Blood cancers

In other news: Trivalent thrombin inhibitor; Antibiotic stewardship in haematology; Convalescent plasma donor motivation

Antibiotic stewardship needed in haematology

Inappropriate use of antibiotics haematology/bone marrow transplant settings has been revealed in the Hospital National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey. Based on data from 2014–2018 covering 2,230 haematology/bone marrow transplant patients, the survey found high rates of carbapenem use (14.9%), and 20% of these prescriptions were deemed inappropriate. Haematology/bone marrow transplant patients were more likely to receive appropriate antifungal prophylaxis and appropriate nonsurgical antibacterial prophylaxis compared to oncology and non-cancer patients. However, this group had higher than expected use of fluoroquinolone prophylaxis (8%), according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Trivalent thrombin inhibitor developed

Australians scientists have engineered the first trivalent inhibitor of thrombin. While natural-sourced thrombin inhibitors such as hirudin block two sites on thrombin, Professor Richard Payne from the University of Sydney, patched together three natural inhibitors, to create hybrid peptides spanning all three binding sites. According to the authors, the hybrids exhibited “exquisitely potent thrombin inhibitory activities.” and reported up to 385-fold inhibition for the hybrid involving the peptides from tsetse fly and Anopheles mosquito. In human plasma all hybrids inhibited thrombin generation and platelet aggregation.

Altruism the driving force for convalescent plasma donation

People with COVID-19 are motivated mostly by altruism to donate convalescent plasma, a study done in partnership with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has found. A survey of donors in the UK found that their key motivation was being grateful to have survived with a sense of pay-it-back and pay-it-forwards reciprocity, as well as gratitude and a sense of civic duty to help family, friends and support research. The only barrier to donation was fear of needles. The findings published in Transfusion Medicine, may be used to support the recruitment of convalescent plasma donors.

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