As microbes have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and antimicrobials scientists have become interested in new solutions to the growing superbug crisis, including the use of defensive microbes and faecal transplants. In new research, Oxford University scientists have developed a lab-based approach, creating positive co-dependent relationships between hosts and bacteria, quickly - termed ‘mutualisms’. These lab-developed bacterial relationships demonstrate how microbes can work with their hosts to prevent infection.
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Defensive host-microbe relationships are prevalent in nature across plants and animals, including humans. The mutual benefit comes from the host benefiting from the protection of the bacteria, and the bacteria then benefiting from the host being a healthy living environment - allowing it to accumulate further over time.
While evidence suggests that people who are vaccinated before they get COVID are less likely to develop long COVID than unvaccinated people, the effectiveness of vaccination on existing long COVID has been less clear.
Researchers running the University of Oxford-led Com-COV programme have launched a further study of COVID-19 vaccination schedules in young people aged 12 to 15 – with a focus on assessing different options for a third dose booster vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination is effective in most cancer patients, but the level of protection against COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and death offered by the vaccine is less than in the general population and vaccine effectiveness wanes more quickly.
New reporting guidelines, jointly published in Nature Medicine and the BMJ by Oxford researchers, will ensure that early studies on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to treat real patients will give researchers the information needed to develop AI systems safely and effectively.
The Moh Family Foundation has given a substantial gift to support the work of Oxford University’s Pandemic Sciences Institute, greatly strengthening its ability to identify and counter future pandemic threats and ensure equitable access to treatments and vaccines around the world.