Fear of side effects main reason for choosing not to vaccinate

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has published a report revealing the extent to which social media propagates misinformation about vaccinations, and that the perceived risks of side effects are the key concern among those who choose not to vaccinate. While all vaccines have potential side effects, in reality they only affect some people – and are typically mild, short-lived, and far outweighed by the benefits of immunisation.

Combined diagnostic and antimicrobial susceptibility test enables guided therapy for gonorrhoea

UK patients with N. gonorrhoeae (GC) now have the option of receiving the cheap and easily-administered oral antibiotic ciprofloxacin thanks to updated treatment guidelines and the availability of a molecular diagnostic and antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST). The new test can simultaneously diagnose gonorrhoea and provide information on whether or not a patient will respond to ciprofloxacin.

Clinical flow cytometry supported by new 10-colour system

Beckman Coulter has launched the ClearLLab 10C System for the clinical flow cytometry laboratory. The new system includes the first 10-colour CE-IVD panels of immunophenotyping reagents for both lymphoid and myeloid lineages. The ClearLLab 10C System incorporates the company’s new Kaluza C software to streamline and standardize clinical QC reporting to international guidelines.

Childhood leukaemia distinct from adult disease

Scientists have identified and modelled a distinct biology for paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), one of the major causes of death in children. The breakthrough research, from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cancer Sciences, published in Nature Communications, significantly advances understanding of the disease and provides potential for developing specific treatment strategies for this childhood cancer, which is currently treated with therapies extrapolated from adult practice.

Gonorrhoea and antimicrobial resistance

So-called super-gonorrhoea has hit the headlines once again with a report of two patients infected with a version of the sexually transmitted disease that is resistant to the first-choice antibiotics, which is a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The cases are not related to the world's ‘worst case’, which was detected in the UK in 2018 after the patient returned from a trip to South East Asia.

Congress 2019: new content and more choice introduced

Congress 2019 is going to offer the most ambitious programme the Institute of Biomedical Science has ever hosted, which will be published at the beginning of February. Owing to the success in 2017 of the new Sunday programme, the Institute will once again start the Congress programme on the Sunday (13.00, 22 September) with four key lecture programmes: Education and Training, Quality Management, Molecular Pathology and a practical microscopy workshop for cytologists.

Clinical and Laboratory Haemostasis two-day meeting: a 2019 preview

The UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation Clinical and Laboratory Haemostasis meeting will return to Sheffield Hallam University on 5-6 June. This annual scientific and scheme participants' meeting attracts speakers and delegates from across the UK and abroad; and meeting reports are a regular feature of Pathology in Practice content.

Insights into magnetic bacteria: guiding new research

Researchers have long-studied magnetotactic bacteria (MTB): aquatic microbes that have the ability to orientate themselves to magnetic fields. This unusual behaviour makes them a subject of interest for improving the understanding of biomagnetism, and potentially harnessing their abilities for future technologies, such as medical nanorobots.

Optical calibration of PCR cyclers patented in USA

CYCLERtest has announced that its patent for the optical calibration of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) cyclers is now also granted in the USA, and complements similar patents held by CYCLERtest in Europe and Japan.

Versatility of LIMS in a Veterinary Laboratory

The Agrihealth Group of companies has utilised the Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) from Autsocribe Informatics to accommodate two different aspects of its business. A new case study shows how Matrix Gemini is managing the requirements of Agrihealth’s laboratory services and has also streamlined the company’s veterinary services processes.

Goal reached by 100,000 Genomes Project

The 100,000 Genomes Project, led by Genomics England in partnership with NHS England, has reached its goal of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients. This ground-breaking programme was launched in 2012, with the goal of harnessing whole-genome sequencing technology to uncover new diagnoses and improved treatments for patients with rare inherited diseases and cancer.

Global direct sales and support of FISH expanded by OGT

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has expanded its direct sales of Cytocell fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) products to include the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. OGT will provide customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand with enhanced local sales and support services via established affiliates of Sysmex, as well as via continued collaboration with existing distributors. The move follows the successful introduction of selling via a number of European Sysmex affiliates earlier this year.

Ground-breaking digital pathology imaging in the North

Leeds researchers have been awarded a £10.1 million investment from UK Research and Innovation to expand a digital pathology and artificial intelligence programme across the North of England. FFEI, which create cutting-edge digital medical imaging technology, image quality and colour accuracy solutions, providing data optimal for AI diagnosis, welcomed the announcement of national funding that will allow the creation of a digital pathology clinical network and research programme.

Rare Disease Collaborative Network on refractory coeliac disease commissioned

Refractory coeliac disease, a deadly form of the autoimmune condition, has received its first dedicated support from NHS England with the setting up of a Rare Disease Collaborative Network (RDCN) to accelerate research and treatment into this life-threatening condition.

Respiratory infections: a conference of inspiration

The next British Society for Microbial Technology (BSMT) Annual Scientific Conference, entitled Respiratory Microbiology – A Day of Inspiration, will take place on Thursday 16 May 2019 at the RAF Museum Hendon, North London.

The Biomedical Science Industry Handbook 2019

The second edition of The Biomedical Science Industry Handbook is included with the December 2018 issue of Pathology in Practice. Updated for 2019, the handbook provides concise yet comprehensive information on the full range of products and services supplied by colleagues across the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry spectrum.

Congress 2019: a brief update

Congress 2019 is going to be the most ambitious programme the Institute of Biomedical Science has ever hosted. Owing to the success last year of the new Sunday programme, the Institute will again be starting the Congress programme at 13.00 on Sunday, 22 September with four key lecture programmes: Education and Training, Quality Management, Molecular Pathology and a practical microscopy workshop for our cytologists. It is recognised that some programmes are extremely popular so to enable laboratories to juggle delegate attendances, the Quality Management programme will also be offered on the Wednesday, and Education and Training will continue on the Monday, with further content to be made available on the Tuesday as part of the exhibition hall seminars – but more about that next year.

Ten years of National Pathology Week

When the first National Pathology Week (NPW) was planned in 2008 the aim was to hold 40 events across the UK. By the end for the week over 320 had been held, and pathologists the world over had caught the public engagement bug. A favourite comment of Dr Suzy Lishman (pictured) from an early participant was that NPW had rekindled their passion for pathology and improved morale in their department – two rather unexpected side-effects. Since then, thousands of events have been held for schools, the public and healthcare professionals, and NPW is firmly established as an annual event.

Lab Innovations a major hit with visitors, exhibitors and speakers

Lab Innovations, the UK’s only trade show dedicated to the laboratory industry, beat all records for the show, attracting 3113 attendees – a 10% increase on the previous year. Underlying the headline number were significant increases in visitors involved in purchasing products and services. Overall, 79% of visitors were involved in the purchasing decision, with a 43% increase in laboratory managers, a 53% increase in laboratory technicians, and an impressive 125% increase in procurement managers. In addition, the number of scientists attending increased by 49%. This dynamism was clear from the buzz of activity on the floor, with the statistics highlighting the enormous contribution that Lab Innovations makes to the business of laboratory science.

Dual-action cancer-killing virus: early tests

Scientists have equipped a virus that kills carcinoma cells with a protein so it can also target and kill adjacent cells that are tricked into shielding the cancer from the immune system. It is the first time that cancer-associated fibroblasts within solid tumours – healthy cells that are tricked into protecting the cancer from the immune system and supplying it with growth factors and nutrients – have been specifically targeted in this way.