Antimicrobial resistance threatens one of the most important infrastructures created in the past century: antibiotics. At first glance, it may seem odd to think of antibiotics as infrastructure. Think again. These drugs are everywhere. So engrained has their use become that we now expect – rather than pray for – infectious diseases to be cured. But antibiotics are not only used in the treatment of acute infections.
Manipulation of the chicken gut microbiome, a possible way to reduce Campylobacter and improve poultry performance?
Chickens are a key source of protein for humans. The poultry industry is predicted to produce approximately 130 million tons of chicken meat in 2020. It is critical that we have sustainable practices to maintain an adequate supply of poultry products for the increasing human population without compromising chicken or human health.
The topic remains a top priority in everyone’s mind as more and more candidates are now going into human trials. Early safety and immunogenicity data are starting to be published for an increasing number of vaccine candidates, and several of these have already progressed to phase III efficacy studies. It’s hard to keep track! This is where we have stepped in.
Throughout January and February the first clinical descriptions of the consequences of infection with the virus, SARS-CoV-2, were being published. When the epidemic in the UK started, we still only knew relatively little about the spectrum of disease that the virus could cause. We name the disease COVID-19, but what is COVID-19? We are fortunate that we have a test (the test for HIV came several years after the first disease, and we still do not have a definitive pre-mortem test for vCJD). So the sensible definition of COVID-19 is “sick and positive test”.
Many countries face the prospect of continued large-scale transmission of COVID-19 or its re-emergence as a second wave. Responses from governments and health systems have, unsurprisingly, been mixed: we’ve seen some innovative, effective measures but we got many things wrong. What matters now is that we have remarkable opportunities to learn from the first wave.
In the UK, emergency measures were taken to reduce transmission in March. Asking people to stay at home meant that the networks through which the virus moves were broken. We know that there are four main activities and settings in which people meet: home, work, school and leisure. Leisure was closed completely, and school/work contacts reduced as much as possible.
I took off my face mask when I arrived home from the health centre with my daughter, who had just received her final round of infant vaccines. The outing left me filled with gratitude that I have such ready access to medical resources to protect myself and my family during the COVID-19 pandemic. My experience is far removed from that of so many people who live with the constant threat of infectious disease and who are less insulated from the consequences of a deadly pandemic.
The need for evidence we can trust - large international trial finds drug used to treat gastric bleeding does not work
For my 40 birthday I got a new brother. Not a scrawny, screaming, baby brother but a corpulent, competent, pillar of the community big brother. An old friend, having drunk his fill, found himself unable to keep his secret for a single second longer and spewed it out at my party.
How to set up government-led national hygiene communication campaigns to combat COVID-19: a strategic blueprint
Whether it’s hand hygiene, physical distancing, disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks or taking actions to protect the most vulnerable, behavior change has a key role to play in tackling the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. That’s why a new brief from the World Bank, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Harvard Kennedy School and Project Clear provides guidelines and principles to help governments develop national behavior change communications strategies.
Coronaviruses, such as the newly-discovered SARS-CoV-2, are RNA viruses that have a single short RNA strand consisting of 30,000 letters composed from either ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘G’ and ‘T’ - which provides the genetic instructions for the virus to replicate. As the virus spreads, its genetic information, or genome, randomly changes a few letters at a time (referred to as mutation). These changes can help us to track the origin, spread and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 around the world.