Bristol’s pioneering COVID-19 research prompts French Embassy visit10 December 2021Representatives from the French Embassy visited University labs today [10 December] to see some of the innovative COVID-19 research being undertaken at Bristol, including work on ADDomer™, a thermostable vaccine platform being developed by Bristol scientists to combat emerging infectious diseases.
Early warning signals could help monitor disease outbreaks
8 December 2021New research suggests early warning signals (EWSs) could help in the monitoring of disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19. The study, led by the University of Bristol, found warnings could be detected weeks earlier than any rapid increase in cases. The findings could help governments and policy makers improve the accuracy of their decisions and allow timely interventions if needed.
Guidelines may promote over-diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy in infants8 December 2021International guidelines developed to help doctors diagnose cow’s milk allergy may lead to over-diagnosis, according to University of Bristol-led research published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy today [8 December]. The study found that three-quarters of infants have two or more symptoms at some point in the first year of life, which guidelines say may be caused by cow’s milk allergy, yet the condition only affects one in 100.
Child deaths during pandemic lowest on record for England7 December 2021The number of children in England who died fell to 3,067 between April 2020 – March 2021. This is 356 fewer deaths than were recorded in the preceding 12 months (April 2019 – March 2020), and likely represents the lowest level of child mortality on record, according to a new study by researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff and published today [7 December] in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
COVID-19 studies should record women’s menstrual changes, recommend researchers2 December 2021Large scale COVID-19 studies and clinical trials should collect data on menstrual changes, according to new research which evaluated current evidence. The findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and led by University of Bristol researchers, say there is an important public health imperative for accurate scientific investigation of menstrual changes in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
School staff not at higher risk of death from COVID-19 than other occupations, study finds24 November 2021Primary and secondary school staff were not at greater risk of death from COVID-19 in 2020 compared to other professions in England and Wales, new research has found. The study, by researchers at the University of Bristol, analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) national death register for school staff and working adults aged between 20- to 64-years-old.
The Infection and Immunity Research Network's annual symposium on Emerging Zoonoses19 November 2021Watch the University of Bristol's Infection and Immunity Research Network half-day hybrid event looking at zoonoses. Zoonoses are diseases and infections naturally transmitted between people and animals. It is estimated that, globally, about one billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses. Some 60% of emerging infectious diseases that are reported globally are zoonoses; over 30 new human pathogens have been detected in the last three decades, 75% of which have originated in animals.
New research identifies who should be offered testing for coeliac disease25 October 2021Targeted testing of individuals with a range of signs and symptoms could improve diagnosis of coeliac disease, a new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded study led by the University of Bristol and published in PLOS ONE has found. Signs and symptoms include family history of coeliac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, anaemia, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis and chronic liver disease.
Eliminating hepatitis C in Pakistan could yield a return-on-investment of US$9.10 billion22 October 2021Pakistan has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the world, accounting for over ten per cent of global HCV infections. A new modelling study led by the University of Bristol, UK, suggests that achieving the World Health Organization goal of eliminating HCV as a public health problem by 2030 in Pakistan is likely to be highly cost-effective by 2030, cost-saving by 2031, and could deliver US$9.10 billion in savings to the Pakistan national economy by 2050.
Can portable air filters prevent respiratory infections and COVID-19 in care homes?21 October 2021A major new randomised controlled trial will investigate the effectiveness of air filtration systems in preventing respiratory infections (such as coughs, colds and flu) and COVID-19 among care home residents in England. The AFRI-c (Air Filters to Prevent Respiratory Infections including COVID-19 in Care Homes) study, which received funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is led by researchers at the University of Bristol.
Collaborative COVID-19 lockdown effort delivers major boost for vaccine innovation in Bristol7 October 2021Faster vaccine development could be a step closer thanks to £4 million investment to Imophoron Ltd, a Bristol University biotech start-up developing a novel, next generation rapid-response vaccine platform called ADDomer™. Imophoron will use the investment to bring ADDomer vaccines to clinical stage, initially targeting three viruses, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), COVID-19, and mosquito-borne Chikungunya.
Largest trial of antibiotic amoxicillin for treating chest infections in children finds little effect28 September 2021The largest randomised placebo-controlled trial of the antibiotic amoxicillin for treating chest infections in children - one of the most common acute illnesses treated in primary care in developed countries, has found it is little more effective at relieving symptoms than the use of no medication. The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), was led by researchers from the University of Southampton and supported by centres at the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and Cardiff.
Major advance in race for SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor drugs20 September 2021A new advance towards the development of drugs specifically designed to inhibit a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme is reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry's leading journal, Chemical Science. The international team, led by scientists from the Universities of Oxford and Bristol, has designed new peptide molecules and shown that they block (inhibit) the virus’s main protease [Mpro] - a prominent SARS-CoV-2 drug target.
SARS-CoV-2 transmission model suggests primary school infection could be greater this autumn than in 202013 September 2021The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has already had a major impact on children's education, with schools having been required to implement infection control measures that have led to long periods of absence and classroom closures. With the new school year underway, risk modelling specialists at the University of Bristol have developed a new epidemiological model for SARS-CoV-2 transmission that forecasts primary school infection outbreaks could be more frequent and possibly substantially larger this autumn than in 2020, due to the more transmissive and infectious Delta variant and projected increase in community infection.
Lancet viewpoint: case for and against COVID-19 vaccine boosters13 September 2021A Lancet Viewpoint article about the case for and against COVID-19 vaccine boosters, co-authored by an international team of leading COVID-19 scientists including Bristol’s Professors Jonathan Sterne and Julian Higgins, is published today [Monday 13 September]. The lead author is Dr Philip R Krause from the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the US Food and Drug Administration, and the authors include senior WHO staff including Dr Soumya Swaminathan,(WHO Chief Scientist) and Dr Mike Ryan (Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme).
Major international study reports the impact of genetics on epigenetic factors9 September 2021Understanding what causes epigenetic variation could be a step closer thanks to a new atlas of genetic effects on epigenetic factors. The atlas, which has been established by an international consortium led by the University of Bristol, will enable scientists to learn more about the mechanisms underpinning gene regulation.
New option for how people with Covid-19 are cared for on NHS wards1 September 2021A new protocol for prone positioning — a technique commonly used to treat COVID-19 patients in respiratory distress by turning them on to their front to increase oxygen flow to the lungs, is published in the Journal of Frailty and Aging. Researchers from the University of Bristol in collaboration with clinicians at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, conducted a literature review of the manoeuvre to develop a standard protocol for the adjuvant treatment that can be used for COVID-19 patients at high risk of dying being treated in normal hospital wards.
Hundreds of millions of Africans lack basic means of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, finds global study24 August 2021Millions of people across the African continent are at risk of contracting COVID-19 because of a lack of the most basic public health tools to protect themselves - including the essentials of soap and water, finds a new University of Bristol-led study published in Epidemiology & Infection. The global research collaborative finds almost 900 million Africans live without on-site water, while 700 million people lack in-home soap/washing facilities.
Long COVID in children poorly understood by doctors21 July 2021The clinical definition of long COVID in children is at present very limited and poorly understood by doctors, according to a new report published today [21 July]. The report also found that symptoms typically associated with long COVID were having a significant physical and psychological impact on children’s day-to-day lives. Long COVID is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after acute COVID‑19.