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.

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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.

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Mandated Audit-and-Feedback Did Not Improve Hospital Hand Hygiene

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Hand Washing" by Anthony Albright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Dr. Daniel J. Livorsi, MD
Assistant Professor
INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST
University of Iowa

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

Response: One of the Joint Commission’s standards is that hospitals audit and provide feedback on hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers. Audit-and-feedback is therefore commonly practiced in US hospitals, but the effective design and delivery of this intervention is poorly defined, particularly in relation to hand hygiene improvement.

We studied how 8 hospitals had implemented audit-and-feedback for hand hygiene improvement. We found that hospitals were encountering several barriers in their implementation of audit-and-feedback. Audit data on hand hygiene compliance was challenging to collect and was frequently questioned. The feedback of audit results did not motivate positive change. 

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Probiotic May Eliminate Staph Bacteria Colonizations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"staph aureus on blood agar" by Iqbal Osman is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pipat Piewngam
Postdoctorol fellow
Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section,
Laboratory of Bacteriology,
NIAID/NIH
Bethesda, MD, USA 20892 

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

Response: Our team at National Institutes of health, Mahidol University and Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand has reported that the consumption of probiotic Bacillus bacteria comprehensively abolishes colonization with the dangerous pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus.

We hypothesized that the composition of the human gut microbiota affects intestinal colonization with S. aureus. We collected fecal samples from 200 healthy individuals from rural populations in Thailand and analyzed the composition of the gut microbiome by 16S rRNA sequencing. Surprisingly, we did not detect significant differences in the composition of the microbiome between S. aureus carriers and non-carriers. We then sampled the same 200 people for S. aureus in the gut (25 positive) and nose (26 positive). Strikingly, we found no S. aureus in any of the samples where Bacillus were present.

In mouse studies, we discovered S. aureus Agr quorum-sensing signaling system that must function for the bacteria to grow in the gut. Intriguingly, all of the more than 100 Bacillus isolates we had recovered from the human feces efficiently inhibited that system. Then, we discovered that the fengycin class of Bacillus lipopeptides achieves colonization resistance by inhibiting that system.

To further validate their findings, we colonized the gut of mice with S. aureus and fed them B. subtilis spores to mimic probiotic intake. Probiotic Bacillus given every two days eliminated S. aureus in the guts of the mice. The same test using Bacillus where fengycin production had been removed had no effect, and S. aureus grew as expected. This is one of the first study that provide human evidence supporting the biological significance of probiotic bacterial interference and show that such interference can be achieved by blocking a pathogen’s signaling system. Continue reading

Single Dose Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) Has Potential To Improve Treatment of High-Risk Flu

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

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

Dr. Eisner

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

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

Response: CAPSTONE-2 is a Phase III multicenter, randomized, double-blind study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo and oseltamivir in people 12 years and older who are at a high risk of complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines people at high risk for serious flu complications to include adults 65 years of age or older, or those who have conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, morbid obesity or heart disease.

A total of 2,184 participants enrolled in the study and were randomly assigned to receive a single, oral dose of 40 mg or 80 mg of baloxavir marboxil (according to body weight), placebo or 75 mg of oseltamivir twice daily for five days. The primary objective of the study evaluated the efficacy of a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo by measuring the time to improvement of influenza symptoms. Key secondary endpoints compared outcomes in baloxavir marboxil versus placebo or oseltamivir – these included time to resolution of fever, time to cessation of viral shedding, infectious virus detection in swabs of the nose and throat, prescription of antibiotics and influenza-related complications.

Genentech announced initial results from the study on July 16, 2018 but the full data was presented for the first time during a late-breaking oral presentation at the annual IDWeek meeting in San Francisco, CA on October 6, 2018.

Baloxavir marboxil is a first-in-class, single-dose investigational oral medicine with a novel proposed mechanism of action designed to target the influenza A and B viruses, including oseltamivir-resistant strains and avian strains (e.g. H7N9, H5N1). Baloxavir marboxil is the first potential influenza treatment to demonstrate a clinically meaningful benefit for people highly vulnerable to serious influenza complications in clinical trials.

The FDA accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) and granted Priority Review to baloxavir marboxil as a single-dose, oral treatment for acute, uncomplicated influenza in people 12 years and older. The NDA was based on results from the Phase III CAPSTONE-1 study of a single dose of baloxavir marboxil compared with placebo or oseltamivir 75 mg, twice daily for five days, in otherwise healthy people with the flu. Results from a placebo-controlled Phase II study in otherwise healthy people with the flu were included as supporting data in the NDA. The FDA is expected to make a decision on approval by December 24, 2018. Continue reading

Real World Treatment of Serious Infections with Ceftolozane/Tazobactam

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Thomas P. Lodise Jr., PharmD, PhD Clinical Pharmacist at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, NY Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Albany, NY

Dr. Lodise

Thomas P. Lodise Jr., PharmD, PhD
Clinical Pharmacist at the Stratton
VA Medical Center in Albany, NY
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Albany, NY

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does Ceftolozane/Tazobactam differ from other antibiotics for serious Gram-negative infections including Pseudomonas aeruginosa?

Response: Treatment of patients with Gram-negative infections is increasingly difficult due to rising resistance to commonly used agents. Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is a potent anti-pseudomonal agent with broad Gram-negative coverage that is indicated for complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) and is currently being studied for ventilated nosocomial pneumonia. C/T differs from other antibiotics in terms of its potency against multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the most concerning and difficult-to-treat Gram-negative pathogens. This study evaluates C/T in a large database of US hospitals to better understand treatment patterns and associated outcomes.

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Strong Link Between HPV and HIV Infection in MSM

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brandon Brown, MPH, PhD Associate Professor Center for Healthy Communities Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health UCR School of Medicine Riverside, CA 

Dr. Brown

Brandon Brown, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor
Center for Healthy Communities
Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health
UCR School of Medicine
Riverside, CA

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

Response: The authors have been working in Lima, Peru on HIV-related projects for over 17 years. This particular study arose out of interest from our main community collaborator and the only gay men’s health NGO in Lima, Epicentro Salud (http://epicentro.org.pe/index.php/en/). The NGO noticed that one of the main health issues among their clients was genital warts. When we learned this, we applied for funding through the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program to conduct a study examining the link between genital warts and incident HIV infection.

The relationship between anogenital HPV types and incident HIV infection among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Lima, Peru

The relationship between anogenital HPV types and incident HIV infection among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Lima, Peru

Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection. Specifically, individuals in our study with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV were more likely to acquire HIV.

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Bacterial Appendage Offers New Target To Combat Antibiotic Resistance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David G. Thanassi, Ph.D. Professor and Interim Chair Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology Center for Infectious Diseases Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794-5222

Dr. Thanassi

David G. Thanassi, Ph.D.
Professor and Interim Chair
Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Center for Infectious Diseases
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5222

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

Response: Pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli use hair-like surface appendages termed pili to colonize tissues within the host and initiate infection.  Together with our collaborators – the group of Huilin Li at the Van Andel Research Institute – we used an advanced imaging technique termed cryo-electron microscopy to determine snapshots of bacterial pili as they are being assembled.  The pili we studied are critical for uropathogenic strains of E. coli to colonize the urinary tract and cause urinary tract infections.  Our work revealed a new stage in the pilus assembly process and new details about how these structures are built on the bacterial surface.   Continue reading

Abbott’s ID NOW Can Confirm Flu Infection in 13 Minutes or Less

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Abbott’s molecular point-of-care flu test, ID NOW

Abbott’s molecular point-of-care flu test, ID NOW

Dr. Norman Moore PhD
Abbott’s Director of Scientific Affairs for Infectious Diseases 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this test? How does ID NOW differ from other tests for influenza?

Response: This test was developed to give providers – and their patients – lab-accurate results more quickly than ever, right at the point of care. It was designed for ease of use, as well as to be portable and small enough that it can be used in a broad range of healthcare settings, including walk-in clinics, urgent care centers, doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.

Prior to ID NOW, traditional molecular tests offered great performance, but took too long to impact treatment decisions. ID NOW is able to deliver the performance and accuracy of lab-based tests in a timeframe that offers the best chance of improving treatment decisions.  Continue reading

Bezlotoxumab (Zinplava)For Prevention of Recurrent C. Difficile Infection

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Richard Hengel, MD, FRCPC, FACP Atlanta ID Group
Richard Hengel, MD, FRCPC, FACP

Atlanta ID Group

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does Bezlotoxumab differ from other medications for recurrent C. difficile infections?

Response: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is now the most common hospital acquired infection in the United States, accounting for significant morbidity and mortality, not only in the US, but around the world. Despite standard antibiotic therapy targeting the Clostridium difficile bacterium directly, recurrent infection is common, occurring in a quarter to a third of patients, often frail individuals with other concurrent medical problems. These patients can have multiple recurrences leading to their progressive deterioration over time. Until recently, the only treatment for CDI included antibiotics. More recently, fecal microbiota transplant is a promising, but as yet, FDA unapproved therapy. Bezlotoximab is a new FDA approved treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) that compliments standard antibiotics. Bezlotoxumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting toxin B produced by Clostridium difficile during CDI. In two large treatment trials, bezotoxumab, in addition to standard-of-care antibiotics, reduced the frequency of CDI recurrences from about 28% to about 18%. In this study, we set out to see if this new drug performed as well in actual clinical practice as it did in the published clinical trials.

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New Antibiotic Combination IMI/REL Can Treat Resistant Infection With Less Kidney Toxicity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michelle Hoffman Brown Associate Principal Scientist at Merck Merck

Michelle Brown

Michelle Hoffman Brown
Associate Principal Scientist
Merck

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the kidney risks of using colistin to treat carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections?

Response: Gram-negative pathogens are responsible for half of all healthcare-associated infections and their ability to resist traditional antibiotics makes them more dangerous for seriously ill patients in a healthcare setting. The need for new approaches to treat these pathogens is essential and this trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of imipenem/relebactam (IMI/REL) for the treatment of these challenging infections.

Nephrotoxicity is a common complication of colistin-based therapy and is the potential adverse experience of greatest concern to prescribing clinicians, limiting its use to treat carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections. Relebactam is a novel β-lactamase inhibitor that restores imipenem activity against many imipenem-non-susceptible strains of Gram-negative pathogens. In the Phase 3 RESTORE-IMI 1 study (NCT02452047), IMI/REL was shown to be as effective as, but better tolerated than, colistin plus imipenem, including as demonstrated by a lower incidence of treatment-emergent nephrotoxicity (prespecified secondary endpoint). This analysis looked at additional renal safety data from the RESTORE-IMI 1 trial.  Continue reading

Therapy Dogs Can Spread MRSA in Hospitals—But Shampooing Can Help

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Courtesy of Kathryn Dalton, VMD MPH

Courtesy of Kathryn Dalton, VMD MPH

Kathryn Dalton, VMD MPH
AKC CHF Fellow
PhD Student, Davis Lab
Environmental Health and Engineering
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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

Response: Animal-assisted interventions (or AAI for short) have become increasing popular in hospitals for the emotional and physical benefits they bring to patients. But there is a risk that these therapy dogs could potential spread infectious germs, including MRSA (methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus), to patients.

Our study found that therapy dogs can spread MRSA to patients, and children who had more contact with the therapy dog were at higher risk of getting MRSA. But, we used a new cleaning protocol on the dog with an anti-septic shampoo before the visit and anti-septic wipes during the visit. Patients who had more contact with the dog did not have a higher risk of MRSA when the dog was giving this new cleaning protocol, which made the AAI therapy visits safer for the patients. In addition, the patients’ emotional and physical benefits we observed were not changed by using this dog cleaning protocol.       Continue reading

Short Office Visits Linked To More Antibiotic Prescriptions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic

Dr Martinez

Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH
CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team
Cleveland Clinic

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

Response: Most upper respiratory infections are viral and therefore should not be treated with antibiotics. Despite this, physicians commonly prescribe them for these conditions. Patients often expect antibiotics for respiratory tract infections.  As a result, physicians may find it easier to give patients what they want rather than explain to them why antibiotics aren’t needed.

We hypothesized it also might be more time consuming for physicians to explain to patients why they don’t need antibiotics, which creates a further incentive to prescribe them. To explore this potential phenomenon, we used data from a large direct to consumer telemedicine system to assess differences in medical encounter length by prescription outcome for patients diagnosed with respiratory tract infections.

We found that encounters resulting in antibiotics were 0.33 minutes shorter than those that resulted in no prescriptions, supporting our hypothesis that prescribing an antibiotic takes less time than prescribing nothing.

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Drinking More Water May Reduce Frequency of Urinary Tract Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Glass of Water" by Iwan Gabovitch is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Yair Lotan MD

Chief of Urologic Oncology
Holder of the Helen J. and Robert S. Strauss Professorship in Urology
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Department of Urology
Dallas, Texas 75390-9110 

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

Response: Urinary tract infections are extremely common in women and many women experience recurrent episodes which impact their quality of life.  There are also many women who do not drink as much water as is recommended.

This study found that in healthy women with recurrent UTIs who drink less than 1.5 liters per day, the additional intake of 1.5 liters of water daily reduced the risk of recurrent infections by nearly 50%.  Continue reading

Study Identifies Viral Protein That Allows HPV-Associated Head/Neck Cancers to Spread

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Manon Eckhardt, PhD Gladstone Institutes Quantitative BioSciences Institute University of California San Francisco 

Dr. Manon Eckhardt

Manon Eckhardt, PhD
Gladstone Institutes
The Quantitative Biosciences Institute
University of California San Francisco 

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

Response: Infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes 5% of all cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer and an increasing number of head and neck cancers. Most cancers are caused by mutations in genes, leading to the production of malfunctioning proteins that result in unconstrained cell division. However, certain viruses like HPV can cause cancer without introducing mutations.

In this study, we compared cancers of the same type (i.e. head and neck) that are caused by either mutation or virus infection to identify important processes that are dysregulated in both subsets. We hypothesized that identifying which proteins the virus binds can lead the way to prioritize which of the proteins and cellular processes (pathways) that are affected in cancer cells are most important. To do this, we identified the complete set of human proteins that interact with HPV. We next determined genes that were more frequently mutated in non-viral cancers, and combined both data sets. The proteins we find to be both binding to HPV and mutated in non-viral cancers will be potential targets for new, more specific drug development, and help better understand the development of head and neck cancer.

From the many pathways we identified in this study, we highlighted two pathways with further mechanistic studies: the oxidative stress response, which helps cancer cells survive, as well as a pathway that allows the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. Continue reading

Puppies From Commercial Dog Industry Source of Multistate Diarrhea Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Siberian Husky Puppies 2013-05-25" by Jeffrey Beall is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mark Laughlin, DVM

Veterinary Medical Officer
CDC

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

How common are Campylobacter infections?  How does a Campylobacter infection typically present? 

Response: Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States, causing an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year. Most people with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and abdominal cramps. The diarrhea may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually start within 2 to 5 days after exposure and last about a week.

Most illnesses from Campylobacter likely occur due to eating raw or undercooked poultry, or from eating something that touched raw or undercooked poultry. Some illnesses can occur from contact with contaminated water, contact with animals, or from drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk.

Since 2009, 13 outbreaks of human Campylobacter infections linked to contact with dogs have been reported to CDC. These outbreaks account for a reported 47 illnesses and 2 hospitalizations.

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Enzyme Key To Overcoming Antibiotic Resistance in Pseudomonas Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"pseudomonas first bacteria to be patented. professor Chakrabarty" by adrigu is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Dorival Martins
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Research Institute
McGill University Health Centre
Montreal Canada. 

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

Response: Antibiotic tolerance, together with drug resistance, makes bacteria refractory to antibiotics and can cause treatment failure in subacute and chronic bacterial infections.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major health concern worldwide, can cause severe chronic infections that are refractory to antibiotic treatments due to tolerance. Since the discovery of new antibiotics has been drastically diminished over the last decades, overcoming tolerance could be a strategy to enhance the efficacy of currently available antibiotic treatments. However, very little is known about the mechanism of tolerance, even though this phenomenon has been observed over 60 years ago.

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SMARTPHONE, M.D. : A NEW APP TO DIAGNOSE URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
SMARTPHONE, M.D. A NEW APP TO DIAGNOSE URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS Michael J. Mahan PhD
Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
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: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) cause nearly 10 million doctor visits each year in the United States. Women are much more likely to have a UTI than men, and are particularly harmful to pregnant women and can cause miscarriage. Thus, there is a medical need for rapid, low-cost, on-site testing — particularly in resource-limited settings.

We developed a new app that enables a smartphone to identify (ID) bacteria causing UTIs in just one hour — a fraction of the time and cost of clinical diagnostics.

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Access to Treatment for Head/Neck Cancer Patients Improved with Medicaid Expansion

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Richard B. Cannon, MD Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery School of Medicine University of Utah, Salt Lake City 

Dr. Cannon

Richard B. Cannon, MD
Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
University of Utah, Salt Lake City 

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

 Response: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a nationwide effort to reduce the number of uninsured individuals in the United States and increase access to health care. This legislation is commonly debated and objective data is needed to evaluate its impact.  As a head and neck cancer surgeon, I sought to evaluate how the ACA had specifically influenced my patients.  Main findings below:    

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

Response: This population-based study found an increase in the percentage of patients enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance and a large decrease in the rates of uninsured patients after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This change was only seen in states that adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2014. The decrease in the rate of uninsured patients was significant, 6.2% before versus 3.0% after. Patients who were uninsured prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had poorer survival outcomes.

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An Atypical Parvovirus Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ben Roediger PhD Head of the Skin Inflammation Group within Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s Immune Imaging Laboratory Centenary Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney,  Camperdown,, Australia

Dr. Roediger

Ben Roediger PhD
Head of the Skin Inflammation Group within
Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s Immune Imaging Laboratory
Centenary Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health,
The University of Sydney,
Camperdown,, Australia

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

Response: We use several strains of mice for our research, including animals with immunodeficiencies. One of our lines started succumbing to kidney disease and we decided to investigate.

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Inhaled Steroids Associated With Increased Risk of Atypical Mycobacterial Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen J Ruoss MD Professor, Stanford University, Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Cfritical Care Medicine Stanford, California

Dr. Ruoss

Stephen J Ruoss MD
Professor, Stanford University, Medicine,
Division of Pulmonary and Cfritical Care Medicine
Stanford, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by an atypical mycobacterial infection? 

Response: Our interest in undertaking this study stems from three important clinical observations and issues.

First, the use of inhaled steroid medications for a broad variety of respiratory complaints and diseases is increasing, including in clinical circumstances where there isn’t much strong supportive evidence for benefit to patients from using inhaled steroids.

The second observation is that steroids can and do alter immune system responses, and can increase the risk for some infections. There are already data from studying patients on inhaled steroids where the incidence of bacterial respiratory infections has increased, supporting the concerns for infection risk from inhaled steroids.

And the third issue is that steroids can more specifically alter immune system function that helps combat mycobacterial infections, and this means that the risk for, and incidence of mycobacterial infections could be increased in patients treated with inhaled steroids. The best known mycobacterial infection is of course tuberculosis, but there are other mycobacteria, called nontuberculous mycobacterial (or atypical mycobacterial) that are broadly found in the environment, and some of those nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) can cause lung infections.

So our hypothesis was that the use of inhaled steroids might be associated with an increased frequency of NTM infections, and we designed the study to explore that hypothesis. Continue reading

H. pylori Link to Stomach Cancer Strengthened

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nina R. Salama. PhD Member Human Biology Division Member Public Health Sciences Division Affiliate Member Basic Sciences Division Dr. Penny E. Petersen Memorial Chair for Lymphoma Research  Director of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Graduate Program Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Salama

Nina R. Salama. PhD
Member Human Biology Division
Member Public Health Sciences Division
Affiliate Member Basic Sciences Division
Dr. Penny E. Petersen Memorial Chair for Lymphoma Research
Director of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Graduate Program
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 

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

Response: We wanted to better understand why certain patients infected with H. pylori developed stomach cancer and how we could better identify them. H. pylori is one of the strongest risk factors for stomach cancer, but how much it predisposes individuals to gastric cancer varies around the world.

Working closely with colleagues from Zhengzhou University, we ran tests on 49 samples from China and found that 91 percent of patients infected with the EPIYA D gene variant of H. pylori also had stomach cancer. Continue reading

Increase In Measles in Italy Linked to Austerity Measures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Measles

Veronica Toffolutti PhD
Research Fellow in Health Economics
Bocconi University

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

Response: Austerity has been linked to several health damaging effects such as suicides, increase in unmet needs, disease outbreaks that affect vulnerable peoples such as malaria in Greece, HIV in Greece and Romania during the current economic crises or in the earlier economic crisis cuts in public health expenditure have been linked with diphtheria and TB.

Europe is experiencing declining vaccination rates and resurgences in measles incidence rates. Italy appears to be particularly affected reporting the second largest number, second to Romania, of infection in Europe in 2017. Starting from the point that the primary reason for the outbreak in the decline in the measles vaccination we test the hypothesis that large budget reductions in public health spending were also a contributing factor.

Using data on 20 Italian regions for the period 2000-2014 we found that each 1% reduction in the real per capita public health expenditure was associated with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points (95% CI: 0.36-0.65 percentage points) in MMR coverage, after adjusting for time and regional-specific time-trends.  Continue reading

First Trial Compares Treatment Options For Serious Infections Caused by ESBL-Producers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Patrick Harris FRACP Staff Specialist Microbiology | Pathology Queensland | Health Support Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research (Paterson Group)

Dr. Harris

Patrick Harris FRACP
Staff Specialist
Microbiology | Pathology Queensland | Health Support Queensland
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research (Paterson Group

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

Response: Increasingly, common bacterial pathogens such as E. coli or Klebsiella have acquired genes known as extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs), which mediate resistance to many of our most important antibiotics. Despite their clinical importance, we have limited information derived from randomised clinical trials on the best antibiotic treatments for life-threatening infections caused by these ESBL-producers.

We aimed to compare two readily available antibiotics, meropenem (a carbapenem drug, as the “standard of care”) and piperacillin-tazobactam (which may be an alternative to meropenem). Many ESBL-producing bacteria test susceptible to piperacillin-tazobactam in the laboratory, yet clinical efficacy has been uncertain.  Some observational studies have suggested that piperacillin-tazobactam may be effective against ESBL-producers, but the data have been contradictory.  The theory has been that piperacillin-tazobactam may be less likely to select for resistance to carbapenems – which, when it occurs, can result in infection with bacteria that are almost untreatable.

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USPSTF: All Pregnant Women Should Be Screened For Syphilis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H. Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force George H. Gardner professor of clinical gynecology, Vice chair of clinical research Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor of preventive medicine and medical social sciences Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Simon

Melissa A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H.
Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
George H. Gardner professor of clinical gynecology, Vice chair of clinical research
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor of preventive medicine and medical social sciences
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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

Response: The number of babies born with syphilis is increasing, mirroring the recent increase of syphilis among women. Syphilis infection passed from a pregnant woman to her baby, also known as congenital syphilis, can lead to serious health complications for the baby including premature birth, low birthweight, birth defects, and even death. The Task Force recommends that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis as early in pregnancy as possible to prevent congenital syphilis.  Continue reading

Vaccines Against Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Decreased Infections Even in Unvaccinated Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chuanxi Fu, MD.PhD. Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health Zhejiang Chinese Medical University Associate editor, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics

Dr. Chuanxi Fu

Chuanxi Fu, MD.PhD.
Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
Zhejiang Chinese Medical University
Associate editor, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 

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

Response: Since 2000, the Lanzhou lamb rotavirus vaccine has been exclusively licensed in China for voluntary rotavirus gastroenteritis prevention, however, the effects of the vaccination on population health, including any indirect impact to unvaccinated individuals have not been evaluated.

In the study enrolled 33 407 patients with rotavirus gastroenteritis from 2007 to 2015 seasons in southern China shows vaccination effects in which the median age at onset increased by 4 months, and onset, peak, and cessation of incidence were delayed. The incidence rate ratio among children younger than 4 years and among children ineligible for vaccination decreased as citywide vaccination coverage increased, and the adjusted odds ratio for rotavirus gastroenteritis among unvaccinated infants decreased in areas with higher vaccination coverage.  Continue reading

Q Fever Patients Must Be Followed To Avoid Cardiac Complications

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sheep tick - vector for Coxiella burnetii, the cause of the disease known as Q fever CDC image

Sheep tick – vector for Coxiella burnetii, the cause of the disease known as Q fever CDC image

Pr. Didier Raoult
Directeur de l’IHU Méditerranée-Infection
Marseille 

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

Response: This work represents the sum of data accumulated over several decades of studies on Q fever.

Our reference center contacts each of the physicians in charge and ensures patient follow-up, which allows obtaining data, that is not comparable to those used automatically in databanks. Four people exclusively dedicated their time to manage these specific data on Q fever.

The main data confirm the need to perform a cardiac ultrasound for all patients with Q fever and acute endocarditis (to detect valvulopathy) and to give a prophylactic treatment to avoid fixation on the heart in patients with valvulopathy.

This work helps clarify the evolution of Q fever by eliminating the term of chronic Q fever, which is based on non-clinical elements, and defining persistent Q fever for which there is an identifiable focus of infection.

Furthermore, this work makes it possible to recommend systematic detection of antiphospholipid antibodies in order to limit the risk of thrombosis and the risk of cardiac fixation.

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Antibiotics Leading Cause of Pediatric Adverse Drug Events in ER

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Maribeth C. Lovegrove, MPH
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30333).

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

Response: There has been a lot of recent attention on reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in order to reduce antibiotic resistance (a longer-term harm).  However, antibiotic use also can lead to shorter-term harms like allergic reactions and other side effects.  With this analysis, we wanted to focus on the acute harms to individual pediatric patients from antibiotic use in order to help target prevention efforts.  Specifically, we used data from two national data sources to identify the antibiotics with the highest numbers of emergency department visits for adverse drug events and the highest rates of emergency department visits for adverse drug events (accounting for amount of antibiotic prescriptions dispensed) and to identify the pediatric patients with the highest risks.

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HPV Testing or PAP Smear To Screen for Cervical Cancer?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine Director, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research University of California, Davis Sacramento, CA 95817

Dr. Melnikow

Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH
Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Director, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
University of California, Davis
Sacramento, CA 95817

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

Response: This systematic review of the medical literature was conducted to support the update of the US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation.  Because the effectiveness of cytology (Pap smear) screening is so well established, the review focused on the evidence on use of high risk Human Papillomavirus (hrHPV) screening, alone (primary screening) or combined with cytology (co-testing)

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

Response: Current evidence supports the use of cytology, hrHPV testing alone, or co-testing as effective approaches to screening for cervical cancer.  hrHPV testing, alone or as co-testing, can be done at five year intervals, longer than the recommended 3 year interval for cytology. 

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

Response: Additional research is needed to identify effective strategies for outreach and screening women who are not regularly screened.  Because most women in the US are not part of an organized screening program, effective outreach is especially important in the US. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Since the prior review, more evidence has emerged to support the use of hrHPV testing as primary screening.

I have no financial conflicts of interest. 

Citation:

US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Cervical CancerUS Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2018;320(7):674–686. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10897

Aug 22, 2018 @ 12:01 pm 

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Single Dose of Ibalizumab Boosts Immunity in Resistant HIV

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brinda Emu, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Emu

Brinda Emu, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Yale School of Medicine

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

Response: This was a Phase 3 study of a new antiretroviral agent, ibalizumab, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.  Ibalizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD4 receptor on host cells.  CD4 is the receptor that HIV uses to infect CD4+ T cells.  By binding to the CD4 receptor, ibalizumab prevents viral entry.  This study recruited patients that harbor multi-drug resistant HIV and were failing their current regimen of antiretroviral agents, and thus had limited options for treatment of their HIV-1 infection using approved medications.

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