Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections, Transplantation, UT Southwestern / 02.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard Wang, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Currently, there are 13 polyomaviruses known to infect humans. Several members of this family of double-stranded DNA viruses—including Merkel Cell Polyomavirus, Trichodysplasia Spinulosa Polyomavirus, Human Polyomavirus 6 (HPyV6), and Human Polyomavirus 7 (HPyV7)—can be shed from skin of healthy individuals. While most polyomavirus infections are common and subclinical, several polyomaviruses have been associated with debilitating diseases in immunocompromised individuals. Most recently, HPyV7 was discovered in a pruritic and dyskeratotic eruption in two immunosuppressed transplant patients. A closely related polyomavirus, Human Polyomavirus 6, has not yet been strongly linked to any infectious diseases. Using the previously described, characteristic histologic pattern, we identify 3 additional cases of skin eruptions associated with infections of HPyV6 and HPyV7. The association of the dermatoses with highly active infections were confirmed through electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR, and complete sequencing. HPyV7 infects keratinocytes and affects their normal differentiation. In addition, next generation sequencing revealed that HPyV6 could persist in a latent state in the skin of a previously infected patient. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Endocrinology, Infections / 18.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Flaminia Catteruccia PhD Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases Boston, Massachusetts 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mosquito control via lethal insecticides is a key method for reduction of malaria transmission. As insecticide resistance is spreading, new intervention methods are urgent. Our study demonstrates that studies on mosquito biology can provide novel, much needed tools for malaria control. We show how key aspects of mosquito physiology and Plasmodium development can be significantly disrupted in the female Anopheles mosquito by agonists of the insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Modeling of the data predicts that the integration of 20E agonists in malaria control programs would significantly reduce malaria prevalence to a similar extent as insecticides, but without imposing severe costs to mosquito populations (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dental Research, Infections, Rheumatology, Science / 17.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maximilian F. Konig, MD Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Current affiliation: Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:The idea that rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that leads to chronic joint inflammation and destruction, may be initiated by a bacterial infection is not novel, but has been posited for more than a century. Based on the clinical observation that patients with RA frequently have severe periodontal disease (gum disease), gum inflammation has long been thought to contribute to disease development in RA. However, limited understanding of the mechanisms that fuel and sustain the autoimmune attack in RA made it difficult to pinpoint a specific bacterial trigger. In recent years, our understanding of the abnormal immune response that attacks the joints in patients with RA has grown exponentially, and we now know that disease-specific autoantibodies (ACPAs) target modified self-proteins (this modification is known as citrullination). It is this abnormal immune response against citrullinated proteins that appears to drive the joint (and sometimes lung) inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies from our laboratory at The Johns Hopkins University (led by principle investigator Felipe Andrade, MD, PhD) suggested that an immune cell called the neutrophil, which normally protects us from infection at sites like the oral cavity or anywhere else in the body, also appears to be the source of the proteins attacked in RA. We were therefore interested to understand what drives the association of gum disease, an inflammation commonly triggered by bacteria, with RA. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Nature / 16.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Alistair J P Brown  DSc FSB FAAM FRSE Aberdeen Fungal Group, MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, University of Aberdeen, Institute of Medical Sciences, Foresterhill, Aberdeen UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most of us harbor the yeast Candida albicans, and most of the time it does us no harm.  However, under certain circumstances it can break out to cause nasty infections of the mouth or genitalia (thrush), or potentially fatal infections in vulnerable intensive care patients.  Indeed, over half of women will suffer at least one episode of vulvovaginal candidiasis in their lifetime, and over 5% of women suffer recurrent episodes (four or more episodes per annum).  Also, it has been estimated that there are over 400,000 life-threatening systemic Candida infections worldwide per annum, of which over 40% are fatal (see Science Translational Medicine (2012) vol. 4, 165rv13).  A key to this is the potency of our immunological defenses: the weaker our defenses the more vulnerable we are to fungal infection.  Therefore, we in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Medical Mycology – and other groups worldwide – are studying the mechanisms by which our immune cells recognize and kill invading Candida cells, thereby protecting us from infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Dermatology, Herpes Viruses, HIV, Infections, STD / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: E. Charles Osterberg, M.D. Assistant Professor of Surgery Genitourinary Reconstruction and Trauma University of Texas- Dell Medical School Dell-Seton Medical Center / University Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pubic hair grooming has become an increasingly common practice among men and women. Perceptions of genital normalcy have changed as modern society’s definition of attractiveness and feelings of femininity and masculinity have changed. Pubic hair grooming has been shown to increase morbidity such as genital injuries, however little is known about the relationship between grooming practices and sexually transmitted infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections, JAMA, Neurological Disorders / 12.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zanusso Gianluigi M.D.Ph.D. Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences University of Verona Verona, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: To determine RT-QuIC assay sensitivity and specificity in cerebrospinal fluid and olfactory mucosa in a large group of patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable, possible or suspect Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) and controls. In these patients, RT-QuIC testing of CSF and olfactory mucosa provided a specificity and sensitivity of 100%. A softer swab for olfactory mucosa sampling provided the same sensitivity as using a brush . (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, MRSA, Nature / 03.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ferric C. Fang, M.D. Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology Adjunct Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) Director, Harborview Medical Center Clinical Microbiology Laboratory University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Fang lab has a longstanding interest in the interaction between nitric oxide (NO·) and pathogenic bacteria. NO· is an important mediator of the host innate immune response that restricts the growth of invading bacterial pathogens. One of the known actions of NO· is the reversible inhibition of aerobic respiration that results from NO· binding to the heme centers of terminal oxidases. Like mammalian hosts, many bacteria also possess the ability to enzymatically synthesize NO·. Our latest research investigated the physiological role of the Staphylococcus aureus nitric oxide synthase (saNOS). We discovered that endogenously produced NO· is able to target bacterial terminal oxidases under microaerobic conditions, allowing the bacteria to transition to nitrate respiration when oxygen concentrations are limited and helping to maintain the membrane potential. This process was found to be essential for S. aureus nasal colonization in a mouse model. Thus, a conserved mechanism is involved in both the antimicrobial actions of NO· and the physiological role of NO· in regulating bacterial electron transfer reactions. Interestingly, NO·-heme interactions have been shown to control mitochondrial respiration during hypoxia in mammalian cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, MRSA, NIH, Science / 01.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Warren Leonard, M.D. NIH Distinguished Investigator Laboratory of Molecular Immunology NHLBI, NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: TSLP is a cytokine that has been well studied in the context of T cell helper type 2 (TH2) responses and the promotion of atopic diseases. TSLP is naturally expressed at barrier surfaces, such as the skin; however, its role in skin infections was not previously explored. In our study, we investigated whether TSLP plays a role in host defense to Staphylococcus aureus skin infections, using the most common strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) present in the United States. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Kidney Disease / 30.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Georg Schlieper, MD MVZ DaVita Rhein-Ruhr Duesseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization in hemodialysis patients is associated with higher risk for systemic infection. Recent hospitalization and temporary dialysis access are known risk factors for MRSA colonization. Whether MRSA colonization rates in hospital-based dialysis centers differ from separate dialysis centers is unknown. Data on MRSA decolonization strategies in hemodialysis patients are scarce. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, PLoS / 30.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Romolo Nonno, DVM, PhD Istituto Superiore di Sanità Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria e Sicurezza Alimentare Roma Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have suggested that prion populations are composed of a variety of conformational variants subjected to Darwinian evolution driven by selective regimes. However, the exact molecular mechanisms that make prions able to self-replicate and mutate are still poorly understood. A major technical advance in this field has been the discovery of techniques that allow to replicate prions in vitro, outside live organisms. One of these techniques, Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA), allows to grow prion populations for a very high number of replications in a relatively short time period. Furthermore it is conceivable that the in vitro environment offers less constraint to prion replication than live animals or cells, due to the absence of active clearance and cell division, which are key players of conformers selection in ex vivo models. These features make PMCA an attractive tool to investigate prion replication, mutation and evolution. By using PMCA, we investigated the in vitro evolution of prion populations derived from natural scrapie. Unexpectedly, we found that the cloud of conformational variants which compose a natural scrapie isolate also includes “defective” variants which, once isolated, are unable to self-sustain in vivo. Importantly, we found that the defective prion mutant that we have isolated possesses unique biochemical properties in that its prion domain lacks the central region of prion protein, which is invariably present in known infectious mammalian prions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections / 22.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD Associate Professor of Dermatology Residency Program Director Director of Translational Research Department of Dermatology George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was developed out of a session I and my colleague, Neal Bhatia, held at the 2016 Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic and Clinical Conference. As an interactive session which had the audience answer whether they clinically thought an image was representative of a fungal skin infection or not, we collected audience responses and were impressed by how even dermatologists struggle with making this diagnosis clinically. This is not so surprising given the protean nature and diverse presentations of these infections, not to mention the many mimics which are not due to infection. Only one of the thirteen images shown was appropriately diagnosed by 90% of the audience. This highlights that the importance of using bedside diagnostic techniques such as KOH preps and culture to identify underlying cause in order to appropriately use the right therapy for the right condition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Geriatrics, Infections / 15.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John P. Haran, MD Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School UMass Memorial Medical Group Worcester, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2014, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) updated their guidelines for the management of skin and soft tissue infection in response to high MRSA infection rates as well as high treatment failure rates for skin and soft tissue infections. Greater than 1 in 5 patients treated for a skin abscess will fail initial treatment. Historically antibiotics have been shown to be unnecessary in the treatment of uncomplicated purulent infections. This notion has been recently challenges when authors published a randomized control trial using trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazone in the NEJM that demonstrated a minimal increase in cure rates for outpatient treatment of uncomplicated skin purulent skin infections. In this study they did not follow IDSA-guidelines nor model or stratify their analysis. It is possible their findings may be due to at-risk patient groups that did not receive antibiotics. Many widely used clinical decision rules incorporate age into their decision algorithms, however the IDSA did not do this with their recent guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 08.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Snigdha Vallabhaneni Medical epidemiologist Mycotic Diseases Branch CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This report is the first to describe U.S. cases of C. auris infection. C. auris is often resistant to antifungal drugs and tends to occur in hospitalized patients. In June 2016, CDC issued a clinical alert describing the global emergence of C. auris and requesting that laboratories report C. auris cases and send patient samples to state and local health departments and CDC. Since then, CDC has been investigating reports of C. auris with several state and local health departments. Seven of the cases occurred between May 2013 and August 2016 and are described in this report. Among the seven cases detailed in the report, patients with C. auris were reported in four states: New York, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey. All of the patients had serious underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized an average of 18 days when C. auris was identified. Four of the patients died; it is unclear whether the deaths were associated with C. auris infection or underlying health conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, CDC, Infections, Outcomes & Safety / 07.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Shannon Novosad, MD Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clostridium difficile can cause an infection in the colon called colitis. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. It is an important cause of healthcare associated infections with approximately half a million C. difficile infections and 29,000 associated deaths in 2011. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America published guidelines in 2010 advising clinicians on appropriate antibiotic regimens to treat C. difficile infection.  Prior studies have found that provider adherence to these guidelines, particularly in those with severe disease, is poor.  However, these studies primarily involved patients treated at a single healthcare facility. We were interested in examining CDI treatment practices in a larger group of patients with C. difficile infection located across geographically diverse areas. Further we wanted to learn more about what patient characteristics might be associated with receiving guideline-adherent therapy for C. difficile infection. We used data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program (EIP) which performs active population and laboratory-based surveillance for C. difficile infections in 10 U.S. sites and examined how 11,717 patients including 2006 with severe disease were treated. We found that provider adherence to national treatment guidelines was low with only around 40% of those with severe disease being prescribed the appropriate antibiotic treatment. Our analysis suggests that those who were tested for C. difficile in the hospital or who were admitted to the hospital around the time of diagnosis were more likely to receive recommended antibiotic therapy. In addition, patients greater than 65 years old or with more underlying comorbidities were more likely to receive the right antibiotic treatment. We also found that after adjusting for age and underlying comorbidities, the odds of death within 30 days of diagnosis was almost 400% higher in patients who did not receive guideline-adherent therapy compared to those who did. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Infections / 27.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle E. Doll, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Associate Hospital Epidemiologist Department of Internal Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases North Hospital Richmond, VA 23298-0019 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are many studies that show that poor oral health is associated with systemic conditions including bacterial pneumonias Fort Wayne Dentist might have to employ different strategies. Many find this link surprising, but considering that the airways are a direct conduit between the oral cavity and the lungs, saliva containing oral bacteria is able to track down into the lungs via aspiration. Previous studies have found that good oral health seems to prevent pneumonias in people susceptible to lung infections, possibly because the types and quantities of bacteria residing in the mouth are different in people with healthy versus unhealthy teeth. In my infectious disease clinical practice, I am often frustrated by my inability to assist patients with dental problems. Many of my patients are immunosuppressed, and when they have tooth decay for which they are unable to get timely dental care, I worry about consequences of untreated dental disease; lack of access to dental care is common in the United States. For these reasons, we decided to use data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to determine whether dental care is preventive for bacterial pneumonia. The MEPS database is a large, nationwide survey administered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), with comprehensive insurance data including dental insurance and access. We found that those who never see the dentist were 86% more likely to get pneumonia in a year, compared to those who visit the dentist for routine check-ups twice a year or more. Furthermore, even those who visit the dentist less than once yearly were at smaller but still significantly increased risk of pneumonia compared to those who see the dentist more frequently. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections, Technology / 19.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ying Kong Ph.D. Assistant Professor University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry Memphis, TN 38163 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tuberculosis (TB) is a public health concern worldwide, with high morbidity and mortality. The causative agent of TB, M. tuberculosis, grows very slowly in culture. For research of TB, we need to quantitate bacterial numbers in order to evaluate drug and vaccine efficacy or to identify bacterial genes that are critical for survival in hosts or causing disease. M. tuberculosis divides every ~20 hours, which is much slower than other bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium, which divide every 20 minutes. Conventionally, quantitation of M. tuberculosis needs to spread M. tuberculosis on agar plates and wait for four weeks to obtain visible colonies, and then to count colony forming units. For the fast-growing bacteria, it takes only 18 hours to obtain visible colonies on agar plates. We and other groups have developed fluorescent protein labeled M. tuberculosis strains in order to quantitate M. tuberculosis in real time by measuring fluorescence. In this way, we are able to estimate bacterial number right after fluorescence measurement, which only takes a few minutes. However, this technology is not a diagnostic tool for clinical use, because the M. tuberculosis strains that we used were recombinant strains transformed with fluorescent protein genes. Another imaging technology that we have developed, REF, is for diagnosis purpose, which has been described in details in our other papers (Xie H, et al. Rapid point-of-care detection of the tuberculosis pathogen using a BlaC-specific fluorogenic probe. Nat Chem. 2012 Oct;4(10):802-9. Cheng Y, et al. Fluorogenic probes with substitutions at the 2 and 7 positions of cephalosporin are highly BlaC-specific for rapid Mycobacterium tuberculosis detection. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Aug 25;53(35):9360-4.). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet / 17.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Penders PhD Assistant professor Dept. of Medical Microbiology Maastricht University, Maastricht MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) constitutes an increasingly important human health hazard worldwide. Especially, the rapid emergence and global spread of multidrug resistant Enterobacteriaceae is worrisome. These bacteria often produce enzymes like extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemases, which inactivate most beta-lactam antibiotics, and are often co-resistant to multiple other antibiotic classes. Consequently, treatment options for infections with multidrug resistant Enterobacteriaceae are limited. The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is generally higher in low and middle income countries as a result of inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents, overcrowding and lack of hygiene and infection control measures. The exponential increase of international travel to such endemic areas may substantially contribute to the emergence and spread of AMR as it allows resistant bacteria to be rapidly transported between regions. Indeed several previous studies had already indicated that international travel is a major risk factor for colonisation with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae. However, many questions remained unanswered, such as the travel destinations and potential risk-behaviour that provide the highest risk for colonisation, how long travellers remain colonised after they return and whether they can transmit these resistant bacteria to other people within their household once they returned from their travel. That is why we initiated the largest prospective study on the acquisition and spread of multidrug resistant bacteria in returning travellers. This multicenter study, conducted by Maastricht University Medical Center, Erasmus University Medical Center, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Havenziekenhuis and Utrecht University, included 2,001 travellers and 215 household members. Fecal samples of these participants were collected before and immediately after travel as well as 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after travel return and screened for the prescence of multidrug resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Moreover, extensive information on demographics, travel details, illnesses and behaviour were collected at all follow-up moments by repeated questionnaires. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Soren Gantt MD, PhD, MPH Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Associate Professor, Department of Infectious and Immunological Diseases (Pediatrics) Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that is usually transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, blood, and breast milk, but it can also cause congenital infection (from a pregnant woman to her fetus). While it doesn’t usually cause problems for most children or adults, congenital CMV often causes serious problems. Congenital CMV causes 25 per cent of all childhood hearing loss and it’s the second most common cause of intellectual disability. Without screening, most infected newborns are not diagnosed in time to treat them with antivirals or provide other care that can make a big difference to improving their life-long outcomes. Our study showed that screening programs for congenital CMV infection are cost-effective. We found that the cost of identifying one case of congenital CMV ranges from US$2000 to US$10,000 through universal screening, or US$566 to $2833 through a targeted screening approach. Our model showed that screening programs resulted in a net savings for the health care system of approximately USD$21 to $32 per newborn for universal screening or USD$11-$27 per newborn for targeted screening by reducing lifetime costs for therapies and lost productivity due to CMV-related health problems. This finding addresses a major barrier to implementing CMV screening programs, as costs have often been viewed as an issue. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections, PLoS / 10.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian K. Coombes, PhD Professor & University Scholar Associate Chair, Graduate Education Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Assistant Dean, Biochemistry Graduate Program Canada Research Chair in Infectious Disease Pathogenesis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: North Americans have among the highest reported prevalence and incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the world. This is a lifelong disease that often strikes people in their early years, leading to decades of suffering, increased risk of colorectal cancer, and 50% increased risk of premature death. Compared to the general population, quality of life for those with Crohn’s disease is low across all dimensions of health. The need to understand the root origins of this disease and to use this information to invigorate a new pipeline of treatments and preventions has never been more pressing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NEJM / 10.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Simon I. Hay, BSc, DPhil, DSc Professor of Global Health University of Washington Director of Geospatial Science Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). MedicalResearch.com: Why did you undertake this study? Response: As malaria control has not been routinely informed by subnational variation of malaria burden, we undertook the study to highlight the potential for high-resolution maps of disease burden to better understand the epidemiology of malaria as well as the contribution of recent control efforts as well as to better inform future malaria control efforts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 30.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Marjo Renko MD PEDEGO Research Unit University of Oulu Oulu, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over a decade there has been suture materials containing antiseptic agent in the market. Trials in adults have shown some possible benefits from these sutures as in some studies they have reduced occurrence of surgical site infections. Only one small study had so far been published in children and thus we decided to carry out a large trial comparing sutures containing triclosan with ordinary ones. Our trial included over 1500 children who came to Oulu University Hospital for surgery. Surgical site infections were carefully monitored. Surgical site infections occurred in 2.6 % of the children who received absorbing sutures containing triclosan while that occurred in 5,4 % of the children who received ordinary sutures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 28.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Bashir A. Lwaleed PhD, FRCPath, PGCAP, FHEA, CBiol FSB, FIBMS Faculty of Health Sciences University of Southampton South Academic and Pathology Block (MP 11) Southampton General Hospital Southampton UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study merges two longstanding interests. We have long worked out of several departments at Southampton and Portsmouth on the therapeutic potential for natural products (including the medium – chain fatty acids GLA (evening primrose oil) and EPA (fish oil) as well as honeys from a number of floral sources. Secondly, there is an established research theme in the Faculty of Healthcare Science at Southampton addressing continence related issues; moreover catheter management as an economic and infection control issue is a major concern in the NHS Trust Urology department. Biofilms on catheters are sources of infection, honey has proven antibacterial (and other therapeutic) properties in topical applications such as skin ulceration. It is a logical step to assess whether a similar use may be made for honey instilled into the bladder and/or flushing the lumen of a catheter. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, NEJM / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Heinke Kunst, M.D. Queen Mary University Hospital, London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been on the increase worldwide over the past decade. Many patients who have been identified with MDR-TB live in the European region. Despite treatment with expensive second-line drug regimens, curing MDR TB remains a challenge and cure rates were thought to be very low. As part of the EU Commission funded TB-PANNET project 380 patients with MDR-TB were observed at 23 TB centers in countries of high, intermediate and low TB burden in Europe over a period of 5 years. Observation started from the time of diagnosis and lasted until one year after the end of the treatment. The TBNET proposed new definitions for “cure” and “failure” of MDR-TB treatment based on the sputum culture status at 6 month after the initiation of therapy and whether patients were free from disease recurrence one year after the end of therapy. The researchers found that the WHO criterion for “cure” could not be applied in the majority of patients, simply because most patients who were being treated successfully were not able to produce sputum after 8 months of therapy. The TB-PANNET study showed much higher cure rates using a new definition of cure and failure of treatment for MDR TB in the European region. (61% cure rates compared to only 31% when using WHO criteria.) The study also demonstrates that the results for “cure” from MDR-TB correlate very well with the level of drug resistance and the time to culture conversion that means the time when TB bacilli are no longer detectable in sputum. The new definitions are also independent of the total duration of treatment and can be applied to the standard 20 months MDR-TB regimen as well as to the 9-12 months shorter course MDR-TB treatment that was recently proposed by the WHO. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Outcomes & Safety / 19.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James Baggs, PhD Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We used medical claims data to estimate the amount of antibiotics used in US hospitals from 2006 - 2012. Data came from the Truven Health MarketScan Hospital Drug Database, which included about 300 hospitals and more than 34 million discharges. Antibiotic use in hospitals was very common with more than half of patients receiving at least one antibiotic during their hospital stay. Overall rates of antibiotic use in U.S. hospitals did not change over time; however, there were significant changes in the types of antibiotics prescribed. Importantly, the types of antibiotics with the largest increases in use were the types of antibiotics often considered to be the most powerful. Of particular concern, there was a 37% rise in the use of carbapenems, commonly referred to as “last resort” antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daria Van Tyne, PhD The Gilmore Lab Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A specific clone of E. coli, type ST131, which produces an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL – an enzyme that inactivates many penicillin-type antibiotics), has rapidly spread around the globe to become the leading cause of multidrug-resistant, non-intestinal E. coli infection. Despite this, E. coli is a rare cause of infection of the cornea. A patient was recently seen at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary with a severe E. coli infection of the cornea, and the large number of antibiotic resistances of this strain tipped us off to the possibility that it might be the highly virulent ST131 ESBL type. By sequencing the DNA of its genome, we found that it was indeed ST131 ESBL E. coli. Moreover, we discovered a new mutation in this strain that allows it to produce a slimy outer coating on its surface. This slime layer, or capsule, makes the bacteria more resistant to removal by phagocytic cells of the immune system. The slime layer also makes these particular colonies appear different on a special type of agar that contains the dye Congo Red. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Infections, STD / 16.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Noah Kojima David Geffen School of Medicine University of California Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the most exciting new methods to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection is through the use of chemical pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which has been shown to be safe and effective in randomized-controlled trials and “real world” studies among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, reports of high incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and condomless sex in PrEP trials has led clinicians and public health advocates to be concerned that the use of PrEP for HIV might lead to higher STI incidence due to increased sexual risk behavior. We found that PrEP for HIV infection is associated with increased risk of STI acquisition among MSM in a meta-analysis of prior studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johanna M. Uitti, MD Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Turku University Hospital Turku, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: According to several national guidelines, close follow-up is required if initial observation without antimicrobial agents is chosen for the management of acute otitis media (AOM) in children. The aim of this study was to examine whether close follow-up with reexamination is needed for children with AOM initially managed without antimicrobial agents who have symptomatic improvement during the first week after diagnosis, as assessed by their parents. Of the 104 children with symptomatic improvement, 3 (2.9%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. In contrast, of the 54 children with symptomatic failure, 16 (29.6%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Surgical Research / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Josep Rodés-Cabau, MD Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University Quebec City, Quebec, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infectious endocarditis (IE) is one of the most serious complications after surgical prosthetic valve replacement. There are however scarce data regarding the incidence, predictive factors, treatment, and outcomes of IE post-TAVR. To date, the present study represents the largest series of IE post-TAVR, and the main findings can be summarized as follows: (1) the incidence of infective endocarditis (IE) post-TAVR is similar to that reported for IE after surgical prosthetic valve replacement; (2) among patients undergoing TAVR, younger age, male sex, a history of diabetes mellitus, and moderate-to-severe residual aortic regurgitation were associated with a higher risk of IE, (3) Enterococci species was the most frequently isolated pathogen, (4) IE post-TAVR was associated with a very high rate of in-hospital complications and mortality during index hospitalization and at follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 12.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita D. Sircar, MD Epidemic Intelligence Service Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria Center for Global Health CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Baylisascaris procyonis is a roundworm commonly found in raccoons. It can be found anywhere in the United States where raccoons live. People, especially children, can be infected by this roundworm when they accidentally ingest contaminated raccoon feces. Infection with Baylisascaris procyonis can have severe outcomes in people such as blindness and even death if not treated promptly. Despite expansion of the geographic distribution of Baylisascaris procyonis in the last 14 years and probable increasing human exposure, baylisascariasis is likely an underreported disease: only 22 documented cases were reported in the United States during 1973–2010. During May 2013–December 2015, seven additional cases of baylisascariasis were identified among patients in the United States through testing at CDC, including six cases of central nervous system disease and one of ocular disease. Laboratory and clinical information for each patient was gathered and reviewed in a case series to contribute to knowledge about Baylisascaris procyonis infection. All seven patients survived, although approximately half had residual neurologic sequelae. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 08.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Francisco García M.D. M.P.H. Task Force member and Director and Chief medical officer at Pima County Department of Health Tucson, AZ MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Tuberculosis infection is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world. Although less common in the United States, many people still become infected every year and are at risk of getting sick and spreading the infection to others. We know there are effective screening tests that can detect latent tuberculosis infection before people become sick with active tuberculosis disease. Additionally, there are effective treatments to prevent people from progressing from latent tuberculosis infection to active tuberculosis disease. Thus, for people with increased risk of contracting tuberculosis, the Task Force recommends screening for latent tuberculosis infection. People who are considered at increased risk include those who were born in or have lived in countries where tuberculosis is highly prevalent, or who have lived in congregate settings where exposure to tuberculosis is more likely, such as homeless shelters or correctional facilities. (more…)