Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 01.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Microbiome, PLoS, Sexual Health / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brent E. Palmer, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Director, ClinImmune and ACI/ID Flow Cytometry Facility Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology University of Colorado Anschutz Medical College Aurora, Colorado 80045  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous studies showed that in western populations, men who have sex with men (MSM) have a distinct gut microbiome composition when compared with men who have sex with women (MSW). We wanted to understand how these microbiome differences in MSM could impact their immune system. To test this, we transferred feces from healthy MSW and MSM to gnotobiotic (germ-free) mice and examined the immune system in the mice post-transplant. In mice that received transfers from MSM, there were higher frequencies of activated T cells in gut tissues, which are the primary targets of HIV. This result suggested that gut microbes associated with MSM sexual behavior may actually contribute to HIV transmission by driving activation of HIV target cells. In fact, when we stimulated human gut derived cells with gut microbes isolated from MSM and MSW, cells that were stimulated with microbes from MSM were infected at a higher rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Infections, Merck / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Rhee, MD Executive Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Merck Research Laboratories MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the condition of ventilated nosocomial pneumonias? Dr. Rhee: Nosocomial pneumonia (NP) is a lung infection that occurs during a hospital stay. NP is often serious, and is associated with high mortality. It is one of the most common health-care associated infections in both the U.S. and Europe, accounting for over 20% of such cases. Gram-negative bacteria, mainly Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PSA) and Enterobacteriaceae, are frequent causes of nosocomial pneumonia. Limited options currently exist for the management of NP caused by Gram-negative pathogens. This is concerning because rates of resistance to Gram-negative bacteria are growing, and they are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Forms of nosocomial pneumonia include hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and ventilated HAP. High rates of death (ranging from 20% to more than 50%) are especially associated with ventilated HAP. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium, is the most common cause of HAP/VAP in both the U.S. and Europe. Patients with NP are often critically ill, requiring ventilator support and time in intensive care, and it was important to look at this population as we explore new options for the treatment of NP. Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is an antipseudomonal cephalosporin/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination with broad in vitro activity against Gram-negative pathogens, including multi-drug resistant (MDR) P. aeruginosa and many extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. It is FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections in adults at 1.5g (1g ceftolozane/0.5g tazobactam) q8h. C/T is currently being studied at an investigational new dose of 3g (2g/1g) q8h, for the treatment of ventilated nosocomial pneumonia, in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, HPV, Race/Ethnic Diversity, STD, Vaccine Studies / 08.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH Dean and Professor Department of Urban-Global Public Health Rutgers Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is high among young minority gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men despite the availability of a vaccine that can prevent the infection, a Rutgers School of Public Health study found. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Tim Palmer Honorary Senior Lecturer Department of Pathology University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: High risk HPV infection is the obligate cause of between 70 and 90% of cervical cancers, depending upon the country. The development of vaccines against the commonest hr-HPV types has the potential to reduce the burden of cervical cancer, especially in low and middle income countries that cannot afford screening programmes. Cervical cancer affects predominantly women in their 30s and is a major public health issue even in countries with well-established screening programmes. Scotland has had a successful immunisation programme since 2008, and women immunised at age 12 to13 have been screened since 2015. We can therefore demonstrate the effect of hr-HPV immunisation on the pre-invasive stages of cervical cancer. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, University of Michigan, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. Professor of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology Senior Associate Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Physician Director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Health Disparities, Rogel Cancer Center Michigan Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is no current cure for women with HPV infection that has progressed to CIN 2/3 disease. The only treatment is for the diseased cervix, and does not eliminate the risk of another CIN 2/3 from the HPV infection 15-20 years later. This vaccine is made from a live virus that has 3 genes inserted:  human cytokine IL-2, and modified forms of HPV 16 E6 and E7 proteins. When the vaccine is injected subcutaneously, the proteins for HPV 16/E6 and E7 and the cytokine LI-2 proteins are made. These proteins trigger the immune response.  This is very different form imiquimod which is topical and not specific for HPV. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Infections, STD, Vaccine Studies / 01.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa T. Wigfall, PhD, MCHES(R) Assistant Professor, Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papilloma virus (or HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause some types of cancer. These include anal, cervical, oral, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Some people such as people who are HIV-positive and men who have sex with men have a greater risk for developing HPV-associated cancers. The risk of developing anal cancer is significantly higher for men who have sex with men who are also HIV-positive. Our study included adults who were at risk for becoming HIV-positive, which included having unprotected anal sex. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Ebola, Global Health, Lancet / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrick Vinck, PhD Research Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Assistant Professor, Global Health and Population T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health; Emergency Medicine Harvard Medical School Lead Investigator, Brigham & Women's Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The second worst epidemic of Ebola on record is currently unfolding in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Whether or not safe practices are implemented to prevent the spread of the epidemic is influenced by the behavior of individuals at-risk of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) - Will they follow the recommendations of health professionals? Will they report suspected cases and deaths? Will they seek treatment from health professionals? Will they accept vaccines and adopt preventive behaviors? We find that belief in misinformation about Ebola is widespread and trust in authorities is generally low, likely as a result of decades of violence and poor governance and, more recently, the politicization of the Ebola response. Our analysis shows that trust and (mis-)information influence adherence to risk avoidance behavior and acceptance of vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Flu - Influenza, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sonja Kytomaa MA Research Associate Brigham and Women’s Hospital Scott D. Solomon, MD The Edward D. Frohlich Distinguished Chair Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Senior Physician Brigham and Women’s Hospital International Associate Editor, European Heart Journal   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Influenza is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, yet few studies have explored the temporal association between influenza activity and hospitalizations, especially due to heart failure (HF). Our aim with this study was to explore the temporal association between influenza activity and hospitalizations for HF and myocardial infarction (MI) in the general population. We related the number of MI and HF hospitalizations by month, which were sampled from 4 US communities and adjudicated in the surveillance component of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, to monthly influenza-like illness activity, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We found that a 5% increase in influenza activity was associated with a 24% increase in HF hospitalizations rates, while overall influenza was not significantly associated with MI hospitalizations. Influenza activity in the months before hospitalization was not associated with either outcome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Schizophrenia / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM Melanie S. Steele Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine NC State MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this case report?  Can you briefly explain the signs/symptoms of a Bartonella infection? Response: Bartonella henselae is a bacteria most commonly associated with cat scratch disease, which until recently was thought to be a short-lived (or self-limiting) infection. There are now at least 40 different known species of Bartonella, 13 of which have been found to infect human beings. The ability to find and diagnose Bartonella infection in animals and humans – it is notorious for “hiding” in the linings of blood vessels – has led to its identification in patients with a host of chronic illnesses ranging from migraines to seizures to rheumatoid illnesses, some of which the medical community previously hadn’t been able to attribute to a specific cause. Evolving data suggests a role for these bacteria in a spectrum of cardiovascular, neurological and rheumatological diseases. Specific symptoms or diseases that have been reported with neurobartonellosis previously include encephalitis, headaches, migraines, demyelinating polyneuropathy, neuroretinitis and transverse myelitis. Documentation of Bartonella henselae blood stream infection in a boy diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) extends the spectrum of symptomatology associated with neurobartonellosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Urinary Tract Infections / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Lindsay E Nicolle Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for these updated guidelines? What are the main recommendations? Response: The guideline updates the guideline previously published in 2005. There is some new information published in the interim, but the recommendations from the earlier guideline have not changed. In addition, some populations not included in the 2005 guideline are addressed in the update. These include children, transplant recipients, and patients undergoing elective surgery with prosthesis implantation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Opiods / 18.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Serena Day, MD Ohio State University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea for this research came from my own observations of patients that I was caring for in the hospital first as an Internal Medicine Resident and now as a senior Cardiology Fellow. I did my residency here at Ohio State and noticed a marked increase in the number of patients with endocarditis that we were caring for just in my short time here as a trainee. Over 5 years, we saw an increase of 436% in intravenous drug use related endocarditis. How this disease is treated as changed as well. It used to be that if a patient was a good surgical candidate, we would offer a replacement valve. Now, we see that these patient's have such a high rate of recurrent intravenous drug use and reinfection of their heart valves that we now treat with antibiotics only rather than surgery. In many cases, the infection never goes away because we can't offer definitive therapy with surgery due to their high relapse and reinfection rates of nearly 50%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM / 13.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Swindells MBBS Professor and Medical Director, HIV Clinic Department of Internal Medicine University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: More than one quarter of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB), and there is effective treatment for this but only a small fraction of those eligible actually receive it.   TB is the leading cause of death for people with HIV infection, globally.  One of the major problems with currently available treatments for TB infection is that they take too long, and people just stop taking them after a while.  We identified an ultra-short course of treatment (only one month) and tested it against the conventional 6-month course of treatment. Our main findings were that the new short course was just as effective as the standard 6 month course, more patients taking the short course completed their treatment, and had less adverse effects.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, JAMA / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chanu Rhee, MD,MPH Assistant Professor of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Assistant Hospital Epidemiologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sepsis is the body’s reaction to a serious infection that results a cascade of inflammation in the body and organ dysfunction, such as low blood pressure, confusion, or failure of the lungs, kidneys, or liver.   Sepsis is a major cause of death, disability, and cost in the U.S. and around the world.  Growing recognition of this problem has led to numerous sepsis performance improvement initiatives in hospitals around the country.  Some of these efforts have also been catalyzed by high-profile tragic cases of missed sepsis leading to death, which may have contributed to a perception that most sepsis deaths are preventable if doctors and hospitals were only better at recognizing it. However, the extent to which sepsis-related deaths might be preventable with better hospital-based care is unknown.  In my own experience as a critical care physician, a lot of sepsis patients we treat are extremely sick and even when they receive timely and optimal medical care, many do not survive.  This led myself and my colleagues to conduct this study to better understand what types of patients are dying from sepsis and how preventable these deaths might be.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Nature / 28.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: bats-mattaeMatae Ahn,MD-PhD candidate Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme Duke-NUS Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bats, as the only flying mammals, are ‘special’ in their ability to host many highprofile viruses without suffering from disease. Such viruses including Ebola virus, Nipah virus and SARS or MERS coronaviruses, are highly pathogenic and often lethal to humans or animals, but yet cause no or minimal disease in bats. In addition, they also live very long relative to their small body size, despite elevated metabolic rates. However, what makes them special is still unclear. In this study, we discovered dampened NLRP3-mediated inflammation in bats in response to both ‘sterile’ stressors and infection with three different types of zoonotic RNA viruses. We identified multiple molecular mechanisms of altered bat NLRP3, a critical regulator of virus-induced and age-related inflammation, as the cause. Importantly, the reduced inflammation had no effect on the viral loads, which suggests enhanced immune tolerance to infection in bats. Bats’ natural ability to dampen stress-related and virusinduced inflammation may be a key mechanism underlying their long lifespans and unique viral reservoir status.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matejka Rebolj, PhD King’s College London, London, UK   Professor Henry Kitchener, MD FRCOG FRCS University of Manchester, Manchester, UK   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We now have reliable and affordable technologies to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus which is universally accepted as the cause of cervical cancer. Various large trials confirmed that cervical screening could be improved by replacing the smear (cytology) test that has been in use for decades, with HPV testing. Many countries are now making the switch. In England, this is planned for the end of 2019. To test how to run HPV testing within the English National Health Service, a pilot was initiated in 2013 in six screening laboratories. We also wanted to determine whether the encouraging findings from the trials could be translated to everyday practice. This is important not only because we will be using different HPV tests, but also because women undergoing screening in trials are much more selected than those who are invited to population-based screening.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Vitamin D / 10.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Adrian Martineau, B Med Sci DTM&H MRCP PhD FRSB Clinical Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity Queen Mary University of London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The World Health Organisation estimates that 10.0 million people developed active tuberculosis in 2017, and that 1.6 million people died of this disease. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs, causing around 500,000 cases and 150,000 deaths per year worldwide. Existing antibiotic treatments for MDR TB are lengthy, costly and often toxic due to their serious side effects. One novel approach to treating MDR TB is to complement antibiotic treatment by using therapies that boost the immune system’s ability to kill TB bacteria. Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – is known to help white blood cells to make natural antibiotic substances (antimicrobial peptides) that can punch holes in the cell membranes of TB bacteria. Several clinical trials have investigated the effects of adding vitamin D to antibiotic treatment for TB. In this study we pooled data from 8 of these studies (1850 participants) and analysed them to see if some TB patients benefited more from adding vitamin D to their treatment regimen than others. We found that vitamin D accelerated clearance of TB bacteria from the lungs of patients who had MDR TB; this benefit was not seen in patients who had ‘standard’ drug-sensitive TB. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Flu - Influenza, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kim Newsome, MPH National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities CDC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study supports data from previous studies that have shown increased risks for infants born to pregnant women who are severely ill with flu. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Our study found that severely ill women with 2009 H1N1 influenza during pregnancy were more likely to have adverse birth outcomes (such as their baby being born preterm or of low birth weight) than women without influenza.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Health Care Systems, Hospital Acquired, JAMA, Urinary Tract Infections / 06.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Heather Hsu, MD MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine Boston Medical Center Boston, MA 02118 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In October 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented value-based incentive programs to financially reward or penalize hospitals based on quality metrics. Two of these programs – Hospital Value Based Purchasing and the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program – began targeting hospitals’ rates of certain healthcare-associated infections deemed to be preventable in October 2015. Previous studies demonstrated minimal impact of these value-based payment programs on other measures of hospital processes, patient experience, and mortality. However, their impact on healthcare-associated infections was unknown. Our goal was to study the association of value-based incentive program implementation with healthcare-associated infection rates, using catheter-associated urinary tract infection in intensive care units (one of the targeted outcomes) as an example. We found no evidence that federal value-based incentive programs had any measurable association with changes in catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates in the critical care units of US hospitals. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, STD, USPSTF / 05.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Silverstein, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice chair of research for the Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum, or GON, is a severe infection of the eye that can occur in babies born to women who have gonorrhea. If left untreated, GON can cause serious problems, including blindness, that can appear as soon as 24 hours after delivery. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can prevent GON in newborns. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed the most current research on the benefits and harms of ocular prophylaxis—which is applying antibiotic ointment to the babies’ eyes at birth—to prevent GON. We found that, if applied within 24 hours after birth, the ointment is very effective at preventing gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum and the problems it causes. Therefore, we are recommending that clinicians provide this preventive service for all newborns.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections / 01.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD Associate Professor Departments of Pathology and Neurology Director of CJD Skin Project Associate Director National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center Institute of Pathology Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland, Ohio 44106 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of prion-induced diseases and why they have been difficult to diagnosis? Response: Our previous study has demonstrated that infectious prions are detectable in the skin samples of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form of human prion disease, at the terminal stage by the highly sensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay and animal-based bioassay. The prion-induced diseases are significant because they are infectious diseases that can be transmitted inter-species and intra-species. For instance, mad cow disease, a prion disease in cattle, has been documented to transmit to humans. Currently, there are no cures for these fatal diseases. The definite diagnosis of prion diseases is difficult because it mainly depends on the availability of brain tissues obtained either by biopsy or autopsy for detection of prions. Brain biopsy is highly invasive and it is difficult to be accepted by patients and their families. Even for brain autopsy, it is not always feasible because of religious and cultural limitations in some regions or countries.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, PLoS, University of Michigan / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Betsy Foxman PhD Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Influenza is a major cause of human illness and death worldwide. Vaccines are the best available means of prevention. However, vaccine effectiveness has been low to moderate in recent years and coverage remains low in many countries. There is increasing evidence suggesting the microbiome plays an important role in shaping host immunity and may be a potential target for reducing disease. In our study, we used a household transmission study to explore whether the respiratory microbiome was associated with influenza susceptibility.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Infections / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. J. (Hans) Berkhof PhD Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In most countries, the Pap test is used for cervical cancer screening but recently several countries have switched from Pap testing to HPV testing. Like the Pap test, the HPV test requires a cervical sample to be taken by a clinician. Vaginal self-sampling is also used, but only in underscreened women. We know that self-sampling increases screening participation in underscreened women and it is likely that many women that attend screening also prefer self-sampling if it had been offered to them. We studied whether an HPV self-sampling test is an accurate alternative to a regular HPV test in women invited for routine screening. We randomized about 14,000 women, invited for screening, to self-sampling or clinician-sampling. Women with a positive HPV test result also received the other HPV test. We found that the HPV self-sampling test yielded similar performance as the regular HPV test for detection of cervical pre-cancerous lesions (CIN3 and CIN2).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Infections, Technology / 23.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donna Armellino RN, DNP, CIC Vice President, Infection Prevention Northwell Health, Infection Prevention Lake Success, N. Y. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The background for initiating this study was to assess frequently used equipment within the patient care environment following standard manual cleaning and disinfection compared to disinfection with PurpleSun’s shadowless 90-second cycle focused multivector ultraviolet (FMUV) delivery system. Microbes exist within the environment. Cleaning followed by disinfection, regardless of method, is intended to decrease levels of these microbes to minimize exposure and the risk of infection. To measure the effectiveness of the two methods of disinfection a five-point culturing method was used to assess microbial burden. This method was used to assess patient care equipment cleanliness after manual cleaning/disinfection and following the use of FMUV after an operative case and was used to sample equipment deemed cleaned/disinfected and ready for use outside the operative environment. Microbial burden was reported as colony forming units (CFUs). Comparison of the CFUs before cleaning/disinfection, after cleaning/disinfection, and after the use of FMUV allowed efficacy of the disinfection methods to be compared.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 23.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ValnevaThomas Lingelbach President & CEO of Valneva MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of Chikungunya disease? Response: Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a Togaviridae virus, transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The chikungunya virus causes clinical illness in 72-92% of infected humans around four to seven days after an infected mosquito bite. People infected with chikungunya may suffer from acute onset of fever, debilitating joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea and rash, potentially developing into long-term, serious health impairments such as visual, neurological, heart and gastrointestinal manifestations that in some extreme cases can lead to fatalities. Chikungunya outbreaks have been reported in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe. As of 2017, there have been more than one million reported cases in the Americas. The medical burden is expected to grow as the CHIKV primary mosquito vectors continue to further spread geographically. Currently there are no preventive vaccines against Chikungunya making it a major threat to public health. We set out to develop VLA1553, a live-attenuated vaccine candidate, as a potential solution to the growing unmet need chikungunya poses. Our hope is that having a preventative vaccine for chikungunya will allow people living in endemic areas to have peace of mind while enjoying the outdoors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 22.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Kirsten Perrett MBBS FRACP PhD Team Leader / Clinician-Scientist Fellow, Population Allergy, Murdoch Children's Research Institute Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Allergy and Immunology and General Medicine The Royal Children's Hospital Fellow, School of Population and Global Health The University of Melbourne Parkville, Victoria  Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Before rotavirus vaccines were available, rotavirus infection was the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. Because it is so contagious, infection in childhood is thought to be universal in unvaccinated children. Previous studies indicated that rotavirus infection of infants might be an environmental promoter of type 1 diabetes. Therefore, we anticipated that the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine might alter the disease incidence in young children.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, UCLA, Zika / 21.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karin Nielsen-Saines, MD, MPH Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study used a very simple evaluation called GMA (General Movement Assessment tool) which checks baby movements at approximately 3 to 5 months of age. We examined 111 babies exposed to maternal illness during the Zika epidemic in Brazil and 333 control babies without this exposure by GMA at 3 months  and then tested them through standard neurodevelopmental tests at the age of 12 months. We found that this simple evaluation, which consists of filming a baby lying down on their back for one minute and studying their movements worked extremely well in predicting which babies would or would not have future problems in their neurodevelopment. The study advances knowledge in the area because a simple one minute video of a baby can predict neurodevelopment, something that is extremely hard to determine in young babies.  This is true even in places where sophisticated brain scans are available. By identifying which babies are at risk of developmental problems early on, professionals can rapidly refer these babies to  stimulation programs when they are very young, which increases their chances of having better outcomes. Because the brains of young children respond much better  to stimulation, the timing of interventions to improve their development is very important, that is why they need to be identified early. (more…)