All news from Epidemiology

Antibiotic Resistance to Gonorrhea Strains Across Europe

The first European-wide genomic survey of gonorrhea has mapped antibiotic resistance in this sexually transmitted disease throughout the continent. Researchers also showed that using DNA sequencing data they could accurately determine antibiotic resistance and identify incorrect laboratory test results. This genomic approach could one day help doctors prescribe the most effective antibiotics for each region.

Malaria Infections: Detection With Aid of Volatile Biomarkers

Malaria is still a deadly disease in tropical and subtropical regions. Every year the disease infects more than 200 million people worldwide, claiming several hundred thousand victims. Children are particularly vulnerable, with 90% of the victims under the age of five, according to the WHO. Not only can malaria kill people, but it also impairs survivors' quality of life and is a significant hindrance to economic development in the countries where it is prevalent.

Role of a Molecule in Combating Common Cold Virus

Researchers have lab-tested a molecule that can combat the common cold virus by preventing it from hijacking human cells. Early lab-based tests with human cells have shown the molecule's ability to completely block multiple strains of the cold virus, and the team hope to move to animal and then human trials. The results of initial tests are published today in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Rhesus Factor and Its Role in Blood Transfusion and Pregnancy

If the blood of a pregnant woman is rhesus-negative (Rh-negative) and the blood of the fetus is rhesus-positive (Rh-positive), the woman may develop antibodies, which can cause severe harm to subsequent children in particular. In order to prevent this effect called sensitization, all Rh-negative pregnant women in Germany currently receive a prophylaxis.

A new type of test using a blood sample of the pregnant woman can determine the child's rhesus factor already before birth, however. Provided the test is sufficiently reliable, many women might not need the prophylaxis. Currently, the blood of the newborn baby is tested directly after birth.