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21 February 2017

Dear colleagues,

ESCMID welcomes the news that Romania successfully introduced medical microbiology as a distinct medical specialty. The first 25 young doctors started their training at the beginning of the year with a curriculum which includes the recommendations of UEMS’ Microbiology Section.

Check out an article presenting the result of a survey on selective reporting of antibiotic susceptibility test results in European countries. The research was conducted by ESCMID subcommittees EUCIC and EUCAST as well as its study group on antibiotic policies. You may access the article free online until 31 March.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health published an updated report calling for concerted action on antibiotics research and development.

Rather concerning is a report in JAC, showing that many online pharmacies without a clear residence sell antibiotics without prescription with decision on choice, dose and quantity of the drugs purely driven by the patients.

Your ESCMID communications editors


ESCMID fungal study group issues information on Candida auris

Candida auris is a new species of Candida that is currently causing outbreaks in healthcare settings worldwide. The first outbreak in Europe was described in England in 2015, but there were already cases in Spain. C. auris is difficult to identify with classical methods and can be misidentified with different species (Rhodotorula glutinis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida haemulonii, Candida sake, or other species of Candida non-albicans), depending on the identification method used. Correct identification can be done by sequencing the ITS or D1-D2 regions or with MALDI-TOF (the species has been included in the last update of Brukerīs library).

C. auris is resistant to fluconazole, and strains resistant to amphotericin B and echinocandins have also been described. From the experience acquired so far, it is known that it is important to detect it as soon as possible to take control measures, due to its high transmission capacity and resistance pattern. Due to the difficulty of the correct identification of C. auris, if proper identification methods are not available, we recommend the referral of suspected invasive isolates to a reference mycology laboratory.

Useful links:
•    Risk Assessment of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC, direct link)
•    Guidance for the laboratory investigation, management and infection prevention and control from cases of Candida auris elaborated by Public Health England (PHE, direct link)
•    CDC Candida auris website with links to Interim Recommendations, as well as links to papers on a global WGS analysis and investigation of the first seven US cases

Researchers will present new data on this new pathogen at ECCMID 2017. Check the scientific programme, which will be published on the congress website in the course of February.

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CMI highlight: Universal flu vaccines and therapeutic antibodies

Researchers from the United States wanted to give an overview of universal influenza virus vaccines and therapeutic antibodies in pre-clinical and clinical development. They identified universal influenza virus vaccines that target conserved regions of the influenza virus including the hemagglutinin stalk domain, the ectodomain of the M2 ion channel or the internal matrix and nucleoproteins that are in late pre-clinical and clinical development. These vaccines could confer broad protection against all influenza A and B viruses including drift variants and thereby abolish the need for annual re-formulation and re-administration of influenza virus vaccines, they stated. In addition, these novel vaccines would enhance our preparedness against emerging influenza virus pandemics. Finally, novel therapeutic antibodies against the same conserved targets are in clinical development and could become valuable tools in the fight against influenza virus infection. The authors conclude that both universal influenza virus vaccines and therapeutic antibodies are potential future options for the control of human influenza infections.

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Interesting openings on ESCMID’s job platform

The University of Technology Sydney is looking for a Head/Chair of Inflammation to establish a globally recognised programme of inflammation research. He/she will create an interdisciplinary research centre; seeking research funding from national, international government and industry sources, supervising higher degree students, and disseminating research results through high quality peer-reviewed publications.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is seeking a Lead in Clinical Microbiology to lead and participate in the development, direction, teaching, facilitation and examining of the undergraduate Medical teaching programmes of Perdana University in Clinical Microbiology in Malaysia.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in Geneva, Switzerland is seeking a GARDP Scientific Director to develop the overall R&D strategy as well as the specific drug development projects which will form the initial activities.

U.S. diagnostics company T2 Biosystems is looking for a Medical Science Liaison for its European operations based anywhere in Europe.

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Registration deadline is 28 February for bloodstream infection course in Nice

This postgraduate education course from 28 – 31 March targets 20 to 60 microbiologists and infectious disease specialists who want updated knowledge on the theoretical and practical aspects of current and advanced diagnosis and management of bloodstream infection (BSI). Speakers will present advanced technologies to improve disease management in a context of challenges including multi-drug resistant pathogens as well as new approaches such as novel molecular detection tools, or anti-infective lock therapy in catheter-associated BSI. Find out more about the programme, grant application and registration timelines.

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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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