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ITM News

Dr. Patrick Soentjens and Dr. Ula Maniewski are jointly coordinating the activities of the ITM’s travel clinic. They explain what travellers to Brazil should be aware of.

The discovery of penicillin has led to a sharp decline of syphilis around the world, except in Africa. In a new study, Prof. Chris Kenyon of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) describes the different rates of decline of syphilis around the world.

Only very few scientists have the opportunity to make a drastic improvement in the chances of survival of thousands of patients all over the world. ITM researcher Dr Armand Van Deun is one such scientist. On 12 May 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced a combination of medicines developed by Van Deun as a standard treatment for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

The 13th International Meeting Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of Infectious Diseases (MEEGID XIII) is the leading conference on molecular evolution of all pathogens, including viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites and prions.

ITM is starting a new campaign to coincide with World Malaria Day (25 April). The campaign will inform people from malaria-infected regions about the risks of malaria when they go back and visit their native country. ITM physicians have noticed that travellers of African origin frequently underestimate the danger of contracting malaria.

Head of ITM’s Unit of Malariology Anna Rosanas is no lab rat. Originally from Catalunya, Spain, the dedicated scientist sees life through both the microscopic lens of a molecular biologist with a background in genetics and the bird’s eye view of an epidemiologist.

Onlangs organiseerde de Belgische Ontwikkelingssamenwerking in Brussel een bijzondere bijeenkomst onder auspiciën van QUAMED (“Quality Medicines For All”), een Belgisch initiatief dat het pad effent voor verandering. Deze bijeenkomst maakte deel uit van drie vergaderdagen rond het thema van de toegang tot kwaliteitsvolle basisgeneesmiddelen.

The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM) has developed a test that can confirm an infection with the Zika virus even after the acute infection phase. A correct diagnosis is especially important for pregnant women because of the potential risks for the unborn baby if the mother is infected.

Researchers of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the University of Antwerp, collaborating with their colleagues from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, discovered a mutation in the genetic composition of the human protein apolipoprotein L1. This mutation is common in certain African tribes, and increases their risk of contracting the deadly sleeping sickness disease.

Today is World Tuberculosis Day. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) affects about 480.000 people worldwide. Only 50% of these patients are treated successfully. But there is hope. Promising new drugs and shorter MDR-TB treatments are in the pipeline and may lead to an increase in the cure rate.