Author Interviews, Infections / 29.08.2014

Dr. Asha Bowen FRACP Menzies School of Health Research Charles Darwin University Darwin, NT, AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Asha Bowen FRACP Menzies School of Health Research Charles Darwin University Darwin, NT, Australia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Bowen: The Skin Sore Trial found that short courses (3 days of twice daily dosing or 5 days of once daily dosing) of oral co-trimoxazole worked just as well for treating impetigo in remote Indigenous Australian children as the standard treatment with an intramuscular injection of penicillin (BPG). Despite many randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on this common infection of childhood, few have been conducted where impetigo is severe and endemic and with over 100 million children affected at any one time, ongoing research is needed. This is only the second RCT to study impetigo in children where the problem is endemic and often severe. In our study, 70% of children had severe impetigo with a median of 3 body regions affected. BPG injections are painful and we knew from previous studies that not many children were receiving them. Our study confirmed that 30% of children had injection site pain 48 hours after receipt of the injection and 5 children ran away when they found out that they were randomised to the injection arm of the study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.08.2014

Christopher Mantyh, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgery Chief of Colorectal Surgery NSQIP Surgical Champion Duke University Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher Mantyh, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgery Chief of Colorectal Surgery NSQIP Surgical Champion Duke University Medical Center Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Mantyh: Specific perioperative bundles can drastically reduce surgical site infections in colorectal surgery patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM / 27.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ziad A. Memish, M.D. Alfaisal University Riyadh Saudi Arabia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Memish:  This is an important study as we looked at the secondary transmission of MERS-CoV among household/family contacts.  Of the total study population of 280 contacts from 26 clusters collected over 6 months period last year, only 12 family contacts were positive for MERS-CoV. Knowing that 7 (2.5%) were positive by PCR, only additional 5 probable secondary transmission were identified by serology which is a very small fraction missed by PCR. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.08.2014

Dr. Ralph Joseph Diclemente PhD Behavoral Sciences & Health School Of Public Health Emory University Atlanta GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ralph Joseph Diclemente PhD Behavoral Sciences & Health School Of Public Health Emory University Atlanta Georgia   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. DiClemente: In our study of 701 African American girls we observed significant and durable reductions in laboratory-confirmed sexually transmitted infections (50% reduction in chlamydial infections and a 60% reduction in gonorrhea) among girls in our intervention group relative to the comparison condition over a 36-month follow-up period.  In addition, we observed significant increases in condom use during sex and reductions in sex while using drugs or alcohol.  The key finding is the durability of the results - 3 years in the life of an adolescent is a long period. (more…)
AHRQ, Author Interviews, Electronic Records, Urinary Tract Infections / 26.08.2014

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 found that targeted automated alerts in electronic health records significantly reduce urinary tract infections in hospital patients with urinary catheters. In addition, when the design of the alert was simplified, the rate of improvement dramatically increased. Approximately 75 percent of urinary tract infections acquired in the hospital are associated with a urinary catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 to 25 percent of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. As many as 70 percent of urinary tract infections in these patients may be preventable using infection control measures such as removing no longer needed catheters resulting in up to 380,000 fewer infections and 9,000 fewer deaths each year. Our study has two crucial, applicable findings.  First, electronic alerts do result in fewer catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Second, the design of the alerts is very important. By making the alert quicker and easier to use, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of catheters removed in patients who no longer needed them. Fewer catheters means fewer infections, fewer days in the hospital, and even, fewer deaths. Not to mention the dollars saved by the health system in general. In the first phase of the study, two percent of urinary catheters were removed after an initial “off-the-shelf” electronic alert was triggered (the stock alert was part of the standard software package for the electronic health record). Hoping to improve on this result in a second phase of the study, we developed and used a simplified alert based on national guidelines for removing urinary catheters that we previously published with the CDC. Following introduction of the simplified alert, the proportion of catheter removals increased more than seven-fold to 15 percent. The study also found that catheter associated urinary tract infections decreased from an initial rate of .84 per 1,000 patient days to .70 per 1,000 patient-days following implementation of the first alert and .50 per 1,000 patient days following implementation of the simplified alert. Among other improvements, the simplified alert required two mouse clicks to submit a remove-urinary-catheter order compared to seven mouse clicks required by the original alert. The study was conducted among 222,475 inpatient admissions in the three hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania Health System between March 2009 and May 2012. In patients’ electronic health records, physicians were prompted to specify the reason (among ten options) for inserting a urinary catheter. On the basis of the reason selected, they were subsequently alerted to reassess the need for the catheter if it had not been removed within the recommended time period based on the reason chosen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Ophthalmology / 26.08.2014

Ronald C Gentile, MD, FACS, FASRS Professor of Ophthalmology Chief, Ocular Trauma Service (Posterior Segment) Surgeon Director The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai New York, NY 10003 President: operationrestorevision.orgMedicalResearch.com Interview with Ronald C Gentile, MD, FACS, FASRS Professor of Ophthalmology Chief, Ocular Trauma Service (Posterior Segment) Surgeon Director The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai New York, NY 10003 President: operationrestorevision.org Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gentile: We had three main findings in our study on the microbiological spectrum and antibiotic sensitivity in endophthalmitis over the past twenty- five years at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. First Finding: The first main finding of the study was that there has not been any major change in the types of organisms causing endophthalmitis over the past 25 years. The most common cause of endophthalmitis in the study was bacteria, 95%, with most, 85%, being Gram-positive bacteria. The most prevalent organisms isolated were coagulase-negative staphylococcus, making up about 40% of the cases. This was followed by Streptococcus viridans species in about 12% and Staphylococcus aureus in about 11%. Gram-negative organisms accounted for about 10% and fungi for about 5%. Second Finding: The second main finding of the study was that the current empiric intravitreal antibiotics used for treating endophthalmitis, vancomycin and ceftazidime, continue to be an excellent choice. The overwhelming majority of microorganisms causing endophthalmitis are susceptible to this combination. Over 99% of the Gram-positive isolates were susceptible to the vancomycin and about 92 percent of the Gram-negative isolates were susceptible to ceftazidime. Third Finding: The third main finding of the study was that there was increasing microbial resistance to eight antibiotics including cefazolin, cefotetan, cephalothin, clindamycin, erythromycin, methicillin/oxacillin, ampicillin, ceftriaxone and decreasing microbial resistance to three antibiotics including gentamicin, tobramycin, and imipenem. For example, Staph Aureus isolates resistant to methicillin increased from 18% in the late 1980s to just over 50% this past decade while gentamicin-resistance endophthalmitis isolates decreased during the same time period from 42% to 6%. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Infections, NEJM / 26.08.2014

Medical Research Interview with: Brian Dannemann, MD, FACP Senior Director, JNJ Pharmaceutical Research and Development Titusville, NJ 08560 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dannemann : The final investigational 120-week results from the TMC207-C208 Phase 2 study demonstrated that bedaquiline (SIRTURO®) showed nearly twice an many patients in the bedaquiline group as in the placebo group were cured on the basis of the World Health Organization (WHO) outcome definitions for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis which was statistically significant (38 of 66 patients  [58%] and 21 of 66 patients [32%] respectively; p = 0.003). (more…)
Author Interviews, Urinary Tract Infections, Urology / 23.08.2014

Steve J. Hodges MD Associate Professor, Department of Urology Wake Forest University School of Medicine Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve J. Hodges MD Associate Professor, Department of Urology Wake Forest University School of Medicine Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Hodges: The main findings of this study were that skin irritants (typically urine) may cause vulvitis in prepubertal girls, which leads to an alteration of their perineal microbiome, with increased colonization by uropathogenic bacteria, increasing the risk of UTI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Case Western, Lyme / 22.08.2014

Daniel Salkeld, PhD Lecturer & Research Associate Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Professor Colorado State UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Salkeld, PhD Lecturer & Research Associate Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Professor Colorado State University Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study that were just published in Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases? Dr. Salkeld: The primary findings of this new study show that western black-legged ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease, are active throughout the year in Northwest California, making the threat of Lyme disease year-round phenomenon. More specifically, my colleagues from California Department of Public Health Vector-borne Disease Section and University of California, Berkeley and I found that the activity of Western Black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus), which are the ticks most commonly known to carry Lyme disease (caused by Borrelia burgdorferi) in Northwest California, is largely predictable and year-round. In general, tick larvae (newly hatched immature ticks) are active April to June, and sometimes activity extends into October, while adult ticks are active from October to May. Nymphal ticks (the tick stage following larvae and preceding adults) are active from January to October but peak from April-June. This is important because nymphs are responsible for most Lyme disease infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Respiratory / 22.08.2014

John DeVincenzo, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics Division of Infectious Diseases Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry University of Tennessee School of Medicine. University of Tennessee. Medical Director, Molecular Diagnostics and Virology Laboratories Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Memphis, TennesseeMedicalResearch.com Interview with: John DeVincenzo, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics Division of Infectious Diseases Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry University of Tennessee School of Medicine. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Memphis, Tennessee Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. DeVincenzo: The main findings are
  • a) This is the first time that anyone has shown that the infection caused by the RSV virus can be effectively reduced in a human after the infection has already started.
  •  b) We also show for the first time that once we reduce the amount of virus in the patient, that very quickly, they start to feel better. This clinical improvement was not expected to occur so rapidly.
  • c) The antiviral appeared safe and it was easy to give.
(more…)
Author Interviews, MRSA / 15.08.2014

dr_kyle_popovichMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle J. Popovich, MD, MS Rush University Medical Center Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Popovich: Colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at body sites outside the nares was common, with more than half of all colonized individuals having MRSA colonization in the rectal or groin areas.  Resistance to mupirocin was uncommon and molecular testing showed no signs of resistance to chlorhexidine gluconate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 15.08.2014

David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Greenberg: The New England Journal of Medicine published positive results from a randomized, double-blind, large-scale, multi-center efficacy trial, which found that Fluzone® High-Dose (Influenza Vaccine) was more efficacious in preventing influenza illness (“the flu”) in adults 65 years of age and older compared to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine was found to be 24.2 percent (95% CI, 9.7 to 36.5) more effective in preventing influenza relative to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine for the primary endpoint (laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with typical clinical symptoms occurring at least 14 days post-vaccination caused by any viral type or subtype). In other words, investigators determined that participants in the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine group were less likely to get the flu than those in the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine group. The study safety data were consistent with previous Fluzone High-Dose vaccine studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hand Washing, Infections / 09.08.2014

Dr. Gianni D'Egidio HBSc, MD, MEng Academic Division of Internal Medicine Ottawa Hospital, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gianni D'Egidio HBSc, MD, MEng Academic Division of Internal Medicine Ottawa Hospital, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. D'Egidio: Baseline hand hygiene compliance at our main entrance in our study was 12.4%.  We believe one of the main reasons for such an appalling low compliance was that individuals were distracted.  Visitors entering are often preoccupied with acquiring information to help them navigate a large and confusing environment given the multitude of signs, lights, announcements and other people.  Also, the majority of individuals entering have objects occupying their hands; keys, hand-held devices, coffee mugs, and during cold weather, gloves.  All this together contributes to poor compliance at our front entrance. We hypothesized that a conspicuous flashing red light at 3 Hz (3 flashed per second) attached to alcohol hand dispensers located at our front entrance would attract an individual’s attention and hopefully increase compliance.  We measured hand hygiene compliance for 1-week periods from 07:30-08:30 before and after the implementation of our flashing lights.  We found that compliance increased by more than double to 25.3% (p<0.0001). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, mBio, NEJM / 07.08.2014

Claudio Soto, PhD Professor of Neurology Director Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's disease and related Brain Disorders University of Texas Medical School at HoustonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Claudio Soto, PhD Professor of Neurology Director Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's disease and related Brain Disorders University of Texas Medical School at Houston Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Soto: In this study we describe for the first time the highly sensitive detection of prions in human urine, specifically in samples from patients affected by the variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is the disease produced by infection with prions associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. For detection we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique which amplifies the amount of abnormal prion protein in a cyclical manner conceptually analogous to the polymerize chain reaction. We detected prions in 13 of the 14 vCJD cases analyzed, and the only negative was a sample coming from a patient under treatment with a experimental drug injected directly into the brain. No false positive were observed in the more than 200 cases analyzed.  The concentration of abnormal prion protein in urine was estimated at 1x10^-16 g/ml, or 3x10^-21 moles/ml, which extrapolates to ~40-100 particles per ml of urine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Herpes Viruses, Vaccine Studies / 06.08.2014

Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH Post-doctoral research fellow Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH Post-doctoral research fellow Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Tartof: Our study found that the herpes zoster vaccine continues to be effective in protecting older adults against shingles, even after they undergo chemotherapy. In particular, we found that those patients who were previously vaccinated with the vaccine were 42 percent less likely to develop shingles following chemotherapy treatment. We also found that none of our vaccinated patients underwent hospitalization for shingles, while six unvaccinated patients were hospitalized with the disease. (more…)
Education, HIV, Yale / 24.07.2014

Lynn E. Fiellin, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Director, play2PREVENT Lab Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 06510MedicalResearch.com Interview with Lynn E. Fiellin, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Director, play2PREVENT Lab Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 06510 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Fiellin: The current findings are part of a larger study evaluating an interactive evidence-based video game, PlayForward: Elm City Stories, developed on the iPad and targeting risk reduction and HIV prevention in 333 young teens (ages 11-14). The larger study is examining a range of outcomes including knowledge, intentions, self-efficacy and actual behaviors and we are collecting at baseline, 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. We are examining these outcomes in our experimental group compared with a control group playing a set of off-the-shelf games on the iPad. The current findings of the 196 teens who have completed the 6 weeks of gameplay and for whom we have baseline and 3 month data, reveal that, while the two groups had no differences in their baseline HIV risk knowledge, the PlayForward group had statistically significant gains in knowledge at 6 weeks (p<0.0001), sustained at 3 months (p<0.01). In addition, examining the association between exposure to the game and performance on the standardized assessments revealed that the number of game levels completed (a measure of exposure to the intervention) was positively correlated with knowledge gains measured at 3 months (r=0.42; p<0.001). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, General Medicine, Infections, Journal Clinical Oncology, Sloan Kettering / 23.07.2014

Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, PhD Assistant Attending Outcomes Research Scientist Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY  10065MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, PhD Assistant Attending Outcomes Research Scientist Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY  10065 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lipitz-Snyderman: Long-term central venous catheters are used to administer intravenous fluids and treatments such as chemotherapy.  These catheters can also be a source of bloodstream infections which can be harmful to cancer patients.  However, this risk is not well understood.  In our study, we found that the use of these catheters was associated with an increased risk of infections for patients with cancer.  We used a population-based dataset, SEER-Medicare, to study this issue in older adult cancer patients.  This dataset allowed us to study patients treated in different institutions and follow them over time. (more…)
Infections / 22.07.2014

Dr. Dan Everitt Senior Medical Officer, TB Alliance.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Dan Everitt Senior Medical Officer, TB Alliance. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Everitt: The NC-002 trial tested a new, three-drug TB combination therapy, consisting of PA-824 (a new chemical entity), moxifloxacin (a re-purposed drug, not yet approved for TB treatment), and pyrazinamide (an existing TB drug currently used in standard TB treatment). This regimen is known as "PaMZ" and was tested in both drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB patients). In the eight-week trial, PaMZ killed more bacteria than standard therapy and did so at a faster rate, showing its potential to shorten therapy to as little as four months for drug-sensitive and some forms of MDR-TB. Additionally, the trial included HIV-positive patients and a formal statistical evaluation found no effect of HIV status on the outcome of the study. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV / 22.07.2014

 Dr. Nelli Westercamp PhD, MPH, MBA University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health Kenya, Epidemiology and Public HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nelli Westercamp PhD, MPH, MBA University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health Kenya, Epidemiology and Public Health Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Westercamp: The three clinical control trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa found that male circumcision reduces the risk of female to male transmission by up to 60%, prompting the endorsement of medical male circumcision as an HIV prevention intervention by the WHO and UNAIDS.  However, as medical male circumcision services for HIV prevention are being rolled out in the priority countries, questions remain whether the male circumcision promotion will actually translate into decreases in HIV infections. One factor that could reduce the effectiveness of male circumcision for HIV prevention at the population level is the behavioral risk compensation.  In other words, if men who become circumcised believe that they are fully protected against HIV and engage in higher sexual risk taking behaviors as a result of this belief, this could reduce or even negate the protective effect of male circumcision against HIV. To answer this question, we conducted a large prospective study concurrently with the scale up of male circumcision services in Western Kenya.  We recruited 1,588 men seeking circumcision services as well as 1,598 men who decided to remain uncircumcised  and assessed their sexual behaviors over 2 years, every 6 months.  We then compared the behaviors of circumcised men before and after circumcision and also the behaviors of circumcised and uncircumcised men over time. In the beginning of the study, we found that men choosing to become circumcised believed they were at higher risk of HIV than their uncircumcised counterparts. This perception of HIV risk declined significantly among the circumcised men after circumcision (from 30% at baseline to 14% at 24 months of follow up), while remaining relatively stable among the uncircumcised men (24% to 21%, respectively).  Looking at sexual risk behaviors, we saw that the overall level of sexual activity increased equally in both groups, mostly driven by the youngest age group (18-24 year old). However, despite the decrease in risk perception among circumcised men and the increase in sexual activity among all men, all other risky behaviors decreased in both groups and protective behaviors – such as condom use – increased, particularly among circumcised men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Lancet / 22.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Jean-Francois Rossignol, FRSC, FRCPath Romark Laboratories, LC MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Rossignol: Nitazoxanide, a new orally administered drug in development for treating influenza, reduced the duration of symptoms of uncomplicated influenza compared to a placebo. The drug also reduced viral shedding. Side effects were similar for the drug and placebo treatment arms. The study was designed and conducted in compliance with FDA guidelines for studying new drugs for influenza. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, HIV, JAMA, Weight Research / 21.07.2014

Steven Grinspoon, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism Co-Director, Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114MedicalResearch.com Interview with Steven Grinspoon, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism Co-Director, Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Grinspoon: The primary finding is that tesamorelin, a hypothalamic peptide that increases the endogenous pulsatile secretion of growth hormone, reduced liver fat in HIV-infected patients with increased visceral (abdominal) fat.  Increased visceral fat is very closely linked with increased liver fat in HIV patients, but the effects on liver fat were not known.  Our data show that tesamorelin reduces liver fat in conjunction with decreasing visceral fat, which may be clinically important for patients with HIV-infection who have both increased abdominal fat and fatty liver disease. In addition the study demonstrated that this treatment strategy was neutral to glucose by the end of the 6 month study. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV / 21.07.2014

Anna Satcher Johnson MPH Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Anna Satcher Johnson MPH Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The new analysis confirms historical trends suggesting that we’ve made significant progress in reducing HIV in the U.S. over time – overall and among several key populations, including injection drug users and heterosexuals.  Overall, new HIV diagnoses from 2002 to 2011 declined 33 percent.  However, these findings underscore continued concerns of a surging HIV epidemic among young gay and bisexual men.  We found a significant increase in HIV diagnoses among young men who have sex with men between the ages of 13 and 24. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA / 20.07.2014

Dr Peter MacPherson MBChB PhD Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Department of Clinical Sciences Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Peter MacPherson MBChB PhD Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Department of Clinical Sciences Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. MacPherson: In 2012, an estimated 35 million individuals were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) worldwide. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) substantially reduces the risk of HIV transmission as well as greatly reducing illness and death, raising hopes that high uptake of annual HIV testing and early initiation of ART could improve HIV prevention as well as care. Achieving high coverage of HIV testing and treatment is a major challenge however, with low rates of HIV testing and poor linkage into HIV care. Self-testing for HIV infection (defined as individuals performing and interpreting their HIV test in private) is a novel approach that has seen high acceptance in Malawi and the United States, and is a process that could overcome barriers to conventional facility-based and community-based HIV testing, which lack privacy and convenience. However, no studies in high HIV prevalence settings have investigated linkage into HIV care after HIV self-testing. Among 16,6660 adults in Blantyre, Malawi offered HIV self-testing, optional home initiation of HIV care (including two-weeks of ART for those eligible) compared with standard HIV care resulted in a substantial and significant increase in the proportion of adults initiating antiretroviral therapy. HIV self-testing was also extremely popular, with 58% of the adult population self-testing with just 6-months. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate a comprehensive home-based HIV testing, eligibility assessment and treatment initiation strategy. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Lancet / 20.07.2014

Dr. Colette SmithMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Colette Smith: PhD Research Department of Infection and Population Health University College London, London, UK   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Smith: We followed a group of approximately 45,000 HIV-positive people from Europe, USA and Australia between 1999 to 2011. We found that the death rate approximately halved over the 12-year study period. For every 1,000 people, around 18 died per year in 1999-2001, reducing to 9 deaths per year in 2009-2011. We also studied what people died of. We found that the death rate from AIDS and from liver disease decreased by around two-thirds. Deaths from heart disease approximately halved. However, the rate of cancer deaths (excluding cancers that are classified as AIDS events) remained constant over time. One in three deaths were caused by AIDS in 1999 to 2011, and this decreased to one in five deaths in the last two years of the study. However, even in recent years it was the joint most common cause of death. The proportion of deaths from cancer increased over time. One in ten deaths were from cancer in 1999 to 2001, and this increased to one in five deaths in 2009 to 2011. By the end of the study it was the joint-most common cause of death. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, OBGYNE / 19.07.2014

Jared Baeten, MD PhD Professor, Departments of Global Health and Medicine Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology University of Washington Seattle, WA 98104MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jared Baeten, MD PhD Professor, Departments of Global Health and Medicine Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology University of Washington Seattle, WA 98104 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Baeten: Among heterosexual African couples in which the male was HIV positive and the female was not, receipt of antiretroviral pre-exposure preventive (PrEP) therapy did not result in significant differences in pregnancy incidence, birth outcomes, and infant growth compared to females who received placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 18.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Joshua Thaden MD, PhD Duke University Division of Infectious Diseases Durham, North Carolina Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Thaden: The primary findings of the study are that
  • The rate of detection of particularly antibiotic resistant bacteria -- the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) -- has increased 5-fold in a set of community hospitals in the southeastern United States, and that
  • This increase is due to both changes in how we detect CRE and in increased endemicity (i.e., there are just more CRE around).
(more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics / 10.07.2014

Pete Dodd (BA, BSc, MMath, PhD) Research associate in health economic modelling Health Economics and Decision Science ScHARR Regent Court SheffieldMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pete Dodd (BA, BSc, MMath, PhD) Research associate in health economic modelling Health Economics and Decision Science ScHARR Regent Court Sheffield Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dodd: We found that over 650,000 children under the age of 15 developed tuberculosis in the 22 highest burden countries in 2010, with around 7.6 million becoming infected with the bacillus and more than 50 million harboring latent infection. Our work points to a much larger gap between notifications and incidence in children compared to adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, mBio / 08.07.2014

Soo Chan Lee, PhD Senior Research Associate, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 27710MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Soo Chan Lee, PhD Senior Research Associate, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 27710 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Soo Chan Lee: Mucor circinelloides strain isolated from recalled Chobani yogurt was found to be the most virulent subspecies M. circinelloides forma circinelloides that is commonly associated with human infections. When mice were infected with this fungus through the tail-vein, 80% mortality was observed 5 days post infection. When mice were fed with spores, the fungus survived passage through the GI tract as many as 10 days, indicating the fungus can colonize to cause infections.  Whole genome sequence analysis revealed the possibility that this fungus could produce harmful secondary metabolites that are unknown in this fungal species. (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, HIV, PLoS / 06.07.2014

Dr. Don C. Des Jarlais PhD Director, International Research Core, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research Research Fellow, NDRI Director of Research, Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of MedicineMedicalResearch Interview with: Dr. Don C. Des Jarlais PhD Director, International Research Core, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research Research Fellow, NDRI Director of Research, Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Des Jarlais: HIV infection among non-injecting users of heroin and cocaine doubled doubled over the last several decades, from 7% to 14%. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) increases both susceptibility to and transmissibility of HIV. We examined HSV-2 infection among non-injecting heroin and cocaine user over the same time period using stored serum samples. HSV-2 infection was strongly related to HIV infection, and both increased over time. We calculated population attributable risk percentages (PAR%) to estimate the extent to which HSV-2 was driving increased HIV infection. HSV-2 infection was responsible for approximately half of the increase in HIV infection (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, HIV / 01.07.2014

Connie Celum, MD, MPH Professor of Global Health and Medicine Director, International Clinical Research Center University of Washington Harborview Medical Center Seattle WA  98104MedicalResearch.com: Interview with Connie Celum, MD, MPH Professor of Global Health and Medicine Director, International Clinical Research Center University of Washington Harborview Medical Center Seattle WA  98104 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Celum: We conducted a randomized, double blind study of daily oral tenofovir and tenofovir combined with emtricitabine (FTC) as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV among HIV serodiscordant couples (in which onepartner had HIV and the other partner did not) in Kenya and Uganda. Because of recent studies showing that tenofovir gel could reduce the chances of becoming HSV-2 infected, we studied the subset of HIV-uninfected partners who did not have HSV-2 and compared the rates who became HSV-2 infected during follow-up among those  who received oral pre-exposure prophylaxis versus those who received placebo.  We found that oral pre-exposure prophylaxis reduced HSV-2 acquisition by 30%. (more…)