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Links between biodiversity and human infectious and non-communicable diseases: a review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Crump L, Martinoli D, Zinsstag J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20485

Biodiversity has intrinsic value and a fundamental role in human health. The relationship between them is complex, and the specific sustaining processes are still not well understood. In view of the rapidly evolving landscape, this literature review investigated scientific evidence for specific links between biodiversity and human infectious and non-communicable diseases to characterise identifiable relationships.

Differences in infection control and diagnostic measures for multidrug-resistant organisms in the tristate area of France, Germany and Switzerland in 2019 – survey results from the RH(E)IN-CARE network

Original article
Tschudin-Sutter S, Lavigne T, Grundmann H, Rauch J, Eichel VM, Deboscker S, Jaulhac B, Mutters NT
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20454

Multidrug-resistant organisms are a public health threat. Single-centre interventions, however, are likely to fail in the long term, as patients are commonly transferred between institutions given the economic integration across borders. A transnational approach targeting larger regions is needed to plan overarching sets of interventions.

Infective endocarditis: prevention and antibiotic prophylaxis

Review article: Medical guidelines
Sendi P, Hasse B, Frank M, Flückiger U, Boggian K, Guery B, Jeger R, Zbinden S, Agyeman P, Knirsch W, Greutmann M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20473

The Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases (SSI), with the support of the Federal Office of Public Health, initiated a platform for clinical practice guidelines in 2017. The goal of these guidelines is to optimise and possibly reduce antibiotic use in Switzerland. The SSI and the Swiss Society of Cardiology together with the Swiss Society for Paediatric Cardiology and the Paediatric Infectious Disease Group of Switzerland are presenting the current update as a joint initiative.

Harnessing unique experiences to build competence: Medical student engagement in frontline care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Klasen JM, Bingisser R, Meienberg A, Bogie B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20480

As countries experience subsequent pandemic waves and identified variants of SARS-CoV-2, the lessons learned from the current interventions may help guide medical education leaders across the globe in their decisions concerning how to promote medical student engagement in frontline care during a continuing public health crisis.

Cohort profile: SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients in Switzerland

Original article
Thiabaud A, Iten A, Balmelli C, Senn L, Troillet N, Widmer A, Flury D, Schreiber PW, Vázquez M, Damonti L, Buettcher M, Vuichard-Gysin D, Kuhm C, Cusini A, Riedel T, Nussbaumer-Ochsner Y, Gaudenz R, Heininger U, Berger C, Zucol F, Bernhard-Stirnemann S, Corti N, Zimmermann P, Uka A, Niederer-Loher A, Gardiol C, Roelens M, Keiser O
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20475

In cooperation with the Federal Office of Public Health, a surveillance database was set up in February 2020 to monitor hospitalised patients with COVID-19, in addition to their mandatory reporting system. The surveillance system has been successfully initiated and provides a robust set of data for Switzerland by including about 80% (compared with official statistics) of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients, with similar age and comorbidity distributions. It adds detailed information on the epidemiology, risk factors and clinical course of these cases and, therefore, is a valuable addition to the existing mandatory reporting.

COVID-19 Inmate Risk Appraisal (CIRA): development and validation of a screening tool to assess COVID-19 vulnerability in prisons

Original article
Gonçalves LC, Baggio S, Weber M, Gétaz L, Wolff H, Singh J, Naegeli A, Rossegger A, Endrass J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20471

Although medical doctors make evaluations of COVID-19 mortality risk in certain custodial settings, there is no available tool to quantify prisoners’ vulnerability and classify them into risk categories. To address this gap and assist custodial staff taking early measures to protect detained persons, the present study collected data from the two largest prisons in Switzerland to develop a screening tool to identify prisoners at increased mortality risk and to classify them in risk categories and to test its validity when compared with national recommendations and clinical evaluation of COVID-19 vulnerability.

Distribution of low quality filtering facepiece respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic: an independent analysis of the situation in Switzerland

Original article
Delaloye JR, Vernez D, Suarez G, de Courten D, Zingg W, Perret V, Metzger CMJA, Richner G
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20459

The demand for FFP respirators exceeded the supply capacity from established suppliers of the Swiss market. New production and import channels emerged, as did the number of poor-quality FFP respirators. FFP respirators remaining in stocks should be checked for conformity before being used, or eliminated and replaced if quality does not meet standards.

Real-world effectiveness and safety of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Switzerland

Original article
Müllhaupt B, Semela D, Ruckstuhl L, Magenta L, Clerc O, Torgler R, Negro F, Semmo N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20399

In the era of pangenotypic treatment regimens against hepatitis C virus infection, data from postmarketing observational studies are crucial to better understand the treatment patterns used in specific countries and treatment outcomes under real-life conditions.

Autophagy and coronavirus infection – a Trojan horse or Achilles heel?

Seiler K, Tschan MPP
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20468

Many of the more promising compounds currently investigated in clinical trials are autophagy modulators, thus substantiating the need for an understanding of how coronaviruses interact with and utilise components of the autophagy pathway.

Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and liver failure-induced massive hyperferritinaemia in a male COVID-19 patient

Original article
Zellweger NM, Huber J, Tsakiris DA, Tzankov A, Gebhard CE, Siegemund M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20420

The authors present the case of a 58-year-old man with the unique combination of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and, later on, haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis admitted to the intensive care unit.

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