Volume 12 Issue 4, April 2015

Volume 12 Issue 4

Cover image supplied by H. Plovier and P. D. Cani, WELBIO (Walloon Excellence in Life sciences and BIOtechnology), Louvain Drug Research Institue, Metabolism and Nutrition research group, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Founded by an ERC Starting Grant 336452-ENIGMO.Immunofluorescence image of enteroendocrine L cells in the epithelium and gut bacteria in the luminal content of the mouse proximal colon. Tissue was stained to show L cells (mouse anti-GLP1) and intermediary filaments of the colonic epithelium (rabbit anti-cytokeratin 8). Nuclei were stained by Hoechst 33342. Gut microbes present in the colonic content can be seen thanks to aspecific staining.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    HBV is a common infection that accounts for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, despite the availability of a vaccine. A new study has evaluated the Chinese neonatal vaccination programme and found that the vaccine considerably reduces the incidence of liver diseases, and that a booster vaccine might be effective.

    • Stanislas Pol
  • News & Views |

    A new study has addressed the potential efficacy of two different types of snare for the cold-resection of diminutive colorectal polyps. Endoscopic and histological resection with two different types of snare was assessed, showing an apparent association between the technical characteristics of the snare and the completeness of resection.

    • Cesare Hassan
    •  & Alessandro Repici
  • News & Views |

    Resource-limited countries bear the highest burden of HCV infection. In the era of new highly effective HCV drugs—and from a global health perspective—strategies to scale up treatment in these countries are urgently needed. However, numerous gaps must be filled to make these strategies feasible and effective.

    • Maud Lemoine
    •  & Mark Thursz


  • Review Article |

    The use of nanoscale systems could result in considerable improvements in health care. For example, nanomedicines can be delivered directly to the site of action, thereby reducing the incidence of adverse effects. This Review will discuss the diverse nanomaterials currently available and the first specific uses for select gastroenterological and hepatological pathologies.

    • Alf Lamprecht
  • Review Article |

    The incidence and prevalence of IBD is changing, in both established and emerging populations. Here, the epidemiological trends of IBD are described, as are the risk factors (such as genetics, microbiota and lifestyle) that might contribute to disease development. How these risk factors, particularly the environmental ones, can be modified as a means of intervention for disease management are also discussed.

    • Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan

    Nature Outlook:

  • Review Article |

    HCV mixed infection and reinfection occur commonly in people who inject drugs (PWID). The authors review the epidemiology, natural history and methods used to detect mixed HCV infection in PWID. The potential effect of mixed infection and reinfection on treatment outcomes is discussed, as well as how future studies should be designed in the era of direct acting antiviral treatment of HCV.

    • Evan B. Cunningham
    • , Tanya L. Applegate
    • , Andrew R. Lloyd
    • , Gregory J. Dore
    •  & Jason Grebely
  • Review Article |

    Alcoholic liver disease is characterized by a complex spectrum of histological lesions, ranging from steatosis to cirrhosis. This Review discusses the main pathways associated with the progression of liver disease, as well as potential therapeutic strategies targeting these pathways. The need to adapt the design of future studies to the histological lesions of the disease is also highlighted.

    • Alexandre Louvet
    •  & Philippe Mathurin



  • Opinion |

    The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased over the past four decades and although treatments have improved over this time, survival has not improved substantially. In this Perspectives, Vaughan and Fitzgerald suggest a five-tier strategy for prevention and control that begins with a wide population base and triages individuals into progressively higher risk strata, each with risk-appropriate prevention, screening and treatment options.

    • Thomas L. Vaughan
    •  & Rebecca C. Fitzgerald