AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Microbiome / 30.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David J. Durgan, PhD Department of Anesthesiology Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our lab and others had previously shown that gut dysbiosis is not only associated with hypertension, but actually plays a causal role. For example we have shown in both a genetic model of hypertension as well as an obstructive sleep apnea induced model of hypertension, that transplantation of their dysbiotic microbiota into normotensive recipients induced elevations in blood pressure. With this understanding our focus shifted to two new questions 1) How can we manipulate the microbiota to improve/prevent hypertension, and 2) What are the signals originating from the microbiota that have the capability to influence host blood pressure? These questions lead to the experimental design of this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Mental Health Research, NYU / 15.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ANGELA R. KAMER, DMD, MS, PhD Associate Professor Periodontology and Implant Dentistry NYU Dentistry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The accumulation of amyloid β plaques and neurofibrillary pathology in the brain are pathognomonic to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Brain amyloid deposition begins decades before cognitive dysfunction and is thought to be the first AD pathological feature followed by tau tangle accumulations and other pathologies. The mechanisms by which brain amyloid develops are incompletely understood although inflammation and bacterial imbalances (known as dysbiosis) of the gut and oral cavity may be involved. Periodontal disease affecting more than 50% of elderly is an inflammatory, chronic condition characterized by periodontal tissue destruction and bacterial imbalances. Using PET studies, we showed previously that measures of periodontal destruction were associated with brain amyloid retention in the brain [1]. In this study, we sought to investigate whether subgingival (under the gum line) bacteria associated with Alzheimer’s disease specific pathology, namely amyloidosis and tauopathy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, UCSD / 24.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard Gallo, MD, PhD Ima Gigli Distinguished Professor of Dermatology Chair of the Department of Dermatology UC San Diego School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by atopic dermatitis/eczema? How common is it and what are the symptoms. Response: Atopic Dermatitis is a common inflammatory disease of the skin that appears in up to 20% of children and 3% of the adult population. People suffering from atopic dermatitis have red, itchy skin. In many cases this rash will disrupt sleeping and severely impact quality of life. Also, people with atopic dermatitis are more susceptible to infections of the skin and are more likely to have other allergies and asthma. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Lipids, Mental Health Research, Microbiome / 18.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Moira Marizzoni, PhD Researcher, Fatebenefratelli Center in Brescia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Still incurable, it directly affects nearly one million people in Europe, and indirectly millions of family members as well as society as a whole. The gut microbiota could play a role in brain diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Some gut bacteria components or products can reach the brain via the blood and might promote brain amyloidosis (one of the main pathological features in Alzheimer’s disease).   MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: This study evaluated a cohort of 89 people between 65 and 85 years of age composed of subjects suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases causing similar memory problems, and of subjects with no memory problems. The study revealed that elevated levels of microbiota-products with known pro-inflammatory properties (i.e. lipopolysaccharides and the short chain fatty acids acetate and valerate) were associated with greater cerebral amyloid pathology while elevated levels of those with anti-inflammatory properties (i.e. the short chain fatty acid butyrate) were associated with lower amyloid pathology. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Infections / 01.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As gut microbiota is linked with all kind of known human diseases, however, commonly studied microorganisms are bacteria. Our study is first-of-its kind to discover the role of fungi living in our gut to influence our brain health like Alzheimer’s disease pathology in humans. It also describes that a Mediterranean ketogenic diet can beneficially change fungi and bacteria populations to improve brain health.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pediatrics / 14.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mohammadali Khan Mirzaei Institute of Virology Helmholtz Zentrum München Neuherberg, Germany  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can you briefly explain what is meant by a bacteriophage? Response: Child stunting a severe growth impairment, globally affecting about 1 in 5 of children. The correlation between altered gut microbiota and stunting is already known. In contrast to what we know about the link between altered gut bacteria and stunting, the role of phages was not explored. Phages are the bacterial viruses that match the number of bacterial cells by a 1:1 ratio in the human gut. They are central to the biogeochemistry of most ecosystems by driving bacterial physiology, diversity, and abundance. Therefore, we expect a significant role for them in the human gut. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Gastrointestinal Disease / 14.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Philipp Schwabl, MD Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department of Internal Medicine III Medical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a lot of research published about microplastics being present in the ocean and subsequently also being found in the gut of sea animals, however there were no investigations if also humans involunterily ingest microplastics. This gave us rationale to perform a pilot study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Microbiome / 06.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Christoph Kaleta Institute for Experimental Medicine Institute for Experimental Medicine, Kiel University Kiel, GermanyProf. Dr. Christoph Kaleta Institute for Experimental Medicine Institute for Experimental Medicine, Kiel University Kiel, Germany  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Even though Metformin is the first-line treatment option in type-2 diabetic patients, its specific mechanism of action has remained elusive so far. Moreover, metformin is of particular interest as an anti-aging drug since it's usage has been shown to be associated with a lower incidence of several aging diseases in type-2 diabetic patients taking metformin when compared to matched healthy controls. While previous work was able to show pronounced changes in the microbiota of patients taking metformin and a health-promoting effect of metformin-adapted microbiota, how this beneficial effect could be mediated has remained unclear. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 14.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zhe-Xue Quan, PhD Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering Institute of Biodiversity Science School of Life Sciences, Fudan University Shanghai, China  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The maturation of skin microbial communities during childhood is important for the skin health of children and development of the immune system into adulthood. This necessitates a better characterization of the environmental and genetic factors influencing these microbiome dynamics. We investigated the skin microbiota of children (158 subjects between 1 and 10 years old) and their mothers using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Sample location and age were the primary factors determining a child’s skin bacterial composition. Relative abundances of Streptococcus and Granulicatella were negatively correlated with age, and the alpha diversity at all body sites examined increased during the first 10 years of life, especially on the face. The facial bacterial composition of 10-year-old children was strongly associated with delivery mode at birth.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Microbiome, Pediatrics, UCSD / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jusleen Ahluwalia MD Second-year Dermatology resident University of California, San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Preadolescence is an interesting stage during which changes in microbial diversity can coincide with the development of acne. This study is the largest assessment of preadolescent acne microbiome in the literature to date. In this study, we found that early acne in preadolescent females is characterized by an abundance of Streptococcus mitis, while later stages are characterized by a predominance of Cutibacterium acnes (formerly known as Propionibacterium acnes).   (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Microbiome, PLoS, Sexual Health / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brent E. Palmer, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Director, ClinImmune and ACI/ID Flow Cytometry Facility Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology University of Colorado Anschutz Medical College Aurora, Colorado 80045  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous studies showed that in western populations, men who have sex with men (MSM) have a distinct gut microbiome composition when compared with men who have sex with women (MSW). We wanted to understand how these microbiome differences in MSM could impact their immune system. To test this, we transferred feces from healthy MSW and MSM to gnotobiotic (germ-free) mice and examined the immune system in the mice post-transplant. In mice that received transfers from MSM, there were higher frequencies of activated T cells in gut tissues, which are the primary targets of HIV. This result suggested that gut microbes associated with MSM sexual behavior may actually contribute to HIV transmission by driving activation of HIV target cells. In fact, when we stimulated human gut derived cells with gut microbes isolated from MSM and MSW, cells that were stimulated with microbes from MSM were infected at a higher rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Microbiome / 13.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyung Mo Kim Senior research scientist Korea Polar Research Institute. Professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois Arshan Nasir Distinguished Fellow Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Horizontal gene transfer is the process by which unrelated microorganisms can exchange genes. The famous examples would be transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria that renders many commercially expensive antibiotics useless. From an evolutionary point of view, it complicates our understanding of how bacteria are related since even distantly-related bacteria can share genes and then cluster together on evolutionary trees. Thus better understanding horizontal evolution is important for both public health and our basic understanding of microbial taxonomy and evolution. There are some excellent existing methods of HGT detection that compare DNA features (e.g. GC%, codon usage) or statistical similarity between genomes to identify foreign genes. However, these methods work better to identify recently transferred genes. Transfers that happened millions or billions of years ago cannot be reliably detected since DNA sequences evolve over time during which foreign DNA can become more host-like. That is why we focused our attention on utilizing approaches that are based on sound evolutionary principles. If a gene is horizontally acquired, then a phylogenetic tree of that gene will be different from the reference or known tree of the organisms. The true phylogenetic tree of organisms describes how organisms have descended from a common ancestor through inheritance of genes. If a gene is acquired from a source outside the parents or from an unrelated organism, then there will be a conflict between gene tree and the reference/known species tree. This conflict can be indication of HGT. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Microbiome / 15.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luis Garza, MD-PhD Associate Professor Department of Dermatology Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21287 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Do you think these findings would be similar with other antibiotics (oral or topical) or with isotretinoin for acne? Response: We prescribe antibiotics frequently for acne. We certainly know it affects our normal and abnormal bacteria on our skin. But we don’t fully understand how well or not people recover from antibiotics.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, PLoS, University of Michigan / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Betsy Foxman PhD Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Influenza is a major cause of human illness and death worldwide. Vaccines are the best available means of prevention. However, vaccine effectiveness has been low to moderate in recent years and coverage remains low in many countries. There is increasing evidence suggesting the microbiome plays an important role in shaping host immunity and may be a potential target for reducing disease. In our study, we used a household transmission study to explore whether the respiratory microbiome was associated with influenza susceptibility.  (more…)
Microbiome, Nutrition, Weight Research / 22.01.2019

The obesity rate has climbed steadily for men in the United States, currently rolling in at nearly 38% and still rising. That’s far from good news, and it’s doing nothing to help with the growing cardiovascular and heart disease statistics. Fighting obesity can be incredibly difficult, especially with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles brought on by modern conveniences. With diets popping up every day, it can be hard to pick, but one diet has arisen with a focus on digestive and general body health rather than strict weight loss: fiber-high diets. What is it? Fiber-high diets are exactly what they sound like, in that they’re dietary plans based on consuming fiber heavy foods to help promote a healthy digestive system. Our gut is home to massive colonies of helpful bacteria that work to aid us in breaking down our food and keep our body healthy. Fiber-high diets focus on feeding these bacteria the best possible fuel to promote a healthy body system, commonly referred to as the microbiome. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Nature / 11.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Venkatakrishna R Jala, PhD Assistant Professor James Graham Brown Cancer Center Department of Microbiology and Immunology University of Louisville MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Humans evolved along with their gut microbiota and adapted their physiological activities to help each other. Along with consumption of healthy diets, humans must harbor the appropriate microbiota to convert the foods into available components called metabolites. These microbial metabolites play a critical role in preserving homeostasis, the development of immune systems and preventing adverse events both systemically and locally. Despite the availability of large metagenomics (bacterial sequence) data, and its associations with disease conditions, the functional dynamics of microbiota (good vs bad) in human health or diseases are yet to be defined. The host’s indigenous gut microbiota and its metabolites have emerged as key factors that greatly influence human health and disease, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). IBD patients suffer from leaky gut and increased inflammation. The current study demonstrates that a microbial metabolite derived from ellagitannin/ellagic acid rich diets (e.g., pomegranate, berries) called ‘urolithin A’ and its synthetic analogue significantly enhance gut barrier function in addition to blocking the unwarranted inflammation in IBD animal models.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 11.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Casey Morrow, Ph.D. Leader of the research team and professor emeritus Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) contains several distinct physical environments within the stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum) and colon that harbor complex microbial communities. Changes in the fecal microbe composition have been described for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), the most effective and durable treatment for morbid obesity, and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Microbiome, Pain Research / 09.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David M. Aronoff, MD, FIDSA, FAAM Professor & Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine Director, Division of Infectious Diseases Department of Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a major cause of antibiotic-associated colitis and diarrhea and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection. It is caused by the toxin-producing, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium difficile. Antibiotic use is a major risk factor for CDI but epidemiological studies suggest that other factors, some modifiable, some not, can also increase the risk for CDI. Older age is an example of a non-modifiable risk factor for CDI. Some epidemiological studies suggested that taking the prostaglandin synthesis inhibiting drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might also increase the risk for CDI. NSAIDs include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin, and others. Because NSAID use is so common, if it is a risk factor for the acquisition of, or severity of, CDI, that would be important because that would be a modifiable risk factor. We therefore sought to determine the impact of NSAID exposure on CDI severity in a mouse model of antibiotic-associated CDI. We also sought evidence for possible mechanisms whereby NSAIDs might increase the risk for CDI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Infections, Microbiome, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 30.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sasirekha Ramani, PhD Assistant Professor Molecular Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This work pertains to Rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhea and vomiting in children under the age of 5 years. In this paper, we described our work with a rotavirus strain that almost exclusively causes neonatal infections. For many years, we have been trying to understand why this strain primarily infects newborns and why infection in some babies is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms while others are asymptomatic. A few years ago, we showed that this particular virus binds to developmentally-regulated glycans (sugars) in the gut as receptors. As the baby grows, these sugars get modified, and that potentially explains why infection with this virus is primarily restricted to neonates. However, we didn’t really have to answer to why there are differences in association with clinical presentations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, NEJM, Pediatrics, Probiotics / 22.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen Freedman MDCM, MSc Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Professor in Child Health and Wellness Sections of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology Alberta Children's Hospital & Research Institute University of Calgary Calgary, AB  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Vomiting and diarrhea remain extremely common diseases in children and are the most common reason children are brought for emergency department care in North America.  While we have options to reduce vomiting there historically has been little physicians can offer to reduce the severity of the diarrhea. Probiotics have recently emerged as an option with some early evidence of benefit in clinical trials but the studies performed to date have been small and few little research has been conducted in North America in outpatient or emergency department children. The one study to date that was performed in a US emergency department did not find probiotic use to be beneficial.  Given the increasing importance of clarifying this issue we undertook this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Gluten, Microbiome, Nature / 17.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Oluf Pedersen Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We focused our study on healthy people due to the world-wide bottom-up movement among healthy adults to live gluten-free or on a low-gluten diet. Therefore, we undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged healthy Danish adults with two eight week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day). The two diets were balanced in number of calories and nutrients including the same total amount of dietary fibres. However, the composition of fibres differed markedly between the two diets. When the low-gluten trend started years back the trend was without any scientific evidence for health benefits. Now we bring pieces of evidence that a low-gluten diet in healthy people may be related to improved intestinal wellbeing due to changes in the intestinal microbiota which to our surprise is NOT induced by gluten itself but by the concomitant change in the type of dietary fibres linked to a low-gluten intake. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas Thymann PhD DVM MSc Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Comparative Pediatrics and Nutrition Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen Frederiksberg, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infants that are born preterm are at risk of developing a severe and life threatening intestinal disease referred to as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This condition is known to be under influence of several factors including the microorganisms that start to colonize the intestine immediately after birth. We wanted to see whether fecal matter collected from healthy 10-day old piglets, would benefit the pattern of early colonization, and prevent NEC. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "babies (365-222)" by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Christopher M Stark Department of Pediatrics William Beaumont Army Medical Center El Paso, Texas Department of Pediatrics Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Rates of pediatric obesity have increased over the past decade, which has led researchers to search for modifiable risk factors that may explain this increase. Recent studies have identified an association between native gut bacteria alterations and the development of obesity. Several population-based studies have evaluated whether or not there is an association between antibiotic exposure and the development of obesity, with mixed results. No studies have previously evaluated if acid suppressing medications are associated with developing obesity. We found that young children prescribed antibiotics, acid suppressants, and combinations of these medications in the first two years of life are more likely to develop obesity after two years of age. Our study represents the largest study to evaluate pediatric antibiotic prescriptions and obesity risk, with nearly ten times as many patients as the next largest study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Science / 27.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joao Xavier PhD Associate Faculty Member | Computational & Systems Biology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our team at Memorial Sloan Kettering has been investigating the intestinal microbiota of patients receiving bone marrow transplantations for more than eight years now. We have found through several studies that these patients lose important healthy bacteria from their microbiota, and that these losses are mostly caused by the antibiotics given as prophylaxis or to treat infections. We also found that the drastic changes in the microbiota composition, especially the intestinal dominations by bacteria such as Enterococcus, increase the risk of transplant-related complications and lowered patient survival. We aimed to determine the feasibility of autologous microbiota transplant (auto-FMT) as a way to reconstitute lost bacteria. This randomized study found that indeed auto-FMT could reconstitute important microbial groups to patients.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome / 26.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pushpa Pandiyan, PhD Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences School of Dental Medicine Case Western Reserve University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective was to find the role of the resident bacteria in the mouth in controlling oral immunity. We examined this in a oral fungal infection model. How resident microbiome in the mouth maintains a healthy oral immune system was unknown before. We found that antibiotics led to destruction of microbiome and some of the good fatty acids the bacteria produced. This created an immune imbalance in the local tissue, thus making the host more susceptible to the fungal infection.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 20.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj PhD Professor in Pediatrics Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry School of Public Health University of Alberta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Data for this study were collected in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort of over 3,500 full-term infants born between 2009 and 2012. When infants were 3-4 months of age, parents provided a sample of their poop. At that time, parents checked-off responses to questions about their home, including type and frequency of cleaning product use. The infant poop was initially frozen, then thawed later to extract DNA from the sample and identify microbes on the basis of their DNA sequence.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Probiotics / 23.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Center on Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Redox Biology & Medicine Ctr Sticht Center on Aging MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Currently, the use of probiotics is increasing for health benefits of consumers, however the source of probiotics available in the market remains scarcely known. According to scientific community and regulatory standpoint, human-origin probiotics are highly recommended. Hence, we isolated these probiotics from baby diapers, because infant microbiome carries large number of beneficial bacteria. In addition, we optimized our probiotics to produce higher amount of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs; beneficial metabolites produced by the gut microbiome), because the levels of SCFAs decreases in several human diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory bowel diseases. Hence, our probiotics can be used to bring back SCFAs levels and may benefit people suffering from these diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Microbiome / 16.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: quadrant biosciencesSteven D. Hicks, MD PhD Penn State College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics Division of Academic General Pediatrics Hershey, PA, 17033‐0850 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​Previous studies have shown that disrupting the community of bacteria in the gut can lead to autism-like behavior in animals. In humans interventions aimed at improving the intestinal microbiome have also led to changes in autism behavior. Here, we examined whether autism-related changes in microbial activity extended to the mouth and throat. We were interested in this site because it provides the initial interface between host immunity and microbe exposure. By examining nearly 350 children with autism, typical development, or developmental delay (without autism) we identified 12 groups of oral bacteria with unique activity patterns in children with autism. Interestingly, microbial activity (measured by RNA sequencing) also differed between children with autism and gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances and peers with autism but no GI disturbance. Levels of several microbes also displayed correlations with measures of autism behaviors. We utilized microbial activity patterns to create diagnostic panels that displayed accuracy for distinguishing children with autism from peers with typical development (79.5% accuracy) or developmental delay (76.5% accuracy).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, NYU, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 29.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mikhail Kazachkov MD Director of Pediatric Pulmonology Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital NYU Langone Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How common is the problem of chronic cough in children?  Is it more common in children with allergies, asthma or reflux? Response: Chronic cough is one of the leading causes of pediatric referrals to subspecialty physicians.  Its prevalence in the general pediatric population may approach 3% (Galassi et al, Epidemiol. Prev. 2005;29,Suppl.:9–13). It is important to recognize that the main causes of chronic cough in children are completely different for those in adults.  Specifically, gastroesophageal reflux and postnasal drip are not considered to be important causes of cough in children.  Cough variant asthma, although is a common cause of cough in adults, does not seem to be frequently diagnosed and a cause of chronic cough in children. The main cause of chronic wet cough in children is protracted bacterial bronchitis (Chang et al, Chest. 2017 Apr;151:884-890).  It is important to recognize that neurologically impaired children have completely different pathogenesis of chronic cough, which is mostly related to aspiration into the lower airway and development of aspiration-related lung disease. (more…)