Respiratory Microbiome Linked to Susceptibility to Flu

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

Dr. Foxman

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.  Continue reading

Self Sampling for Cervical HPV: Useful Screening Tool

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. J. (Hans) Berkhof PhD Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

Prof. Berkhof

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).  Continue reading

Ultraviolet System Enhances Disinfection of Patient Equipment

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Donna Armellino RN, DNP, CIC Vice President, Infection Prevention Northwell Health, Infection Prevention Lake Success, N. Y.

Dr. Armellino

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. 

Continue reading

Chikungunya Vaccine Candidate: Valneva Reports Positive Phase 1 Interim Results

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.

This photograph depicts a female Aedes albopictus mosquito as she was feeding on a human host. You can see the red, needle-like proboscis that had penetrated the skin, and was filled with the host’s blood, which had filled her abdomen. Ae. albopictus is known to be a vector for a number of arboviral diseases, including yellow fever, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever. CDC/ James Gathany

This photograph depicts a female Aedes albopictus mosquito as she was feeding on a human host. You can see the red, needle-like proboscis that had penetrated the skin, and was filled with the host’s blood, which had filled her abdomen. Ae. albopictus is known to be a vector for a number of arboviral diseases, including yellow fever, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever.
CDC/ James Gathany

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.

Continue reading

Type 1 Diabetes Cases Drop After Rotavirus Vaccine Introduced

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 Murdoch Children's Research Institute Parkville, Victoria  Australia

Dr. Kirsten Perrett

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. 

Continue reading

Zika: Simple General Movement Assessment Tool Can Predict Babies at Risk of Developmental Problems

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

Dr. Nielsen

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.

Continue reading

Single-Dose Tafenoquine to Prevent Malaria Relapse

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Malaria CDC imageGavin C.K.W. Koh, MB BChir MA PhD MCRP DTM&H

Department of Drug Discovery Unit for Diseases of the Developing World
GlaxoSmithKline | GSK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Malaria still remains one of the greatest global healthcare challenges so, as part of GSK’s efforts to fight diseases that disproportionately impact the poorest, we have been working on tafenoquine as a potential medicine for malaria for over 20 years.  In 2008, GSK entered into a collaboration with the not-for-profit product development partnership, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), to develop tafenoquine as an anti-relapse medicine for patients infected with a particular species of malaria called Plasmodium vivax malaria.

  1. vivaxmalaria is estimated to cause around 7.5 million clinical infections every year. The disease may cause fever, chills, vomiting, malaise, headache and muscle pain, and in some cases, can lead to severe malaria and be fatal.

Unlike other malaria species such as P. falciparumP. vivax also has the ability to lie dormant in the liver from where it may periodically reactivate to cause relapses of P. vivax malaria. A single P. vivax infection may therefore give rise to multiple episodes of malaria, in the absence of a new mosquito bite. These relapses can occur weeks, months or even years after the initial infection. The dormant liver forms of the parasite cannot be treated with most other antimalarial treatments.

Another issue is that the only medicine currently available to stop the relapse is primaquine, a medicine approved in the 1950s, which must be given for 14 days. Given this length of treatment course, many people do not comply with the full course, which results in reduced effectiveness.

The aim of the DETECTIVE study was to look at the effectiveness of treatment in preventing relapse over six months with a 1-day course of tafenoquine, a 14-day course of primaquine, or placebo, with all patients also receiving a 3-day course of chloroquine, a medicine that is used to treat the initial infection.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The DETECTIVE study met its primary endpoint. A significantly greater proportion of patients in the tafenoquine group did not have relapses compared to patients in the placebo group. A similar result was observed for the patients in the primaquine group compared to the placebo group. When considering the compliance issue of primaquine in the real-world setting, we saw that more than 95% of patients in the primaquine group took their treatment as instructed in the setting of a clinical study. From a safety perspective, adverse events from the study were consistent with the known safety profile of tafenoquine.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The positive results of the DETECTIVE study demonstrate the efficacy and safety of tafenoquine in an unprecedented single-dose for relapsing malaria.  These data supported the approval of the medicine by the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia Therapeutic Goods Administration in 2018 marking it as the first new medicine for the radical cure of P. vivax malaria in more than 60 years. Having the data published in the NEJM will help other P. vivax malaria endemic countries as they strive towards malaria elimination. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The DETECTIVE study was conducted in adult patients with P. vivax malaria and a significant part of the global burden of the disease is in children. GSK and MMV are therefore studying the use of tafenoquine in paediatric patients aged 6 months to 16 years (TEACH study).  In addition, since vivax malaria in Indonesia is frequently resistant to chloroquine, we are conducting another study that is looking at tafenoquine plus dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine as the blood schizonticide (INSPECTOR study) in patients with P. vivax malaria in Indonesia.

Disclosures: The DETECTIVE study was supported by GSK and MMV.

Citation:

Single-Dose Tafenoquine to Prevent Relapse of Plasmodium vivax Malaria
Marcus V.G. Lacerda, M.D., Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, M.D., Srivicha Krudsood, M.D., Chanthap Lon, M.D., David L. Saunders, M.D., Rezika Mohammed, M.D., Daniel Yilma, M.D., Dhelio Batista Pereira, M.D., Fe E.J. Espino, M.D., Reginaldo Z. Mia, M.D., Raul Chuquiyauri, M.D., Fernando Val, Ph.D., et al.

January 17, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 380:215-228
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1710775

Jan 18, 2019 @ 1:24 am 

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

College Students at Increased Risk of Meningitis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sarah Anne Mbaeyi MD MPH Division of Bacterial Diseases CDC 

Dr. Mbaeyi

Sarah Anne Mbaeyi MD MPH
Division of Bacterial Diseases
CDC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: College freshman living in residence halls, though not college students overall, have previously been identified as being at increased risk for meningococcal disease. However, these evaluations were conducted in the 1990s when rates of disease were higher, serogroup C was the predominant cause of disease, and before the availability of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) or serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines.

MenACWY vaccine is routinely recommended for all adolescents at age 11 years and 16 years, as well as unvaccinated or undervaccinated college freshmen living in residence halls. MenB vaccine is not routinely recommended for all adolescents or college students, but may be administered to persons aged 16-23 years, with the preferred age of 16-18 years, based on clinical decision-making. Meningococcal vaccines are also recommended during an outbreak, and in recent years MenB vaccines have been used during multiple outbreaks on college campuses.

In this evaluation, we aimed to describe the current epidemiology of meningococcal disease among college-aged young adults in the United States.

Continue reading

Group B Streptococcus Remain Significant Threat to US Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Nanduri Srinivas Acharya, MBBS, MD, MPH Respiratory Diseases Branch, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Roybal Campus Atlanta, GA 30333

Dr. Nanduri

Dr. Srinivas Acharya Nanduri, MBBS, MD, MPH
Respiratory Diseases Branch, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Roybal Campus
Atlanta, GA 3033

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of serious illness such as meningitis and sepsis in infants. Among infants, there are two main types of GBS disease. Early-onset GBS disease occurs during the first week of life and late-onset GBS disease occurs from the first week through three months of life. Rates of early-onset disease in the United States have decreased significantly since the 1990s through widespread implementation of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) guidelines. However, IAP does not prevent late-onset disease. Maternal immunization represents a nonantibiotic strategy to prevent both early and late-onset disease. Multivalent polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines are under development against GBS capsular types, with candidate vaccines in phase I and II trials.

Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) conducts active surveillance for early and late-onset GBS disease among infants in select counties of 10 states, covering about 10% of live births across the United States. We analyzed data from early and late-onset GBS cases identified from ABCs between 2006 and 2015 to describe their epidemiology, incidence trends, and associated strain characteristics. Continue reading

All Travelers to Pakistan At Risk of Getting Drug Resistant Typhoid Fever

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, MPH, FAAP CDR U.S. Public Health Service

Dr. Chatham-Stephens

Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, MPH, FAAP
CDR U.S. Public Health Service

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Typhoid fever is a life-threatening disease caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria. It spreads when someone consumes food or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from someone carrying the bacteria. About 12–27 million cases of typhoid fever occur worldwide every year.

About 350 culture-confirmed cases of typhoid fever in the United States are reported to CDC each year. Most of these cases occur among international travelers.

Symptoms of typhoid fever often include high fever, weakness, stomach pain, cough, and loss of appetite. Some people have diarrhea or constipation. Typhoid fever can be prevented through vaccination and safe food and water practices. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics, although most infections diagnosed in the United States cannot be successfully treated with the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones.

Continue reading

Over the Counter Pain Meds May Worsen C. difficile Gut Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David M. Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM Professor & Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine Director, Division of Infectious Diseases Department of Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center     MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of antibiotic-associated colitis and diarrhea and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection. It is caused by the toxin-producing, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium difficile. Antibiotic use is a major risk factor for CDI but epidemiological studies suggest that other factors, some modifiable, some not, can also increase the risk for CDI. Older age is an example of a non-modifiable risk factor for CDI. Some epidemiological studies suggested that taking the prostaglandin synthesis inhibiting drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might also increase the risk for CDI. NSAIDs include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, and others. Because NSAID use is so common, if it is a risk factor for the acquisition of, or severity of, CDI, that would be important because that would be a modifiable risk factor. We therefore sought to determine the impact of NSAID exposure on CDI severity in a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI. We also sought evidence for possible mechanisms whereby NSAIDs might increase the risk for CDI.   MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?   Response: Exposure of mice to indomethacin (an NSAID) for two days prior to infection with Clostridium difficile in antibiotic-exposed mice increased the severity of disease and this was associated with severe inflammation, changes to the bacterial populations in the colon and increased damage to the protective epithelial lining of the colon.    MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?  Response: Our studies provide evidence in a mouse model of CDI that support human epidemiological studies linking NSAID use with CDI.       MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?  Response: Studies in humans are needed to see if NSAID use is indeed a causal risk factor for CDI acquisition or severity.      MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?  Response: This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Dr. Aronoff has served as Consultant for Synthetic Biologics, Inc, Biocidium, NAEJA-RGM and BLC-USA on projects unrelated to this study. He also has research funding from Pfizer unrelated to this study.      Citation: Damian Maseda, Joseph P. Zackular, Bruno Trindade, Leslie Kirk, Jennifer Lising Roxas, Lisa M. Rogers, Mary K. Washington, Liping Du, Tatsuki Koyama, V. K. Viswanathan, Gayatri Vedantam, Patrick D. Schloss, Leslie J. Crofford, Eric P. Skaar, David M. Aronoff. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs Alter the Microbiota and Exacerbate Clostridium difficile Colitis while Dysregulating the Inflammatory Response. mBio, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02282-18      <span class="last-modified-timestamp">Jan 9, 2019 @ 3:25 pm</span>    The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Dr. Aronoff

David M. Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM
Professor & Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of antibiotic-associated colitis and diarrhea and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection. It is caused by the toxin-producing, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium difficile. Antibiotic use is a major risk factor for CDI but epidemiological studies suggest that other factors, some modifiable, some not, can also increase the risk for CDI. Older age is an example of a non-modifiable risk factor for CDI. Some epidemiological studies suggested that taking the prostaglandin synthesis inhibiting drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might also increase the risk for CDI. NSAIDs include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, and others. Because NSAID use is so common, if it is a risk factor for the acquisition of, or severity of, CDI, that would be important because that would be a modifiable risk factor.

We therefore sought to determine the impact of NSAID exposure on CDI severity in a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI. We also sought evidence for possible mechanisms whereby NSAIDs might increase the risk for CDI.

Continue reading

Scabies: For Community Control, Exam of Just Arms and Legs May Be Sufficient

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael Marks MRCP DTM&H PhD
Clinical Research Department, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Hospital for Tropical Diseases
London, United Kingdom
Twitter @dr_michaelmarks
Daniel Engelman MBBS; BMedSci; MPHTM; FRACP; PhD
Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne,
Tropical Diseases Research Group
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Melbourne, Australia
Twitter @Dan_Engelman

The lateral aspect of the left hand depicted here, reveals the presence of papules due to an infestation of the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, in a case of what is commonly referred to as scabies.

The lateral aspect of the left hand depicted here, reveals the presence of papules due to an infestation of the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, in a case of what is commonly referred to as scabies.CDC image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

MM: Scabies is extremely common. Globally in the region of 100-200 million people are believed to be affected by scabies annually.

Recently the WHO has recognised Scabies as a ‘Neglected Tropical Disease’ in response to this burden of disease. There has been increasing interest in using Mass Drug Administration (treating whole communities) as a strategy to control scabies in communities. In order to make this practical countries need an easy mechanism for establishing if scabies is a significant problem in their communities. In general when treating an individual, clinicians would conduct a full body examination to diagnose scabies – however this may not be practical or necessary when making decisions about whether to treat whole communities.

DE: Despite the fact that Scabies is a very common condition that causes a great deal of health problems, it has been largely neglected by health, research and funding agencies – but pleasingly, the WHO has now started to take action on scabies control, starting with the recognition of scabies as a “Neglected Tropical Disease”

Continue reading

Steroids Associated With Reduced Mortality in Adults with Sepsis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jianguo Xu, MD West China Hospital, Sichuan University Chengdu, Sichuan, China

West China Hospital Sichuan University

Dr. Jianguo Xu, MD
West China Hospital, Sichuan University
Chengdu, Sichuan, China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since the mid-20th century, corticosteroids have been used as adjuvant therapy in the context of sepsis. Although evaluated in numerous randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses, both the safety and efficacy of corticosteroids remain controversial.

Continue reading

Timing of Immunotherapy Crucial to Outcomes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tatiana Garcia-Bates, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Garcia-Bates

Tatiana Garcia-Bates, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Graduate School of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is now a manageable disease with the advent and availability of highly effective, combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). Unfortunately, as soon as ART is interrupted, the virus quickly rebounds to high levels and again targets the immune system. Therefore, new immunotherapeutic treatments are sought to re-program the immune system to control the virus after ART interruption.

In many ways, chronic HIV infection, even when controlled, resembles cancer in how it impacts the immune system. Both conditions for example are associated with immune dysfunction, where the immune cells (specifically T cells) that are supposed to protect our bodies against invading microorganisms or cancers become exhausted and fail to respond effectively. In cancer, effective immunotherapies have been developed to reverse this immune exhaustion to extend the fighting capacity of the T cells.

An example of this is drugs that target immune checkpoints, or “shut down” proteins, expressed on activated T cells, such as the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor. When engaged, PD-1 sends a negative signal to deactivate the T cell, and this contributes to the immune exhaustion seen in both cancer and in chronic infections. Some cancers express the ligand or the “trigger” for this shut down receptor, called PD-1 ligand (PD-L1). When this interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 is interrupted, for example by using a blocking antibody, T cells can regain their killing capacity and destroy infected cells or cancer cells. This anti-PD-1 therapy has demonstrated high success against a variety of tumors.

Therefore, we tested this approach in the context of HIV infection using a well-characterized cohort of HIV-positive individuals to see if we could improve their T cell responses to HIV in a laboratory setting.

Continue reading

Chemo and Some Cancers Raise Risk of Shingles

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Herpes Zoster - Shingles on chest Wikipedia image

Herpes Zoster – Shingles
on chest
Wikipedia image

Jiahui Qian, MPH
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
University of New South Wales
Sydney Australia

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Herpes zoster is a neurocutaneous disease caused by the reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus and its risk is related to the cell-mediated immunity. Previous studies have reported a higher zoster risk among patients with haematological cancer and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. However, the role of the cancer itself and the receipt of cancer treatment is not clearly separated, we therefore started this study and tried to separate the risk of zoster associated with the cancer itself from cancer treatment.  Continue reading

Prions of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Detected Throughout Eye Tissues

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Top, retina of a control patient. Bottom, retina from a patient with CJD. Arrowheads point to abnormal prions in the outer plexiform layer (opl), and the asterisk (*) marks more diffuse prions in the inner plexiform layer (ipl).Orrù et al., mBio
Byron Caughey, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator
Chief, TSE/prion Biochemistry Section
Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases
NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Hamilton, MT 59840 USA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Corneal transplants have caused the transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in at least two cases, and pathological prion protein has been detected in the retinas of the eyes of sporadic CJD cases. To build on these previous indications of prions in eye tissue, we tested the distribution of prions in various components of eyes from 11 sCJD decedents.

We applied a highly sensitive surrogate test for prions (RT-QuIC) that indicated that all of the sCJD cases had prions in multiple parts of their eye, including the cornea and sclera, which is the white outer surface of the eye. Retinas were usually contained the highest levels, in some cases approaching levels in the brain. Some other parts such as the cornea, lens and vitreous had much lower, but detectable, levels. 

Continue reading

Marked Increase in Infected Heart Valves Due to Injected Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Schranz

Asher Schranz, MD
Division of Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine
UNC School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C.

Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing.

Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Mother’s Milk and Microbiome Affect Babies’ Reaction to Diarrhea Disease from Rotavirus

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

3D graphical representation of a number of Rotavirus virions: CDC image

3D graphical representation of a number of Rotavirus virions: CDC image

Sasirekha Ramani, PhD
Assistant Professor
Molecular Virology and Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This work pertains to Rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhea and vomiting in children under the age of 5 years. In this paper, we described our work with a rotavirus strain that almost exclusively causes neonatal infections. For many years, we have been trying to understand why this strain primarily infects newborns and why infection in some babies is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms while others are asymptomatic. A few years ago, we showed that this particular virus binds to developmentally-regulated glycans (sugars) in the gut as receptors. As the baby grows, these sugars get modified, and that potentially explains why infection with this virus is primarily restricted to neonates. However, we didn’t really have to answer to why there are differences in association with clinical presentations.

Continue reading

What is Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV With Treatment-Suppressed Low Viral Load?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"HIV infecting a human cell" by NIH Image Gallery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

HIV Infecting T Cell

Rachel Rodin
Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
Public Health Agency of Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: On December 1, 2016 (World AIDS Day), the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, federal Minister of Justice, committed to working with provinces and territories, affected communities, and medical professionals to examine the criminal justice system’s response to non-disclosure of HIV status in the context of sexual relations.

To this end, Justice Canada worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), provincial and territorial public health and justice counterparts, and a variety of other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive report on the issue of HIV non-disclosure. As part of this work, Justice Canada asked PHAC to provide an assessment of the most recent medical science on sexual HIV transmission risk.

In collaboration with external peer reviewers, PHAC undertook a systematic review of the full body of scientific evidence on sexual HIV transmission risk. The review found that the risk of sexual transmission of HIV is negligible when an individual is taking antiretroviral therapy as prescribed and maintains a suppressed viral load. The review also concluded that the risk remains low when the individual is on antiretroviral therapy with varying viral load, or is not on antiretroviral therapy but uses condoms.    Continue reading

CDC Identifies Most Serious Norovirus Strains

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Day 19: Norovirus (stomach flu) visits our home." by Loren Kerns is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rachel M. Burke, PhD, MPH
Epidemiologist, Viral Gastroenteritis Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30329

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Noroviruses are the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea from acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines) among people of all ages in the United States. Each year in the United States, norovirus illness is responsible for an estimated 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis, and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly among children and the elderly.

CDC linked information from two different surveillance systems to analyze 3,747 norovirus outbreaks reported by health departments from 2009 to 2016. Our study provides a comprehensive description of norovirus outbreaks from the epidemiology and laboratory perspectives, using the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) and CaliciNet, respectively. 

Norovirus outbreaks caused by GII.4 strains occurred more often in healthcare settings, affected older adults, and caused more severe illness, leading to hospitalization or death.

Continue reading

Cystic Fibrosis Patients May Need Higher Doses of Antibiotics To Clear Lung Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrea Hahn, M.D., MS Infectious disease specialist and lead study author Children's National Health System

Dr. Hahn

Andrea Hahn, M.D., MS
Infectious disease specialist and lead study author
Children’s National Health System

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: People who have the genetic disease cystic fibrosis have increased sticky secretions in their lungs that put them at risk for repeated bacterial infections. They often will receive courses of intravenous antibiotics to treat more severe or difficult-to-treat infections associated with decreased lung function. However, not all patients fully recover their lung function after antibiotic treatment, despite directing antibiotic therapy toward the specific bacteria thought to be causing the infection. The goal of this study was to determine if the pharmacokinetics of commonly used antibiotics was associated with recovery of lung function.

First, we found that patients with therapeutic blood levels of beta-lactam antibiotics had better lung recovery than patients with sub-therapeutic levels of these antibiotics.

Second, we found that using higher antibiotic dosing according to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation guidelines was not sufficient to predict which patients would have therapeutically meaningful blood levels of antibiotics. Continue reading

New Drug Class Holds Promise Against Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, - CDC image

Intracellular Gram-negative, Neisseria gonorrhoeae diplococcal bacteria, – CDC image

Edward W. Hook, III, MD
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Medicine / Infectious Diseases
Birmingham, AL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Zoliflodacin represents a new class of antibiotics (spiropyrimidinetriones) with in vitro activity against Neisseria gonorrhoeae, as well as other STD  pathogens (Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma genitalium).  Because of this promising data and the fact that the manufacturer (Entasis Pharmaceuticals) was willing to pursue the possibility of using this drug to treat gonorrhea, a Phase II trial was conducted which showed he drug to be 96% effective for genital or rectal infections.  The drug was well tolerated as well making it a promising drug for gonorrhea treatment which might help to combat the increasing problem of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea.  Continue reading

Tens of Thousands Worldwide Die of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Antibiotics" by Michael Mortensen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Dr Alessandro Cassini MD

Epidemiologist, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Solna, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We published an ECDC study estimating attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA). This study is based on 2015 data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net).

The study was developed by experts at ECDC and the Burden of AMR Collaborative Group, and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Continue reading

Study Supports Antibiotic Prophylaxis Before Dental Procedures in High Risk Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Martin H. Thornhill MBBS, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDSRCS(Edin), FDSRCSI, FDSRCS(Eng) Professor of Translational Research in Dentistry Academic Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine Surgery & Pathology, University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry 

Prof. Thornhill

Martin H. Thornhill MBBS, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDSRCS(Edin), FDSRCSI, FDSRCS(Eng)
Professor of Translational Research in Dentistry
Academic Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine Surgery & Pathology,
University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Infective endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves that has a high death rate (around 30% in the first year). It requires intensive treatment often involving replacement of affected heart valves and frequently results in serious long-term illness and disability in those who survive as well as an increased risk of re-infection and high healthcare costs.

In ~40% of cases, bacteria from the mouth are implicated as the causal organism. Because of this, guideline committees around the world recommended that all those at risk of infective endocarditis should receive antibiotic prophylaxis before undergoing invasive dental procedures. Due to a lack of evidence for efficacy, however, guideline committees started to limit the use of antibiotic prophylaxis. And in 2007, the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline committee recommended that antibiotic prophylaxis should continue for those at high-risk but should cease for those at moderate risk of endocarditis. Most guideline countries around the world followed suite. Except in the UK, where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis should completely stop in 2008.

Continue reading

CDC Reports Decrease in Some Hospital Acquired Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Hospital Room" by Kyle Taylor is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Shelley Magill, MD

Medical Officer and CDC lead
for the hospital HAI (hospital acquired infections) and antimicrobial use prevalence survey

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The prevalence survey effort began in 2009. The goal was to obtain a snapshot of all healthcare-associated infections affecting hospital patients, not limited to those commonly reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network. We conducted our first full-scale hospital prevalence survey in 2011, in collaboration with the Emerging Infections Program, a network of 10 state health departments and academic and other partners. Data from that survey showed that about four percent of patients had a healthcare-associated infection—or, on any given day, about 1 in 25 patients. We repeated the survey in a similar group of hospitals in 2015 to see whether changes had occurred.

Continue reading

FDA Approves Single Dose XOFLUZA™ For Uncomplicated Flu

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH Vice President, Product Development Immunology Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology Genentech 

Dr. Mark Eisner

Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH
Vice PresidentProduct Development Immunology, Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology Genentech

Dr. Eisner discusses the announcement that the FDA has approved XOFLUZA™ (baloxavir marboxil) for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated influenza.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement?

Response: Each year, an estimated 3-11 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, and it can be very serious, resulting in hospitalization or even death. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu has resulted annually in 9.2 to 35.6 million illnesses, 140,000 to 900,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 80,000 deaths. The severity of last year’s flu season underscores the need for new medical options beyond currently available antivirals.

XOFLUZA was granted Priority Review in June 2018 based on results from the Phase III CAPSTONE-1 study of a single dose of XOFLUZA compared with placebo or oseltamivir 75 mg, twice daily for five days, in otherwise healthy people with the flu, as well as results from a placebo-controlled Phase II study in otherwise healthy people with the flu.

Continue reading

Gene Signature Blood Test Can Diagnose TB and Treatment Response

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Mycobacterium tuberculosis Bacteria, the Cause of TB" by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Purvesh Khatri, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection (ITI)
Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR)
Department of Medicine
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have previously described a 3-gene signature for distinguishing patients with active tuberculosis (ATB) from those with other diseases, latent mycobacterium tuberculosis (LTB) infection, and healthy controls (Sweeney et al. Lancet Respir Med 2016).

The current study in JAMA Network Open is a follow up study to validate the 3-gene signature in 3 additional independent cohorts that were prospectively collected.

Using these 3 cohorts we have now showed that the 3-gene signature

(1) can identify patients with LTB that will progress to ATB about 6 months prior to diagnosis of active tuberculosis.

(2) can identify patients with ATB in active screening, and

(3) can identify patients with ATB at diagnosis that have higher likelihood of persistent lung inflammation due to subclinical ATB at the end of treatment.  Continue reading

Successful Trial of Cefiderocol For Resistant & Complicated Urinary Tract Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
https://www.shionogi.com/Simon Portsmouth, MD

Senior Medical Director
Shionogi Inc.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Antibiotics for multidrug resistant  Gram-negative infections are desperately needed. Cefiderocol is the first siderophore antibiotic to reach patients.

Siderophore antibiotics bind to free iron and use the bacterial active iron transport channels to cross the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Laboratory studies have shown that cefiderocol is active against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria, often where no other antibiotics are active. It is able to overcome most types of antibiotic resistance due to its active transport into cells and stability against all carbapenemases.

The need for antibiotics for carbapenem resistant Gram-negative infections is described as a critical need by the WHO. This trial was the first in humans with serious infections and demonstrated excellent efficacy in a complicated patient population where almost ¼ were over 75 years of age. Additionally cefiderocol did not appear to have any safety problems, and was well tolerated.

Continue reading

Nose-Picking Can Spread Pneumonia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"still picking her nose" by quinn norton is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Victoria Connor 

Clinical Research Fellow
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Royal Liverpool Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Pneumococcus is a bacteria which is very common and causes lots of different infections (pneumococcal disease). Infections can be non-invasive or invasive. Non-invasive diseases include middle ear infections, sinusitis and bronchitis. Invasive infections including chest infection (pneumonia), infections of brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and blood infections (sepsis).

Invasive pneumococcal infections is a major cause of death around the world and in the UK, is estimated that is responsible for 1.3 million deaths in children under 5 annually. Pneumococcal disease causes more deaths in low and middle income countries where approximately 90% of pneumonia deaths occur.

Pneumococcus also is commonly carried (colonises) the nose/throat of children and adults. This colonisation is important to understand as it is the main source of the bacterial transmission and is also the first step in pneumococcal infections.

The understanding of transmission of pneumococcus is currently poor. It is generally thought that transmission occurs through breathing in the respiratory sections of someone carrying pneumococcus in their nose which are infected with pneumococcus.

However more recently studies especially in mice have shown that there may be a role of hands or other objects as vehicles for the transmission of pneumococcus.

Continue reading

Dual Stain More Accurate & Efficient for Detecting Cervical Precancers in HPV-Positive Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Megan Clarke, PhD, MHS Cancer Prevention Fellow Clinical Genetics Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics National Cancer Institute Rockville, MD 20892

Dr. Clarke

Megan Clarke, PhD, MHS
Cancer Prevention Fellow
Clinical Genetics Branch
Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics
National Cancer Institute
Rockville, MD 20892 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

  • Infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer. While hrHPV infection is common, most infections are benign and clear on their own without causing cervical cancer. However, some women develop persistent hrHPV infections and are at risk for cervical cancer and its precursors (i.e., precancer).
  • The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening every 3 years with cervical cytology (i.e. Pap) alone, every 5 years with hrHPV testing alone, or with a combination of hrHPV testing and cytology (co-testing) for women aged 30 to 65 years.
  • Screening with hrHPV testing is highly sensitive for detecting cervical precancer but requires additional triage tests to identify HPV-positive women at high-risk of developing cancer who should undergo colposcopy (visualization of the cervix) and biopsy from those at low-risk who can be safely monitored.
  • Currently, Pap cytology is recommended as a triage test for women testing HPV-positive, but this approach requires frequent re-testing at short intervals because the risk of cervical precancer is not low enough in HPV-positive women who test cytology negative to provide long-term reassurance against future risk. In most settings, women who test HPV-positive, cytology-negative are referred to repeat screening within one year.
  • The p16/Ki-67 dual stain assay is a molecular test that measures two specific proteins, p16 that is strongly linked with hrHPV infection, and Ki-67, a marker of cell proliferation that is common in precancers and cancers.
  • Studies have shown that the dual stain test has greater accuracy for detecting cervical precancers in HPV-positive women compared with cytology.
  • In order to determine the optimal screening intervals for the dual stain test, long-term prospective studies are needed to determine how long HPV-positive women who test dual stain negative can be safely reassured of a low precancer risk.

Continue reading