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20 June 2017

Dear colleagues,

As you may know, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) launched the clinical data website on 20 October 2016 in line with its policy on the publication of clinical data (Policy 0070). EMA is dedicating a significant amount of time and effort to this activity. Whilst extensive stakeholder consultation on the policy took place during its development, it is important to get more information on the experience gained during the first few months following the launch of the website. Concrete information on who is accessing the clinical data, why users access the data, and how useful the data have been could help to further develop EMA’s transparency policies. In addition, it will be useful to gather feedback on the usability of the new website.

The ESCMID Position Paper “Use of Nebulized Antimicrobials for the Treatment of Respiratory Infections in Invasively Mechanically Ventilated Adults” is now freely available in CMI.


Increase in impact factor for CMI for 2016 (5.292)

The Journal Citation ReportsŪ 2016, published by Clarivate Analytics, has published an increase in the impact factor for CMI from 4.575 in 2015 to 5.292 in 2016. CMI is now ranked at 8/84 in the Clarivate Analytics “Infectious Diseases” category (up from 10/83) and 18/124 in the Clarivate Analytics “Microbiology” category (up from 20/123). 

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Polio outbreak in the DRC, Congo

The Emerging Infections Task Force shared the WHO report of two separate circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2s (cVDPV2s) strains that are currently circulating in the DRC. The first strain was isolated from two acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases in Haut-Lomani province. The second from two AFP cases and one healthy contact in Maniema province. WHO recommends to strengthen surveillance for AFP cases to rapidly detect new virus importation and facilitate immediate response as well as to maintain high routine immunization coverage at the district level to minimize consequences of any new virus introduction. It is recommended that travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio.

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ESCMID supports the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) in their efforts to gain recognition of Infectious Diseases as a medical specialty in Spain

The field of infectious diseases is confronted with problems including antimicrobial resistance, (re-)emerging diseases related to migration, refugees and travels, new challenges concerning HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases, and an increase in immunocompromised patients related to transplantation, to name just a few. The SEIMC is working towards having Infectious Diseases recognized as a medical specialty in Spain and recently issued guidelines called “Ten reasons why Spain needs the specialty of Infectious Diseases”. The large majority of European countries recognize Infectious Diseases as a specialty as is recommended by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). ESCMID recently published a letter to support SEIMC’s efforts. We wish them success in their upcoming meeting on 21 June to discuss the next steps with involved parties.

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Evaluation of novel line probe assay to detect resistance to pyrazinamide treatment in tuberculosis

Routine testing for pyrazinamide (PZA) resistance in tuberculosis cases is currently not performed due to drug stability and test-related handling issues and is further complicated by (highly diverse) mutations scattered along the length of the pncA gene, not all equally associated with PZA resistance. The performance of a new line probe assay (LPA), targeting a 700 bp fragment covering the entire pncA gene and part of its promoter region, was compared to a composite reference standard using a panel of 97 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from various sources. For survey isolates, the test reached an overall agreement with the composite reference standard of 97.6% (80/82) excluding or 94.3% (82/87) including heteroresistant isolates. The test failed on 8.5% (5/9) of the clinical samples, but among valid results, 100% (14/14) sensitivity and 100% (7/7) specificity was attained compared to pncA Sanger sequencing. The authors conclude that the new test offers a valid molecular alternative for rapid and indirect PZA susceptibility testing, but requires further evaluation to assess the clinical risk of missing heteroresistance and falsely detecting lineage-specific, silent and non-associated mutations.

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The ESCMID Newsletter is issued on behalf of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) by the ESCMID Executive Office. It contains announcements of ESCMID-related matters and other information of interest to professionals in the infection field.

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