COVID -19 Coronavirus / 15.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari, CEO discusses the COVID-19 Delta COVID-19 variant and his insights into pandemic concerns and control. MedicalResearch.com: What is meant by the 'Delta' variant? Are there differences in the clinical presentation or complications? Response: Variants are now given Greek lettering for everyone and the Delta variant represents the variant from India. Pulmonary reports indicate it is much more contagious and there are reports of increased hospitalization with this variant. MedicalResearch.com: Where is the variant currently found and where is it likely to spread? Response: Obviously India, but it has taken over as the dominant strain in England and it is about 6% of the strains in the United states and growing. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Masoud Jahandar Lashaki, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering Florida Atlantic University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Toilet flushing can generate large quantities of microbe-containing aerosols depending on the design and water pressure or flushing energy of the toilet. Based on previous reports, a variety of different pathogens which are found in stagnant water or in waste products (e.g., urine, feces, and vomit) can get dispersed widely via such aerosolization, including the legionella bacterium responsible for causing Legionnaire’s disease, the Ebola virus, the norovirus which causes severe gastroenteritis (food poisoning), and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Based on previous reports, such airborne dispersion is suspected to have played a key role in the outbreak of viral gastroenteritis aboard a cruise ship, where infection was twice as prevalent among passengers who used shared toilets compared to those who had private bathrooms. Similarly, transmission of norovirus via aerosolized droplets was linked to the occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea within an aircraft restroom, as passengers and crew who got infected subsequently were more likely to have visited restrooms than those that were not infected. The participants in the study reported that all of the restroom surfaces appeared to be clean, which indicates that infection is likely to have occurred via bioaerosols suspended within the restroom. Although many of these studies blamed flush-generated aerosols for disease outbreak, a limited number of them quantified the presence of such aerosols. Consequently, we decided to conduct this study to demonstrate the spike in aerosol concentrations following flushing. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Sickbert-Bennett PhD, MS, CIC, FSHEA Director, Infection Prevention, UNC Hospitals Administrative Director, Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, UNC Hospitals Associate Professor of Medicine-Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine Associate Professor of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recently public health officials have recommended doubling masks, although the initial study conducted by CDC investigators was limited in type and combinations of masks tested, so our study compared fitted filtration efficiency of commonly available masks worn, singly, doubled or in combination. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Doubling of masks can improve the fitted filtration efficiency of masks, that is how well masks protect you from inhalation of aerosols from others. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group, the Wellness Environment Scientific Team at the University of Vermont, hadn’t planned to look at COVID at the outset of this study and instead were going to look at mental health and engagement in wellness activities in college students across a semester. The pandemic disrupted that plan when students were abruptly sent home but fortunately, they continued to do their daily app-based ratings of their mood, stress levels, and engagement in healthy activities. We then realized we had some interesting pre-COVID to COVID data that was worth exploring. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, UCLA / 20.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard K. Leuchter, MD Resident Physician Department of Internal Medicine UCLA Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been significant research demonstrating racial healthcare disparities among patients with COVID-19, but less exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the healthcare of racial & ethnic minority groups without COVID-19. It is important to understand the ways in which the pandemic has exacerbated the inequitable delivery of healthcare in order to design policies to address these racial injustices. We focused on potentially avoidable hospitalizations, which are admissions to a hospital (not for COVID-19) that likely could have been prevented through timely and high-quality outpatient care. Prior research has shown that avoidable hospitalizations are markers for access to outpatient care, and expose patients to preventable financial burden, separate them from their families, and put them at risk for hospital-acquired infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, UCSD / 13.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abhishek Saha, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At a very early stage of COVID 19 pandemic, the scientific community identified that respiratory droplet is the primary mode of transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus. Naturally, the health agencies have encouraged facemasks to restrict these droplets from spreading during respiratory events, like coughing, sneezing, talking, etc. While WHO recommended using either N95 masks or other types of three-layer masks, due to a sharp increase in demand and scarcity in supplies, a variety of either home-made or locally purchased masks became popular. Naturally, one wonders if these single- and double-layer masks provide enough protection. To provide some insight into this critical question, our team, which also includes Professor Swetaprovo Chaudhuri from the University of Toronto, and Professor Saptarshi Basu of the Indian Institute of Science, experimentally analyzed what happens to the respiratory droplets when they impact single- and multi-layer masks. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, JAMA / 11.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PHD, MPH Associate Professor Director of Clinical Research Director of Patch Testing George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Washington, DC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID pandemic hit the Orthodox Jewish community in the United States particularly hard, especially in the early days when much was unknown. At that time of great loss, Jewish communities around the United States rallied to help the millions of other people impacted by the pandemic. A partnership was established of local community organizations across 5 states with premier academic universities across the United States and Canada. Over a 10 day period in May 2020, more than 6500 people came out to participate in the The Multi-Institutional Study Analyzing anti-CoV-2 Antibodies (MITZVA) cohort. Participants completed surveys and donated blood in order to become potential convalescent plasma donors and help learn more about the science of COVID. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, UCLA / 09.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian P. Lee, MD, MAS Assistant Professor Clinical Medicine University of Southern Californi Keck School of Medicine Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with mental health stressors, including anxiety, loneliness, and social instability. We hypothesized the pandemic may have led to increased alcohol and tobacco use as a coping mechanism for these stressors. National retrospective questionnaires had suggested higher reports of substance use, but these are limited by selection and recall biases, in addition to subjective report – we sought to address this knowledge gap by using a nationally-representative longitudinal cohort (Nielsen National Consumer Panel) tracking real-time purchases of households across the US. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 04.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dott.ssa Silvia Bloise MD Prof. Riccardo Lubrano MD PhD Pediatric and Neonatology Unit Maternal and Child Department Sapienza University of Rome Rome Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pending new evidence, the universal facial masking, with other preventive measures remain the only strategies to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The use of face mask is particularly debated in the children, especially in younger children. Therefore, we wanted to test whether their in children was associated with episodes of desaturation or respiratory distress. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, JAMA, UCLA / 22.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frederick Zimmerman, PhD Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management Fielding School of Public Health UCLA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The science on school transmissions of COVID is becoming clearer all the time in its conclusion that there is little to no transmission in school environments as long as reasonable precautions are taken. Yet one recent study got a lot of attention for claiming that states that allowed their schools to remain open in the early days of the pandemic saw more cases. That study did not control for several important factors that might explain this association, so our study aimed to correct that work. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rahul Subramanian PhD candidate Department of Ecology and Evolution Biological Sciences Division University of Chicago Chicago, IL 60637 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Understanding the proportion of COVID-19 cases that become symptomatic, as well as the extent to which people without symptoms contribute to COVID-19 transmission, has important public health implications. However, changes in PCR testing capacity over time have made these quantities hard to estimate precisely. We used a model that incorporates daily changes in PCR testing capacity, cases, and serology to precisely estimate the proportion of cases that were symptomatic in New York City during the initial wave of the outbreak. Only 1 in 7 to 1 in 5 cases were symptomatic. Furthermore, non-symptomatic cases of the virus (this includes people who are either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic) substantially contribute to community transmission, making up at least 50% of the driving force of SARS-CoV-2 infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Diabetes, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anath Shalev, M.D. Professor of Medicine Nancy R. and Eugene C. Gwaltney Family Endowed Chair in Juvenile Diabetes Research Director, Comprehensive Diabetes Center University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is metformin normally prescribed for? Response: Diabetes has been recognized as one of the major comorbidities associated with higher mortality in the context of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic, but ways to improve outcome in this at-risk population are lacking. Metformin is the most common medication used for type 2 diabetes. In addition, it is sometimes prescribed to people with prediabetes or to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks, Science / 11.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Asimanshu Das, Ph.D. student Brown University School of Engineering MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Driving in a car with ride-share or car-pool is a widely prevalent social interaction. The study aimed to address the airflows inside cars in various window open/closed configurations using computer simulations, and also looking into the possibility of movement of aerosol-type of particles from one occupant to other. The main findings are that opening windows provides a likely benefit to reduce the potentially pathogenic aerosols inside the cabin. Generally, more windows the better, but at the least it would be advisable to have one rear side window and one frontside window open. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 07.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sitara Weerakoon, MPH (she/her) PhD Candidate | Epidemiology & Biostatistics Graduate Research Assistant Center for Pediatric Population Health UTHealth MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 included stay-at-home mandates and business lockdown policies which resulted in many facing a loss of income or employment and more time spent isolated at home. Life stressors (like job loss and social isolation) have been shown to be associated with increased drinking at unhealthy levels. Those with a history of mental health problems may be even more at risk. We aimed to see if binge drinking (5 or more drinks [male] or 4 or more drinks [female] in one session) and levels of alcohol consumption among binge drinkers were impacted by these pandemic-related factors. We found that increased time spent at home (in weeks) was associated with a 19% increase in the odds of binge drinking and binge drinkers with a previous diagnosis of depression and current depression symptoms (during the early months of the pandemic) had a 237% greater odds of drinking more alcohol (vs drinking the same amount) compared to those with no history and current symptoms of depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 07.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Martin Scholz Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Primary care physicians should have options available to effectively treat newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients in the outpatient setting to avoid severe COVID-19 progression, hospitalizations, and mortality. Already since the beginning of the pandemic different early treatment options were evaluated. My co-authors, Dr. Zelenko, Dr. Derwand, and myself were keen to confirm retrospectively the observed evidence for beneficial early treatment effects of an already applied triple therapy in combination with a risk stratification approach. The defined risk stratification allowed to differentiate between patients at low and high risk for disease progression and guided treatment decisions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 16.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Barrett, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Rutgers School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We started this study in the very early stages of the pandemic to look at SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission and disease severity in health care workers as compared to non-health care workers. There was a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty about the virus and the early anecdotal reports coming out of China and Italy highlighted the plight of many frontline health care workers who had been infected on the job. We knew that our U.S. health care workers would soon be facing this tremendous challenge. We started this study to examine risks of infection in our vulnerable frontline health care workers and a comparison group of non-health care workers. Our results are from the early stages of the U.S. pandemic in March-April 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, NEJM, NIH, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evan J. Anderson, MD Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Older adults have suffered a disproportionate number of the hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. A vaccine is clearly needed for older adults. For a number of vaccines, the immune response and efficacy of vaccines decreases with increasing age. A prime example would be influenza and the need for high dose influenza vaccine in the elderly. We had previously conducted a Phase I study in 18 – 55 year old adults of mRNA-1273 vaccine – published in NEJM 2020 with Lisa Jackson as the lead author. This phase I study was expanded to include older adults in 2 separate cohorts (56 – 70, >70 years of age) and 2 different doses. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 10.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Burak Bahar, MD Children’s National Hospital Laboratory Medicine Division Washington DC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Objective of this study was to help us better understand how long it takes pediatric patients with COVID-19 to clear it from their system, and at what point they start to make antibodies against the virus. Main findings of our study were 19.5 days being the median duration of viral positivity which is later than 18 days that is the median time for detecting antibodies in the circulation. We also found that kids aged 6 through 15 had a longer duration of viral positivity which was a median of 32 days. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 09.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Claudia Alteri, PhD Assistant Professor (RTD-B) in Microbiology And Clinical Microbiology Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology University of Milano MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the context of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, laboratories play a critical role in confirming the initial clinical suspicion of this disease, as confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 presence is essential to ensure the prompt initiation of containment and treatment protocols. This is of utmost importance to avoid further spread of the pandemic, and to assure the best clinical and therapeutic management of the infected patients in the hospital setting. Unfortunately, currently used rtPCR assays lack of the necessary sensitivity to identify all cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection (20% of false negative results [Li D et all, Korean J Rad 2020; Zhao et all CID 2020]). Complementary laboratory assays are therefore strongly needed. Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) is a highly sensitive assay for the direct detection and quantification of DNA and RNA targets. It has been increasingly used in infectious disease settings, especially thanks to its ability to consistently and reliably detect down to few copies of viral genomes. Standing the necessity of a limitation (as much as possible) of false negative results in COVID-19 diagnosis, the use of ddPCR could provide a critical support. In the context of COVID-19 diagnosis, two recent studies highlight the good performances of ddPCR in detecting low viral load samples (Suo T MedRxiv 2020; You F MedRxiv 2020) (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Glicksberg, PhD Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Member of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center Member of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Healt Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reports from health systems that detailed the clinical characteristics and outcomes of their COVID-19 patients were instrumental in helping other health systems rapidly adapt and know what to expect. There are few studies, however, that assess what happens to these patients after they were discharged from the hospital. In our work, we address this gap by determining both how many individuals re-present to the hospital within 14 days, and what clinical characteristics of these patients differ from those who do not. Such information is critical in order to continue to refine optimal treatment plans and discharge decisions for patients of all backgrounds and clinical profiles. To provide more context to the question, we also determined if and how these factors changed between initial presentation and readmission to the hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 03.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: corona virus-Covid19 Dr. Francesco Venturelli Servizio di Epidemiologia Direzione Sanitaria - Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia Padiglione Ziccardi, Via Amendola MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Contact tracing and isolation for people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 are two of the main strategies to limit the viral spread and contain the current pandemic. Long persistence of viral RNA detected by RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs is commonly reported, while its correlation to virus viability is still debated. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The study showed that in people with COVID-19, the median time between symptoms onset and viral clearance at RT-PCR was 36 days. Moreover, an overall 20% risk of “false negative” results at RT-PCR was observed, decreasing with time from diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Weight Research / 24.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Pawloski PhD Associate Dean for International Programs Professor of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This exploratory research uses the currently available data on COVID-19 cases and mortality, along with estimates of the morbidly obese populations in the United States by county to examine the association between morbid obesity and deaths from COVID-19 and to identify potential coincident spatial clusters of morbid obesity and COVID-19 deaths. Results indicate statistically significant positive correlation between population adjusted COVID-19 deaths and cases and the estimated population with a BMI>=40. Clustering analyses show there is a predominant similarity in the distribution of COVID-19 deaths and obesity. Our findings suggest it is critical to include an awareness of obesity when developing infectious disease control measures and point to a greater need to focus resources towards obesity education and policy initiatives. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 22.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lael Yonker, MD Pediatric Pulmonology Director, MGH Cystic Fibrosis Center Principal Investigator, Pediatric COVID biorepository Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Children were initially felt to be spared from the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we show that children can become sick from SARS-CoV-2 infection, and even if the initial illness is mild, some go on to develop a severe inflammatory illness after the initial illness. We also show that children can carry very high levels of virus early in the course of infection, suggesting they may play a larger role in spreading the virus than previously thought. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MA Senior Vice President of Research, Northwell Health Director, Center for Personalized Health, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Dean of Academic Affairs & Professor, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Donald and Barbara Zucker Professor in Health Outcomes, Department of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New York was epicenter for COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic, and Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, did everything in its power to care for our sick community members but also care for and protect our frontline health care providers (HCPs) and 72,000 employees. We were fortunate enough to have not run out of PPE – from masks to gowns. Through our employee health team we were able to offer free antibody screenings and through the Northwell Health Research Consortium and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research we looked to use the data collected from our consented employees to determine the prevalence of antibodies. We designed the study to not only identify the presence of antibodies but also key factors like demographics, in what capacity our providers worked on the frontlines and if they suspected infection. Our data helped identify the best practices Northwell Health – from PPE to care procedures - and others nationwide would need to do to keep our frontline workers safe. Key takeaways from the research show that from April 20 to June 23, of the final consented sample of health care providers (40,329), 13 percent (5,523) tested positive for antibodies. The positive sample pool included 28.4 percent (11,468) nurses and 9.3 percent (3,746) physicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA / 07.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC Providence St Joseph Health Portland, Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In spite of significant decreases in the incidence of coronary artery disease, an estimated 800,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) this year. For large numbers of these patients, substantial benefit is afforded by early diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, multiple campaigns have been launched over time to increase public awareness about the symptoms and signs of AMI and the need to seek immediate medical attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed health care delivery worldwide. While early attention was disproportionately focused on efforts to “flatten the curve”, recent reports have revealed a disturbing finding—a substantial decrease in the hospitalization rate for AMI. Most worrisome among potential reasons for this has been reluctance of patients with an AMI to seek medical attention out of fear that they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. To better understand the impacts associated with this, we performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all AMI hospitalizations in a large multistate health care system (Providence St. Joseph Health). We sought to define changes in AMI case rates, patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, treatment approaches and in-hospital outcomes during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Taylor Heald-Sargent, M.D., Ph.D. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the ongoing debate around the ability of children to transmit SARS-CoV-2, we noticed that our clinical data could address one of the prevalent assumptions. Some people postulated that the reason children have less severe infections with SARS-CoV-2 is because they are not able to replicate virus as much as adults and therefore may not transmit as readily. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Research Fellow Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were no evidence-based treatments for severely ill patients infected with this virus. We formed an interdisciplinary group of physicians from departments of adult and pediatric infectious diseases, rheumatology, and pulmonary/critical care as well as clinical pharmacy specialists. Given some promising data from China, we instituted treatment with off-label IL-6 receptor inhibitors (tocilizumab and sarilumab). The rationale was to mitigate the exuberant immune response observed in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (also called cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome). Quite quickly, we started noticing that giving the drug to our sickest patients wasn’t eliciting dramatic improvement. We reasoned that by the time patients were severely ill and requiring ventilators, the damage to their lungs from the cytokine storm had already taken place. It was like closing the barn door after the horse had already bolted. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 04.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, FCAP Senior Medical Director, Medical Informatics Quest Diagnostics Needham, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine healthcare and in particular cancer screenings. We documented the impact on patients who were newly identified by cancer in the early months of the pandemic by analysis of Quest Diagnostics data. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We saw a 46% decline in newly identified patients with six common types of cancer. In accordance to healthcare recommendations, many patients didn’t receive mammograms, colonoscopies, low-dose CT scans, and avoided physician visits for minor complaints. When these patients return, some will present with more advanced stages of cancer than they would have without the disruption of the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 26.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Li, MD MMSc Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: Why did you do this study? Response: The accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 is critical for our patients in order to receive appropriate care, and for infection control and public health. In the US, the gold standard for COVID diagnosis is sampling through a nasopharyngeal swab (NP) but is that really the best way to diagnose COVID? As many of your viewers may have experienced first hand, nasopharyngeal swabs require inserting a long swab into the back of the nose, which is incredibly uncomfortable for the patient, technically-challenging for the health care worker, and requires equipment and reagents that are in short supply. There are also alternative sampling methods for COVID diagnosis. In Asia, oropharyngeal sampling(OP), or swabbing the back of the mouth, are commonly used and in my hospital, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we frequently test sputum as well for inpatients. But there’s a lot of confusion in the field about which of these methods is the most sensitive? We undertook this study to try to bring some clarity to this question of what is the most sensitive way to diagnose COVID and detect SARS-CoV-2? (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 21.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gil Garnier PhD Director and Professor Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA) PALS ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub Department of Chemical Engineering Monash University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to develop a test that would be: 1) Reliable and fast to perform, 2) Easy and fast to manufacture, 3) Easy and fast to distribute and be adopted by the Health care community. We also wanted to capitalize on our vast expertise and experience from developing novel blood typing tests. Our strategy was to develop a serology COVID test using the current Gel card technology available in most hospital and blood laboratories throughout the world. Equipment and expertise are already available from point of care setting to high throughput/automated systems measuring 100-200 test/ h. Also, these cards are currently produced by many companies all over and these can be shipped all international. (more…)