Author Interviews, HPV, Sexual Health / 16.11.2014

Eduardo L. Franco DrPH, FRSC, FCAHS James McGill Professor Departments of Oncology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology Minda de Gunzburg Chair, Department of Oncology, Division of Cancer Epidemiology Department of Oncology McGill University Montreal, Quebec, Canada MedicalResearch.com Interview with; Eduardo L. Franco DrPH, FRSC, FCAHS James McGill Professor Departments of Oncology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Minda de Gunzburg Chair, Department of Oncology, Division of Cancer Epidemiology Department of Oncology McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Franco: Our findings of oral transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in men are part of a larger molecular epidemiologic study called ‘HPV Infection and Transmission among Couples through Heterosexual Activity’ (HITCH) cohort study. The focus of the HITCH study is to understand how HPV is transmitted within couples via sexual contact and other behaviors. We measure the presence of this virus using highly-sensitive molecular assays for HPV DNA in the genital surfaces (vagina and penis), oral cavity, and hands. We also take a blood sample to look for the presence of antibodies against HPV. We take multiple samples over a period of two years at pre-scheduled visits. We have previously published results focused exclusively on genital transmission. The present report is the first in the HITCH study to look at what happens in terms of characteristics that place male participants to be at risk of oral HPV infection. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a high risk of oral HPV infection among men whose female partners had a genital or oral HPV infection, suggesting that transmission may occur through oral or genital routes. We looked at transmission for 36 individual HPV genotypes, which improved our ability to study risk determinants. Risk was also significantly higher among men who had ever smoked, had a high number of lifetime sex partners, or were in non-monogamous relationships. Our results are largely consistent with previous studies that have found male sex practices and smoking to be the most significant risk factors for oral HPV infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV / 15.11.2014

Prof. Dr. Jan Münch Institute of Molecular Virology Ulm University Medical Center Ulm, Germany MedicalResearch.com Interview with Prof. Dr. Jan Münch Institute of Molecular Virology Ulm University Medical Center Ulm, Germany Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Münch: Most anti-HIV microbicides have potent antiviral activity in vitro but were largely inactive in clinical trials. Here we set out to explore whether the HIV infection enhancing activity of amyloid fibrils in human semen interferes with the antiviral efficacy of microbicides and antiviral drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Occupational Health / 13.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luís Fernando de Macedo Brígido M.D. Ph.D. Núcleo de Doenças de Vinculação Sanguínea e Sexual Centro de Virologia Instituto Adolfo Lutz São Paulo Brasil Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Fomite transmission of HIV, especially in occupational exposure, have been reported, but the use of manicure utensils has not been previously associated to HIV transmission. We report a case where none of the classical modes of transmission were identified, and a detailed review of clinical history and phylogenetic analysis allowed the association of the case’s infection to manicure care episodes at home with an HIV infected women many years ago. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Hospital Readmissions, Infections, University of Pennsylvania / 10.11.2014

Mark E Mikkelsen, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark E Mikkelsen, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mikkelsen: Sepsis is common, afflicting as many as 3 million Americans each year. It is also costly, both in terms of health care expenditures that exceed $20 billion for acute care and in terms of the impact it has on patients and their families. To date, studies have focused on what happens to septic shock patients during the initial hospitalization. However, because more patients are surviving sepsis than ever, we sought to examine the enduring impact of septic shock post-discharge. We focused on the first 30 days after discharge and asked several simple questions. First, how often did patients require re-hospitalization after septic shock? And second, why were patients re-hospitalized? We found that 23% of septic shock survivors were re-hospitalized within 30 days, many of them within 2 weeks. A life-threatening condition such as recurrent infection was the reason for readmission and 16% of readmissions resulted in death or a transition to hospice. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 07.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Griffin: In Tennessee, the introduction in 2010 of a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants and young children was associated with a 27 percent decline in pneumonia hospital admissions across the state among children under age 2. The recent decline in Tennessee comes on top of an earlier 43 percent decline across the United States associated with the introduction in 2000 of the first pneumococcal vaccine for children under 2 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRSA / 05.11.2014

Melissa Ward PhD CIIE Research Fellow Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution University of Edinburgh MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa Ward PhD CIIE Research Fellow Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution University of Edinburgh Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ward: We studied a strain of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus known as CC398, which can colonise and cause MRSA infection in humans and livestock. People and animals generally harbour genetically distinct variants of CC398, but we found human isolates, including a small number from Scottish hospitals, which were more similar to the livestock strains. Such isolates were resistant to a larger number of antibiotics than the CC398 strain which typically circulates in humans. By looking at the genetic sequences of strains from across the globe, we also inferred that CC398 has entered Scotland on multiple occasions. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Ebola, Yale / 30.10.2014

Dr. Dan Yasmin MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan Yamin PhD Postdoctoral Associate Yale School of Public Health New Haven, CT 06520   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Yamin: With limited resources, West Africa is currently overwhelmed by the most devastating Ebola epidemic known to date. In our research, we seek to address two questions:
  • 1) who is mostly responsible for transmission? and 2) what intervention programs should be applied to contain the current Ebola outbreak?
(more…)
Author Interviews, Ebola, Vaccine Studies / 28.10.2014

Prof. Clive Maurice Gray Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Clive Maurice Gray Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa Medical Research: What is the background for this report? What are the main findings? Prof. Gray: This report is a response on behalf to the International Union of Immunology Societies (IUIS) and is designed to focus a message from the global immunology community to those who are making vaccines and therapies implementing clinical trials and very importantly on Governments and funding bodies. Time is not our side and that vaccine efforts need to be expedited and that production of therapeutics needs to be ramped up. Due to the fact that many people in West Africa are dying, we wish to convey a strong message that to curb this outbreak, therapies and especially vaccines must be rolled out as soon as possible. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 27.10.2014

Dr. Simon Corrie PhD The University of Queensland, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Delivery of Drugs and Genes Group Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Dr. Simon Corrie PhD The University of Queensland, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Delivery of Drugs and Genes Group Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Corrie: P. falciparum malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world, particularly in developing countries. Some estimates also suggest that in developing countries, children under 5 account for ~90% mortality. As malaria is treatable, positive detection is important rule out other causes, avoid over-treatment leading to resistance, and to guide appropriate treatment. Our focus is on developing diagnostic devices for infectious diseases, which do not require needles, lancets or laboratory processing. These devices are “microprojection arrays”, silicon chips that can be applied to the skin to capture circulating protein biomarkers in the interstitial fluid of the skin. In this publication we: (a) developed methods to improve the sensitivity of the devices for capturing HRP2, (b) confirmed that HRP2 protein injected intravenously is detectable in skin fluid and (c) showed that we could capture both HRP2 and total IgG (as a positive control for penetration into skin) at the same time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections, OBGYNE / 27.10.2014

Prof. Zvi Laron Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Zvi Laron Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel Head WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? What was most surprising about results? Prof. Laron: The main findings were the finding of specific antibodies to the pancreatic insulin secreting beta cells together with antibodies against rota-virus in both the mother at delivery and in the newborn's cord blood. We were not surprised, but pleased to find proof to our hypothesis that part, if not the majority of childhood onset Type 1 (autoimmune diabetes) starts "in utero". (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Infections / 25.10.2014

Dr R.E.W. (Bob) Hancock, OC, OBC, FRSC {Canada Research Chair and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology,UBC} Director, Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr R.E.W. (Bob) Hancock, OC, OBC, FRSC {Canada Research Chair and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology,UBC} Director, Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hancock: We wanted to understand how patients transitioned from the hyperinflammatory phase (cytokine storm) of sepsis to the hypoinflammatory (immunosuppressive) phase of sepsis (inability to respond appropriately to infections). About 15% of patients die in this first phase and 20% in the second phase, making sepsis one of the most deadly syndromes (35% overall mortality, 5 million deaths [8.3% of all deaths] annually worldwide). We hypothesized that immunosuppression was characterized by a state termed endotoxin tolerance a cellular amnesia (termed cellular reprogramming) in which cells fail to respond to microbial cues. Overall we found that an Endotoxin Tolerance gene signature is significantly associated with the subsequent development of confirmed sepsis and new organ dysfunction in patients who had suspected sepsis. All 620 sepsis patients in retrospective and new analyses presented with an expression profile strongly associated with the endotoxin tolerance signature (p<0.01; AUC 96.1%). This occurred in fact very early in sepsis and in a new clinical study we found that the signature could be detected already in the emergency ward at first clinical presentation and 24-48 hours prior to definitive diagnosis. Importantly, this signature further differentiated between suspected sepsis patients who did, or did not, go on to develop confirmed sepsis, and predicted the development of organ dysfunction. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Infections, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 22.10.2014

Georg Loss, PhD Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Munich, Germany MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Georg Loss, PhD Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Munich, Germany Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Loss: In this large population based cohort study we observed that consumption of fresh unprocessed cow’s milk protected from respiratory infections, febrile illness and inflammation of the middle ear during the first year of life. The risk of developing these conditions was reduced by up to 30%, and the effect was diminished if the milk was heated at home before consumption. Conventionally pasteurized milk retained the ability to reduce the risk of febrile illness, while exposure to the higher temperatures used in UHT (Ultra-heat-treatment) processing eliminated the effect altogether. Importantly, the positive impact of fresh milk could be clearly separated from the confounding effects of other elements of the children’s nutrition. Furthermore, infants fed on unprocessed milk were found to have lower levels of the C-reactive protein, which is a measure of inflammation status. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies, Wistar / 22.10.2014

Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104 MedicalResearch.com Interview with Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hensley: We found that H1N1 viruses recently acquired a mutation that abrogates binding of influenza antibodies that are present in a large number of middle-aged adults. We propose that this mutation lead to increased disease among middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season. (more…)
Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2014

Dr. Susanne Huijts – Pulmonary resident UMC Utrecht | Research physician UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care Netherlands MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Susanne Huijts Research Physician at UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences Pulmonary resident, UMC Utrecht Center Utrecht, Netherlands   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Huijts: The CAPiTA trial evaluated the efficacy of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in adults of 65 years and older. In the per protocol analysis vaccine efficacy of 45.6% was demonstrated for the first episode vaccine type (VT) pneumococcal community acquired pneumonia (CAP); 45.0% for the first episode of non-bacteremic/ non-invasive (NB/NI) VT-CAP, and 75.0% for the first episode of VT-invasive pneumococcal disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Infections / 20.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Tsai Chung-Li Graduate Institute of Biostatistics, College of Management, China Medical University,Taichung, Taiwan and Dr. Hsiao-Chuan Lin Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, and Department of Pediatrics, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study that included two groups. Children with enterovirus infection (aged < 18 years) during 2000-2007 were identified and followed up until December 31, 2008 or until first occurrence of type 1 diabetes. The group without enterovirus infection comprised half of all insured children of the same age and without a diagnosis of enterovirus infection. By use of frequency-matching with sex and birth year, children in the group with enterovirus were selected from those eligible. This nationwide retrospective cohort study found:
  • type 1 diabetes is positively correlated with enterovirus infection in patients younger than 18 years.
  • the incidence rate of type 1 diabetes was lower in the non-enterovirus than the enterovirus group (4 vs 6 per 100,000 person-years; incidence rate ratio 1.48 [95% CI 1.19, 1.83]).
  • children that have been infected with enterovirus are 48% more likely to have developed type 1 diabetes.
  • the risk of developing type 1 diabetes is 2.18 times greater among children aged 10 years and older than among those aged younger than 1 year.
(more…)
AHRQ, Author Interviews, Infections, University of Pennsylvania / 15.10.2014

Craig A Umscheid, MD, MSCE, FACP Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Director, Center for Evidence-based Practice Medical Director, Clinical Decision Support Chair, Department of Medicine Quality Committee Senior Associate Director, ECRI-Penn AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Craig A Umscheid, MD, MSCE, FACP Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Director, Center for Evidence-based Practice Medical Director, Clinical Decision Support Chair, Department of Medicine Quality Committee Senior Associate Director, ECRI-Penn AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Umscheid: We developed an automated early warning and response system for sepsis that has resulted in a marked increase in sepsis identification and care, transfer to the ICU, and an indication of fewer deaths due to sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection; it can severely impair the body’s organs, causing them to fail. There are as many as three million cases of severe sepsis and 750,000 resulting deaths in the United States annually. Early detection and treatment, typically with antibiotics and intravenous fluids, is critical for survival. The Penn prediction tool, dubbed the “sepsis sniffer,” uses laboratory and vital-sign data (such as body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure) in the electronic health record of hospital inpatients to identify those at risk for sepsis. When certain data thresholds are detected, the system automatically sends an electronic communication to physicians, nurses, and other members of a rapid response team who quickly perform a bedside evaluation and take action to stabilize or transfer the patient to the intensive care unit if warranted. We developed the prediction tool using 4,575 patients admitted to the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) in October 2011. We then validated the tool during a pre-implementation period from June to September 2012, when data on admitted patients was evaluated and alerts triggered in a database, but no notifications were sent to providers on the ground. Outcomes in that control period were then compared to a post-implementation period from June to September 2013. The total number of patients included in the pre and post periods was 31,093. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 15.10.2014

Andre Kalil, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine Director, Transplant ID Program University of Nebraska Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE 68198-5400 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andre Kalil, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine Director, Transplant ID Program University of Nebraska Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE 68198-5400 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kalil: In recent years, physicians treating staph infections with vancomycin have seen an increase in the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), the lowest concentration of an antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of a microorganism. This condition is referred to as vancomycin “MIC creep.” It is an indicator that the bacteria might be developing a reduced susceptibility to vancomycin. There also have been reports suggesting that elevations in vancomycin MIC values may be associated with increased treatment failure and death. To determine the effectiveness of vancomycin and other newer antibiotics used to treat Staphylococcus aureus, the UNMC team analyzed nearly 8,300 episodes of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections from patients around the U.S. and in several other countries. The adjusted absolute risk of mortality among patients with Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections with high-vancomycin MIC was not statistically different from patients with Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections with low-vancomycin MIC. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA / 13.10.2014

Dr. Ilan Youngster, MD, MMSc Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusett MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ilan Youngster, MD, MMSc Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Youngster: The main finding is that oral administration seems to be as safe and effective as more traditional routes of delivery like colonoscopy or nasogastric tube. This is important as it allows Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to be performed without the need of invasive procedures, making it safer, cheaper and more accessible to patients. (more…)
Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, Surgical Research / 11.10.2014

Michael S. Calderwood, MD MPH Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Calderwood, MD MPH Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Calderwood: "In our study, we found that the risk of surgical site infection (SSI) following total hip arthroplasty and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is higher for Medicare patients undergoing surgery in U.S. hospitals with lower surgical volume. This suggests that volume leads to experience, and experience leads to improved outcomes." "We found a significantly higher risk of surgical site infection in U.S. hospitals performing <100 total hip arthroplasty procedures and <50 CABG procedures per year on Medicare patients. In the lowest volume hospitals, 1 out of 3 infections following total hip arthroplasty and 1 out of 4 infections following CABG were in excess of expected outcomes based on experience in the highest volume hospitals." (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, HIV / 11.10.2014

Dr Daniel Bradshaw Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Daniel Bradshaw Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Bradshaw: Over 40% of men with hepatitis C (HCV) infection have HCV RNA in their semen, although the level of RNA was much lower than blood (usually 4 log less than blood). Neither HIV nor acute hepatitis C led to increased shedding of HCV RNA in semen. Interestingly, however, in acute HCV, HIV-positive men with higher blood levels of HCV RNA were more likely to shed RNA in their semen. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Infections / 11.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sana Dastgheyb National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MDDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA and Dr. Noreen Hickok Department of Orthopedic Surgery Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: Physicians have long been resigned to the fact that staphylococcal joint infections are among the most challenging to treat. Our study points towards a definitive mechanism whereby bacteria become insensitive to antibiotics in the human joint environment. We added MRSA to synovial fluid and observed dense, biofilm-like aggregates, as well as a relative insensitivity to antibiotics as compared to ideal medium. Our findings suggest that serum/extracellular matrix proteins within synovial fluid contribute greatly to staphylococcal antibiotic insensitivity in synovial fluid. Furthermore, pre-treatment of synovial fluid with the enzyme plasmin, which degrades extracellular matrix proteins, significantly inhibits aggregate formation, and restores normal antibiotic sensitivity to MRSA. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, General Medicine, Hospital Acquired / 10.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Esther van Kleef London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: Existing evidence reveals a wide variation in estimated excess length of hospital stay (LoS) associated with healthcare-acquired C. difficile infection (HA-CDI), ranging from 2.8 to 16.1 days. Few studies considered the time-dependent nature of healthcare-acquired C. difficile (i.e. patients that spent a longer time in hospital have an increased risk of infection), and none have considered the impact of severity of healthcare-acquired C. difficile on expected delayed discharge. Using a method that adjusted for this so-called time-dependent bias, we found that compared to non-infected patients, the excess length of stay of severe patients (defined by increased white blood cell count, serum creatinine, or temperature, or presence of colitis) was on average, twice (11.6 days; 95% CI: 3.6-19.6) that of non-severe cases (5.3 days; 95% CI: 1.1-9.5). However, severely infected patients did not have a higher daily risk of in-hospital death than non-severe patients. Overall, we estimated that healthcare-acquired C. difficile prolonged hospital stay with an average of ~7 days (95% CI: 3.5-10.9) and increased in-hospital daily death rate with 75% (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.75; 95% CI: 1. 16 – 2.62). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 09.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nicolas Garin MD Division of General Internal Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland Division of Internal Medicine, Hôpital Riviera-Chablais, Monthey, Switzerland Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Garin: Empiric treatment with a betalactam drug (monotherapy) was not equivalent to the combination of a betalactam and a macrolide in patients hospitalized for moderate severity pneumonia (proportion of patients not having reached clinical stability at day 7 was 41.2 % in the monotherapy vs. 33.6 % in the combination therapy arm, between arm difference 7.6 %). This occurred despite systematic search for Legionella infection in the monotherapy arm. There was no difference in early or late mortality, but patients in the monotherapy arm were more frequently readmitted. Patients with higher severity of disease (in PSI category IV, or with a CURB-65 score higher than 1) seemed to benefit from combination therapy (HR 0.81 for the primary outcome of clinical instability at day 7), although it was statistically not significant. There was no difference in the primary outcome for patients in PSI category I to III. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM / 08.10.2014

Anders Perner, MD, PhD Overlæge / Senior staff specialist Professor / Professor in Intensive Care Dept of Intensive Care Rigshospitalet Copenhagen Denmark MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anders Perner, MD, PhD Overlæge / Senior staff specialist Professor / Professor in Intensive Care Dept of Intensive Care Rigshospitalet Copenhagen Denmark Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Perner: In the large international randomised trial, we showed similar outcomes in patients with septic shock with anemia transfused at a lower vs. a higher hemoglobin threshold. The lower threshold group received 50 % fewer transfusions and one-third of these patients were never transfused in ICU. (more…)
Cost of Health Care, MRSA / 08.10.2014

https://medicalresearch.com/cost-of-health-care/id_week_14_universal_mrsa_screening_may_be_too_expensive_to_implement/8166/ Medical Research’s Interview with: James A. McKinnell, MD Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. McKinnell: Numerous experts and policy makers have called for hospitals to screen patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and isolate anyone testing positive to prevent the spread of these so-called “Superbugs” in healthcare settings. Several states have enacted laws requiring patients be screened for MRSA upon admission. We conducted two studies, both of which were presented as abstracts at IDWeek, the annual scientific meeting for infectious disease specialists, which found universal MRSA screening and isolation of high-risk patients will help prevent MRSA infections but may be too economically burdensome for an individual hospital to adopt. Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, the University of California, Irvine and John Hopkins University examined the cost of a hospital infection prevention strategy that tested all patients for MRSA and then took precautions to avoid contact with potential carriers. We found that using the traditional method of testing for MRSA in the nose, or nares surveillance, and then isolating MRSA carriers prevented nearly three MRSA infections. But it cost the hospital $103,000 per 10,000 hospital admissions. More extensive screening, through the use of other testing methods, which included PCR-based screening, prevented more infections, but increased the cost. In the second study, we also evaluated the cost of a hospital infection prevention strategy that targeted high-risk patients. Again, we found the costs of the program exceeded the potential savings to the hospital that would be generated by preventing MRSA infections. We found nares screening and isolation of high-risk patients prevented fewer than one infection (0.6) per 1,000 high-risk admissions to the hospital and created a financial loss of $36,899 for the hospitals. Using more extensive MRSA screening – which included nares, pharynx and inguinal folds screening – prevented slightly more infections (0.8 infections per 1,000 high-risk admissions), according to the study. But our abstract reported an even larger financial loss of $51,478 with the more extensive screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 08.10.2014

Robert B Belshe, MD Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology Saint Louis University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert B Belshe, MD Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology Saint Louis University School of Medicine   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: A vaccine that protects against an old strain of avian flu primes the immune system to mount a rapid response when a vaccine designed to protect against a related but different and new strain of avian flu is given a year later, according to Saint Louis University research findings reported in JAMA. In addition, when combined with an adjuvant, which is a chemical that stimulates the immune system to produce more antibodies, a lower dose of the new avian flu vaccine worked better in triggering an immune response than a stronger dose without adjuvant. That means the amount of vaccine against a new strain of bird flu can be stretched to protect more people if an adjuvant is added. Both findings represent important strategies researchers can continue to study to fight new strains of bird flu that people previously have not been exposed to, and consequently can rapidly turn into a pandemic outbreak and public health emergency, said Robert Belshe, M.D., professor of infectious diseases, allergy and immunology at Saint Louis University and the lead author of the article, which appeared in the Oct. 8, 2014 issue of JAMA. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, BMJ, HPV, Sexual Health / 03.10.2014

Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D Assistant Member, Department of Cancer Epidemiology Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, Florida MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D Assistant Member, Department of Cancer Epidemiology Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, Florida   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Schabath: Overall, the results from these analyses demonstrated that men who consumed the highest amounts of alcohol were associated with an increased risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 01.10.2014

Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Austria MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Austria Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Joura: The upcoming ninevalent vaccine has the potential to prevent 85% of the cervical precancers and surgeries such as LEEP (conization) (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Hand Washing / 30.09.2014

Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD The University of Texas College of Pharmacy MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly R. Reveles, PharmD, PhD The University of Texas College of Pharmacy Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Reveles: Our study utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Hospital Discharge Surveys. Patients were selected for this study if they were at least 18 years of age and had an International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) (ICD-9-CM code 008.45). We found that Clostridium difficile infection incidence increased from 4.5 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2001 to 8.2 CDI discharges/1,000 total discharges in 2010. Mortality varied over the study period with peak mortality occurring in 2003 (8.7%) and the lowest rate occurring in 2009 (5.6%). Median hospital length of stay (LOS) was 8 days and remained stable over the study period. In summary, the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection in U.S. hospitals nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010, with little evidence of recent decline. Additionally, there does not appear to be a significant decline in mortality or hospital LOS among patients with Clostridium difficile infection. (more…)