Author Interviews, CDC, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 22.12.2014

dr-pedro-moroMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pedro Moro MD MPH Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Moro: Gardasil® is a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine recommended for all girls and boys at age 11 or 12, and teens and young adults who did not get the vaccine when they were younger. Because there is limited safety data available on use of the vaccine during pregnancy, it is not currently recommended for pregnant women. However, some pregnant women will inadvertently receive Gardasil® because they do not yet know that they are pregnant at the time of vaccination. The study reviewed non-manufacturer reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) about pregnant women who received Gardasil®. VAERS is a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS accepts reports of health problems that occur after any US-licensed vaccine (these are called adverse events). VAERS may also accept reports not describing any health problem but vaccination errors (for example, administration of a vaccine not recommended to a particular group of people like pregnant women). VAERS is an early-warning system and cannot generally assess if a vaccine caused an adverse event. After reviewing all non-manufacturer reports of Gardasil vaccination during pregnancy, this study found no unexpected patterns of safety issues for pregnant woman who received Gardasil®, or for their babies. This finding is reassuring and reconfirms the safety of this vaccine for pregnant women, as was previously reported by the pregnancy registry maintained by Gardasil®’s manufacturer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 22.12.2014

Thomas Wisniewski MD Lulu P. and David J. Levidow Professor of Neurology Professor; Director Aging and Dementia New York University School of Medicine Dept. of Neurology, Psychiatry and Pathology New York, NY  10016MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas Wisniewski MD Lulu P. and David J. Levidow Professor of Neurology Professor; Director Aging and Dementia New York University School of Medicine Dept. of Neurology, Psychiatry and Pathology New York, NY  10016 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wisniewski: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) infects large numbers of deer and elk, with the potential to infect humans. Currently no prionosis has an effective treatment.  This is a relatively new prion disease that has many similarities to bovine spongiform encephalopathy which spread to humans to produce new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Chronic wasting disease is the most infectious prion disease to date; having the potential to spread by aerosol. Previously, we have demonstrated we could prevent transmission of prions in a proportion of susceptible mice with a mucosal vaccine. In the current study, white-tailed deer were orally inoculated with attenuated Salmonella expressing PrP, while control deer were orally inoculated with vehicle attenuated Salmonella. Once a mucosal response was established, the vaccinated animals were boosted orally and locally by application of polymerized recombinant PrP onto the tonsils and rectal mucosa. The vaccinated and control animals were then challenged orally with CWD-infected brain homogenate. Three years post CWD oral challenge all control deer developed clinical CWD (median survival 602 days), while among the vaccinated there was a significant prolongation of the incubation period (median survival 909 days; p=0.012 by Weibull regression analysis) and one deer has remained CWD free both clinically and by RAMALT and tonsil biopsies. This negative vaccinate has the highest titers of IgA in saliva and systemic IgG against PrP. Western blots showed that immunoglobulins from this vaccinate react to PrPCWD. We document the first partially successful vaccination for a prion disease in a species naturally at risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, PLoS, Vaccine Studies / 15.12.2014

Adrian Egli, MD PhD Research Group leader Infection Biology Laboratory Department of Biomedicine University of Basel and University Hospital Basel Basel, SwitzerlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adrian Egli, MD PhD Research Group leader Infection Biology Laboratory Department of Biomedicine University of Basel and University Hospital Basel Basel, Switzerland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Egli: Infections with influenza viruses are associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In particular, people with a weak immune system are at danger for more severe complications. This includes elderly people, pregnant women, patients after transplantation, patients with HIV infection, chronic diseases such as diabetes and many more. In these high-risk groups, annual vaccination is clearly recommended. However, due to the immunsuppressive condition the immune response to the influenza vaccine is often reduced. The seroconversion rate - a 4-fold antibody titer increase upon vaccination - is one of the key markers for a successful vaccination. In young adults the seroconversion rate is normally >85%; however, in patients with immunosuppression, this can be lower than 40%. Improving vaccine efficacy is one of the key focuses of my research group. We try to understand, how to improve vaccines and better protect the people at the highest risks for influenza-associated complications. In this study, we could show that an important cytokine, called Interferon lambda, is clearly associated with the vaccine induced antibody response upon influenza vaccination. We could show that genetic polymorphisms, in one of the Interferon lambda gene family (IFNL3), are modulating the expression of this gene. This strongly affects the cross talk between the innate and adaptive immune response in the context of vaccination. We observed that, the more Interferon lambda is present, the lower the antibody response is. People with a lower expression of Interferon lambda had a significant higher response to the vaccine. Therefore, we developed substances to block the effect of Interferon lambda. We could show in vitro, that due to the Interferon lambda blockade, the antibody production was improved. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, HPV, McGill, Vaccine Studies / 14.12.2014

Leah M. Smith PhD Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health (Smith, Kaufman, Strumpf) McGill University, Montréal, QuebecMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leah M. Smith PhD Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health  (Smith, Kaufman, Strumpf) McGill University, Montréal, Quebec   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith: The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and anogenital warts. The vaccine first became available in 2006. Since then, it has faced a great deal of controversy surrounding, in part, some of the unanswered questions about the real-world effects of the vaccine, especially on the young girls targeted for immunization. One issue that has received a great deal of public attention has been the concern that HPV vaccination might give girls a false sense of protection against all sexually transmitted infections that might lead them to be more sexually active than they would otherwise. As a result, some parents have been reluctant to have their daughters vaccinated. It is also reason why some religious groups have spoken out against the vaccine. This question is further important from a public health perspective because increases in risky sexual behaviour would inevitably also lead to increases in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (excluding anogenital warts), which would of course undermine the potential health benefits of the vaccine.  In this study, we directly addressed the question of whether HPV vaccination has led to increases in pregnancy and non-HPV-related sexually transmitted infections (both of which are proxies for risky sexual behaviour) among adolescent girls. In our study of over 260,000 girls, we did not find any evidence that the HPV vaccine had a negative impact on these outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRSA, PNAS, UCLA, Vaccine Studies / 14.12.2014

Dr. Michael Yeaman Ph.D. Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Yeaman Ph.D. Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Yeaman: In the U.S. and around the globe, skin and soft tissue infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continue to endanger the health and lives of patients and otherwise healthy individuals. Treatment is difficult because MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, and the infections can recur, placing family members and other close contacts at risk of infection. Infectious disease specialists at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) tested a new investigational vaccine, NDV-3, and found it holds new hope for preventing or reducing the severity of infections caused by the "superbug" MRSA. In the study, which was published Dec. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the researchers reported that NDV-3, employing the recombinant protein Als3, can mobilize the immune system to fight off MRSA skin infections in an experimental model. The researchers found the vaccine works by enhancing molecular and cellular immune defenses of the skin in response to MRSA and other S. aureus bacteria in disease models. This is the first published study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a cross-kingdom recombinant vaccine against MRSA skin infections. NDV-3 is unique as it is the first vaccine to demonstrate it can be effective in protecting against infections caused by both S. aureus and the fungus Candida albicans. NDV-3 represents a novel approach to vaccine design that pioneers an approach termed convergent immunity. (more…)
HPV, Vaccine Studies / 24.11.2014

Dr. Raquel Qualls-Hampton MD, MS Assistant Professor University of North Texas Health Science CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Raquel Qualls-Hampton MD, MS Assistant Professor University of North Texas Health Science Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Qualls-Hampton: There are currently two vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—Gardasil for males and Gardasil and Cervix for females – that protect against the human papilloma virus (HPV). These vaccines are recommended by the ACIP for females ages 9 to 26 years and males ages 9 to 21 years. Both vaccines protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV.  HPV vaccines are administered in three doses over six months and are considered safe and effective. However, the promise of these vaccines is going unfulfilled as initiation and completion rates for the three doses are suboptimal among females and males. Nationally, although HPV vaccination initiation coverage is increasing, overall vaccine completion rates are at suboptimal levels and below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 initiative target of 80%. Thus, many states are turning to legislative interventions in efforts to increase initiation and completion rates. This study examines HPV vaccination legislative initiatives and their impact, specifically in estimating state legislation’s effects on HPV vaccine initiation, completion and patient care provider recommendations by gender. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies / 23.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maryam Darvishian MSc Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Unit of PharmacoEpidemiology and PharmacoEconomics (PE2), Department of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, and  Prof Edwin R van den Heuvel Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, NetherlandsDepartment of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Reply: In most developed countries, seasonal influenza vaccine is the standard care for elderly people, but there exists still discussions on whether vaccination is effective. Conducting RCT is not considered ethical and thus the main body of evidence comes from observational studies. Unfortunately, these studies (e.g. cohort studies) are susceptible to different sources of biases especially selection bias which makes it difficult to judge the effectiveness. In recent years test-negative design (TND) studies has been designed. It is a special type of case-control study which would limit the bias, due to similar health care-seeking behavior in cases and controls. The current study is a meta-analysis of TND case-control studies. It is the first meta-analysis of this type of studies and also the first meta-analysis that combined 35 studies for estimation of influenza vaccine effectiveness. More specifically, the meta-analysis assesses the influenza vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) among the elderly population. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 15.11.2014

Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental GroupMedicalResearch.com Interview Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental Group Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kharbanda: In 2010, due to a pertussis outbreak and neonatal deaths, the California Department of Public Health recommended that the Tdap vaccine be administered during pregnancy.  Tdap is now recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all pregnant women during each pregnancy.  We wanted to assess the impact of this recommendation. The main findings were that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, or having a baby who is small for his or her gestational age. The study found a small increased risk for being diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, an inflammation of the fetal membranes caused by bacterial infection.  These findings should be interpreted with caution as the magnitude of the risk was small.  In addition, there was no associated risk for preterm birth, which often occurs as a result of chorioamnionitis.  Furthermore, among the subset of women with a chorioamnionitis diagnosis whose charts were reviewed, many did not have a clinical picture that was clearly consistent with chorioamnionitis. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 07.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Griffin: In Tennessee, the introduction in 2010 of a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants and young children was associated with a 27 percent decline in pneumonia hospital admissions across the state among children under age 2. The recent decline in Tennessee comes on top of an earlier 43 percent decline across the United States associated with the introduction in 2000 of the first pneumococcal vaccine for children under 2 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ebola, Vaccine Studies / 28.10.2014

Prof. Clive Maurice Gray   Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South AfricaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Clive Maurice Gray   Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa Medical Research: What is the background for this report? What are the main findings? Prof. Gray: This report is a response on behalf to the International Union of Immunology Societies (IUIS) and is designed to focus a message from the global immunology community to those who are making vaccines and therapies implementing clinical trials and very importantly on Governments and funding bodies. Time is not our side and that vaccine efforts need to be expedited and that production of therapeutics needs to be ramped up. Due to the fact that many people in West Africa are dying, we wish to convey a strong message that to curb this outbreak, therapies and especially vaccines must be rolled out as soon as possible. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 24.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Louise-Anne McNutt, PhD Associate Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany, State University of New YorkLouise-Anne McNutt, PhD Associate Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany, State University of New York Jessica Nadeau, PhD Epidemiologist, University at Albany, State University of New YorkJessica Nadeau, PhD Epidemiologist, University at Albany, State University of New York Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: The study found that about 25% of infants consistently deviated from the routine vaccine schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Alterations included either consistently refusing a recommended vaccine or reducing the number of vaccines given at each visit. These deviations are generally associated with intent to use an alternative vaccination schedule. Infants who did not follow the AAP recommended schedule were more likely to be unprotected against vaccine preventable diseases for a longer period of time. Only 1 in10 infants vaccinated on an alternative schedule were up-to-date at 9 months of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies, Wistar / 22.10.2014

Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104MedicalResearch.com Interview with Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hensley: We found that H1N1 viruses recently acquired a mutation that abrogates binding of influenza antibodies that are present in a large number of middle-aged adults.  We propose that this mutation lead to increased disease among middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season. (more…)
Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2014

Dr. Susanne Huijts – Pulmonary resident UMC Utrecht | Research physician UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Dr. Susanne Huijts Research Physician at UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences Pulmonary resident, UMC Utrecht Center Utrecht, Netherlands   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Huijts: The CAPiTA trial evaluated the efficacy of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in adults of 65 years and older. In the per protocol analysis vaccine efficacy of 45.6% was demonstrated for the first episode vaccine type (VT) pneumococcal community acquired pneumonia (CAP); 45.0% for the first episode of non-bacteremic/ non-invasive (NB/NI) VT-CAP, and 75.0% for the first episode of VT-invasive pneumococcal disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 08.10.2014

Robert B Belshe, MD  Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology Saint Louis University School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert B Belshe, MD  Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology Saint Louis University School of Medicine   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: A vaccine that protects against an old strain of avian flu primes the immune system to mount a rapid response when a vaccine designed to protect against a related but different and new strain of avian flu is given a year later, according to Saint Louis University research findings reported in JAMA. In addition, when combined with an adjuvant, which is a chemical that stimulates the immune system to produce more antibodies, a lower dose of the new avian flu vaccine worked better in triggering an immune response than a stronger dose without adjuvant. That means the amount of vaccine against a new strain of bird flu can be stretched to protect more people if an adjuvant is added. Both findings represent important strategies researchers can continue to study to fight new strains of bird flu that people previously have not been exposed to, and consequently can rapidly turn into a pandemic outbreak and public health emergency, said Robert Belshe, M.D., professor of infectious diseases, allergy and immunology at Saint Louis University and the lead author of the article, which appeared in the Oct. 8, 2014 issue of JAMA. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 01.10.2014

Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, AustriaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Austria Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Joura: The upcoming ninevalent vaccine has the potential to prevent 85% of the cervical precancers and surgeries such as LEEP (conization) (more…)
Author Interviews, Vaccine Studies / 28.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer A. Reich PhD University of Colorado Denver Department of Sociology Denver, CO 80208 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Reich: Public health practitioners have been concerned about rising rates of vaccine refusal and hesitance. This study examines how mothers account for the decision to delay or opt out of vaccines. This study shows that contrary to popular representation, these mothers are not ignorant, but rather see themselves as experts on their own children and as best qualified to decide whether their children need vaccines. They also trust that their intensive mothering practices, including extended breastfeeding, consumption of organic foods, and social monitoring of their children will protect them against disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies, Vitamin K / 25.08.2014

dr_shannon_macdonaldMedicalResearch.com interview with: Dr. Shannon MacDonald PhD Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary and Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. MacDonald: We found that vitamin K was refused by only a very small number of parents in our study population (0.3%) but that the number appears to be increasing (almost doubling in the past 7 years). The parents that refused vitamin K for their child were more likely to be those that delivered at home and/or with a midwife. We also found that parents who refused vitamin K for their child were also much more likely to go on to refuse all vaccinations by 15 months of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 15.08.2014

David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Greenberg: The New England Journal of Medicine published positive results from a randomized, double-blind, large-scale, multi-center efficacy trial, which found that Fluzone® High-Dose (Influenza Vaccine) was more efficacious in preventing influenza illness (“the flu”) in adults 65 years of age and older compared to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine was found to be 24.2 percent (95% CI, 9.7 to 36.5) more effective in preventing influenza relative to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine for the primary endpoint (laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with typical clinical symptoms occurring at least 14 days post-vaccination caused by any viral type or subtype). In other words, investigators determined that participants in the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine group were less likely to get the flu than those in the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine group. The study safety data were consistent with previous Fluzone High-Dose vaccine studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Herpes Viruses, Vaccine Studies / 06.08.2014

Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH Post-doctoral research fellow Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH Post-doctoral research fellow Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Tartof: Our study found that the herpes zoster vaccine continues to be effective in protecting older adults against shingles, even after they undergo chemotherapy. In particular, we found that those patients who were previously vaccinated with the vaccine were 42 percent less likely to develop shingles following chemotherapy treatment. We also found that none of our vaccinated patients underwent hospitalization for shingles, while six unvaccinated patients were hospitalized with the disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 01.08.2014

Jana Shaw MD, MPH, FAAP Associate Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Infectious Diseases SUNY Upstate Medical University 750 East Adams Street Syracuse, NY 13210MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jana Shaw MD, MPH, FAAP Associate Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Infectious Diseases SUNY Upstate Medical University 750 East Adams Street Syracuse, NY 13210 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shaw: In this study, we looked at exemptions to school immunization requirements in the US during 2009-2010 school year. We found that private schools have higher rates for all types of exemptions (medical, religious, and personal belief/philosophical). In addition, states that permitted personal belief exemptions had higher rates of exemptions overall compared to states that did not allow them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 09.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nikolai Madrid Scheller Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In a large and comprehensive study of more than 1.5 million women including more than 500,000 HPV vaccinated there was no association between HPV vaccination and blood clots. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 25.06.2014

Kay Wang Academic Clinical Lecturer Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford, Oxford, UKMedicalResearch.com: Interview with Kay Wang Academic Clinical Lecturer Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford, Oxford, UK MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wang: We have found evidence of recent whooping cough infection in 1 in 5 school age children who see their doctor with a persistent cough and in 1 in 6 children who have been fully vaccinated against whooping cough.  We have also shown that whooping cough can still cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 29.05.2014

Ai Kubo, MPH PhD Kaiser Permanente Division of Research 2000 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ai Kubo, MPH PhD Kaiser Permanente Division of Research 2000 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kubo: The main findings of the study are three folds: 1)  The CDC guideline works for the majority of infants in preventing vertical transmission, if the immunizations are done according to the recommended schedule. 2) It takes an organized effort to case-manage each mother-infant pairs in order to achieve almost complete immunization rates and very low transmission rates. 3) Highest risk group was mothers with extremely high viral load and e-antigen positivity.  This group of women may benefit from additional therapy to prevent the vertical transmission. However, for others, the risk of transmission is extremely low as long as the infants are immunized according to the guideline. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 27.05.2014

Scott A. Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, FACS, FCP, FACHE, CPE Chief of Staff, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs & Professor of Surgery Wayne State University School of Medicine John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Detroit, MI 48201MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott A. Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, FACS, FCP, FACHE, CPE Chief of Staff, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs & Professor of Surgery Wayne State University School of Medicine John D. Dingell VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Detroit, MI 48201 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gruber: We successfully addressed the problem of inadequate intracellular delivery of tumor- specific antigens (TSAs) to dendritic cells (DCs) by using synthetic cell-penetrating domains or peptides (CPPs) to create fusion tumor antigens (Ags) that readily penetrate through the plasma membrane. We demonstrated cloning and purification of the TSA melanoma-associated antigen 3 (MAGE-A3) in frame with CPP, producing enhanced cytosolic bioavailability in dendritic cells without altering cell functionality. Further, we showed that recombinant bacterial proteins can be easily engineered to purify large amounts of CPP-MAGE-A3. Use of full-length proteins circumvents the need to define HLA class I allele binding before vaccination and increases the number of epitopes recognized by CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) when compared with peptide-pulsed dendritic cells. Finally, the use of proteins rather than plasmids or viral vectors for in vitro dendritic cell vaccine preparation avoids the practical and theoretical safety concerns regarding genomic modification. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, JAMA, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 16.05.2014

Flor M. Munoz, MD  Department of Pediatrics Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Flor M. Munoz, MD Department of Pediatrics Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Munoz: 1. Tdap vaccine was safe and well tolerated during pregnancy 2. Women who are pregnant have adequate responses to the Tdap vaccine, similar to those of women who are not pregnant. 3. Antibodies to pertussis are efficiently transferred to the fetus through the placenta so that babies of mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy had significantly higher concentrations of antibody at birth and up to 2 months of age, when compared to infants of mothers who were vaccinated post-partum. 4. Higher antibody concentrations in the first two months of life are likely to provide protection against pertussis during this period of high vulnerability 5. Infants of mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy had adequate responses to their routine pertussis vaccines at 2, 4, and 6 months of age, and had expected and adequate responses to their 4th dose of vaccine at 1 year of age. The absolute concentration of antibodies to some of the pertussis antigens might be modestly lower after the primary series of vaccines in some infants of mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy, but this difference does not persist after the 4th dose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies / 10.05.2014

MedicalResearch Interview: Dr Nicoline van der Maas MD Epidemiologist National Institute for Public Health and the Environment Centre for Infectious Disease Control Epidemiology and Surveillance The Netherlands MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. van der Maas: The main finding, presented at the ESPID, is that we found no difference in growth, development and infection related contact rates with the general practitioner after the first year of life between infants of unvaccinated mothers and infants of mothers, vaccinated with an adjuvanted Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. The offer of a H1N1 vaccination to pregnant women in their second and third trimester did not have a negative impact on infants’ health during the first year of life. (more…)
Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 09.05.2014

Tessa Schurink-van 't Klooster Epidemioloog Rijksvaccinatieprogramma Epidemiologie en Surveillance RIVM - Centrum Infectieziektebestrijding 3720 BA BilthovenMedicalResearch.com Interview with Tessa Schurink-van 't Klooster Epidemioloog Rijksvaccinatieprogramma Epidemiologie en Surveillance RIVM - Centrum Infectieziektebestrijding 3720 BA Bilthoven MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding of this study was that we observed no differences in mortality rate ratios for females compared to males related to the type of last offered vaccination in DTP- and MMR-eligible age groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Kaiser Permanente, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 11.04.2014

Roger Paul Baxter, MD Co-Director Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center Oakland, CA 94612.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Paul Baxter, MD Co-Director Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center Oakland, CA 94612. MedicalResearch.com What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Baxter:  Menveo, the currently licensed CRM-conjugate meningococcal vaccine, showed an excellent booster response in adolescents, regardless of which conjugate vaccine they had received previously.  Also, although titers from the priming dose waned, at 3 years there were still protective antibodies in the majority of immunized individuals.  The other US-licensed meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menactra, uses a different protein conjugate. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 18.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rachel J Sacks Jefferiss Wing,  St Mary's Hospital Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background of this study? Dr. Sacks: 2247 anonymous questionnaires were completed by young women, aged 13-19 years old, attending sexual health services across England, looking at their HPV vaccination outcomes and prevalence of risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, and comparing the survey results with national data where available. Known HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development risk factors include cigarette smoking, early age at first intercourse, increasing number of lifetime partners, co-infection with other sexually transmitted infections. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study Dr. Sacks:
  •          Young women, aged 13  to 19 years old attending sexual health services across England had higher prevalence of known risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, compared with national data.
  •          Survey respondents had lower HPV vaccination offer and lower HPV vaccination completion rates than nationally.
  •          Subgroups within the survey respondents were identified as having a significantly lower offer and significantly lower completion rate of the HPV vaccination. These subgroups included respondents from London, those of non-white ethnicities, 17 to 19 year olds, smokers and those not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
  •          The highest risk individuals, in terms of HPV related risk factors, were the least likely to be offered and additional the least likely to complete the HPV vaccination course.
  •          Currently sexual health services in England are not involved in the delivery of the HPV vaccination programme and this is felt to be a huge missed opportunity for the primary prevention of HPV acquisition and its potential sequelae. Sexual health services should be included as a supplementary HPV vaccination delivery site in order to target these particularly vulnerable young women and to increase the success of the HPV vaccination programme in England.
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Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 05.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Julia Brotherton Victorian Cytology Service, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Dr Elizabeth Crowe The University of Queensland, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Australia NHS Borders, Department of Public Health, Melrose, Scotland, UK Prof. David Whiteman Group Leader / Department Coordinator QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Royal Brisbane Hospital, QLD 4029 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? 1.       We conducted a case-control study in which we retrieved the HPV vaccination histories of young Australian women who were notified to the Pap smear registry with high-grade cervical lesions or with other types of cervical lesions, and compared them with the vaccination histories of women whose Pap smears showed only normal cytology. 2.       We found that women with high grade cervical lesions were significantly less likely than women with normal cytology to have received 3 doses of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, equivalent to a vaccine effectiveness of 46%. 3.       The vaccine effectiveness among 15-19 year old women was even higher at 57%. We believe this reflects the fact that HPV16 causes an even higher proportion of high grade disease in young women due to its higher oncogenicity and shorter latent period. 4.       The HPV vaccine had 34% effectiveness against other cervical lesions (i.e. those not proven to be high grade lesions on histology). 5.       We also observed that 2 doses of the vaccine were 21% effective in preventing both high grade lesions and other grade lesions. (more…)