Novel strategies in science communication: Fiction or future?

Guest blogger, Tjitske van Engelen (details below) writes…

It is Friday night eight ‘o clock. Everybody tunes in via online podcasts, live feed webpages or plain old television. And there he is; the man of the hour. Respected by fellow man for his charismatic behavior and loved by women for his enchanting smiles. The well-known jingle introduces the vibrant young show host whilst he enters the stage. Tonight will be a night to remember. It is one of these shows that everybody will talk about during the Monday morning coffee break. No way you are not watching. It is the quarter-finals: ‘thrombosis in neonates’ versus ‘fluid resuscitation in the critically ill’. A Norwegian versus a South-African researcher. The jury consists of one hundred participants with no prior knowledge of the fields of research. The contestants are scored as usual based on the three pillars of the show. First, did I learn something new? Secondly, can I repeat what I have learned? And thirdly, does it make me want to learn more? In the beginning, many contestants made a rookie mistake: too much information squeezed in the set three-minute-pitch. It was rather funny, to hear them stumble over their difficult words. Who has ever heard of macrophages before? Well, only two of the jury members, as it turned out. However, after last week’s show (‘antibiotic resistance’ versus ‘genetics and infection’) the number of Google hits for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were sky high, adding to the third pillar of the show. Apparently people wanted to learn more after the engaging talk of the young scientist who explained her strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics. She has won an additional 30 seconds of pitch time for her semi-finals, kindly donated by Google. Fiction or future?

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Genetic susceptibility for rotavirus infection

Each week our PhD students have their own Journal Club. Apparently they recently developed an interest in http://www.reflectionsipc and asked whether I was interested in getting their input. What a great idea, I thought, and here is the first one. Josephine van Dongen discussed a Scientific Reports paper on acute gastroenteritis (AGE) due to rotavirus. A global burden among children, but it can be prevented effectively by vaccination (still not recommended in our country!). Rotavirus discriminates: if your genes encode your cells to have a “secretor status” or being “Lewis positive” your infection risk increases (there even is a meta-analysis, for those still in doubt). And you are more likely to have these genotypes (at least secretor) if you’re Asian. Whether genotypes also predispose for more severe infection is unknown, and that’s what the study was about. Continue reading

Effective stewardship: less antibiotic use and more hand hygiene

Rossana Rosa (bio below) writes a guest post, reflecting on this recent review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes…

The first reports on the effects of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmess date back to the mid-90s, and the interest in them has taken off in the past decade.

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A health economist’s guide to the AMS galaxy

Guest blogger Nikki Naylor (bio below) has written this post about a recent review on the cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship…

I’ll start this blog post off with a promise – I promise not to use any equations or unnecessarily complex terms that just describe logical concepts (something us economists do like to do on occasion). In return, I hope that you will see past the standard and not-to-exhilarating conclusion of “more evidence is needed” and see some of the more useful messages that sit within this recent review that we have published.

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Blog-ception: An article on a blog about an article about blogs

Racheal Troughton (bio below) reports on a fascinating study…As readers of this post are no doubt aware, the community of researchers and clinicians working in infectious diseases are increasingly using social media as a resource, and a platform for scientific discourse. But there is little discussion on precisely how it is being used. Back in 2015, we began a study to analyse the content and culture surrounding blogs in the field of infectious diseases – the “blogosphere”. Continue reading

Breaking the chain of infection – hygiene is everyone’s responsibility

ifh-chain

As International Infection Prevention Week (#IIPW) continues, Prof Sally Bloomfield writes a guest blog on the principles of breaking the chain of infection. Whilst the blog is focused on home and everyday life settings, the principles are relevant to healthcare facilities too!

This is international Infection Prevention Week. To address this year’s theme “Breaking the Chain of Infection” the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) has produced a simple online resource Breaking the Chain of Infection.

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Cleaning and disinfection survey

See below details of a survey that you may find interesting to complete. I had a small role in providing some feedback on an earlier version of this survey and I hope it will serve to highlight areas that require more thought and / or research…

On behalf of the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)  working group on Infection Prevention we would be grateful if you could complete this anonymous survey.

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