Medical Professional Publications

Innovation and Discovery

(From the January 2017 Issue of MedStat)

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Two Genes Linked to Postpartum Immunity Revival in Women with Persistent Hepatitis C

Recent research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that alternative forms of two genes are associated with a boost in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth. At three months postpartum, the number of viruses circulating in the blood declined sharply in most women who carried particular versions of IFNL3 and HLA-DPB1 genes, and mothers lacking these gene variants experienced little change in viral levels after delivery. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on hepatitis C but may serve as a model for identifying factors that restore immunity to other chronic infections. Jonathan R. Honegger, MD, principal investigator at the Center for Vaccines and Immunity in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s, is lead author.

Read the Pediatrics Nationwide article.

Simple, Inexpensive Quality Intervention Reduces Necrotizing Enterocolitis in the NICU

A 26-month initiative has significantly lowered the rate of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one of the country’s largest neonatal units. The quality improvement team was led by Maria M. Talavera, DO, a member of the Section of Neonatology at Nationwide Children’s, and included specialists from Neonatology, Pediatric Surgery and Infectious Diseases, as well as clinical pharmacists, dieticians and quality improvement specialists. The study, which details the initiative and its success, was published in Pediatrics in 2016.

Read the Pediatrics Nationwide article.

New Study Points to a Possible Cause of Many Preterm Births

Most spontaneous preterm births do not have causes that are easy to identify. Physicians frequently have not known why uterine contractions begin weeks earlier than they should, nor have they known why a mother’s water breaks well before the fetus is fully developed. Learning why these preterm births occur is critical to preventing them, and a new study from Irina Buhimschi, MD, director of the Center for Perinatal Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has solved part of that mystery. The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, demonstrates that small calcium deposits in fetal membranes may lead to premature rupture, and that dietary or other interventions could prevent those preterm births.

Read the Pediatrics Nationwide article.

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