Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 26.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allison Witman PhD Assistant Professor of Economics Economics & Finance Cameron School of Business University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Yu Wang PhD Assistant Professor Congdon School of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, & Information Systems Cameron School of Business University of North Carolina Wilmington David Cho PhD Assistant Professor of Management California State University, Fullerton

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic placed tremendous financial pressure on hospitals. Beginning in March of 2020, hospitals cancelled outpatient and elective procedures to accommodate surges in demand from COVID-19 patients. As these procedures account for more than 60% of an average hospital’s revenue, cancellation posed serious challenges to the financial health of hospitals. Revenue from COVID-19 patients may have partially offset these effects, but the American Hospital Association estimated a total loss of $202.6 billion by American hospitals between March and June 2020. In response, the U.S. government created large federal assistance programs aimed to stabilize hospitals’ financial situation as their ability to maintain operations was critical to the health of the nation. Due to differences in hospital characteristics, certain hospitals such as rural hospitals and those serving a higher share of Medicaid and uninsured patients (e.g., safety net hospitals) may have been more financially susceptible to the effects of the pandemic. These hospitals that serve vulnerable patient populations historically have had lower profit margins and were candidates for targeted COVID relief funding (e.g., Safety Net Hospitals Payments, a $10 billion component of the Provider Relief Fund). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Infections, Parkinson's / 22.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiangwei Sun PhD Postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Jonas Ludvigsson's group Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A potential infectious etiology has been hypothesized for neurodegenerative diseases, as findings in animal studies have demonstrated that infectious processes might impact pathogenesis, phenotype, and progression of neurodegenerative disease. The extrapolation of such findings to a human context is however not straightforward. previous studies have mostly examined the role of specific pathogens on a specific neurodegenerative disease, e.g., herpesvirus for Alzheimer’s disease, and influenza, hepatitis C virus, and Helicobacter pylori for PD, with inconclusive results. Although several studies have also assessed associations between infectious diseases and risk of dementia and AD, influence of potential surveillance bias (greater-than-expected surveillance of disease after infections) and reverse causation (due to for example diagnostic delay of neurodegenerative diseases) on the associations was not always fully addressed. Therefore, whether infection is indeed a risk factor rather a comorbidity or secondary event of neurodegenerative disease remains unknown. In contrast to Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, the potential link between infection and ALS has been less explored. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 03.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa A. Cosimi, MD Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Response: Current CDC COVID-19 isolation guidance allows for ending isolation after day 5 for non-immunocompromised individuals if they are afebrile and with improving symptoms, or if the individual is asymptomatic from the start. It has been proposed that rapid antigen tests (RATs) may assist in determining when individuals are no longer infectious. Specifically, a negative test would be potentially reassuring for an individual not being transmissible, while a positive test could be suggestive of continued infectiousness.  However, there is little data about use of RATs in this particular setting and how they may correlate with ongoing risk of transmission as they were developed to be used during the initial diagnosis of infection, not in the later phase. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Emma Wall Senior Clinical Research Fellow, UCLH-Crick Legacy study Consultant Infectious Diseases UCLH MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Since April 2022, both the UK and US have changed their COVID-19 isolation and testing policies. The impact these changes in the guidance and vaccination on community-acquired COVID-19 caused by recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) has not been fully tested, including infections with BA.2. We aimed to characterise both symptoms and viral loads over the course of COVID-19 infection in otherwise-healthy, vaccinated, non-hospitalised adults, to assess whether current guidance remains justified. All participants were included in the UCLH-Crick Legacy study, a prospective, observational cohort study of otherwise healthy adults who have been taking part in regular workplace testing for SARS-CoV-2 in London We sent swabs by same-day courier every other day to all adults who reported a positive PCR or lateral flow test to the study team up to day 10 after the start of each infection. We confirmed which variant caused the infection by PCR and sequencing. All participants completed linked symptom diaries. We compared symptoms and changes in the amount of virus detected in the nose and throat during infection between study participants reporting COVID-19 caused by VOCs Delta and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. We then analysed how many of our participants would meet current UK/US isolation guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Infections / 01.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Aatish Patel Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this case series?    Response: This case series was based on observations we made whilst treating patients with monkeypox, and the request of many of these patients for better public health messaging surrounding signs and symptoms to be aware of. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections / 15.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Dilip Kachhawa, MD Department of Skin & Venereal Disease Dr Sampurnanand Medical College Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings? Response: Molluscum Contagiosum (MC) is an infection caused by molluscipoxvirus. It is difficult to study since the virus only survives in human skin, and therefore there isn’t an animal or cell model to study potential treatments. Molluscum lesions appear as raised, domed shaped skin-colored lesions and can occur anywhere on the body but are most common on the face, neck, arms, legs, and abdomen. Sometimes there are few lesions, but clusters of several lesions can appear. Children are the most likely to get molluscum, and the virus is highly contagious, transmitted by direct contact with infected skin or contaminated objects, like towels, linens and toys. Scratching can cause autoinoculation which is when a person reinfects themself. MC is very common, impacting an estimated 6 million adults and mostly children in the US each year. In 2010, there was an estimated 122 million cases worldwide. It occurs primarily in humid and warm climates, and transmission via swimming pools and bathtubs may be possible. Therefore, molluscum is often called “water warts.” Many physicians may take a “watch and wait” approach since the virus may clear on its own. However, it can take months to up to 5 years for some to experience complete clearance, In the meantime, the person is still highly contagious and may spread the virus to others, particularly children. Lesions can be bothersome, causing itching and sometimes a secondary infection. There is also a psychosocial component. In a recent study, 1 in 10 children with molluscum experienced a major quality of life issue. Berdazimer Gel, 10.3% is a potential first-in-class topical controlled-nitric oxide releasing medication containing Berdazimer (sodium), a new chemical entity, and the active ingredient in berdazimer gel 10.3%. The mechanism of action of berdazimer in the treatment of molluscum is unknown, but in vitro lab studies show that the nitric oxide, released when berdazimer is combined with a hydrogel, may impede viral replication and perhaps help body’s natural immune response against molluscum. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NIH / 30.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nihal Altan-Bonnet, Ph.D. Chief of the Laboratory of Host-Pathogen Dynamics NHLBI  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Enteric viruses such as norovirus, rotavirus and astrovirus are responsible for nearly 1.5 billion global infections per year resulting in gastrointestinal illnesses and sometimes leading to death in the very young, in the elderly and in the immunocompromised. These viruses have been thought to traditionally infect and replicate only in the intestines, then shed into feces and transmit to others via the oral-fecal route (e.g. through ingestion of fecal contaminated food items). Our findings reported in Nature, using animal models of norovirus, rotavirus and astrovirus infection, challenge this traditional view and reveal that these viruses can also replicate robustly in salivary glands, be shed into saliva in large quantities and transmit through saliva to other animals. In particular we also show infected infants can transmit these viruses to their mothers mammary glands via suckling and this leads to both an infection in their mothers mammary glands but also a rapid immune response by the mother resulting in a surge in her milk antibodies. These milk antibodies may play a role in fighting the infection in their infants .  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 23.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: SCOTT DRYDEN-PETERSON, MD Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School Research Affiliate, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health Associate Physician, Medicine, Infectious Diseases Brigham And Women's Hospital Research Associate, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The combination of the antiviral medicine nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid) which boosts antiviral levels was found to reduce the need for hospitalization by nearly 90% among unvaccinated people. Whether nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir can also help vaccinated people was uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer, Surgical Research / 21.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology Professor, Population Health Science and Policy Professor, Thoracic Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: NYC experienced a halt on all elective care from March 22 to June 8, 2020, provoking reduced cancer screening rates, and delayed cancer care and treatment. We wanted to quantify the effect of the “pause” on cancer stage at diagnosis using lung cancer as an example of a condition where early diagnosis can dramatically modify survival. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 15.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hiam Souheil Chemaitelly Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Research in Population Health Sciences Population Health Sciences Weill Cornell Medical College   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: The Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants resulted in a large wave of infections. The level of protection provided by prior infection or vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines or a combination of both against infection with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants was unknown. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU / 08.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Garcia MD NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Studies on cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a decrease in new diagnoses, delays in care, and a shift to later stage disease presentations. Considering that NY has been an epicenter for COVID-19 in the U.S., we investigated its impact on new cancer diagnoses at the two campuses of NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and hypothesized that there would be a decrease in presentations during the peak outbreaks in NY. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research, Rheumatology / 07.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Gavigan, MPH Director, Data Management and Analytics Global Healthy Living Foundation MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: COVID-19 is of particular concern for people living with autoimmune and rheumatic disease, not only because they have an increased risk of infection but also because of the heightened sense of isolation due to strict social distancing protocols that many patients continue to follow through today. As a result, we wanted to better understand if symptoms among the autoimmune and rheumatic disease patients in our ArthritisPower research registry were impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We previously conducted and reported on an analysis of patient reported outcome data from the ArthritisPower registry between the months of January 2020 to April 2021 at the American College of Rheumatology Convergence in 2021. We conducted a follow-up analysis between May and December 2021, which is our area of focus in this particular abstract. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Herpes Viruses / 12.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Annette Peters PhD Chair of Epidemiology Institute of Medical Information Sciences, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, Germany MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: A large number of genetic, behavioural and environmental risk factors have been identified as contributing to the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, little is known about a potential link between virus infections and type 2 diabetes developments. We had the unique opportunity to use a multiplex assay to measure antibodies for herpes viruses by the Waterboer laboratory at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg and set out to investigate the potential associations in the prospective KORA cohort. First of all, we detected that herpes virus antibodies were highly prevalent in the study population at baseline and increased with age. We found an association between Herpes simplex virus 2 and cytomegalovirus and type 2 diabetes during a seven year follow-up. These associations were robust against controlling for other known risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Archelle Georgiou, MD Chief Health Officer for Starkey Starkey Hearing Technologies Eden Prairie, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In August 2021, Starkey introduced a vaccination incentive program for employees in the U.S. to provide education on COVID-19 and encourage vaccinations. The program encouraged employees to watch and acknowledge online educational information and report their vaccination status. Those fully vaccinated and who submitted proof of vaccination by September 2021, including employees who were vaccinated prior to the incentive announcement, received $1,000.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashley Otter, PhD Research scientist within Diagnostic Support for the rare/imported pathogens laboratory (RIPL) Public Health England (PHE) MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The SIREN study is a national research project covering all four nations of the United Kingdom. Almost 45,000 healthcare workers from across the UK were enrolled midway through 2020, each providing monthly samples for antibody testing and fortnightly PCR testing. Using samples from participants from this project, we were able to take a snapshot of ~6,000 participants at different stages after they received their vaccination to see how different factors affect their antibody responses. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 13.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cheng-Ying Ho, MD, PhD Associate Professor Department of Pathology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Smell loss is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The mechanism of COVID-19-related smell loss is unclear. Previous studies mainly focused on the effect of the viral infection on the lining of the nasal cavity. We went a step beyond to examine the olfactory bulb, a region that transmits smell-related signals to the brain.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lancet / 12.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Kollengode Ramanathan MD Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit National University Heart Centre National University Hospital Singapore MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Globally, more than 10 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of March 2022. While most side-effects of the vaccine are mild and self-limiting, myopericarditis ( inflammation of the heart) is increasingly being reported after COVID-19 vaccination. Thus far it has only been linked only to smallpox vaccination. However, several studies have suggested that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines significantly increase the risk of myocarditis, particularly in males and in people aged 16-39 years. We reviewed the literature comparing the incidence of myopericarditis following COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 vaccination.   (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nature, Neurological Disorders / 07.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tracy Fischer, PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Tulane National Primate Research Center    MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: We investigated multiple regions of the brain from SARS-CoV-2 infected Rhesus macaques and African green monkeys for the presence of inflammation and other pathology that may result from COVID-19. Most animals were infected for approximately one month before our investigation, however, two of the African green monkeys developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) prior to the study endpoint. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections / 29.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Mahan Ph.D. Professor Dept of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of California Santa Barbara, CA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response:  Sepsis is the number one cause of death in US hospitals- but few molecular diagnostics and therapies exist for this condition. In the clinic, sepsis is diagnosed by a symptom-based approach that may include kidney or liver failure, blood clotting or bleeding — which is often well after permanent organ damage. Thus, molecular diagnostics that detect infection at early stages of disease to minimize host injury are sorely needed. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV / 29.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shokrollah Elahi PhD Associate Professor at University of Alberta MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: CD8+T cells (killer T cells) play an important role against virally infected and cancer cells, however, their functional properties get compromised during the course of HIV infection and cancer. CD73, is one of molecules that influences killer T cell functions but its role in the context of viral infections has not been well defined. In this study, we analyzed the presence of this protein (CD73) on killer T cells in a cohort of 102 HIV-infected individuals. We found that the proportion of killer T cells expressing this protein was substantially lower among different killer T cell subsets obtained from the blood of HIV-infected individuals compared to individuals who were not infected with HIV. Notably, CD73 was decreased at the intracellular protein and gene levels. This suggests that the CD73 gene gets suppressed by a specific mechanism in HIV-infected individuals. Furthermore, we decided to better understand the difference between killer T cells having CD73 versus those who do not. We found that CD73 was essential for the migratory capacity of killer T cells. It means killer T cells without this protein have impaired ability to move into the tissues. This implies that lack of CD73 prevents killer T cells from homing into the tissue where HIV reservoirs are hidden. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Diabetes / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Wolfgang Rathmann MSPH Prof. of Epidemiology Deputy Director, Institute for Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Diabetes is associated with a poor prognosis of COVID-19. There have been raised concerns about a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19. Recent studies raised the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 can cause diabetes. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the incidence of diabetes after recovery from COVID-19 in mild cases. To provide more evidence, we analyzed electronic health records from 1,171 general and internal medicine practices across Germany between March 2020 and January 2021. This included 35,865 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. The incidence of diabetes after COVID-19 was compared with patients, who were diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURI), matched for sex, age, and comorbidities including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, STD / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Irene A. Stafford, M.S., M.D. Associate Professor Associate Program Director Maternal - Fetal Medicine Fellowship Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: We have observed disproportionately high-rates syphilis in the US over the last several years, and here in Texas. As this is now leading to health alerts in our cities, it is key we bring attention to this infection regarding risks to the pregnant patient and her fetus. Syphilis carries a nearly 40% neonatal mortality rate, so testing and treating is key in preventing this devastating neonatal infection. We need to encourage and offer testing at intake to pregnancy care, and any time a patient desires to be tested for STI.   (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://vipstarnetwork.com/Johonniuss Chemweno CEO of VIPStarNetwork MedicalResearch.com:  What is the mission of VIP StarNetwork?  Response: VIP StarNetwork’s mission is to expand access to healthcare services and information, especially in underserved and underprivileged communities. Our comprehensive group of health experts, leading physicians, and healthcare executives are working to create a meaningful and safe environment to ensure that patients have equitable and streamlined access to vaccines and other forms of care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy School of Public Health University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: In 2020, most insurers waived the cost of COVID-19 hospitalization for patients. In early 2021, many major insurers started to abandon those waivers. By August 2021, the vast majority of insurers had started billing patients for COVID-19 hospitalizations again. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carmit Cohen, PhD, MDV – Laboratory manager Infection Prevention and Control UNIT Sheba Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We, Professor Regev-Yochay research group, began this study when the first COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in Israel. We followed humoral immune response kinetics of recoverees in the first year of the pandemic for a year (before the introduction of the Delta variant) and compared them to a matched cohort of two doses Pfizer vaccinated that was followed for up to eight month (until they received the third dose). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bianca V. Sanchez Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study? Response: Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evident by their increased rate of infection with the virus, hospitalizations, and mortality. Previous literature has indicated that many of these individuals demonstrate increased rates of vaccine hesitancy, subsequently increasing their risk for infection. This study aimed to characterize the reasoning behind vaccine hesitancy in Hispanic populations in the hopes of addressing their concerns through targeted educational interventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)