Research

The Division of Infectious Diseases maintains extensive ongoing research, with a philosophy of multidisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration. The list of current clinical trials below is updated frequently and includes relevant studies overseen by Principal Investigators within our division and elsewhere in the Arizona Health Sciences Center.

Emergency Department Thoracotomy Occupational Blood Exposure
This study will be performed as a part of prospective observational American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) multi-institutional trial analyzing emergency department thoracotomies performed at trauma centers throughout the United States will be performed. After each EDT, all medical personnel involved in the resuscitation will complete a questionnaire. The primary endpoint will be occupational exposure during the thoracotomy. Secondary endpoints will include observance of universal precautions and proper reporting of occupational exposures using institutional protocols. Data will be sent after each EDT via secure email to the sponsoring institution (University of Pennsylvania) where it will be entered into a RedCap database. At the conclusion of data collection (approximately 1-2 years), a comprehensive statistical analysis will be performed to quantify the actual risk of occupational exposure to both the primary surgeon, assistants, and other staff during emergency department thoracotomy. The known incidence of blood borne pathogens in the trauma population, multiplied by the rate of transmission after exposure, will be multiplied by the rate of exposure determined in order to calculate the actual risk to providers. Individual patient data will be collected from the trauma registry for further analysis of risk factors for occupational exposure.
Primary Investigator: Andrew Tang, MD
Aging Immune Function with Persistent/Chronic Conditions
As people get older, the immune system can become less effective at dealing with infectious diseases. This decreased immune function can be highly variable from person to person, and at different ages in life. Many people carry a virus (called cytomegalovirus) for their whole life – this virus causes no symptoms in most people, but may influence how their immune system works as they get older. This process of “immune aging” may happen more quickly in people with HIV infection. The overall goal of this research is to understand how the immune system ages in both healthy individuals, and those with different chronic or persistent medical conditions such as HIV. We are looking for volunteers over the age of 21 to participate in this study, including people with HIV that is well managed by medication.
Primary Investigator: Janko Nikolich-Zugich, MD, PhD
A Randomized Double-Blind, Phase 3 Study Comparing the Efficacy and Safety of High-Titer versus Low-Titer Anti-Influenza Immune Plasma for the Treatment of Severe Influenza A
The purpose of this study is to develop a possible new treatment for influenza. This new treatment uses antibodies against this virus. Antibodies are natural proteins made by the body that attack influenza and other germs. We want to see if the plasma with higher levels of antibodies helps people with influenza improve more than plasma with lower levels or no antibodies. The plasma is given in addition to standard anti-influenza medications.
Primary Investigator: Charles Cairns, MD
Immunity in Aging
This study will examine immunity in a very large group of healthy individuals between the ages of 21 up to 100+ years. The goal of the study is to learn why some individuals have an increased sensitivity to new infections, such as West Nile Virus, and/or poor response to vaccinations (such as the flu vaccine). This information will be used to discover which parts of immunity may not be working properly.
Primary Investigator: Janko Nikolich-Zugich, MD, PhD
Investigating HIV-associated lung disease
The purpose of this study is to learn about lung complications in HIV patients on antiretroviral treatment for at least 3 years. This study includes a chest CT scan, lung function tests, health questionnaire, blood draw and bronchoscopy.
Primary Investigator: Kenneth S Knox, MD