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, AustraliaMedicalResearch.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 YouthMedicalResearch.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,  CanadaMedicalResearch.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, GermanyMedicalResearch.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 19104MedicalResearch.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 NetherlandsMedicalResearch.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 19104MedicalResearch.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 68198-5400MedicalResearch.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, MassachusettMedicalResearch.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, MAMedicalResearch.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, LondonMedicalResearch.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 DenmarkMedicalResearch.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 MedicineMedicalResearch.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, AustriaMedicalResearch.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 PharmacyMedicalResearch.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…)
Author Interviews, Ebola / 19.09.2014

Thomas House Warwick Mathematics Institute University of Warwick, Coventry.  Medical Research Interview with: Thomas House Warwick Mathematics Institute University of Warwick, Coventry. Medical Research: What are the main findings of this report? Dr House: I analysed the historic patterns of Ebola outbreaks, in particular their rate of introduction (about every 1.5 years), case fatality ratio (which varied between outbreaks but was typically high) and overall severity (which was very variable). (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, HPV / 17.09.2014

Dr Neha Pathak, MBBS MA(Cantab) Academic Clinical Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Queen Mary University London.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Neha Pathak, MBBS MA(Cantab) Academic Clinical Fellow in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Queen Mary University London. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Pathak: Cervical testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) is being piloted as a more accurate method for cervical cancer screening than current cytology-based ("Pap smears"). However, cervical testing still requires gynaecological examination and a doctor or nurse to take the sample. This could be a deterrent to attending screening as it is invasive and time-consuming. Urine-based HPV testing would be a less invasive and more convenient alternative. Our study was completed at the Queen Mary University London Women's Health Research Unit. We pooled the results of 14 studies from around the world which tested 1443 women for HPV in urine and cervical samples. We found that detection of HPV in urine seems to have good accuracy for the detection of HPV present in the cervix. We also found that using first void samples (the first part of the stream of urine) was twenty-two times more accurate than random or midstream urine samples. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ebola, Infections / 12.09.2014

Dr. Gerardo Chowell-Puente Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Human Evolution and Social Change College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Arizona State UniversityMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Dr. Gerardo Chowell-Puente Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Human Evolution and Social Change College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Arizona State University Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Chowell-Puente: 1.We estimated the effective reproduction number of Ebola virus disease, i.e. average number of secondary cases produced by a single primary case at calendar time t (Rt), for the ongoing epidemic in West Africa from March to August 2014. Estimates of Rt for the Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, countries that are experiencing sustained community transmission were consistently above 1.0 since June 2014. 2.Country-specific estimates of the reproduction number for Liberia and Sierra Leone lied between 1.0 and 2.0, reflecting continuous growth of cases in these countries 3. Effective reproduction number below 2 indicate that control could be attained by preventing over half of the secondary transmissions per primary case (e.g. by means of effective case isolation and contact tracing). (more…)
Author Interviews, CHEST, Infections, Rheumatology / 12.09.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Theodore Marras, MD, FRCPC, M.Sc. Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Respirologist, Toronto Western Hospital University Health Network Toronto, ON, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Marras: Mycobacterial infections (TB and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)) are more common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nontuberculous mycobacteria disease was far more common than TB disease in RA patients in Ontario, Canada. Nontuberculous mycobacteria disease was also associated with increased age, COPD, asthma, and GERD. The presence of nontuberculous mycobacteria disease was associated with increased mortality. (more…)
Flu - Influenza, Infections / 10.09.2014

Allison Weinmann  MBBS, FRACP Senior Staff, Division Infectious Diseases Director HFHS Immunization Team Medical Director Infection Control and Prevention, West Bloomfield Hospital Henry Ford Health System Clinical Assistant Professor, Wayne State University Detroit, Mi 48202MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Weinmann  MBBS, FRACP Senior Staff, Division Infectious Diseases Director HFHS Immunization Team Medical Director Infection Control and Prevention, West Bloomfield Hospital Henry Ford Health System Clinical Assistant Professor, Wayne State University Detroit, Mi 48202 Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Weinmann: The main findings included:
  • Mandatory influenza immunization for health care workers without allowing optional opt-out (and only allowing for documented medical or religious exemption) successfully raised our immunization uptake among all our employees to over 99% sustainable for the last 2 years which we consider a very important patient safety initiative.
  • Less than 2% of workers met a medical or religious exemption.
  • A prior optional opt out with mask wearing was problematic for staff and patients and did not reach our goal of close to 100% immunization uptake.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM / 08.09.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen H. Gillespie, M.D., D.Sc University of St. Andrews Medical School, St. Andrews Stephen H. Gillespie, M.D., D.Sc University of St. Andrews Medical School, St. Andrews Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gillespie: REMox TB was a pioneering trial that has shown that a large-scale trial can be run efficiently in resource-poor settings with a high TB burden, adhere to the highest standards of good clinical trial practices, and deliver a clear, unequivocal result. REMoxTB was among the most rigorous Tuberculosis drug trials ever conducted in the modern era of TB treatment and among the largest ever conducted for a new TB treatment. It enrolled 1,931 patients at 50 sites in nine countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. Previously, there were thought to be regional differences in way in which patients' response to treatment across the world but we showed that a rigorous approach to trial conduct there was no evidence for that difference. The study confirmed that daily moxifloxacin was safe over four months of therapy and the moxifloxacin containing arms were more bactericidal initially. Despite its substantial anti-TB activity it did not prove possible to shorten therapy to four months.  . These findings, with the safety of moxifloxacin, and its activity against TB, support the continued clinical testing of moxifloxacin as a component of other novel regimens. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Infections, NEJM / 04.09.2014

Bongani M. Mayosi, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil. Department of Medicine, Old Groote Schuur Hospital Cape Town, South AfricaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bongani M. Mayosi, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil. Department of Medicine, Old Groote Schuur Hospital Cape Town, South Africa Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Mayosi: In those with definite or probable tuberculous pericardial effusion: (1)       Prednisolone for 6 weeks and Mycibacterium indicus pranii  for three months had no significant effect on the combined outcome of death from all causes, cardiac tamponade requiring pericardiocentesis or constrictive pericarditis. (2)      Both therapies were associated with an increased risk of HIV-associated malignancy. (3)       However, use of prednisolone reduced the incidence of constrictive pericarditis and hospitalization. (4)       The beneficial effects of prednisolone on constriction and hospitalization were similar in HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients (more…)
Author Interviews, CHEST, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Ebola, General Medicine / 29.08.2014

The American College of Chest Physicians released an expert consensus statement, Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters while the global health-care community cares for patients with the Ebola virus.Three of the authors discussed this important statement with MedicalResearch.com. Asha V. Devereaux, MD, MPH Sharp Hospital, Coronado, CAAsha V. Devereaux, MD, MPH Sharp Hospital Coronado, CA Jeffrey R. Dichter, MD Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN, and Aurora Health, Milwaukee, WIJeffrey R. Dichter, MD Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN and Aurora Health, Milwaukee, WI   Niranjan Kissoon, MBBS, FRCP(C) BC Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CanadaNiranjan Kissoon, MBBS, FRCP(C) BC Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Medical Research: What are the main ethical concerns and criteria for evaluating who may be eligible for treatment during a pandemic or disaster? Dr. Asha Devereaux: The main ethical concerns regarding eligibility for treatment during a pandemic will be access to limited or scarce resources. Who should get treatment and who decides will be some significant questions whenever there is a scarcity of healthcare resources. Transparency and the fairness of the ethical framework for decision-making will need to be made public and updated based upon the changing dynamics of resources and disease process. Dr. Niranjan Kissoon: There is work to be done in this area and engagement of citizens, government, medical community, ethicists and legal experts in the process is important. (more…)