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8 August 2017

Dear colleagues,

Do not forget that the abstract submission deadline for the 4th ESCMID Conference on Vaccines - New and old diseases in children and adults - unmet needs has been extended to 28 August. Register now!

Your ESCMID communications editors


Register now for the course “Regional Capacity-Building for Integration of Next-Generation Sequencing in the Clinical Microlab”

The registration deadline for the above course held in Herzliya, Israel, from 30 October – 1 November 2017, is approaching! ESCMID also provides attendance grants for young scientist members – please apply online by 16 August 2017 at the latest. 

The workshop is intended to introduce the emerging role of next-generation sequencing in clinical and public health microbiology and to support the building of national and regional capacity in this area and will interest microbiologists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and bioinformaticians from hospital and public health settings from Middle Eastern, European, Balkan and African countries. 

More information can be found on the course website.

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Predictive role of serum HBsAg and HBcrAg kinetics in patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B on pegylated interferon-based therapy

Pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) is used to induce a sustained off-treatment response and clear hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg) in patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Chuaypen et al. investigated the role of serum hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) kinetics in predicting the outcome of PEG-IFN based therapy in HBeAg-negative CHB patients. Persistent virological remission (PVR) and HBsAg clearance at 3-year post-treatment was 29% (35/121) and 9% (11/121) respectively. Baseline HBcrAg correlated with HBV DNA and cccDNA, but not with HBsAg. Baseline HBsAg, and a decline in HBsAg and HBcrAg were associated with PVR, while a decline in HBsAg was predictive of HBsAg clearance. High baseline antigen levels (HBsAg ≥3.4 log10 IU/mL plus HBcrAg ≥3.7 log10 IU/mL) yielded high negative predictive values (NPV) of PVR (45/50; 90%) and HBsAg clearance (50/50, 100%). At week 12, declines of HBsAg, HBcrAg and combined both antigen levels <0.5 log10 yielded NPVs for PVR of 90% (71/79), 82% (61/74) and 96 (48/50), respectively. These results suggest that HBcrAg levels are associated with cccDNA and that HBcrAg and that the amounts of HBs Ag, could help identify patients with low probability of PVR and HBsAg clearance during long-term follow-up.

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Asymptomatic preoperative bacteriuria does not cause periprosthetic joint infection

Preoperative screening and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in periprosthetic joint infection after primary knee or hip replacement seems not required as a retrospective study by the Tampere University Hospital shows. Meeri Honkanen et al. identified patients who had undergone a primary hip or knee replacement between September 2002 and December 2013 from the hospital database (23 171 joint replacements, 10 200 hips, and 12 971 knees). Patients with subsequent PJI or superficial wound infection in a one-year follow-up period were identified based on prospective infection surveillance. The association between bacteriuria and PJI was examined using a multivariable logistic regression model. The incidence of PJI was 0.68% (n=158). Preoperative bacteriuria was not associated with an increased risk of PJI either in the univariate (0.51% vs. 0.71%, OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.34 – 1.54) or in the multivariable (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.38 – 1.77) analysis. There were no cases where PJI was caused by a pathogen identified in the preoperative urine culture. During the study, the influence of possible confounding factors, especially chronic diseases, was taken into account extensively.

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