Allergies, Author Interviews, C. difficile, Dental Research, Infections / 05.10.2019 Interview with: Alan E. Gross, PharmD Clinical Assistant Professor University of Illinois Chicago, IL What is the background for this study? Response: Dentists prescribe 10% of all outpatient antibiotics. Most of this prescribing is for infection prophylaxis prior to dental procedures. Our prior research has found that 80% of prescriptions for dental prophylaxis is unnecessary. Although antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental procedures is often for a short course (e.g. one time amoxicillin dose), there may be patient harm associated with this. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, CMAJ, Dermatology, Heart Disease / 30.09.2019 Interview with: Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, Gout and Crystal Arthropathy Center Director, Clinical Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allopurinol is a very common and generally safe medication prescribed to lower serum urate levels, most commonly to patients with gout. However, it can be associated with very rare but serious cutaneous adverse events which includes Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Prior studies have demonstrated several risk factors for these types of cutaneous adverse events, including presence of chronic kidney disease, older age, female sex, higher initial dose of allopurinol, and the HLA-B*5801 allele, which is more commonly found in Asians and Black patients. A prior study in Taiwan suggested that heart disease (ischemic heart disease and heart failure) may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalizations for these cutaneous adverse reactions related to allopurinol. Thus, our goal was to investigate this association using a general population cohort from Canada. Using Population Data BC, we found that heart disease was in fact independently associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for these cutaneous adverse reactions. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, FASEB, Imperial College / 11.03.2015

Professor Jane A. Mitchell Head of Vascular Biology Section Head of Cardiothoracic Pharmacology National Heart and Lung Institute, Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine & Science,    Imperial College, Interview with: Professor Jane A. Mitchell Head of Vascular Biology Section Head of Cardiothoracic Pharmacology National Heart and Lung Institute, Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine & Science, Imperial College, London Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2006 a drug called TGN1412 was given to 6 healthy male volunteers as a final test for safety. The drug had passed all of the preclinical tests and showed no problem when it was given to laboratory animals. However when it was given to people it caused a catastrophic side effect known as a ‘cytokine storm response’. All 6 volunteers became sick very quickly and needed immediate hospital treatment, they nearly died and remain at risk of immune problems still. We found a way to mimic the effects of TGN1412 in the laboratory using stem cell technology to engineer two different types of cells from the same donor to be grown and mixed together in a dish. Our test is better than the current tests used because it mimics better the human body and uses cells from one individual donor. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, NEJM / 24.10.2013 Interview with: Dr. Jian-Jun Liu Shangdong Provincial Institute of Dermatology and Venereology What are the main findings of the study? Answer: ·      HLA-B*13:01 is associated with the development of dapsone hypersensitivity syndrome. ·      Carrying one copy of HLA-B*13:01 increases one’s risk by 34 times of getting DHS, while carrying two copies increases risk by 100 times as compared to not carrying this allele. ·      HLA-B*13:01 has a sensitivity and specificity of above 85% in predicting the risk of DHS, theoretically reducing the risk of DHS by 7 fold when implemented in clinical screening. (more…)