Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manuel García Cenoz MD,  PhDInstituto de Salud Pública de Navarra - IdiSNA, Pamplona, SpainCIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of severe disease in infants and children. After the introduction of serogroup C vaccines, serogroup B meningococcus has become the main cause of invasive meningococcal disease in Europe. The multicomponent protein-based meningococcal B vaccine (4CMenB, Bexsero, GSK) was licensed in the European Union in 2013. Its authorization was based on immunogenicity studies. Although some countries have introduced the 4CMenB vaccine into the publicly-funded infant immunization programs, the low incidence of the disease has limited the conduct of post-commercialization studies of effectiveness.Meningococcal B vaccine began to be used in Spain in children in 2014, recommended by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, and paid by their families as it was not publicly-funded. We have conducted a nationwide study including all confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal disease in Spain between October 2015 and September 2019 in children aged two months to five years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, MRSA, NIH / 18.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Otto PhD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Bacteriology Chief of the Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section NIAID, NIH Bethesda, MD 20814 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Staphylococcus aureus is one the of the most important causes of infectious diseases worldwide. It is known mostly for causing skin infections in the community and as a hospital-associated pathogen. It is in fact the most frequent cause of infections patients acquire in the hospital when they are weakened by underlying diseases or immune-suppressing therapy. The type of infections Staph can cause in these situations are diverse – comprising bone, lung, and blood infections (sepsis) - and can be quite severe and often fatal. Except for moderately severe skin infections that may not require antibiotic treatment, treatment of Staph infections is by antibiotics. S. aureus has naturally been very responsive to penicillin-type antibiotics, but already in the mid of the last century, resistance to penicillin spread worldwide. Then, methicillin was invented to overcome this resistance, but nowadays there also is considerable spread of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA). The current situation is difficult for two reasons:
  • First, S. aureus has become increasingly resistant to many antibiotics, and
  • Second, the alternatives to methicillin are often by far not as efficient as penicillin/methicillin against Staph.
Researchers have therefore been searching for alternatives to antibiotics to treat Staph infections. Unfortunately, vaccines that work against Staph have not yet been produced despite intensive efforts for decades. Other modern approaches of treatment, like virulence-targeted drugs or phages are still only at the early investigational level. As with many diseases, an alternative to treatment is prevention. In the case of S. aureus, a type of preventative strategy that has often been proposed and tested is decolonization. This is based on the fact that ~ 1/3 of the population is naturally colonized with S. aureus (asymptomatically), and these colonized people have an increased risk of being infected. In other words, Staph infections stem from the Staph you carry on your body and which only under certain conditions causes infection. Thus, eliminating the colonizing Staph would reduce the risk for infection, which is the basis for Staph decolonization-based infection prevention strategies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Infections, Neurological Disorders / 14.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eli Hatchwell, MA MB BChir (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) BA (OU) Chief Scientific Officer Population Bio UK, Inc. Begbroke Science Park Begbroke Hill Begbroke, Oxfordshire United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a devastating condition that is associated with a number of clinical situations, including treatment with a variety of drugs. Of these, the best known is natalizumab (Tysabri), which is a very successful drug in the treatment of MS (multiple sclerosis). Only a small proportion of patients treated with natalizumab develop PML and this has always been a mystery. The study was based on a hypothesis that some individuals have an underlying susceptibility to developing PML, based on the presence of variants in genes that are important in the immune system. The study identified several of these variants. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Heart Disease, Herpes Viruses, Stroke / 23.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:| Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM| Director, CHEARS: The Conservation of Hearing Study Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:       Herpes zoster, commonly known as “shingles,” is a viral infection that often causes a painful rash. Shingles can occur anywhere on the head or body. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in their body for the rest of their life. Years and even decades later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. Almost all individuals age 50 years and older in the US have been infected with the varicella zoster virus and therefore they are at risk for shingles. About 1 in 3 people will develop shingles during their lifetime, and since age is a risk factor for shingles, this number may increase as the population ages. The risk is also higher among individuals of any age who are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment. A number of serious complications can occur when a person develops shingles, such as post-herpetic neuralgia (long-lasting pain), but there was limited information on whether there are other adverse long-term health implications of developing shingles. There is a growing body of evidence that links VZV, the virus that causes shingles, to vascular disease. VZV vasculopathy may cause damage to blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. Although some previous studies showed a higher risk of stroke or heart attack around the time of the shingles infection, it was not known whether this higher risk persisted in the long term. Therefore, the question we aimed to address in this study was to investigate whether shingles is associated with higher long-term risk of stroke or coronary heart disease. To address this question, we conducted a prospective longitudinal study in 3 large US cohorts of >200,000 women and men, the Nurses’ Health Study (>79,000 women), the Nurses’ Health Study II (almost 94,000 women) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (>31,000 men), without a prior history of stroke or coronary heart disease. We collected information on shingles, stroke and coronary heart disease on biennial questionnaires and confirmed the diagnoses with medical record review. We followed the participants for up to 16 years and evaluated whether those who had developed shingles were at higher risk for stroke or coronary heart disease years after the shingles episode. The outcomes we measured were incident stroke, incident coronary heart disease [defined as having a non-fatal or fatal myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a coronary revascularization procedure (CABG, coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty)]. We also evaluated a combined outcome of cardiovascular disease, which included either stroke or coronary heart disease, whichever came first. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy S. Lee, Ph.D.Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular MedicineUSC/Norris Cancer CenterLos Angeles, CA 90033 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Trying to find stable host cell targets to combat SARS-CoV-2 instead of chasing after the ever-mutating virus.    MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: When SARS-CoV-2 infects the host cell, it creates stress leading to higher production of GRP78. Blocking GRP78 reduces the ability of the virus to multiple and infect other cells.    (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS, Rheumatology / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Tim Vyse Professor of Molecular Medicine and Dr David Morris Non Clinical Lecturer in Molecular Genetics Guy’s Hospital, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We observed a correlation between the genetic associations with severe COVID-19 and those with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, Lupus), and aimed to discover which genetic loci were shared by these diseases and what biological processes were involved. This resulted in the discovery of several genetic loci, some of which had alleles that were risk for both diseases and some of which were risk for severe COVID-19 yet protective for SLE. The locus with most evidence of shared association (TYK2) is involved in interferon production, a process that is important in response to viral infection and known to be dysregulated in SLE patients.  Other shared associated loci contained genes also involved in the defense response and the immune system signaling. These results add to the growing evidence that there are alleles in the human genome that provide protection against viral infection yet are risk for autoimmune disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, STD / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean HughesSean M Hughes MA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Washington Seattle, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Young women are at elevated risk of getting sexually transmitted infections at the age when they typically start to have sexual intercourse. It’s not known whether this elevated risk is a consequence of behavioral factors (such as choices around use of barrier protection), physiological factors (such as a difference in the immune system) or a combination of both. In this study, we investigated a physiological factor: the immune system in the vagina. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 01.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Didem Egemen PhD Statistician, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, is the cause of virtually all cervical cancers. Various studies have reported high effectiveness of HPV vaccination in preventing HPV infection and cervical cancer, particularly when administered at early ages. In this study, we looked at the proportion of females eligible for vaccination (<26 years of age in 2006 when the vaccine was FDA approved) who were unvaccinated, vaccinated against HPV before sexual debut, and vaccinated after debut. Then we estimated the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18, the two HPV genotypes that cause most cervical cancers, in each subset. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, NYU, STD, USPSTF / 30.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Syphilis has become more common over the past 20 years, after reaching a record low in 2000. The Task Force found that screening people who are at increased risk for syphilis can identify the infection early so it can be treated before problems develop. For that reason, the Task Force recommends screening people who are at increased risk for syphilis infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 26.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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