Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 20.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cathryn Haigh, Ph.D. Chief Prion Cell Biology Unit Laboratory of Neurological Infections and Immunity National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division of Intramural Research, Rocky Mountain Laboratories National Institutes of Health Hamilton, MT 59840 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study,  ie what are prions/prion-related diseases?  Where are prions found? Response: Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals.  In humans these diseases often manifest as rapidly progressing dementias but are rarely caused by a known exposure to the infectious agents (prions).  More commonly they are sporadic (no known cause) or hereditary. One form of human disease is believed to have arisen from eating beef contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (as known as mad cow disease).  This has resulted in concerns that chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease affecting deer, elk and moose, might also have the potential to cross the species barrier and cause disease in humans.  To date, transmissions of CWD prions to cynomolgus macaques have been negative, a good sign that crossing the species barrier would not be easy, but macaques are not human so we wanted to test whether CWD could infect human brain tissue. To do this we used a human cerebral organoid model (mini human brain tissues grown from skin cells in a laboratory) and directly exposed the organoids to prions from the brains of animals that had died of CWD. (more…)
Heart Disease, Infections, Technology / 07.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Dräger, MD Postdoc, BRCCH Researcher Internal Medicine and ID specialist Division of Internal Medicine University Hospital Basel, Switzerland Basel   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:In patients with severe infections and patients in the intensive care unit, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) may be used to optimize and personalize intravenous antibiotic treatment. In these patients, “conventional antibiotic dosing”, e.g. selection of the dose only considering the renal function and, if applicable, body weight, may lead to over- or underdosing due to an altered drug metabolism. This, in turn may be associated with worse clinical outcome or toxic side effects. TDM is used to monitor antibiotic blood plasma concentrations and provides guidance to the clinicians to adjust the antibiotic dosing according to the TDM results. But the collection of blood is an invasive, time- and resource-consuming sample collection technique and leads to discomfort to the patients. Additionally, turnaround time may be long (3h to 8h), and analyses may be offered only twice or three time a week. This may be too late to guide antibiotic dosing timely in patients with a very dynamic drug metabolism. Therefore, alternatives are required to overcome the limitations of current TDM. By using exhaled breath, we aim to develop an innovative therapeutic drug monitoring technique, which is non-invasive, easy to collect, not associated with discomfort to the patient, and which may allow to decrease the turnaround time, especially when combined with real-time analyses. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA / 27.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shruti K. Gohil, MD Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine Associate Medical Director, Epidemiology & Infection Prevention, Infectious Diseases UCI School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Antibiotic resistance, which occurs when germs like bacteria and fungi mutate to defeat the drugs designed to kill them, is a major public health threat.
  • Data show that 40-50% of patients hospitalized with pneumonia receive broad spectrum antibiotics when they do not need them.
  • Helping clinicians tailor antibiotic prescriptions to individual patients can improve patient outcomes by preserving healthy bacteria in the body and reducing the risk of future antibiotic resistance.
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Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Technology, UCSD, Vaccine Studies / 25.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John W. AyersJohn W. Ayers, PhD MA Vice Chief of Innovation | Assoc. Professor
Div. Infectious Disease & Global Public Health University of California San Diego Since the World Health Organization declared an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation, there have been surprisingly few achievements to celebrate. X's Community Notes have emerged as an innovative strategy to address misinformation as reported in the latest issue of JAMA.
Before the inception of Community Notes, social media companies employed various tactics to tackle misinformation, including censoring, shadowbanning (muting a user or their content on a platform without informing them), and adding generic warning labels to problematic content. However, these efforts were typically undisclosed meaning their effectiveness could not be studied.

In late 2022, X introduced Community Notes. This novel approach empowers volunteer, independent, anonymous, and ideologically diverse contributors to identify posts containing misinformation and to rectify misinformation by appending informative "notes" to suspect posts. The process is controlled by the public, instead of decision-makers at the company. Most importantly the system is open-sourced so it can be studied by external scientists.

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Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA / 01.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan S. Huang, MD, MPH Chancellor's Professor, Infectious Diseases School of Medicine Department of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe the decolonization techniques?  
  • This study arose from a growing concern about the increasing number and presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing colonization and infection in hospitals and long-term care. CDC has had a longstanding interest in the value of regional control of these contagious pathogens and they funded this study. The study was actually in two parts:
    • –1) Simulate various infection prevention strategies in a model and see which works best, and then
    • - 2) Do it in real life. The SHIELD project was the real-life example of our simulation finding that decolonization would work the best to prevent harm from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • The regional idea is that it takes all of us working together – hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term acute care hospitals – to prevent the spread and sharing of contagious pathogens. What we can accomplish together is far greater than what any of us can do alone.
  • In this study, decolonization was the use of topical chlorhexidine antiseptic soap and povidone-iodine nasal ointments to reduce potentially harmful bacteria on the body during times when patients and residents may be at risk for infection. We swapped out bathing and showering soap with CHG in participating facilities and ensured that staff knew to clean the body well, including wounds, devices, and rashes where germs can hide and cause infection. For CHG, this involved 4% rinse off product in the shower and 2% no-rinse CHG for bed baths.
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Author Interviews, Infections / 01.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Y. Tian, MBS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The antibiotic crisis continues to worsen in the United States (U.S.), which has seen an increasing number of deaths associated with antibiotic resistance, becoming one of the most pressing threats to public health. Concurrently, the availability of effective antibiotics are decreasing, which increases the rates and severity of infections, particularly in patients with respiratory tract infections. Unfortunately, a persistent and pernicious contributing factor to the crisis is the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. In a previous study, 25% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting to Medicaid beneficiaries were not associated with a provider visit [2]. Furthermore, among 298 million prescriptions filled by 53 million Medicaid patients between 2004 and 2013, 45% of the prescriptions for antibiotics were made without any clear rationale [2]. In our study, we aimed to provide an up-to-date analysis of antibiotic prescribing in the U.S. through examining the temporal profile of outpatient antibiotic use reported by Medical Expenditure Panel System (MEPS) and geographical patterns of antibiotic prescribing rates among US Medicaid program beneficiaries. This will help identify potentially unnecessary prescriptions and inform stewardship efforts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Disorders / 19.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marianna Cortese, MD, PhD Senior Research ScientistDepartment of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBoston, MA 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In a study published in Science in 2022, we reported compelling evidence that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is the leading cause of Multiple Sclerosis. This is a follow-up study to investigate more in depth whether the antibody response to EBV is distinct in individuals with MS compared to individuals without MS and whether there is a part of EBV that the immune response is particularly targeting. For this purpose we assessed the immune response to all protein parts (peptides) of EBV and their association with MS. Previous studies could only look at parts of EBV and this is the first study looking at all EBV peptides. Antibodies to EBV (especially to a protein called EBNA1) are known to be overall higher in individuals with MS, so we also tested whether immune response overall or the immune response to specific EBV protein parts was more important. If the immune response to a specific EBV protein part (peptide) would be standing out or distinguishing individuals with MS, we hypothesized, it could point to a specific mechanism of how EBV may cause MS, i.e. it could point for example towards “molecular mimicry”, which is when antibodies targeting a pathogen start targeting a body-own structure (for example in the brain) which resembles the protein parts of the pathogen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Infections, PNAS / 14.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fangqun Yu PhD Senior Research Faculty Atmospheric Sciences Research Center University Albany, State University of New York https://www.albany.edu/~yfq   Dr. Arshad Arjunan Nair PhD Postdoctoral Associate Atmospheric Sciences Research Center University at Albany, State University of New York https://www.albany.edu/~an688965   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fangqun Yu: Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia with a fatality rate of 10-25% caused by inhaling or aspirating Legionella, bacteria that thrive in built environment water systems. Those most vulnerable to this disease are male, over 50 years of age, have a history of smoking, have chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, are immunocompromised, and/or minorities. The US observed a nearly nine-fold increase in Legionnaires’ disease between 2000 and 2018, with New York State having one of the highest increases in disease rates. The reasons for the increase in incidence were unclear prior to this study. In our study, we found: (1) Declining sulfur dioxide concentrations (SO2) are strongly correlated with the increase in legionellosis cases and a physical mechanism explaining this link is proposed, (2) A geostatistical epidemiological analysis links the disease with exposure to cooling towers, and (3) Climate and weather are ruled out as factors responsible for the long-term increase in case numbers (outside of seasonal trends). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, NYU / 14.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mukundan G. Attur, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Medicine NYU Grossman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  The study investigates the potential protective effects of a genetic variant of IL1RN against inflammation and severe outcomes, particularly in COVID-19. Previous research indicates that carriers of this genetic variant may experience less severe radiographic knee osteoarthritis and decreased inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Given the emergence of cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19 patients, the researchers sought to understand whether the same genetic variant could offer protection against inflammation and potential death in COVID-19 cases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, NEJM / 29.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Adam Hampshire Ph.D. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences Professor in Restorative Neurosciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cognitive symptoms after coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), are well-recognized. Whether objectively measurable cognitive deficits exist and how long they persist are unclear. (more…)
Author Interviews, Respiratory, Social Issues, University of Michigan / 31.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wilson N. Merrell
Ph.D. Student
Department of Psychology
University of MichiganWilson N. Merrell Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: From the common cold to COVID-19, people get sick all the time. Because our social worlds don’t pause just because we are feeling ill, we often still need to navigate in-person events ranging from work and school to first dates and family dinners even while we’re feeling under the weather. In these kinds of social situations, do we always tell others when we’re feeling sick, or are there times when we may want to downplay our illness? After all, we tend to react negatively to, find less attractive, and steer clear of people who are sick with infectious illness. To the extent that we want to avoid these negative social outcomes while sick, it therefore makes sense that we may take steps to cover up our sickness in social situations. Given that this concealment could serve individual social goals (like allowing you to connect with others) at the cost of broader harms to public health (through the spread of infectious disease), we found this behavior both theoretically novel and practically timely. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dental Research, JAMA, Respiratory / 18.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Klompas MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA Hospital Epidemiologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital Professor of Medicine and Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can teeth be safely brush in patients who are comatose, intubated or have NG tubes? Response: Pneumonia is thought to occur when secretions from the mouth get into the lungs.  Since there are many microbes in the mouth, there’s a risk that secretions from the mouth that get into the lungs will lead to pneumonia.  Toothbrushing may lower this risk by decreasing the quantity of microbes in the mouth. It is indeed safe and appropriate to brush the teeth of someone who is comatose, intubated, or who has an NG tube.  Indeed, our study found that the benefits of toothbrushing were clearest for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NYU / 14.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angélica Cifuentes Kottkamp, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine NYU Grossman School of Medicine Associate Program Director Infectious Diseases & Immunology Fellowship Associate Director for Research & Diversity NYU Langone Vaccine Center & VTEU Attending Physician H+H Bellevue Virology Clinic Division of Infectious Diseases & Immunology NYU Grossman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does the JYNNEOS vaccine differ from the smallpox vaccine? Response: JYNNEOS vaccine is a smallpox vaccine that was repurposed for Mpox given the similarities between the two viruses (smallpox and mpox). The vaccine (JYNNEOS) had been studied in people without HIV therefore there was a gap in knowledge in how this vaccine, especially the small dose (intradermal dose), would work in patients with HIV. These patients resulted to be the most affected by the mpox outbreak suffering the worse outcomes of the disease with the highest death rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Moderna, NEJM, Pharmaceutical Companies, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 13.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eleanor Wilson, M.D Moderna, 200 Technology Sq. Cambridge, MA 02139 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings and side effects (if any)? Response: The ConquerRSV trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of approximately 37,000 adults 60 years or older in 22 countries. The primary efficacy endpoints were based on two definitions of RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease (RSV-LRTD) defined as either two or more symptoms, or three or more symptoms of disease. Vaccine efficacy was 83.7% (95.88% confidence interval [CI], 66.0 to 92.2) against RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease with at least two signs or symptoms and 82.4% (96.36% CI, 34.8 to 95.3) against the disease with at least three signs or symptoms. Most adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity and included injection site pain, fatigue, headache, myalgia, and arthralgia. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Frailty, Infections / 18.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hira Mohyuddin, PGY-2 Psychiatry Residency Training Program The George Washington University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Frailty has become increasingly significant as the global population grows older, as this syndrome is linked with a higher mortality and morbidity in aging. Causes contributing to frailty are poorly understood, but it seems that the role of inflammation is very likely. While other chronic infections were shown to precipitate and perpetuate inflammation that contributes to the development of frailty, no prior study has previously focused on possible links between Toxoplasma gondii and geriatric frailty. Benefiting from a collaboration with Spanish and Portuguese researchers, we have now tested, for the first time to our knowledge, this possible association. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Takeshi Asai Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Japan Faculty of Physical Education, International Pacific University Okayama, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact and droplet transmission were considered the main routes of infection. However, it was later demonstrated that airborne transmission is an important route. Therefore, accumulating real-world data on airborne transmission was deemed crucial. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Rosemarie Yousaf MD CDC: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious complication following SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 illness in children characterized by fever and multiple organ inflammation. This study looks at data from children with MIS-C reported to CDC’s national MIS-C surveillance system and compares the characteristics of children who died to children who survived. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neeraj Sood, PhD Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall University Park Campus University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted this study to inform school COVID-19 policies. The main findings are that the median duration of infectivity after a positive COVID-19 test in children is 3 days. The median duration of infectivity does not vary with vaccination.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Infections, JAMA, MRSA / 10.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John Jernigan, MD MS Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases Emory University School of Medicine Branch Chief Epidemiology, Research and Innovations Branch CDC Center for Disease Control MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Staphylococcus aureus commonly causes infections in ICUs. One approach to preventing these infections is using nasal mupirocin plus chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing for ICU patients. This practice is known to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and all-cause. bloodstream infections.  This practice has been broadly adopted in ICUs in the US, but adoption of mupirocin as a universal topical antibiotic has been slowed by concerns for engendering mupirocin resistance. This cluster-randomized trial in adult ICUs was conducted to assess whether universal nasal antiseptic povidone-iodine (iodophor), to which minimal S. aureus resistance is expected, was an acceptable alternative to universal nasal mupirocin for reducing S. aureus and MRSA clinical cultures in the setting of daily CHG bathing. Those who received chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing with mupirocin had an 18% reduction in risk of Staphylococcus aureus clinical cultures and a 15% reduction in risk of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clinical cultures compared to patients who received CHG bathing with intranasal iodophor.  These results show that using mupirocin for nasal decolonization may be preferred over iodophor because it is more effective at preventing S. aureus infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, STD, USPSTF / 01.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James Stevermer, M.D., M.S.P.H.Vice chair for clinical affairs Professor of family and community medicine University of Missouri Medical director of MU Health Care Family Medicine–Callaway Physicians, Dr. Stevermer joined the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force in January 2021. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HIV continues to be a significant public health issue. The good news is that PrEP is a safe, highly effective way to help prevent HIV in people at increased risk. There are now two ways people can take PrEP – as a pill or as a shot. We encourage healthcare professionals to have a conversation with their patients about their individual risk for HIV and determine if they should consider taking whichever form of PrEP would work best for them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections, Inflammation, Pediatrics / 18.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Myrsini Kaforou, PhD Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics Department of Infectious Disease Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Children very often present to hospital and clinics with fever, but fever is a non-specific disease symptom. The identification of the cause of fever poses a great challenge for the clinical teams worldwide. The available diagnostic tests are neither quick or accurate enough to fully base decisions on, such as withholding or administering antibiotics. For example, cultures may take days or even weeks to provide a result. In our research group, we are working on novel approach; instead of trying to identify the causative pathogen, which is often inaccurate or impossible, we are studying the genes in the patient's blood that are "switched on" or "switched off" during the infection or the disease in general. Using computational/bioinformatics methods, we are able to identify out of thousands of genes, the combinations of genes, "the biosignatures" for each disease. In the past we had shown that this approach works to distinguish bacterial from viral infection, or tuberculosis disease from other conditions that mimic its symptoms. But with this work we have shown for the first time that a single set of genes, a "single gene panel" can be used to discriminate between 6 broad and/or 18 specific infectious or inflammatory conditions that cause fever in children. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ayesha Lavell MD Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Internal Medicine, Amsterdam Institute for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nose picking is so common in the overall population (91% in a survey study in the US, performed in 1995), maybe people find it hard to refrain from such a common behavior.  We were really curious whether this particular behavior would be more prone to infection spread, as it entails literally putting a potentially contaminate finger against the nasal mucosa. Also, previous research has shown us that nose picking is associated with nasal carriage of S. Aureus bacteria and volunteers have shown to be able to infect themselves with a common cold virus (Rhinovirus) by rubbing the virus inside their nose (laboratory based research in the early seventies). Therefore, it is surprising (given the amount of literature on SARS-CoV-2) that the relationship between nose picking and COVID-19 has not been studied before. And especially since health care workers are at increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, we wanted to know more about common behavioral features that may contribute to this risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 27.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Thomas Deliberto, PhD, DVM, APHIS Wildlife Services One Health Coordinator
  Dr. Thomas Deliberto, PhD, DVM, APHIS Wildlife Services One Health Coordinator     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? deer-covidResponse: In 2021, USDA launched a pilot study to investigate exposure of wild white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to SARS-CoV-2, a zoonotic virus and the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers found that 40% of the blood samples tested had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. This initial study suggested that SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted from humans to deer, and that deer could potentially serve as a reservoir for the virus. To better understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer, a team of researchers conducted a larger study to collect and analyze respiratory samples from free-ranging white-tailed deer in the United States.  The study identified SARS-CoV-2 sequences in white-tailed deer across nearly half of the states in the U.S. The researchers also found that deer could be infected with multiple SARS-CoV-2 lineages, and that these lineages could be transmitted from deer to deer. In addition, the researchers found three cases of potential virus transmission from white-tailed deer back to humans.  This raises concerns about the potential for the virus to continue to evolve in an animal reservoir, and the possibility of future spillover events. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 19.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Tommy Dickey Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Geography Department University of California Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA covid-sniffing-dogs-tom-trainingMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  I became interested in dog's sense of smell several years ago while doing therapy dog demonstrations at the California Science Center in Los Angeles during a special traveling exhibit "Dogs! A Science Tail." (Now at the Orlando Science Center).  I did a lot of research on this topic and taught children about it through the Los Angeles Public Library using my Great Pyrenees therapy dogs. Then, COVID broke out and I expanded my research into any work being done to possibly utilize scent dogs for screening and testing for COVID.  I found only a few such studies.  However, I fortuitously met Heather Junqueira of BioScent, Inc. (in Florida) online and she was beginning to successfully teach her beagles to detect COVID-related odors.  She agreed to co-author a peer-reviewed review paper with me.  That led to our first paper - Dickey, T, Junqueira, H. Toward the use of medical scent dogs for COVID-19 screening. J Osteopath Med 2021;1(2): 141-148. https://doi.org/10.1515/jom-2020-0222 When the COVID pandemic began to wane at the beginning of this year, I felt that it would be the perfect time to do this comprehensive follow-up review to see how far COVID scent dog research had progressed. To our amazement, research efforts had increased by almost tenfold and involved over 400 scientists using over 31,000 samples (including sniffings) from over 30 countries and that 29 peer reviewed papers had been published. Heather’s inspiration for doing scent dog work came when her father contracted cancer and she wanted to find better diagnostics.  She has since been successful in detecting non-small cell lung cancer with her trained beagles as well as COVID. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 10.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fernanda Lessa, MD, MPH Chief, CDC’s International Infection Control Program Co-author of the paper MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Data from low- and middle-income countries on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antibiotic use among outpatients are sparse. This study evaluated the changes in prescribing rates of antibiotics commonly prescribed for respiratory tract infections by outpatient providers among adults in Brazil. We observed increases during the pandemic in outpatient prescriptions of azithromycin and ceftriaxone of up 360% and 90%, respectively, based on age and sex. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, NYU, USPSTF / 09.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that is spread through the air from one person to another and usually affects the lungs. It’s a significant public health concern in the U.S. People can be infected with TB bacteria but not have any symptoms or be contagious, which is known as a latent TB infection or LTBI. If LTBI is left untreated, it can progress to active TB, which can cause serious health problems and become contagious. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JAMA, MRSA, Radiation Therapy / 06.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth McLellan, M.D. Chief, Division of Dermatology Montefiore Medical Center Albert Einstein College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How is the decolonization initiated and maintained? Response: We were interested in exploring whether bacteria on the skin plays a role in radiation dermatitis like it does in other skin diseases that cause a breakdown in the skin barrier. We used a bacterial decolonization regimen that includes chlorhexidine 2% cleanser for the body and mupirocin 2% ointment to the inside of the nose for 5 consecutive days before starting radiation therapy and repeated for an additional 5 days every other week for the duration of radiation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Urinary Tract Infections, Urology / 24.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jacqueline Stephens MPH, PhD Epidemiologist &  Senior lecturer Flinders University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An increase in the volume of evidence published in the peer-reviewed literature on this topic prompted an update of this Cochrane Review. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Herpes Viruses, HIV, HPV, Infections, STD / 24.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manoj Gandhi, MD PhD Senior Medical Director of Genetic Testing Services, Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Gandhi has been working to advance the quality of medical care globally. Using his knowledge of Clinical Medicine and Molecular Biology/Pathology, he is focused on bridging these two fields and bringing innovative solutions that help advance science, the practice of medicine with the ultimate goal of impacting patient lives, whether it be in Infectious Diseases or Oncology or Personalized Medicine. This approach allows him to explore creative ways to utilize technology to help better identify diseases and improve the direction and value of treatment. MedicalResearch.com: What are the most common STIs prevalent in the US and worldwide today? Response: By far, the most common STIs in the US and worldwide is Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cervical cancer in women and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) that is the cause of genital herpes. Outside of these two major causes of STI, the others that are very common are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis and Syphilis. It is important to note that the reported cases represent only a subset of the individuals with an infection as many may be asymptomatic and could be spreading these STIs to others. HIV is another STI that is common but usually rests in its own category due to its impact. (more…)