Laboratory medicine – Vet Clin Path Journal Sun, 09 Jan 2022 03:24:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Laboratory medicine – Vet Clin Path Journal 32 32 Gottheimer calls on governor to take essential action to protect New Jersey from Omicron and combat impacts on communities, hospitals, families and students Sun, 09 Jan 2022 00:02:00 +0000

Gottheimer calls on governor to take essential action to protect New Jersey from Omicron and combat impacts on communities, hospitals, families and students

Visit Holy Name Medical Center test site in Teaneck

Thank you to frontline healthcare workers

GLEN ROCK, NJ – US Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) calls on Gov. Phil Murphy to take essential action to help the state tackle the current outbreak of COVID-19 Omicron and its impacts on hospital staff, families, students and communities.

Gottheimer asks Governor Murphy to:

  1. Alleviating hospital staff shortages by allowing recently retired healthcare professionals to have their licenses temporarily reactivated and by allowing certain providers to help, where most needed, outside of their regular scope of practice;
  2. Further use the New Jersey National Guard to expand COVID-19 testing capacity in our hardest hit communities; and
  3. Continue vital efforts to keep schools safe and open for in-person education.

Today, Gottheimer visited the COVID-19 testing site at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck to emphasize the importance of getting tested, to raise awareness of testing options in the Fifth District, and to thank first-aid health workers. line for their hard work. Gottheimer was joined by the Mayor of Teaneck, James Dunleavy, Nancy Palamara, Pharm.D, Vice President, Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Holy Name Medical Center, and Edward Torres, Executive Director, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Holy Name Medical Center. .

“In the weeks following November 30, when public health officials first identified the Omicron variant as a ‘variant of concern,’ Americans saw the rapid spread of the new variant and its ability to escape. vaccination. […] As a result of my discussions with Fifth District constituents and North Jersey public health officials, I believe there are several additional steps your administration can take to mitigate the impact of the Omicron variant, ” Congressman Josh Gottheimer wrote in a letter to Governor Phil Murphy this week. “By taking the additional measures described here, we can reduce the impact of the Omicron variant and minimize the disruption it will cause in the weeks to come.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

January 7, 2022

The Honorable Phil Murphy

Governor, State of New Jersey

Governor’s office

P.O. Box 001

Trenton, New Jersey 08625

Dear Governor Murphy:

In the weeks following November 30, when public health officials first identified the Omicron variant as a “variant of concern,” Americans saw the rapid spread of the new variant and its ability to escape. the vaccination. I commend you for the State of New Jersey’s swift response to this new phase of the pandemic, including your work to ensure that New Jersey residents remain vigilant with vaccinations and mask wear.

However, additional actions are necessary to better equip our communities to manage this variant. Several steps could be immediately beneficial: (1) extend the flexibility of the license to practice and the scope of practice for front-line workers in order to increase the supply of qualified providers; (2) further use of the New Jersey National Guard to expand COVID-19 testing; and (3) continue your efforts to keep schools open – not only for the continuity of education, but also because of the implications of school closings on child care, which would further exacerbate the challenges facing our workers. essentials are faced.

You quickly prepared New Jersey for the Omicron variant. Since the beginning of December, when authorities detected the first case of Omicron in the state, you have called on the people of Jersey to get vaccinated, boosted and wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Over the past few days, you have worked alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase community access to testing in underserved areas of our state. These steps, coupled with the groundbreaking work of the New Jersey life sciences industry to bring cutting-edge therapeutics to market, have strengthened the foundation we now have to fight the current wave of this pandemic.

Despite all of this progress, as a result of my discussions with Fifth District constituents and North Jersey public health officials, I believe there are several additional steps your administration can take to mitigate the impact of the Omicron variant. First, the hospital systems in my district face immediate staffing shortages due to high infection rates among frontline workers. I was delighted to see your administration’s request this week for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “strike teams” to be deployed to New Jersey to address systems staff burnout. crucial hospitals. Additionally, I encourage your administration to extend the recently expired license and scope of practice flexibilities of your Executive Order (EO) 112, issued at the onset of the pandemic. As you know, this EO has taken various steps to increase the availability of frontline health professionals. Unfortunately, with the rise of the Omicron wave, these steps are needed again.

Second, as you know, hospital systems in my district have been hit hard in recent days by the wave of testing, as schools, workplaces, travel destinations and other public accommodation demand the proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Due to the difficulty for many of my constituents to access rapid home tests, hospital emergency departments were faced with an onslaught of otherwise healthy people coming to the emergency department looking for of a COVID-19 test. This event reflects the demand for greater accessibility of tests. It also affects the entire health care system, making it difficult for people in urgent need of treatment to get the care they need. While waiting for additional rapid home tests to be dispatched, I encourage you to make further use of the New Jersey National Guard to expand COVID-19 testing capacity in our hardest hit communities.

Finally, I was delighted with your administration’s rollout on January 1 of a “test-to-stay” program for K-12 schools in New Jersey. As a result, more students will stay in school and receive in-person instruction by a combination of contact tracing and frequent testing. As you have recognized, in-person education, where possible, and the resulting benefits for our children are far preferable to distance learning. Without in-person education, many parents face the difficult choice of continuing to work or staying home to care for their children. Indeed, hospital administrators in North Jersey have told me about the importance of in-person instruction to prevent further depletion of their workforce, which is made up primarily of parents of school-aged children. . Doing everything in our power to keep children in school must remain a priority.

Thank you for your continued leadership during this difficult time and for the immediate steps you have already taken to move New Jersey forward beyond this pandemic. By taking the additional measures described here, we can reduce the impact of the Omicron variant and minimize the disruption it will cause in the weeks to come. I appreciate your consideration.


Josh gottheimer



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Nordic Lab and TENAK: revolutionizing cold storage technology Fri, 07 Jan 2022 10:31:57 +0000

In this eBook, Nordic Lab and TENAK, industry pioneers in cold storage solutions for the medical industry, illustrate how their innovative range of cold chain technologies ensure optimal performance for laboratories and medical environments.

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still permeate the world, the need for cutting-edge and robust cold chain technologies has never been greater. As a result, science has embarked on one of the greatest crusades in modern medicine as it strives to defeat the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus, a battle that requires specialized equipment. For example, the transport and storage of vaccines, virus samples and Covid tests requires specialized cold storage technology, equipment that Nordic Lab and TENAK can expertly supply.

About companies

Nordic laboratory is based in Denmark. The company has positioned itself as a premier manufacturer and distributor of advanced low-temperature freezers, providing hospitals, laboratories and research institutes with state-of-the-art cold storage equipment with exceptional durability and quality that requires little waste. interview.

Founded in 2002, TENAK develops cryo-storage racks and boxes specially designed to be compatible with the main cold storage technologies on the market, including ULT and LN2 freezers. The company’s nearly two decades of experience make it the destination of choice for the cold chain requirements of the medical sector.

A plethora of medical freezers

Nordics Lab has one of the most comprehensive catalogs of high-tech cold storage options on the market, ensuring freezer storage designed to suit storage time, sensitivity and sample type. varied. Their freezing technologies cover temperatures from -10 ° C to -86 ° C and are composed of a single-stage compressor infrastructure that allows them to create small units with large storage capacity.

In addition, respect for the environment, a natural refrigerant, cyclopentane insulation and recyclable materials make Nordic Lab a green alternative. The production complies with ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 certifications and standards, ensuring uniform and constant high quality.

Innovative cryostorage

Identifying the racks and boxes that work perfectly with freezers can be a challenge in the medical industry, a daunting task that is eradicated with TENAK products. Not only does the company manufacture its ultra-low temperature cold storage racks and boxes to suit major freezers, but its informative selection guide and usage chart give the customer additional assurance that the desired product is 100%. % compatible.

All of TENAK’s cryo-storage racks are manufactured in its factory near Copenhagen, Denmark and are built around three pillars: design, functionality and quality.

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Yale School of Public Health dean on board with throat swab for home COVID testing, others disagree Wed, 05 Jan 2022 05:06:01 +0000

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WTNH) – If you’re one of the thousands of people across Connecticut who have got their hands on a state’s free, home-based rapid COVID test, you might be wondering how to do it right.

Discussions are increasing on social networks among the public and some health professionals about the possibility of not only rubbing your nose but also your throat. At this time, taking a sample from your throat is not recommended by the FDA.

When you decide to take a quick test, Dr Sheldon Campbell, a professor of laboratory medicine at Yale, said the most important thing to do is read the instructions and follow them. He said don’t hesitate to put the swab in your nose.

“Don’t just run it through your nose for half a second and say it’s good enough,” Campbell said. “Go ahead and get a nice gushy and icky sample. “

Campbell said these tests are particularly good at detecting if a person has a lot of the virus and therefore is truly contagious. They can also detect omicron, but their effectiveness in detecting the variant is still under investigation and just as our technology fails, the results of a rapid test may be inaccurate.

This is why there is talk on social networks of wiping your throat as well. It is currently recommended by the UK equivalent of the CDC here in the US. You take a sample from your throat and then from your nose in the same test.

Campbell does not want to recommend this method with other health professionals, but the Dean of the Yale School of Public Health, Dr Sten Vermund, feels different depending on omicron unknowns and the common symptom of a sore throat.

“At this point we’re flying a bit blindly and if we wanted to maximize the likelihood of positivity, there would be little harm in sampling the nose and also sampling the saliva,” Vermund said.

When Vermund says saliva, he is not referring to saliva. He’s talking about wiping the throat.

“Just go back to have a little gag and that’s good enough,” said Vermund.

While it’s not clear if you could get a better result, he doesn’t think there is any harm in trying and believes it might have some benefits.

“If you took the swab, sampled the throat, then took the same swab and sampled the nose, you would have a dual strategy of sampling with both saliva and mucus from the nasal passages,” said Vermund, “and that could maximize the chances of finding a positive.”

He says if you dab your throat, don’t eat or drink 15-30 minutes beforehand.

Research is still ongoing. The FDA issued the following statement:

“The FDA advises that COVID-19 tests should be used as authorized, including following their instructions for use regarding obtaining the sample to be tested. The FDA has noted safety concerns with self-collection of throat swabs because they are more complicated than nasal swabs – and if misused, they can harm the patient. The CDC recommends that throat swabs be taken by a qualified healthcare professional. “

Regardless of how you perform the test, be sure to check your results on time. If you test negative but are symptomatic, isolate anyway and take a PCR test.

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Matthieu F. Mescher | Obituaries Sun, 02 Jan 2022 11:00:00 +0000

Matthew F. Mescher, immunology icon at the University of Minnesota, died on December 21, 2021 of cancer.

Matt was born March 22, 1948 in South Haven to George and Dixie Mescher. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hope College in Holland and a doctorate. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University. He then joined the Harvard faculty before joining the Molecular Biology Institute in La Jolla, California. In 1993, he joined the University of Minnesota (UMN) where he served as a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology for 22 years. . His research achievements were recognized by his election to the UMN Academy of Excellence in Health Research and the President’s Symposium of the American Association of Immunologists.

Matt was a transformational leader in immunology at UMN. He was tasked with revitalizing the community which lacked national identity and was geographically dispersed over a large campus. He helped form a small group of faculty members, from several departments at UMN, who successfully formed a new graduate program and immunology center, with Matt as director. Under Matt’s direction, the Center for Immunology acquired contiguous lab space for a multidepartmental group of faculty members. In his calm and confident manner, Matt led the Center to become one of UMN’s strongest academic units and one of the nation’s leading immunology programs. His contribution to science will remain vital through the Center for Immunology and the ongoing research of its many trainees.

Matt was very well read, thoughtful, and intrigued by all kinds of people and ideas. He had a great sense of humor and loved life – he plotted his rounds of golf and races, raced his Corvette, played the violin and quoted poetry. He loved the natural world, especially insects and snakes, to the delight of his grandchildren. As the oldest of four siblings, Matt learned leadership skills early on, loved his family, and was cherished by his siblings. Matt adored his wife and daughters and they adore him.

Matt’s legacy will live on through his remarkable and unpretentious influence on family, friends, colleagues and the many people he has met in a life well lived. He was a kind and gentle soul who will be sadly missed.

Matt is predeceased by his parents Dixie and George and his brother Phil. He is survived by Karen, his high school girlfriend and wife of 52 years who resides in Chester, Maryland; two daughters, Molly Kathryn Mescher of Baltimore, Maryland and Cassandra Lynn McKay (Ryan) of Severna Park, Maryland; two grandchildren, Evelyn and Tate McKay; a nephew Mike Mescher of New York, NY; a niece Alexandra Jolly of Blowing Rock, North Carolina and her siblings Mary Mescher and Ben Mescher (Cindy), both residing in Chester, Maryland.

Memorial contributions can be made to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Immunology: Mescher Trainee Enhancement Fund, either online at or by check written to UMF with Dr. Mescher / Mescher Fund in the memo line and sent to: UMF, PO Box 860233, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

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Eastern Health announces temporary changes to services Sat, 01 Jan 2022 12:44:00 +0000

Eastern Health has announced temporary changes to services, effective January 4, 2022.

Eastern Health says it will focus on urgent and emerging acute services at health care sites across the city, including the Health Sciences Center, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital and Dr LA Miller Center.

These changes will reallocate resources to help the COVID-19 public health response, such as the administration of COVID-19 booster vaccines and COVID-19 swab clinics.

Urgent and urgent appointments are underway in the following areas: adult outpatient clinics, regional medicine program, child and women’s health, and rehabilitation, palliative care and geriatric medicine services.

The regional surgical services will perform urgent and emerging cardiac and cancer surgeries. A full list of impacts on specific services is available below.

Medical imaging

  • The medical imaging program will perform examinations as a priority. Patients will only be contacted if their appointment has been canceled for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computer Tomography), Ultrasound, Mammography, X-ray, Nuclear Medicine, PET ( Positron Emission Tomography) and BMD (bone densitometry)

Children’s and women’s health

  • All Maternal-Fetal Assessment Unit (MFAU) and prenatal appointments will continue.
    For all other appointments, only patients whose appointment is in progress will be contacted for confirmation. If you have not been contacted, your appointment is canceled.

Provincial Cancer Care Program

  • All radiotherapy and chemotherapy appointments will take place. Patients will be contacted directly if there is a change in their clinic appointments.

Ambulatory laboratory services (January 4-7, 2022): All sites in the Eastern health region

  • All non-urgent appointments have been canceled.
  • Urgent / emerging laboratory testing and services will continue.
  • Eastern Health ambulatory blood collection sites are limited to urgent blood collection only. This includes blood tests for patients requiring: INRs (International Standardized Ratios), therapeutic drug level monitoring testing and, for cancer patients, monitoring cancer clinic profiles and other related required tests. to cancer.

Eastern Health says only patients with ongoing appointments and procedures will be contacted at this time.

In addition, the health authority has extended restrictions on visitors following the upsurge in COVID cases.

All in-person visits to inpatients in hospitals and residents of long-term care homes, personal care homes, community care homes and assisted living facilities are suspended until further notice and the general public is advised. requested not to visit any patient or resident during this time.

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OSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Receives 3 Grants to Expand Emergency Response Capacity Wed, 29 Dec 2021 05:39:45 +0000

CORVALLIS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Three grants from the National Animal Health Laboratory Network will allow the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory located at Oregon State University to continue to expand its role in responding to large epidemics in Northwestern Peaceful.

The main objective of the laboratory is to test and diagnose animal diseases, including infectious diseases in farm animals. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, the OVDL also helped test human samples, at a time when testing capacity in Oregon was severely limited.

“We have really illustrated that animal testing and human testing are one and the same, and our large-scale animal testing capabilities translate into human testing,” said Justin Sanders, Assistant Professor at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU and one of the principal investigators of OSU’s TRACE Project, which tracks the presence of COVID-19 statewide. “Maintaining and developing these capabilities for the future is essential. “

Each of the three grants focuses on a specific facet of the laboratory’s emergency response work. Together, the grants total $ 675,155. The first will fund a series of practical exercises designed to improve interagency coordination and identify gaps in OVDL’s current preparation for regulatory testing.

The project includes tabletop exercises that simulate an epidemic, followed by field exercises where fake samples will be physically processed in the laboratory.

“The start-up exercises in the field are particularly valuable not only for troubleshooting, but also for the training of staff of the OVDL and agencies working in close collaboration with the OVDL”, said Christiane Löhr, professor at the veterinary school and diagnostic pathologist.

The second grant will help OVDL incorporate the new equipment it has acquired for SARS-CoV-2 testing into existing emergency testing workflows so it can expand its animal disease testing, as well as implement rapid sequencing of pathogens in the laboratory.

The third will streamline data transfer between the OVDL and the national laboratory network, and improve communication around disease surveillance and emergency response.

“We have certainly learned from the pandemic lessons that we are applying in all of these projects,” Sanders said.

The faster diagnostic labs can respond to an emerging disease, the better they can contain and minimize its impact, said Donna Mulrooney, head of quality assurance at the lab. For example, she said, labs across the United States are currently on alert for African swine fever, a deadly virus for pigs that has not yet entered the country but could seriously affect pig exports and domestic herds.

Oregon’s economy, in particular, is largely based on agriculture, Sanders said.

“So any of these epidemics has the potential to really endanger the state’s economy, let alone our food supply,” he said. “The ability to quickly identify and respond to pathogens important to agriculture and pathogens in wildlife is critical to the economic health of the state. “

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Study demonstrates novel approach to target activator-dependent cancers Mon, 27 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0000

As researchers have identified several genes responsible for prostate cancer, a new study published in Nature reveals the puppeteer controlling the strings.

The chains: carcinogenic or oncogenic genes, such as the androgen receptor, FOXA1, ERG and MYC.

The Puppet Master: A chromatin remodeling complex called SWI / SNF, which controls how DNA is arranged and compacted to fit into a cell’s nucleus. A key subunit of this complex provides energy to unwrap DNA to provide access to enhancer elements that stimulate the expression of carcinogenic genes.

In the present study, researchers at the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center demonstrated that the SWI / SNF complex facilitates access to activators to which oncogenes can bind and drive downstream gene expression in cancer. Degrading a subunit of this complex blocks oncogenes, like cutting the strings of the puppeteer.

This discovery reveals a new approach to the treatment of prostate cancer fueled by different genetic factors, which together account for more than 90% of all prostate cancers.

In human cells, DNA is wrapped tightly around histone proteins, collectively called chromatin. These form a physical barrier to all DNA-based processes. Specialized protein machines have evolved that consume energy and modulate the physical state of DNA for its functional activation. These complexes work in close collaboration with DNA binding regulatory factors called transcription factors to confer distinct cellular identity and function.

“This is the first demonstration in the field of cancer that blocking access to chromatin can be continued as a route to treat cancer. By compacting the chromatin around these enhancer elements, transcription factors are prevented from binding to enhancer elements that lead to cancer, ”said the study author. Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology and SP Hicks, professor of pathology and urology at Michigan Medicine.

Researchers looked at several models of prostate cancer that expressed different oncogenes. They found that blocking the SWI / SNF complex slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cell death, especially in tumors induced by FOXA1 or the androgen receptor. There was no effect on benign prostate cells.

In normal development, the SWI / SNF complex is essential. “Normal cells can survive with default levels of gene transcription, but cancer cells are particularly dependent on these enhancer regions. They need access to these activators to increase the expression of oncogenic targets, ”Chinnaiyan said.

Components of the SWI / SNF complex are mutated in a number of cancers, but rarely in prostate cancer. Prostate cancers induced by the androgen receptor or FOXA1 were more sensitive to a SWI / SNF degrader than even cancers in which the subunits were mutated.

“Without having mutations, and with only oncogenic transcription factors involved, prostate cancer cells were extremely sensitive to this degradant, even more so than lung cancer where a component of the pathway was mutated,” Chinnaiyan said. . “By disabling this SWI / SNF complex, we found preferential activity against certain cancers and no toxicity in normal cells or normal tissues. This bodes well for clinical studies using compounds that target this pathway. “

He also suggests the possibility of using this approach for other types of cancer that are dependent on oncogenic transcription factors, including certain multiple myelomas and other blood cancers.

The researchers used a SWI / SNF degrader under development by the Indian company Aurigene Discovery Technologies. These compounds are under development for future clinical trials.

The Rogel team will continue to study the biology of this complex, help develop compounds that target this complex, and assess what other types of cancer might respond to this approach. For prostate cancer, they are exploring in the laboratory a combination therapy using the SWI / SNF degrader with anti-androgen therapy. This approach is not yet in clinical trials.

Additional authors: Lanbo Xiao, Abhijit Parolia, Yuanyuan Qiao, Pushpinder Bawa, Sanjana Eyunni, Rahul Mannan, Sandra E. Carson, Yu Chang, Xiaoju Wang, Yuping Zhang, Josh N. Vo, Steven Kregel, Stephanie A. Simko, Andrew D Delekta, Mustapha Jaber, Heng Zheng, Ingrid J. Apel, Lisa McMurry, Fengyun Su, Rui Wang, Sylvia Zelenka-Wang, Sanjita Sasmal, Leena Khare, Subhendu Mukherjee, Chandrasekhar Abbineni, Kiran Aithal, Mital S. Bhakta, Jay Ghurye, Xuhong Cao, Nora M. Navone, Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Rohit Mehra, Ulka Vaishampayan, Marco Blanchette, Yuzhuo Wang, Susanta Samajdar, Murali Ramachandra

Funding: Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award, National Cancer Institute Grants P50-CA186786, R35-CA231996, U01-CA214170, P30-CA046592, Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program W81XWH-21-1-0500 . Chinnaiyan is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow, A. Alfred Taubman Fellow, and Professor at the American Cancer Society.

Disclosure: S. Sasmal., LK, SM, CA, S. Samajdar, KA and MR are affiliated with Aurigene Discovery Technologies. JG, MSB and MB are affiliated with Dovetail Genomics. AMC is a co-founder and sits on the scientific advisory boards of LynxDx, Oncopia and Esanik. AMC sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Tempus and Ascentage.

Cited article: “Targeting SWI / SNF ATPases in activator-dependent prostate cancer”, Nature. DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-04246-z

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Johns Hopkins lab tests Omicron variant – NBC4 Washington Sat, 25 Dec 2021 03:00:36 +0000

Although federal health officials have said the omicron variant is the dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States, local lab directors want to know how widespread it is in the region and what it means for health. at local level.

It’s too early to tell if the huge spike in COVID-19 cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia is entirely due to the omicron variant, but that’s the suspicion as it’s known to spread much more easily. .

A Maryland lab director said it also could be that the public has also been less careful since receiving a recall, and the only way to say for sure is to test those tests positive.

“In my lab, we’ve actually sequenced almost everything so far,” said Dr. Heba Mostafa, who heads the Molecular Virology Lab at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Everyone works like a factory, but we feel like we’re doing it really well. . “

She said that omicron now accounts for 65% of the samples they test – below the nearly 76% projected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the region earlier this week.

Sequencing a positive PCR test or examining its genetic makeup can take up to 10 days, so there is a slight lag in the sequencing data.

Mostafa said there is no doubt that omicron has increased exponentially over the past two weeks, but there are signs that it may be less severe than previous strains.

“So far, all of the omicron cases that I have looked at in my lab have actually been associated with outpatients,” she said. “No one has even been admitted. So, so far, it looks like a milder illness. Yes, some of them have actually been vaccinated. A few of them have had three doses.”

But she said most patients hospitalized for COVID-19 are still the ones who aren’t vaccinated, likely because of the more dangerous delta strain.

Mostafa said replacing delta with omicron as the more common strain, in his opinion, has been lightning fast, and that could be good news.

“I am optimistic,” she said. “If this turns out to be a milder disease, perhaps this is the transition we need from a highly pathogenic crown to an endemic crown associated with the common cold-like disease.”

DC Health told News4 that the district public health lab sequenced about 42% of its samples as of December, but earlier this week it said omicron made up less than 1%. This will likely increase once the 10 day processing time is caught.

DC, Maryland and Virginia have all seen an exponential spike in cases with record numbers of positive tests.

“It hits us again during the holiday season when everyone travels and meets,” Mostafa said. “So we just, I think, I think everyone just has to be a little bit careful.”

She said it was still too early to say for sure whether omicron really is a milder version of COVID-19.

She said more should be known in a few weeks as doctors continue to monitor patients who test positive. Public health officials are also tracking the immunization status of every person who tests positive for omicron. With the rise of this new variant, they have noticed an increase in the number of patients contracting COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated and even boosted.

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Open letter to employees, technologists, professionals and physicians of Optilab laboratory medicine clusters in Quebec Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:13:42 +0000

We, the medical and clinical-administrative directors of the Optilab laboratory medicine clusters in Quebec, sincerely thank you for your hard work and dedication. In the extremely difficult context of COVID-19 for laboratory staff, you put all your expertise and energy at the service of Quebecers on a daily basis to provide reliable laboratory analyzes that are essential for care.

Thanks to you, millions of molecular virology COVID screening tests have been performed in microbiology departments. Your work has enabled the development of new sophisticated tests using next-generation gene sequencing in molecular genetics departments. These analyzes are now available to the Quebec population for personalized cancer medicine. Thanks to you, thousands of detailed examinations of tissues and their characteristics, on which most treatment decisions depend, are carried out every day in the pathology departments. In addition, sophisticated coagulation analyzes are performed in the hematology departments for the management of people with hemophilia and high throughput tests of pharmacological molecules are performed in the biochemistry departments. In addition, thanks to the analyzes carried out in transfusion medicine services, you allow sometimes vital decisions to be made in an emergency situation.

These examples represent a small fraction of the acts performed daily in the clinical laboratories of Quebec hospitals. None of this would be possible without you. You are this network and we are extremely proud and honored to work alongside you.

We thank you for all the work you do in the laboratories of Quebec hospitals, for your availability and your talent. We wish you and your loved ones happy holidays and a happy new year!

Dany Aubry, René Bergeron, Mélanie Bernard, Normand Brassard, Enzo Caprio, Dr Christian Carrier, Martin Coulombe, Dr Jean-François Dermine, Dr Jean Dubé, Dr Linda Lalancette, Bruno Lamontagne, Dr Emmanuelle Lemyre, Dr François Lessard, André Lortie , Dr Daniele Marceau, Zied Ouechteti, Dr Jean-François Paradis, Geneviève Plante, Annie Robitaille, Dr Benoît Samson, Dr Alan Spatz, Sylvie Thibeault, Sophie Verdon, Dr André Vincent, Dr Ewa Barbara Wesolowska

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Scientists find traditional herbal medicine works against malaria Tue, 21 Dec 2021 18:43:22 +0000

Pharmacists from Ethiopia and Germany have studied Ranunculus multifidus, a yellow-flowered buttercup that has been used in traditional medicine for malaria and say it shows promise, especially with the emergence of strains resistant to chloroquine.

Each year more than 400,000 people pass away malaria – a preventable and treatable disease. It is estimated that two-thirds of deaths are in children under the age of five.

WHO said that the African region “carried over 90% of the global burden of disease”.

As the death toll has declined, progress has slowed, not least due to lack of funding, with the added stress of Covid-19 to top it off. As a result, scientists are scrambling to find new ways to treat the disease.

A medicinal plant from the buttercup family has been found to relieve symptoms of malaria. In some parts of Africa, a tea made from the leaves of Ranunculus multifidus is already used to treat malaria. Scientists wanted to study the plant to see if it actually helped treat malaria.

“Until now, it was not known which ingredients the plant contains and which of them could have a healing effect,” explains Professor Kaleab Asres of the University of Addis Ababa. Asres already knew the traditional use of the plant and initiated the study.

The active plant ingredient anemonine, according to a Press release, could eventually bring “a new approach” in the treatment of malaria. Extracts from Ranunculus multifidus “Significantly reduced symptoms in infected mice”, the team from Arba Minch University (AMU), Addis Ababa University (AAU) and Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg University (MLU) report in the journal Molécules.

Pharmacists have infected lab mice with a particular type of parasite that causes malaria in rodents, as opposed to the parasite that causes malaria in humans. Then they used plant leaf extracts and tested their effectiveness in mice.

“We infected the animals with the Plasmodium berghei parasite, which causes malaria in some rodents including mice. In humans, malaria is caused by related species of plasmodia“, explains Betelhem Sirak of Arba Minch University.

The mice were divided into several categories: one group did not receive anemonin at all, but were treated with chloroquine, “an established and effective drug to treat malaria.” Other groups received varying doses of anemonin, from the buttercup plant. The press release makes a point of noting that the experiments “were conducted in accordance with internationally recognized guidelines for the keeping and care of laboratory animals.”

The results raised hope: “Although the extracts did not work as well as chloroquine, they nevertheless had a clearly positive effect on the course of the disease. For example, the mice lost much less weight and their body temperatures were also more stable than without treatment, ”explains Professor Peter Imming from MLU.

Scientists were able to extract anemonin from Ranunculus multifidus, although the plant “doesn’t actually contain it,” says Imming. “Anemonin is formed when the plant is injured, for example when it is crushed and the inside of its cells come into contact with air,” continues Imming. They imagine that this is the reason why the extracts prepared by crushing the plant showed the most promise.

Although they don’t know it for sure, scientists believe anemonin, like chloroquine, “affects the parasite’s metabolism,” the press release notes, but “probably attacks it in a different place.” This is an important finding, because the parasites that cause malaria, plasmodia, have developed resistance to the primary drug of choice, chloroquine, in parts of East and West Africa.

“Anemonin might have the potential to bypass this resistance,” says Imming. Yet because the way it works on plasmodia is unknown at this time, more studies are needed to find out how and why it works, and to increase its effectiveness. If the studies are successful, human testing will need to be done over several years to confirm its effectiveness in patients with malaria.

It was the in vivo (tested on live animals). The researchers also made some in vitro (tested in a test tube) studies to see if anemonin from Ranunculus multifidus works against other diseases for which it is used in traditional healing practices.

They tested for anemonin on bacteria similar to tuberculosis, but the plant extract was found to be ineffective. This was not a cause for concern, however, as Imming explains that “a substance that attacks all types of cells would also attack human cells – and therefore is poison.”

The researchers also investigated whether anemonin would work against two widespread parasite species, leishmania and schistosome in one different study recently published in Molecules. They write that “the results obtained in this investigation indicate that anemonin has the potential to be used as a model for the design of new anti-leishman and anti-ischistosomics. pharmacophores. “In short, anemonin could one day be used to fight leishmania and schistosome parasitic infections too.

Source: TRT World

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