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Volume 73 - 2010 - Fasc.1 - Symposium

Microbes or man, who will win ? (extended summary)

Once the cause of infectious diseases had been uncov- ered, mainly thanks to the work of Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur and their followers at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, a multivalent strategy was implemented to prevent and control micro- bial infections due to bacteria, viruses or parasites. Thanks to hygiene, the control of insect vectors, vaccina- tion and the wide use of antibiotics, the most dangerous and widespread infectious diseases could be more or less controlled, at least in developed countries. Hence the impression, in the 1970s, that the fight against infectious diseases had been won. This was a major mistake. Beginning at the end of the 1970s, several new infectious diseases have emerged, some of them, like AIDS, taking hundreds of thousands or even millions of lives every year. In this presentation, on a few examples, we analyze the causes of this emer- gence and then review the new actions that are or could be taken to control infectious diseases.


Prevention of opportunistic infections in patients with inflammatory bowel dis- ease and implications of the ECCO consensus in Belgium

In an era of increasing use of immunomodulator (IM) therapy, opportunistic infections have emerged as a pivotal safety issue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Today's challenge to the physician is not only to manage IBD, but also to recognise, prevent and treat common and uncommon infections. The recent European ECCO guidelines on the management and prevention of opportunistic infections in patients with IBD provide clinicians with guidance on the prevention, detection and management of opportunistic infections in patients with IBD. Proposals may appear radical, potentially changing current practice, but we believe that the recommendations will help optimise patient out- comes by reducing morbidity and mortality related to opportunis- tic infections in patients with IBD. In this ongoing process, preven- tion is far the first and most important step. Prevention of oppor- tunistic infections relies on recognition of risk factors for infection, the use of primary or secondary chemoprophylaxis, careful moni- toring (clinical and laboratory work-up) before and during the use of immunomodulators, vaccination and education of the patient. Special recommendations should also be given to patients before travel. Additionally, this paper discusses how the ECCO guidelines can be implemented in Belgium according to reimbursement legis- lation. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2010, 73, 41-45).