Author Interviews, Infections, Pain Research, PLoS, Urinary Tract Infections / 17.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ingvild Vik MD Doctoral Research Fellow Department of General Practice Institute of Health and Society - UiO University of Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common bacterial infection in women. It is painful and troublesome, and even though it is often self-limiting most women who see a doctor will be prescribed an antibiotic, as antibiotics provide quick symptom relief.  Antibiotic resistance is a growing, serious public health problem. Antibiotic use is the main contributor to antibiotic resistance, and to stop the rapid development it is crucial that we reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can cause unpleasant and potentially severe side effects, so avoiding unnecessary use is also beneficial for the individual patient. A small German trial published in 2010 by Bleidorn et al. suggested that ibuprofen was non-inferior to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in achieving symptomatic cure in uncomplicated UTI. This inspired us to conduct a larger trial to compare the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated UTI.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 15.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Tom Lodise PharmD, Professor Albany College of Health Sciences, NY  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: P. aeruginosa (PSA) is intrinsically resistant to many commercially available antibiotics and also has a remarkable capacity to develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics like carbapenems, aminoglycosides, and fluoroquinolones. The terms ‘multidrug resistant’ (MDR) and ‘pan-drug resistant’ are often used to characterize the different patterns of multiple drug resistance exhibited by PSA. Patients with MDR-PSA infections are at an increased risk for delayed receipt of appropriate antimicrobial therapy and ample studies indicated that receipt of delayed appropriate therapy results in substantial increases in morbidity, mortality, and healthcare resource utilization. Although risk factors for these types of infections have previously been identified in the literature, this study takes identification of risk factors further, and develops two clinical risk scores to estimate the probabilities of carbapenem and extensively beta-lactam non-susceptibility among hospitalized, adult patients with PSA infections based on covariates available on clinical presentation. We focused on these two PSA non-susceptible phenotypes as they represent infections at high risk of delayed appropriate therapy due to resistance against the current commonly prescribed empiric anti-pseudomonal antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Merck / 10.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elizabeth Rhee MD Director, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Merck MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High-risk patients, such as the critically ill, with suspected bacterial infections require prompt treatment with appropriate empiric therapy to improve survival. Given the high prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the ICU setting, new safe and broadly effective treatment options are needed for critically ill patients requiring antipseudomonal agents. Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is an antipseudomonal cephalosporin/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination with broad in vitro activity against Gram-negative pathogens, including MDR P. aeruginosa and many extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers. It is FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections in adults at 1.5g (1g/0.5g) q8h. C/T is currently being studied at 3g (2g/1g) q8h, for the treatment of ventilated nosocomial pneumonia, in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial. This Phase 1 pharmacokinetic (PK) study investigated the penetration of a 3g dose of C/T in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of ventilated patients with proven or suspected pneumonia. This is the dose and patient population being evaluated in ASPECT-NP. ELF lines the alveoli, and investigators took samples in a group of 26 patients to see what amount of C/T was in the lung and what was circulating in the plasma during the dosing intervals. In mechanically ventilated critically ill patients, the 3g dose of C/T achieved ≥50% lung penetration (relative to free plasma) and sustained levels in ELF above the target concentrations for the entire dosing interval. These findings support the 3g dose that is included in the ASPECT-NP Phase 3 trial.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Merck / 10.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Becky Jayakumar, PharmD College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice Roseman University of Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bacteremia (bloodstream infections) due to Gram-negative (GN) bacteria are a frequent cause of severe sepsis and pose serious therapeutic challenges due to multidrug-resistance (MDR). Ceftolozane/tazobactam (C/T) is a novel antipseudomonal cephalosporin combined with an established β-lactamase inhibitor. This retrospective, observational study evaluated the clinical outcomes of C/T real-world use in severely ill patients. Twenty-two patients with sepsis and/or bacteremia were included; 95% of whom had Pseudomonas aeruginosa that was resistant to almost all antibacterials with the exception of colistin. C/T successfully treated the majority of these complicated patients. In this real-world study, 77% of patients had a clinical response with C/T and 75% had a microbiological response. Clinical success rates were high and mortality rates were similar to other studies in this severely ill population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, Merck / 10.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amanda Paschke, MD, MSCE Senior principal scientist Infectious disease clinical research Merck Research Laboratories MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study sought to evaluate a new beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor antibacterial combination, imipenem/relebactam (IMI/REL), compared with colistin plus imipenem for the treatment of infections caused by resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Patients enrolled in the trial had hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (HABP/VABP), complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI), or complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) caused by pathogens that were non susceptible to imipenem, a carbapenem antibacterial. In this study, the primary outcome was a favorable overall response to treatment, which was comparable between the IMI/REL vs colistin + IMI arms. Colistin (often combined with a carbapenem) is currently among the standard of care treatment regimens for MDR infections.  A key secondary endpoint of the study was safety.  IMI/REL was well tolerated; among all treated patients, drug-related adverse events (AEs) occurred in 16.1% of IMI/REL and 31.3% of colistin + IMI patients with treatment-emergent nephrotoxicity observed in 10% (3/29 patients) and 56% (9/16 patients), respectively (p=0.002). Results of the trial support the use of imipenem-relebactam (IMI/REL) as an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment option for carbapenem-resistant infections.  (more…)
FDA, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 08.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Danzig, MD Chief Medical Office PaxVax MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly explain what is meant by Chikungunya infection?  Whom does it primarily affect?  How is it transmitted and what the  complications? Response: Chikungunya is caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) spread by infected mosquitos. Infection with chikungunya virus results in severe, often debilitating joint pain in infected patients, known as arthralgia. Symptoms can include intense discomfort in joints, such as the wrists, fingers, ankles, and feet, in the knees and in the hips or shoulders. Those affected can also frequently suffer from headaches, fever, and severe muscle pain, rashes on the torso and limbs and swelling in one or more cervical lymph nodes. Individuals who are at a higher risk for contracting chikungunya include infants, elderly and those with chronic conditions. The virus is a small, spherical, enveloped, positive-strand RNA virus. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito, which originated in Africa, first spreading to Asia and recently expanding to the western hemisphere.  Outbreaks are rapid and widespread.  In February 2005 a major outbreak of chikungunya occurred in the islands of the Indian Ocean after which over 1.9 million cases have been reported in India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar and Thailand. Chikungunya spread has been identified in 45 countries in the Americas alone with more than 1.7 million suspected cases reported to the Pan American Health Organization since 2015, increasing the incidence of the disease and risk to U.S. travelers. In 2016 there were approximately 60,000 cases of chikungunya across India. Beyond the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, inhabitants and travelers visiting sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are also at risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Infections, JACC, Orthopedics / 26.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Taylor, MD, PhD Marcus Chair in Vascular Medicine Executive Vice Chair, Medicine Director, Division of Cardiology Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The early identification and localization of bacterial infections is a critical step for initiating effective treatment.   This is particularly challenging in the setting of infections associated with implanted medical devices.  We have developed a highly specific probe for bacteria that is based on the fact that bacteria have a specific system for taking up maltodextrins which are polysaccharides that mammalian cells cannot take up directly.  We can label this probe with either a fluorescent of radioactive tag that allows visualization of the bacteria. In the current article, we have used an animal model of implantable cardiac devices to demonstrate that our probe is very specific and sensitive for detecting bacterial infections.  It is worth noting that these are subclinical infections that could not be detected by any other means except for surgical removal. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Infections, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 18.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin D. Horne, PhD Director of Cardiovascular and Genetic Epidemiology Intermountain Heart Institute Intermountain Medical Center Salt Lake City, Utah  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Evidence suggests that short-term elevations (even for just a few days) of fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5, which is particulate matter less than 2.5 um or about one-thirtieth the diameter of a human hair) is associated with various poor health outcomes among adults, including myocardial infarction, heart failure exacerbation, and worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms. Studies of long-term exposure to moderately elevated levels of PM2.5 indicate that chronic daily air pollution exposure may contribute to death due to pneumonia and influenza. Research regarding the association of short-term elevations in PM2.5 has provided some limited evidence of a possible association between short-term PM2.5 increases and infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or bronchiolitis in children, but scientifically these reports have been weak and unreliable, probably because they have only looked at a period of a few days to a week after short-term PM2.5 elevations. An evaluation of a very large population in a geographic location that provides a wide variation in PM2.5 levels from lowest to highest levels and that examines longer periods of time after the PM2.5 elevations is needed to determine whether a PM2.5 association with lower respiratory infection exists. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Nature, NIH, PLoS, Rheumatology / 16.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John B. Harley, MD, PhD Professor and Director David Glass Endowed Chair Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio 45229 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous work has shown that Epstein-Barr virus infection is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and studies of the origins of the autoimmune response have also suggested that the autoimmunity of this disease may originate with the immune response against this virus. In the meantime, many investigators have been studying the genetics of lupus over the past 25 years. They have found about 100 convincing genes that alter the risk of developing lupus. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lipids / 11.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Børge G. Nordestgaard, MD, DMSc Professor, University of Copenhagen Chief Physician, Dept. Clinical Biochemistry Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For decades research into the role and function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has revolved around the believe that HDL protects against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, results from large genetic studies and from large randomized clinical trials with HDL cholesterol elevating drugs have all indicated that there is no causal association between HDL cholesterol and risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Given the hitherto strong focus on cardiovascular disease, little is known about the possible role of HDL in other aspects of human health and disease. Preclinical evidence has indicated that HDL might be of importance for normal function of the immune system and susceptibility to infectious disease, but it had never previously been investigated if levels of HDL cholesterol is associated with the risk of infectious disease in individuals from the general population. In the present study we tested this hypothesis in more than 100.000 Danes from the population at large. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Pediatrics / 10.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Georgies Mgode PhD Sokoine University of Agriculture Pest Management Centre African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development Morogoro, Tanzania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background of this study is the APOPO and Sokoine University of Agriculture together with NIMR and NTLP interest to explore a cheap, reliable and sustainable means of addressing TB problem in high-burden countries with limited access to advanced sensitive tests. This refers to countries where to-date TB diagnosis is mainly by microscopy that is less sensitive leaving majority of patients undetected. We were driven to explore how these rats can contribute to diagnosis of TB in children that is known to be difficult and rats are known to have a better and advanced sense of smell. According to WHO " an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 250 000 children died of TB in 2016 and the actual burden of TB in children is likely higher given the challenge in diagnosing childhood TB.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 09.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Setor Kunutsor PhD Research Fellow Musculoskeletal Research Unit Bristol Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hip replacement is a very common operation that is effective at providing pain relief and improving mobility. Infection is a fortunately infrequent but devastating complication that can occur following joint replacement. Currently, two main types of surgical procedures are used in treating these infections – one-stage and two-stage revision strategies. In the two-stage procedure, the existing artificial joint is removed in one operation and the patient is treated for several months with antibiotics. A new joint is then inserted in a second operation. In the one-stage procedure, the artificial joint is removed along with all infected tissue and a new one inserted in the same operation. The two-stage procedure has been in use for decades and was regarded as the most effective treatment. There has been an increase in the use of the one-stage procedure as it has also been claimed to be very effective at treating infection. There has been a lot of controversy among orthopaedic surgeons as to which is the best way to treat infected hip replacements. Several studies have been conducted on the topic, but the findings have been inconsistent. Some claim the two-stage to be more effective and others claim the one-stage procedure is. Currently the majority of studies claim the two-stage is better; but no study has been conducted that compares these procedures head-to-head to decide if one is better or if they achieve the same results. Due to the lack of evidence, some surgeons are reluctant to use the one-stage strategy. There was therefore a need to compare the effectiveness of the two surgical strategies using an appropriate study design. We conducted a study which involved collecting and bringing all previous data together under one umbrella. The process is known as “Individual Participant Data meta-analysis”. It involved communicating with surgeons in different countries all over the world and inviting them to contribute data. We called the name of the group “The Global Infection Orthopaedic Management (INFORM) Collaboration”. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Science, Vaccine Studies / 05.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthieu Domenech de Cellès PhD Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Biostatistics, Biomathematics, Pharmacoepidemiology, and Infectious Diseases Unit Institut Pasteur, Inserm, University of Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Versailles, France. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?   Response: Our main motivation was to elucidate an apparent paradox: Why has the US experienced a resurgence of pertussis (whooping cough) since the mid-1970s, despite persistently high vaccine coverage? A variety of hypotheses have been proposed to explain this resurgence, but most attention has focused on the potential shortcomings of the new generation of pertussis vaccines (called acellular pertussis vaccines). However, there remains considerable uncertainty about the degree and the mechanisms of protection conferred by pertussis vaccines. Via a collaboration with the local department of public health, we used detailed surveillance data in the state of Massachusetts to test a number of hypotheses about pertussis vaccines. We found that, although pertussis vaccines are imperfect (in the sense that they do not provide lifelong, 100% protection to 100% of children vaccinated), they are still highly efficacious. Specifically, we estimated that vaccine protection wanes over time, but slowly, with about 85% of children still protected 10 years after vaccination. Despite this high vaccine efficacy, we showed that the resurgence of pertussis was, in fact, to be expected. What happens is that the introduction of routine vaccination leads to an overall reduction in transmission, not only in vaccinated children but also in the population at large. Accordingly, those who escaped vaccination as children (as a consequence of incomplete vaccine coverage or imperfect vaccine protection) increasingly age having also avoided natural infection. As a result, the number of individuals susceptible to contract pertussis gradually increases. Because such people are the “fuel” of epidemics, this sets the stage for pertussis’ resurgence, with increasing incidence among older individuals. This overall effect is called the “end-of-honeymoon” and means that resurgence is therefore a predictable consequence of incomplete vaccination with efficacious, but imperfect, vaccines. Importantly, these results show that recent trends do not necessarily reflect recent changes in the epidemiology of pertussis. Rather, they may be interpreted as a legacy of past immunization practices, with long-to-manifest effects. This is a significant shift of perspective about pertussis epidemiology.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, MD, senior author Deputy Director Office of Antibiotic Stewardship CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As noted in a previous study, antibiotics are prescribed more for sinus infections than any other illness in the United States. We found that almost 70% of antibiotic prescriptions were for 10 days or longer, whereas 5-7 days is recommended for most patients when antibiotics are needed. In addition, more than 20% of antibiotic prescriptions for sinus infections were for 5 days of azithromycin, even though guidelines recommend against prescribing azithromycin for sinus infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, Mental Health Research, Primary Care, Roche / 14.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James W. Antoon, MD, PhD, FAAP Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics University of Illinois at Chicago Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Inpatient Unit Children's Hospital, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Chicago, IL 60612  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oseltamivir, commonly known as Tamiflu, is the only commercially available medication FDA approved to treat the flu.  Since the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic pediatric prescriptions for Tamiflu have soared.  In the United States, about 40% of Tamiflu prescriptions are given to children less than 16 years of age.  Following reports of abnormal behavior, such as hallucinations, self-injury and suicide attempts in adolescents on Tamiflu, the FDA placed a new warning about these neuropsychiatric symptoms on the drug label.  Whenever the FDA puts out label warning about a drug, doctors and the public take notice. Whether Tamiflu truly causes these side effects is unclear.  For this study we chose to focus on the most consequential of those reports: suicide. The potential link between a drug and suicide is a particularly difficult topic to study for a number of reasons. There are things that happen together or at the same time that can influence someone to attempt suicide and it is very difficult to know which thing is actually having an affect. In our study, other things that can influence suicide are socioeconomic status, mental health, trauma, abuse, among others.  Separating the effects of these confounders can be difficult. It is also possible that the disease itself, which in this case is the flu, causes the effect of suicide. Finally, and luckily, suicide is rare. Our database had 12 million children per year and over five year 21,000 attempted suicide. Of those, only 251 were taking Tamiflu. To get past these issues, we took advantage of a growing drug safety research collaboration between the Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacy at our institution.  Previous studies have compared those on Tamiflu to those not on Tamiflu to see if there are more side effects in the Tamiflu group.  Our team utilized a novel study method called a case-crossover design. What’s different about this study is that we used each patient as their own comparison.  In other words, we compared each patient to themselves rather than a different group of people.  We essentially studied how patients behaved when the Tamiflu was in their system compared to other l periods where they were not on Tamiflu.  This allowed use to account for the personal differences noted above like mental health and socioeconomic status.   We also compared those children with flu who got Tamiflu and those with flu who did not get Tamiflu to see if the infection itself could be associated with increased suicide. After accounting for all these variables, we did not find any an association between Tamiflu exposure and suicide. Our findings suggest that Tamiflu does NOT increase the risk of suicide in children or teenagers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 12.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Durkin, MD MPH Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The aim of this study was to evaluate overall national outpatient antibiotic prescribing trends using a pharmacy benefits manager (Express Scripts). We wanted to evaluate if antibiotic prescribing had decreased as a result of increase physician awareness of antibiotic prescribing. Specifically, the ABIM choosing wisely campaign overlapped with our study period. We did not see any significant reductions in antibiotic prescribing during the 3-year study period. This is a little disappointing given that the CDC estimates that 30% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate. We also saw some seasonal variation in antibiotic prescribing. This isn’t particularly novel. But it is important to note, as some of these prescriptions represent providers writing antibiotics for likely viral conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, GSK, Herpes Viruses, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 10.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony. L. Cunningham, MD The Westmead Institute for Medical Research Westmead, NSW University of Sydney, Sydney,   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study examines the reasons why the HZ subunit vaccine candidate (HZ/su vaccine) consisting of a single viral protein, varicella-zoster glycoprotein E, and and adjuvant (immunostimulant) combination AS01B is so effective as a vaccine to prevent shingles (>90%), especially in those over the age of 70 years and 80 years, as published in recent trials i.e. it combats the declining immunity in the aging which usually restricts vaccine efficacy to under 60% in these age groups.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 09.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chih-Chi Andrew Hu, Ph.D. Associate professor in Microenvironment & Metastasis Program Wistar Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: To help our body fight infections, B cells need to differentiate into plasma cells so that they can produce abundant antibodies against pathogens. Antibodies are folded and assembled in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Only those perfectly manufactured antibodies are allowed to be released from the ER and delivered to the outside of B cells to fight against the pathogens. IRE1 is a sensor protein that sits on the membrane of the ER, and can respond to B cell differentiation by activating the transcription factor called XBP1s. Activation of XBP1s allows B cells to expand the size of the ER and produce necessary chaperone proteins to help B cells manufacture perfect antibodies. By studying B cells that lack XBP1s, we discovered that these B cells produced dramatically increased levels of IRE1, and such IRE1 acquired phosphorylation at its serine 729 (S729).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections / 08.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Esther Bullitt, Ph.D. Associate Professor Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA  02118-2526  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:      We know that saliva has properties that allow us to swallow easily, and to help prevent gum disease and infections in the mouth. But is that really the only use for the 1-2 liters (1-2 quarts) of saliva we produce every day?  We decided to test whether a component of saliva, Histatin-5, can help prevent diarrheal disease (Traveler’s Diarrhea by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)) that is caused by bacteria commonly found in contaminated food and water. ETEC are bacteria that have hundreds of thin hair-like fibers on their surface, called pili. These bacteria bind specifically to the surface of the gut using these pili, and the bacteria need to stay bound long enough to initiate disease. Studies by Mike Levine’s group in the 1970’s showed that pili are necessary for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to cause disease. No adhesion, no disease. One aid to remaining bound is the unwinding and rewinding of the pili. These helical fibers can unwind up to 8 times their original length, acting as shock absorbers during fluid flow.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Infections, Pediatrics / 23.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ole Köhler-Forsberg, PhD Student Department of Clinical Medicine - Psychosis Research Unit Aarhus University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies have demonstrated that serious illnesses, for example severe infections such as measles, rubella or meningitis, which we vaccinate against, affect the brain and thereby the child's ability to learn. From this we know that illnesses and in particular infections to some degree have an influence on our brains. In this study, we decided to look at how children perform following the less severe infections that many of them frequently experience during their childhood. After all, this is the largest group of children, but this has not been studied previously in such a large population. Basically, we found that among 598,553 Danes born 1987-1997, the less severe infections treated with anti-infective agents during childhood did not affect the child´s ability to perform well in school, nonetheless whether 5, 10 or 15 prescriptions had been prescribed. On the other hand, we found that children who had been admitted to hospital as a result of severe infections had a lower chance of completing 9th grade. The decisive factor is therefore the severity of the disease, but not necessarily the number of sick days.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 23.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Julie Bines Inaugural Victor and Loti Smorgon Professor of Paediatrics and Deputy Head of Department of Paediatrics University of Melbourne. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of Rotavirus infections? Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of child illness and death, and rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea. Globally rotaviruses cause approximately 215,000 deaths in children under five years. This disease doesn’t discriminate – it infects children worldwide under the age of five – irrespective of what environment you live in. The rotavirus vaccines that are currently available work very well in places like Australia, the US and Europe but they don’t seem to work as well in low income settings in Africa and Asia where severe gastroenteritis is common and many children die. In a world-first clinical trial conducted in Indonesia, the oral RV3-BB vaccine was administered to babies within their first five days of life. Current rotavirus vaccines can only be administered to children older than six weeks, which leaves newborn babies particularly vulnerable to rotavirus infection. In lower resource settings, birth is often the best contact between mother, baby and health services. The oral RV3-BB vaccine was developed from the human neonatal rotavirus strain RV3 identified in the stool of healthy newborn babies. It does not naturally cause diarrhoea like other rotaviruses. The RV3-BB vaccine program aims to take advantage of the characteristics of this novel strain to target a birth dose vaccination strategy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Opiods, Vanderbilt / 13.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Wiese, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As opioid use has increased in the U.S., the safety of prescription opioids has come under further scrutiny. In animal studies, use of certain opioids has been associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, including infectious due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pathogen that causes invasive pneumococcal disease. Invasive pneumococcal disease includes bacteremia, meningitis, and invasive pneumonia, all of which are associated with high mortality. Although those associations have been well established in animal experiments, it is important to understand the risk of serious infections among humans taking prescription opioid analgesics. We found that prescription opioid use is associated with a significantly increased risk for laboratory-confirmed invasive pneumococcal diseases, and that this association was strongest for opioids used at high doses, those classified as high potency and long-acting formulations. The data also showed that opioids previously described as immunosuppressive in prior experimental studies conducted in animals had the strongest association with invasive pneumococcal diseases in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 08.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daihai He Assistant Professor Department of Applied Mathematics Hong Kong Polytechnic University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Yellow fever (YF) is a life-threatening mosquito-borne infection. The 2016-2017 Yellow fever outbreak in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda is the largest YF outbreak in decades. Vaccination is an effective measure to mitigate the YF outbreak. As a result, 30 million people have been vaccinated in DRC and Angola. 962 cases and 137 deaths were confirmed in these two countries. Suspected cases and deaths are 7334 and 498 respectively. The true effect of this large-scale vaccination campaign is unclear. Using mathematical modeling and statistical inference, we found that if the vaccination campaign was not implemented, the size of the outbreaks (in term of cases and deaths) could be 5-6 fold higher in Luanda province Angola, the hit-hardest region. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Surgical Research / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Science Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Grand Forks, ND 58202    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are now several studies that describe the use of antibiotics without surgery to manage acute uncomplicated appendicitis. This entails a prolonged treatment course and has a substantial rate of failure and recurrence, but in patients in whom it succeeds surgery can be avoided. Many surgeons resist offering this choice because they perceive it as substandard compared to surgery, which is rapid, and when it goes well (as it usually does) has no failure or recurrence rate. Instead of debating the statistics, we decided to ask people what they would prefer if they had appendicitis and why. We found that about nine tenths of people would choose surgery, but about one tenth would choose antibiotics, with some subtle distinctions depending on the characteristics of the people we asked.  (For instance, surgeons, doctors in general, and people who knew someone who had previously had appendicitis were all a bit more likely to opt for surgery.)  Furthermore, we found that the key issue for most people was not the prolonged treatment course but the rates of failure and recurrence with antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 22.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bala Venkatesh, MBBS, MD(Int.Med), FRCA, FFARCSI, MD(UK), FCICM Director of Intensive Care, Wesley Hospital Pre-eminent specialist, Princess Alexandra Hospital Professor of Intensive Care,University of QLD Honorary Professor, University of New South WalesProfessorial Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Whether hydrocortisone reduces mortality in patients with septic shock is unclear. The uncertainty about the efficacy of glucocorticoids in reducing mortality in patients with septic shock has resulted in widespread variation in clinical practice In the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine the investigators found steroids not only reduced the duration of septic shock, they also led to less blood transfusions, and the time spent on life support therapy in intensive care. However, the use of steroids did not lead to fewer deaths overall compared to placebo. Some of the findings are consistent with previous research whilst other results add new information that will inform clinicians. Our results show there is still a lot to learn about septic shock which kills up to half of those affected in some parts of the world. There are undoubtedly many other contributors to survival which we don’t yet understand.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 22.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: LaTonia Richardson, PhD, Statistician Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch CDC MedicalResearch.com: Who is IFSAC? Response: The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) was created in 2011 by three federal agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)—to improve coordination of federal food safety analytic efforts and address cross-cutting priorities for food safety data collection, analysis, and use.  The current focus of IFSAC’s activities is foodborne illness source attribution, defined as the process of estimating the most common food sources responsible for specific foodborne illnesses. For more information on IFSAC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/ifsac/index.html. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Pfizer, Vaccine Studies / 22.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judith Absalon, M.D., M.P.H Senior Director, Vaccines Clinical Research Pfizer Pharmaceuticals MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for these two studies? Response: Invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease (MenB) is uncommon, yet serious, is unpredictable and can strike at any age, including healthy teenagers and young adults, with potentially long-lasting and devastating consequences, including death. The data from these two Phase 3 studies, one in adolescents (Study 1009) and one young adults (Study 1016), highlight that Trumenba can help protect teens and young adults against meningococcal group B disease. Additionally, these two large Phase 3 studies confirmed the results of earlier studies and supported the transition from Accelerated to Traditional Approval in the US; were pivotal for approvals in Europe, Australia, and Canada earlier this year; and add to the growing portfolio of research for TRUMENBA. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Infections, Occupational Health / 16.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lindsey Milich Rutgers School of Public Health studiesLindsey Milich Rutgers School of Public Health studies   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Much of the spotlight has been focused on hair and nail technicians, with the focus now shifting towards the health and safety of hair and nail salon clients. We wanted to assess perceived safety and health risks and prevalence of respiratory and dermal symptoms among hair and nail salon clients in New Jersey. Main findings include dermal/fungal symptoms being more prevalent among clients who visited salons three or more times within the past year, compared with those with fewer reported visits. Respiratory symptom prevalence was higher among clients with fewer salon visits, indicating a “healthy client effect”; clients with these symptoms may be less likely to return. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Ophthalmology, Surgical Research / 14.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Penny Asbell, MD Icahn School of Medicine Mt. Sinai, New York City. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? ─     Bacterial endophthalmitis is a serious, although infrequent, complication of ocular surgery, typically caused by perioperative introduction of bacterial flora from the patient’s own conjunctiva and skin. ─     Prophylactic measures such as perioperative antibiotic treatment may minimize the risk for endophthalmitis, but can be complicated by antibiotic resistant bacteria. ─     The ongoing Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring in Ocular micRoorganisms (ARMOR) study is the only nationwide antibiotic resistance surveillance program specific to ocular pathogens. ─     The purpose of this presentation is to report on the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of bacterial isolates from the vitreous and aqueous humor collected in the ARMOR study expanding upon earlier findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, Leukemia, Merck, Transplantation / 12.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Francisco M. Marty, M.D Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common infection in patients who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation with cells from donors different than the patient). Up until now, we had no antiviral agent that could be used for prophylaxis (prevention) of CMV post-transplant because of the side effects of drugs available to date (ganciclovir, valganciclovir, foscarnet, cidofovir). This trial confirmed that letermovir was highly effective in preventing CMV infection when used in the first 100 days after allogeneic HCT, was associated with minimal side effects of concern and was also associated with lower all-cause mortality by Week 24 post-HCT. (more…)