Symposium addresses infection treatment in immune-compromised patients: 4 takeaways

Researchers convened June 10-11 to discuss how to stop infections in patients with weakened immune systems at the Seattle-based Third Symposium on Infectious Disease in the Immunocompromised Host, according to an article from Hutch News, a publication of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Four takeaways:

1. New CAR T-cell therapies use genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer, but the altered immune cells are more vulnerable to infection following treatment. Scientists do not yet know the effect of cell gene alteration on a patient's long-term infection risk.

2. A new drug called letermovir protects transplant patients from cytomegalovirus, traditionally a major threat to immune-compromised patients.

3. The gut microbiome, or collection of bacteria, viruses and fungi found in the colon, is crucial to fighting off infection. For example, researchers showed the immune response against Clostridium difficile is stronger when patients have a more diverse array of microbiome bacteria.

4. New technologies are improving infectious disease diagnosis. New research shows analyzing immune cells' genes can help providers quickly identify which disease the cells are fighting, Christopher Woods, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Duke University, said at the symposium.

Click here for a complete list of symposium themes.

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