AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, NIH, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2015

Daniel C. Beachler, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C. Beachler, PhD Postdoctoral fellow Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Beachler: HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection. Individuals can acquire HPV infections in the epithelium of their cervical, anal and oral sites, and occasionally these infections lead to cancer. There are three prophylactic HPV vaccines on the market that can protect against HPV at these sites among those not been previously exposed to HPV. This study examined the effect of HPV vaccination of 18-25 year old women at all three anatomic sites. The combined multi-site HPV vaccine efficacy has not been reported previously. It was unknown whether the vaccine may protect non-infected sites against HPV infection or re-infection in women exposed to HPV prior to vaccination. We observed that the HPV vaccine provides the strongest protection at all three sites among women unexposed to HPV before vaccination. Additionally, we observed some protection at the non-infected sites in women who were previously infected with HPV. (more…)
Author Interviews, FDA, Flu - Influenza, Geriatrics, Lancet, Vaccine Studies / 03.04.2015

Dr Richard Forshee PhD Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Richard Forshee PhD Associate Director for Research in the Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research U.S. Food and Drug Administration Silver Spring, MD On behalf of the study authors Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Forshee: Influenza continues to be a major public health concern causing illness, hospitalization, and death. The elderly are at highest risk for seasonal influenza complications, including hospitalization and death. As people grow older their ability to raise a strong protective immune response can weaken.  The availability of a vaccine that uses a higher dose to induce a stronger immune response could reduce the serious impact of influenza in this age group.  The purpose of this study was to determine whether a high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine was more effective for prevention of probable influenza infections and influenza-related hospital admissions, compared to standard-dose inactivated influenza recipients. In December 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed Fluzone High Dose, an injectable inactivated trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine for people ages 65 years and older. This high-dose vaccine contains four times more hemagglutinin—the active ingredient in influenza vaccines that cause the human body to produce antibodies against the influenza viruses—than the standard-dose vaccine. The FDA approved the high-dose vaccine using the accelerated approval regulatory pathway, which allows the agency to approve products for serious or life-threatening diseases based on reasonable evidence of a product’s effectiveness.  This pathway reduces the time it takes for needed medical products to become available to the public.  Studies conducted prior to licensure showed an enhanced immune response to the high-dose vaccine compared with the standard-dose vaccine in individuals 65 years of age and older indicating that the high-dose vaccine was reasonably likely to be more effective in preventing influenza disease. As part of the accelerated approval process, the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, was required to conduct a randomized clinical study post-licensure to confirm that the high-dose vaccine decreased seasonal influenza disease after vaccination relative to standard dose vaccine. This confirmatory study demonstrated that the high–dose vaccine prevented 24% more cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza illness compared to standard-dose vaccines in people 65 years of age and older. However, the study was not large enough to determine efficacy of the vaccine against severe disease. A team of scientists from FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Acumen LLC ( an independent research organization) studied the relative effectiveness of the high-dose influenza vaccine in the U.S. population ages 65 years and older.  The observational study, which covered the 2012-2013 influenza season, found a significant reduction both in influenza-associated illness and in influenza-related hospitalizations among individuals who received the high-dose vaccine, compared to those receiving the standard dose. Additional background about this study: “Comparative effectiveness of high-dose versus standard-dose influenza vaccines in US residents aged 65 years and older from 2012 to 2013 using Medicare data: a retrospective cohort analysis” is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(14)71087-4 A commentary on the study titled “Novel observational study designs with new influenza vaccines” is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)70020-4 (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 27.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Fiona McQuaid Clinical Research Fellow University of Oxford, United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Meningococcal B disease is a common cause of sepsis and meningitis with significant mortality and morbidity. A multicomponent vaccine against serogroup B meningococcus has been licensed for use in the Europe, Australia, Canada and recently the USA (though only in the 10-25 years age group) but questions remain about how long the bactericidal antibodies induced by infant vaccination persist and the likely breath of strain coverage. This was a follow on study looking at a group of children aged 5 years who had been vaccinated as infants and a different group who were vaccinated for the first time at 5 years of age. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: The percentage of children with protective antibody levels who had been immunized as infants fell in the 20 months since their last immunization but this varied by the strain of meingococcus B tested and by the different infant/toddler vaccination schedules. The children who were vaccinated for the first time at 5 years of age showed a good antibody response, but most reported pain and redness around the site of vaccination and 4-10% had a fever. (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 07.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Su-Ying Wen, MD Chief of Department of Dermatology, Taipei City Hospital, Renai Branch, Taipei City, Taiwan Department of Dermatology, Taipei City Hospital, Renai Branch, Taipei City, Taiwan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Su-Ying Wen: Though herpes zoster is seen as a disease of the elderly, it can affect individuals in any age group including children. There are limited population-based data regarding pediatric herpes zoster. We reported a higher incidence rate of pediatric herpes zoster than in previous studies. The higher incidence observed in this population-based study might be because it was measured in a cohort of children who were all infected with varicella rather than as other reports including individuals free of varicella infection in the denominator. Children younger than 2 years at the diagnosis of varicella had a significantly higher risk and shorter duration of developing herpes zoster. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 28.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation Frank Struyf MD PhD Director, Lead Clinical Development HPV vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Rixensart, Belgium MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Struyf: Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women, with estimates from 2012 indicating that there are 528,000 new cases and 266,000 deaths each year worldwide, the majority of cases occurring in developing countries (reference: Globocan 2012 at http://globocan.iarc.fr/old/FactSheets/cancers/cervix-new.asp). Persistent infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary condition for the development of invasive cervical cancer. HPV type 16 (HPV-16) and HPV-18 are found in approximately 70% of cases. We conducted the Papilloma Trial Against Cancer in Young Adults (PATRICIA), a multinational clinical trial in 14 countries in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North America, and Latin America and enrolled over 18,000 women. The trial showed that the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine not only prevented persistent infections and high-grade cervical lesions associated with HPV types 16 and/or 18 included in the vaccine, but also protected against some common related oncogenic HPV types not included in the vaccine. However, during the analysis of this trial, we also noticed that for some rare nonvaccine oncogenic HPV types, the vaccine efficacy against infections did not seem to match the efficacy against lesions associated with the same HPV type. To investigate this, we re-analyzed the samples from the trial using a different PCR method and found that the HPV PCR methodology used per protocol may have underestimated the efficacy for non-vaccine HPV types in cases of multiple infections. While these results do not replace the results generated according to the study protocol and included in the product label, they are reassuring, as they confirm the cross-protective efficacy of the HPV-16/18 vaccine against some HPV types related to those included in the vaccine. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 28.02.2015

Elmar A. Joura, M.D Gynecologist University of ViennaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elmar A. Joura, M.D Gynecologist University of Vienna MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Joura: This study demonstrates that the new ninevalent HPV vaccine induces a good immunogenicity against HPV 6/11/16/18 and gives a 97% protection against disease caused by HPV 31/33/45/52/58. This has a potential of a 90% reduction of cervical cancer and other HPV related cancers and a similar protection against genital warts. The full benefit is seen in persons without current HPV infection, this reinforces early vaccination against HPV. The safety profile was favourable. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA Captain, U.S. Public Health Service Deputy Director Immunization Safety Office Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: CDC conducted a study looking at reports of adverse events (possible side effects) following measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination in adults. Researchers reviewed the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database for U.S. reports of adults aged 19 years and older who received MMR vaccine from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2013. During this period, VAERS received 3,175 U.S. reports after MMR vaccine in adults. The most common signs and symptoms for all reports were fever (19%), rash (17%), pain (13%), and joint pain (13%). The study included adults only, a population for which there is limited safety data for this vaccine. This study further supports the MMR vaccine’s safety.  Researchers did not find any new or unexpected safety concerns. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Lancet, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Matthew R Moore, MD National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USADr Matthew R Moore, MD National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Moore: Since introduction, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have resulted in dramatic decreases in the number of cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in both children and adults.  The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced into the routine infant immunization program in the United States in 2000. It was recommended for infants using a 4-dose schedule: 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months of age. Studies showed that PCV7 was highly effective in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease. In 2010, the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) replaced PCV7 using the same 4-dose schedule. PCV13 is similar to PCV7, but includes protection against six additional serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae. There are more than 90 serotypes of pneumococcal bacteria. Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a major cause of illness and death globally. Pneumococcus can cause many types of illness that ranging from mild to life-threatening, including pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, meningitis, and bacteremia. Some of these infections are considered invasive because they invade parts of the body that are normally free from bacteria. Invasive pneumococcal disease, including meningitis and bacteremia, is often severe and can be deadly. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Moore: Invasive pneumococcal disease decreased substantially in the first 3 years after PCV13 was introduced into the U.S. infant immunization schedule. By June 2013, more than 30,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease and 3,000 deaths are estimated to have been prevented in the United States due to PCV13. Children under the age of five, which is the age group that actually received the vaccine, experienced the greatest and quickest benefit from PCV13.  For example, the overall number of cases of invasive pneumococcal disease decreased by 64% in this age group between 2010 and 2013. Significant decreases were seen as early as six months after the immunization recommendation was made. Adults, who were not targeted for vaccination, also experienced health benefits from PCV13 introduction. For example, the overall number of cases of invasive pneumococcal disease decreased by 32% for adults aged 18 to 49 years, while adults 65 and older experienced a more modest 12% decrease.  These reductions are further evidence that both PCV7 and PCV13 reduce the spread of pneumococcus, which is why vaccinating children leads to disease reductions in adults. For both children and adults, the greatest reductions were seen in the number of cases of invasive pneumococcal disease that were caused by serotypes that are covered by PCV13 but not PCV7 (serotypes 19A and 7F specifically). (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret M. Cortese MD Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cortese: The introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the United States resulted in a dramatic reduction in hospitalizations and emergency department care for rotavirus disease among young children, as well as provided indirect protection to unvaccinated peers. However, what our study looked at was whether or not older children and adults may experience indirect protection from having children in the house who are vaccinated for rotavirus. We used 2008-2012 Marketscan claims data to compare gastroenteritis rates among households whose child had received rotavirus vaccine with households whose child did not receive vaccine. We found statistically significantly lower rates of hospitalization from rotavirus gastroenteritis or unspecified-gastroenteritis in vaccinated households among all persons 20-29 years and females 20-29 years during the 2008-2009 rotavirus season as well as males 30-39 years in the 2009-2010 season. Lower emergency department gastroenteritis rates occurred in vaccinated households among females 20-29 years during the 2009-2010 season and individuals 5-19 years during the 2010-2011 season. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dengue, Infections, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 13.01.2015

Gustavo Dayan, MD Director, Clinical Development Sanofi Pasteur  Discovery Drive Swiftwater, PA 18370MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gustavo Dayan, MD Director, Clinical Development Sanofi Pasteur  Discovery Drive Swiftwater, PA 18370 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Dayan: This is the first dengue vaccine efficacy trial conducted in Latin America. The trial met its primary objective showing an efficacy of 60.8% against symptomatic VCD (virologically confirmed dengue) after a 3-dose vaccination schedule. Serotype-specific efficacy was also demonstrated against all four serotypes. Furthermore, the dengue vaccine candidate effectively reduced hospitalization due to dengue by 80.3% and severe dengue disease by 95.5% over the 25-month study period. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 22.12.2014

dr-pedro-moroMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pedro Moro MD MPH Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Moro: Gardasil® is a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine recommended for all girls and boys at age 11 or 12, and teens and young adults who did not get the vaccine when they were younger. Because there is limited safety data available on use of the vaccine during pregnancy, it is not currently recommended for pregnant women. However, some pregnant women will inadvertently receive Gardasil® because they do not yet know that they are pregnant at the time of vaccination. The study reviewed non-manufacturer reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) about pregnant women who received Gardasil®. VAERS is a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS accepts reports of health problems that occur after any US-licensed vaccine (these are called adverse events). VAERS may also accept reports not describing any health problem but vaccination errors (for example, administration of a vaccine not recommended to a particular group of people like pregnant women). VAERS is an early-warning system and cannot generally assess if a vaccine caused an adverse event. After reviewing all non-manufacturer reports of Gardasil vaccination during pregnancy, this study found no unexpected patterns of safety issues for pregnant woman who received Gardasil®, or for their babies. This finding is reassuring and reconfirms the safety of this vaccine for pregnant women, as was previously reported by the pregnancy registry maintained by Gardasil®’s manufacturer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, PLoS, Vaccine Studies / 15.12.2014

Adrian Egli, MD PhD Research Group leader Infection Biology Laboratory Department of Biomedicine University of Basel and University Hospital Basel Basel, SwitzerlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adrian Egli, MD PhD Research Group leader Infection Biology Laboratory Department of Biomedicine University of Basel and University Hospital Basel Basel, Switzerland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Egli: Infections with influenza viruses are associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In particular, people with a weak immune system are at danger for more severe complications. This includes elderly people, pregnant women, patients after transplantation, patients with HIV infection, chronic diseases such as diabetes and many more. In these high-risk groups, annual vaccination is clearly recommended. However, due to the immunsuppressive condition the immune response to the influenza vaccine is often reduced. The seroconversion rate - a 4-fold antibody titer increase upon vaccination - is one of the key markers for a successful vaccination. In young adults the seroconversion rate is normally >85%; however, in patients with immunosuppression, this can be lower than 40%. Improving vaccine efficacy is one of the key focuses of my research group. We try to understand, how to improve vaccines and better protect the people at the highest risks for influenza-associated complications. In this study, we could show that an important cytokine, called Interferon lambda, is clearly associated with the vaccine induced antibody response upon influenza vaccination. We could show that genetic polymorphisms, in one of the Interferon lambda gene family (IFNL3), are modulating the expression of this gene. This strongly affects the cross talk between the innate and adaptive immune response in the context of vaccination. We observed that, the more Interferon lambda is present, the lower the antibody response is. People with a lower expression of Interferon lambda had a significant higher response to the vaccine. Therefore, we developed substances to block the effect of Interferon lambda. We could show in vitro, that due to the Interferon lambda blockade, the antibody production was improved. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, HPV, McGill, Vaccine Studies / 14.12.2014

Leah M. Smith PhD Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health (Smith, Kaufman, Strumpf) McGill University, Montréal, QuebecMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leah M. Smith PhD Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health  (Smith, Kaufman, Strumpf) McGill University, Montréal, Quebec   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith: The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and anogenital warts. The vaccine first became available in 2006. Since then, it has faced a great deal of controversy surrounding, in part, some of the unanswered questions about the real-world effects of the vaccine, especially on the young girls targeted for immunization. One issue that has received a great deal of public attention has been the concern that HPV vaccination might give girls a false sense of protection against all sexually transmitted infections that might lead them to be more sexually active than they would otherwise. As a result, some parents have been reluctant to have their daughters vaccinated. It is also reason why some religious groups have spoken out against the vaccine. This question is further important from a public health perspective because increases in risky sexual behaviour would inevitably also lead to increases in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (excluding anogenital warts), which would of course undermine the potential health benefits of the vaccine.  In this study, we directly addressed the question of whether HPV vaccination has led to increases in pregnancy and non-HPV-related sexually transmitted infections (both of which are proxies for risky sexual behaviour) among adolescent girls. In our study of over 260,000 girls, we did not find any evidence that the HPV vaccine had a negative impact on these outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRSA, PNAS, UCLA, Vaccine Studies / 14.12.2014

Dr. Michael Yeaman Ph.D. Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Yeaman Ph.D. Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Yeaman: In the U.S. and around the globe, skin and soft tissue infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continue to endanger the health and lives of patients and otherwise healthy individuals. Treatment is difficult because MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, and the infections can recur, placing family members and other close contacts at risk of infection. Infectious disease specialists at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) tested a new investigational vaccine, NDV-3, and found it holds new hope for preventing or reducing the severity of infections caused by the "superbug" MRSA. In the study, which was published Dec. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the researchers reported that NDV-3, employing the recombinant protein Als3, can mobilize the immune system to fight off MRSA skin infections in an experimental model. The researchers found the vaccine works by enhancing molecular and cellular immune defenses of the skin in response to MRSA and other S. aureus bacteria in disease models. This is the first published study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a cross-kingdom recombinant vaccine against MRSA skin infections. NDV-3 is unique as it is the first vaccine to demonstrate it can be effective in protecting against infections caused by both S. aureus and the fungus Candida albicans. NDV-3 represents a novel approach to vaccine design that pioneers an approach termed convergent immunity. (more…)
HPV, Vaccine Studies / 24.11.2014

Dr. Raquel Qualls-Hampton MD, MS Assistant Professor University of North Texas Health Science CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Raquel Qualls-Hampton MD, MS Assistant Professor University of North Texas Health Science Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Qualls-Hampton: There are currently two vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—Gardasil for males and Gardasil and Cervix for females – that protect against the human papilloma virus (HPV). These vaccines are recommended by the ACIP for females ages 9 to 26 years and males ages 9 to 21 years. Both vaccines protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV.  HPV vaccines are administered in three doses over six months and are considered safe and effective. However, the promise of these vaccines is going unfulfilled as initiation and completion rates for the three doses are suboptimal among females and males. Nationally, although HPV vaccination initiation coverage is increasing, overall vaccine completion rates are at suboptimal levels and below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 initiative target of 80%. Thus, many states are turning to legislative interventions in efforts to increase initiation and completion rates. This study examines HPV vaccination legislative initiatives and their impact, specifically in estimating state legislation’s effects on HPV vaccine initiation, completion and patient care provider recommendations by gender. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies / 23.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maryam Darvishian MSc Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Unit of PharmacoEpidemiology and PharmacoEconomics (PE2), Department of Pharmacy, University of Groningen, and  Prof Edwin R van den Heuvel Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, NetherlandsDepartment of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Reply: In most developed countries, seasonal influenza vaccine is the standard care for elderly people, but there exists still discussions on whether vaccination is effective. Conducting RCT is not considered ethical and thus the main body of evidence comes from observational studies. Unfortunately, these studies (e.g. cohort studies) are susceptible to different sources of biases especially selection bias which makes it difficult to judge the effectiveness. In recent years test-negative design (TND) studies has been designed. It is a special type of case-control study which would limit the bias, due to similar health care-seeking behavior in cases and controls. The current study is a meta-analysis of TND case-control studies. It is the first meta-analysis of this type of studies and also the first meta-analysis that combined 35 studies for estimation of influenza vaccine effectiveness. More specifically, the meta-analysis assesses the influenza vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) among the elderly population. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 15.11.2014

Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental GroupMedicalResearch.com Interview Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental Group Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kharbanda: In 2010, due to a pertussis outbreak and neonatal deaths, the California Department of Public Health recommended that the Tdap vaccine be administered during pregnancy.  Tdap is now recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all pregnant women during each pregnancy.  We wanted to assess the impact of this recommendation. The main findings were that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, or having a baby who is small for his or her gestational age. The study found a small increased risk for being diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, an inflammation of the fetal membranes caused by bacterial infection.  These findings should be interpreted with caution as the magnitude of the risk was small.  In addition, there was no associated risk for preterm birth, which often occurs as a result of chorioamnionitis.  Furthermore, among the subset of women with a chorioamnionitis diagnosis whose charts were reviewed, many did not have a clinical picture that was clearly consistent with chorioamnionitis. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 07.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Marie R Griffin MD MPH Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville TN 37212 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Griffin: In Tennessee, the introduction in 2010 of a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants and young children was associated with a 27 percent decline in pneumonia hospital admissions across the state among children under age 2. The recent decline in Tennessee comes on top of an earlier 43 percent decline across the United States associated with the introduction in 2000 of the first pneumococcal vaccine for children under 2 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ebola, Vaccine Studies / 28.10.2014

Prof. Clive Maurice Gray   Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South AfricaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Clive Maurice Gray   Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine,National Health Laboratory Services University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa Medical Research: What is the background for this report? What are the main findings? Prof. Gray: This report is a response on behalf to the International Union of Immunology Societies (IUIS) and is designed to focus a message from the global immunology community to those who are making vaccines and therapies implementing clinical trials and very importantly on Governments and funding bodies. Time is not our side and that vaccine efforts need to be expedited and that production of therapeutics needs to be ramped up. Due to the fact that many people in West Africa are dying, we wish to convey a strong message that to curb this outbreak, therapies and especially vaccines must be rolled out as soon as possible. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Vaccine Studies, Wistar / 22.10.2014

Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104MedicalResearch.com Interview with Scott E. Hensley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hensley: We found that H1N1 viruses recently acquired a mutation that abrogates binding of influenza antibodies that are present in a large number of middle-aged adults.  We propose that this mutation lead to increased disease among middle-aged adults during the 2013-2014 influenza season. (more…)
Infections, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2014

Dr. Susanne Huijts – Pulmonary resident UMC Utrecht | Research physician UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Dr. Susanne Huijts Research Physician at UMCU Julius Center for Health Sciences Pulmonary resident, UMC Utrecht Center Utrecht, Netherlands   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Huijts: The CAPiTA trial evaluated the efficacy of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in adults of 65 years and older. In the per protocol analysis vaccine efficacy of 45.6% was demonstrated for the first episode vaccine type (VT) pneumococcal community acquired pneumonia (CAP); 45.0% for the first episode of non-bacteremic/ non-invasive (NB/NI) VT-CAP, and 75.0% for the first episode of VT-invasive pneumococcal disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 01.10.2014

Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, AustriaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elmar A. Joura, MD Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Medical University of Vienna, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Austria Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Joura: The upcoming ninevalent vaccine has the potential to prevent 85% of the cervical precancers and surgeries such as LEEP (conization) (more…)
Author Interviews, Vaccine Studies / 28.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer A. Reich PhD University of Colorado Denver Department of Sociology Denver, CO 80208 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Reich: Public health practitioners have been concerned about rising rates of vaccine refusal and hesitance. This study examines how mothers account for the decision to delay or opt out of vaccines. This study shows that contrary to popular representation, these mothers are not ignorant, but rather see themselves as experts on their own children and as best qualified to decide whether their children need vaccines. They also trust that their intensive mothering practices, including extended breastfeeding, consumption of organic foods, and social monitoring of their children will protect them against disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 01.08.2014

Jana Shaw MD, MPH, FAAP Associate Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Infectious Diseases SUNY Upstate Medical University 750 East Adams Street Syracuse, NY 13210MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jana Shaw MD, MPH, FAAP Associate Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Infectious Diseases SUNY Upstate Medical University 750 East Adams Street Syracuse, NY 13210 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shaw: In this study, we looked at exemptions to school immunization requirements in the US during 2009-2010 school year. We found that private schools have higher rates for all types of exemptions (medical, religious, and personal belief/philosophical). In addition, states that permitted personal belief exemptions had higher rates of exemptions overall compared to states that did not allow them. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 25.06.2014

Kay Wang Academic Clinical Lecturer Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford, Oxford, UKMedicalResearch.com: Interview with Kay Wang Academic Clinical Lecturer Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford, Oxford, UK MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wang: We have found evidence of recent whooping cough infection in 1 in 5 school age children who see their doctor with a persistent cough and in 1 in 6 children who have been fully vaccinated against whooping cough.  We have also shown that whooping cough can still cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children. (more…)
Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 09.05.2014

Tessa Schurink-van 't Klooster Epidemioloog Rijksvaccinatieprogramma Epidemiologie en Surveillance RIVM - Centrum Infectieziektebestrijding 3720 BA BilthovenMedicalResearch.com Interview with Tessa Schurink-van 't Klooster Epidemioloog Rijksvaccinatieprogramma Epidemiologie en Surveillance RIVM - Centrum Infectieziektebestrijding 3720 BA Bilthoven MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding of this study was that we observed no differences in mortality rate ratios for females compared to males related to the type of last offered vaccination in DTP- and MMR-eligible age groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Kaiser Permanente, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 11.04.2014

Roger Paul Baxter, MD Co-Director Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center Oakland, CA 94612.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Paul Baxter, MD Co-Director Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center Oakland, CA 94612. MedicalResearch.com What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Baxter:  Menveo, the currently licensed CRM-conjugate meningococcal vaccine, showed an excellent booster response in adolescents, regardless of which conjugate vaccine they had received previously.  Also, although titers from the priming dose waned, at 3 years there were still protective antibodies in the majority of immunized individuals.  The other US-licensed meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menactra, uses a different protein conjugate. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 18.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rachel J Sacks Jefferiss Wing,  St Mary's Hospital Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background of this study? Dr. Sacks: 2247 anonymous questionnaires were completed by young women, aged 13-19 years old, attending sexual health services across England, looking at their HPV vaccination outcomes and prevalence of risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, and comparing the survey results with national data where available. Known HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development risk factors include cigarette smoking, early age at first intercourse, increasing number of lifetime partners, co-infection with other sexually transmitted infections. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study Dr. Sacks:
  •          Young women, aged 13  to 19 years old attending sexual health services across England had higher prevalence of known risk factors associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, compared with national data.
  •          Survey respondents had lower HPV vaccination offer and lower HPV vaccination completion rates than nationally.
  •          Subgroups within the survey respondents were identified as having a significantly lower offer and significantly lower completion rate of the HPV vaccination. These subgroups included respondents from London, those of non-white ethnicities, 17 to 19 year olds, smokers and those not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
  •          The highest risk individuals, in terms of HPV related risk factors, were the least likely to be offered and additional the least likely to complete the HPV vaccination course.
  •          Currently sexual health services in England are not involved in the delivery of the HPV vaccination programme and this is felt to be a huge missed opportunity for the primary prevention of HPV acquisition and its potential sequelae. Sexual health services should be included as a supplementary HPV vaccination delivery site in order to target these particularly vulnerable young women and to increase the success of the HPV vaccination programme in England.
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Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 25.02.2014

Signe Sørup, PhD Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA) Bandim Health Project, Statens Serum Institut Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, DenmarkMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Signe Sørup, PhD Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA) Bandim Health Project, Statens Serum Institut Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Sørup: We found that admissions with any type of infection was reduced with 14 % for Danish children having the live, attenuated vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) as the most recent vaccine compared with children having the inactivated vaccine against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, and Haemophilus Influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) as the most recent vaccine. In Denmark herd immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella is high and only 26 of the more 42,000 admissions was related to measles, mumps, and rubella; so this finding cannot be explained by the specific protection against the targeted diseases. In Denmark MMR vaccination is recommended at 15 months of age, but only 50% of the children in the study had received MMR before 16 months of age. We estimated that one hospital admission between 16 and 24 months of age could be avoided for 201 children vaccinated with MMR before 16 months of age rather than later. These results are based on a retrospective cohort study including approximately half a million Danish children. The analyses are adjusted for age and a long range of background factors, including socio-economic factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, NEJM, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 15.01.2014

W. Katherine Yih Ph.D., M.P.H Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with: W. Katherine Yih Ph.D., M.P.H Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Yih: The main findings are that vaccination with the first dose of RotaTeq is associated with a small increase in the risk of intussusception, which is concentrated in the first week after vaccination.  The estimated risk is about 1.5 excess cases per 100,000 first doses administered.  This risk is fairly small, amounting to roughly 1/10 of the risk seen after the original rotavirus vaccine (called Rotashield) that was used in 1998-1999, before it was withdrawn from the market. We also found evidence that Rotarix increases the risk of intussusception.  However, the number of infants receiving Rotarix and the number getting intussusception after Rotarix were too small to allow us to estimate the risk after Rotarix with any precision. (more…)