Author Interviews, Infections, Nutrition, PLoS, Red Meat / 05.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher A. McDevitt B.Sc. (Hons) Ph.D , Associate Professor Group Leader, ARC Future Fellow The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity Melbourne | Victoria | Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Zinc-deficiency affects nearly one-third of the world’s population and is associated with an increased susceptibility to respiratory and enteric infections. The foremost global respiratory disease is pneumonia, which kills more than 1 million people per year with young children and the elderly being at greatest risk. This study investigated how zinc-deficiency affected Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, the primary bacterial cause of pneumonia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Respiratory / 04.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harri Hemilä, MD, PhD Department of Public Health University of Helsinki MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Some zinc lozenges intended for treating the common cold have contained zinc acetate and some others have contained zinc gluconate. There have been proposals that zinc acetate might be more optimal salt for lozenges than zinc gluconate. Therefore I compared the randomized trials that have used zinc acetate with zinc gluconate to see if there is difference between the lozenges. Although the average effect in 3 studies with zinc acetate lozenges was greater (40%) than the average effect in 4 studies with zinc gluconate lozenges (28%), that difference was explained by random variation. I also analyzed the dose dependency of the effect and found that 2 studies that used 192 and 207 mg per day elemental zinc did not find greater benefit than 5 studies that used 80 to 92 mg per day zinc. The overall average effect of zinc lozenges was 33% reduction in common cold duration and that effect seems to be reached with doses less than 100 mg per day. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Microbiome, Nature, Vanderbilt / 28.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eric P Skaar, Ph.D., MPH Director, Division of Molecular Pathogenesis Ernest W. Goodpasture Professor of Pathology Vice Chair for Basic Research, Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology Vanderbilt University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nutrient metals are known to be a critical driver of the outcome of host-pathogen interactions, and C. difficile is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections. C. difficile infection typically occurs following antibiotic-mediated disruption of the healthy microbiome. We were interested in learning how nutrient metals can shape the microbiome and impact the outcome of Clostridium difficile infection. We found that excess zinc alters the structure of the microbiome and increases the severity of C. difficile infection in mice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Imperial College / 17.12.2014

Fiona Larner, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fiona Larner, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zinc has been identified to have a role in breast tissue and breast cancer for over a decade. Zinc has several isotopes (different versions of zinc due to varying numbers of neutrons), which require slightly different amounts of energy to go through biological processes. By measuring the changes in the zinc isotopic signature, we can probe it's behaviour to a greater resolution to that currently available in medical institutions. We looked at the isotopic signatures in different tissues of healthy patients and those with breast cancer in order to understand the mechanisms involved in more detail and in search for a biomarker that uses these signatures to diagnose breast cancer. We found that breast cancer tissue preferentially retains the lighter isotopes of zinc to a greater extent than healthy breast tissue. This means that the partnering heavy isotopes must be ejected from the cell, and may provide a biomarker for cancer in the future. (more…)