Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 22.08.2020 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 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, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.07.2020 Interview with: Abdi Ghaffari, Ph.D. Associate Professor (adjunct) Dept. of Pathology and Molecular Medicine Queen’s University What is the background for this study? Response: SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected millions and changed our way of life by placing nearly 3 billion people under lockdown or some form of physical isolation. In the absence of a vaccine or reliable treatment, diagnostic testing must be a pillar of public health policy to control further spread of the virus and to guide gradual removal of lockdown measures. COVID-19 antibody diagnostic tests are being increasingly used to assess the protective immunity status in the population. There are over 100 different COVID-19 antibody tests developed by companies worldwide in an effort to address this need. However, companies’ reported performance data are not always in line with the actual performance of these diagnostic tests in the real-world. In this work, we conducted a systemic review of independent studies (sponsored by academic or government institutions) that aimed to validate the performance of currently available COVID-19 antibody tests on the market.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 18.06.2015 Interview with: Ann Goding Sauer Epidemiologist, American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Among US women, a positive association between Pap test uptake and HPV vaccination has been shown, though potential variation of the association by race/ethnicity had not been explored previously. The prevalence of some HPV types varies across different racial/ethnic groups so it is important to explore the association between Pap test uptake and HPV vaccination in detail. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: Pap test uptake was significantly lower among those who had not initiated HPV vaccination (81.0%) compared to women who had initiated vaccination (90.5%) (adjusted prevalence ratio = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90–0.96). This result was seen across most of the sociodemographic factors examined, though not statistically significant for non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, those with lower levels of education, or those with higher levels of income. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease, Surgical Research / 12.06.2015

Louise Sun, MD SM FRCPC Assistant Professor Department of Anesthesiology, University of Ottawa Staff | Division of Cardiac Anesthesiology University of Ottawa Heart Interview with: Louise Sun, MD SM FRCPC Assistant Professor Department of Anesthesiology, University of Ottawa Staff | Division of Cardiac Anesthesiology University of Ottawa Heart Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sun: Preoperative testing provides important information for perioperative planning and decision-making. However, given the rapid increase in health care costs, there has been growing emphasis on the more rational use of resources and thus the need to better understand the utilization patterns of specific tests. Preoperative pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are important in helping perioperative physicians identify patients at risk for postoperative pulmonary complications, but few appropriate use guidelines exist for this test. We conducted a population-based study using linked administrative databases in Ontario, Canada to describe temporal trends in preoperative pulmonary function tests and assess whether the recent 2006 American College of Physicians (ACP) guidelines on risk assessment and prevention of postoperative pulmonary complications for non-cardiothoracic surgery influenced these trends. We examined 511,625 individuals undergoing non-cardiothoracic surgery, amongst whom 3.6% underwent preoperative pulmonary function tests while 3.3% had non-operative PFTs. Preoperative pulmonary function tests rates decreased over the study period and following the 2006 ACP guidelines while non-operative rates remained stable. By 2013, preoperative pulmonary function tests were performed in fewer than 8% of Ontario patients with risk factors for pulmonary complications, while preoperative testing rates among individuals without known respiratory disease had approached rates seen in the non-operative setting. The decreasing preoperative pulmonary function tests rates contrast starkly against concurrent increases in rates of other perioperative interventions such as preoperative anesthesia consultations and stress testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, NIH / 03.06.2015

Shyamasundaran Kottilil MBBS, PhD University of Interview with: Shyamasundaran Kottilil MBBS, PhD Division of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Human Virology University of Maryland, Baltimore Laboratory of Immunoregulation National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kottilil: During treatment with interferon-based therapies, hepatitis C viral load levels were clinically useful as on-therapy markers of treatment outcome. However, the standard-of-care for HCV treatment has recently evolved from interferon-based regimens to short-duration, all-oral, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies. Therefore, it is important that we re-evaluate the utility of HCV viral loads during DAA regimens in guiding clinical decision-making. We found that Hepatitis C viral loads on treatment and at end of treatment were not predictive of treatment success versus relapse with DAA therapy. Contrary to our experience with interferon-containing regimens, low levels of quantifiable HCV RNA at end of treatment did not preclude treatment success. (more…)