Author Interviews, Respiratory, Social Issues, University of Michigan / 31.01.2024 Interview with: Wilson N. Merrell
Ph.D. Student
Department of Psychology
University of MichiganWilson N. Merrell Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology University of Michigan What is the background for this study? Response: From the common cold to COVID-19, people get sick all the time. Because our social worlds don’t pause just because we are feeling ill, we often still need to navigate in-person events ranging from work and school to first dates and family dinners even while we’re feeling under the weather. In these kinds of social situations, do we always tell others when we’re feeling sick, or are there times when we may want to downplay our illness? After all, we tend to react negatively to, find less attractive, and steer clear of people who are sick with infectious illness. To the extent that we want to avoid these negative social outcomes while sick, it therefore makes sense that we may take steps to cover up our sickness in social situations. Given that this concealment could serve individual social goals (like allowing you to connect with others) at the cost of broader harms to public health (through the spread of infectious disease), we found this behavior both theoretically novel and practically timely. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dental Research, JAMA, Respiratory / 18.12.2023 Interview with: Michael Klompas MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA Hospital Epidemiologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital Professor of Medicine and Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute What is the background for this study? Can teeth be safely brush in patients who are comatose, intubated or have NG tubes? Response: Pneumonia is thought to occur when secretions from the mouth get into the lungs.  Since there are many microbes in the mouth, there’s a risk that secretions from the mouth that get into the lungs will lead to pneumonia.  Toothbrushing may lower this risk by decreasing the quantity of microbes in the mouth. It is indeed safe and appropriate to brush the teeth of someone who is comatose, intubated, or who has an NG tube.  Indeed, our study found that the benefits of toothbrushing were clearest for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Moderna, NEJM, Pharmaceutical Companies, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 13.12.2023 Interview with: Eleanor Wilson, M.D Moderna, 200 Technology Sq. Cambridge, MA 02139 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings and side effects (if any)? Response: The ConquerRSV trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of approximately 37,000 adults 60 years or older in 22 countries. The primary efficacy endpoints were based on two definitions of RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease (RSV-LRTD) defined as either two or more symptoms, or three or more symptoms of disease. Vaccine efficacy was 83.7% (95.88% confidence interval [CI], 66.0 to 92.2) against RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease with at least two signs or symptoms and 82.4% (96.36% CI, 34.8 to 95.3) against the disease with at least three signs or symptoms. Most adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity and included injection site pain, fatigue, headache, myalgia, and arthralgia. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, NEJM, Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 09.03.2023 Interview with: Veronica Hulstrøm MD, PhD Senior Director Clinical Project Lead for RSV Older Adults GSK What is the background for this study? Response: The AReSVi-006 phase III trial is designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of GSK’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate for adults aged 60 years and above. The phase III trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, international trial with 24,966 participants who received either the investigational vaccine or placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Yale / 03.02.2022 Interview with: Thomas Murray MD PhD Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease and Global Health Associate Medical Director, Infection Prevention Yale New Haven Children's Hospital  What is the background for this study?  Response: This study was performed by Yale- CARES (Children and Adults Research in Early Education Study Team) a multidisciplinary group of researchers that are interested in learning how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted early child care programs in the US including the effects on both the children and those who care for them in this setting. This is important because when child care programs close it becomes very difficult for working families to find safe, affordable alternative care. We surveyed over 6000 child care workers from across the US in May/June 2020 with a follow up survey in May/June 2021. This includes both center based and home based child care programs. One question we were interested in was what things they were doing in their programs to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We then asked whether their program closed at any time in that year because of COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Respiratory / 02.11.2021 Interview with: Jennifer Hunter, B.Med., M.Sc.P.H., Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor NICM Health Research Institute Western Sydney University Associate Professor Jennifer Hunter is an academic general practitioner with a clinical interest in integrative medicine, has received payment for providing expert advice about traditional, complementary and integrative medicine, including nutraceuticals, to industry, government bodies and non-government organisations, and spoken at workshops, seminars and conferences for which registration, travel and/or accommodation has been paid for by the organisers. What is the background for this study? Response: We decided to review the evidence for zinc in response to calls for rapid evidence reviews to inform self-care and clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Laboratory studies have found that zinc can inhibit the replication of many respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Zinc plays a key role in immunity, inflammation, tissue injury, ACE-2 receptor activity, and also in tissue responses to a lack of oxygen. Low zinc status may be a risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 illness. Additionally, there was some indirect evidence suggesting zinc might be effective for other respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and we wanted to verify this. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, Respiratory / 06.10.2021 Interview with: Lara van der Schoot  MD, PhD candidate Department of Dermatology Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands What is the background for this study? Response: Psoriasis is a chronic, immune mediated skin disease for which effective targeted biological agents have become available the past years. Inherent to their immunomodulatory mechanism of action, biologics might increase infections risk. We know from clinical trial data that respiratory tract infections are among the most common adverse events during biologic treatment, but real-world data is sparse. Regarding the risk of serious infections among biologic users, mostly defined as infections requiring hospitalization, previous studies provided different results and there is limited comparative data for the newer biologics available. The COVID-19 pandemic turned attention to the risk of infections among biologic users, especially for respiratory tract infections, as they might relate to susceptibility for viral respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19. In our study, the primary aim was to determine the risk of respiratory tract infections among real-world psoriasis patients treated with biologics, including the newer IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors. The secondary aim was to assess risk of serious infections in this cohort. Additionally, rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections were assessed. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JNCI, Johns Hopkins, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2021 Interview with: Joel N. Blankson, MD, PhD Department of Infectious Diseases Associate Professor Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program Johns Hopkins What is the background for this study? Which vaccines did you evaluate? Response: Prior studies from several groups including our own have found T cell cross-recognition of peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses. We asked whether as a result of this cross-reactivity, immunization with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would also enhance T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses. Prior studies also suggested that antibodies elicited from the mRNA vaccines had a reduced ability to neutralize the emerging variants of concern. Most of the study participants had received the Pfizer vaccine, but a few had received the Moderna vaccine.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory / 25.03.2021 Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? Response: We hypothesized that mitigation measures such as physical distancing and mask wearing instituted in Boston would reduce transmission of common respiratory viruses such as influenza, Rhinovirus, and Parainfluenzavirus. We compared the rate of detection of such viruses at Boston Medical Center on comprehensive respiratory panels in the ambulatory, emergency room, and hospital settings in 2020 to rates in the previous five years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hand Washing, Infections, Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory / 16.10.2018 Interview with: "still picking her nose" by quinn norton is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Victoria Connor  Clinical Research Fellow Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Royal Liverpool Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pneumococcus is a bacteria which is very common and causes lots of different infections (pneumococcal disease). Infections can be non-invasive or invasive. Non-invasive diseases include middle ear infections, sinusitis and bronchitis. Invasive infections including chest infection (pneumonia), infections of brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and blood infections (sepsis). Invasive pneumococcal infections is a major cause of death around the world and in the UK, is estimated that is responsible for 1.3 million deaths in children under 5 annually. Pneumococcal disease causes more deaths in low and middle income countries where approximately 90% of pneumonia deaths occur. Pneumococcus also is commonly carried (colonises) the nose/throat of children and adults. This colonisation is important to understand as it is the main source of the bacterial transmission and is also the first step in pneumococcal infections. The understanding of transmission of pneumococcus is currently poor. It is generally thought that transmission occurs through breathing in the respiratory sections of someone carrying pneumococcus in their nose which are infected with pneumococcus. However more recently studies especially in mice have shown that there may be a role of hands or other objects as vehicles for the transmission of pneumococcus. (more…)
Author Interviews, Primary Care, Respiratory, Telemedicine / 02.10.2018 Interview with: Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most upper respiratory infections are viral and therefore should not be treated with antibiotics. Despite this, physicians commonly prescribe them for these conditions. Patients often expect antibiotics for respiratory tract infections.  As a result, physicians may find it easier to give patients what they want rather than explain to them why antibiotics aren’t needed. We hypothesized it also might be more time consuming for physicians to explain to patients why they don’t need antibiotics, which creates a further incentive to prescribe them. To explore this potential phenomenon, we used data from a large direct to consumer telemedicine system to assess differences in medical encounter length by prescription outcome for patients diagnosed with respiratory tract infections. We found that encounters resulting in antibiotics were 0.33 minutes shorter than those that resulted in no prescriptions, supporting our hypothesis that prescribing an antibiotic takes less time than prescribing nothing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Infections, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 18.04.2018 Interview with: Benjamin D. Horne, PhD Director of Cardiovascular and Genetic Epidemiology Intermountain Heart Institute Intermountain Medical Center Salt Lake City, Utah 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…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 06.10.2017 Interview with: Giovanni Piedimonte, MD Steven and Nancy Calabrese Endowed Chair for Excellence in Pediatric Care, Research, and Education Professor & Chair of Pediatrics Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Case Western Reserve University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study proves that asthmatic children already have a hyperactive calcium channel that’s extremely sensitive to environmental triggers. If these children contract a virus, such as RSV, the hyperactive channel causes more severe symptoms that may require care in a hospital setting. When a child developed asthma or bronchitis in the past, doctors thought these conditions could only be triggered by environmental allergens. There was no explanation why two out of three children ages five and under who wheeze and cough – and still test negative for allergies. We needed to explore the mechanisms of the calcium molecule and the epithelial cells, which seem to trigger these symptoms without an allergic reaction. If the molecule’s behavior is producing the cough, we just need to figure out how to control the molecule to properly deactivate the cough mechanism in the asthmatic child (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Vitamin D / 18.07.2017 Interview with: Jonathon Maguire MD MSc FRCPC Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute Staff Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, St. Michael’s Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin D has been hypothesized as being protective of seasonal viral upper respiratory tract infections.  In this randomized clinical trial, high dose wintertime vitamin D supplementation (2000 IU/day) was compared with standard-dose vitamin D supplementation (400 IU/day) among 703 children.  The number of laboratory confirmed viral upper respiratory tract infections was not statistically different between groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 12.05.2017 Interview with: Nima Farzan Chief Executive Officer & President of PaxVax What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: PaxVax is developing a new and improved version of the vaccine, known as the Modernized Production Adenovirus Vaccine (MPAV) Prototype A. The Company was chosen as the Small Business Innovation Research and Regulatory Sponsor for the development of the Modernized Production Adenovirus Vaccine (MPAV) Prototype A due to the company’s prior experience working with multiple strains of Adenovirus. An Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MPACV was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 30, 2017. The Phase I clinical trial has been initiated and will be conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. PaxVax expects to see results of the Phase I clinical trial in early 2018. Complications of adenovirus 4/7 can include headache, pneumonia, sore throat and eye infections. In severe cases, adenovirus can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and other serious complications related to organ system damage (including GI tract and bladder) that can result in death, if left untreated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Respiratory / 04.05.2017 Interview with: Harri Hemilä, MD, PhD Department of Public Health University of Helsinki What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Some zinc lozenges intended for treating the common cold have contained zinc acetate and some others have contained zinc gluconate. There have been proposals that zinc acetate might be more optimal salt for lozenges than zinc gluconate. Therefore I compared the randomized trials that have used zinc acetate with zinc gluconate to see if there is difference between the lozenges. Although the average effect in 3 studies with zinc acetate lozenges was greater (40%) than the average effect in 4 studies with zinc gluconate lozenges (28%), that difference was explained by random variation. I also analyzed the dose dependency of the effect and found that 2 studies that used 192 and 207 mg per day elemental zinc did not find greater benefit than 5 studies that used 80 to 92 mg per day zinc. The overall average effect of zinc lozenges was 33% reduction in common cold duration and that effect seems to be reached with doses less than 100 mg per day. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 28.03.2016 Interview with: Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D. Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Department of Pediatrics University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555-0371 What is the background for this study? Dr. Chonmaitree: Respiratory infections are common in infants and young children; they are caused by viruses and/or bacteria. Viral upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold is exceedingly common and leads to bacterial complications such as ear infection, which the leading cause of antibiotic prescription in the US and the most common reason children undergo surgery (ear tube placement). In the past few decades, some bacterial and viral vaccines have become available aiming to reduce respiratory infections in children. What are the main findings? Dr. Chonmaitree: Our study looked to update information on how often infants in the first year of life acquired the common cold, and ear infection in the new vaccine era. The study was performed between 2009 and 2014 and included 367 infants followed closely from near birth up to one year of age. We found that on average, an infant had about 3 colds in the first year of life, and almost half of infants had ear infection by age 1 year. This was less than what happened in the past few decades. The reduction of ear infection may have been the result of many factors from bacterial and viral vaccine use, to increased breastfeeding rate and reduction in household smoking. Risk factors for ear infection included carriage of bacteria in the nose, frequencies of common cold and lack of breastfeeding. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Outcomes & Safety, Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory / 08.03.2016 Interview with: Dr. Gary Garber MD Chief of infection prevention and control Public Health Ontario Professor of medicine University of Ottawa What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Garber: There are conflicting recommendations regarding the use of respirators vs face masks to protect healthcare workers against acute respiratory infections. Our systematic review and meta-analysis show that although N95 respirators have improved efficiency in reducing filter penetration under laboratory conditions, there is insufficient data to show a protective advantage compared to surgical mask in clinical settings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory / 29.02.2016 Interview with: Suzanne Schuh, MD, FRCP(C), ABPEM The Hospital for Sick Children affiliated with the University of Toronto Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Schuh: Routine measurement of oxygen saturation in bronchiolitis is sometimes used as a proxy for illness severity, despite poor correlation between these parameters. This focus on oximetry may in part relate to lack of evidence on the natural history of desaturations in bronchiolitis which are often transient, and frequently not accompanied by increased respiratory distress. Desaturations occurring in infants with mild bronchiolitis in an ED often result in hospitalizations or prolonged hospital stay. They occur in healthy infants and may also occur in infants with mild bronchiolitis at home. The main objective of this study of infants with acute bronchiolitis was to determine if there is a difference in the proportion of unscheduled medical visits within 72 hours of ED discharge in infants who desaturate during home oximetry monitoring versus those without desaturations. Our study shows that the majority of infants with mild bronchiolitis experience desaturations after discharge home. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 17.11.2015 Interview with: Leonard B. Bacharier, MD Professor of pediatrics Clinical Director, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine St Louis School of Medicine Washington University St Louis, Missouri  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bacharier: Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone have become the standard of care for children whose colds tend to progress and lead to severe wheezing and difficulty breathing. “But there are some studies that suggest these treatments don’t consistently work for young children. That’s why we want to find ways to prevent upper respiratory infections from progressing to lower respiratory tract illnesses. Once the episode gets going, standard interventions are less effective than would be desired”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, reported Dr. Bacharier. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 06.11.2015 Interview with: Dominik Mertz, MD, MSc, FMH (CH) Assistant Professor, McMaster University Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases Associate Membership Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics / Pathology and Molecular Medicine Medical Director Infection Prevention & Control, Hamilton Health Sciences Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Center Hamilton, ON, Canada  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mertz: There was a perception that there was an increase in ICU admissions and deaths, initially in Kansas City and Chicago, which was found to be related to the enterovirus strain EV-D68, which had previously not resulted in any major outbreaks in North America. We have one of the first laboratories that was able to provide a specific EV-D68 PCR routine testing allowing us identify EV-D68 cases and to compare the outcomes in patients infected with this strain to children infected by other rhino/enteroviruses. We found a substantial overlap in how the patients presented between patients with EV-D68 and non-EV-D68 infection. It seems that children infected with EV-D68 were in deed at higher risk for having respiratory distress and needing hospital admission, with children with allergies being at a higher risk. We did not find an increase in more severe outcomes, though, i.e. no higher risk for ICU admission (23 vs 15%) and 0 deaths in the EV-D68 group. We also did not find any evidence of in-hospital transmission of EV-D68. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet, Outcomes & Safety, Respiratory / 22.10.2015 Interview with: Yuichiro Shindo, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine Showa-ku, Nagoya Japan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Shindo: Appropriate initial antibiotic treatment is essential for the treatment of pneumonia.  However, many patients may develop adverse outcomes, even if they receive appropriate initial antibiotics.  To our knowledge, there have been no studies that clearly demonstrated the risk factors in patients who receive appropriate antibiotic treatment.  If these factors are clarified, we can identify those patients with pneumonia for whom adjunctive therapy other than antibiotic treatment can prove beneficial in terms of improved outcomes.  This study aimed to clarify the risk factors for 30-day mortality in patients who received appropriate initial antibiotic treatment and elucidate potential candidates for adjunctive therapy. In this study, the 30-day mortality in 579 pneumonia patients who received appropriate initial antibiotics was 10.5%.  The independent risk factors included albumin < 3.0 mg/dL, nonambulatory status, pH < 7.35, respiration rate ≥ 30/min, and blood urea nitrogen ≥ 20 mg/dL.  The 30-day mortality for the number of risk factors was 0.8% (0), 1.2% (1), 16.8% (2), 22.5% (3), and 43.8% (4–5). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 11.10.2015

Annabelle de St. Maurice MD, MPH Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow Vanderbilt Children's Interview with: Annabelle de St. Maurice MD, MPH Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellow Vanderbilt Children's Hospital  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. de St. Maurice: Susceptibility to certain infectious diseases appears to vary by gender. For example, males may be at increased risk of certain infections in childhood, including lower respiratory tract infections such as RSV, however females may have more severe infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy. Some early studies have suggested that males may be at increased risk of pneumococcal infections but this has not been confirmed. Furthermore, whether those potential gender differences remain after introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is unknown. Invasive pneumococcal disease, which includes meningitis, bacteremic pneumonia and bacteremia/septicemia, is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States in children and adults. The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) led to declines in invasive pneumococcal disease rates as well as eliminated racial disparities in regards to invasive pneumococcal disease rates. Our study sought to identify potential gender differences in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, and to determine the impact of vaccines on gender differences in the susceptibility to these diseases. We conducted a large study that used data from a population-based surveillance system of invasive pneumococcal diseases in Tennessee. This is part of a large CDC funded network of surveillance sites for these diseases. For our study, we identified patients with laboratory-confirmed invasive pneumococcal disease, and calculated the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases from 1998-2013 by gender. We also stratified the calculations by age groups and race, both well-known factors that affect the occurrence of invasive pneumococcal disease. Our study found that males had generally higher rates of invasive pneumococcal disease than females across age groups, regardless of race. Although introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines led to a significant decrease in invasive pneumococcal disease rates, males continued to have higher rates than females in several age groups. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory / 16.08.2015

Reed A.C. Siemieniuk, MD Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Ontario Interview with: Reed A.C. Siemieniuk, MD Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Ontario Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Siemieniuk: Local and cytokine-mediated systematic inflammatory responses help clear bacterial pathogens in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), but often they can also cause harm. Pneumonia is the most common cause of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an often fatal inflammatory complication. Two randomized trials were published earlier this year, each of which suggested the possibility of  benefit from adjunctive corticosteroid therapy. We decided to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis, taking all available data into consideration. Corticosteroids may be effective for reducing the incidence of ARDS by 6%, the need for mechanical ventilation by 5%, and mortality by 3% (all moderate confidence). They also reduce time to clinical stability and time to discharge by approximately 1 day (high confidence). For an interactive summary of findings table that shows the study's findings, please see: (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, NEJM, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 27.02.2015

Seema Jain, MD Medical Epidemiologist Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA Interview with: Seema Jain, MD Medical Epidemiologist Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA 30329 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jain: Pneumonia is the leading cause of hospitalization among children in the United States with medical costs estimated at almost $1 billion in 2009.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community (EPIC) study was a multi-center, active population-based surveillance study that aimed to estimate the incidence and etiology of community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization in U.S. children.  Children in the study were enrolled from January 2010 to June 2012 in three U.S. children’s hospitals in Memphis, Nashville, and Salt Lake City. Study staff tested children using a range of laboratory tests for viral and bacterial respiratory pathogen detection. During the study period, the EPIC study team enrolled 2,638 children, of which 2,358 (89 percent) had radiographically-confirmed pneumonia. The median age of children in the study was 2 years old. Intensive care was required for 497 (21 percent) of the children, and three children died.  Among 2,222 children with radiographic pneumonia and specimens available for both bacterial and viral testing, a pathogen was detected in 1802 (81%).  One or more viruses were detected in 1,472 (66%) of these children.  Bacteria were detected in 175 (8%), and bacterial and viral co-detection occurred in 155 (7%).  The study estimated that annual pneumonia incidence was 15.7/10,000 children during the study period.  The highest incidence was among children younger than 2 years old (62.2/10,000).  Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was the most common pathogen detected (28%), and it was associated with the highest incidence among children younger than 2 years old with pneumonia.  Human rhinovirus was detected in 22 percent of cases, but it was also identified in 17 percent of asymptomatic controls who were enrolled, by convenience sample, at the same site during the same time period; thus, making it challenging to interpret the meaning of human rhinovirus detection in children hospitalized with pneumonia.  Other detected pathogens were human metapneumovirus (13%), adenovirus (11%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae (8%), parainfluenza viruses (7%), influenza (7%), coronaviruses (5%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (4%), Staphylococcus aureus (1%), and Streptococcus pyogenes (<1%).  The low prevalence of bacterial detections likely reflects both the effectiveness of bacterial conjugate vaccines and suboptimal sensitivity of bacterial diagnostic tests. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Neurological Disorders, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 31.01.2015

Samuel Dominguez MD Departments of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, Interview with: Samuel Dominguez MD Departments of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Children's Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Dominguez: Due to global poliovirus eradication efforts, clusters of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and/or cranial nerve dysfunction in children are rare and associated with few pathogens, primarily enteroviruses and flaviviruses.  Our study reports the first geographically and temporally defined cluster of acute flaccid paralysis and cranial nerve dysfunction in children associated with an outbreak of EV-D68 respiratory illness, strengthening the potential link between EV-D68 and neurologic disease in children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Respiratory / 03.01.2015

Michael G. Rossmann PhD Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology Purdue University, West Lafayette Interview with: Michael G. Rossmann PhD Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology Purdue University, West Lafayette IN Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rossmann: My laboratory has long been interested in the structure of viruses and especially of Picornaviruses (e.g. EV-D68). We published the first 3D, near atomic resolution map of any animal virus in 1985. That was of Human Rhino (common cold) virus serotype 14. We then went on to show where and how the virus would bind to cellular receptors and also how certain small capsid binding compounds inhibited the viral infectivity. The latter was a collaboration first with the Sterling Winthrop company and later with ViroPharma. Thus our work on EV-D68 is a direct continuation of my interest in picornaviruses. (more…)
Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2014

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