Author Interviews, HIV, NEJM / 20.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Swindells MBBS Professor, Infectious Diseases Department of Internal Medicine University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for this study is the development of long-acting injectable formulations of two antiretroviral agents: cabotegravir and rilpivirine.  These were previously tested in a Phase 2 study, and the current study (called ATLAS) reports findings from Phase 3 in which HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy were switched to monthly injections. The partner study, (FLAIR), is published in the same addition of the journal, and reports results from patients that were new to antiretroviral therapy, and took oral medications as a lead-in to achieve viral suppression before switching to similar monthly injections.  Both studies included randomization to continuing oral antiretroviral therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies, Vaccine Studies / 17.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Charland PhD Senior Director, Scientific and Medical Affairs Medicago  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We started to work on solutions as soon as we were able to obtain the appropriate genetic information for the new COVID-19. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sibaji Sarkar, Ph.D. Adj. Professor Quincy College, Quincy, Boston MA MBC College, Wellesley MA RC College, Boston, MA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 infection is spreading and nothing is out there now to stop it. Hopefully, vaccines will be made and will be useful but that may take months if not a year. Researchers are also testing the use of other anti-viral drugs. COVID-19 uses (angiotensin converting enzyme receptor 2) ACE2 on capillary membranes of lungs to attach and then enter by endocytosis. ACE and ACE2 are two different types of receptors. ACE inhibitors are regularly in use as blood pressure lowering drugs. Unfortunately, ACE inhibitors have very les affinity for ACE2. Theoretically, if COVID-19 and any ACE2 inhibitor share similar binding site on ACE2 or at least bind in close proximity, assuming the virus is a big particle, it should fully or partially block viral entry. That will reduce or delay disease progression. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Liu,  Ph.D. Manager, Scientific Information CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society Columbus, OH 43210 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2 has overwhelmed the health systems in many countries and been declared by WHO as a pandemic which will continue to affect global public health and world economy. This threat calls for an intensified effort in the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines. CAS is a not-for-profit division of the American Chemical Society that specializes in scientific information solutions. Our team includes hundreds of scientists that build a global data collection of curated scientific content from both journal articles and patent applications as well as chemical and biological substance collections. With this report, our team hopes to support the efforts of R&D organizations seeking to address this crisis by providing an up-to-date overview of recent relevant publications and insight into potential therapeutic agents, including both small molecules and biologics. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, CT Scanning, Global Health, Medical Imaging / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Soheil Kooraki  MSR MS, MD on behalf of Dr. Ali Gholamrezanezhad MD and co-authors Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: COVID19 is a novel strain of the coronavirus family causing pneumonia. Two similar strains were discovered in 2003 and 2012 to cause the so-called SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Radiologists need to be prepared for the escalating incidence of COVID-19. We reviewed the literature to extract the epidemiologic and imaging features of SARS and MERS in comparison with known imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia to have a better understanding of the imaging features of the COVID19 pneumonia in acute and post-recovery stages. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lyme / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donal Bisanzio PhD DVM Senior Epidemiologist RTI International MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The number of reported cases of Lyme disease has steadily increased since the year 2000. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 30,000 cases are reported each year with close to 270,000 unreported cases. The high fraction of unreported cases is linked with the absence of specific disease symptoms, which can deter physicians from an initial diagnosis. Another critical factor causing underreporting is the low accuracy of methods used to test Lyme disease. These factors show us that some counties that are currently considered Lyme disease-free may only have this status due to underreporting. RTI International, in collaboration with Columbia University, built a model to show factors affecting the diffusion of case reporting in the north-eastern U.S. from 2000 to 2017 and identify which counties may be experiencing underreporting. The model used publicly available data published each year by the CDC on cases reported at the county-level merged with information on vector distribution and data obtained by satellite surveys. The model included 855 counties located in 31 states in the West North Central, East North Central, New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern regions of the U.S. The final product was a map showing the probability of counties of the north-eastern U.S. to report Lyme disease cases.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Infections / 07.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Steve Miller MD MBA Chief Clinical Officer Cigna MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: With diagnoses of coronavirus increasing, Cigna is committed to helping contain the virus, removing barriers to testing and treatment, and giving peace of mind to its clients and customers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Technology / 06.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arni S.R. Srinivasa Rao, PhD Professor, Division of Health Economics and Modeling, DPHS Director - Laboratory for Theory and Mathematical Modeling Department of Medicine - Division of Infectious Diseases Medical College of Georgia Department of Mathematics, Augusta UniversityArni S.R. Srinivasa Rao, PhD Professor, Division of Health Economics and Modeling, DPHS Director - Laboratory for Theory and Mathematical Modeling Department of Medicine - Division of Infectious Diseases Medical College of Georgia Department of Mathematics, Augusta University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  This is a methodological study with a flowchart, algorithm, and theory to enable quicker identification of individuals at risk of coronavirus based on CDC's guidelines on COVID-19.  (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Health Care Systems, Hospital Acquired, JAMA / 06.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Valerie Vaughn MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine; Hospital Medicine VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan Medical School @ValerieVaughnMD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Health care-associated infection are a major patient safety problem. Fortunately, they can often be prevented through key practices. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been an early adopters of these key strategies through a combination of policies, directives, and initiatives which have aimed to reduce health care-associated infection. No one had previously looked across infections to see whether key infection prevention practices are being used in the VA. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections / 30.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Cao, MD, PhD Professor, China-Japan Friendship Hospital Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Beijing 100029, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In December, 2019, recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of the first 41 patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by Jan 2, 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, HPV, Infections, JAMA, OBGYNE / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Niklas Worm Andersson, MD Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen NV, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is Podophyllotoxin used for? Response: Podophyllotoxin is an antimitotic agent primarily used in the local treatment of anogenital warts, which are among the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Most women affected by anogenital warts are of childbearing age and during pregnancy, they may become symptomatic, enlarge, or multiply. While podophyllotoxin is part of first-line treatment of anogenital warts for the non-pregnant population, it is contraindicated during pregnancy. Fetal safety data are limited and to our knowledge, no previous human data exist to help inform on this issue. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Hospital Acquired / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandre R. Marra, MD PhD Iowa Infection Prevention Research Group University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Division of Medical Practice, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein São Paulo, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This is a comprehensive systematic literature review evaluating the burden of C. difficile infections in the U.S healthcare system. The literature has diverse studies with variable outcomes. Thus, we only included incidence estimates derived from multicenter studies. In our meta-analysis to calculate incidence, data were pooled only with denominators using the same unit (patient-days) to avoid comparisons with different denominators. For length of stay (LOS), we only included studies that used advanced statistical methods (e.g., propensity score matching). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Konstans Wells, PhD Lecturer in Biosciences Swansea University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Cross‐species transmission of harmful viruses between animals and humans is a major source of infectious diseases and a considerable global public health burden. We assessed patterns of virus sharing among a large diversity of mammals, including humans and domestic species. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease / 20.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah W. Baron, M.D Assistant Professor Division of Hospital Medicine Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, New York  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that C. difficile can be a deadly and highly infectious disease but that it has been difficult to control. We also know that some people carry C. difficile in their body without symptoms but can still spread the organism or become sick with it themselves at some point in the future. This study attempted to answer two main questions: 1. First, how many patients coming into a large, urban academic medical center carried the organism C. difficile without any symptoms and 2. How many of those carriers without symptoms then went on to have the symptoms of C. difficile within 6 months? (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, Sexual Health, STD / 11.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Ong, PhD, MMed, MBBS, FAChSHM, FRACGP Twitter: @DrJasonJOng Sexual Health Physician, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health Associate Professor (Hon), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK Central Clinical School, Monash University, Australia Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia Associate Editor, Sexually Transmitted Infections Special Issues Editor, Sexual Health Board Director, ASHM   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being rolled out globally. This will protect many people from HIV, however PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI). So we wanted to quantify how much STIs are in PrEP users as a means to advocate to strengthen sexual health services in these settings where PrEP is being offered. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, OBGYNE / 04.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giovanni Piedimonte, MD, FAAP, FCCP Vice President for Research Institutional Official Professor of Pediatrics Tulane University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have been testing the hypothesis that, when a pregnant woman catches a common cold with a virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), viral particles can spread from the mother’s respiratory tract to the unborn child via the placenta. Preliminary data in animal models suggest that this is possible, and might cause changes in lung growth predisposing the offspring to develop asthma after birth. Recently, also human data have supported this theory. However, an essential step to conclusively demonstrate vertical transmission of respiratory viruses was the confirmation that human placentas can be infected and allow the transmission of such germs, which is the main finding of this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV / 20.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor UTHealth School of Public Health Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anal cancer is one of the six human papillomavirus associated cancers.  Rates of anal cancer are increasing in the US, but no prior study quantified the contemporary trends (i.e., increase in rates over time) in anal cancer incidence. It was unknown whether the rise is real or driven by increased screening in some high-risk populations. Incidence trends according to age and stage at diagnosis was also never comprehensively studied. Furthermore, it was unknown whether the rise in incidence has led to a rise in mortality. Our objective was to answer these questions. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sexual Health, STD, Technology, UCSD / 09.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alicia Nobles, PhD, MS Research Fellow Department of Medicine UC San Diego  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are at record-high rates according to the Centers for Disease Control. Between STDs being highly stigmatized infections and people lacking access to health care, people may elect to turn to social media to connect with others. This is precisely why social media sites are so popular - because they do allow for people to talk with others rapidly. Reddit, a social media site that rivals Twitter with 330 million active users and is the 6th most visited website in the United States, is organized into online communities, many of which discuss health topics. We monitored all r/STD (www.reddit.com/r/STD/) posts, where users can find “anything and everything STD related,” from its inception in November 2010 through February 2019.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, JAMA, OBGYNE / 07.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel L. Winer, PhD Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health HPV Research Group University of Washington Seattle, WARachel L. Winer, PhD Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health HPV Research Group University of Washington Seattle, WA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the U.S., 25% of women do not receive recommended cervical cancer screening. Increasing screening participation is a high priority, because over half of the 12,000 cervical cancers diagnosed each year in the U.S. are in women who are underscreened. Currently available options for cervical cancer screening in the U.S. include Pap testing or HPV testing, either alone or in combination. HPV self-sampling is an emerging option for screening because HPV tests – unlike Pap tests – can be performed on either clinician- or self-collected samples, with similar accuracy. Internationally, several countries (including Australia and the Netherlands) include HPV self-sampling as a cervical cancer screening option for underscreened women.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Infections / 30.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barun Mathema PhD Assistant Professor,Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2005 a major outbreak of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) causing over 90% mortality was reported in rural town of Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The strain that caused the outbreak was resistant to all first and most second line antibiotics. This strain has since been recovered throughout the district and accounts for over 79% of all XDR-TB. We were interested in understanding the basic epidemiological and evolutionary forces that enabled this strain to proliferate. More simply, when and where this strain emerged, and how and why it became dominant.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, HIV / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rosalie Hayes Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer NAT (National AIDS Trust) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The international community has committed to the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 (SDG 3.3). Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection involves the use of antiretroviral drugs by people at high risk of acquiring HIV, and its efficacy of PrEP is well-documented. To help achieve SDG 3.3, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has recommended as one of its global targets that 3 million people access PrEP by 2020. For this paper, we examined European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and UNAIDS monitoring data from Europe and Central Asia (the 53 countries of the WHO European Region plus Kosovo* and Liechtenstein) to identify what progress has been made in implementing PrEP in these countries. We also used data on self-reported PrEP use and expressed need for PrEP among men who have sex with men (MSM) from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2017) to calculate an estimate of the level of unmet need for PrEP in each country, what we term the ‘PrEP gap’.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Infections / 13.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hean Teik Humphrey Ko PhD candidate School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University Perth, Western Australia, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bacterial skin infections consume precious healthcare resources because such infections are common and may sometimes be severe. Statins are relatively affordable and extensively prescribed worldwide to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, the safety/adverse effects of statins have been well documented. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of bacterial skin infections, and statins have been separately reported to exert antibacterial effects against S. aureus, as well as reduce the risk of S. aureus related blood infections. As such, it seemed plausible that statins may prove beneficial in S. aureus related skin infections. However, statins may also induce new-onset diabetes mellitus, a condition which in turn, is a risk factor for skin infections. Therefore, in order to determine if statins could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic agent for skin infections to reduce healthcare costs, this study was conducted to examine the interrelationships between statins, diabetes, and skin infections.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, C. difficile, Dental Research, Infections / 05.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alan E. Gross, PharmD Clinical Assistant Professor University of Illinois Chicago, IL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dentists prescribe 10% of all outpatient antibiotics. Most of this prescribing is for infection prophylaxis prior to dental procedures. Our prior research has found that 80% of prescriptions for dental prophylaxis is unnecessary. Although antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures is often for a short course (e.g. one time amoxicillin dose), there may be patient harm associated with this. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Infections, STD, UCSD / 05.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin Hoenigl, MD Assistant Professor UCSD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Technology has changed the way men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) seek sex. Over 60% of MSM in the US use the internet and/or smartphone-based geospatial networking apps to find sex partners. Grindr™, a sophisticated geosocial networking app, is the most frequently used dating app among MSM in the United States. Previous research has shown that MSM who use Grindr™ have a greater frequency risky sexual behavior, and more sexual partners, but little is known about the association between Grindr™ use and prevention behavior such as the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). We evaluated risk behavior, PrEP use, and Grindr™ usage among MSM receiving community-based HIV and bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening in central San Diego. Participants who tested negative for HIV and who were not on PrEP were offered immediate PrEP.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C. Payne, PhD, MSPH Senior Scientific Advisor Viral Gastroenteritis Branch US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rotavirus vaccines have been recommended for US infants for more than 10 years.  This study used seven years of active surveillance data from seven hospitals around the US to evaluate the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in the US.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 01.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H. Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force George H. Gardner professor of clinical gynecology, Vice chair of clinical research Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor of preventive medicine and medical social sciences Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Asymptomatic bacteriuria, or ASB, is when someone has bacteria in their urine but does not have any signs or symptoms of a urinary tract infection. For pregnant people, this can be a major health concern resulting in severe, even life-threatening, infections that can lead to serious harms for both the mother and the baby. The Task Force’s primary finding in updating its recommendation on this topic was that screening for ASB continues to be beneficial in preventing complications and preserving the health of mothers and their babies during pregnancy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, Science, University of Pennsylvania, Vaccine Studies / 23.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey M. Friedman, MD Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-6073  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Mice and guinea pigs are the animal models used to evaluate candidate vaccines for preventing genital herpes. My lab has been working on such a vaccine. Our candidate vaccine contains 3 immunogens. One immunogen is a protein on the virus that is required for the virus to enter cells (viruses need to enter cells to replicate). The other two immunogens are proteins on the virus that help the virus escape immune attack. Our intent is to produce antibodies to these 3 proteins by immunization and that the antibodies will bind to the proteins on the virus and block the protein functions. The virus then will not be able to enter cells and will not be able to use its evasion strategies to avoid the immune responses generated by the vaccine. Our vaccine aimed at preventing immune evasion is novel as a component of a genital herpes vaccine.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dengue, Duke, Vaccine Studies / 21.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Shee-Mei Lok, PhD Professor in the Emerging Infectious Disease program Duke-NUS, a school of National University of Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dengue virus consists of four different serotypes (DENV1-4) and within each serotypes, there are multiple strains. In terms of the viral particle shape, our previous research work using some laboratory adapted strains showed these DENV2 strains are very interesting in that it can change shape from the smooth spherical surface particles when grown at mosquito physiological temperature (29oC) and then becomes bumpy surfaced particles when incubated at human physiological temperature (37oC). This ability to transform into different virus surface structures helps the virus to escape from the immune system of the human host. Hence understanding the mechanism of how this occur is important for therapeutics and vaccine development. Here we also identified a laboratory adapted virus strain that do not showed this structural changes. We showed some differences in their amino acid sequences and We showed some differences in their amino acid sequences and mutating these residues coupled with observing their surface structures showed which residues are important for this temperature induced structural change. Results showed that subtle mutations at different places on the envelope protein can destabilize the virus allowing them to change in structure when temperature is elevated. Due to the poor selection pressure of the artificial laboratory tissue culture system, gradual mutations of the virus is accumulated causing the virus to have bumpy surface morphology. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lyme / 18.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jorge Benach, PhD Distinguished Toll Professor Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Pathology Renaissance School of Medicine Stony Brook University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The increases in the numbers of cases of tick-borne diseases in the nation, and the increases in the number of cases in our area were the catalysts to document the levels of infection with a number of pathogens in the vector ticks. In addition, there were indications that an invasive tick species, the lone star tick, had taken a foothold in our area and had brought new tick-borne pathogens. Identification of the multiple pathogens was made possible by the molecular probes developed by Dr Rafal Tokarz, another corresponding author of our study  (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Genetic Research, Infections, JAMA / 17.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: QiPing Feng, PhD Division of Clinical Pharmacology Department of Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, Tennessee MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sepsis is one of the leading causes of hospital mortality. Yet, there are no specific effective treatments for it. Recent information suggests that drugs that inhibit proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) could have potential as a new treatment for sepsis. We used a genetic approach to test if variation in PCSK9 affected the risk of sepsis. In patients admitted to hospital with infection, neither variants in the PCSK9 gene nor predicted expression of PCSK9 were associated with risk of sepsis or poorer outcomes after sepsis.  (more…)