Author Interviews, CMAJ, Infections, OBGYNE / 03.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anick Bérard PhD FISPE Research chair FRQS on Medications and Pregnancy Director, Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le médicament (RQRM) Professor, Research Chair on Medications, Pregnancy and Lactation Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal Director, Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy Research Center, CHU Ste-Justine MedicalResearch.com: The Danish study you cite reported a connection between antibiotics and miscarriage – why was further research of this topic necessary? Response: Given that a single study will assess an association, repetition of findings are essential in order to assess causality. For example, we were able to conclude that smoking was causing lung cancer after 10 years of observational research on the topic showing concordant associations. In addition, antibiotic prescription patterns vary from country to country, hence the importance of studying the research question in various patient populations. Finally, our cohort has validated exposure status, gestational age (first day of pregnancy) and miscarriage cases - our study was also able to look at types of antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 25.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robin Lin Miller, Ph.D. Professor, Ecological-Community Psychology Co-Director, MA in Program Evaluation Chair, Graduate Program in Ecological-Community Psychology Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to identify promising strategies for providing access to HIV-testing for gay and bisexual male youth. We were especially interested in testing strategies to reach gay and bisexual male youth of color, as they bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic and are the least likely to be aware of their HIV status. We also wanted to explore approaches to successfully link these youth with HIV-negative test results to diverse HIV prevention services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, when warranted. Although some argue that the ideal place to test adolescents and young adults is via emergency rooms and in routine medical care visits, we found that we were able test many more youth with previously undiagnosed HIV-infection through intensive, targeted community outreach efforts. We also tested a much higher proportion of young men of color through targeted outreach. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 22.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aubrey Tirpack, PGY3 New England Eye Center Tufts Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intravenous drug abuse is a known risk factor for the development of endogenous fungal endophthalmitis (EFE), a severe intraocular infection cause by the seeding of mycotic organisms to the eye. Our institution noted a marked increase in cases of EFE beginning in May 2014, which correlates to increasing rates of opioid abuse throughout the New England region. Ten patients were found to have intravenous drug abuse related EFE over the two year time period studied. The most common presenting symptoms were floaters, decreased vision, and pain. All patients were treated with systemic antifungals and nine patients underwent intravitreal antifungal injection. All patients were ambulatory at presentation and the majority were without systemic signs of infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 22.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Ellyn Marder MPH Surveillance Epidemiologist, CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: CDC’s Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) report provides the most up-to-date information about foodborne illnesses in the United States. Each year, FoodNet publishes a report that includes preliminary data compared with data from the previous three years. FoodNet has been monitoring illness trends since 1996 and collects data on about 15 percent of the U.S. population. Campylobacter and Salmonella caused the most reported bacterial foodborne illnesses in 2016, according to preliminary data. FoodNet sites alone reported 24,029 foodborne infections, 5,512 hospitalizations, and 98 deaths in 2016. The numbers of reported illnesses by germ are: Campylobacter (8,547), Salmonella (8,172), Shigella (2,913), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (1,845), Cryptosporidium (1,816), Yersinia (302), Vibrio (252), Listeria (127) and Cyclospora (55). This is the first time the report also includes in the total number of infections those foodborne bacterial infections diagnosed only by rapid diagnostic tests in FoodNet sites. Previously, the report counted foodborne bacterial infections confirmed only by traditional culture-based methods in the total numbers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, HIV, JAMA, Vanderbilt / 18.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew S Freiberg, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Vanderbilt Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  HIV infected people are living longer and are at risk for cardiovascular diseases. While acute myocardial infarction has been studied and the increased risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) among HIV+ people compared to uninfected people is well documented, there are less data describing the risk of HIV and different types of heart failure, including reduced and preserved ejection fraction heart failure. Understanding more about the link between HIV and different types of HF is important because reduced and preserved ejection fraction heart failure differ with respect to underlying mechanism, treatment, and prognosis. Moreover, as cardiovascular care has improved, HIV infected people who experience an AMI are likely to survive but may live with a damaged heart. Understanding more about the link between HIV and heart failure may help providers and their patients prevent or reduce the impact of HF on the HIV community. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Zika / 14.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jikui Song PhD Assistant professor of biochemistry University of California, Riverside. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) has become a wordwide health concern. However, no vaccines or antiviral drugs against ZIKV are currently available. To explore potential druggable sites for ZIKV, we set out to determine the crystal structure of full-length ZIKV NS5, the molecular machinery responsible for the genomic replication of ZIKV. The major findings of our study include the identification of a conserved domain conformation within flavivirus NS5 family, which may be important for functional regulation of flavivirus NS5. Furthermore, our structural analysis revealed a potential drug-binding site of ZIKV NS5, providing basis for future development of novel antivirals against ZIKV. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Microbiome, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 05.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Professor of Pediatrics The Faculty of Health Sciences University of Copenhagen Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The consumption of antibiotics is increasing worldwide. Antibiotics alter the maternal bacterial colonization and by vertical transmission this can affect the offspring. An unfavorable microbiome may increase the disease propensity of the offspring. Otitis media is one of the most common infections in early childhood. We hypothesized that antibiotic consumption in pregnancy can increase the children’s risk of otitis media. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections / 02.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mihály Sulyok MD Eberhard Karls University Institute of Tropical Medicine, Tübingen, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New antimalarials are desperately needed, not just for treatment, but also for prophylaxis. DSM265, a novel antimalarial compound that selectively inhibits the plasmodial dihydroorotate dehydrogenase has a promising pharmacokinetic profile characterized by a long elimination half-life. We performed a study at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Eberhard Karls University (Tübingen, Germany) to investigate safety, tolerability and efficacy of DSM265 using controlled human malaria infection. In the first cohort, 400mg of DSM265 was administered orally to five healthy, malaria naive individuals one day before direct venous inoculation of an established infective dose of P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ Challenge). Placebo was administered to two volunteers. The study was randomized and double blinded. In this cohort all placebo participants developed malaria, whereas all DSM265 participants were protected. In a second cohort, 400mg DSM265 was administered 7 days before the sporozoite inoculation for six participants, two participants recieved placebo. In this cohort, the two placebo and three of six DSM265 volunteers developed thick blood smear positive malaria. The remaining three DSM265 volunteers developed transient submicroscopic parasitemia without symptoms or thick blood smear positivity. The only possible DSM265-related adverse event was a slight transient elevation in serum bilirubin in one volunteer. The study was funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through Medicines for Malaria Venture, and the German Center for Infection Research. (more…)
Author Interviews, Zika / 31.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daihai He PhD Department of Applied Mathematics The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hung Hom, Kowloon Hong Kong (SAR), China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zika virus disease has large outbreaks in many Pacific and American countries in 2016, and the outbreaks are still on-going. Our work is conducted against this background. We compared data from three localities: French Polynesia in 2013-2014, Colombia and Brazil in 2016. We found that in French Polynesia the infection attack rate (i.e. the proportion of the population who got infected) is about 3/4, which matched previous serological studies. We then make estimation for the other two place. We found that the infection attack rate in Colombia in 2016 was most likely less than 50%. For Bahia province of Brazil, we did not arrive at a very accurate estimation, as the confidence interval is wide, and our best estimate is 30%. The relatively low infection attack rate in Colombia and Brazil implies that future outbreaks of Zika virus diseases are still possible. Thus control and surveillance efforts should be continued. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, NEJM, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 30.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anders Hviid Senior Investigator, M.Sc.,Dr.Med.Sci. Department of Epidemiology Research Division of National Health Surveillance & Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HPV vaccination targeting girls and young women has been introduced in many countries throughout the world. HPV vaccines are not recommended for use in pregnancy, but given the target group, inadvertent exposure will occur in early unrecognized pregnancies. However, data on the safety of HPV vaccination in pregnancy is lacking. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA, Mayo Clinic / 29.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S. MS Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea and has recently shown increasing incidence especially in the community. Novel risk factors for CDI development include the use of gastric acid suppression medication, presence of systemic comorbid conditions, C difficile carriage in water and food sources, amongst others. Gastric acid suppression medications such as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 receptor blockers (H2Bs) are commonly prescribed and consumed over the counter for gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, or functional dyspepsia, but they are also sometimes prescribed for unnecessary indications, which leads to overuse of these medications. Recurrent CDI after a primary infection is a major problem, with the risk being as high as 50% to 60% after 3 or more Clostridium difficile infections. Data on the association between acid suppression and recurrent CDI are conflicting and therefore we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to study the association between the use of gastric acid suppression medications and the risk of recurrent CDI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, HIV, Pediatrics / 28.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne M Neilan, MD,MPH Assistant in Medicine and Pediatrics Massachusetts General Hospital Instructor at Harvard Medical School Department: Medicine Service Division: Infectious Disease Department: Pediatric Service Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Adolescents infected with HIV – either at birth or later in life – experience poorer health outcomes compared to adults with HIV in nearly every respect. This study found that U.S. youth infected with HIV around the time of their birth are at higher risk throughout their adolescence and young adulthood for experiencing serious health problems, poor control of the HIV virus (having high levels of HIV virus in their bodies and fewer CD4 immune cells which protect the body from infection), or death. The study also found that among those with good HIV control, serious health problems are rare. By combining data from two large, long-term U.S. studies – the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS, www.phacsstudy.org) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT, www.impaactnetwork.org) Network – we were able to study the health of more than 1,400 perinatally HIV-infected children, adolescents and young adults ages 7 to 30 years between 2007 and 2015. The study found that youth ages 13 to 30 were most likely to have poor HIV control AIDS-related illnesses, and death compared to younger participants. Among 18 – 30 year-olds, the study found that poor control of the HIV virus – meaning higher levels of HIV virus and lower levels of CD4 immune cells which protect the body from infection –35 percent of the time, increasing the risk that these youth would stop responding to certain HIV medications and could transmit HIV to others. These findings are consistent with other U.S. and European reports. Despite being engaged in health care, the number of deaths among youth born with HIV in the U.S. is 6 to12 times higher than for youth without HIV of the same age, sex and race. Along with HIV-related health problems, the most commonly reported health conditions concerned mental health and brain and nervous system development. Many women in the study also had sexually transmitted infections, which was found to be associated with lower CD4 immune cell counts. This may suggest a biological mechanism or may reflect that patients who have difficulty with their medications are also engaging in more frequent risky sexual behaviors. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV, Sexual Health / 23.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qian An, PhD Epidemiologist/statistician Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended HIV testing for all persons aged 13-64 years old. Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be tested more frequently. Among sexually active men who have sex with men (MSM), repeat testing is recommended at least annually. An analysis in 2011 suggested that MSM might benefit from more frequent than annual testing.(1) Among non-MSM, repeat testing is recommended at least annually for persons at high risk, including persons who inject drugs (PWID) and their sex partners, those who have sex in exchange for money or drugs, heterosexuals who have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test, and those whose partners are living with HIV.. Using statistical models based on renewal theory, we estimate the mean HIV inter-test interval (ITI) — meaning the average time period (in months) between two successive HIV tests — to describe temporal trends in HIV testing frequency among MSM, PWID and high-risk heterosexuals (HRH) and differences in testing frequency by age and race/ethnicity. A decrease in ITI means individuals are testing more frequently. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Transplantation / 14.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. H. L. DuPont MD Director, Center for Infectious Diseases, UTHealth School of Public Health Mary W. Kelsey Chair in the Medical Sciences, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences UTHealth School of Public Health Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many diseases and disorders are associated with “dysbiosis,” where the intestinal microbiota diversity is reduced. This contributes to disease and to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is successful in conditions with pure dysbiosis (e.g. C diff infection) and a single dose of FMT is curative in most cases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, Outcomes & Safety / 02.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Curtis J. Donskey, MD Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center Cleveland, OH 44106 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Many hospitals are making efforts to improve cleaning to reduce the risk for transmission of infection from contaminated environmental surfaces. Most of these efforts focus on surfaces like bed rails that are frequently touched by staff and patients. Despite the fact that floors have consistently been the most heavily contaminated surfaces in hospitals, they have not been a focus of cleaning interventions because they are rarely touched. However, it is plausible that bacteria on floors could picked up by shoes and socks and then transferred onto hands. In a recent study, we found that when a nonpathogenic virus was inoculated onto floors in hospital rooms, it did spread to the hands of patients and to surfaces inside and outside the room. Based on those results, we assessed the frequency of floor contamination in 5 hospitals and examined the potential for transfer of bacteria from the floor to hands. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, Sexual Health, STD / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kristen Kreisel PhD Epidemiologist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the female reproductive tract often associated with STDs, is putting millions of women at risk for infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Our study looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to estimate the national burden of PID. Findings show an estimated 4.4 percent of sexually-experienced women aged 18-44, or approximately 2.5 million woman nationwide reported a history of PID. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Flu - Influenza, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sophie Graner Department of Women's and Childrens Health Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women are at increased risks of severe disease and death due to influensa infection, as well as hospitalization. Also influenza and fever increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for their infants such as intrauterine death and preterm birth. Due to this, the regulatory agencies in Europe and the US recommended post exposure prophylaxis and treatment for pregnant women with neuraminidase inhibitors during the last influenza pandemic 2009-10. Despite the recommendations, the knowledge on the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors on the infant has been limited. Previously published studies have not shown any increased risk, but they have had limited power to assess specific neonatal outcomes such as stillbirth, neonatal mortality, preterm birth, low Agar score, neonatal morbidity and congenital malformations. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Pharmacology / 20.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kati Vandermeulen Senior Director, Global Regulatory Leader and Compound Development Team Lead IDV Janssen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  SWORD is the first large trial program specifically conducted to look at the combination of dolutegravir and rilpivirine as a complete, two-drug antiretroviral regimen. Results of the two identical Phase III SWORD studies have been positive and demonstrate that the two-drug regimen of dolutegravir and rilpivirine is as effective, with comparable tolerability, to traditional three- or four-drug (integrase inhibitor-, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-, or boosted protease inhibitor-based) antiretroviral regimens for the maintenance treatment of HIV. (more…)
Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Zika / 19.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ping Wu, MD, PhD John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Neurological Recovery Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555-0620 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zika viral infection poses a major global public health threat, evidenced by recent outbreaks in America with many cases of microcephaly in newborns and other neurological impairments. A critical knowledge gap in our understanding is the role of host determinants of Zika-mediated fetal malformation. For example, not all infants born to Zika-infected women develop microcephaly, and there is a wide range of Zika-induced brain damage. To begin to fill the gap, we infected brain stem cells that were derived from three human donors, and found that only two of them exhibited severer deficits in nerve cell production along with aberrant alterations in gene expression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, HIV, Lancet / 19.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer A. Downs, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Global Health New York, NY 10065 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Between 2002 and 2006, three large randomized controlled trials in sub-Saharan Africa demonstrated that male circumcision reduces new HIV infections in men by approximately 60%. Based on these findings, the World Health Organization recommended male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in countries with high levels of HIV and a low prevalence of male circumcision. This led to prioritization of 14 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa for massive scale-up of male circumcision beginning in 2011. In many of these countries, the uptake of male circumcision was lower than expected. In northwest Tanzania, where we work, there are a number of barriers to male circumcision. Some of these barriers are cultural, tribal, economic, and religious. We conducted focus group interviews in 2012 that showed that many Christian church leaders and church attenders in our region in Tanzania had major concerns about whether male circumcision was compatible with their religious beliefs. This led us to hypothesize that the uptake of male circumcision could be increased when religious leaders were taught about male circumcision, with the goal that they would then be equipped to discuss this issue with their congregations. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Immunotherapy / 17.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brinda Emu MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases Yale University New Haven, CT  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ibalizumab is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the CD4 receptor.  This Phase III registrational study enrolled individuals with HIV infection that harbor high levels of multi-drug resistance, with limited treatment options.  At IDWeek in October, 2016, data was presented that demonstrated patients experienced a significant decrease in viral load after receiving a single loading dose of ibalizumab 2,000 mg intravenously (IV) in addition to their failing antiretroviral therapies (ART) (or no therapy). Seven days after this loading dose, 83% of patients achieved a ≥ 0.5 log10 decrease from baseline compared with 3% during the seven-day control period .These results were statistically significant (p<0.0001). At CROI, additional data on the Week 24 results from this study are now presented. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, NEJM, Zika / 16.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gabriela Paz-Bailey MD PhD Senior Epidemiologist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Zika virus is recognized as a cause of microcephaly and other severe birth defects when a woman is infected during pregnancy. Additionally, it has been associated with potentially fatal complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is not well understood how often Zika virus particles can be detected in semen and other body fluids and for how long they remain detectable. Existing evidence is based on case reports and cross-sectional observations, primarily from returning travelers. A more comprehensive description of the dynamics of the early stages of Zika virus infection, observed within infected people over time, is needed to inform diagnostic testing as well as prevention recommendations and interventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet, Vitamin D / 14.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adrian R Martineau B Med Sci DTM&H MRCP PhD Clinical Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity Centre for Primary Care and Public Health. Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary, University of London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In addition to its well-known effects on bone, Vitamin D has also been shown to boost immune responses to viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory infections in lab experiments. In order to see whether these effects translate into a health benefit, a total of 25 clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation to prevent various respiratory infections have been carried out in around 11,000 people living in 14 different countries over the last decade. These trials have yielded conflicting results: in some, vitamin D reduced the risk of infections, but in others it did not. The reason why vitamin D ‘worked’ in some trials, but not in others, has been the subject of much debate. In order to answer this question, we assembled an international consortium of investigators and compiled the raw data from every trial into a single database containing information from 10,933 people in total. This allowed us to run sub-group analyses to determine whether particular groups of people benefit more from vitamin D supplementation than others. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections, Microbiome, Rheumatology, Science / 11.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Randy Longman, M.D. / Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine Jill Roberts Center and Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology New York, NY 10021  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Inflammatory bowel disease is not limited to intestinal inflammation.  Up to 1/3 of patients with active disease suffer from extra-intestinal manifestations. The most common extra-intestinal manifestations in IBD is joint inflammation or spondyloarthritis.  Peripheral joint spondyloarthritis  carries a prevalence of 20% in Crohn’s Disease and 10% in Ulcerative Colitis, predominantly affecting joints of the lower limbs.  It has long been suggested that gut bacteria can drive this systemic joint inflammation, but microbial targets have not been characterized. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Pharmacology / 09.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Fernanda Buzzola IMPaM, UBA-CONICET MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Staphylococcus aureus represents a serious problem to public health due to methicillin-resistance and the bacterial persistence over a long period of time in the host. Approximately the 20% of the human population is at risk to acquire an endogenous infection by S. aureus as a consequence of its asymptomatic nasal colonization. Aspirin, the main source of salicylic acid in the human host, is currently taken by millions of human beings worldwide without medical prescription and widely indicated for defined purposes, including prevention of coronary thrombosis. Salicylic acid is a plant hormone known too for its use as a key ingredient in anti-acne preparations and medications for skin conditions. We also consume mild doses of salicylic acid when we eat fruits and vegetables. Iron is an important trace element for the human body and plays an essential role in blood formation. The metabolism of many bacteria, including S. aureus, also depends on the availability of iron molecules. Salicylic acid forms complexes with iron ions in the blood and so deprives not only us but also the staphylococcal bacteria of this element. S. aureus modifies its metabolism if the iron content is insufficient. The microorganism reacts to the changed – from its perspective, negative – conditions through the intensified formation of a biofilm, a sort of layer of slime formed by the aggregation of individual bacteria. The enhanced biofilm production allows the bacteria to survive for an even longer period under unfavourable living conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Gender Differences, HIV, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD MPH, RPh Association Director for Health Equity/Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: HIV diagnosis rates among women declined 40% between 2005 and 2014 with the largest decline, 42%, occurring in black women. However, in 2015 black women represented 61% of HIV diagnoses among women. Our goal in this analysis was to determine whether the decline resulted in a decrease in the disparities among African American, Hispanic and white women between 2010 and 2014. There is currently not a standard method for measuring HIV-related disparity. However, for this analysis we used three different measures – the absolute rate difference (the difference between the group with the lowest rate and the group with the highest rate); 2) the diagnosis disparity ratio (the ratio of the difference between the group rate and the overall population rate to the overall rate); and 3) the Index of Disparity (the average of the differences between rates for specific groups and the total rate divided by the total rate, expressed as a percentage). The absolute rate difference between black women and white women decreased annually, from 36.9 in 2010 to 28.3 in 2014. The diagnosis disparity ratio for black women compared to the total population decreased from 1.7 in 2010 to 1.2 in 2014. The Index of Disparity increased during 2010–2011, and then decreased each year during 2012–2014. Although disparities still exist, these findings indicate improvement. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Infections, Pediatrics / 08.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hiroyuki Mochizuki, M.D., Ph.D. Professor & Chairman Department of Pediatrics Tokai University School of Medicine Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My major is allergy and respiratory health of children. By this examination, we wanted to know the true influence of respiratory syncytial virus infection on childhood atopic asthma. We have confirmed that infantile asthma is heterogenic, and at least two kinds of phenotypes are present. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Emergency Care, Infections / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anish Agarwal, MD, MPH The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Medicine Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The morbidity and mortality of severe sepsis has been well studied and documented. An aggressive approach to protocolized care for patients suffering from severe sepsis and septic shock has been shown to improve mortality and should be started as early in the time course of a patient's presentation. Emergency departments (ED) are designed to deliver time-sensitive therapies, however, they also may suffer from crowding due to multiple factors. This study aimed to assess the impact of ED crowding upon critical interventions in the treatment of severe sepsis including time to intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and overall delivery of a protocolized bundle of care. The study found that as ED crowding increased, time to critical therapies significantly increased and the overall implementation of procotolized care decreased. More specifically as ED occupancy and total patient hours within the ED increased, time to intravenous fluids decreased and time to antibiotics increased as occupancy, hours, and boarding increased. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Inflammation, Sleep Disorders / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark Robert Zielinski, MD Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School and Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury, MA 02132 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anecdotally, people have known that the immune system and sleep are related. In the last several decades this relationship has been systematically investigated. This work led to important findings that several molecules that enhance inflammation including interleukin-1 beta regulate sleep. Interleukin-1 beta is known to increase sleep and sleep intensity after sleep loss and in response to pathogens. However, it was unknown how these effects are connected. Interestingly, the NLRP3 inflammasome is a protein complex that senses changes in the local environment and subsequently activates pro-inflammatory molecules including interleukin-1 beta. Therefore, we wanted to see if the NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in sleep regulation.  (more…)