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27 November 2018

Dear colleagues,

Please find below the latest edition of ESCMID Weekly News.

With kind regards,

ESCMID Executive Office.


ESGFOR joint activities: the plague and AMCLI

Few infections had as much importance as the plague. The interest in this disease has been growing among specialists in history of medicine, infectious diseases, molecular microbiologists, geneticists and forensic scientists, who are now able to analyze the genome of extinct strains involved in ancient pandemics and to compare them with current strains. On October 10th and 11th 2018, an international course about The Plague was held in the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, with the collaboration of ESGFOR. In interactive sessions specialists discussed about the historical context, results from analysis of ancient DNA from human bone remains and the high performance sequencing of complete genomes.

On November 13th, a joint session of AMCLI (Italian Association of Clinical Microbiologists) and ESGFOR-ESCMID was held in Rimini, Italy. ESGFOR Chairperson Amparo Fernandez-Rodriguez introduced the forensic microbiology session explaining the focus of the working group. Particularities of forensic microbiology were discussed: collection of biological samples from deceased persons; data analysis/interpretation and its use in identifying a pathogen in case of unknown cause of death or estimate an antibiotic treatment’s effectiveness given before a patient’s death.

The microbiology of gender-based violence, affecting 35 % of women worldwide and cases of endo-uterine infections as well as prematurity and infections linked to long stays in Neonatal Intensive Care Therapy was discussed

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ECCMID Abstract submission is closing soon!

Submission of abstracts for ECCMID 2019 is closing tomorrow! Be sure to get your submissions finalised by 23:59 CET 28/11/2018.

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North Carolina chickenpox outbreak linked to vaccine hesitancy

The New York Times has published a report that at least 36 students from a single school in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, have contracted chickenpox, the largest such outbreak in the state since chickenpox vaccine introduction. The school has one of North Carolina’s lowest vaccination rates, due to religious exemptions. You can read the full article here.

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New TAE Steering Committee Members Sarah Dellière and Valentijn Andries Schweitzer

The Trainee Association of ESCMID (TAE) welcomes two new members onto its Steering Committee. The new members on the TAE Steering Committee are Sarah Dellière (left) from Paris, France, and Valentijn Andries Schweitzer (right) from Utrecht, The Netherlands. They officially started their duties at the recent TAE Steering Committee meeting in Basel. Welcome on board!

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Global guideline for the diagnosis and management of mucormycosis available for public consultation

The draft version of the global guideline for the diagnosis and management of mucormycosis is now available for public consultation. This joint project was initiated by the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) and came together through collaboration with the ESCMID Fungal Infection Study Group (EFISG) and the Mycosis Study Group Education and Research Consortium (MSG ERC).

Those of you wishing to comment on the manuscript may write to the ESCMID Publications and Medical Guidelines Manager to request the (confidential) draft of the manuscript along with the comments form for listing feedback. We are happy to receive your feedback and comments on the manuscript until 17 December 2018. Please be aware that your comments and the authors’ responses to the comments will be made available online once the guideline is published.

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CMI highlight: systematic review of fluoroquinolones and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole treatment in patients with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection

Ko et al performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published clinical studies to compare the effects of fluoroquinolones (FQs) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (STX) on mortality in patients with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infections.

The review included seven retrospective cohort and seven case-control studies, of which three cohort studies compared the two drugs. Of the 663 patients, 332 were treated with STX (50.1%) and 331 with FQs (49.9%). Levofloxacin was the most frequently used FQs (187/331, 56.5%), followed by ciprofloxacin (114/331, 34.4%). The overall mortality rate was 29.6%. Using pooled ORs for mortality endpoints of each study, FQ treatment (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.39-0.99) was associated with survival benefit over STX treatment, with low heterogeneity (I2 = 18%). Specific FQs such as ciprofloxacin (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.17-1.12) and levofloxacin (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.48-1.26) did not show a significant difference in comparison with STX. In the sub-group analyses of adult and bacteremic patients, significant differences in mortality were not observed between FQs and STX.

The results from this meta-analysis suggest that FQs demonstrate comparable effects on the mortality of S. maltophilia infection compared to STX. Even though, this may support further use of FQs in clinical S. maltophilia infections, sub-group analyses of certain FQ agents did not show a statistical difference with STX. Randomized clinical studies need to be conducted to address these issues.

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