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Outside the Lab Guidelines and recommendations, Point of care testing, Screening and monitoring

In Other News… Infectious Disease

New directions for healthcare applications

Deep tech company XPANCEO announce the discovery of new properties of rhenium diselenide and rhenium disulfide. Both materials were found to have different principal directions of absorption and refraction – allowing for more control of the light propagation direction without traditional technological steps used in materials like silicone. These unique properties open exciting opportunities in healthcare, such as the development of highly efficient biochemical sensors and earlier detection of dangerous disease and viruses like cancer and COVID.

Fast and deadly

In its rapid risk assessment, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported the number of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) sequence type (ST) 23 cases in EU and EEA countries has doubled since 2021. The ECDC states that life-threatening hvKp infections may occur in young and healthy individuals, and that the risk of further spread across healthcare facilities is high: “The severity of hvKp infections combined with their resistance to last-line antibiotics makes the infections difficult to treat. It is important to detect hvKp early and prevent further dissemination in healthcare settings in EU/EEA countries to avoid further establishment of hvKp carrying carbapenemase genes as a healthcare-associated pathogen.”

Meningitis movement

The World Health Organization confirms 30 deaths in Gombe State, Nigeria, are linked to three cases of meningitis that are part of seasonal outbreaks (PMID: 38443668). Following the Ebola and COVID-19 outbreaks, the Nigerian Centres for Disease Control are keen to keep on top of infectious diseases and this news sparked action from health officials across the country. Yobe State in particular recently took action and quarantined over 200 people in an effort to curb the spread of meningitis.

Avian flu attacks Antarctica

The first signs of avian influenza in the wider Antarctic region appeared in October 2023, but now the virus has spread further across the mainland – so much so, that Antarctic penguin studies have been disrupted (PMID: 38491182). Only researchers specializing in infectious disease are permitted to access animal colonies in this region and several projects have been canceled in hopes of reducing the spread of the virus. Further discovery of influenza in dead skuas near Argentina’s Primavera research station has heightened fears, “We must be prepared to protect both the Antarctic fauna and the human beings working there,” said virologist Antonio Alcamí. 

PrEPare for safety

Clinical studies in South Africa reveal that the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring and daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are safe for HIV prevention among cisgender women throughout pregnancy. (

Streptococcus soars

Japanese researchers race to identify the cause of rise in dangerous bacterial streptococcal infections as the number of cases soar to record levels. (

It all boils down to…

Researchers point to 10 nonkeratitis Acanthamoeba infections that are linked to using unboiled tap water for nasal rinsing. (

WHO’s next?

World Health Organization recommends using next-generation sequencing for the rapid diagnosis of drug-resistant tuberculosis (

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About the Author
Jessica Allerton

Deputy Editor, The Pathologist

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