New Probiotic Targets Harmful Intestinal Biofilm in Crohn’s Disese

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhDDirector of the Center for Medical MycologyCase Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

Dr. Ghannoum

Professor Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD
Director of the Center for Medical Mycology
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: The driving force for this study was our finding that patients with Crohn’s disease had a significantly high level (or abundance) of pathogenic fungi (called Candida tropicalis) as well as bacteria (Escherichia coli, and Serratia Marcescens) compared to their non-diseased first-degree relatives. Not only were their levels high, but these organisms cooperated to form polymicrobial digestive plaque (or digestive biofilms) that aggravated the inflammatory symptoms in these patients.

Based on this we wanted to develop a probiotic that targeted these organisms and the biofilms they form. Our efforts led to the design of the novel Biohm probiotic which we tested and the results were described in our publication.

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Prions from Brain Detectable in Skin Earlier Than Brain Damage

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD Associate Professor Departments of Pathology and Neurology Director of CJD Skin Project Associate Director National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center Institute of Pathology Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Dr. Wen Quan Zou

Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Departments of Pathology and Neurology
Director of CJD Skin Project
Associate Director
National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center
Institute of Pathology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Would you briefly explain the significance of prion-induced diseases and why they have been difficult to diagnosis?

Response: Our previous study has demonstrated that infectious prions are detectable in the skin samples of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form of human prion disease, at the terminal stage by the highly sensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay and animal-based bioassay.

The prion-induced diseases are significant because they are infectious diseases that can be transmitted inter-species and intra-species. For instance, mad cow disease, a prion disease in cattle, has been documented to transmit to humans. Currently, there are no cures for these fatal diseases.

The definite diagnosis of prion diseases is difficult because it mainly depends on the availability of brain tissues obtained either by biopsy or autopsy for detection of prions. Brain biopsy is highly invasive and it is difficult to be accepted by patients and their families. Even for brain autopsy, it is not always feasible because of religious and cultural limitations in some regions or countries.  Continue reading

Dermatology Care Varies Widely by Gender, Socioeconomic Factors and Race

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Raghav Tripathi, MPH Case Western Reserve University MD Candidate, Class of 2021

Raghav Tripathi

Raghav Tripathi, MPH
Case Western Reserve University
MD Candidate, Class of 2021

MedicalResearch.com: Why did you decide to perform this study?

Response: Differences in the impact of dermatologic conditions on different groups have been of interest to our research group for a long time. Previously, our group had found differences in time to treatment for patients with different skin cancers. Beyond this, we had found differences in mortality and incidence of various skin conditions (controlling for other factors) in different racial groups/ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, demographic groups, and across the rural-urban continuum.

The goal of this study was to investigate socioeconomic and demographic differences in utilization of outpatient dermatologic care across the United States. As demographics throughout the country become more diverse, understanding differences in utilization of dermatologic care is integral to developing policy approaches to increasing access to care across the country.  Continue reading