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CDC Science Clips: Volume 9, Issue 11, March 21, 2017

Each Tuesday, to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge, selected science clips will be posted here for the public health community. The focus is applied public health research and prevention science that has the capacity to improve health now.

  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas
    Subject matter experts decide what topic to feature, and articles are selected from the last 3 to 6 months of published literature. Key topic coincides monthly with other CDC products (e.g. Vital Signs).
    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases - Emerging Tickborne Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. Diagnosis and management of tickborne rickettsial diseases: Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other spotted fever group rickettsioses, ehrlichioses, and anaplasmosis - United States
        Biggs HM, Behravesh CB, Bradley KK, Dahlgren FS, Drexler NA, Dumler JS, Folk SM, et al .
        MMWR Recomm Rep. 2016 May 13;65(2):1-44.
        Tickborne rickettsial diseases continue to cause severe illness and death in otherwise healthy adults and children, despite the availability of low-cost, effective antibacterial therapy. Recognition early in the clinical course is critical because this is the period when antibacterial therapy is most effective. Early signs and symptoms of these illnesses are nonspecific or mimic other illnesses, which can make diagnosis challenging. Previously undescribed tickborne rickettsial diseases continue to be recognized, and since 2004, three additional agents have been described as causes of human disease in the United States: Rickettsia parkeri, Ehrlichia muris-like agent, and Rickettsia species 364D. This report updates the 2006 CDC recommendations on the diagnosis and management of tickborne rickettsial diseases in the United States and includes information on the practical aspects of epidemiology, clinical assessment, treatment, laboratory diagnosis, and prevention of tickborne rickettsial diseases. The CDC Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, in consultation with external clinical and academic specialists and public health professionals, developed this report to assist health care providers and public health professionals to 1) recognize key epidemiologic features and clinical manifestations of tickborne rickettsial diseases, 2) recognize that doxycycline is the treatment of choice for suspected tickborne rickettsial diseases in adults and children, 3) understand that early empiric antibacterial therapy can prevent severe disease and death, 4) request the appropriate confirmatory diagnostic tests and understand their usefulness and limitations, and 5) report probable and confirmed cases of tickborne rickettsial diseases to public health authorities.

      2. Rocky Mountain spotted fever from an unexpected tick vector in Arizona
        Demma LJ, Traeger MS, Nicholson WL, Paddock CD, Blau DM, Eremeeva ME, Dasch GA, et al .
        N Engl J Med. 2005 Aug 11;353(6):587-94.
        BACKGROUND: Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a life-threatening, tick-borne disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii. This disease is rarely reported in Arizona, and the principal vectors, Dermacentor species ticks, are uncommon in the state. From 2002 through 2004, a focus of Rocky Mountain spotted fever was investigated in rural eastern Arizona. METHODS: We obtained blood and tissue specimens from patients with suspected Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ticks from patients' homesites. Serologic, molecular, immunohistochemical, and culture assays were performed to identify the causative agent. On the basis of specific laboratory criteria, patients were classified as having confirmed or probable Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection. RESULTS: A total of 16 patients with Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection (11 with confirmed and 5 with probable infection) were identified. Of these patients, 13 (81 percent) were children 12 years of age or younger, 15 (94 percent) were hospitalized, and 2 (12 percent) died. Dense populations of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks were found on dogs and in the yards of patients' homesites. All patients with confirmed Rocky Mountain spotted fever had contact with tick-infested dogs, and four had a reported history of tick bite preceding the illness. R. rickettsii DNA was detected in nonengorged R. sanguineus ticks collected at one home, and R. rickettsii isolates were cultured from these ticks. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation documents the presence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in eastern Arizona, with common brown dog ticks (R. sanguineus) implicated as a vector of R. rickettsii. The broad distribution of this common tick raises concern about its potential to transmit R. rickettsii in other settings.

      3. Evidence for personal protective measures to reduce human contact with blacklegged ticks and for environmentally based control methods to suppress host-seeking blacklegged ticks and reduce infection with Lyme disease spirochetes in tick vectors and rodent reservoirs
        Eisen L, Dolan MC.
        J Med Entomol. 2016 Jul 20.
        In the 1980s, the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, and rodents were recognized as the principal vector and reservoir hosts of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the eastern United States, and deer were incriminated as principal hosts for I. scapularis adults. These realizations led to pioneering studies aiming to reduce the risk for transmission of B. burgdorferi to humans by attacking host-seeking ticks with acaricides, interrupting the enzootic transmission cycle by killing immatures infesting rodent reservoirs by means of acaricide-treated nesting material, or reducing deer abundance to suppress tick numbers. We review the progress over the past three decades in the fields of: 1) prevention of human-tick contact with repellents and permethrin-treated clothing, and 2) suppression of I. scapularis and disruption of enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission with environmentally based control methods. Personal protective measures include synthetic and natural product-based repellents that can be applied to skin and clothing, permethrin sprays for clothing and gear, and permethrin-treated clothing. A wide variety of approaches and products to suppress I. scapularis or disrupt enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission have emerged and been evaluated in field trials. Application of synthetic chemical acaricides is a robust method to suppress host-seeking I. scapularis ticks within a treated area for at least 6-8 wk. Natural product-based acaricides or entomopathogenic fungi have emerged as alternatives to kill host-seeking ticks for homeowners who are unwilling to use synthetic chemical acaricides. However, as compared with synthetic chemical acaricides, these approaches appear less robust in terms of both their killing efficacy and persistence. Use of rodent-targeted topical acaricides represents an alternative for homeowners opposed to open distribution of acaricides to the ground and vegetation on their properties. This host-targeted approach also provides the benefit of the intervention impacting the entire rodent home range. Rodent-targeted oral vaccines against B. burgdorferi and a rodent-targeted antibiotic bait have been evaluated in laboratory and field trials but are not yet commercially available. Targeting of deer-via deer reduction or treatment of deer with topical acaricides-can provide area-wide suppression of host-seeking I. scapularis These two deer-targeted approaches combine great potential for protection that impacts the entire landscape with severe problems relating to public acceptance or implementation logistics. Integrated use of two or more methods has unfortunately been evaluated in very few published studies, but additional field evaluations of integrated tick and pathogen strategies are underway.

      4. County-scale distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the continental United States
        Eisen RJ, Eisen L, Beard CB.
        J Med Entomol. 2016 Mar;53(2):349-86.
        The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, is the primary vector to humans in the eastern United States of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as causative agents of anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Its close relative in the far western United States, the western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls, is the primary vector to humans in that region of the Lyme disease and anaplasmosis agents. Since 1991, when standardized surveillance and reporting began, Lyme disease case counts have increased steadily in number and in geographical distribution in the eastern United States. Similar trends have been observed for anaplasmosis and babesiosis. To better understand the changing landscape of risk of human exposure to disease agents transmitted by I. scapularis and I. pacificus, and to document changes in their recorded distribution over the past two decades, we updated the distribution of these species from a map published in 1998. The presence of I. scapularis has now been documented from 1,420 (45.7%) of the 3,110 continental United States counties, as compared with 111 (3.6%) counties for I. pacificus. Combined, these vectors of B. burgdorferi and other disease agents now have been identified in a total of 1,531 (49.2%) counties spread across 43 states. This marks a 44.7% increase in the number of counties that have recorded the presence of these ticks since the previous map was presented in 1998, when 1,058 counties in 41 states reported the ticks to be present. Notably, the number of counties in which I. scapularis is considered established (six or more individuals or one or more life stages identified in a single year) has more than doubled since the previous national distribution map was published nearly two decades ago. The majority of county status changes occurred in the North-Central and Northeastern states, whereas the distribution in the South remained fairly stable. Two previously distinct foci for I. scapularis in the Northeast and North-Central states appear to be merging in the Ohio River Valley to form a single contiguous focus. Here we document a shifting landscape of risk for human exposure to medically important ticks and point to areas of re-emergence where enhanced vector surveillance and control may be warranted.

      5. Global Health Impacts of Vector-Borne Diseases: Workshop Summary
        National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine .
        Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2016 .
        In September 2014, the Forum on Microbial Threats organized a workshop to examine trends and patterns in the incidence and prevalence of vector-borne diseases in an increasingly interconnected and ecologically disturbed world, as well as recent developments to meet these dynamic threats. Participants examined the emergence and global movement of vector-borne diseases, research priorities for understanding their biology and ecology, and global preparedness for and progress toward their prevention, control, and mitigation. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

      6. Rickettsia parkeri: a newly recognized cause of spotted fever rickettsiosis in the United States
        Paddock CD, Sumner JW, Comer JA, Zaki SR, Goldsmith CS, Goddard J, McLellan SL, Tamminga CL, Ohl CA.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Mar 15;38(6):805-11.
        Ticks, including many that bite humans, are hosts to several obligate intracellular bacteria in the spotted fever group (SFG) of the genus Rickettsia. Only Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, has been definitively associated with disease in humans in the United States. Herein we describe disease in a human caused by Rickettsia parkeri, an SFG rickettsia first identified >60 years ago in Gulf Coast ticks (Amblyomma maculatum) collected from the southern United States. Confirmation of the infection was accomplished using serological testing, immunohistochemical staining, cell culture isolation, and molecular methods. Application of specific laboratory assays to clinical specimens obtained from patients with febrile, eschar-associated illnesses following a tick bite may identify additional cases of R. parkeri rickettsiosis and possibly other novel SFG rickettsioses in the United States.

      7. Identification of a novel pathogenic Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis with unusually high spirochaetaemia: a descriptive study
        Pritt BS, Mead PS, Johnson DK, Neitzel DF, Respicio-Kingry LB, Davis JP, Schiffman E, et al .
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 May;16(5):556-64.
        BACKGROUND: Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. It is a multisystem disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies and characterised by tissue localisation and low spirochaetaemia. In this study we aimed to describe a novel Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis in the USA. METHODS: At the Mayo clinic, from 2003 to 2014, we tested routine clinical diagnostic specimens from patients in the USA with PCR targeting the oppA1 gene of B burgdorferi sensu lato. We identified positive specimens with an atypical PCR result (melting temperature outside of the expected range) by sequencing, microscopy, or culture. We collected Ixodes scapularis ticks from regions of suspected patient tick exposure and tested them by oppA1 PCR. FINDINGS: 100 545 specimens were submitted by physicians for routine PCR from Jan 1, 2003 to Sept 30, 2014. From these samples, six clinical specimens (five blood, one synovial fluid) yielded an atypical oppA1 PCR product, but no atypical results were detected before 2012. Five of the six patients with atypical PCR results had presented with fever, four had diffuse or focal rash, three had symptoms suggestive of neurological inclusion, and two were admitted to hospital. The sixth patient presented with knee pain and swelling. Motile spirochaetes were seen in blood samples from one patient and cultured from blood samples from two patients. Among the five blood specimens, the median oppA1 copy number was 180 times higher than that in 13 specimens that tested positive for B burgdorferi sensu stricto during the same time period. Multigene sequencing identified the spirochaete as a novel B burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies. This same genospecies was detected in ticks collected at a probable patient exposure site. INTERPRETATION: We describe a new pathogenic Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies (candidatus Borrelia mayonii) in the upper midwestern USA, which causes Lyme borreliosis with unusually high spirochaetaemia. Clinicians should be aware of this new B burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies, its distinct clinical features, and the usefulness of oppA1 PCR for diagnosis. FUNDING: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) Cooperative Agreement and Mayo Clinic Small Grant programme.

      8. Emergence of a new pathogenic Ehrlichia species, Wisconsin and Minnesota, 2009
        Pritt BS, Sloan LM, Johnson DK, Munderloh UG, Paskewitz SM, McElroy KM, McFadden JD, et al .
        N Engl J Med. 2011 Aug 04;365(5):422-9.
        BACKGROUND: Ehrlichiosis is a clinically important, emerging zoonosis. Only Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E. ewingii have been thought to cause ehrlichiosis in humans in the United States. Patients with suspected ehrlichiosis routinely undergo testing to ensure proper diagnosis and to ascertain the cause. METHODS: We used molecular methods, culturing, and serologic testing to diagnose and ascertain the cause of cases of ehrlichiosis. RESULTS: On testing, four cases of ehrlichiosis in Minnesota or Wisconsin were found not to be from E. chaffeensis or E. ewingii and instead to be caused by a newly discovered ehrlichia species. All patients had fever, malaise, headache, and lymphopenia; three had thrombocytopenia; and two had elevated liver-enzyme levels. All recovered after receiving doxycycline treatment. At least 17 of 697 Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Minnesota or Wisconsin were positive for the same ehrlichia species on polymerase-chain-reaction testing. Genetic analyses revealed that this new ehrlichia species is closely related to E. muris. CONCLUSIONS: We report a new ehrlichia species in Minnesota and Wisconsin and provide supportive clinical, epidemiologic, culture, DNA-sequence, and vector data. Physicians need to be aware of this newly discovered close relative of E. muris to ensure appropriate testing, treatment, and regional surveillance. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).

      9. Modeling the present and future geographic distribution of the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Ixodida: Ixodidae), in the continental United States
        Springer YP, Jarnevich CS, Barnett DT, Monaghan AJ, Eisen RJ.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Oct;93(4):875-90.
        The Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) is the primary vector for pathogens of significant public health importance in North America, yet relatively little is known about its current and potential future distribution. Building on a published summary of tick collection records, we used an ensemble modeling approach to predict the present-day and future distribution of climatically suitable habitat for establishment of the Lone star tick within the continental United States. Of the nine climatic predictor variables included in our five present-day models, average vapor pressure in July was by far the most important determinant of suitable habitat. The present-day ensemble model predicted an essentially contiguous distribution of suitable habitat extending to the Atlantic coast east of the 100th western meridian and south of the 40th northern parallel, but excluding a high elevation region associated with the Appalachian Mountains. Future ensemble predictions for 2061-2080 forecasted a stable western range limit, northward expansion of suitable habitat into the Upper Midwest and western Pennsylvania, and range contraction along portions of the Gulf coast and the lower Mississippi river valley. These findings are informative for raising awareness of A. americanum-transmitted pathogens in areas where the Lone Star tick has recently or may become established.

      10. Notes from the Field: Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis - Georgia, 2012-2014
        Straily A, Feldpausch A, Ulbrich C, Schell K, Casillas S, Zaki SR, Denison AM, et al .
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Jul 22;65(28):718-9.
        During 2012-2014, five cases of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis were identified by a single urgent care practice in Georgia, located approximately 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. Symptom onset occurred during June-October, and all patients had a known tick bite. Patients ranged in age from 27 to 72 years (median = 53 years), and all were male. The most commonly reported initial signs were erythema (n = 3) and swelling (n = 2) at the site of the bite. Two patients reported fever and a third patient reported a rash and lymphadenopathy without fever. Other symptoms included myalgia (n = 3), chills (n = 3), fatigue (n = 2), arthralgia (n = 2), and headache (n = 2). Eschar biopsy specimens were collected from each patient using a 4-mm or 5-mm punch and placed in 10% neutral buffered formalin or sterile saline. These specimens were tested by immunohistochemical (IHC) stains, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, or cell culture isolation to determine if there was evidence of infection with a Rickettsia species (1). IHC evidence of spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in the eschar biopsy specimens in all five cases. In four cases, the biopsy specimens were also positive for R. parkeri by qPCR. The fifth case (specimen positive only by IHC testing) was considered a probable R. parkeri case based on clinical signs and symptoms. R. parkeri was grown in cell culture from one specimen from which isolation was attempted. All patients were treated with oral doxycycline (100 mg twice daily) for a minimum of 10 days, and all recovered.

      11. No visible dental staining in children treated with doxycycline for suspected Rocky Mountain spotted fever
        Todd SR, Dahlgren FS, Traeger MS, Beltran-Aguilar ED, Marianos DW, Hamilton C, McQuiston JH, Regan JJ.
        J Pediatr. 2015 May;166(5):1246-51.
        OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether cosmetically relevant dental effects occurred among children who had received doxycycline for treatment of suspected Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). STUDY DESIGN: Children who lived on an American Indian reservation with high incidence of RMSF were classified as exposed or unexposed to doxycycline, based on medical and pharmacy record abstraction. Licensed, trained dentists examined each child's teeth and evaluated visible staining patterns and enamel hypoplasia. Objective tooth color was evaluated with a spectrophotometer. RESULTS: Fifty-eight children who received an average of 1.8 courses of doxycycline before 8 years of age and who now had exposed permanent teeth erupted were compared with 213 children who had never received doxycycline. No tetracycline-like staining was observed in any of the exposed children's teeth (0/58, 95% CI 0%-5%), and no significant difference in tooth shade (P=.20) or hypoplasia (P=1.0) was found between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study failed to demonstrate dental staining, enamel hypoplasia, or tooth color differences among children who received short-term courses of doxycycline at <8 years of age. Healthcare provider confidence in use of doxycycline for suspected RMSF in children may be improved by modifying the drug's label.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions RSS Word feed
      1. Age- and treatment-related associations with health behavior change among breast cancer survivors
        Anderson C, Sandler DP, Weinberg CR, Houck K, Chunduri M, Hodgson ME, Sabatino SA, White MC, Rodriguez JL, Nichols HB.
        Breast. 2017 Feb 27;33:1-7.
        OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify demographic and treatment-related factors associated with health-promoting behavior changes after a breast cancer diagnosis. Changes in health behaviors were also evaluated according to weight, exercise, diet and alcohol consumption patterns before breast cancer diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined self-reported behavior changes among 1415 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the NIEHS Sister Study cohort. Women reported changes in exercising, eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy body weight, drinking alcohol, smoking, getting enough sleep, spending time with family and friends, and participating in breast cancer awareness events. RESULTS: On average, women were 3.7 years from their breast cancer diagnosis. Overall, 20-36% reported positive changes in exercise, eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, or alcohol consumption. However, 17% exercised less. With each 5-year increase in diagnosis age, women were 11-16% less likely to report positive change in each of these behaviors (OR = 0.84-0.89; p < 0.05), except alcohol consumption (OR = 0.97; CI: 0.81, 1.17). Women who underwent chemotherapy were more likely to report eating more healthy foods (OR = 1.47; 95% CI 1.16-1.86), drinking less alcohol (OR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.01, 4.06), and sleeping enough (OR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.91). The majority of women (50-84%) reported no change in exercise, eating healthy foods, efforts to maintain a healthy weight, alcohol consumption, sleep patterns, or time spent with family or friends. CONCLUSIONS: Many women reported no change in cancer survivorship guideline-supported behaviors after diagnosis. Positive changes were more common among younger women or those who underwent chemotherapy.

      2. Vital Signs: Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation - United States, 2013-2015
        Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Brady TJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Mar 10;66(9):246-253.
        BACKGROUND: In the United States, doctor-diagnosed arthritis is a common and disabling chronic condition. Arthritis can lead to severe joint pain and poor physical function, and it can negatively affect quality of life. METHODS: CDC analyzed 2013-2015 data from the National Health Interview Survey, an annual, nationally representative, in-person interview survey of the health status and behaviors of the noninstitutionalized civilian U.S. adult population, to update previous prevalence estimates of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations. RESULTS: On average, during 2013-2015, 54.4 million (22.7%) adults had doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and 23.7 million (43.5% of those with arthritis) had arthritis-attributable activity limitations (an age-adjusted increase of approximately 20% in the proportion of adults with arthritis reporting activity limitations since 2002 [p-trend <0.001]). Among adults with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, the prevalences of doctor-diagnosed arthritis were 49.3%, 47.1%, and 30.6%, respectively; the prevalences of arthritis-attributable activity limitations among adults with these conditions and arthritis were 54.5% (heart disease), 54.0% (diabetes), and 49.0% (obesity). CONCLUSIONS AND COMMENTS: The prevalence of arthritis is high, particularly among adults with comorbid conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Furthermore, the prevalence of arthritis-attributable activity limitations is high and increasing over time. Approximately half of adults with arthritis and heart disease, arthritis and diabetes, or arthritis and obesity are limited by their arthritis. Greater use of evidence-based physical activity and self-management education interventions can reduce pain and improve function and quality of life for adults with arthritis and also for adults with other chronic conditions who might be limited by their arthritis.

      3. Obesity trends among US adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis 2009-2014
        Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Qin J, Pan L, Hootman JM.
        Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Mar;69(3):376-383.
        OBJECTIVE: Arthritis and obesity are common co-occurring conditions that can increase disability and the risk of adverse outcomes (e.g., total knee replacement). METHODS: We estimated recent obesity trends among adults with arthritis from 2009 to 2014, overall and by various sociodemographic and health characteristics using data from National Health Interview Survey, an ongoing, nationally representative, in-person household self-reported survey of the noninstitutionalized civilian US. A secondary aim was to examine the distribution of body mass index categories among adults with and without arthritis. RESULTS: Obesity prevalence did not change significantly over time among middle-aged and younger adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis either overall (P = 0.925 for both groups) or by demographic and health characteristics. Among older adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the unadjusted obesity prevalence was 29.4% in 2009 and 34.3% in 2014; after adjusting for all demographic and health characteristics, there was a significant relative increase in obesity prevalence (15% [95% confidence interval 6-25]) and over time (P = 0.001). The age-standardized prevalence of obesity and the obesity subclasses I, II, and III among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis (compared with adults without doctor-diagnosed arthritis) was 40.3% versus 26.3%, 20.1% versus 16.4%, 10.4% versus 6.2%, and 9.8% versus 3.6%, respectively (P < 0.001 for all 4 comparisons). CONCLUSION: Obesity increased significantly over time among older adults with arthritis and remains high when compared with adults without arthritis. A greater dissemination of interventions focused on physical activity and diet are needed in order to reduce adverse outcomes associated with obesity and arthritis.

      4. Sun safety practices among schools in the United States
        Everett Jones S, Guy GP.
        JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Mar 03.
        Importance: Exposure to the sun's UV radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer. Positive attitudes and beliefs about sun safety behavior, which would make sun protective behavior more likely, could be promoted and supported by school policies and practices. Objective: To identify school characteristics associated with having adopted practices that promote sun safety. Design, Setting, and Participants: School-level data from the February 3 to July 23, 2014, School Health Policies and Practices Study's Healthy and Safe School Environment questionnaire were analyzed. The School Health Policies and Practices Study uses a 2-stage sampling design to select a nationally representative sample of schools. All public, state-administered, Catholic, and non-Catholic private schools with any of the grades from kindergarten through 12 were eligible for inclusion. All analyses were conducted using weighted data. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of sun safety practices. Results: In a nationally representative sample of 828 US schools, representatives of 577 schools (69.7%) responded. Overall, sun safety practices were not common among schools. The most frequent practice was having teachers allow time for students to apply sunscreen at school (47.6%; 95% CI, 42.4%-52.9%). Few schools made sunscreen available for students to use (13.3%; 95% CI, 10.2%-17.0%), almost always or always scheduled outdoor activities to avoid times when the sun was at peak intensity (15.0%; 95% CI, 11.4%-19.6%), or asked parents to ensure that students applied sunscreen before school (16.4%; 95% CI, 12.9%-20.6%). High schools were less likely than elementary schools and middle schools to adopt several practices: for instance, 37.5% of high schools (95% CI, 29.7%-46.0%), 51.6% of middle schools (95% CI, 43.3%-59.7%), and 49.5% of elementary schools (95% CI, 42.0%-57.0%) had teachers allow time for students to apply sunscreen at school, and 11.8% of high schools (95% CI, 7.7%-17.5%), 18.2% of middle schools (95% CI, 13.3%-24.4%), and 14.7% of elementary schools (95% CI, 9.6%-21.8%) almost always or always scheduled outdoor activities to avoid times when the sun was at peak intensity. Other school characteristics were either not significantly associated with the adoption of any of the sun safety school practices studied (eg, metropolitan status) or were inconsistently associated with such policies and practices (eg, region, percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and school enrollment). Conclusions and Relevance: School practices that could protect children and adolescents from sun exposure and that could change norms about sun safety are not common. Interventions aimed at increasing the adoption of sun safety practices among schools are needed regardless of the level, location, size, and poverty concentration of the school. Such practices would cost little to implement and would support other messages targeted toward children, adolescents, adults, and parents, with an aim to reduce skin cancer morbidity and mortality.

      5. Changes in diagnosed diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity prevalence in US counties, 2004-2012
        Geiss LS, Kirtland K, Lin J, Shrestha S, Thompson T, Albright A, Gregg EW.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(3):e0173428.
        Recent studies suggest that prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the United States reached a plateau or slowed around 2008, and that this change coincided with obesity plateaus and increases in physical activity. However, national estimates can obscure important variations in geographic subgroups. We examine whether a slowing or leveling off in diagnosed diabetes, obesity, and leisure time physical inactivity prevalence is also evident across the 3143 counties of the United States. We used publicly available county estimates of the age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, obesity, and leisure-time physical inactivity, which were generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using a Bayesian multilevel regression that included random effects by county and year and applied cubic splines to smooth these estimates over time, we estimated the average annual percentage point change (APPC) from 2004 to 2008 and from 2008 to 2012 for diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity prevalence in each county. Compared to 2004-2008, the median APPCs for diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity were lower in 2008-2012 (diabetes APPC difference = 0.16, 95%CI 0.14, 0.18; obesity APPC difference = 0.65, 95%CI 0.59, 0.70; physical inactivity APPC difference = 0.43, 95%CI 0.37, 0.48). APPCs and APPC differences between time periods varied among counties and U.S. regions. Despite improvements, levels of these risk factors remained high with most counties merely slowing rather than reversing, which suggests that all counties would likely benefit from reductions in these risk factors. The diversity of trajectories in the prevalence of these risk factors across counties underscores the continued need to identify high risk areas and populations for preventive interventions. Awareness of how these factors are changing might assist local policy makers in targeting and tracking the impact of efforts to reduce diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity.

      6. Prevalence of indoor tanning and association with sunburn among youth in the United States
        Guy GP, Berkowitz Z, Everett Jones S, Watson M, Richardson LC.
        JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Mar 03.
        Importance: Indoor tanning and sunburns, particularly during adolescence and young adulthood, increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Objective: To examine the trends in the prevalence of indoor tanning and the association between indoor tanning and sunburn among US high school students. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study pooled and examined cross-sectional data from the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. During 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, the overall response rates were 71%, 71%, 68%, and 60%, respectively, and unweighted sample sizes were 16 410, 15 425, 13 538, and 15 624, respectively. It included nationally representative samples of US high school students. Data were collected during the spring semester (January to June) in each survey cycle beginning February 9, 2009, through June 18, 2015. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of indoor tanning in the past year from 2009 to 2015 and its association with sunburn in 2015. Results: Among high school students in the United States, the prevalence of indoor tanning decreased from 15.6% (95% CI, 13.7%-17.6%) in 2009 to 7.3% (95% CI, 6.0%-8.9%) in 2015. Decreases in indoor tanning were found among male (from 6.7% in 2009 to 4.0% in 2015) and female (from 25.4 % in 2009 to 10.6 % in 2015) students overall, non-Hispanic white (from 21.1 % in 2009 to 9.4% in 2015) and Hispanic (from 8.2% in 2009 to 4.7% in 2015) students overall, and all age groups. Among non-Hispanic white female students, the prevalence decreased from 37.4% (95% CI, 33.6%-41.4%) in 2009 to 15.2% (95% CI, 11.7%-19.5%) in 2015. In 2015, indoor tanning was associated with sunburn in the adjusted model: 82.3% (95% CI, 77.9%-86.0%) of indoor tanners had at least 1 sunburn during the preceding year compared with 53.7% (95% CI, 48.9%-58.4%) of those who did not engage in indoor tanning (P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: Despite declines in the prevalence of indoor tanning from 2009 to 2015 among high school students nationwide, indoor tanning remains commonplace among certain subgroups, especially non-Hispanic white female students. Three-quarters of those who engaged in indoor tanning had experienced at least 1 sunburn. Efforts by the public health and medical communities are needed to further reduce the prevalence of indoor tanning and sunburn and thus prevent future cases of skin cancer.

      7. Understanding trends in kidney function 1 year after kidney transplant in the United States
        Huang Y, Tilea A, Gillespie B, Shahinian V, Banerjee T, Grubbs V, Powe N, Rios-Burrows N, Pavkov M, Saran R.
        J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Mar 07.
        Lower eGFR 1 year after kidney transplant is associated with shorter allograft and patient survival. We examined how practice changes in the past decade correlated with time trends in average eGFR at 1 year after kidney transplant in the United States in a cohort of 189,944 patients who received a kidney transplant between 2001 and 2013. We calculated the average eGFR at 1 year after transplant for the recipient cohort of each year using the appropriate Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation depending on the prevailing methodology of creatinine measurement, and used linear regression to model the effects of practice changes on the national post-transplant eGFR trend. Between the 2001-2005 period and the 2011-2013 period, average 1-year post-transplant eGFR remained essentially unchanged, with differences of 1.34 (95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.65) ml/min per 1.73 m2 and 0.66 (95% confidence interval, 0.32 to 1.01) ml/min per 1.73 m2 among deceased and living donor kidney transplant recipients, respectively. Over time, the mean age of recipients increased and more marginal organs were used; adjusting for these trends unmasked a larger temporal improvement in post-transplant eGFR. However, changes in immunosuppression practice had a positive effect on average post-transplant eGFR and balanced out the negative effect of recipient/donor characteristics. In conclusion, average 1-year post-transplant eGFR remained stable, despite increasingly unfavorable attributes in recipients and donors. With an aging ESRD population and continued organ shortage, preservation of average post-transplant eGFR will require sustained improvement in immunosuppression and other aspects of post-transplant care.

      8. The Chinese and Korean American immigrant experience: a mixed-methods examination of facilitators and barriers of colorectal cancer screening
        Jung MY, Holt CL, Ng D, Sim HJ, Lu X, Le D, Juon HS, Li J, Lee S.
        Ethn Health. 2017 Feb 25:1-20.
        OBJECTIVE: Among Asian Americans, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. Despite strong evidence that screening can reduce CRC-related mortality, fewer Chinese and Koreans receive screening as compared to non-Hispanic whites and blacks. The objective of this study was to examine facilitators and barriers as well as strategies to promote CRC screening in this population. DESIGN: This study employed a mixed-methods design. We conducted 17 key informant interviews and 12 focus groups in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 120 Chinese and Korean focus group participants, aged 50 to 85, also provided quantitative data through self-administered surveys. All participants were asked to discuss facilitators and barriers of CRC screening, including in relation to culture. RESULTS: Participants who had a regular physician and doctor's recommendation for CRC screening were more likely to ever receive a colonoscopy (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.51; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.26, 9.79 and aOR = 6.61; 95% CI: 2.63, 16.65, respectively). A doctor's recommendation was also significantly associated with receipt of a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) (aOR = 4.00; 95% CI: 1.43, 11.15). In terms of barriers, those who reported having no time and not having symptoms were less likely to have a colonoscopy (aOR = 0.15; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.82 and aOR = 0.02; 95% CI: 0.002, 0.23, respectively) than those who had time and symptoms. Preventive healthcare was often not viewed as a priority, particularly for those living the'immigrant life,' who gave precedence to work. Cultural barriers to CRC screening included language (e.g. limited English proficiency and low health literacy); fear of finding CRC and burdening the family especially children; fatalism; and stigma towards cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Future interventions and programs aiming to increase CRC screening among Chinese and Korean Americans should address both cultural and non-cultural factors that influence CRC screening uptake.

      9. Development and implementation of a local government survey to measure community supports for healthy eating and active living
        Moore LV, Carlson SA, Onufrak S, Carroll DD, Galuska D.
        Prev Med Rep. 2017 Jun;6:74-79.
        The ability to make healthy choices is influenced by where one lives, works, shops, and plays. Locally enacted policies and standards can influence these surroundings but little is known about the prevalence of such policies and standards that support healthier behaviors. In this paper, we describe the development of a survey questionnaire designed to capture local level policy supports for healthy eating and active living and findings and lessons learned from a 2012 pilot in two states, Minnesota and California, including respondent burden, survey sampling and administration methods, and survey item feasibility issues. A 38-item, web-based, self-administered survey and sampling frame were developed to assess the prevalence of 22 types of healthy eating and active living policies in a representative sample of local governments in the two states. The majority of respondents indicated the survey required minimal effort to complete with half taking < 20 min to complete the survey. A non-response follow-up plan including emails and phone calls was required to achieve a 68% response rate (versus a 37% response rate for email only reminders). Local governments with larger residential populations reported having healthy eating and active living policies and standards more often than smaller governments. Policies that support active living were more common than those that support healthy eating and varied within the two states. The methods we developed are a feasible data collection tool for estimating the prevalence of municipal healthy eating and active living policies and standards at the state and national level.

      10. A multivariate space-time model for analysing county level heart disease death rates by race and sex
        Quick H, Waller LA, Casper M.
        J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat. 2017 .
        Although death rates from heart disease have declined sharply over the past 50 years, the rate of decline varies by location, race and sex. Despite these declines, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the USA. We propose a non-separable multivariate spatiotemporal Bayesian model to obtain a clearer picture of the temporally varying trends in county level heart disease death rates for men and women of different races in the USA. After verifying the effectiveness of our model via simulation, we apply our model to a data set of over 230000 county level heart disease death rates. .

    • Communicable Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. pncA gene mutations associated with pyrazinamide resistance in drug-resistant tuberculosis, South Africa and Georgia
        Allana S, Shashkina E, Mathema B, Bablishvili N, Tukvadze N, Shah NS, Kempker RR, Blumberg HM, Moodley P, Mlisana K, Brust JC, Gandhi NR.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;23(3):491-495.
        Although pyrazinamide is commonly used for tuberculosis treatment, drug-susceptibility testing is not routinely available. We found polymorphisms in the pncA gene for 70% of multidrug-resistant and 96% of extensively drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from South Africa and Georgia. Assessment of pyrazinamide susceptibility may be prudent before using it in regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis.

      2. Screening in Maternity to Ascertain Tuberculosis Status (SMATS) study
        Broughton E, Haumba S, Calnan M, Ginindsa S, Jeffries R, Maphalala G, Mazibuko S, Mirara M, Modi S, Munyaradzi P, Preko P, Simelane B.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2017 Mar 06;17(1):191.
        BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of tuberculosis is difficult among pregnant women because the signs and symptoms of the disease, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, sweating, cough, and mild fever are similar to some manifestations of pregnancy. It is particularly challenging among HIV-infected women as symptoms are often masked or atypical. Currently, WHO recommends a standard four-symptom screening tool for pregnant and lactating women. There is evidence from South Africa that this screening tool (which, despite complex symptomology in this population, recommends identification of patients with weight loss, fever, current cough and night sweats), may be missing true active TB cases. However there exist several laboratory and clinical procedures that have the potential to improve the sensitivity and specificity of this screening tool. METHODS: This study will evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the current TB screening tool for pregnant and lactating women, both HIV positive and negative. We will also assess several different enhanced screening algorithm using LAM, IGRA, TST and chest radiography and clinical/laboratory procedures and tests. The study will use a cross-sectional analytical study design involving pregnant and lactating women up to six months post-delivery attending antenatal or postnatal care, respectively in one of three selected public health units in Swaziland. Participants will be consecutively enrolled and will be in one of four groups of interest: HIV infected pregnant women, non-HIV infected pregnant women, HIV infected lactating women and non-HIV infected lactating women. DISCUSSION: We expect in conducting all procedures on all participants regardless of result of the symptom screening we may experience a high refusal rate. However, this risk will be mitigated by the long data collection period of five or more months.

      3. Maternal and neonatal outcomes among women with HIV infection and their infants in Malawi
        Chevalier MS, King CC, Ellington S, Wiener J, Kayira D, Chasela CS, Jamieson DJ, Kourtis AP.
        Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2017 Mar 03.
        OBJECTIVE: To describe maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality among women with HIV infection and their infants. METHODS: A secondary analysis was undertaken of data obtained in the BAN Study, a trial of postnatal antiretrovirals among pregnant women with HIV infection enrolled in 2004-2010. Mothers and infants had 13 scheduled visits through 48 weeks of follow-up. Serious maternal morbidity and mortality were examined at delivery (n=2791), from delivery to 6 weeks later (n=2369) and from 7 to 48 weeks (n=1980). Neonatal morbidity and mortality were examined (n=2685). RESULTS: Of 2791 deliveries, 169 (6.1%) were by cesarean (153 emergency). Compared with women with vaginal delivery, those with cesarean delivery had lower prenatal HIV viral loads (P=0.016) and increased odds of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (odds ratio [OR] 10.8, 95% CI 4.4-26.8). Women with cesarean delivery also had increased odds of serious infection with 14 days of delivery (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.3-7.4) and severe anemia (grade 3 or 4) by 6 weeks (OR 6.7, 95% CI 2.3-19.1). Infants born by cesarean had increased odds of a low 5-minute Apgar score (OR 8.1, 95% CI 3.5-18.6) and admission to an intensive care unit (OR 5.4, 95% CI 3.7-7.8). CONCLUSION: Odds of serious maternal and neonatal morbidity were higher after cesarean than vaginal delivery, despite lower maternal viral loads. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

      4. Performance of the SAMBA I and II HIV-1 Semi-Q Tests for viral load monitoring at the point-of-care
        Goel N, Ritchie AV, Mtapuri-Zinyowera S, Zeh C, Stepchenkova T, Lehga J, De Ruiter A, Farleigh LE, Edemaga D, So R, Sembongi H, Wisniewski C, Nadala L, Schito M, Lee H.
        J Virol Methods. 2017 Mar 05.
        Although access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection is increasing in resource-poor countries, viral load testing for monitoring of treatment efficacy remains limited, expensive, and confined to centralized laboratories. The SAMBA HIV-1 Semi-Q Test is a nucleic acid-based amplification assay developed for viral load monitoring performed on either the semi-automated SAMBA I system for laboratory use or the fully automated SAMBA II system for point-of care use. We have assessed the performance characteristics of the SAMBA HIV-1 Semi-Q Test on SAMBA I and SAMBA II systems according to the Common Technical Specifications of the European Community's 98/79 In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive. The sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, and viral subtype coverage of the test were similar on the SAMBA I and SAMBA II platforms. The clinical performance on the SAMBA I system was compared with the Roche CAP/CTM assay and evaluated in-house with 130 patient specimens from London as well as in the field with 390 specimens in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The overall concordance between the SAMBA and CAP/CTM assays was 98.1%. The clinical performance of the test on the SAMBA II platform in comparison with the Abbott HIV-1 RealTime Assay was evaluated in-house with 150 specimens from Ukraine, yielding a concordance of 98.0%. The results thus show that the SAMBA HIV-1 Semi-Q Test performs equivalently on SAMBA I and SAMBA II, and they suggest that the test is suitable for implementation at the point-of-care in resource-poor regions where viral load testing is desperately needed but often unavailable.

      5. Role of the health department in tuberculosis prevention and control - legal and public health considerations
        Jeffries C, Lobue P, Chorba T, Metchock B, Kashef I.
        Microbiol Spectr. 2017 Mar;5(2).
        Because tuberculosis is caused by an infectious organism that is spread from person to person through the air, public health measures are essential to control the disease. There are three priority strategies for tuberculosis prevention and control in the United States: (i) identifying and treating persons who have tuberculosis disease; (ii) finding persons exposed to infectious tuberculosis patients, evaluating them for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and disease, and providing subsequent treatment, if appropriate; and (iii) testing populations at high risk for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and treating those persons who are infected to prevent progression to disease. These strategies for prevention and control of tuberculosis are discussed in a framework containing the following important topics: historical and epidemiological context of tuberculosis control, organization of public health tuberculosis control programs, legal basis for public health authority, conducting overall planning and development of policy, identifying persons who have clinically active tuberculosis, evaluation of immigrants, managing persons who have or who are suspected of having disease, medical consultation, interjurisdictional referrals, identifying and managing persons infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, providing laboratory and diagnostic services, collecting and analyzing data, and providing training and education. This chapter describes the role of the health department in the context of these components. This discussion is primarily applicable to tuberculosis prevention and control programs in the United States.

      6. An association between decreasing incidence of invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis and increased use of antiretroviral therapy, Gauteng Province, South Africa, 2003-2013
        Keddy KH, Takuva S, Musekiwa A, Puren AJ, Sooka A, Karstaedt A, Klugman KP, Angulo FJ.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(3):e0173091.
        BACKGROUND: HIV-infected persons are at increased risk of opportunistic infections, including invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections; antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces this risk. We explored changing iNTS incidence associated with increasing ART availability in South Africa. METHODS: Laboratory-based surveillance for iNTS was conducted in Gauteng Province, South Africa, with verification using the National Health Laboratory Service's Central Data Warehouse (CDW), between 2003 and 2013. Isolates were serotyped at the Centre for Enteric Diseases. CDW data on patient numbers obtaining HIV viral load measurements provided estimates of numbers of HIV-infected patients receiving ART. A Poisson regression model was used to measure the changing incidence of iNTS infection from 2003 to 2013. The correlation between the incidence of iNTS and ART use from 2004 to 2013 was determined using Pearson's correlation coefficient. RESULTS: From 2003-2013, the incidence of iNTS per 100,000 population per year decreased from 5.0 to 2.2 (p < .001). From 2004 to 2013, the incidence per 100,000 population of HIV viral load testing increased from 75.2 to 3,620.3 (p < .001). The most common serotypes causing invasive disease were Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (Salmonella Typhimurium), and Salmonella Enteritidis: 2,469 (55.4%) and 1,156 (25.9%) of 4,459 isolates serotyped, respectively. A strong negative correlation was observed between decreasing iNTS incidence and increasing ART use from 2004 to 2013 (r = -0.94, p < .001). Similarly, decreasing incidence of invasive Salmonella Typhimurium infection correlated with increasing ART use (r = -0.93, p < .001). Incidence of invasive Salmonella Enteritidis infection increased, however (r = 0.95, p < .001). Between 2003 and 2004, fewer adult men than women presented with iNTS (male-to-female rate ratio 0.73 and 0.89, respectively). This was reversed from 2005 through 2013 (ranging from 1.07 in 2005 to 1.44 in 2013). Adult men accessed ART less (male-to-female rate ratio ranging from 0.61 [2004] to 0.67 [2013]). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of iNTS infections including Salmonella Typhimurium decreased significantly in Gauteng Province in association with increased ART utilization. Adult men accessed ART programs less than women, translating into increasing iNTS incidence in this group. Monitoring iNTS incidence may assist in monitoring the ART program. Increasing incidence of invasive Salmonella Enteritidis infections needs further elucidation.

      7. Confidentiality issues and use of sexually transmitted disease services among sexually experienced persons aged 15-25 years - United States, 2013-2015
        Leichliter JS, Copen C, Dittus PJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Mar 10;66(9):237-241.
        National-level data are limited regarding confidentiality-related issues and the use of sexually transmitted disease (STD) services for adolescents and young adults. Changes in the U.S. health care system have permitted dependent children to remain on a parent's health insurance plan until the child's 26th birthday and required coverage of certain preventive services, including some STD services, without cost sharing for most plans. Although these provisions likely facilitate access to the health care system, adolescents and young adults might not seek care or might delay seeking care for certain services because of concerns about confidentiality, including fears that their parents might find out. Therefore, it is important to examine STD services and confidentiality-related issues among persons aged 15-25 years in the United States. CDC analyzed data from the 2013-2015 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 12.7% of sexually experienced youths (adolescents aged 15-17 years and those young adults aged 18-25 years who were on a parent's insurance plan) would not seek sexual and reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents might find out. Particularly concerned were persons aged 15-17 years (22.6%). Females with confidentiality concerns regarding seeking sexual and reproductive health care reported a lower prevalence of receipt of chlamydia screening (17.1%) than did females who did not cite such concerns (38.7%). More adolescents aged 15-17 years who spent time alone with a health care provider (without a parent in the room) reported receipt of a sexual risk assessment (71.1%) and, among females, chlamydia testing (34.0%), than did those who did not spend time alone (36.6% and 14.9%, respectively). The results indicated that confidentiality-related issues were associated with less reported use of some STD services, especially for younger persons and females. Spending time alone with a provider (i.e., without a parent present) during a health care visit has been associated previously with higher reported delivery of sexual health services (5) and has been suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Public health efforts related to confidentiality of STD services might be helpful to increase the use of recommended services among some youths.

      8. Task-sharing with nurses to enhance access to HIV treatment in Cote d'Ivoire
        McNairy ML, Bashi JB, Chung H, Wemin L, Lorng MA, Brou H, Nioble C, Lokossue A, Abo K, Achi D, Ouattara K, Sess D, Sanogo PA, Ekra A, Ettiegne-Traore V, Diabate CJ, Abrams EJ, El-Sadr WM.
        Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Jan 18.
        OBJECTIVE: We report the first national programme in Cote d'Ivoire to evaluate the feasibility of nurse-led HIV care as a model of task-sharing with nurses to increase coverage and decentralisation of HIV services. METHODS: Twenty-six public HIV facilities implemented either a nurse-with-onsite-physician or a nurse-with-visiting-physician model of HIV task-sharing. Routinely collected patient data were reviewed to analyse patient characteristics of those enrolling in care and initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART). Retention, loss to programme and death were compared across facility-level characteristics. RESULTS: A total of 1224 patients enrolled in HIV care, with 666 initiating ART, from January 2012 to May 2013 (median follow-up 13 months). The majority (94%) were adults >/=15 years. Fourteen facilities provided ART initiation for the first time during the pilot period; 20 facilities were primary level. Nurse-led care with a visiting physician was provided in 14 of the primary-level facilities. Nurse-led ART care with an onsite physician was provided in all secondary-level facilities and six of the primary-level facilities. During the pilot, 567 (85%) of patients were retained, 28 (4.2%) died, 47 (7.1%) were lost to follow-up, and 24 (3.6%) transferred. Five deaths (10.9%) were recorded among children as compared to 23 deaths (3.7%) among adults (P = 0.037). There were no differences in retention by model of nurse-led ART care. CONCLUSION: Task-sharing of HIV care and ART initiation with nurses in Cote d'Ivoire is feasible. This pilot illustrates two models of nurse-led HIV care and has informed national policy on nurse-led HIV care in Cote d'Ivoire.

      9. "We as black men have to encourage each other:" Facilitators and barriers associated with HIV testing among black/African American men in rural Florida
        Murray A, Toledo L, Brown EE, Sutton MY.
        J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2017 ;28(1):487-498.
        HIV testing for some African American men remains a challenge, and effective interventions are lacking. We explored facilitators and barriers associated with HIV testing among heterosexual African American men in rural Florida. We conducted focus group interviews with 67 African American men who were low-income, and HIV-uninfected based on prior testing or had unknown HIV status. Using computer-assisted thematic analyses, we examined transcribed focus group responses for main themes. Thematic analyses revealed three main themes regarding facilitators of HIV testing: 1) using preferred HIV testing community locations (park, library, gym); 2) receiving incentives (food or money); and 3) the importance of peer-led messaging for free, rapid HIV testing. Barriers included HIV testing at the local health department, and perceived social and emotional consequences to testing and the possibility of receiving a positive result. Effective HIV testing interventions for heterosexual African American men in rural Florida may need to incorporate suggested facilitators and reduce perceived barriers in order to improve HIV testing strategies.

      10. HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment in the Region of the Americas: Achievements, challenges and perspectives
        Perez F, Ravasi G, Figueroa JP, Grinsztejn B, Kamb M, Sued O, Ghidinelli M.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2016 ;40(6):398-400.
        [No abstract]

      11. Outbreak of drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis among homeless people in Atlanta, Georgia, 2008-2015
        Powell KM, VanderEnde DS, Holland DP, Haddad MB, Yarn B, Yamin AS, Mohamed O, Sales RF, DiMiceli LE, Burns-Grant G, Reaves EJ, Gardner TJ, Ray SM.
        Public Health Rep. 2017 Mar/Apr;132(2):231-240.
        OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to describe and determine the factors contributing to a recent drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Georgia. METHODS: We defined an outbreak case as TB diagnosed from March 2008 through December 2015 in a person residing in Georgia at the time of diagnosis and for whom (1) the genotype of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolate was consistent with the outbreak strain or (2) TB was diagnosed clinically without a genotyped isolate available and connections were established to another outbreak-associated patient. To determine factors contributing to transmission, we interviewed patients and reviewed health records, homeless facility overnight rosters, and local jail booking records. We also assessed infection control measures in the 6 homeless facilities involved in the outbreak. RESULTS: Of 110 outbreak cases in Georgia, 86 (78%) were culture confirmed and isoniazid resistant, 41 (37%) occurred in people with human immunodeficiency virus coinfection (8 of whom were receiving antiretroviral treatment at the time of TB diagnosis), and 10 (9%) resulted in TB-related deaths. All but 8 outbreak-associated patients had stayed overnight or volunteered extensively in a homeless facility; all these facilities lacked infection control measures. At least 9 and up to 36 TB cases outside Georgia could be linked to this outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: This article highlights the ongoing potential for long-lasting and far-reaching TB outbreaks, particularly among populations with untreated human immunodeficiency virus infection, mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness. To prevent and control TB outbreaks, health departments should work with overnight homeless facilities to implement infection control measures and maintain searchable overnight rosters.

      12. ART attrition and risk factors among Option B+ patients in Haiti: A retrospective cohort study
        Puttkammer N, Domercant JW, Adler M, Yuhas K, Myrtil M, Young P, Francois K, Grand'Pierre R, Lowrance D.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(3):e0173123.
        OBJECTIVES: In October 2012, the Haitian Ministry of Health endorsed the "Option B+" strategy to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and achieve HIV epidemic control. The objective of this paper is to assess and identify risk factors for attrition from the national ART program among Option B+ patients in the 12 months after ART initiation. DESIGN: This retrospective cohort study included patients newly initiating ART from October 2012-August 2013 at 68 ART sites covering 45% of all newly enrolled ART patients in all regions of Haiti. METHODS: With data from electronic medical records, we carried out descriptive analysis of sociodemographic, clinical, and pregnancy-related correlates of ART attrition, and used a modified Poisson regression approach to estimate relative risks in a multivariable model. RESULTS: There were 2,166 Option B+ patients who initiated ART, of whom 1,023 were not retained by 12 months (47.2%). One quarter (25.3%) dropped out within 3 months of ART initiation. Protective factors included older age, more advanced HIV disease progression, and any adherence counseling prior to ART initiation, while risk factors included starting ART late in gestation, starting ART within 7 days of HIV testing, and using an atypical ART regimen. DISCUSSION: Our study demonstrates early ART attrition among Option B+ patients and contributes evidence on the characteristics of women who are most at risk of attrition in Haiti. Our findings highlight the importance of targeted strategies to support retention among Option B+ patients.

      13. Defining the optimal dose of rifapentine for pulmonary tuberculosis: Exposure-response relations from two phase II clinical trials
        Savic RM, Weiner M, MacKenzie WR, Engle M, Whitworth WC, Johnson JL, Nsubuga P, Nahid P, Nguyen NV, Peloquin CA, Dooley KE, Dorman SE.
        Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Jan 25.
        Rifapentine is a highly active antituberculosis antibiotic with treatment-shortening potential; however, exposure-response relations and the dose needed for maximal bactericidal activity have not been established. We used pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic data from 657 adults with pulmonary tuberculosis participating in treatment trials to compare rifapentine (n = 405) with rifampin (n = 252) as part of intensive-phase therapy. Population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analyses were performed with nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Time to stable culture conversion of sputum to negative was determined in cultures obtained over 4 months of therapy. Rifapentine exposures were lower in participants who were coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus, black, male, or fasting when taking drug. Rifapentine exposure, large lung cavity size, and geographic region were independently associated with time to culture conversion in liquid media. Maximal treatment efficacy is likely achieved with rifapentine at 1,200 mg daily. Patients with large lung cavities appear less responsive to treatment, even at high rifapentine doses.

      14. Assessing HIV acquisition risks among men who have sex with men in the United States of America
        Shrestha RK, Sansom SL, Purcell DW.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2016 ;40(6):474-478.
        Men who have sex with men (MSM) can reduce their risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by using various prevention strategies and by understanding the effectiveness of each option over the short- and long-term. Strategies examined were: circumcision; insertive anal sex only; consistent, 100% self-reported condom use; and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP efficacy was based on three levels of adherence. The cumulative HIV acquisition risk among MSM over periods of 1 year and 10 years were estimated with and without single and combinations of prevention strategies. A Bernoulli process model was used to estimate risk. In the base case with no prevention strategies, the 1-year risk of HIV acquisition among MSM was 8.8%. In contrast, the 1-year risk associated with circumcision alone was 6.9%; with insertive sex only, 5.5%; with 100% self-reported condom use, 2.7%; and with average, high, and very high PrEP adherence, 5.1%, 2.5%, and 0.7%, respectively. The 10-year risk of HIV acquisition among MSM with no prevention strategy was 60.3%. In contrast, that associated with circumcision alone was 51.1%; with insertive sex only, 43.1%; with 100% self-reported condom use, 24.0%; and with average, high, and very high PrEP adherence, 40.5%, 22.2%, and 7.2%, respectively. While MSM face substantial risk of HIV, there are now a number of prevention strategies that reduce risk. Very high adherence to PrEP alone or with other strategies appears to be the most powerful tool for HIV prevention.

      15. Adoption of One Health in Thailand's national strategic plan for emerging infectious diseases
        Sommanustweechai A, Iamsirithaworn S, Patcharanarumol W, Kalpravidh W, Tangcharoensathien V.
        J Public Health Policy. 2017 Feb;38(1):121-136.
        This study illustrates how Thailand adopted the One Health concept. Massive socio-economic and health consequences of emerging infectious diseases, especially Avian Influenza in 2004, led to recognition of the importance of and need for One Health. Based on collaboration and consultative meetings between the national actors and international development partners, Thailand adopted One Health to drive more effective containment of Emerging Infectious Diseases. This concept gained support from the non-governmental and civil society organizations through processes of the National Health Assembly. In 2012, a Cabinet resolution endorsed a National Strategic Plan for Emerging Infectious Diseases (2013-2016), in which One Health appeared as a core principle. Collaboration among multi-disciplinary groups of professionals, particularly epidemiologists trained in Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETP), including FETP, FETP-veterinarian, and FETP-wildlife veterinarians, promoted implementation of One Health.

      16. Risk factors for influenza-associated severe acute respiratory illness hospitalization in South Africa, 2012-2015
        Tempia S, Walaza S, Moyes J, Cohen AL, von Mollendorf C, Treurnicht FK, Venter M, Pretorius M, Hellferscee O, Mtshali S, Seleka M, Tshangela A, Nguweneza A, McAnerney JM, Wolter N, von Gottberg A, Dawood H, Variava E, Madhi SA, Cohen C.
        Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2017 ;4(1):1-10.
        Background. Data on risk factors for influenza-associated hospitalizations in low- and middle-income countries are limited. Methods. We conducted active syndromic surveillance for hospitalized severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and outpatient influenza-like illness (ILI) in 2 provinces of South Africa during 2012-2015. We compared the characteristics of influenza-positive patients with SARI to those with ILI to identify factors associated with severe disease requiring hospitalization, using unconditional logistic regression. Results. During the study period, influenza virus was detected in 5.9% (110 of 1861) and 15.8% (577 of 3652) of SARI and ILI cases, respectively. On multivariable analysis factors significantly associated with increased risk of influenza-associated SARI hospitalization were as follows: younger and older age ( < 6 months [adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 37.6], 6-11 months [aOR, 31.9], 12-23 months [aOR, 22.1], 24-59 months [aOR, 7.1], and >/=65 years [aOR, 40.7] compared with 5-24 years of age), underlying medical conditions (aOR, 4.5), human immunodeficiency virus infection (aOR, 4.3), and Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization density >/=1000 deoxyribonucleic acid copies/mL (aOR, 4.8). Underlying medical conditions in children aged < 5 years included asthma (aOR, 22.7), malnutrition (aOR, 2.4), and prematurity (aOR, 4.8); in persons aged >/=5 years, conditions included asthma (aOR, 3.6), diabetes (aOR, 7.1), chronic lung diseases (aOR, 10.7), chronic heart diseases (aOR, 9.6), and obesity (aOR, 21.3). Mine workers (aOR, 13.8) and pregnant women (aOR, 12.5) were also at increased risk for influenza-associated hospitalization. Conclusions. The risk groups identified in this study may benefit most from annual influenza immunization, and children < 6 months of age may be protected through vaccination of their mothers during pregnancy.

      17. Trends in hospitalizations related to invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis in the United States, 2000-2013
        Vallabhaneni S, Benedict K, Derado G, Mody RK.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 ;4(1):1-8.
        Background. Invasive aspergillosis (IA) and mucormycosis contribute to substantial mortality, especially among immunocompromised persons, including those with hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), hematologic malignancy (HM), and solid organ transplant (SOT). Methods. Using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes available in the National Inpatient Sample, a hospital discharge database, we estimated IA-related hospitalizations (IA-RH), mucormycosis-RH (M-RH), HSCT-RH, HM-RH, and SOT-RH during 2000-2013. United States census data were used to calculate overall M-RH and IA-RH rates and present trends; estimated annual numbers of HSCT-RH, HM-RH, and SOT-RH served as denominators to calculate M-RH and IA-RH rates occurring with these conditions. Weighted least-squares technique was used to test for linear trends and calculate average annual percentage change (APC). Results. There were an estimated 169 110 IA-RH and 9966 M-RH during 2000-2013. Overall, IA-RH and M-RH rates per million persons rose from 32.8 to 46.0 (APC = +2.9; P < .001) and 1.7 to 3.4 (APC = +5.2%; P < .001), respectively, from 2000 to 2013. Among HSCT-RH, there was no significant change in M-RH rate, but a significant decline occurred in IA-RH rate (APC = -4.6%; P = .004). Among HM-RH, the rate of M-RH increased (APC = +7.0%; P < .001), but the IA-RH rate did not change significantly (APC = +1.2%; P = .073). Among SOT-RH, M-RH (APC = +6.3%; P = .038) and IA-RH rates (APC = +4.1%; P < .001) both increased. Conclusions. Overall IA-RH and M-RH rates increased during 2000-2013, with a doubling of M-RH. Mucormycosis-related hospitalization occurring in conjunction with certain comorbidities increased, whereas IA-RH rates among patients with the comorbidities, decreased, remained stable, or increased to a lesser extent than M-RH.

    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services RSS Word feed
      1. Hospital impact after a chemical spill that compromised the potable water supply: West Virginia, January 2014
        Hsu J, Del Rosario MC, Thomasson E, Bixler D, Haddy L, Duncan MA.
        Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2017 Mar 06:1-4.
        In January 2014, a chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol and propylene glycol phenyl ethers contaminated the potable water supply of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents. To understand the spill's impact on hospital operations, we surveyed representatives from 10 hospitals in the affected area during January 2014. We found that the spill-related loss of potable water affected many aspects of hospital patient care (eg, surgery, endoscopy, hemodialysis, and infection control of Clostridium difficile). Hospital emergency preparedness planning could be enhanced by specifying alternative sources of potable water sufficient for hemodialysis, C. difficile infection control, and hospital processing and cleaning needs (in addition to drinking water). (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;page 1 of 4).

      2. Medical response to a vinyl chloride release from a train derailment: New Jersey, 2012
        Shumate AM, Taylor J, McFarland E, Tan C, Duncan MA.
        Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2017 Mar 06:1-7.
        OBJECTIVE: The objective of this investigation was to examine the health impact of and medical response to a mass casualty chemical incident caused by a vinyl chloride release. METHODS: Key staff at area hospitals were interviewed about communication during the response, the number of patients treated and care required, and lessons learned. Clinical information related to the incident and medical history were abstracted from hospital charts. RESULTS: Hospital interviews identified a desire for more thorough and timely incident-specific information and an under-utilization of regionally available resources. Two hundred fifty-six hospital visits (96.2%) were at the facility closest to the site of the derailment. Of 237 initial visits at which the patient was examined by a physician, 231 patients (97.5%) were treated in the emergency department (ED) and 6 patients (2.5%) were admitted; 5 admitted patients (83.3%) had preexisting medical conditions. Thirteen of 14 asymptomatic ED patients were children under the age of 10 years. One hundred forty-five patients (62.8%) discharged from the ED were diagnosed solely with exposure to vinyl chloride. CONCLUSIONS: Continuous emergency response planning might facilitate communication and better distribution of patient surge across hospitals. Individuals with multiple medical conditions and parents and caretakers of children may serve as target groups for risk communication following acute chemical releases. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;page 1 of 7).

    • Environmental Health RSS Word feed
      1. Exposure to phytoestrogens in utero and age at menarche in a contemporary British cohort
        Marks KJ, Hartman TJ, Taylor EV, Rybak ME, Northstone K, Marcus M.
        Environ Res. 2017 Mar 01;155:287-293.
        Phytoestrogens are estrogenic compounds that occur naturally in plants. Phytoestrogens can cross the placenta, and animal studies have found associations between in utero exposure to phytoestrogens and markers of early puberty. We investigated the association between in utero exposure to phytoestrogens and early menarche (defined as <11.5 years of age at onset) using data from a nested case-control study within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal study involving families living in the South West of England. Concentrations of six phytoestrogens were measured in maternal urine samples collected during pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to explore associations between tertiles of phytoestrogen concentrations and menarche status, with adjustment for maternal age at menarche, maternal education, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), child birth order, duration of breastfeeding, and gestational age at sample collection. Among 367 mother-daughter dyads, maternal median (interquartile range) creatinine-corrected concentrations (in microg/g creatinine) were: genistein 62.1 (27.1-160.9), daidzein 184.8 (88.8-383.7), equol 4.3 (2.8-9.0), O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA) 13.0 (4.4-34.5), enterodiol 76.1 (39.1-135.8), and enterolactone 911.7 (448.1-1558.0). In analyses comparing those in the highest tertile relative to those in the lowest tertile of in utero phytoestrogen exposure, higher enterodiol levels were inversely associated with early menarche (odds ratio (OR)=0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26-0.83), while higher O-DMA levels were associated with early menarche (OR=1.89; 95% CI: 1.04-3.42). These findings suggest that in utero exposure to phytoestrogens may be associated with earlier age at menarche, though the direction of association differs across phytoestrogens.

      2. Severe lead toxicity attributed to bullet fragments retained in soft tissue
        Weiss D, Lee D, Feldman R, Smith KE.
        BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Mar 08;2017.
        A man aged 30 years presented to an emergency department with a 1 month history of severe abdominal pain, jaundice, constipation, lower extremity weakness and weight loss. A peripheral blood smear was performed that showed basophilic stippling of erythrocytes prompting a blood lead level (BLL) evaluation. The patient had a BLL of >200 microg/dL. Retained bullet fragments were identified in the left lower extremity from a previous gunshot wound 10 years prior. Lead from the excised bullet fragment was consistent with the patient's blood lead by isotope ratio analysis. This case is a rare example of a severely elevated BLL attributed to bullet fragments in soft tissue. Bullets retained in soft tissue are not often considered a risk factor for a markedly elevated BLL because they become encapsulated within the tissue over time.

    • Food Safety RSS Word feed
      1. Prevalence and risk factors of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in bulk milk from cattle, sheep, and goats in Jordan
        Obaidat MM, Kersh GJ.
        J Food Prot. 2017 Mar 08:561-566.
        This large-scale cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence, geographical distribution, and risk factors for the presence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk derived from dairy cattle, sheep, and goats in Jordan. Bulk milk samples were collected from 78 dairy cattle, 48 sheep, and 23 goat farms from various places in Jordan according to the density of these animal species in each region of the country. The samples were tested for C. burnetii antibodies using the CHEKIT Q-Fever Antibody ELISA kit. A standardized questionnaire was also used to collect data from each farm to identify and rank the risk factors for the presence of C. burnetii antibodies. The results revealed that 62.9% (95% confidence interval: 55.1 to 70.0%) of the tested ruminant farms were positive for C. burnetii antibodies. Positive results were obtained from 70.9% (60.6 to 79.5%) of dairy cattle farms, 52.1% (38.3 to 65.5%) of sheep farms, and 56.0% (37.1 to 73.3%) of goat farms. Six factors were associated with the presence of these antibodies on cattle farms, and five factors were associated with these antibodies on sheep and goat farms (chi-square test). The multivariate logistic regression model revealed that large dairy cattle farms, farms that add new animals to the herd, farms that infrequently clean the feeders, and farms in particular areas are 28.6, 19.9, 8.0, and 6.4 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. Sheep and goat farms that mix their animals with those from other farms, graze more than 5 km, and infrequently sanitize the feeders were 8.0, 0.06, and 13.6 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. These data reveal the widespread exposure of Jordanian ruminants to C. burnetii and suggest a high risk for public health.

    • Genetics and Genomics RSS Word feed
      1. Mutating the CX3C motif in the G protein should make a live respiratory syncytial virus vaccine safer and more effective
        Boyoglu-Barnum S, Todd SO, Meng J, Barnum TR, Chirkova T, Haynes LM, Jadhao SJ, Tripp RA, Oomens AG, Moore ML, Anderson LJ.
        J Virol. 2017 Mar 08.
        Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae and is the single most important cause of serious lower respiratory tract infections in young children, yet no highly effective treatment or vaccine is available. Through a CX3C chemokine motif (182CWAIC186) in the G protein, RSV binds to the corresponding chemokine receptor, CX3CR1. Since RSV binding to CX3CR1 contributes to disease pathogenesis, we investigated whether a mutation in the CX3C motif by insertion of an alanine A186 within the CX3C motif to CX4C (182CWAIAC187), known to block binding to CX3CR1, might decrease disease. We studied the effect of the CX4C mutation in two strains of RSV (A2 and r19F) in a mouse challenge model. We included the RSV r19F because it induces mucous production and airway resistance, two manifestations of RSV infection in humans, in mice. Compared to wildtype virus (wt), mice infected with the CX4C had a 0.7 to 1.2 log10-fold lower virus titer in the lung at 5 days p.i. and had markedly reduced weight loss, pulmonary inflammatory cell infiltration, mucous production, and airway resistance after challenge. This decrease in disease was not dependent on decrease in virus replication but did correspond to a decrease in pulmonary Th2 and inflammatory cytokines. Mice infected with CX4C viruses also had higher antibody titers and a Th1 biased T cell memory response at 75 days pi. These results suggest that the CX4C mutation in the G protein could improve the safety and efficacy of a live attenuated RSV vaccine.Importance RSV binds to the corresponding chemokine receptor, CX3CR1, through a CX3C chemokine motif (182CWAIC186) in the G protein. RSV binding to CX3CR1 contributes to disease pathogenesis, therefore, we investigated whether a mutation in the CX3C motif by insertion of an alanine A186 within the CX3C motif to CX4C (182CWAIAC187), known to block binding to CX3CR1, might decrease disease. The effect of this mutation and treatment with the F(ab')2 form of the anti-RSV G 131-2G mAb show that mutating the CX3C motif to CX4C blocks much of the disease and immune modulation associated with the G protein and should improve the safety and efficacy of a live attenuated RSV vaccine.

      2. Vaginal microbiome and its relationship to behavior, sexual health, and sexually transmitted diseases
        Lewis FM, Bernstein KT, Aral SO.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Mar 06.
        The vaginal microbiota has great significance in maintaining vaginal health and protecting the host from disease. Recent advances in molecular techniques and informatics allow researchers to explore microbial composition in detail and to compare the structure of vaginal microbial communities with behavior and health outcomes, particularly acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and poor birth outcomes. Vaginal flora have been found to cluster into a limited number of communities, although community structure is dynamic. Certain community types are more associated with poor reproductive outcomes and STDs; communities dominated by Lactobacillus species, particularly Lactobacillus crispatus, are most associated with vaginal health. Modifiable and nonmodifiable factors are strongly associated with community composition, including behavior, race or ethnicity, and hygiene. In this review, we describe the state of the science on the vaginal microbiome and its relationship to behavior, sexual health, and STDs, including determinants of the microbiome that go beyond an individual level.

      3. Short-read whole genome sequencing for determination of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and capsular serotypes of current invasive Streptococcus agalactiae recovered in the United States
        Metcalf BJ, Chochua S, Gertz RE, Hawkins PA, Ricaldi J, Li Z, Walker H, Tran T, Rivers J, Mathis S, Jackson D, Glennen A, Lynfield R, McGee L, Beall B.
        Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Feb 28.
        OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to evaluate and exploit a whole genome sequence (WGS) bioinformatics pipeline for predicting antimicrobial resistance and capsular serotypes from invasive group B streptococci (iGBS). METHODS: For 1975 iGBS recovered during 2015 from CDC's Active Bacterial Core surveillance, we compared pipeline predictions to broth dilution testing. Fifty-six isolates from earlier surveillance were included for testing beta-lactams.. Conventional serotyping was compared to WGS-based assignments for 302 isolates. RESULTS: All 28 isolates with reduced susceptibility to beta-lactam antibiotics harbored one of 19 rare PBP2x types. Resistances to erythromycin/clindamycin (808/1975 isolates, 41.0%), erythromycin (235/1975, 11.9%), and lincosamide/streptogramin A/pleuromutilins (56/1975, 2.8%) were predicted by presence of erm-methylase, mef, and lsa determinants, respectively (41 of 56 lsa gene positive isolates also contained lnu, erm, and/or mef genes). Presence of both erm and lsa determinants (25 isolates) predicted nonsusceptibility to quinupristin/dalfopristin. Most isolates (1680/1975, 85.1%) were tet gene-positive, although 41/1565 (2.6%) tetM-positive isolates were tetracycline-susceptible. All 53 fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates contained ParC and/or GyrA substitutions. Resistances to rifampin (8 isolates), trimethoprim, chloramphenicol and vancomycin (2 isolates each) were predicted by the pipeline. Resistance to macrolides/lincosamides without pipeline prediction was rare and correlated to divergent resistance genes or rRNA A2062G substitution. A selection of 267 isolates assigned WGS-based serotypes were also conventionally serotyped. Of these, 246 (92.1%) were in agreement, with the remaining 21 (7.8%) conventionally non-serotypeable. For thirty-two of 1975 isolates (1.6%), WGS-based serotypes could not be assigned. CONCLUSION: WGS-based assignment of iGBS resistance features and serotypes is an accurate substitute for phenotypic testing.

      4. Attitudes of clinicians following large-scale pharmacogenomics implementation
        Peterson JF, Field JR, Shi Y, Schildcrout JS, Denny JC, McGregor TL, Van Driest SL, Pulley JM, Lubin IM, Laposata M, Roden DM, Clayton EW.
        Pharmacogenomics J. 2016 Aug;16(4):393-8.
        Clinician attitudes toward multiplexed genomic testing may be vital to the success of translational programs. We surveyed clinicians at an academic medical center about their views on a large pharmacogenomics implementation, the PREDICT (Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care and Treatment) program. Participants were asked about test ordering, major factors influencing use of results, expectations of efficacy and responsibility for applying results to patient care. Virtually all respondents (99%) agreed that pharmacogenomics variants influence patients' response to drug therapy. The majority (92%) favored immediate, active notification when a clinically significant drug-genome interaction was present. However, clinicians were divided on which providers were responsible for acting on a result when a prescription change was indicated and whether patients should be directly notified of a significant result. We concluded genotype results were valued for tailoring prescriptions, but clinicians do not agree on how to appropriately assign clinical responsibility for actionable results from a multiplexed panel.

      5. Genome sequences of two Brucella suis strains isolated from the same patient, 8 years apart
        Viana MV, Wattam AR, Govil Batra D, Boisvert S, Brettin TS, Frace M, Xia F, Azevedo V, Tiller R, Hoffmaster AR.
        Genome Announc. 2017 Mar 02;5(9).
        Brucella suis is a Gram-negative, facultative intracellular pathogen that has pigs as its preferred host, but it can also infect humans. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of two B. suis strains that were isolated from the same patient, 8 years apart.

    • Health Behavior and Risk RSS Word feed
      1. eHealth Familias Unidas: Pilot study of an internet adaptation of an evidence-based family intervention to reduce drug use and sexual risk behaviors among Hispanic adolescents
        Estrada Y, Molleda L, Murray A, Drumhiller K, Tapia M, Sardinas K, Rosen A, Pantin H, Perrino T, Sutton M, Cano MA, Dorcius D, Wendorf Muhamad J, Prado G.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Mar 04;14(3).
        This paper describes the Internet adaptation of an evidenced-based intervention for Hispanic families, eHealth Familias Unidas, and explores whether an Internet-based format is feasible and acceptable to Hispanic families. Core intervention components from the evidence-based intervention, Familias Unidas, were transposed into a video format and edited for content. Additionally, interactive exercises and a soap opera series were incorporated to reinforce intervention content and optimize participant engagement and retention. To understand the feasibility and acceptability of eHealth Familias Unidas, we conducted a pilot study and examined findings from: (1) session completion rates for both e-parent group sessions and family sessions (n = 23 families); and (2) qualitative data collected from Hispanic parents (n = 29) that received the eHealth intervention. Engagement and attendance in the intervention showed that 83% of families engaged in the intervention and that there was an overall session completion rate of 78%. Qualitative interviews were conducted mid and post intervention with a combined total of 29 participants. A general inductive approach was used to derive themes from the collected data. Overall, parents expressed positive feedback in regards to the intervention and stated that there were multiple lessons learned from participating in eHealth Familias Unidas. Findings indicate that an Internet-based family intervention is not only feasible and acceptable for Hispanic families, but also offers a viable option to ameliorate barriers to participation and implementation of preventive interventions.

    • Health Disparities RSS Word feed
      1. Socioeconomic factors at the intersection of race and ethnicity influencing health risks for people with disabilities
        Courtney-Long EA, Romano SD, Carroll DD, Fox MH.
        J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2016 Apr 08.
        OBJECTIVES: People with disabilities are known to experience disparities in behavioral health risk factors including smoking and obesity. What is unknown is how disability, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status combine to affect prevalence of these health behaviors. We assessed the association between race/ethnicity, socioeconomic factors (income and education), and disability on two behavioral health risk factors. METHODS: Data from the 2007-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to determine prevalence of cigarette smoking and obesity by disability status, further stratified by race and ethnicity as well as income and education. Logistic regression was used to determine associations of income and education with the two behavioral health risk factors, stratified by race and ethnicity. RESULTS: Prevalence of disability by race and ethnicity ranged from 10.1 % of Asian adults to 31.0 % of American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) adults. Smoking prevalence increased with decreasing levels of income and education for most racial and ethnic groups, with over half of white (52.4 %) and AIAN adults (59.3 %) with less than a high school education reporting current smoking. Education was inversely associated with obesity among white, black, and Hispanic adults with a disability. CONCLUSION: Smoking and obesity varied by race and ethnicity and socioeconomic factors (income and education) among people with disabilities. Our findings suggest that disparities experienced by adults with disabilities may be compounded by disparities associated with race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic factors. This knowledge may help programs in formulating health promotion strategies targeting people at increased risk for smoking and obesity, inclusive of those with disabilities.

      2. Early childhood education to promote health equity: A Community Guide economic review
        Ramon I, Chattopadhyay SK, Barnett WS, Hahn RA.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017 Mar 01.
        CONTEXT: A recent Community Guide systematic review found that early childhood education (ECE) programs improve educational, social, and health-related outcomes and advance health equity because many are designed to increase enrollment for high-risk children. This follow-up economic review examines how the economic benefits of center-based ECE programs compare with their costs. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Kay and Pennucci from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, whose meta-analysis formed the basis of the Community Guide effectiveness review, conducted a benefit-cost analysis of ECE programs for low-income children in Washington State. We performed an electronic database search using both effectiveness and economic key words to identify additional cost-benefit studies published through May 2015. Kay and Pennucci also provided us with national-level benefit-cost estimates for state and district and federal Head Start programs. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The median benefit-to-cost ratio from 11 estimates of earnings gains, the major benefit driver for 3 types of ECE programs (ie, state and district, federal Head Start, and model programs), was 3.39:1 (interquartile interval [IQI] = 2.48-4.39). The overall median benefit-to-cost ratio from 7 estimates of total benefits, based on all benefit components including earnings gains, was 4.19:1 (IQI = 2.62-8.60), indicating that for every dollar invested in the program, there was a return of $4.19 in total benefits. CONCLUSIONS: ECE programs promote both equity and economic efficiency. Evidence indicates there is positive social return on investment in ECE irrespective of the type of ECE program. The adoption of a societal perspective is crucial to understand all costs and benefits of ECE programs regardless of who pays for the costs or receives the benefits.

      3. Translating comparative effectiveness research into practice: Effects of interventions on lifestyle, medication adherence, and self-care for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents of Chicago and Houston, 2010 to 2013
        Rashid JR, Leath BA, Truman BI, Atkinson DD, Gary LC, Manian N.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017 Mar 01.
        CONTEXT: In the United States, racial/ethnic minorities account for disproportionate disease and death from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; however, interventions with measured efficacy in comparative effectiveness research are often not adopted or used widely in those communities. OBJECTIVE: To assess implementation and effects of comparative effectiveness research-proven interventions translated for minority communities. DESIGN: Mixed-method assessment with pretest-posttest single-group evaluation design. SETTING: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, research contractor, and advisory board; health centers, including a federally qualified community health center in Chicago, Illinois; and public housing facilities for seniors in Houston, Texas. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 97 black, Hispanic, and Asian participants with any combination of health care provider-diagnosed type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or obesity. INTERVENTIONS: Virtual training institutes where intervention staff learned cultural competency methods of adapting effective interventions. Health educators delivered the Health Empowerment Lifestyle Program (HELP) in Chicago; community pharmacists delivered the MyRx Medication Adherence Program in Houston. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participation rates, satisfaction with interventions during January to April 2013, and pre- to postintervention changes in knowledge, diet, and clinical outcomes were analyzed through July 2013. RESULTS: In Chicago, 38 patients experienced statistically significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c and systolic blood pressure, increased knowledge of hypertension management, and improved dietary behaviors. In Houston, 38 subsidized housing residents had statistically nonsignificant improvements in knowledge of self-management and adherence to medication for diabetes and hypertension but high levels of participation in pharmacist home visits and group education classes. CONCLUSION: Adaptation, adoption, and implementation of HELP and MyRx demonstrated important postintervention changes among racial/ethnic participants in Chicago and Houston. The communities faced similar implementation challenges across settings, targets of change, and cities. Available resources were insufficient to sustain benefits with measurable impact on racial/ethnic disparities beyond the study period. Results suggest the need for implementation studies of longer duration, greater power, and salience to policies and programs that can sustain longterm interventions on a community-wide scale.

    • Health Economics RSS Word feed
      1. The cost of cost-sharing: The impact of Medicaid benefit design on influenza vaccination uptake
        Stoecker C, Stewart AM, Lindley MC.
        Vaccines (Basel). 2017 Mar 06;5(1).
        Prior research indicates that cost-sharing and lack of insurance coverage reduce preventive services use among low-income persons. State Medicaid policy may affect the uptake of recommended adult vaccinations. We examined the impact of three aspects of Medicaid benefit design (coverage for vaccines, prohibiting cost-sharing, and copayment amounts) on vaccine uptake in the fee-for-service Medicaid population 19-64 years old. We combined previously published reports to obtain state Medicaid policy information from 2003 and 2012. Data on influenza vaccination uptake were taken from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We used a differences-in-differences framework, controlling for national trends and state differences, to estimate the effect of each benefit design factor on vaccination uptake in different Medicaid-eligible populations. Each additional dollar of copayment for vaccination decreased influenza vaccination coverage 1-6 percentage points. The effects of covering vaccines or prohibiting cost-sharing were mixed. Imposing copayments for vaccination is associated with lower vaccination coverage. These findings have implications for the implementation of Medicaid expansion in states that currently impose copayments.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections RSS Word feed
      1. Notes from the field: Hepatitis C transmission from inappropriate reuse of saline flush syringes for multiple patients in an acute care general hospital - Texas, 2015
        Arnold S, Melville SK, Morehead B, Vaughan G, Moorman A, Crist MB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Mar 10;66(9):258-260.
        [No abstract]

      2. Lessons from an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease on a hematology-oncology unit
        Francois Watkins LK, Toews KE, Harris AM, Davidson S, Ayers-Millsap S, Lucas CE, Hubbard BC, Kozak-Muiznieks NA, Khan E, Kutty PK.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2017 Mar;38(3):306-313.
        OBJECTIVES To define the scope of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (LD), to identify the source, and to stop transmission. DESIGN AND SETTING Epidemiologic investigation of an LD outbreak among patients and a visitor exposed to a newly constructed hematology-oncology unit. METHODS An LD case was defined as radiographically confirmed pneumonia in a person with positive urinary antigen testing and/or respiratory culture for Legionella and exposure to the hematology-oncology unit after February 20, 2014. Cases were classified as definitely or probably healthcare-associated based on whether they were exposed to the unit for all or part of the incubation period (2-10 days). We conducted an environmental assessment and collected water samples for culture. Clinical and environmental isolates were compared by monoclonal antibody (MAb) and sequence-based typing. RESULTS Over a 12-week period, 10 cases were identified, including 6 definite and 4 probable cases. Environmental sampling revealed Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) in the potable water at 9 of 10 unit sites (90%), including all patient rooms tested. The 3 clinical isolates were identical to environmental isolates from the unit (MAb2-positive, sequence type ST36). No cases occurred with exposure after the implementation of water restrictions followed by point-of-use filters. CONCLUSIONS Contamination of the unit's potable water system with Lp1 strain ST36 was the likely source of this outbreak. Healthcare providers should routinely test patients who develop pneumonia at least 2 days after hospital admission for LD. A single case of LD that is definitely healthcare associated should prompt a full investigation. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:306-313.

    • Immunity and Immunization RSS Word feed
      1. Letter to the editor: Regarding the editorial by Penttinen and Friede
        Fry AM, Flannery B, Olsen SJ, Grohskopf L, Bresee J.
        Euro Surveill. 2016 Oct 06;21(40).
        [No abstract]

      2. Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake: Increase for American Indian adolescents, 2013-2015
        Jacobs-Wingo JL, Jim CC, Groom AV.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Feb 27.
        INTRODUCTION: Although Indian Health Service, tribally-operated, and urban Indian (I/T/U) healthcare facilities have higher human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series initiation and completion rates among adolescent patients aged 13-17 years than the general U.S. population, challenges remain. I/T/U facilities have lower coverage for HPV vaccine first dose compared with coverage for other adolescent vaccines, and HPV vaccine series completion rates are lower than initiation rates. Researchers aimed to assist I/T/U facilities in identifying interventions to increase HPV vaccination series initiation and completion rates. STUDY DESIGN: Best practice and intervention I/T/U healthcare facilities were identified based on baseline adolescent HPV vaccine coverage data. Healthcare professionals were interviewed about barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination. Researchers used responses and evidence-based practices to identify and assist facilities in implementing interventions to increase adolescent HPV vaccine series initiation and completion. Coverage and interview data were collected from June 2013 to June 2015; data were analyzed in 2015. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: I/T/U healthcare facilities located within five Indian Health Service regions. INTERVENTION: Interventions included analyzing and providing feedback on facility vaccine coverage data, educating providers about HPV vaccine, expanding access to HPV vaccine, and establishing or expanding reminder recall and education efforts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Impact of evidence-based strategies and best practices to support HPV vaccination. RESULTS: Mean baseline first dose coverage with HPV vaccine at best practice facilities was 78% compared with 46% at intervention facilities. Mean third dose coverage was 48% at best practice facilities versus 19% at intervention facilities. Intervention facilities implemented multiple low-cost, evidence-based strategies and best practices to increase vaccine coverage. At baseline, most facilities used electronic provider reminders, had standing orders in place for administering HPV vaccine, and administered tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis and HPV vaccines during the same visit. At intervention sites, mean coverage for HPV initiation and completion increased by 24% and 22%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A tailored multifaceted approach addressing vaccine delivery processes and patient and provider education may increase HPV vaccine coverage.

      3. Severe varicella in persons vaccinated with varicella vaccine (breakthrough varicella): a systematic literature review
        Leung J, Broder KR, Marin M.
        Expert Rev Vaccines. 2017 Apr;16(4):391-400.
        INTRODUCTION: Varicella vaccines are highly effective at preventing disease, but varicella may occur among vaccinated persons (termed breakthrough varicella). Breakthrough varicella is generally mild, but severe cases have been reported. The objective of this review is to describe severe breakthrough varicella. Areas covered: We conducted a systematic review of articles published during 1974-2016. A total of 34 articles were included in our review: 21 described breakthrough varicella with disseminated varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection with other organ involvement in addition to skin (none among two-dose vaccinees); 9 described hospitalized breakthrough varicella without mention of other organ involvement in addition to skin (of which 2 reported 4 two-dose vaccinees); and 4 described both. A total of 52-60 unique breakthrough varicella cases with disseminated VZV infection with other organ involvement in addition to skin reported with the following complications, not mutually exclusive: pneumonia (n = 8-9 cases), neurologic (n = 18-24 cases), hematologic (n = 10-11 cases), ocular (n = 5 cases), renal (n = 2 cases), hepatic (n = 3 cases), secondary infection with bacteremia or sepsis (n = 8 cases), and other complication (n = 4 cases). There were 6 cases of fatal breakthrough varicella. Expert commentary: With >31 million doses distributed annually worldwide since 2007, severe breakthrough varicella can occur but they appear to be uncommon.

      4. Adverse events following quadrivalent meningococcal CRM-conjugate vaccine (Menveo(R)) reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system (VAERS), 2010-2015
        Myers TR, McNeil MM, Ng CS, Li R, Lewis PW, Cano MV.
        Vaccine. 2017 Mar 02.
        BACKGROUND: Limited data are available describing the post-licensure safety of meningococcal vaccines, including Menveo(R). We reviewed reports of adverse events (AEs) to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to assess safety in all age groups. METHODS: VAERS is a national spontaneous vaccine safety surveillance system co-administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration. We searched the VAERS database for US reports of adverse events in persons who received Menveo from 1 January 2010 through 31 December 2015. We clinically reviewed reports and available medical records for serious AEs, selected pre-specified outcomes, and vaccination during pregnancy. We used empirical Bayesian data mining to identify AEs that were disproportionately reported after receipt of Menveo. RESULTS: During the study period, VAERS received 2614 US reports after receipt of Menveo. Of these, 67 were classified as serious, including 1 report of death. Adolescents (aged 11-18years) accounted for 74% of reports. Most of the reported AEs were non-serious and described AEs consistent with data from pre-licensure studies. Anaphylaxis and syncope were the two most common events in the serious reports. We did not identify any new safety concerns after review of AEs that exceeded the data mining threshold, although we did observe disproportionate reporting for terms that were not associated with an adverse event (e.g., "incorrect drug dosage form administered", "wrong technique in drug usage process"). Although reports were limited, we did not find any evidence for concern regarding the use of Menveo during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: In our review of VAERS reports, findings of AEs were consistent with the data from pre-licensure studies. Vaccine providers should continue to emphasize and adhere to proper administration of the vaccine.

      5. Policy making for vaccine use as a driver of vaccine innovation and development in the developed world
        Seib K, Pollard AJ, de Wals P, Andrews RM, Zhou F, Hatchett RJ, Pickering LK, Orenstein WA.
        Vaccine. 2017 Mar 07;35(10):1380-1389.
        In the past 200years, vaccines have had unmistakable impacts on public health including declines in morbidity and mortality, most markedly in economically-developed countries. Highly engineered vaccines including vaccines for conditions other than infectious diseases are expected to dominate future vaccine development. We examine immunization vaccine policy as a driver of vaccine innovation and development. The pathways to recommendation for use of licensed vaccines in the US, UK, Canada and Australia have been similar, including: expert review of disease epidemiology, disease burden and severity; vaccine immunogenicity, efficacy and safety; programmatic feasibility; public demand; and increasingly cost-effectiveness. Other attributes particularly important in development of future vaccines are likely to include: duration of immunity for improved vaccines such as pertussis; a greater emphasis on optimizing community protection rather than direct protection only; programmatic implementation, feasibility, improvements (as in the case of development of a universal influenza vaccine); public concerns/confidence/fears related to outbreak pathogens like Ebola and Zika virus; and major societal burden for combating hard to treat diseases like HIV and antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Driving innovation and production of future vaccines faces enormous economic hurdles as available approaches, technologies and regulatory pathways become more complex. As such, cost-mitigating strategies and focused, aligned efforts (by governments, private organizations, and private-public partnerships) will likely be needed to continue to spur major advances in vaccine technologies and development.

      6. Human papillomavirus vaccine as an anticancer vaccine: Collaborative efforts to promote human papillomavirus vaccine in the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
        Townsend JS, Steele CB, Hayes N, Bhatt A, Moore AR.
        J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Mar 06.
        Widespread use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has the potential to reduce incidence from HPV-associated cancers. However, vaccine uptake among adolescents remains well below the Healthy People 2020 targets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) awardees are well positioned to work with immunization programs to increase vaccine uptake. The CDC chronic disease management information system was queried for objectives and activities associated with HPV vaccine that were reported by NCCCP awardees from 2013 to 2016 as part of program reporting requirements. A content analysis was conducted on the query results to categorize interventions according to strategies outlined in The Guide to Community Preventive Services and the 2014 President's Cancer Panel report. Sixty-two percent of NCCCP awardees had planned or implemented at least one activity since 2013 to address low HPV vaccination coverage in their jurisdictions. Most NCCCP awardees (86%) reported community education activities, while 65% reported activities associated with provider education. Systems-based strategies such as client reminders or provider assessment and feedback were each reported by less than 25% of NCCCP awardees. Many NCCCP awardees report planning or implementing activities to address low HPV vaccination coverage, often in conjunction with state immunization programs. NCCCP awardees can play a role in increasing HPV vaccination coverage through their cancer prevention and control expertise and access to partners in the healthcare community.

    • Informatics RSS Word feed
      1. Nurse informaticians report low satisfaction and multi-level concerns with electronic health records: Results from an international survey
        Topaz M, Ronquillo C, Peltonen LM, Pruinelli L, Sarmiento RF, Badger MK, Ali S, Lewis A, Georgsson M, Jeon E, Tayaben JL, Kuo CH, Islam T, Sommer J, Jung H, Eler GJ, Alhuwail D, Lee YL.
        AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2016 ;2016:2016-2025.
        This study presents a qualitative content analysis of nurses' satisfaction and issues with current electronic health record (EHR) systems, as reflected in one of the largest international surveys of nursing informatics. Study participants from 45 countries (n=469) ranked their satisfaction with the current state of nursing functionality in EHRs as relatively low. Two-thirds of the participants (n=283) provided disconcerting comments when explaining their low satisfaction rankings. More than one half of the comments identified issues at the system level (e.g., poor system usability; non-integrated systems and poor interoperability; lack of standards; and limited functionality/missing components), followed by user-task issues (e.g., failure of systems to meet nursing clinical needs; non nursing-specific systems) and environment issues (e.g., low prevalence of EHRs; lack of user training). The study results call for the attention of international stakeholders (educators, managers, policy makers) to improve the current issues with EHRs from a nursing perspective.

    • Injury and Violence RSS Word feed
      1. Texting while driving, executive function, and impulsivity in college students
        Hayashi Y, Rivera EA, Modico JG, Foreman AM, Wirth O.
        Accid Anal Prev. 2017 Mar 03;102:72-80.
        The purpose of the present study was to investigate the cognitive processes underlying texting while driving. A sample of 120 college students completed a survey to assess how frequently they send and read a text message while driving. Based on this information, students were assigned to one of two groups: 20 students who frequently text while driving and 20 matched-control students who infrequently text while driving but were similar in gender, age, years of education, and years driving. The groups were compared on the extent to which they differed in self-reported measures of executive function and impulsivity. The groups were also compared on a behavioral measure of impulsivity: the extent to which they discounted hypothetical monetary rewards as a function of the delay. For this measure, the students made repeated choices between smaller monetary rewards available immediately and larger rewards available after delays ranging from 1 week to 6 months. The results show that the group of students who frequently text while driving showed (a) significantly lower levels of executive function and (b) higher levels of self-reported impulsivity, although the groups did not differ significantly on the behavioral measure of impulsivity. These results support a general conclusion that drivers with lower levels of executive function and higher levels of impulsivity are more likely to text while driving.

      2. Modified Delphi consensus to suggest key elements of Stepping On Falls Prevention Program
        Mahoney JE, Clemson L, Schlotthauer A, Mack KA, Shea T, Gobel V, Cech S.
        Front Public Health. 2017 ;5:21.
        Falls among older adults result in substantial morbidity and mortality. Community-based programs have been shown to decrease the rate of falls. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded a research study to determine how to successfully disseminate the evidence-based fall prevention program (Stepping On) in the community setting. As the first step for this study, a panel of subject matter experts was convened to suggest which parts of the Stepping On fall prevention program were considered key elements, which could not be modified by implementers. METHODS: Older adult fall prevention experts from the US, Canada, and Australia participated in a modified Delphi technique process to suggest key program elements of Stepping On. Forty-four experts were invited to ensure that the panel of experts would consist of equal numbers of physical therapists, occupational therapists, geriatricians, exercise scientists, and public health researchers. Consensus was determined by percent of agreement among panelists. A Rasch analysis of item fit was conducted to explore the degree of diversity and/or homogeneity of responses across our panelists. RESULTS: The Rasch analysis of the 19 panelists using fit statistics shows there was a reasonable and sufficient range of diverse perspectives (Infit MnSQ 1.01, Z score -0.1, Outfit MnSQ 0.96, Z score -0.2 with a separation of 4.89). Consensus was achieved that these elements were key: 17 of 18 adult learning elements, 11 of 22 programming, 12 of 15 exercise, 7 of 8 upgrading exercises, 2 of 4 peer co-leader's role, and all of the home visits, booster sessions, group leader's role, and background and training of group leader elements. The top five key elements were: (1) use plain language, (2) develop trust, (3) engage people in what is meaningful and contextual for them, (4) train participants for cues in self-monitoring quality of exercises, and (5) group leader learns about exercises and understands how to progress them. DISCUSSION: The Delphi consensus process suggested key elements related to Stepping On program delivery. These elements were considered essential to program effectiveness. Findings from this study laid the foundation for translation of Stepping On for broad US dissemination.

    • Laboratory Sciences RSS Word feed
      1. Aerosol characterization and pulmonary responses in rats after short-term inhalation of fumes generated during resistance spot welding of galvanized steel
        Antonini JM, Afshari A, Meighan TG, McKinney W, Jackson M, Schwegler-Berry D, Burns DA, LeBouf RF, Chen BT, Shoeb M, Zeidler-Erdely PC.
        Toxicology Reports. 2017 ;4:123-133.
        Resistance spot welding is a common process to join metals in the automotive industry. Adhesives are often used as sealers to seams of metals that are joined. Anti-spatter compounds sometimes are sprayed onto metals to be welded to improve the weldability. Spot welding produces complex aerosols composed of metal and volatile compounds (VOCs) which can cause lung disease in workers. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=12/treatment group) were exposed by inhalation to 25mg/m3 of aerosol for 4h/dayx8?days during spot welding of galvanized zinc (Zn)-coated steel in the presence or absence of a glue or anti-spatter spray. Controls were exposed to filtered air. Particle size distribution and chemical composition of the generated aerosol were determined. At 1 and 7days after exposure, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed to assess lung toxicity. The generated particles mostly were in the submicron size range with a significant number of nanometer-sized particles formed. The primary metals present in the fumes were Fe (72.5%) and Zn (26.3%). The addition of the anti-spatter spray and glue did affect particle size distribution when spot welding galvanized steel, whereas they had no effect on metal composition. Multiple VOCs (e.g., methyl methacrylate, acetaldehyde, ethanol, acetone, benzene, xylene) were identified when spot welding using either the glue or the anti-spatter spray that were not present when welding alone. Markers of lung injury (BAL lactate dehydrogenase) and inflammation (total BAL cells/neutrophils and cytokines/chemokines) were significantly elevated compared to controls 1day after exposure to the spot welding fumes. The elevated pulmonary response was transient as lung toxicity mostly returned to control values by 7days. The VOCs or the concentrations that they were generated during the animal exposures had no measurable effect on the pulmonary responses. Inhalation of galvanized spot welding fumes caused acute lung toxicity most likely due to the short-term exposure of particles that contain Zn.

      2. Microevolution of serial clinical isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii and C. gattii
        Chen Y, Farrer RA, Giamberardino C, Sakthikumar S, Jones A, Yang T, Tenor JL, Wagih O, Van Wyk M, Govender NP, Mitchell TG, Litvintseva AP, Cuomo CA, Perfect JR.
        MBio. 2017 Mar 07;8(2).
        The pathogenic species of Cryptococcus are a major cause of mortality owing to severe infections in immunocompromised as well as immunocompetent individuals. Although antifungal treatment is usually effective, many patients relapse after treatment, and in such cases, comparative analyses of the genomes of incident and relapse isolates may reveal evidence of determinative, microevolutionary changes within the host. Here, we analyzed serial isolates cultured from cerebrospinal fluid specimens of 18 South African patients with recurrent cryptococcal meningitis. The time between collection of the incident isolates and collection of the relapse isolates ranged from 124 days to 290 days, and the analyses revealed that, during this period within the patients, the isolates underwent several genetic and phenotypic changes. Considering the vast genetic diversity of cryptococcal isolates in sub-Saharan Africa, it was not surprising to find that the relapse isolates had acquired different genetic and correlative phenotypic changes. They exhibited various mechanisms for enhancing virulence, such as growth at 39 degrees C, adaptation to stress, and capsule production; a remarkable amplification of ERG11 at the native and unlinked locus may provide stable resistance to fluconazole. Our data provide a deeper understanding of the microevolution of Cryptococcus species under pressure from antifungal chemotherapy and host immune responses. This investigation clearly suggests a promising strategy to identify novel targets for improved diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis.IMPORTANCE Opportunistic infections caused by species of the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus lead to chronic meningoencephalitis and continue to ravage thousands of patients with HIV/AIDS. Despite receiving antifungal treatment, over 10% of patients develop recurrent disease. In this study, we collected isolates of Cryptococcus from cerebrospinal fluid specimens of 18 patients at the time of their diagnosis and when they relapsed several months later. We then sequenced and compared the genomic DNAs of each pair of initial and relapse isolates. We also tested the isolates for several key properties related to cryptococcal virulence as well as for their susceptibility to the antifungal drug fluconazole. These analyses revealed that the relapsing isolates manifested multiple genetic and chromosomal changes that affected a variety of genes implicated in the pathogenicity of Cryptococcus or resistance to fluconazole. This application of comparative genomics to serial clinical isolates provides a blueprint for identifying the mechanisms whereby pathogenic microbes adapt within patients to prolong disease.

      3. Letter to the editor: Evaluation of an alternative rTth-based real-time reverse transcription-PCR kit for detection of rotavirus A
        Katz EM, Gautam R, Bowen MD.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Mar 08.
        [No abstract]

      4. Serotonin regulation in a rat model of exercise-induced chronic fatigue
        Liu Z, Wu Y, Liu T, Li R, Xie M.
        Neuroscience. 2017 Feb 28.
        This study investigated the mechanisms underlying regulation of the serotonin system in the rat brain during exercise-induced chronic fatigue. High-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) was performed to measure serum tryptophan of the fatigued rat. HPLC was conducted to measure 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. In addition, 5-HT1A receptor and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) mRNA expressions were measured at the same locations using real-time PCR. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in the serum tryptophan level in rats with exercise-induced chronic fatigue. Moreover, increased 5-HT and decreased 5-HIAA levels were detected in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, and these alterations were significant. Further, 5-HTT expression was significantly increased and 5-HT1A receptor expression was significantly decreased. These results indicate that the 5-HT system plays an important role in the development of exercise-induced chronic fatigue. The 5-HT levels in different parts of the brain increased simultaneously, especially at synapses, and these alterations were associated with changes in 5-HTT and 5-HT1A mRNA expressions.

      5. GS-5734 and its parent nucleoside analog inhibit Filo-, Pneumo-, and Paramyxoviruses
        Lo MK, Jordan R, Arvey A, Sudhamsu J, Shrivastava-Ranjan P, Hotard AL, Flint M, McMullan LK, Siegel D, Clarke MO, Mackman RL, Hui HC, Perron M, Ray AS, Cihlar T, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF.
        Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 06;7:43395.
        GS-5734 is a monophosphate prodrug of an adenosine nucleoside analog that showed therapeutic efficacy in a non-human primate model of Ebola virus infection. It has been administered under compassionate use to two Ebola patients, both of whom survived, and is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for treatment of Ebola virus disease. Here we report the antiviral activities of GS-5734 and the parent nucleoside analog across multiple virus families, providing evidence to support new indications for this compound against human viruses of significant public health concern.

      6. Multi-laboratory validation study of multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) for Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, 2015
        Peters T, Bertrand S, Bjorkman JT, Brandal LT, Brown DJ, Erdosi T, Heck M, Ibrahem S, Johansson K, Kornschober C, Kotila SM, Le Hello S, Lienemann T, Mattheus W, Nielsen EM, Ragimbeau C, Rumore J, Sabol A, Torpdahl M, Trees E, Tuohy A, de Pinna E.
        Euro Surveill. 2017 Mar 02;22(9).
        Multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a rapid and reproducible typing method that is an important tool for investigation, as well as detection, of national and multinational outbreaks of a range of food-borne pathogens. Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis is the most common Salmonella serovar associated with human salmonellosis in the European Union/European Economic Area and North America. Fourteen laboratories from 13 countries in Europe and North America participated in a validation study for MLVA of S. Enteritidis targeting five loci. Following normalisation of fragment sizes using a set of reference strains, a blinded set of 24 strains with known allele sizes was analysed by each participant. The S. Enteritidis 5-loci MLVA protocol was shown to produce internationally comparable results as more than 90% of the participants reported less than 5% discrepant MLVA profiles. All 14 participating laboratories performed well, even those where experience with this typing method was limited. The raw fragment length data were consistent throughout, and the inter-laboratory validation helped to standardise the conversion of raw data to repeat numbers with at least two countries updating their internal procedures. However, differences in assigned MLVA profiles remain between well-established protocols and should be taken into account when exchanging data.

      7. Lung bioactivity of vapor grown carbon nanofibers
        Porter DW, Orandle M, Mercer RR, Wu N, Zheng P, Chen BT, Holian A, Andrew M, Leonard S, Wolfarth M, Friend S, Battelli L, Hamilton RF, Hagiwara Y, Koyama T, Castranova V.
        NanoImpact. 2017 ;6:1-10.
        Vapor grown carbon nanofibers (VGCF-H) is an example of a two dimensional carbon based nanoparticle. In the present study, male C57Bl/6J mice were exposed to VGCF-H (10-80?microg) by pharyngeal aspiration; dispersion medium (DM) was used as the vehicle. At 1, 7 and 28?days post-exposure, lung lavage and histopathology studies were conducted. VGCF-H cytotoxicity was assessed by measuring acellular lavage fluid lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, and determined that VGCF-H exposure produced dose-dependent increases in LDH activity which decreased over time. Using polymorphonuclear leukocytes as a marker, VGCF-H-exposure produced dose-dependent lung inflammation which decreased over time. Histologically, the incidence and severity of pulmonary inflammation was confirmed to be dose-dependent, and inflammatory infiltrates were characterized by increased numbers of alveolar macrophages with small numbers of neutrophils. VGCF-H caused dose- and time-dependent increases in cathepsin activity and cytokines in the acellular lavage fluid, indicating activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by VGCFH may contribute to lung inflammation. VGCF-H exposure caused minimal to mild interstitial alveolar fibrosis, characterized by increased amounts of collagen fibers in the interstitium, and the incidence and severity of fibrosis tended to increase with the VGCF-H dose. Accumulation of VGCF-H fibers in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes was observed by 28 days after exposure at 40 and 80?microg doses.

      8. Bayesian inference reveals ancient origin of simian foamy virus in orangutans
        Reid MJ, Switzer WM, Schillaci MA, Klegarth AR, Campbell E, Ragonnet M, Joanisse I, Caminiti K, Lowenberger CA, Galdikas BM, Hollocher H, Sandstrom PA, Brooks JI.
        Infect Genet Evol. 2017 Mar 05.
        Simian foamy viruses (SFVs) infect most nonhuman primate species and appears to co-evolve with its hosts. This co-evolutionary signal is particularly strong among great apes, including orangutans (genus Pongo). Previous studies have identified three distinct orangutan SFV clades. The first of these three clades is composed of SFV from P. abelii from Sumatra, the second consists of SFV from P. pygmaeus from Borneo, while the third clade is mixed, comprising an SFV strain found in both species of orangutan. The existence of the mixed clade has been attributed to an expansion of P. pygmaeus into Sumatra following the Mount Toba super-volcanic eruption about 73,000years ago. Divergence dating, however, has yet to be performed to establish a temporal association with the Toba eruption. Here, we use a Bayesian framework and a relaxed molecular clock model with fossil calibrations to test the Toba hypothesis and to gain a more complete understanding of the evolutionary history of orangutan SFV. As with previous studies, our results show a similar three-clade orangutan SFV phylogeny, along with strong statistical support for SFV-host co-evolution in orangutans. Using Bayesian inference, we date the origin of orangutan SFV to >4.7 million years ago (mya), while the mixed species clade dates to approximately 1.7mya, >1.6 million years older than the Toba super-eruption. These results, combined with fossil and paleogeographic evidence, suggest that the origin of SFV in Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, including the mixed species clade, likely occurred on the mainland of Indo-China during the Late Pliocene and Calabrian stage of the Pleistocene, respectively.

      9. Molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 mutations in Senegal determined by using targeted amplicon deep sequencing
        Talundzic E, Ndiaye YD, Deme AB, Olsen C, Patel DS, Biliya S, Daniels R, Vannberg FO, Volkman SK, Udhayakumar V, Ndiaye D.
        Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Mar;61(3).
        The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin in Southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination activities worldwide. Multiple polymorphisms in the P. falciparum kelch gene found in chromosome 13 (Pfk13) have been associated with artemisinin resistance. Surveillance of potential drug resistance loci within a population that may emerge under increasing drug pressure is an important public health activity. In this context, P. falciparum infections from an observational surveillance study in Senegal were genotyped using targeted amplicon deep sequencing (TADS) for Pfk13 polymorphisms. The results were compared to previously reported Pfk13 polymorphisms from around the world. A total of 22 Pfk13 propeller domain polymorphisms were identified in this study, of which 12 have previously not been reported. Interestingly, of the 10 polymorphisms identified in the present study that were also previously reported, all had a different amino acid substitution at these codon positions. Most of the polymorphisms were present at low frequencies and were confined to single isolates, suggesting they are likely transient polymorphisms that are part of naturally evolving parasite populations. The results of this study underscore the need to identify potential drug resistance loci existing within a population, which may emerge under increasing drug pressure.

    • Maternal and Child Health RSS Word feed
      1. Clinician's primer to ICD-10-CM coding for cleft lip/palate care
        Allori AC, Cragan JD, Della Porta GC, Mulliken JB, Meara JG, Bruun R, Shusterman S, Cassell CH, Raynor E, Santiago P, Marcus JR.
        Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2017 Jan;54(1):e7-e13.
        On October 1, 2015, the United States required use of the Clinical Modification of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10-CM) for diagnostic coding. This primer was written to assist the cleft care community with understanding and use of ICD-10-CM for diagnostic coding related to cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P).

      2. Can incentives reduce the barriers to use of antenatal care and delivery services in Kenya?: Results of a qualitative inquiry
        Fleming E, Gaines J, O'Connor K, Ogutu J, Atieno N, Atieno S, Kamb ML, Quick R.
        J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2017 ;28(1):153-174.
        A qualitative inquiry was used to assess if incentives consisting of a hygiene kit, protein-fortified flour, and delivery kit reduced barriers to antenatal care and delivery services in Nyanza Province, Kenya. We conducted 40 interviews (baseline: five nurses, six mothers, one focus group of five mothers; follow-up: nine nurses, 19 mothers) to assess perceptions of these services. Mothers and nurses identified poor quality of care, fear of HIV diagnosis and stigma, inadequate transport, and cost of care as barriers. Nurses believed incentives encouraged women to use services; mothers described wanting good birth outcomes as their motivation. While barriers to care did not change during the study, incentives may have increased service use. These findings suggest that structural improvements-upgraded infrastructure, adequate staffing, improved treatment of women by nurses, low or no-cost services, and provision of transport-could increase satisfaction with and use of services, improving maternal and infant health.

      3. CDC Grand Rounds: Public health strategies to prevent neonatal abstinence syndrome
        Ko JY, Wolicki S, Barfield WD, Patrick SW, Broussard CS, Yonkers KA, Naimon R, Iskander J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Mar 10;66(9):242-245.
        Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a drug withdrawal syndrome that most commonly occurs in infants after in utero exposure to opioids, although other substances have also been associated with the syndrome. NAS usually appears within 48-72 hours of birth with a constellation of clinical signs, including central nervous system irritability (e.g., tremors), gastrointestinal dysfunction (e.g., feeding difficulties), and temperature instability. Opioid exposure during pregnancy might result from clinician-approved use of prescription opioids for pain relief; misuse or abuse of prescription opioids; illicit use (e.g., heroin); or medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid use disorder.

      4. Suboptimal prenatal syphilis testing among commercially insured women in the United States, 2013
        Neblett Fanfair R, Tao G, Owusu-Edusei K, Gift TL, Bernstein KT.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2017 Apr;44(4):219-221.
        United States surveillance data demonstrate that congenital syphilis cases are increasing. We performed an analysis of commercially insured pregnant females using MarketSan to determine syphilis screening rates at different prenatal stages; 85% of pregnant women in this population had a syphilis test performed at least once during the prenatal period.

      5. Brief Report: The ADOS calibrated severity score best measures autism diagnostic symptom severity in pre-school children
        Wiggins LD, Barger B, Moody E, Soke G, Pandey J, Levy S.
        J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Mar 06.
        The severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often measured by co-occurring conditions, such as intellectual disability or language delay, rather than deficits in social interaction, and restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule calibrated severity score (ADOS CSS) was created to facilitate comparison of the diagnostic features of ASD independent of related conditions over time. We examined the relationship between the ADOS CSS, ADOS total score, and clinician rated degree of impairment (DOI) in the Study to Explore Early Development. Like others, we confirmed that, among the measures we evaluated, the ADOS CSS was least influenced by developmental functioning and demographic factors and is therefore the best measure of core features of ASD in pre-school children.

    • Mining RSS Word feed
      1. Cross-formational flow of water into coalbed methane reservoirs: controls on relative permeability curve shape and production profile
        Salmachi A, Karacan CO.
        Environ Earth Sci. 2017 ;76(5).
        Coalbed methane (CBM) wells tend to produce large volumes of water, especially when there is hydraulic connectivity between coalbed and nearby formations. Cross-formational flow between producing coal and adjacent formations can have significant production and environmental implications, affecting economic viability of production from these shallow reservoirs. Such flows can also affect how much gas can be removed from a coalbed prior to mining and thus can have implications for methane control in mining as well. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of water flow from an external source into coalbed on production performance and also on reservoir variables including cleat porosity and relative permeability curves derived from production data analysis. A reservoir model is constructed to investigate the production performance of a CBM well when cross-formational flow is present between the coalbed and the overlying formation. Results show that cleat porosity calculated by analysis of production data can be more than one order of magnitude higher than actual cleat porosity. Due to hydraulic connectivity, water saturation within coalbed does not considerably change for a period of time, and hence, the peak of gas production is delayed. Upon depletion of the overlying formation, water saturation in coalbed quickly decreases. Rapid decline of water saturation in the coalbed corresponds to a sharp increase in gas production. As an important consequence, when cross-flow is present, gas and water relative permeability curves, derived from simulated production data, have distinctive features compared to the initial relative permeability curves. In the case of cross-flow, signatures of relative permeability curves are concave downward and low gas permeability for a range of water saturation, followed by rapid increase afterward for water and gas, respectively. The results and analyses presented in this work can help to assess the impact of cross-formational flow on reservoir variables derived from production data analysis and can also contribute to identifying hydraulic connectivity between coalbed and adjacent formations.

    • Occupational Safety and Health RSS Word feed
      1. Key organizational characteristics for integrated approaches to protect and promote worker health in smaller enterprises
        McLellan DL, Williams JA, Katz JN, Pronk NP, Wagner GR, Caban-Martinez AJ, Nelson CC, Sorensen G.
        J Occup Environ Med. 2017 Mar;59(3):289-294.
        OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between worksite organizational characteristics (size, industrial sector, leadership commitment, and organizational supports) and integrated approaches to protecting and promoting worker health implemented in smaller enterprises. METHODS: We analyzed web-based survey data of Human Resource Managers at 114 smaller enterprises (<750 employees) to identify organizational factors associated with levels of integrated approaches among their worksites. RESULTS: The companies' mean integration score was 13.6 (SD = 9.6) of a possible 44. In multivariate analyses, having a safety committee (P = 0.035) and top leadership support for health promotion (HP) (P = 0.004) were positively associated with higher integration scores. CONCLUSIONS: Smaller enterprises in one U.S. region have relatively low levels of implementing integrated safety and promotion approaches. Having a safety committee and leadership support for HP may be important contributors to implementing integrated approaches in smaller enterprises.

      2. Is beryllium-induced lung cancer caused only by soluble forms and high exposure levels?
        Schubauer-Berigan MK, Couch JR, Deddens JA.
        Occup Environ Med. 2017 Mar 04.
        OBJECTIVES: The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed a permissible exposure limit of 0.2 microg/m3 for beryllium, based partly on extrapolated estimates of lung cancer risk from a pooled occupational cohort. The purpose of the present analysis was to evaluate whether cohort members exposed at lower levels to mainly insoluble forms of beryllium exhibit increased risk of lung cancer. METHODS: We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analyses among 75 lung cancer cases in age-based risk sets within two lower exposure plants in the pooled cohort followed from 1940 to 2005. We used categorical and power models to evaluate exposure-response patterns for mean and cumulative beryllium exposures in the two-plant cohort, comparing findings with the full pooled cohort. We also evaluated the distribution of exposure-years in each cohort by solubility class (soluble, insoluble and mixed). RESULTS: 98% of workers in the two-plant cohort were hired between 1955 and 1969. The mean beryllium exposure averaged 1.3 microg/m3 and the predominant form was insoluble. Adjusting for confounders, we observed a monotonic increase in lung cancer mortality across exposure categories in the two-plant cohort. The exposure-response coefficients (per unit ln exposure) were 0.270 (p=0.061) for mean exposure and 0.170 (p=0.033) for cumulative exposure, compared with 0.155 and 0.094 (respectively) in the full cohort. CONCLUSION: The low-exposure levels at these two plants and the predominance of insoluble beryllium suggest that the overall pooled cohort findings on which OSHA's lung cancer risk assessment is based are relevant for current workers exposed to any form of beryllium.

      3. Highly rated and most frequent stressors among police officers: Gender differences
        Violanti JM, Fekedulegn D, Hartley TA, Charles LE, Andrew ME, Ma CC, Burchfiel CM.
        Am J Crim Justice. 2016 Dec;41(4):645-662.
        This descriptive study examined the top five most frequent and highly rated occupational stressors from the Spielberger Police Stress Survey among 365 police officers enrolled in the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study (2004-2009). Prevalence, frequency, and rating of stressors were compared across gender. Poisson regression was used to estimate the prevalence and prevalence ratio (PR) of events. Analysis of variance was used to compare mean frequency of occurrence and mean stress ratings by gender. Many reported stressors dealt with violent situations. Responding to family disputes (83 %) was reported as the most frequent stressor and exposure to battered children (27 %) was the most highly rated stressor (mean rating: 67.6 +/- 35.3). Killing someone in the line of duty (mean rating: 66.3 +/- 43.0) and experiencing a fellow officer being killed (mean rating: 65.3 +/- 40.6) were highly rated but infrequent (0.27 % and 3.6 %, respectively). Male officers tended to report more frequent stressors which took away from their time off duty such as court appearances (PR = 1.26, 1.04-1.52) and working second jobs (PR = 2.37, 1.57-3.57). In contrast, female officers reported experiencing a 37 % higher prevalence of lack of support from supervisor (PR = 0.63, 0.48-0.82) relative to male officers. Results of the present study are discussed within the context of specific police stressors and gender.

    • Parasitic Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. Improving prescribing practices with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs): synthesis of 10 studies to explore reasons for variation in malaria RDT uptake and adherence
        Burchett HE, Leurent B, Baiden F, Baltzell K, Bjorkman A, Bruxvoort K, Clarke S, DiLiberto D, Elfving K, Goodman C, Hopkins H, Lal S, Liverani M, Magnussen P, Martensson A, Mbacham W, Mbonye A, Onwujekwe O, Roth Allen D, Shakely D, Staedke S, Vestergaard LS, Whitty CJ, Wiseman V, Chandler CI.
        BMJ Open. 2017 Mar 08;7(3):e012973.
        OBJECTIVES: The overuse of antimalarial drugs is widespread. Effective methods to improve prescribing practice remain unclear. We evaluated the impact of 10 interventions that introduced rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (mRDTs) on the use of tests and adherence to results in different contexts. DESIGN: A comparative case study approach, analysing variation in outcomes across different settings. SETTING: Studies from the ACT Consortium evaluating mRDTs with a range of supporting interventions in 6 malaria endemic countries. Providers were governmental or non-governmental healthcare workers, private retail sector workers or community volunteers. Each study arm in a distinct setting was considered a case. PARTICIPANTS: 28 cases from 10 studies were included, representing 148 461 patients seeking care for suspected malaria. INTERVENTIONS: The interventions included different mRDT training packages, supervision, supplies and community sensitisation. OUTCOME MEASURES: Analysis explored variation in: (1) uptake of mRDTs (% febrile patients tested); (2) provider adherence to positive mRDTs (% Plasmodium falciparum positive prescribed/given Artemisinin Combination Treatment); (3) provider adherence to negative mRDTs (% P. falciparum negative not prescribed/given antimalarial). RESULTS: Outcomes varied widely across cases: 12-100% mRDT uptake; 44-98% adherence to positive mRDTs; 27-100% adherence to negative mRDTs. Providers appeared more motivated to perform well when mRDTs and intervention characteristics fitted with their own priorities. Goodness of fit of mRDTs with existing consultation and diagnostic practices appeared crucial to maximising the impact of mRDTs on care, as did prior familiarity with malaria testing; adequate human resources and supplies; possible alternative treatments for mRDT-negative patients; a more directive intervention approach and local preferences for ACTs. CONCLUSIONS: Basic training and resources are essential but insufficient to maximise the potential of mRDTs in many contexts. Programme design should respond to assessments of provider priorities, expectations and capacities. As mRDTs become established, the intensity of supporting interventions required seems likely to reduce.

      2. Naturally acquired binding-inhibitory antibodies to Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein in pregnant women are associated with higher birth weight in a multicenter study
        Requena P, Arevalo-Herrera M, Menegon M, Martinez-Espinosa FE, Padilla N, Botto-Menezes C, Malheiro A, Hans D, Castellanos ME, Robinson L, Samol P, Kochar S, Kochar SK, Kochar DK, Desai M, et al .
        Front Immunol. 2017 ;8:163.
        A vaccine to eliminate malaria would need a multi-stage and multi-species composition to achieve robust protection, but the lack of knowledge about antigen targets and mechanisms of protection precludes the development of fully efficacious malaria vaccines, especially for Plasmodium vivax (Pv). Pregnant women constitute a risk population who would greatly benefit from a vaccine preventing the adverse events of Plasmodium infection during gestation. We hypothesized that functional immune responses against putative targets of naturally acquired immunity to malaria and vaccine candidates will be associated with protection against malaria infection and/or poor outcomes during pregnancy. We measured (i) IgG responses to a large panel of Pv and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) antigens, (ii) the capacity of anti-Pv ligand Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) antibodies to inhibit binding to Duffy antigen, and (iii) cellular immune responses to two Pv antigens, in a subset of 1,056 pregnant women from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, India, and Papua New Guinea (PNG). There were significant intraspecies and interspecies correlations for most antibody responses (e.g., PfMSP119 versus PfAMA1, Spearman's rho = 0.81). Women from PNG and Colombia had the highest levels of IgG overall. Submicroscopic infections seemed sufficient to boost antibody responses in Guatemala but not antigen-specific cellular responses in PNG. Brazil had the highest percentage of Duffy binding inhibition (p-values versus Colombia: 0.040; Guatemala: 0.047; India: 0.003, and PNG: 0.153) despite having low anti-PvDBP IgG levels. Almost all antibodies had a positive association with present infection, and coinfection with the other species increased this association. Anti-PvDBP, anti-PfMSP1, and anti-PfAMA1 IgG levels at recruitment were positively associated with infection at delivery (p-values: 0.010, 0.003, and 0.023, respectively), suggesting that they are markers of malaria exposure. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Pv-infected women presented fewer CD8+IFN-gamma+ T cells and secreted more G-CSF and IL-4 independently of the stimulus used in vitro. Functional anti-PvDBP levels at recruitment had a positive association with birth weight (difference per doubling antibody levels: 45 g, p-value: 0.046). Thus, naturally acquired binding-inhibitory antibodies to PvDBP might confer protection against poor outcomes of Pv malaria in pregnancy.

      3. Molecular epidemiology of Giardia, Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium among indigenous children from the Colombian Amazon basin
        Sanchez A, Munoz M, Gomez N, Tabares J, Segura L, Salazar A, Restrepo C, Ruiz M, Reyes P, Qian Y, Xiao L, Lopez MC, Ramirez JD.
        Front Microbiol. 2017 ;8:248.
        The incidence and prevalence of intestinal parasites in children is most likely due to lack of natural or acquired resistance and differences in behavior and habits closely related to environmental and socioeconomic determinants. The most important protozoa that parasitize humans are Giardia, Entamoeba, Blastocystis, and Cryptosporidium. These parasites present wide intraspecific genetic diversity and subsequently classified into assemblages and subtypes. The Amazon basin is the largest in the world and is the fifth freshwater reserve on the planet. Contradictorily, people living in these areas (Indigenous populations) have poor quality of life, which favors the infection of diseases of fecal-oral transmission. The aim of this work was to unravel the molecular epidemiology of Giardia, Blastocystis and Cryptosporidium across four communities (Puerto Narino, San Juan del Soco, Villa Andrea and Nuevo Paraiso). We obtained 284 fecal samples from children under 15 years old that were analyzed by direct microscopy (261 samples) and Real Time PCR (qPCR) (284 samples). The positive samples for these protozoa were further characterized by several molecular markers to depict assemblages and subtypes. We observed a frequency of Giardia infection by microscopy of 23.7% (62 samples) and by qPCR of 64.8% (184 samples); for Blastocystis by microscopy of 35.2% (92 samples) and by qPCR of 88.7% (252 samples) and for Cryptosporidium only 1.9% (5 samples) were positive by microscopy and qPCR 1.8% (5 samples). Regarding the Giardia assemblages, using the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) marker we observed AI, BIII and BIV assemblages and when using triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) we observed assemblages AI, AII, BIII and BIV. In contrast, Blastocystis STs detected were 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Lastly, the species C. viatorum, C. hominis (with the subtypes IdA19 and IaA12R8) and C. parvum (with the subtype IIcA5G3c) were identified. We observed a high profile of zoonotic transmission regarding the Giardia assemblages and Blastocystis STs/alleles. Also, we highlight the elevated frequency of infection by these two protozoans suggesting an active transmission in the area. Our findings reinforces the need to deploy better epidemiological surveillance systems for enteric pathogens in the area.

    • Social and Behavioral Sciences RSS Word feed
      1. Demographic differences in district-level policies related to school mental health and social services - United States, 2012
        Demissie Z, Brener N.
        J Sch Health. 2017 Apr;87(4):227-235.
        BACKGROUND: Mental health conditions among youth are a major concern. Schools can play an important role in supporting students affected by these conditions. This study examined district-level school health policies related to mental health and social services to determine if they varied by district demographic characteristics. METHODS: The School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) 2012 collected cross-sectional data on school health policies and practices from a nationally representative sample of public school districts (N = 684). We used logistic regression to examine the association between district-level demographic characteristics and school mental health policies. RESULTS: Southern and low-affluence districts had higher odds of requiring schools to have a specified counselor-to-student ratio as compared with Northeastern and average affluence districts, respectively. Northeastern and urban districts had higher odds of requiring educational and credentialing requirements for school mental health or social services staff, compared to other regions and rural districts, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Results describe the extent to which school mental health and social services programs in the United States are meeting various guidelines. More work is necessary to ensure that all schools have the resources needed to support their students' mental health and meet national guidelines, especially in districts with certain characteristics.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. Likely autochthonous transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi to Humans, south central Texas, USA
        Gunter SM, Murray KO, Gorchakov R, Beddard R, Rossmann SN, Montgomery SP, Rivera H, Brown EL, Aguilar D, Widman LE, Garcia MN.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;23(3):500-503.
        Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, is a major neglected tropical disease affecting the Americas. The epidemiology of this disease in the United States is incomplete. We report evidence of likely autochthonous vectorborne transmission of T. cruzi and health outcomes in T. cruzi-seropositive blood donors in south central Texas, USA.

      2. Increase in human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus during the fifth epidemic - China, October 2016-February 2017
        Iuliano AD, Jang Y, Jones J, Davis CT, Wentworth DE, Uyeki TM, Roguski K, Thompson MG, Gubareva L, Fry AM, Burns E, Trock S, Zhou S, Katz JM, Jernigan DB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Mar 10;66(9):254-255.
        During March 2013-February 24, 2017, annual epidemics of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China resulted in 1,258 avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in humans being reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and other regional sources. During the first four epidemics, 88% of patients developed pneumonia, 68% were admitted to an intensive care unit, and 41% died. Candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs) were developed, and vaccine was manufactured based on representative viruses detected after the emergence of A(H7N9) virus in humans in 2013. During the ongoing fifth epidemic (beginning October 1, 2016), 460 human infections with A(H7N9) virus have been reported, including 453 in mainland China, six associated with travel to mainland China from Hong Kong (four cases), Macao (one) and Taiwan (one), and one in an asymptomatic poultry worker in Macao (1). Although the clinical characteristics and risk factors for human infections do not appear to have changed, the reported human infections during the fifth epidemic represent a significant increase compared with the first four epidemics, which resulted in 135 (first epidemic), 320 (second), 226 (third), and 119 (fourth epidemic) human infections. Most human infections continue to result in severe respiratory illness and have been associated with poultry exposure. Although some limited human-to-human spread continues to be identified, no sustained human-to-human A(H7N9) transmission has been observed.

      3. Probable Zika virus-associated Guillain-Barre syndrome: Challenges with clinico-laboratory diagnosis
        Miller E, Becker Z, Shalev D, Lee CT, Cioroiu C, Thakur K.
        J Neurol Sci. 2017 ;375:367-370.
        A 55 year old woman in New York City presented in May 2016 with progressive weakness, ataxia, paresthesia, and areflexia, shortly after returning from the Dominican Republic. Lumbar puncture revealed cytoalbuminological dissociation. Due to her recent travel, Zika-associated Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) was suspected and she underwent evaluation for recent flavivirus exposure. Zika virus RNA was not detected in serum, but Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) was detected in both serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Dengue virus IgM in serum was equivocal and dengue virus IgG was detected in the serum. Plaque-reduction neutralization testing showed elevated titers to both Zika virus and dengue virus, providing evidence of recent infection with a flavivirus. The patient was diagnosed with probable Zika virus-associated GBS based on clinical findings, ancillary testing, and laboratory assays according to current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Zika virus transmission in the Americas is resulting in increasing numbers of patients presenting with Zika virus-associated neurological syndromes. Clinical and laboratory diagnosis in these cases can be challenging and may be aided by consultation with CDC, and state and local public health agencies.

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