Remco Kort, microbiologist at VU Amsterdam, and TNO researcher Valeria Agamennone, who holds a PhD from VU Amsterdam, received the Opwijrda Prize 2019 on 12 May.

05/15/2020 | 3:29 PM

They received the award for the best article published last year in the Dutch Platform for Pharmaceutical Research (NPFO): A practical guide for probiotics applied to the case of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in The Netherlands. The jury praises the originality of the article, the validity of the message and conclusions and the fact that it contributes to shaping public opinion.

In their article, Agamennone, Kort and colleagues conclude that, on the basis of meta-analysis, different single or multiple-strain probiotic formulations can reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea. The use of probiotics is recommended for the entire duration of the course of antibiotics – two hours after intake – and for one to two weeks after completion of the course. Their research came about through collaboration between researchers of TNO Zeist, University College Roosevelt, Artis-Micropia and VU Amsterdam.

Kort will use the €1000 prize money as an initial start-up grant for a new crispatus foundation, which he will set up with Rosanne Hertzberger (microbiologist) and Heleen Eising (gynaecologist), with the aim of promoting research into the role of microorganisms in health and the development of probiotic, prebiotic and antibiotic products and treatments and the provision of all that is related to or could be beneficial to this.

About the Opwijrda Prize: the Opwijrda Prize is named after the pharmacist R.J. Opwijrda from Nijmegen, who founded the Pharmaceutisch Weekblad (PW) in 1864 and acted as editor in chief for over 25 years. It is the fourth occasion the prize has been awarded since the PW Scientific Platform became the NPFO in 2016.

The presentation of the award normally takes place during the annual PRISMA symposium. The symposium has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. Valeria Agamennone and Remco Kort received a video message from the jury and their certificates of appreciation were delivered by post.