ESBL is an enzyme, produced by certain bacteria, which makes these bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Researchers from various institutes collaborating in a large consortium discovered that ESBLs occur frequently in livestock, the food chain, the environment and also in humans. However, ESBLs in livestock and meat were found to be genetically different from those in humans. This means that humans acquire ESBLs to a limited extent via livestock and through eating meat. The transmission mainly occurs between humans. These are the most important conclusions of the ESBLAT research consortium, part of the 1Health4Food programme in the area of animal and human health. The results will be presented during the ESBLAT symposium on 9 February.
A new bibliometric analysis method of the University of Leiden shows that the publications of the Strategic Programme of RIVM (SPR) score well worldwide. SPR publications are cited twice as often as average. In addition, one-fifth of these scientific publications belong to the top 10 of the most cited articles in the world. RIVM shares this honour with other institutes, because most SPR publications have been created in collaboration with others.
Active Lyme disease of the central nervous system cannot be detected with an ELISpot test. This was concluded by researchers from RIVM and Diakonessenhuis Utrecht in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The study is the first in which the usefulness of a 'cellular test' has been evaluated on an extensive, well-defined population of patients and a control group from the Netherlands. The research shows that positive Borrelia ELISpot results are more common in people who are exposed to the Lyme bacterium, but the ELISpot test cannot distinguish an active central nervous system manifestation of Lyme disease from past Lyme disease.
RIVM has updated the standard for exposure assessment of cleaning products in the ConsExpo Cleaning Products Fact Sheet. RIVM also released a new version of ConsExpo Web, the application for estimating consumer exposure to chemical substances. ConsExpo enables the assessment of consumer exposure to substances from products such as paint, cleaning products and personal care products. ConsExpo is used both within and outside Europe by governments, institutes and industries. The application provides a number of exposure assessment models and a database of default exposure parameters. Together, the models and the database provide a basis for estimating consumer exposure to a specific product in a transparent and standardised way.
Medicinal products may be prescribed for other diseases, or groups of patients, than the ones that they are approved for. This is what we call ‘off-label use’, a practice which is legally permitted under certain conditions. Off-label use fulfils a medical need, but can still be improved in several ways. This has been illustrated in research conducted by RIVM.
A new report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and RIVM outlines a draft monitoring system to measure progress throughout the planned transition towards a circular economy.
Often potentially harmful chemical compounds are present in groundwater. RIVM presents a number of options for the revision of the groundwater quality assessment framework. Ensuring the quality of groundwater is currently part of the remit of the Dutch Soil Protection Act but will become part of the Environment and Planning Act in the future. The Environmental and Planning Act compiles standing acts for, among other things, construction, the environment, water, spatial planning and nature conservation.