers have been investigating the possibility of utilising phages in eradicating foodborne pathogens and preventing food poisoning.
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Meet RIPK3: Good Cop, Bad Cop, all in one


Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States during the current flu season.
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How old antibiotic compounds could become tomorrow's life-saving drugs


As the fight against drug-resistant infections continues, University of Leeds scientists are looking back at previously discarded chemical compounds, to see if any could be developed for new antibiotics.
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Ebola virus exploits host enzyme for efficient entry to target cells


Researchers have identified a key process that enables the Ebola virus to infect host cells, providing a novel target for developing antiviral drugs.
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Image: shell, that encapsulates the DNA of the hepatitis B virus; Copyright: Christopher Schlicksup, Indiana University

'Virus-cracking' molecules advance fight against hepatitis B


Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer.
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HPV may lurk in your throat


Human papilloma virus (HPV), the culprit behind cervical cancer and some forms of head and neck cancer may hide in small pockets on the surface of tonsils in people not known to carry the virus.
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Image: The adenovirus (left) camouflages itself from the immune system thanks to its protective coat (right); Copyright: UZH

Stealth Virus for Cancer Therapy


Scientists from the University of Zurich have redesigned an adenovirus for use in cancer therapy. To achieve this they developed a new protein shield that hides the virus and protects it from being eliminated. Adapters on the surface of the virus enable the reconstructed virus to specifically infect tumor cells.
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Image: digital screening mammography with fine calcifications (arrow) which resulted in the diagnosis of an aggressive preliminary stage of breast cancer; Copyright: UK Münster

Breast cancer discovered in its preliminary stages in mammography screening is usually aggressive


In the biennial mammography screening programme, the most frequent diagnosis of breast cancer in its preliminary stages is, biologically, the most aggressive form. High-grade ductal carcinoma in situ holds the greatest risk of developing into a so-called invasive carcinoma.
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Image: little girl at the doctor's, coughing and holding a hand in front of her mouth; Copyright:

For children with respiratory infections, antibiotics with narrower targets are better


CHOP researchers find outcomes are similar, but broader-spectrum antibiotics have higher risk of adverse effects.
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Image: doctor measures blood sugar level in an elderly man in a hospital bed; Copyright: ltd

People with diabetes face increased risk of infections


Diabetes patients have an increased risk of suffering serious infections or death compared to the general public, new research has shown. The study analysed the electronic GP and hospital records of more than 100,000 English adults aged 40 to 89 years with a diabetes diagnosis, and compared them to those without a diabetes diagnosis.
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Image: transmission electron microscope image of negative-stained, Fortaleza-strain Zika virus; Copyright: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Repurposed drug found to be effective against Zika virus


In both cell cultures and mouse models, a drug used to treat Hepatitis C effectively protected and rescued neural cells infected by the Zika virus - and blocked transmission of the virus to mouse fetuses.
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Image: a child getting vaccined; Copyright:

Nanoparticle vaccine offers universal protection against influenza A viruses, study finds


Researchers have developed a universal vaccine to combat influenza A viruses that produces long-lasting immunity in mice and protects them against the limitations of seasonal flu vaccines, according to a study led by Georgia State University.
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Promising malaria vaccine tested


An international research team has conducted successful phase II clinical tests of a new anti-malaria medication. The treatment led to a cure in 83 cases. The new combination of drugs was developed by Professor Peter Kremsner of the Tübingen Institute of Tropical Medicine and the company DMG Deutschen Malaria GmbH.
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Image: illustration of a placenta with blood vessels; Copyright: OHSU

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies


Study finds abnormalities and decreased oxygen levels in placenta during fetal development.
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Image: cultured cells include one (center) that is infected with a common strain of dengue virus. The genomic material of the virus is highlighted in magenta; Copyright: Jessica Child

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication


Virus hides in plain sight by being less aggressive.
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Image: Vials in a rack; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

MEDICA 2017: all about laboratory medicine at the MEDICA LABMED FORUM


If you are interested in laboratory medicine and come to the MEDICA 2017, you will quickly notice that Exhibition Halls 1 and 2 were demolished. A new state-of-the art hall is meant to take their place. Until then, exhibitors from the field of laboratory medicine will be showcased at their temporary new location in the lightweight hall structures 3a and 18 on the fairgrounds.
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Image: Collage of several MRI images of the heart, in which different locations are marked with red arrows; Copyright: University Hospital Münster/Ali Yilmaz

Myocarditis: more specific diagnosis thanks to molecular imaging


There are many causes of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. Oftentimes, the culprits are viruses or bacteria and sometimes even an acute heart attack. Regardless of the cause, it creates a challenge for cardiologists: a diagnosis tends to be only nonspecific without a biopsy. A cardiac MRI and molecular imaging promise to provide assistance.
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Image: woman holding a sketch of a human lung; Copyright:

Molecular Microsystems: Preventing Exacerbations of Asthma and COPD


An increasing percentage of the world population suffers from chronic inflammatory disorders of the respiratory system. Acute attacks often lead to a worsening of the disease and considerably reduce the patient’s lung volume. Nine institutes of a research alliance under the Leibniz Institute umbrella are working on technologies designed to predict and thus prevent exacerbations.
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Image: A petri dish with yellow bacterial cultures on a black ground; Copyright:

Laboratory medicine: confronting infections with speed and foresight


The laboratory is one of the most important and pivotal bastions in patient care. In the laboratory, acute, chronic and genetic diseases are diagnosed, the progression of diseases such as diabetes is regularly checked or specialists look for biomarkers to adapt cancer therapies.
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Image: Demonstrator; Copyright: Leibniz-IPHT

Medical imaging is onto septic fungi


Instant treatment is absolute vital for patients developing sepsis. Providing a specific therapy early on is key. To manage this the pathogenic organisms need to be identified accurately. But a fungal sepsis can still be a hard nut to crack.
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Image: Graphic representation of Europe with small figures depicting the population; Copyright: Segundo

Hospital-acquired infections: pathogens know no borders


Many aspects are uniformly regulated in Europe, however, hospital hygiene and MRSA prevention, for example, are not. The Netherlands plays a pioneering role in the fight against hospital-acquired infections. The country is an often-cited role model. But can other countries simply adopt the same system? And what makes it so different? MEDICA asked expert Prof. Alexander W. Friedrich.
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Image: Single room with a window in a hospital; Copyright:

Hospital construction: infection prevention through architecture?


Hospitals apply many infection prevention and control measures. They all have one thing in common: they are individual parts of an overall concept that is aimed at preventing the spread of highly infectious and resistant pathogens in hospitals. Nevertheless, previous hygiene concepts ignore one aspect of hospitals: the architecture of the actual hospital facility itself.
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Image: Graphic of an ebola virus against a blue background; Copyright: creations

Who am I? Viruses on Nanosprings


Within the scope of the VIRUSCAN project that is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht from Hamburg/Germany investigates individual viruses to be able to later identify them on a nanospring structure. wanted to know: how does this work?
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Photo: Hospital  bed

Textiles used in hospitals and medical offices – germs don’t stand a chance


Some hospitals have long banned the status symbol of physicians – the white coat. Research has shown that especially the sleeves were contaminated with various types of bacteria. But it’s not just lab coats that can spread germs in healthcare settings. This field uses a variety of different textiles. Wouldn’t it, therefore, make sense to apply antimicrobial finishes?
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Photo: physicians at station

Gram-negative bacteria pose a major challenge for hospitals


Every day, people are admitted to the hospital, discharged or they visit patients. This large number of people increases the risk of bacteria transmission. Preventative measures such as short-sleeved uniforms and copper surfaces can help by improving hospital hygiene but they cannot replace the legal requirements for hygiene measures.
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Photo: Researcher is looking at a microfluidic LabDisc

Point-of-care-testing: from disc to diagnosis


Easy solutions that deliver results quickly are a great asset in medicine: patients receive their diagnosis faster and physicians have more time to treat them. Such tools also work without sophisticated resources and trained personal. A device currently developed in a project funded by the European Commission could bring all of this to point-of-care-testing for infectious diseases.
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Graphic of the operation

Filling bone defects – replacement tissue with its own blood supply


First grow tissue in the lab, then insert it into patients when they need it and you’re done! Unfortunately, things are not as easy as people hoped at the onset of “tissue engineering”. Although robust tissues for bone defects can be grown in a petri dish, for example, they unfortunately quickly die off again inside the body if there is no corresponding nutrient supply.
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Rapid Tests: valuable helpers for use in the field


Infectious diseases are widespread in conflict areas. When basic medical care is lacking on location, people cannot be appropriately treated. Laboratory tests are limited in the field. Rapid diagnostic tests make it possible for medical personnel to quickly and accurately test patients for several infectious diseases, for instance for the presence of malaria or HIV infection.
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Photo: Pregnancy test

Disaster medicine or disastrous medicine?


Most Europeans think it was a long time ago, but the residents of West Africa clearly feel the consequences of the Ebola epidemic that broke out in December 2013 and still continues today. So far, approximately 11,300 people have died as a result of the outbreak; more than 28,000 contracted the disease.
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Photo: Ebola test

Ebola: detection strips instead of lab tests


When infectious diseases such as Ebola break out, a rapid diagnosis is important because the early detection of a virus along with the right hygiene measures can prevent its continued spread. However, laboratories and skilled personnel are not available everywhere. Low-cost and portable detection strips can bring relief.
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Hospitals: many small measures against infections and sepsis


If neither the immune system nor antibiotics are able to control an infection, a sepsis can arise out of it - an infection that attacks several organs at the same time and causes the immune system to overreact. This is a life-threatening condition.
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Hygiene: "The sensor applies the principle of so-called photonic structures"


Detecting infections quickly and reliably with the naked eye: This is what many doctors in hospitals and in the doctor's surgeries wish for. To make this dream come true, Prof. Holger Schönherr, a scientist from Siegen, is researching a sensor that should show an infection by a color change.
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Multi-resistant bacteria want to conquer the world


Bacteria lurk everywhere: on the skin, in the intestines and in every puddle. Most of them that are hanging out in the human body are good bacteria. But not all of them. Those pathogens that exhibit resistance and are thus very hard to combat are the most dangerous kind. Their spread threatens people all over the world.
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