Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tejabhiram Yadavalli, Ph.D Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Chicago, IL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Charcoal black is a common ingredient used in the cosmetic industry, especially for the eye in products such as eyeliners. Traditionally, black soot obtained from burning clarified butter was used as an eyeliner and is still used today in various cultures across the world. Activated charcoal is highly porous in nature and has a surface area far greater than any other nanoparticle or microparticle known to materials science. Since our lab works on ocular herpes infection we wanted to see whether activated charcoal can influence viral infection potentially by trapping the virus particles and rendering them ineffective. As hypothesized, we found excellent restriction of the virus from infecting the host. The most interesting results came when we applied charcoal in tandem with existing clinical antiviral (Acyclovir). This is where we saw that charcoal can absorb the drug on its surface and slowly release it over a period of time conferring protection for an extended period of time from viral infection. These antiviral drugs have to be taken multiple times a day to show comprehensive protection against the virus. However, we found that the drugs mixed with charcoal were need to be given with much reduced frequency to show excellent antiviral activity. This charcoal platform termed as DECON was effective in controlling both ocular and genital herpes infections.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE / 15.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50822" align="alignleft" width="199"]Marc Eloit, D.V.M, Ph.D. Pathogen Discovery Laboratory, Biology of Infection Unit, Institut Pasteur Paris, France Dr. Eloit[/caption] Marc Eloit, D.V.M, Ph.D. Pathogen Discovery Laboratory, Biology of Infection Unit, Institut Pasteur Paris, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are responsible for >99% of cervical cancers. Currently, cervical cancer screening either focuses on testing for the presence of HPV or identifying abnormal cervical cells with cytology (Pap test). However, molecular diagnostic tests based on the detection of viral DNA or RNA have low positive predictive values for the identification of cancer or precancerous lesions, and analysis of cervical cells with the Pap test, even when combined with molecular detection of high-risk HPV, results in a significant number of unnecessary colposcopies. We have developed HPV RNA-Seq, a new “two-for-one” molecular diagnostic test that not only detects the type of HPV, but also identifies precancerous markers. This test is therefore designed to diagnose the riskiest forms of HPV infection, provide rapid results at moderate cost, and helps avoiding unnecessary diagnostic procedures. HPV RNA-Seq is based on the dual combination of multiplexed reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS). RT-PCR is a sensitive way to detect small amounts of RNA, the genetic material that reflects the activity of the HPV genes, and NGS finely characterizes the amplified viral sequences. This enables detection of up to 16 high-risk or putative high-risk HPV in a sample as well as the presence of precancerous markers.
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Pediatrics / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50595" align="alignleft" width="160"]Larry K. Kociolek, MD MSCI  Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Dr. Kociolek[/caption] Larry K. Kociolek, MD MSCI Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, Associate Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile colonization is very common among infants, yet infants almost never develop symptoms of infection. In adults, it is known that immunity against the toxins that C. difficile produces protect against C. difficile infection (CDI). Our goal was to determine whether or not infants who become colonized with C. difficile develop an immune response against these toxins. We collected stool from healthy infants at multiple time points during the first year of life to determine whether or not they became colonized with C. difficile. Then at 9-12 months old, we collected blood to see if we can identify antibodies in their blood that protect against these toxins. We discovered that colonization with C. difficile during infancy was strongly associated with the development of antibodies. These antibodies were able to protect against the harmful effects of these toxins in a laboratory cell culture model.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, CDC, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50527" align="alignleft" width="185"]This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Credit: Shawn Lockhart This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Shawn Lockhart[/caption] Snigdha Vallabhaneni, MD, MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: We are concerned about the fungus Candida auris (or C. auris) because it causes serious infections, is often resistant to medications, and continues to spread at alarming rates in U.S. healthcare settings. Candida. auris  primarily affects patients in who are hospitalized for a long time or are residents of nursing homes that take care of patients on ventilators. C. auris is still rare in the United States and most people are at low risk of getting infected. People who get C. auris or other Candida infections are often already sick from other medical conditions and often have invasive medical care, including ventilators for breathing support, feeding tubes, central venous catheters, and have received lots of antibiotics. Many patients infected and colonized with C. auris move frequently between post-acute care facilities and hospitals, which increases the risk of spreading C. auris between facilities.
Author Interviews, Global Health, HIV, NEJM / 17.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50304" align="alignleft" width="107"]Prof-Richard-Hayes.jpg Prof. Hayes[/caption] Dr. Richard J. Hayes, DSc, FMedSci Professor of Epidemiology and International Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HIV incidence rates remain at very high levels in many parts of southern Africa. Universal testing and treatment (i.e., ensuring that everyone in a community tests for HIV and that everyone diagnosed with HIV is started on treatment as soon as possible) has been proposed as a strategy to achieve steep reductions in HIV incidence in generalized epidemics. Prior trials have shown inconsistent results as to whether this strategy could be effective. HPTN 071 (PopART) was carried out in 21 urban communities in Zambia and South Africa, with individual communities randomly assigned into one of three arms: A, B or C. The 14 communities in Arms A and B received annual rounds of home-based HIV testing by community health workers who supported linkage to care, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and other HIV services. The seven communities in Arm C received the local standard of care. We looked to see if the HIV incidence in the communities receiving universal testing and treatment would be lower (over time) compared to the incidence in the standard of care communities.
Author Interviews, HIV, University of Michigan / 15.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50266" align="alignleft" width="200"]Rogério Meireles Pinto, LCSW, Ph.D. Professor and Associate Dean for Research University of Michigan School of Social Work  Dr. Pinto[/caption] Rogério Meireles Pinto, LCSW, Ph.D. Professor and Associate Dean for Research University of Michigan School of Social Work MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In order to decrease the rate of HIV infection, interventions to scale up PrEP will need to address identified barriers at multiple ecological levels. In the past decade, interventions proposed to address PrEP implementation barriers were limited to one ecological level or another (e.g., individual or community). The failure to consider interventions targeting multiple ecological levels simultaneously may help explain why PrEP implementation is lagging. This failure is also due to methodological limitations of PrEP implementation studies.This high-quality paper presents a thorough and theoretically grounded review of original research on HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation in the U.S.
Author Interviews, Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Disorders / 12.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50243" align="alignleft" width="170"]Prof. Dr. Patrick Küry Dept. of Neurology Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Germany Prof. Küry[/caption] Prof. Dr. Patrick Küry Dept. of Neurology Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How do these viruses in our DNA differ from others such as the herpes family of viruses? Response: The background of our current two published studies is elucidating the role of endogenous retroviruses such as the HERV-W in contributing to neurological disease initiation and progression. Our new paper in PNAS (Kremer et al., PNAS 2019) describes a novel axon damage scenario for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in which a "toxic" protein called ENV from HERV-W instructs so called microglial cells in the human brain to attack and damage myelinated axons. Our second review article (Gruchot et al., Front Genet 2019) summarizes currently known effects on endogenous retroviruses exerted towards neural cells, that means cells other than the infiltrating immune cells. There is currently a shift of attention and research in the MS field in that resident neural cells such as oligodendrocytes, precursor cells, stem cells and microglial cells and their reactions are intensively investigated. HERVs are evolutionary acquired retroviruses (RNA viruses able to integrate into host DNA via reverse transcription from RNA to DNA) that were collected during evolution by our ancestors. Some of them remained in our genome (8% of our genome is HERV related) and in most cases appear to be non-functional, mutated or genetically silenced. A few of them, as for example HERV-W in MS or HERV-K in ALS, can apparently be activated, woken up so to say, and one of the mechanisms leading to activation might be an infection by Herpesviruses. Note that herpesviruses such as for example the Epstein Bar Virus (EBV) are long known suspected triggers of MS, however, a direct correlation could never be demonstrated. HERVs such as HERV-W might therefore constitute the missing link.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Infections, University of Michigan / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50132" align="alignleft" width="125"]Valerie M. Vaughn, MD MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Research Scientist, Division of Hospital Medicine The Patient Safety Enhancement Program and Center for Clinical Management Research Michigan Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center Dr. Vaughn[/caption] Valerie M. Vaughn, MD MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Research Scientist, Division of Hospital Medicine The Patient Safety Enhancement Program and Center for Clinical Management Research Michigan Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pneumonia is one of the top causes for hospitalization and one of the main reasons for antibiotic use in US hospitals. In the past decade, studies have suggested that patients can be safely treated with short course antibiotic therapy instead of the prolonged courses we used to prescribe. Our study looked at prescribing practices in 43 hospitals across the state of Michigan to see if we were appropriately prescribing short course therapy, and if so, how that affected patients.
Author Interviews, Infections, Pharmaceutical Companies / 08.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50138" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr Mark Blaskovich PhD Institute for Molecular Bioscience's Centre for Superbug Solutions The University of Queensland In collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd Dr. Blaskovich[/caption] Dr Mark Blaskovich PhD Institute for Molecular Bioscience's Centre for Superbug Solutions The University of Queensland In collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Botanix is a company that has been developing topical formulations of CBD for treatment of skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and acne, based on its reported anti-inflammatory properties. However, these diseases are also associated with bacterial infection, so they were interested in looking at potential antimicrobial activity, as there are some previous literature reports suggesting it is active. They contacted us to do some more in-depth investigations.
Author Interviews, CDC, Environmental Risks, Infections / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50076" align="alignleft" width="200"]Radhika Gharpure MPH DVM Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer CDC Dr. Gharpure[/caption] Radhika Gharpure MPH DVM Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this report? Would you tell us about cryptosporidiosis infections?  Where is is found? How is it transmitted? Response: The data from our most recent report looked at outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium (Crypto) in the United States during 2009 – 2017. Outbreaks have increased an average of 13% each year. Crypto, a parasite, is spread through the poop of infected humans or animals. People can get sick after they swallow the parasite in contaminated water or food or after contact with infected people or animals. Crypto is the leading cause of disease outbreaks in the United States linked to water, specifically outbreaks linked to pools or water playgrounds.
Author Interviews, CDC, Emory, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Cassandra Pingali Ms. Pingali worked on this paper while a a graduate student at Emory University, and completed it post-graduation. She is currently an ORISE fellow at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Services Division MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite high overall immunization coverage in the United States, we are currently experiencing the largest measles outbreak since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. In 2014, California grappled with a very large measles outbreak known as the “Disneyland” outbreak. Later investigation revealed that most of the affected children were unvaccinated against measles despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. In order to prevent future outbreaks, California officials wanted to improve their declining childhood vaccination coverage. California passed two laws and implemented an educational program for school staff to increase vaccination rates in the state. We felt it was important to take a systematic look at these interventions and examine if public health initiatives such as these are working to improve vaccination rates.
Author Interviews, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ali Moghtaderi PhD MBA Assistant Research Professor and Avi Dor PhD Professor of Health Policy and Economics Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we investigate the effect of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on participation in Pap test, which is one of the most effective cancer screening interventions. Cervical cancers are causally linked to HPV infections. The Pap test is a diagnostic procedure for early detection of cervical cancer. HPV vaccination provides partial protection against cervical cancer, and the Pap test is strongly recommended for women 21 to 65 years of age even after vaccination. If vaccination leads to a reduction in testing participation, it could contribute to greater incidence and severity of cervical cancer. Note that we focus on relatively older women (age 22 or older) who were not vaccinated at younger ages. 
Author Interviews, CDC, Cognitive Issues, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49954" align="alignleft" width="122"]Arindam Nandi  PhD Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy Dr. Nandi[/caption] Arindam Nandi  PhD Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The motivation for this study comes from a small but growing body of evidence on the potential long-term benefits of vaccines. The recent resurgence of measles outbreaks in several countries which had previously eliminated the virus makes our study additionally relevant. There have been over 1,000 measles cases reported across 28 states in the US so far in 2019, which is the largest number of cases the country has seen in almost 3 decades. Similarly high number of cases have been reported in several European countries in recent years. This study reiterates the importance of vaccination and proves the long-term benefits of the measles vaccine in low- and middle-income countries, which account for a large proportion of global measles cases.
Author Interviews, Infections / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49945" align="alignleft" width="200"]David Houston Senior Scientist and wound project Neem Biotech Dr. Houston[/caption] David Houston PhD Senior Scientist and wound project Neem Biotech MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Biofilms are complex bacterial communities formed during the natural infection process as a protection mechanism and controlled by bacterial quorum sensing. These biofilm communities allow infections to spread by producing toxins that inhibit the body’s immune system, generating exopolysaccharide and changes in metabolic state that reduce the efficacy of antibiotics and activating virulence factors, which ultimately drive the spread of infection. Stopping the spread of infection by inhibition of quorum sensing has potential to manage a wide range of infections, including in wounds. In chronically-infected wounds, the prevention of biofilm formation, disruption of mature biofilms, reduction of virulence factors and thereby the spread of infection remains clinically elusive. Quorum sensing (QS) pathways regulate microbial motility, virulence factor production and the formation and maturation of biofilms. Inhibiting QS therefore presents a potential mode of therapeutic intervention for infections.
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49864" align="alignleft" width="200"]CDC Image Based on electron microscopic (EM) imagery, this three-dimensional (3D) illustration provides a graphical representation of a single norovirus virion, set against a white background. Though subtle, the different colors represent different regions of the organism’s outer protein shell, or capsid. Illustrator: Alissa Eckert, MS CDC Image
Based on electron microscopic (EM) imagery, this three-dimensional (3D) illustration provides a graphical representation of a single norovirus virion, set against a white background. Though subtle, the different colors represent different regions of the organism’s outer protein shell, or capsid. Illustrator: Alissa Eckert, MS[/caption] Lisa Lindesmith, MS Research specialist Ralph S. Baric, PhD Professor, Departments of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Immunology Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the types of outbreaks caused by Norovirus infections? Response: Noroviruses cause about 20% of endemic and 50% of food-borne acute gastroenteritis, infecting all age groups, globally.  While may different strains of norovirus cause outbreaks primarily in community settings, since the mid-1990’s the GII.4 strains of norovirus have caused waves of pandemic disease every 2-7 years.  These pandemics are associated with emergence of a GII.4 strain that has changed key viral domains rendering the virus less susceptible to recognition by and protection from a person’s immune system.  For a vaccine to be efficacious against pandemic GII.4 strains, it must be able to train the immune system to focus on the part of the GII.4 virus that does not change over time.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, HPV, Yale / 20.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49877" align="alignleft" width="160"]Richard J. Antaya, MD, FAAD, FAAP Professor, Dermatology and Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine Dr. Antaya[/caption] Richard J. Antaya, MD, FAAD, FAAP Professor, Dermatology and Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Localized hyperthermia has been reported to hasten the resolution of warts and treat both benign and malignant neoplasms. Numerous clinical studies employing various methods to increase the cutaneous surface temperature, including: infrared radiation, radiofrequency, Nd:YAG laser, moxibustion, warm water immersion, ultrasound, and exothermic heat patches, have all yielded positive results. We published a proof-of-concept, open-label trial, representing the largest experience to date employing chemical reaction induced exothermic heat patches for the treatment of warts. Localized hyperthermia from all sources currently has a low level of evidence and strength of recommendation because of the lack of well-designed, sufficiently powered studies. 
Author Interviews, HIV, USPSTF / 20.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45507" align="alignleft" width="142"]John W. Epling, Jr., M.D., M.S.Ed Professor of Family and Community Medicine Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Roanoke, VA USPSTF Task Force Member Dr. Epling[/caption] John W. Epling, Jr., M.D., M.S.Ed Professor of Family and Community Medicine Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Roanoke, VA USPSTF Task Force Member Medical Director of Employee Health and Wellness Carilion Clinic Dr. Epling maintains an active clinical primary care practice  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HIV continues to be a significant public health issue, with about 40,000 people diagnosed each year. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed the most recent evidence on how primary care clinicians can best help prevent HIV and its devastating health consequences. We looked at the research on two different topics: screening for HIV, and pre-exposure prophylaxis—a medication that prevents HIV, commonly known as PrEP. 
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections, JAMA / 19.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49801" align="alignleft" width="200"]Example of cellulitis erysipelas from DermnetNZ.org Example of cellulitis erysipelas from DermnetNZ.org[/caption] Richard Brindle DM FRCP Honorary Reader, University of Bristol, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This review is an update of the 2010 Cochrane Review of Interventions for cellulitis and erysipelas (DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004299) but focusing on antibiotics.  It provides a valuable resource for clinicians in summarizing current best evidence and highlighting gaps in the research. This review will inform the production of evidence-based guidelines covering antibiotic choice, route of administration, duration of treatment and the role of combinations of antibiotics.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Genetic Research, Infections, NEJM, UCSF / 13.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49751" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Charles Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center Associate Director, UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory UCSF School of Medicine Dr. Chiu[/caption] Dr. Charles Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center Associate Director, UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory UCSF School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe what is meant by metagenomic sequencing? Response: Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) is the use of technology to generate millions of sequence reads to diagnose infection sin patients by characterizing the full range of potential pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) in a single sample. Although shown to be a promising diagnostic tool for  infectious diseases in case reports and limited case series (Chiu and Miller Nature Reviews Genetics 20, 341-355 (2019)), to date the “real-life” utility of this approach for patient care has hitherto not been demonstrated.  This study is the first prospective, multi-center study of clinical mNGS testing for the diagnosis of neurological infections in acutely ill hospitalized patients presenting with meningitis and/or encephalitis.
Author Interviews, CDC, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies / 29.05.2019

[caption id="attachment_49409" align="alignleft" width="200"]Megan C. Lindley, MPHDeputy Associate Director for ScienceImmunization Services DivisionCDC Megan C. Lindley[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan C. Lindley, MPH Deputy Associate Director for Science Immunization Services Division CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite longstanding recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, healthcare personnel influenza vaccination coverage remains below the Healthy People 2020 target of 90%. Healthcare employers use a variety of strategies to promote influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel, including facility-level mandates for vaccination. Several U.S. states have also enacted laws related to healthcare personnel influenza vaccination, but the effect of these laws on vaccination uptake is unclear. Our study used influenza vaccination coverage data reported by over 4,000 U.S. hospitals to examine three kinds of laws: (1) Assessment laws, which require hospitals to assess healthcare personnel influenza vaccination status; (2) Offer laws, which require hospitals to offer the influenza vaccine to healthcare personnel; and (3) Ensure laws, which require hospitals to require healthcare personnel to demonstrate proof of influenza vaccination.
Author Interviews, CDC, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Sexual Health, STD / 21.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lee Warner, PhD Chief of the Women’s Health and Fertility Branch Division of Reproductive Health CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has found lower prevalence of condom use combined with the most effective reversible contraceptive methods among teens, but this is the first study to our knowledge to confirm the finding among sexually active teen mothers in the postpartum period. Our new paper finds that only 3 in 10 postpartum teen mothers report using condoms combined with a more effective contraceptive method (either long-acting reversible contraception or LARC or a non-LARC hormonal method). Dual use was 50 percent lower among LARC users compared with users of non-LARC hormonal methods.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, University of Pittsburgh / 15.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49126" align="alignleft" width="160"]Minh-Hong Nguyen, MDInfectious DiseasesProfessor of MedicineDirector, Transplant Infectious DiseasesDirector, Antimicrobial Management ProgramDepartment of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dr, Minh-Hong Nguyen[/caption] Minh-Hong Nguyen, MD Infectious Diseases Professor of Medicine Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases Director, Antimicrobial Management Program Department of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Blood cultures, the gold standard for diagnosing blood stream infections, are insensitive and limited by prolonged time to results. Early institution of appropriate antibiotics is a crucial determinant of improved outcomes in patients with sepsis and blood stream infections (BSI). For these reasons, development of rapid non-culture diagnostic tests for blood stream infections is a top priority. The T2Bacteria panel is the first direct from blood, non-culture test cleared by FDA for diagnosis of blood stream infections .  It detects within 4-6 hours the 5 most common ESKAPE bacteria that are frequent causes of hospital infection, and which are often multi-drug resistant.  This study shows that the T2Bacteria panel rapidly and accurately diagnosed and identified ESKAPE bacterial BSIs, and identified probable and possible BSIs that were missed by blood cultures (in particular among patients who were already receiving antibiotics).
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Urology / 13.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49147" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lael S. Reinstatler, MD, MPH.PGY 4 Urology ResidencyDartmouth Hitchcock Dr. Reinstatler[/caption] Lael SReinstatler, MD, MPH. PGY 4 Urology Residency Dartmouth Hitchcock MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Human Papillomavirus is an oncogenic virus associated with other genitourinary cancers including penile cancer. HPV is detectable in urine and in urethral swabs and it interacts with stratified squamous epithelium which lines the majority of the genitourinary tract. Prior research has identified HPV in bladder tumors but detection methods are inconsistent. In this study, we looked for an association with HPV serology (indicating prior HPV systemic exposure) and bladder cancer.
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, Johns Hopkins, Lipids / 09.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49043" align="alignleft" width="178"]Rajesh Kumar NV, Ph.D.Affiliation during the study:Senior Manager, Human Therapeutics Division,Intrexon Corporation, Germantown, MD, USA Dr. Rajesh Kumar NV[/caption] Rajesh Kumar NV, Ph.D. Affiliation during the study: Senior Manager, Human Therapeutics Division, Intrexon Corporation, Germantown, MD, USA Current affiliation: Translational Research Program Manager, Oncology Drug Discovery, Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD,   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Clostridium difficile infection is the most frequent form of colitis in hospitals and nursing homes and affects millions of patients in the United States and abroad. Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD) is a global public health challenge where even mild to moderate infections at times can quickly progress to a fatal disease if not treated promptly. OG253 is a novel lantibiotic in development for the treatment of CDAD. Lantibiotics are antimicrobial peptides whose chemical structure includes a bridge maintained by the non-canonical amino acid lanthionine. The primary objective of our study was to evaluate the repeated dose toxicokinetics and any possible side effects of OG253 as enteric-coated capsules following daily oral administrations of three different doses (6.75, 27 and 108 mg/day) for a single day or seven consecutive days in both genders of rats. An enteric-coated capsule of OG253 was formulated in an attempt to circumvent the proteolytic degradation of OG253 in the upper digestive tract and specifically deliver this lantibiotic to the distal portion of the small intestine.
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, NEJM / 08.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49046" align="alignleft" width="133"]Birgit Nikolay PhDMATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASESInstitut Pasteur Dr. Nikolay[/caption] Birgit Nikolay PhD MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES Institut Pasteur  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nipah virus was identified by the World Health Organization as an emerging infectious disease that may cause major epidemics if the pathogen evolves to become more transmissible, leading the organization to prioritize it for research to prevent future health emergencies. In the absence of efficient treatments or vaccines, the only way to control Nipah virus outbreaks is through targeted interventions that limit opportunities of spread. Designing such interventions is challenging in a context where transmission mechanisms remain poorly understood. The study provides important insights to better understand these mechanisms.
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 07.05.2019

Genetically Fast-Changing Superbugs at Hospitals Require More Stringent Cleaning MethodsThe number of deaths caused by resistant bacteria is expected to reach 10 million by 2025, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. A highly resistant bacteria found in hospitals - Klebsiella pneumoniae - is now a big global threat, according to a recent (April, 2019) study published by researchers from University College London. Researchers have issued a warning that more stringent cleaning of infectious wards and new air disinfection protocols are key to battling the bug. This is because this bacteria possesses the ability to change genetically at an alarming rate, adapting and essentially nullifying the effect of all current antibiotics.
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 01.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48954" align="alignleft" width="130"]Nicholas B. DeFelice, PhDDepartment of Environmental Medicine & Public HealthIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York, New York Dr. DeFelice[/caption] Nicholas B. DeFelice, PhD Department of Environmental Medicine & Public Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Effective allocation of public health resources during an outbreak is complicated and often reactive. Thus, it is important that we develop quantitative tools that can accurately and rapidly forecast the progression of an outbreak and provide decision support. Recently, several advancements have been made in the realm of infectious disease forecasting: it is a field that is growing in exciting directions. However, for these forecasting tools to work in real time, we must understand how the forecasting apparatus and observational network work in real time to ensure they are sufficient to support accurate operational predictions. We previously showed that accurate and reliable forecasts of West Nile virus outbreaks can be made using surveillance data and a mathematical model representing the interactions between birds, mosquitoes and risk of human spillover. This model system was able to retrospectively forecast mosquito infection rates prior to the week of peak mosquito infection, and to forecast accurately the seasonal total number of human West Nile virus cases prior to when the majority of cases were reported. For this study, we were interested in the data flow process and the question of whether appropriate infrastructure is in place to support real time forecasting. If this forecast system were made operational in real time, public health officials would have an evidence-based decision-support tool to help 1) actively target control of infected mosquito populations (i.e., larviciding and adulticiding), 2) alert the public to future periods of elevated West Nile virus spillover transmission risk, and 3) identify when to intensify blood donor screening.
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48849" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Matthieu Domenech de Cellès PhDBiostatistics, Biomathematics, Pharmacoepidemiology, and Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Inserm U1181, University of Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines,Versailles, France Dr. Domenech de Cellès[/caption] Dr. Matthieu Domenech de Cellès PhD Biostatistics, Biomathematics, Pharmacoepidemiology, and Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Inserm U1181, University of Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most high-income countries now use acellular pertussis vaccines (called DTaP, which are sub-unit vaccines based on purified antigens of the bacterium Bordetella pertussis) to protect children against pertussis. Although clinical trials demonstrated the short-term effectiveness of DTaP vaccines, there was a growing concern that the duration of protection they conferred was not very long. Those concerns were mostly based on the results of a number of epidemiological studies, which showed that the relative risk of contracting pertussis increased substantially over time, typically by 20–40% every year since last vaccination. Although such increases seem high, it was not immediately obvious how to interpret them—the more so because pertussis epidemiology is complex. In our study, we developed mathematical models of pertussis epidemiology to try to understand what the results of recent epidemiological studies really meant about the effectiveness and the duration of protection of DTaP vaccines. The most interesting—and perhaps counterintuitive—finding of our study was that those results are fully consistent with highly effective DTaP vaccines, which confer long-term protection. This is a consequence of the fact that pertussis is highly contagious and that the immunity conferred by DTaP, though very high, is not perfect.   
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48823" align="alignleft" width="150"]Lauren Breithaupt, PhDDepartment of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax, Virginia Dr. Breithaupt[/caption] Lauren Breithaupt, PhD Department of Psychology George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Our study provides novel insight into the relationship between the immune system and eating disorders characterized by chronic restriction (e.g., anorexia nervosa) and binge eating and/or purging (e.g., binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa). These findings also add to the growing body of literature linking the immune systems broadly and mental disorders. We found that infections in early childhood were associated with an increased risk of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders such as binge eating disorder in adolescence. These relationships appear to be both time and dose-dependent, meaning that the onset of eating disorder diagnosis is greatest in the first three months following the infection, and the more infections, the greater the risk.   
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48604" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lynn Meurs, PhDEPIET fellow at Robert Koch InstituteEuropean Centre for Disease Prevention and ControlGermany Dr. Meurs[/caption] Lynn Meurs, PhD EPIET fellow at Robert Koch Institute European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is unknown how Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) -producing bacteria are spread, but several studies have shown that intercontinental travellers often return home with these drug-resistant bacteria. The aim of our study was to investigate into more detail what causes colonisation with these bacteria in people travelling to low and/or middle-income countries  (LMICs) in the tropics and subtropics. We found that out of the travellers that were ESBL-negative before travelling, 23% of returned with ESBL-producing bacteria. In line with previous studies, we found that travelling to Eastern, Southern, and Western Asia is associated with ESBL colonisation. Unexpectedly, we furthermore found that staying in a hotel as well as in private accommodation as compared to other types of commercial accommodation such as hostels, camping or guesthouses, was associated with the colonisation with these drug-resistant bacteria.