SULM – Schweizerische Union für Labormedizin | Union Suisse de Médecine de Laboratoire | Swiss Union of Laboratory Medicine

Aktuelle Ausgabe | Numéro actuel

Nr. 02/2022 Microbiology and the pandemic

Inhaltsverzeichnis | Sommaire

Editorial
Gilbert Greub
Microbiology and the pandemic (pdf)
This special issue on microbes is going in press just when a large European outbreak of Monkeypox virus is on the frontpage of most newspapers. Indeed, this large poxviridae DNA virus has spread and has infected a huge number of persons, mainly male having sex with male, likely due to some superspreading events such as the pride held in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria). Monkeypox is disscussed in an article on climate change, since global warming and reduced size of tropical rainforests partially explain the progressive increased number of human cases in endemic countries in sub-Saharian Africa. Such outbreaks needs rapid detection of cases by PCR and molecular epidemiology…

News
Michael Nagler, Gilbert Greub
Microbiology and the pandemic (pdf)
The COVID-19 pandemic posed major challenges for medical laboratories. The «pipette» discusses the difficulties, opportunities and lessons learned with Professor Gilbert Greub. He is Director of the Institute of Microbiology, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), and Professor at the University of Lausanne. Professor Greub, you are interested in the discovery of new pathogens of pneumonia. Was the COVID-19 pandemic a stroke of luck for you? «This was not a stroke of luck for anyone. It has affected the whole world and more than 6 million people have died from it…

Giorgia Caruana
A century of antibiotic resistance: targets, mechanisms and susceptibility testing (pdf)
Stephen Hawking famously said, «Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change». Indeed, bacteria proved to be smart, having been in constant evolution, skillfully responding to the (selective) pressure imposed by antibiotics with useful modifications that earned some of them the precious title of multi-drug resistant (MDR)…

Aitana Neves et al
Molecular surveillance of pathogens in Switzerland – Focus: SARS-CoV-2 and its variants (pdf)
Currently, the BA.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 dominates in Switzerland as it does in places around the globe. In recent months, circulating virus lineages have been widely monitored by sequencing the genomes of thousands of SARS-CoV-2 isolates. These efforts were coordinated by the National Reference Centre for Emerging Viral Infections (CRIVE) in Geneva. A total of 15 laboratories from diagnostics and research supported this and thus contributed significantly to the surveillance and risk assessment of viral evolution in Switzerland. The large quantities of sequencing data and associated metadata were centralized at the «Swiss Pathogen Surveillance Platform» (SPSP), where quality was checked, the sequences annotated, and finally transmitted to other databases. Data was visualized for example in the dashboard of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) or using international comparisons via GISAID on platforms such as nextstrain.org. SPSP was developed together with the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics as a «One Health» focused platform to share genomes and associated metadata between institutions for surveillance and research. The project was initially funded by the National Research Programme (NRP72) of the Swiss National Science Foundation and has since been further developed…

Gilbert Greub et al
The Swiss national reference centre for tick-borne infections (pdf)
Due to climate changes, the geographical surfaces suitable for ticks has increased in ten years from 16% to 25%, as shown by Rochat et al [1]. Moreover, due to societal changes (partially boostered by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemics), the Swiss population appears to be increasingly exposed to ticks due to more diversified and more regular outdoors activities. Thus, in 2021, according to a recent SUVA press communicate, as many as 14’000 human tick bites have been recorded in Switzerland as compared to about 10’000 human tick bites per year a few years earlier. This trend may have a significant impact on public health given the different tick-borne pathogens observed in Switzerland, such as Borrelia spp. and the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE virus)…

Education
Gilbert Greub
Le réchauffement climatique: possibles impacts sur les microbes, leurs réservoirs, les infections et les épidémies. (pdf)

News
Gilbert Greub et al
The Human Microbiota Network of the Swiss National Centre of Competences in Research (NCCR) on microbiomes: objectives and main approaches (pdf)
Studying the human microbiota is pivotal to improve our understanding of a number of infectious and non-infectious diseases. In Lausanne, microbiota related research started about 15 years ago when new generation technologies became available. However, it is only in 2018 that amplicon-based metagenomics was accredited in the diagnostic laboratory of the Institute of Microbiology at CHUV and was used for patients’ care. Still, the indications remain limited and require investigations on the perimeter and limitations of this novel technology for targeted applications in the clinics…

Olivier Boulat
Im Gedenken an Prof. Claude Bachmann | En mémoire de Prof. Claude Bachmann (pdf)
Bis zu seiner Pensionierung im Jahr 2006 war Claude Bachmann ein wichtiger Akteur der klinischen Chemie in der Schweiz. Sein Humanismus, seine umfassende Kultur und seine Fähigkeit, Verbindungen zu knüpfen standen immer im Dienst der Forschung und der Patienten. Er war vielen ein treuer Freund und vielen ein anspruchsvoller Mentor. Die Werte, die Claude Bachmann im Laufe seiner medizinischen und wissenschaftlichen Karriere verkörperte, bilden sein Vermächtnis. Dafür ist ihm die Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Klinische Chemie zutiefst dankbar…

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