Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Basel, Switzerland

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Basel, Switzerland

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute or Swiss TPH, was founded in 1943 as through the initiative of Professor Rudolf Geigy. He recognised the need to combine sound interdisciplinary research within the context of the social and cultural conditions of an endemic area with training and service provision. He felt that this approach would generate new evidence as well as contribute to health development. Since then, this goal remains the mandate of the Swiss TPH - to contribute to the improvement of the health of populations internationally and nationally through excellence in research, services, and teaching and training with a special focus on developing countries.The Swiss TPH consists of five departments working in various disciplines of International Public Health. In June 2009, the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Basel was integrated into the Swiss Tropical Institute, and in January 2010 the Swiss Tropical Institute changed its name to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.The Swiss TPH is an Associated Institute of the University of Basel, and as a public organization, is partially supported by the Swiss Federal Council and the Canton of Basel-Stadt. The greater part of its funding comes from competitively acquired project funds and the earnings of its service departments: Medical Services, Medicines Research and the Swiss Centre for International Health. Wikipedia.

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News Article | June 21, 2017

How transportation noise affects the health of people remains in many aspects unexplained. Since 2014, an interdisciplinary Swiss consortium has been studying the short- and long-term effects of transportation noise for the population in Switzerland in the frame of the SiRENE study of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The results published so far show that aircraft, rail and road traffic noise in Switzerland leads to adverse health effects. For cardiovascular disease mortality, the most distinct association was found for road noise. The risk of dying of a myocardial infarction increases by 4 per cent per 10 decibel increase in road noise at home. Also the risk of hypertension and heart failure increases with transportation noise. "Particularly critical are most likely noise events at night regularly disturbing sleep," says Martin Röösli, principal investigator of SiRENE and professor of environmental epidemiology at Swiss TPH and the University of Basel. "The threshold for negative health impact is lower than previously suspected." In addition to cardiovascular diseases, transportation noise also increases the risk of developing diabetes. This is shown by an examination of 2,631 people exposed to different degrees of noise pollution. "Two mechanisms play a role," explains Nicole Probst-Hensch, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Swiss TPH. "On the one hand, the chronic release of stress hormones influences insulin metabolism. On the other hand, sleep problems are known to negatively affect metabolism in the long term." The results that were published in the frame of the SiRENE study will provide important information for the Swiss authorities with regard to improving noise protection and to potentially adjusting the noise limits in the Noise Abatement Ordinance (NAO). The health impact of transportation noise is substantial when considering the entire population in Switzerland, causing external costs of an estimated CHF 1.8 billion each year. For the health of individuals, however, factors such as exercise and smoking are much more important according to Röösli. The study results were presented at the ICBEN (International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise) meeting on 20 June 2017 in Zurich. ICBEN is the world's largest congress on the health effects of noise and takes place every three years. SiRENE (Short and Long Term Effects of Transportation Noise Exposure) is an interdisciplinary research project combining experiments in the sleep laboratory, epidemiological research, survey data and acoustic calculations and modelling. The study examines the following four aspects: SiRENE is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) within the framework of the Sinergia Program and by a consortium of researchers from Swiss TPH, Empa, n-Sphere AG, the Center for Chronobiology of the University Psychiatric Clinics Basel (UPK) and the FOEN. Swiss TPH has the study lead. Further results of the study are expected this year and next year. The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is Switzerland's leading public and global health institution. Associated with the University of Basel, the institute combines research, teaching and service provision at local, national and international level. The Swiss TPH has more than 700 employees and students working in 22 countries. It is led by Professor Jürg Utzinger. http://www. Prof. Dr. Martin Röösli, Principal Investigator of SiRENE, Head of Environmental Exposure and Health Unit, Swiss TPH, +41 61 284 83 83, Anna Wegelin, Head of Communications, Swiss TPH, +41 76 588 30 06, Diabetes - SAPALDIA Study: Prof. Dr. Nicole Probst-Hensch, Head of the Department Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH, Principal Investigator of SAPALDIA, Sleep laboratory: Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen, Head, Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel,

News Article | June 16, 2017

It is undisputed that radon is a risk factor for developing lung cancer. New research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in the context of the Swiss National Cohort study now shows that the naturally occurring radioactive gas radon within one's home also increases the risk to develop malignant skin cancer (malignant melanoma). The study titled "Effects of Radon and UV Exposure on Skin Cancer Mortality in Switzerland" is published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. It examines the impact of radon and UV exposure on mortality due to malignant skin cancer in Switzerland. The study analysed 1,900 deaths due to malignant melanoma which occurred throughout Swit-zerland between 2000 and 2008 in people aged 20 years and above. The residential radon ex-posure was modelled on the basis of 45,000 measurements and accounted for the housing's characteristics and the geological conditions of the area. "Our study shows that, when radon decays, radioactive alpha particles not only destroy lung tissue but can also affect the skin. This has rarely been researched in the past," says Martin Röösli, professor for environmental epidemiology at Swiss TPH, who wrote the study together with Danielle Vienneau, senior scientific collaborator at the Institute. For the 30-year-olds, the relative risk for skin cancer increases around 50% per 100 Bq/m? in-crease in radon exposure, while for the 60-year-olds it is considerably lower (16%). "The younger the individual is, the greater the impact of radon on the risk of developing the disease," he explains. "The strengths of the Swiss TPH study are that it was a longitudinal analysis of the total population of Switzerland and that the effects of radon were modelled for every single household." Radon originates from granitic and metamorphic rocks and the soil. The level of residential radon exposure depends on both the geological condition of the area and on how well a house is sealed against radon vapour intrusion from the soil. Of note, Switzerland has the third highest incidence rate of malignant skin cancer worldwide, which places it far above the central European average. Incidence of malignant melanoma has more than doubled in the last 20 years. With appropriate house construction, residential radon exposure can be significantly reduced. The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is Switzerland's leading public and global health institution. Associated with the University of Basel, the institute combines research, teaching and service provision at local, national and international level. Swiss TPH has more than 700 employees and students working in 22 countries. It is led by Professor Jürg Utzinger. http://www. Journal: Environmental Health Perspective, https:/ Study: "Effects of Radon and UV Exposure on Skin Cancer Mortality in Switzerland", https:/ Authors: Danielle Vienneau, Kees de Hoog, Dimitri Hauri, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera, Christian Schindler, Anke Huss, Martin Röösli Date of Publication: June 16, 2017, 4 p.m. CET Prof. Dr. Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposure and Health Unit, Swiss TPH, +41 61 284 83 83, Anna Wegelin, Head of Communications, Swiss TPH, +41 61 284 86 83, +41 76 588 30 06,

University of Dundee, Medivir Ab, Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas, Swiss Tropical, Public Health Institute and SYNGENE INTERNATIONAL Ltd PLC | Date: 2015-06-09

The invention provides compounds of the formula: wherein L^(1 )and L^(2 )are independently selected from O and S; R^(1 )is C_(3)-C_(6 )straight or branched alkyl, C_(3)-C_(7)cycloalkyl, C_(5)-C_(7)cycloalkenyl, adamantly, phenyl or saturated heterocyclyl, any of which being optionally substituted; R^(2 )is H, methyl or ethyl; R^(5 )is NRxCORy, NRxRy, CH_(2)COCH_(3), CH_(2)CN, or a 5- or 6-membered heteroaryl group which is optionally substituted; X, Y and Z are independently N or CH; Rx is independently H or C_(1)-C_(4)alkyl; Ry is independently H, CrC4alkyl, phenyl or benzyl, either of which is optionally substituted; n is 0-3; salts, hydrates and N-oxides, wherein the optional substituents are further defined in the claims. The compounds have utility in the prophylaxis or treatment of trypanosomal diseases, such as T. cruzi (Chagas disease).

Wenk M.R.,National University of Singapore | Wenk M.R.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Cell | Year: 2010

Once viewed simply as a reservoir for carbon storage, lipids are no longer cast as bystanders in the drama of biological systems. The emerging field of lipidomics is driven by technology, most notably mass spectrometry, but also by complementary approaches for the detection and characterization of lipids and their biosynthetic enzymes in living cells. The development of these integrated tools promises to greatly advance our understanding of the diverse biological roles of lipids. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Oberle M.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
PLoS pathogens | Year: 2010

African trypanosomes are digenetic parasites that undergo part of their developmental cycle in mammals and part in tsetse flies. We established a novel technique to monitor the population dynamics of Trypanosoma brucei throughout its life cycle while minimising the confounding factors of strain differences or variation in fitness. Clones derived from a single trypanosome were tagged with short synthetic DNA sequences in a non-transcribed region of the genome. Infections were initiated with mixtures of tagged parasites and a combination of polymerase chain reaction and deep sequencing were used to monitor the composition of populations throughout the life cycle. This revealed that a minimum of several hundred parasites survived transmission from a tsetse fly to a mouse, or vice versa, and contributed to the infection in the new host. In contrast, the parasites experienced a pronounced bottleneck during differentiation and migration from the midgut to the salivary glands of tsetse. In two cases a single tag accounted for > or =99% of the population in the glands, although minor tags could be also detected. Minor tags were transmitted to mice together with the dominant tag(s), persisted during a chronic infection, and survived transmission to a new insect host. An important outcome of the bottleneck within the tsetse is that rare variants can be amplified in individual flies and disseminated by them. This is compatible with the epidemic population structure of T. brucei, in which clonal expansion of a few genotypes in a region occurs against a background of frequent recombination between strains.

Herzog C.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2014

Vaccines have to be administered via an appropriate route, i.e. a route, which is optimal regarding safety, immunogenicity and practicability. In addition, there are factors, such as body site, needle length, injection technique, depth of injection, type of antigen, vaccine formulation, adjuvants, age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass, and pre-existing immunity, which can have an impact on the reactogenicity and tolerability and/or on the immunogenicity of a given vaccine. For parenteral vaccine administration there are currently three routes licensed: intramuscular, subcutaneous and intradermal, either by using conventional hypodermic needles or by using alternative or needle-free injection devices. The factors potentially impacting on the 'performance' of a given route of administration, as reported in recent literature, are outlined and discussed in view of their importance. These factors need to be accounted and controlled for when designing vaccine studies and should be reported in a transparent and standardised way in publications. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd.

Gagneux S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2013

Recent years have witnessed an increased appreciation of the extent and relevance of strain-to-strain variation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This paradigm shift can largely be attributed to an improved understanding of the global population structure of this organism, and to the realisation that the various members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) harbour more genetic diversity than previously realised. Moreover, many studies using experimental models of infection have demonstrated that MTBC diversity translates into significant differences in immunogenecity and virulence. However, linking these experimental phenotypes to relevant clinical phenotypes has been difficult, and to date, largely unsuccessful. Nevertheless, emerging high-throughput technologies, in particular next-generation sequencing, offer new opportunities, and have already lead to important new insights. Given the complexity of the host-pathogen interaction in tuberculosis, systems approaches will be key to define the role of MTBC diversity in the fight against one of humankind's most important pathogens. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Burri C.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Parasitology | Year: 2010

For over fifty years, human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, sleeping sickness) has been treated with suramin, pentamidine and the very toxic organo-arsenical melarsoprol that was the only drug available for effective treatment of the second stage of the disease. Recently there have been significant efforts using molecular and biochemical approaches to drug design, including high-throughput screening, but the number of lead compounds with promising activity against T. brucei spp. and an acceptable toxicity index has remained astonishingly small. Clinical research continues to be difficult due to the economic constraints and the complexity of trials on a low prevalence disease in remote and impoverished African regions. Despite those limitations the situation for the patients is improving thanks to the combination of a number of critical factors. By the late 1990s the disease had reached epidemic levels that triggered political support. WHO would sign a donation agreement with the manufacturers for all drugs to treat HAT. A result of this agreement was that eflornithine which is much safer than melarsoprol became available and widely used by non-governmental organizations. The Impamel I and II programmes demonstrated that against all odds the conduct of clinical trials on HAT was feasible. This allowed the initiation of trials on combination therapies which eventually resulted in the nifurtimox-eflornithine combination treatment (NECT). This combination is currently being introduced as first line treatment, and there is even the prospect of having a new compound, fexinidazole, in the development pipeline. This review summarizes the key information about the existing drugs and gives a comprehensive summary about the recent and currently ongoing efforts towards new drugs. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Brites D.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Gagneux S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2015

The causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is an obligate pathogen that evolved to exclusively persist in human populations. For M. tuberculosis to transmit from person to person, it has to cause pulmonary disease. Therefore, M. tuberculosis virulence has likely been a significant determinant of the association between M. tuberculosis and humans. Indeed, the evolutionary success of some M. tuberculosis genotypes seems at least partially attributable to their increased virulence. The latter possibly evolved as a consequence of human demographic expansions. If co-evolution occurred, humans would have counteracted to minimize the deleterious effects of M. tuberculosis virulence. The fact that human resistance to infection has a strong genetic basis is a likely consequence of such a counter-response. The genetic architecture underlying human resistance to M. tuberculosis remains largely elusive. However, interactions between human genetic polymorphisms and M. tuberculosis genotypes have been reported. Such interactions are consistent with local adaptation and allow for a better understanding of protective immunity in TB. Future 'genome-to-genome' studies, in which locally associated human and M. tuberculosis genotypes are interrogated in conjunction, will help identify new protective antigens for the development of better TB vaccines. Video podcast available Go to to watch an interview with Guest Editor Carl Nathan. © 2015 The Authors. Immunological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Gagneux S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease of antiquity. Yet TB today still causes more adult deaths than any other single infectious disease. Recent studies show that contrary to the common view postulating an animal origin for TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), the causative agent of TB, emerged as a human pathogen in Africa and colonized the world accompanying the Out-of- Africa migrations of modern humans. More recently, evolutionarily 'modern' lineages of MTBC expanded as a consequence of the global human population increase, and spread throughout the world following waves of exploration, trade and conquest. While epidemiological data suggest that the different phylogenetic lineages of MTBC might have adapted to different human populations, overall, the phylogenetically 'modern' MTBC lineages are more successful in terms of their geographical spread compared with the 'ancient' lineages. Interestingly, the global success of 'modern' MTBC correlates with a hypo-inflammatory phenotype in macrophages, possibly reflecting higher virulence, and a shorter latency in humans. Finally, various human genetic variants have been associated with different MTBC lineages, suggesting an interaction between human genetic diversity and MTBC variation. In summary, the biology and the epidemiology of human TB have been shaped by the long-standing association between MTBC and its human host.

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