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CDC Science Clips: Volume 12, Issue 27, August 11, 2020

Science Clips is produced weekly to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge for the public health community. Each article features an Altmetric Attention scoreexternal icon to track social and mainstream media mentions!

  1. Top Articles of the Week
    Selected weekly by a senior CDC scientist from the standard sections listed below.
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      • National- and state-level trends in nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation among U.S. Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, 2000-2017external icon
        Harding JL, Andes LJ, Rolka DB, Imperatore G, Gregg EW, Li Y, Albright A.
        Diabetes Care. 2020 Jul 28.
        OBJECTIVE: Diabetes is a leading cause of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) in the U.S. After a period of decline, some national U.S. data have shown that diabetes-related NLEAs have recently increased, particularly among young and middle-aged adults. However, the trend for older adults is less clear. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: To examine NLEA trends among older adults with diabetes (≥67 years), we used 100% Medicare claims for beneficiaries enrolled in Parts A and B, also known as fee for service (FFS). NLEA was defined as the highest-level amputation per patient per calendar year. Annual NLEA rates were estimated from 2000 to 2017 and stratified by age-group, sex, race/ethnicity, NLEA level (toe, foot, below-the-knee amputation [BKA], above-the-knee amputation [AKA]), and state. All rates were age and sex standardized to the 2000 Medicare population. Trends over time were assessed using Joinpoint regression and annual percent change (APC) reported. RESULTS: NLEA rates (per 1,000 people with diabetes) decreased by half from 8.5 in 2000 to 4.4 in 2009 (APC -7.9, P < 0.001). However, from 2009 onward, NLEA rates increased to 4.8 (APC 1.2, P < 0.01). Trends were similar across most age, sex, and race/ethnic groups, but absolute rates were highest in the oldest age-groups, blacks, and men. By NLEA type, overall increases were driven by increases in rates of toe and foot NLEAs, while BKA and AKA continued to decline. The majority of U.S. states showed recent increases in NLEA, similar to national estimates. CONCLUSIONS: This study of the U.S. Medicare FFS population shows that recent increases in diabetes-related NLEAs are also occurring in older populations but at a less severe rate than among younger adults (<65 years) in the general population. Preventive foot care has been shown to reduce rates of NLEA among adults with diabetes, and the findings of the study suggest that those with diabetes-across the age spectrum-could benefit from increased attention to this strategy.

      • Annual report to the nation on the status of cancer, part I: National cancer statisticsexternal icon
        Henley SJ, Ward EM, Scott S, Ma J, Anderson RN, Firth AU, Thomas CC, Islami F, Weir HK, Lewis DR, Sherman RL, Wu M, Benard VB, Richardson LC, Jemal A, Cronin K, Kohler BA.
        Cancer. 2020 May 15;126(10):2225-2249.
        BACKGROUND: The American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries collaborate to provide annual updates on cancer occurrence and trends in the United States. METHODS: Data on new cancer diagnoses during 2001 through 2016 were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded and National Cancer Institute-funded population-based cancer registry programs and compiled by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Data on cancer deaths during 2001 through 2017 were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics' National Vital Statistics System. Trends in incidence and death rates for all cancers combined and for the leading cancer types by sex, racial/ethnic group, and age were estimated by joinpoint analysis and characterized by the average annual percent change during the most recent 5 years (2012-2016 for incidence and 2013-2017 for mortality). RESULTS: Overall, cancer incidence rates decreased 0.6% on average per year during 2012 through 2016, but trends differed by sex, racial/ethnic group, and cancer type. Among males, cancer incidence rates were stable overall and among non-Hispanic white males but decreased in other racial/ethnic groups; rates increased for 5 of the 17 most common cancers, were stable for 7 cancers (including prostate), and decreased for 5 cancers (including lung and bronchus [lung] and colorectal). Among females, cancer incidence rates increased during 2012 to 2016 in all racial/ethnic groups, increasing on average 0.2% per year; rates increased for 8 of the 18 most common cancers (including breast), were stable for 6 cancers (including colorectal), and decreased for 4 cancers (including lung). Overall, cancer death rates decreased 1.5% on average per year during 2013 to 2017, decreasing 1.8% per year among males and 1.4% per year among females. During 2013 to 2017, cancer death rates decreased for all cancers combined among both males and females in each racial/ethnic group, for 11 of the 19 most common cancers among males (including lung and colorectal), and for 14 of the 20 most common cancers among females (including lung, colorectal, and breast). The largest declines in death rates were observed for melanoma of the skin (decreasing 6.1% per year among males and 6.3% among females) and lung (decreasing 4.8% per year among males and 3.7% among females). Among children younger than 15 years, cancer incidence rates increased an average of 0.8% per year during 2012 to 2016, and cancer death rates decreased an average of 1.4% per year during 2013 to 2017. Among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 39 years, cancer incidence rates increased an average of 0.9% per year during 2012 to 2016, and cancer death rates decreased an average of 1.0% per year during 2013 to 2017. CONCLUSIONS: Although overall cancer death rates continue to decline, incidence rates are leveling off among males and are increasing slightly among females. These trends reflect population changes in cancer risk factors, screening test use, diagnostic practices, and treatment advances. Many cancers can be prevented or treated effectively if they are found early. Population-based cancer incidence and mortality data can be used to inform efforts to decrease the cancer burden in the United States and regularly monitor progress toward goals.

    • Communicable Diseases
      • Infectious disease outbreaks among forcibly displaced persons: an analysis of ProMED reports 1996-2016external icon
        Desai AN, Ramatowski JW, Marano N, Madoff LC, Lassmann B.
        Confl Health. 2020 ;14:49.
        BACKGROUND: The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates the number of forcibly displaced people increased from 22.7 million people in 1996 to 67.7 million people in 2016. Human mobility is associated with the introduction of infectious disease pathogens. The aim of this study was to describe the range of pathogens in forcibly displaced populations over time using an informal event monitoring system. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of ProMED, a digital disease monitoring system, to identify reports of outbreak events involving forcibly displaced populations between 1996 and 2016. Number of outbreak events per year was tabulated. Each record was assessed to determine outbreak location, pathogen, origin of persons implicated in the outbreak, and suspected versus confirmed case counts. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-eight independent outbreak events involving forcibly displaced populations were identified. Over 840,000 confirmed or suspected cases of infectious diseases such as measles, cholera, cutaneous leishmaniasis, dengue, and others were reported in 48 destination countries/territories. The average rate of outbreak events concerning forcibly displaced persons per total number of reports published on ProMED per year increased over time. The majority of outbreak events (63%) were due to acquisition of disease in the destination country. CONCLUSION: This study found that reports of outbreak events involving forcibly displaced populations have increased in ProMED. The events and outbreaks detected in this retrospective review underscore the importance of capturing displaced populations in surveillance systems for rapid detection and response.

      • High levels of resistance to nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors in newly diagnosed antiretroviral treatment-naive children in sub-Saharan Africaexternal icon
        Inzaule SC, Jordan MR, Bello G, Wadonda-Kabondo N, Mounerou S, Mbulli IA, Akanmu SA, Vubil A, Hunt G, Kaleebu P, Mthethwa-Hleza S, Dzangare J, Njukeng P, Penazzato M, Rinke de Wit TF, Eshleman SH, Bertagnolio S.
        Aids. 2020 Aug 1;34(10):1567-1570.
        Exposure of infants to antiretroviral drugs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission can induce resistance to nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Data from nine national surveys of pretreatment drug resistance in children newly diagnosed with HIV show high levels of resistance to NRTIs included in first-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens (dual abacavir-lamivudine/emtricitabine resistance). Additional research is needed to determine the impact of NRTI resistance on treatment response and optimize infant ART.

      • A prospective cohort study in non-hospitalized household contacts with SARS-CoV-2 infection: symptom profiles and symptom change over timeexternal icon
        Yousaf AR, Duca LM, Chu V, Reses HE, Fajans M, Rabold EM, Laws RL, Gharpure R, Matanock A, Wadhwa A, Pomeroy M, Njuguna H, Fox G, Binder AM, Christiansen A, Freeman B, Gregory C, Tran CH, Owusu D, Ye D, Dietrich E, Pevzner E, Conners EE, Pray I, Rispens J, Vuong J, Christensen K, Banks M, O'Hegarty M, Mills L, Lester S, Thornburg NJ, Lewis N, Dawson P, Marcenac P, Salvatore P, Chancey RJ, Fields V, Buono S, Yin S, Gerber S, Kiphibane T, Dasu T, Bhattacharyya S, Westergaard R, Dunn A, Hall AJ, Fry AM, Tate JE, Kirking HL, Nabity S.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 28.
        BACKGROUND: Improved understanding of SARS-CoV-2 spectrum of disease is essential for clinical and public health interventions. There are limited data on mild or asymptomatic infections, but recognition of these individuals is key as they contribute to viral transmission. We describe the symptom profiles from individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: From March 22 to April 22, 2020 in Wisconsin and Utah, we enrolled and prospectively observed 198 household contacts exposed to SARS-CoV-2. We collected and tested nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens by RT-PCR two or more times during a 14-day period. Contacts completed daily symptom diaries. We characterized symptom profiles on the date of first positive RT-PCR test and described progression of symptoms over time. RESULTS: We identified 47 contacts, median age 24 (3-75) years, with detectable SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. The most commonly reported symptoms on the day of first positive RT-PCR test were upper respiratory (n=32, 68%) and neurologic (n=30, 64%); fever was not commonly reported (n=9, 19%). Eight (17%) individuals were asymptomatic at the date of first positive RT-PCR collection; two (4%) had preceding symptoms that resolved and six (13%) subsequently developed symptoms. Children less frequently reported lower respiratory symptoms (age <18: 21%, age 18-49: 60%, age 50+ years: 69%; p=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Household contacts with lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection reported mild symptoms. When assessed at a single time-point, several contacts appeared to have asymptomatic infection; however, over time all developed symptoms. These findings are important to inform infection control, contact tracing, and community mitigation strategies.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      • Climate and urbanization drive mosquito preference for humansexternal icon
        Rose NH, Sylla M, Badolo A, Lutomiah J, Ayala D, Aribodor OB, Ibe N, Akorli J, Otoo S, Mutebi JP, Kriete AL, Ewing EG, Sang R, Gloria-Soria A, Powell JR, Baker RE, White BJ, Crawford JE, McBride CS.
        Curr Biol. 2020 Jul 23.
        The majority of mosquito-borne illness is spread by a few mosquito species that have evolved to specialize in biting humans, yet the precise causes of this behavioral shift are poorly understood. We address this gap in the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti. We first collect and characterize the behavior of mosquitoes from 27 sites scattered across the species' ancestral range in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing previously unrecognized variation in preference for human versus animal odor. We then use modeling to show that over 80% of this variation can be predicted by two ecological factors-dry season intensity and human population density. Finally, we integrate this information with whole-genome sequence data from 375 individual mosquitoes to identify a single underlying ancestry component linked to human preference. Genetic changes associated with human specialist ancestry were concentrated in a few chromosomal regions. Our findings suggest that human-biting in this important disease vector originally evolved as a by-product of breeding in human-stored water in areas where doing so provided the only means to survive the long, hot dry season. Our model also predicts that the rapid urbanization currently taking place in Africa will drive further mosquito evolution, causing a shift toward human-biting in many large cities by 2050.

    • Environmental Health
      • Particulate matter exposure, dietary inflammatory index and preterm birth in Mexico City, Mexicoexternal icon
        Buxton MA, Perng W, Tellez-Rojo MM, Rodriguez-Carmona Y, Cantoral A, Sanchez BN, Rivera-Gonzalez LO, Gronlund CJ, Shivappa N, Hebert JR, O'Neill MS, Peterson KE.
        Environ Res. 2020 ;189.
        Background: Particulate matter ≤10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and diet quality are risk factors for systemic inflammation, which is associated with preterm birth (PTB). PM10 and a pro-inflammatory diet (assessed by the Dietary Inflammatory Index [DII®]) have been individually evaluated as causes of PTB and differences by offspring sex have been reported for the DII. However, additional studies are needed to evaluate joint effects of these associations to inform intervention efforts. Objectives: To evaluate the independent and joint effects of PM10 and energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) on PTB risks. Methods: PM10 estimates were generated from daily citywide averages for 1216 pregnant women from three subcohorts of the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants study using data from the Mexico City Outdoor Air Monitoring Network. Among a subset of participants (N = 620), E-DII scores were calculated using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Cox Proportional Hazards models were run for select periods during pregnancy and entire pregnancy averages for E-DII and PM10. We assessed for potential non-linear associations using natural splines. Results: In adjusted models, PM10 exposure was associated with increased risks of PTB for a range of values (58–72 μg/m3) during the second trimester, while negative associations were seen during the second (≥74 μg/m3) and third trimesters (55–65 μg/m3). Analyses conducted using distributed lag models for periods closer to delivery (max lag = 90) did not show negative associations between PM10 exposure and preterm birth, and indeed positive significant associations were observed (estimates and figures). E-DII was not associated with PTB and there was no evidence of effect modification by infant sex. There was no evidence of interaction between PM10 and E-DII and the risk of preterm birth. Discussion: Associations between PM10 and PTB in Mexico City varied over time and across levels of PM10. Our findings of negative associations in the second and third trimesters, which are contrary to the hypothesized relationship between PM10 and PTB, may be due to a number of factors, including live birth bias and the exposure period evaluated. Differences in results for the periods evaluated suggest that PM10 from shorter exposure windows may play a more proximal role in initiating preterm labor.

    • Health Economics
      • Net benefit and cost-effectiveness of universal iron-containing multiple micronutrient powders for young children in 78 countries: a microsimulation studyexternal icon
        Pasricha SR, Gheorghe A, Sakr-Ashour F, Arcot A, Neufeld L, Murray-Kolb LE, Suchdev PS, Bode M.
        Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Aug;8(8):e1071-e1080.
        BACKGROUND: Universal home fortification of complementary foods with iron-containing multiple micronutrient powders (MNPs) is a key intervention to prevent anaemia in young children in low-income and middle-income countries. However, evidence that MNPs might promote infection raises uncertainty about whether MNPs give net health benefits and are cost-effective. We aimed to determined country-specific net benefit or harm and cost-effectiveness of universal provision of MNPs to children aged 6 months. METHODS: We developed a microsimulation model to estimate net country-specific disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), years lived with disability (YLDs), and years of life lost (YLLs) due to anaemia, malaria, and diarrhoea averted (or increased) by provision of a 6-month course of MNPs to children aged 6 months, compared with no intervention, who would be followed up for an additional 6 months (ie, to age 18 months). Anaemia prevalence was derived from Demographic and Health Surveys or similar national surveys, and malaria and diarrhoea incidence were sourced from the Global Burden of Disease Study. Programme and health-care costs were modelled to determine cost per DALY averted (US$). Additionally, we explored the effects of reduced MNP coverage in a sensitivity analysis. FINDINGS: 78 countries (46 countries in Africa, 20 in Asia or the Middle East, and 12 in Latin America) were included in the analysis, and we simulated 5 million children per country. 6 months of universal distribution of daily MNPs, assuming 100% coverage, produced a net benefit (DALYs averted) in 54 countries (24 in Africa, 19 in Asia and the Middle East, 11 in Latin America) and net harm in 24 countries (22 in Africa, one in Asia, and one in Latin America). MNP intervention provided a benefit on YLDs associated with anaemia, but these gains were attenuated and sometimes reversed by increases in YLLs associated with malaria and diarrhoea, reducing the benefits seen for DALYs. In the 54 countries where MNP provision was beneficial, the median benefit was 28·1 DALYs averted per 10 000 children receiving MNPs (IQR 20·6-40·4), and median cost per DALY averted was $3576 (IQR 2474-4918). DALY effects positively correlated with moderate and severe anaemia prevalence in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, but correlated inversely in Africa. Suboptimal coverage markedly reduced DALYs averted and cost-effectiveness. INTERPRETATION: Net health benefits of MNPs vary between countries, are highest where prevalence of moderate and severe anaemia is greatest but infection prevalence is smallest, and are ameliorated when coverage of the intervention is poor. Our data provide country-specific guidance to national policy makers. FUNDING: International Union of Nutrition Sciences.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      • BACKGROUND: Small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNS) are efficacious in controlled settings; data are scarce on the effectiveness utilizing health care delivery platforms. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the impact of an infant young child feeding (IYCF)-SQ-LNS intervention on anemia and growth in children aged 6-18 mo in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a quasi-experimental effectiveness design. METHODS: An intervention health zone (HZ) received enhanced IYCF including improved counseling on IYCF during pregnancy until 12 mo after birth and daily use of SQ-LNS for infants 6-12 mo; the control HZ received the standard IYCF package. We analyzed data from 2995 children, collected in repeated cross-sectional surveys. We used adjusted difference-in-difference analyses to calculate changes in anemia, iron and vitamin A deficiencies, stunting, wasting, and underweight. RESULTS: Of mothers, 70.5% received SQ-LNS at least once in the intervention HZ, with 99.6% of their children consuming SQ-LNS at least once. The mean number of batches of SQ-LNS (28 sachets per batch, 6 batches total) received was 2.3 ± 0.8 (i.e., 64.4 ± 22.4 d of SQ-LNS). The enhanced program was associated with an 11.0% point (95% CI: -18.1, -3.8; P < 0.01) adjusted relative reduction in anemia prevalence and a mean +0.26-g/dL (95% CI: 0.04, 0.48; P = 0.02) increase in hemoglobin but no effect on anthropometry or iron or vitamin A deficiencies. At endline in the intervention HZ, children aged 8-13 mo who received ≥3 monthly SQ-LNS batch distributions had higher anthropometry z scores [length-for-age z score (LAZ): +0.40, P = 0.04; weight-for-age z score (WAZ): +0.37, P = 0.04] and hemoglobin (+0.65 g/dL, P = 0.007) and a lower adjusted prevalence difference of stunting (-16.7%, P = 0.03) compared with those who received none. CONCLUSIONS: The enhanced IYCF-SQ-LNS intervention using the existing health care delivery platform was associated with a reduction in prevalence of anemia and improvement in mean hemoglobin. At endline among the subpopulation receiving ≥3 mo of SQ-LNS, their LAZ, WAZ, and hemoglobin improved. Future research could explore contextual tools to maximize coverage and intake adherence in programs using SQ-LNS.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      • Potential scenarios and hazards in the work of the future: A systematic review of the peer-reviewed and gray literaturesexternal icon
        Schulte PA, Streit JM, Sheriff F, Delclos G, Felknor SA, Tamers SL, Fendinger S, Grosch J, Sala R.
        Ann Work Expo Health. 2020 Jul 28.
        It would be useful for researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers to anticipate the hazards that workers will face in the future. The focus of this study is a systematic review of published information to identify and characterize scenarios and hazards in the future of work. Eleven bibliographic databases were systematically searched for papers and reports published from 1999 to 2019 that described future of work scenarios or identified future work-related hazards. To compile a comprehensive collection of views of the future, supplemental and ad hoc searches were also performed. After screening all search records against a set of predetermined criteria, the review yielded 36 references (17 peer-reviewed, 4 gray, and 15 supplemental) containing scenarios. In these, the future of work was described along multiple conceptual axes (e.g. labor market changes, societal values, and manual versus cognitive work). Technology was identified as the primary driver of the future of work in most scenarios, and there were divergent views in the literature as to whether technology will create more or fewer jobs than it displaces. Workforce demographics, globalization, climate change, economic conditions, and urbanization were also mentioned as influential factors. Other important themes included human enhancement, social isolation, loneliness, worker monitoring, advanced manufacturing, hazardous exposures, sustainability, biotechnology, and synthetic biology. Pandemics have not been widely considered in the future of work literature, but the recent COVID-19 pandemic illustrates that was short-sighted. Pandemics may accelerate future of work trends and merit critical consideration in scenario development. Many scenarios described 'new' or 'exacerbated' psychosocial hazards of work, whereas comparatively fewer discussed physical, chemical, or biological hazards. Various preventive recommendations were identified. In particular, reducing stress associated with precarious work and its requirements of continual skill preparation and training was acknowledged as critical for protecting and promoting the health and well-being of the future workforce. In conclusion, the future of work will be comprised of diverse complex scenarios and a mosaic of old and new hazards. These findings may serve as the basis for considering how to shape the future of work.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      • Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (NNAL, NNN, NAT, and NAB) exposures in the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Wave 1 (2013-2014)external icon
        Xia B, Blount BC, Guillot T, Brosius C, Li Y, Van Bemmel DM, Kimmel HL, Chang CM, Borek N, Edwards KC, Lawrence C, Hyland A, Goniewicz ML, Pine BN, Xia Y, Bernert JT, De Castro BR, Lee J, Brown JL, Arnstein S, Choi D, Wade EL, Hatsukami D, Ervies G, Cobos A, Nicodemus K, Freeman D, Hecht SS, Conway K, Wang L.
        Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jul 27.
        INTRODUCTION: The tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) are an important group of carcinogens found in tobacco and tobacco smoke. To describe and characterize the levels of TSNAs in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Wave 1 (2013-2014), we present four biomarkers of TSNA exposure: N'-nitrosonornicotine, N'-nitrosoanabasine, N'-nitrosoanatabine, and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) which is the primary urinary metabolite of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone. METHODS: We measured total TSNAs in 11 522 adults who provided urine using automated solid-phase extraction coupled to isotope dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. After exclusions in this current analysis, we selected 11 004 NNAL results, 10 753 N'-nitrosonornicotine results, 10 919 N'-nitrosoanatabine results, and 10 996 N'-nitrosoanabasine results for data analysis. Geometric means and correlations were calculated using SAS and SUDAAN. RESULTS: TSNA concentrations were associated with choice of tobacco product and frequency of use. Among established, every day, exclusive tobacco product users, the geometric mean urinary NNAL concentration was highest for smokeless tobacco users (993.3; 95% confidence interval [CI: 839.2, 1147.3] ng/g creatinine), followed by all types of combustible tobacco product users (285.4; 95% CI: [267.9, 303.0] ng/g creatinine), poly tobacco users (278.6; 95% CI: [254.9, 302.2] ng/g creatinine), and e-cigarette product users (6.3; 95% CI: [4.7, 7.9] ng/g creatinine). TSNA concentrations were higher in every day users than in intermittent users for all the tobacco product groups. Among single product users, exposure to TSNAs differed by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and education. Urinary TSNAs and nicotine metabolite biomarkers were also highly correlated. CONCLUSIONS: We have provided PATH Study estimates of TSNA exposure among US adult users of a variety of tobacco products. These data can inform future tobacco product and human exposure evaluations and related regulatory activities.


  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
      1. OBJECTIVE: Psychosocial factors, such as environmental stressors, can increase the risk of hypertension. This study examines the role of the household environment in hypertension outcomes by assessing the link between female hypertension status and spousal alcohol consumption in Nepal. STUDY DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study. METHODS: We used the 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey to assess differences in hypertension outcomes in women aged 15 to 49 years whose husbands drink alcohol and in those whose husbands do not. We estimated a multinomial logistic model to obtain adjusted differences in the likelihood of being hypertensive between the two groups. We also examined several socio-economic conditions across the two groups to discuss various aspects of the association. RESULTS: After controlling for anthropometric and various sociodemographic attributes, we find that women whose husbands drink alcohol were 2.5 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.31, 5.31) more likely to be hypertensive than women whose husbands do not. They were also more likely to experience food insecurity, to experience spousal violence, and to consume tobacco products. Among women whose husbands became intoxicated ('got drunk') very often, the likelihood of being hypertensive was 4.0 percentage points (95% CI: -0.26, 7.67) higher than among women whose husbands do not drink alcohol. CONCLUSION: Women whose husbands consume alcohol have an elevated risk of being hypertensive, illustrating the association between hypertension and the household environment. The findings document the added hypertension burden in socially vulnerable population groups and can inform initiatives to reduce alcohol consumption in Nepal.

      2. Pediatric cancer mortality and survival in the United States, 2001-2016external icon
        Siegel DA, Richardson LC, Henley SJ, Wilson RJ, Dowling NF, Weir HK, Tai EW, Buchanan Lunsford N.
        Cancer. 2020 Jul 29.
        BACKGROUND: Although pediatric cancer mortality and survival have improved in the United States over the past 40 years, differences exist by age, race/ethnicity, cancer site, and economic status. To assess progress, this study examined recent mortality and survival data for individuals younger than 20 years. METHODS: Age-adjusted death rates were calculated with the National Vital Statistics System for 2002-2016. Annual percent changes (APCs) and average annual percent changes (AAPCs) were calculated with joinpoint regression. Five-year relative survival was calculated on the basis of National Program of Cancer Registries data for 2001-2015. Death rates and survival were estimated overall and by sex, 5-year age group, race/ethnicity, cancer type, and county-based economic markers. RESULTS: Death rates decreased during 2002-2016 (AAPC, -1.5), with steeper declines during 2002-2009 (APC, -2.6), and then plateaued (APC, -0.4). Leukemia and brain cancer were the most common causes of death from pediatric cancer, and brain cancer surpassed leukemia in 2011. Death rates decreased for leukemia and lymphoma but were unchanged for brain, bone, and soft-tissue cancers. From 2001-2007 to 2008-2015, survival improved from 82.0% to 85.1%. Survival was highest in both periods among females, those aged 15 to 19 years, non-Hispanic Whites, and those in counties in the top 25% by economic status. Survival improved for leukemias, lymphomas, and brain cancers but plateaued for bone and soft-tissue cancers. CONCLUSIONS: Although overall death rates have decreased and survival has increased, differences persist by sex, age, race/ethnicity, cancer type, and economic status. Improvements in pediatric cancer outcomes may depend on improving therapies, access to care, and supportive and long-term care.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Increase in antiretroviral therapy enrollment among persons with HIV infection during the Lusaka HIV treatment surge - Lusaka Province, Zambia, January 2018-June 2019external icon
        Boyd MA, Shah M, Barradas DT, Herce M, Mulenga LB, Lumpa M, Ishimbulo S, Saadani A, Mumba M, Essiet-Gibson I, Tally L, Minchella P, Kancheya N, Mwila A, Zyambo K, Chungu C, Chanda S, Mbewe W, Zulu I, Siansalama T, Mweebo K, Nkwemu K, Simpungwe J, Medley A, Sikazwe I, Mwale C, Agolory S, Ellerbrock T.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1039-1043.
        Within Zambia, a landlocked country in southern-central Africa, the highest prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is in Lusaka Province (population 3.2 million), where approximately 340,000 persons are estimated to be infected (1). The 2016 Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) estimated the adult HIV prevalence in Lusaka Province to be 15.7%, with a 62.7% viral load suppression rate (HIV-1 RNA <1,000 copies/mL) (2). ZAMPHIA results highlighted remaining treatment gaps in Zambia overall and by subpopulation. In January 2018, Zambia launched the Lusaka Province HIV Treatment Surge (Surge project) to increase enrollment of persons with HIV infection onto antiretroviral therapy (ART). The Zambia Ministry of Health (MoH), CDC, and partners analyzed the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting data set to assess the effectiveness of the first 18 months of the Surge project (January 2018-June 2019). During this period, approximately 100,000 persons with positive test results for HIV began ART. These new ART clients were more likely to be persons aged 15-24 years. In addition, the number of persons with documented viral load suppression doubled from 66,109 to 134,046. Lessons learned from the Surge project, including collaborative leadership, efforts to improve facility-level performance, and innovative strategies to disseminate successful practices, could increase HIV treatment rates in other high-prevalence settings.

      2. The Surveillance for Enteric Fever in Asia Project (SEAP), Severe Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa (SETA), Surveillance of Enteric Fever in India (SEFI), and Strategic Typhoid Alliance Across Africa and Asia (STRATAA) Population-based Enteric Fever Studies: A review of methodological similarities and differencesexternal icon
        Carey ME, MacWright WR, Im J, Meiring JE, Gibani MM, Park SE, Longley A, Jeon HJ, Hemlock C, Yu AT, Soura A, Aiemjoy K, Owusu-Dabo E, Terferi M, Islam S, Lunguya O, Jacobs J, Gordon M, Dolecek C, Baker S, Pitzer VE, Yousafzai MT, Tonks S, Clemens JD, Date K, Qadri F, Heyderman RS, Saha SK, Basnyat B, Okeke IN, Qamar FN, Voysey M, Luby S, Kang G, Andrews J, Pollard AJ, John J, Garrett D, Marks F.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 29;71(Supplement_2):S102-s110.
        Building on previous multicountry surveillance studies of typhoid and others salmonelloses such as the Diseases of the Most Impoverished program and the Typhoid Surveillance in Africa Project, several ongoing blood culture surveillance studies are generating important data about incidence, severity, transmission, and clinical features of invasive Salmonella infections in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. These studies are also characterizing drug resistance patterns in their respective study sites. Each study answers a different set of research questions and employs slightly different methodologies, and the geographies under surveillance differ in size, population density, physician practices, access to healthcare facilities, and access to microbiologically safe water and improved sanitation. These differences in part reflect the heterogeneity of the epidemiology of invasive salmonellosis globally, and thus enable generation of data that are useful to policymakers in decision-making for the introduction of typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs). Moreover, each study is evaluating the large-scale deployment of TCVs, and may ultimately be used to assess post-introduction vaccine impact. The data generated by these studies will also be used to refine global disease burden estimates. It is important to ensure that lessons learned from these studies not only inform vaccination policy, but also are incorporated into sustainable, low-cost, integrated vaccine-preventable disease surveillance systems.

      3. Predicted effectiveness of daily and nondaily preexposure prophylaxis for men who have sex with men based on sex and pill-taking patterns from the Human Immuno Virus Prevention Trials Network 067/ADAPT Studyexternal icon
        Dimitrov D, Moore JR, Wood D, Mitchell KM, Li M, Hughes JP, Donnell DJ, Mannheimer S, Holtz TH, Grant RM, Boily MC.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 11;71(2):249-255.
        BACKGROUND: The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 067/Alternative Dosing to Augment PrEP Pill Taking (ADAPT) Study evaluated the feasibility of daily and nondaily human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimens among high-risk populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women, in Bangkok, Thailand and Harlem, New York. We used a mathematical model to predict the efficacy and effectiveness of different dosing regimens. METHODS: An individual-based mathematical model was used to simulate annual HIV incidence among MSM cohorts. PrEP efficacy for covered sex acts, as defined in the HPTN 067/ADAPT protocol, was estimated using subgroup efficacy estimates from the preexposure prophylaxis initiative (iPrEx) trial. Effectiveness was estimated by comparison of the HIV incidence with and without PrEP use. RESULTS: We estimated that PrEP was highly protective (85%-96% efficacy across regimens and sites) for fully covered acts. PrEP was more protective for partially covered acts in Bangkok (71%-88% efficacy) than in Harlem (62%-81% efficacy). Our model projects 80%, 62%, and 68% effectiveness of daily, time-driven, and event-driven PrEP for MSM in Harlem compared with 90%, 85%, and 79% for MSM in Bangkok. Halving the efficacy for partially covered acts decreases effectiveness by 8-9 percentage points in Harlem and by 5-9 percentage points in Bangkok across regimens. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggests that PrEP was more effective among MSM in Thailand than in the United States as a result of more fully covered sex acts and more pills taken around partially covered acts. Overall, nondaily PrEP was less effective than daily PrEP, especially in the United States where the sex act coverage associated with daily use was substantially higher.

      4. Notes from the field: Characteristics of meat processing facility workers with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection - Nebraska, April-May 2020external icon
        Donahue M, Sreenivasan N, Stover D, Rajasingham A, Watson J, Bealle A, Ritchison N, Safranek T, Waltenburg MA, Buss B, Reefhuis J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1020-1022.

      5. Impact of GeneXpert MTB/RIF on treatment initiation and outcomes of RIF-resistant and RIF-susceptible TB patients in Vladimir TB dispensary, Russiaexternal icon
        Ershova JV, Volchenkov GV, Somova TR, Kuznetsova TA, Kaunetis NV, Kaminski D, Demikhova OV, Chernousova LN, Vasilyeva IA, Kerr EM, Cegielski JP, Kurbatova EV.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 25;20(1):543.
        BACKGROUND: The main advantage of GeneXpert MTB/RIF® (Xpert) molecular diagnostic technology is the rapid detection of M.tuberculosis DNA and mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance for timely initiation of appropriate treatment and, consequently, preventing further transmission of the disease. We assessed time to treatment initiation and treatment outcomes of RIF-resistant and RIF-susceptible TB patients diagnosed and treated in Vladimir TB Dispensary, Russia in 2012, before and after implementation of GeneXpert MTB/RIF® diagnostic technology. METHODS: All adult patients suspected of having TB during February-December 2012 underwent a clinical examination, chest x-ray, microscopy, culture, and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST). Starting August 2012 Xpert diagnostic technology became available in the facility. We used logistic regression to compare treatment outcomes in pre-Xpert and post-Xpert periods. Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank test were used to compare the time to treatment initiation between the groups. RESULTS: Of 402 patients screened for TB during February-December 2012, 338 were diagnosed with TB (280 RIF-susceptible, 58 RIF-resistant). RIF-resistant patients in the post-Xpert group started treatment with second-line drugs (SLD) earlier than those in pre-Xpert group (median 11 vs. 37 days, Log-rank p = 0.02). The hazard ratio for time to SLD treatment initiation was significantly higher in post-Xpert group (HR:2.06; 95%CI:1.09,3.89) compared to pre-Xpert group. Among the 53/58 RIF-resistant TB patients with available treatment outcome, 28 (53%) had successful outcomes (cured/completed treatment) including 15/26 (58%) in post-Xpert group versus 13/27 (48%) in pre-Xpert group. The observed difference, however, was not statistically significant (OR:0.69; 95%CI:0.23,2.06). Among RIF-susceptible TB cases time to treatment initiation was not significantly different between the groups (2 vs. 3 days, Log-rank p = 0.73). Of 252/280 RIF-susceptible TB cases with treatment outcome, 199 (79%) cases had successful outcome including 94/114 (82%) in post-Xpert group versus 105/138 (76%) in pre-Xpert group (OR:0.68; 95%CI:0.36,1.26). CONCLUSION: We observed that availability of Xpert for initial diagnosis significantly reduced the time to SLD treatment for RIF-resistant patients in the Vladimir TB Dispensary. Although implementation of rapid diagnostics did not improve treatment outcomes, early diagnosis of MDR-TB is important for selection of appropriate treatment regimen and prevention of transmission of drug-resistant strains of TB.

      6. CureTB and continuity of care for globally mobile patientsexternal icon
        Figueroa A, Vonnahme L, Burrell K, Vera-García C, Gulati RK.
        Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2020 Jul 1;24(7):694-699.
        BACKGROUND: In 2016, 3% of newly diagnosed patients with tuberculosis (TB) left the United States, of whom 24% moved to Mexico. Continuity of care for TB is important to ensure patients complete treatment and reduce TB transmission. CureTB provides continuity of care for patients with TB who move out of the United States by referring them for care at their destination.METHODS: Analysis of CureTB data collected between January 2012 to December 2015 to describe demographics and outcomes of referred patients and examine factors contributing to successful treatment outcomes.RESULTS: CureTB received 1347 referrals mostly from health departments and law enforcement agencies in the United States (92%). A total of 858 referrals were for patients with verified or possible TB (64%). Most patients moved to Mexico or other Latin American countries (96%) and completed treatment after departing (78%). Poor treatment outcomes were associated with being in custody (33%), not being interviewed by CureTB (30%), and not having diabetes (18%).CONCLUSION: CureTB successfully promoted transnational continuity of care for patients by exchanging information with international public health authorities and linking them directly with patients. This patient-centered strategy helps improve TB treatment success and reduce the global burden and transmission of TB.

      7. BACKGROUND: Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is a life-threatening but treatable and preventable fungal infection in immunocompromised persons. Previous studies suggest that persons without HIV who develop PCP (PCPHIV-) experience more acute, severe illness than persons with HIV who develop PCP (PCPHIV+). We analyzed health insurance claims data to compare demographics, underlying conditions, symptoms, and prescriptions for PCPHIV+ and PCPHIV-. METHODS: We used the IBM MarketScan Research Databases to identify patients diagnosed with PCP during 2011-2015. We analyzed claims 1 year before to 3 months after diagnosis to compare PCPHIV+ and PCPHIV-. RESULTS: Among 3938 patients, 70.4% were PCPHIV-. Compared with PCPHIV+, PCPHIV- were more likely to be older (median, 60 vs 45 years; P < .0001), female (51.5% vs 20.2%; P < .0001), hypoxemic (13.5% vs 7.1%; P < .0001), and to die within 90 days (6.6% vs 4.2%; P < .0001). The most common underlying conditions among PCPHIV- included chronic pulmonary diseases (54.6%), solid tumors (35.1%), hematologic malignancies (20.1%), and rheumatologic conditions (14.0%). The median time between the first visit for PCP-related symptoms and PCP diagnosis was longer for PCPHIV- than PCPHIV+ (25 vs 16 days; P < .0001). In the 3 months before PCP diagnosis, PCPHIV- were less likely to have an outpatient prescription for PCP prophylaxis than PCPHIV+ (6.9% vs 10.6%; P = .0001). CONCLUSIONS: PCPHIV- may experience a prolonged illness course and diagnostic delays compared with PCPHIV+. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for PCP in immunocompromised patients with compatible symptoms, regardless of HIV status.

      8. Improving inpatient provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling in Sierra Leoneexternal icon
        Kassa G, Dougherty G, Madevu-Matson C, Egesimba G, Sartie K, Akinjeji A, Tamba F, Gleason B, Toure M, Rabkin M.
        PLoS One. 2020 ;15(7):e0236358.
        BACKGROUND/SETTING: Only 47% of HIV-positive Sierra Leoneans knew their status in 2017, making expanded HIV testing a priority. National guidelines endorse provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) to increase testing coverage, but PITC is rarely provided in Sierra Leone. In response, a Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) was implemented to improve PITC coverage amongst adult inpatients. METHODS: Ten hospitals received the intervention between October 2017 and August 2018; there were no control facilites. Each hospital aimed to improve PITC coverage to ≥ 95% of eligible patients. Staff received training on PITC and QIC methods and a package of PITC best practices and tools. They then worked to identify additional contextually-appropriate interventions, conducted rapid tests of change, and tracked performance using shared indicators and time-series data. Supportive supervision bolstered QI skills, and quarterly meetings enabled diffusion of innovations while spurring friendly competition. RESULTS: Baseline PITC coverage was 4%. The hospital teams tested diverse interventions using QI methods, including staff training; data review meetings; enhanced workflow processes and supervision; and patient education and sensitization activities Nine hospitals reached and sustained the 95% target, and all saw rapid and durable improvement, which was sustained for a median of six months. Of the 5,238 patients tested for HIV, 311 (6%) were found to be HIV-positive and were referred for treatment. HIV rapid test kit stockouts occurred during the project period, limiting PITC services in some cases. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention led to swift and sustained improvement in inpatient PITC coverage and to the diagnosis of hundreds of people living with HIV. Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation plans to take the initiative to national scale, with close attention to the issue of test kit stockouts.

      9. Vital Signs: Clinical characteristics of patients with confirmed acute flaccid myelitis, United States, 2018external icon
        Kidd S, Lopez A, Nix WA, Anyalechi G, Itoh M, Yee E, Oberste MS, Routh J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1031-1038.
        BACKGROUND: Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a serious neurologic syndrome that affects mostly children and is characterized by the acute onset of limb weakness or paralysis. Since U.S. surveillance for AFM began in 2014, reported cases have peaked biennially. This report describes the clinical characteristics of AFM patients during 2018, the most recent peak year. METHODS: Medical records from persons meeting AFM clinical criterion (acute onset of flaccid limb weakness) were submitted to CDC. Patients with confirmed AFM met the clinical criterion and had magnetic resonance imaging indicating spinal cord lesions largely restricted to gray matter and spanning one or more vertebral segments. Symptoms, physical findings, test and imaging results, and hospitalization data were abstracted and described. RESULTS: Among 238 patients with confirmed AFM during 2018, median age was 5.3 years. Among the 238 patients, 205 (86%) had onset during August-November. Most (92%) had prodromal fever, respiratory illness, or both beginning a median of 6 days before weakness onset. In addition to weakness, common symptoms at clinical evaluation were gait difficulty (52%), neck or back pain (47%), fever (35%), and limb pain (34%). Among 211 who were outpatients when weakness began, most (76%) sought medical care within 1 day, and 64% first sought treatment at an emergency department. Overall, 98% of patients were hospitalized, 54% were admitted to an intensive care unit, and 23% required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSION: Clinicians should suspect AFM in children with acute flaccid limb weakness, especially during August-November and when accompanied by neck or back pain and a recent history of febrile respiratory illness. Increasing awareness in frontline settings such as emergency departments should aid rapid recognition and hospitalization for AFM.

      10. Characteristics and outcomes of contacts of COVID-19 patients monitored using an automated symptom monitoring tool - Maine, May-June 2020external icon
        Krueger A, Gunn JK, Watson J, Smith AE, Lincoln R, Huston SL, Dirlikov E, Robinson S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1026-1030.
        SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is spread from person to person (1-3). Quarantine of exposed persons (contacts) for 14 days following their exposure reduces transmission (4-7). Contact tracing provides an opportunity to identify contacts, inform them of quarantine recommendations, and monitor their symptoms to promptly identify secondary COVID-19 cases (7,8). On March 12, 2020, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) identified the first case of COVID-19 in the state. Because of resource constraints, including staffing, Maine CDC could not consistently monitor contacts, and automated technological solutions for monitoring contacts were explored. On May 14, 2020, Maine CDC began enrolling contacts of patients with reported COVID-19 into Sara Alert (MITRE Corporation, 2020),* an automated, web-based, symptom monitoring tool. After initial communication with Maine CDC staff members, enrolled contacts automatically received daily symptom questionnaires via their choice of e-mailed weblink, text message, texted weblink, or telephone call until completion of their quarantine. Epidemiologic investigations were conducted for enrollees who reported symptoms or received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. During May 14-June 26, Maine CDC enrolled 1,622 contacts of 614 COVID-19 patients; 190 (11.7%) eventually developed COVID-19, highlighting the importance of identifying, quarantining, and monitoring contacts of COVID-19 patients to limit spread. In Maine, symptom monitoring was not feasible without the use of an automated symptom monitoring tool. Using a tool that permitted enrollees to specify a method of symptom monitoring was well received, because the majority of persons monitored (96.4%) agreed to report using this system.

      11. Individual-level association of influenza infection with subsequent pneumonia: A case-control and prospective cohort studyexternal icon
        Kubale J, Kuan G, Gresh L, Ojeda S, Schiller A, Sanchez N, Lopez R, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Wraith S, Harris E, Balmaseda A, Zelner J, Gordon A.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 27.
        BACKGROUND: Pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Influenza may result in primary pneumonia or be associated with secondary bacterial pneumonia. While the association with secondary pneumonia has been established ecologically, individual-level evidence remains sparse and the risk period for pneumonia following influenza poorly defined. METHODS: We conducted a matched case-control study and a prospective cohort study among Nicaraguan children aged 0-14 years from 2011-2018. Physicians diagnosed pneumonia cases based on Integrated Management for Childhood Illness (IMCI) guidelines. Cases were matched with up to 4 controls on age (months) and study week. We fit conditional logistic regression models to assess the association between influenza subtype and subsequent pneumonia development, and a Bayesian non-linear survival model to estimate pneumonia hazard following influenza. RESULTS: Participants with influenza had greater risk of developing pneumonia in the 30 days following onset compared to those without influenza (matched odds ratio [mOR]: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.9, 3.9). Odds of developing pneumonia were highest for participants following A(H1N1)pdm09 illness (mOR: 3.7, 95% CI: 2.0, 6.9), followed by influenza B, and A(H3N2). Participants' odds of pneumonia following influenza were not constant, showing distinct peaks 0-6 days (mOR: 8.3, 95% CI: 4.8, 14.5) and 14-20 (mOR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.5) days post influenza infection. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza is a significant driver of both primary and secondary pneumonia among children. Distinct periods of elevated pneumonia risk in the 30 days following influenza supports multiple etiological pathways.

      12. Access to HIV viral load testing and antiretroviral therapy switch practices: a multi-country prospective cohort study in sub-Saharan Africaexternal icon
        Ondoa P, Kim AA, Boender TS, Zhang G, Kroeze S, Wiener J, Rinke de Wit TF, Nkengasong J.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2020 Jul 29.
        BACKGROUND: poor access to HIV viral load (VL) testing prevents the timely monitoring of HIV treatment adherence and efficacy. Factors enabling clinical benefits of VL testing when added to local standards of care, can inform the development of more cost-effective routine VL scale-up plans. We compared antiretroviral therapy (ART) switch practices in 13 clinics across six countries, with full (N=8), phasing-in (N=3) or no onsite access (N=2) to VL. METHODS: The analysis used data from the Pan-African Studies to Evaluate Resistance (PASER), observing virological and drug resistance outcomes among adults receiving first-or second-line ART between 2008 and 2015. Study plasma viral load (sVL) determined at baseline, every 12 months thereafter and at the time of switch served for retrospectively validating switch decisions, categorized into 'necessary', 'unecessary' and 'missed'. Virological failure was defined as two consecutive sVL≥ 1,000 HIV-RNA copies/mL. RESULTS: 1,995 of the 2,420 (82.4%) study participants had continuous virological suppression during the median 30 months of follow-up. Among the 266 virological failures (11.0%), the proportion of necessary switches were similar in clinics with full (37%), phasing-in (25%) or no access (39%) to VL testing. Documented utilization of local VL results for the switch decision was associated with higher percentage of necessary switch (87.6% versus 67.9%). Shorter time to necessary switch was associated with higher rates of long-term viral suppression, regardless access to VL. CONCLUSION: availability of HIV VL testing capacity does not systematically result in adequate switch practices or better virological outcomes. Systems supporting sufficient test demand, execution and actual utilization of results for patient management need strengthening.

      13. Hepatitis B evaluation and linkage to care for newly arrived refugees: A multisite quality improvement initiativeexternal icon
        Payton C, DeSilva MB, Young J, Yun K, Aragon D, Kennedy L, Tumaylle C, White D, Walker P, Jentes ES, Mamo B.
        J Immigr Minor Health. 2020 Jul 25.
        A quality improvement collaborative evaluated Hepatitis B virus (HBV) care for resettled refugees and identified strategies to enhance care. 682 of the 12,934 refugees from five refugee health clinics in Colorado, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania had chronic HBV. Timely care was defined relative to a HBsAg + result: staging (HBV DNA, hepatitis Be antigen, hepatitis Be antibody, alanine transaminase testing) within 14 days, comorbid infection screening (hepatitis C virus and HIV) within 14 days, and linkage to care (HBV specialist referral within 30 days and visit within 6 months). Completed labs included: HBV DNA (93%), hepatitis Be antigen (94%), hepatitis Be antibody (92%), alanine transaminase (92%), hepatitis C screening (86%), HIV screening (97%). 20% had HBV specialist referrals within 30 days; 36% were seen within 6 months. Standardized reflex HBV testing and specialist referral should be prioritized at the initial screening due to the association with timely care.

      14. The health and economic burden of respiratory syncytial virus associated hospitalizations in adultsexternal icon
        Prasad N, Newbern EC, Trenholme AA, Thompson MG, McArthur C, Wong CA, Jelley L, Aminisani N, Huang QS, Grant CC.
        PLoS One. 2020 ;15(6):e0234235.
        BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is increasingly recognized as an important cause of illness in adults; however, data on RSV disease and economic burden in this age group remain limited. We aimed to provide comprehensive estimates of RSV disease burden among adults aged ≥18 years. METHODS: During 2012-2015, population-based, active surveillance of acute respiratory infection (ARI) hospitalizations enabled estimation of the seasonal incidence of RSV hospitalizations and direct health costs in adults aged ≥18 years in Auckland, New Zealand. RESULTS: Of 4,600 ARI hospitalizations tested for RSV, 348 (7.6%) were RSV positive. The median (interquartile range) length of hospital stay for RSV positive patients was 4 (2-6) days. The seasonal incidence rate (IR) of RSV hospitalizations, corrected for non-testing, was 23.6 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 21.0-26.1) per 100,000 adults aged ≥18 years. Hospitalization risk increased with age with the highest incidence among adults aged ≥80 years (IR 190.8 per 100,000, 95% CI 137.6-244.0). Being of Māori or Pacific ethnicity or living in a neighborhood with low socioeconomic status (SES) were independently associated with increased RSV hospitalization rates. We estimate RSV-associated hospitalizations among adults aged ≥18 years to cost on average NZD $4,758 per event. CONCLUSIONS: RSV infection is associated with considerable disease and economic cost in adults. RSV disproportionally affects adult sub-groups defined by age, ethnicity, and neighborhood SES. An effective RSV vaccine or RSV treatment may offer benefits for older adults.

      15. Prevalence and correlates of active syphilis and HIV co-Infection among sexually active persons aged 15-59 years in Zambia: Results from the Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) 2016external icon
        Solomon H, Moraes AN, Williams DB, Fotso AS, Duong YT, Ndongmo CB, Voetsch AC, Patel H, Lupoli K, McAuley JB, Mulundu G, Kasongo W, Mulenga L.
        PLoS One. 2020 ;15(7):e0236501.
        OBJECTIVES: The main objectives of the study are to estimate HIV prevalence, active syphilis prevalence, and correlates of co-infection with HIV in Zambia, among recently sexually active individuals aged 15 to 59 years old. METHODS: We used data from the 2016 Zambia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA), a national household survey that included biomarker testing for HIV and syphilis. Chembio DPP® Syphilis Screen and Confirm Assay was used to distinguish between active and older syphilis infections. This is the first time Chembio DPP® has been used in a national survey. Log-binominal modelling was utilized to understand the risk of acquiring HIV/active syphilis co-infection using select socio-demographic and sexual behavior variables. Multivariable analysis compared those with co-infection and those with no infection. All reported results account for the complex survey design and are weighted. RESULTS: A total of 19,114 individuals aged 15-59 years responded to the individual interview and had a valid syphilis and/or HIV test. The prevalence for those sexually active in the 12 months preceding ZAMPHIA 2016 was 3.5% and 13% for active syphilis and HIV, respectively. The prevalence of HIV/active syphilis co-infection was 1.5%. Factors associated with higher prevalence of co-infection versus no infection among females included, but were not limited to, those living in urban areas (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.8, 4.8), those had sexual intercourse before age 15 years (aPR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.9), and those who had two or more sexual partners in the 12 months preceding the survey (aPR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.6, 4.7). CONCLUSION: These findings show high prevalence for both mono-infection with HIV and syphilis, as well as co-infection with HIV/active syphilis in Zambia. There is a need for better screening and partner services, particularly among those engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors (e.g., engaging in transactional sex).

      16. COVID-19 outbreak among employees at a meat processing facility - South Dakota, March-April 2020external icon
        Steinberg J, Kennedy ED, Basler C, Grant MP, Jacobs JR, Ortbahn D, Osburn J, Saydah S, Tomasi S, Clayton JL.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1015-1019.
        On March 24, 2020, the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) was notified of a case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an employee at a meat processing facility (facility A) and initiated an investigation to isolate the employee and identify and quarantine contacts. On April 2, when 19 cases had been confirmed among facility A employees, enhanced testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was implemented, so that any employee with a COVID-19-compatible sign or symptom (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) could receive a test from a local health care facility. By April 11, 369 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed among facility A employees; on April 12, facility A began a phased closure* and did not reopen during the period of investigation (March 16-April 25, 2020). At the request of SDDOH, a CDC team arrived on April 15 to assist with the investigation. During March 16-April 25, a total of 929 (25.6%) laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases were diagnosed among 3,635 facility A employees. At the outbreak's peak, an average of 67 cases per day occurred. An additional 210 (8.7%) cases were identified among 2,403 contacts of employees with diagnosed COVID-19. Overall, 48 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, including 39 employees and nine contacts. Two employees died; no contacts died. Attack rates were highest among department-groups where employees tended to work in proximity (i.e., <6 feet [2 meters]) to one another on the production line. Cases among employees and their contacts declined to approximately 10 per day within 7 days of facility closure. SARS-CoV-2 can spread rapidly in meat processing facilities because of the close proximity of workstations and prolonged contact between employees (1,2). Facilities can reduce this risk by implementing a robust mitigation program, including engineering and administrative controls, consistent with published guidelines (1).

      17. SARS-CoV-2 transmission and infection among attendees of an overnight camp - Georgia, June 2020external icon
        Szablewski CM, Chang KT, Brown MM, Chu VT, Yousaf AR, Anyalechi N, Aryee PA, Kirking HL, Lumsden M, Mayweather E, McDaniel CJ, Montierth R, Mohammed A, Schwartz NG, Shah JA, Tate JE, Dirlikov E, Drenzek C, Lanzieri TM, Stewart RJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1023-1025.
        Limited data are available about transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), among youths. During June 17-20, an overnight camp in Georgia (camp A) held orientation for 138 trainees and 120 staff members; staff members remained for the first camp session, scheduled during June 21-27, and were joined by 363 campers and three senior staff members on June 21. Camp A adhered to the measures in Georgia's Executive Order* that allowed overnight camps to operate beginning on May 31, including requiring all trainees, staff members, and campers to provide documentation of a negative viral SARS-CoV-2 test ≤12 days before arriving. Camp A adopted most(†) components of CDC's Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps(§) to minimize the risk for SARS-CoV-2 introduction and transmission. Measures not implemented were cloth masks for campers and opening windows and doors for increased ventilation in buildings. Cloth masks were required for staff members. Camp attendees were cohorted by cabin and engaged in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including daily vigorous singing and cheering. On June 23, a teenage staff member left camp A after developing chills the previous evening. The staff member was tested and reported a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 the following day (June 24). Camp A officials began sending campers home on June 24 and closed the camp on June 27. On June 25, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) was notified and initiated an investigation. DPH recommended that all attendees be tested and self-quarantine, and isolate if they had a positive test result.

      18. Using a hepatitis B surveillance system evaluation in Fujian, Hainan, and Gansu provinces to improve data quality and assess program effectiveness, China, 2015external icon
        Zheng H, Millman AJ, Rainey JJ, Wang F, Zhang R, Chen H, Yin Z, Wang H, Zhang G.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 25;20(1):547.
        BACKGROUND: Monitoring hepatitis B surveillance data is important for evaluating progress towards global hepatitis B elimination goals. Accurate classification of acute and chronic hepatitis infections is essential for assessing program effectiveness. METHODS: We evaluated hepatitis B case-reporting at six hospitals in Fujian, Hainan and Gansu provinces in 2015 to assess the accuracy of case classification. We linked National Notifiable Disease Reporting System (NNDRS) HBV case-reports with hospital information systems and extracted information on age, gender, admission ward and viral hepatitis diagnosis from medical records. To assess accuracy, we compared NNDRS reported case-classifications with the national HBV case definitions. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with misclassification. RESULTS: Of the 1420 HBV cases reported to NNDRS, 23 (6.5%) of the 352 acute reports and 648 (60.7%) of the 1068 chronic reports were correctly classified. Of the remaining, 318 (22.4%) were misclassified and 431 (30.4%) could not be classified due to the lack of supporting information. Based on the multivariable analysis, HBV cases reported from Hainan (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.3-2.4) and Gansu (aOR = 12.7; 95% CI: 7.7-20.1) along with reports from grade 2 hospitals (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI:1.2-2.2) and those from non-HBV related departments (aOR = 5.3; 95% CI: 4.1-7.0) were independently associated with being 'misclassified' in NNDRS. CONCLUSIONS: We identified discrepancies in the accuracy of HBV case-reporting in the project hospitals. Onsite training on the use of anti-HBc IgM testing as well as on HBV case definitions and reporting procedures are needed to accurately assess program effectiveness and ensure case-patients are referred to appropriate treatment and care. Routine surveillance evaluations such as this can be useful for improving data quality and monitoring program effectiveness.

    • Drug Safety

      1. Developing clinical quality improvement measures aligned with the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain: An important strategy to support safer prescribing in primary careexternal icon
        Shoemaker-Hunt S, Sargent W, Swan H, Mikosz C, Cobb K, McDonald D, Keane N, von Korff M, Parchman M, Losby J.
        Am J Med Qual. 2020 Jul 29.

    • Entomology
      1. Integrating population genetic structure, microbiome, and pathogens presence data in Dermacentor variabilisexternal icon
        Lado P, Luan B, Allerdice ME, Paddock CD, Karpathy SE, Klompen H.
        PeerJ. 2020 ;8:e9367.
        Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) continue to emerge and re-emerge in several regions of the world, highlighting the need for novel and effective control strategies. The development of effective strategies requires a better understanding of TBDs ecology, and given the complexity of these systems, interdisciplinary approaches are required. In recent years, the microbiome of vectors has received much attention, mainly because associations between native microbes and pathogens may provide a new promising path towards the disruption of pathogen transmission. However, we still do not fully understand how host genetics and environmental factors interact to shape the microbiome of organisms, or how pathogenic microorganisms affect the microbiome and vice versa. The integration of different lines of evidence may be the key to improve our understanding of TBDs ecology. In that context, we generated microbiome and pathogen presence data for Dermacentor variabilis, and integrated those data sets with population genetic data, and metadata for the same individual tick specimens. Clustering and multivariate statistical methods were used to combine, analyze, and visualize data sets. Interpretation of the results is challenging, likely due to the low levels of genetic diversity and the high abundance of a few taxa in the microbiome. Francisella was dominant in almost all ticks, regardless of geography or sex. Nevertheless, our results showed that, overall, ticks from different geographic regions differ in their microbiome composition. Additionally, DNA of Rickettsia rhipicephali, R. montanensis, R. bellii, and Anaplasma spp., was detected in D. variabilis specimens. This is the first study that successfully generated microbiome, population genetics, and pathogen presence data from the same individual ticks, and that attempted to combine the different lines of evidence. The approaches and pre-processing steps used can be applied to a variety of taxa, and help better understand ecological processes in biological systems.

    • Global Health
      1. Health services uptake among nomadic pastoralist populations in Africa: A systematic review of the literatureexternal icon
        Gammino VM, Diaz MR, Pallas SW, Greenleaf AR, Kurnit MR.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Jul 27;14(7):e0008474.
        The estimated 50 million nomadic pastoralists in Africa are among the most "hard-to-reach" populations for health-service delivery. While data are limited, some studies have identified these communities as potential disease reservoirs relevant to neglected tropical disease programs, particularly those slated for elimination and eradication. Although previous literature has emphasized the role of these populations' mobility, the full range of factors influencing health service utilization has not been examined systematically. We systematically reviewed empirical literature on health services uptake among African nomadic pastoralists from seven online journal databases. Papers meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed using STROBE- and PRISMA-derived guidelines. Study characteristics were summarized quantitatively, and 10 key themes were identified through inductive qualitative coding. One-hundred two papers published between 1974-2019 presenting data from 16 African countries met our inclusion criteria. Among the indicators of study-reporting quality, limitations (37%) and data analysis were most frequently omitted (18%) We identified supply- and demand-side influences on health services uptake that related to geographic access (79%); service quality (90%); disease-specific knowledge and awareness of health services (59%); patient costs (35%); contextual tailoring of interventions (75%); social structure and gender (50%); subjects' beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes (43%); political will (14%); and social, political, and armed conflict (30%) and community agency (10%). A range of context-specific factors beyond distance to facilities or population mobility affects health service uptake. Approaches tailored to the nomadic pastoralist lifeway, e.g., that integrated human and veterinary health service delivery (a.k.a., "One Health") and initiatives that engaged communities in program design to address social structures were especially promising. Better causal theorization, transdisciplinary and participatory research methods, clearer operational definitions and improved measurement of nomadic pastoralism, and key factors influencing uptake, will improve our understanding of how to increase accessibility, acceptability, quality and equity of health services to nomadic pastoralist populations.

    • Health Economics
      1. Methodological considerations for cost of illness studies of enteric feverexternal icon
        Mejia N, Ramani E, Pallas SW, Song D, Abimbola T, Mogasale V.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 29;71(Supplement_2):S111-s119.
        This article presents a selection of practical issues, questions, and tradeoffs in methodological choices to consider when conducting a cost of illness (COI) study on enteric fever in low- to lower-middle-income countries. The experiences presented are based on 2 large-scale COI studies embedded within the Surveillance for Enteric Fever in Asia Project II (SEAP II), in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan; and the Severe Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa (SETA) Program in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Madagascar. Issues presented include study design choices such as controlling for background patient morbidity and healthcare costs, time points for follow-up, data collection methods for sensitive income and spending information, estimating enteric fever-specific health facility cost information, and analytic approaches in combining patient and health facility costs. The article highlights the potential tradeoffs in time, budget, and precision of results to assist those commissioning, conducting, and interpreting enteric fever COI studies.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Modeling the potential impact of administering vaccines against Clostridioides difficile infection to individuals in healthcare facilitiesexternal icon
        Toth DJ, Keegan LT, Samore MH, Khader K, O'Hagan JJ, Yu H, Quintana A, Swerdlow DL.
        Vaccine. 2020 Jul 20.
        BACKGROUND: A vaccine against Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is in development. While the vaccine has potential to both directly protect those vaccinated and mitigate transmission by reducing environmental contamination, the impact of the vaccine on C. difficile colonization remains unclear. Consequently, the transmission-reduction effect of the vaccine depends on the contribution of symptomatic CDI to overall transmission of C. difficile. METHODS: We designed a simulation model of CDI among patients in a network of 10 hospitals and nursing homes and calibrated the model using estimates of transmissibility from whole genome sequencing studies that estimated the fraction of CDI attributable to transmission from other CDI patients. We assumed the vaccine reduced the rate of progression to CDI among carriers by 25-95% after completion of a 3-dose vaccine course administered to randomly chosen patients at facility discharge. We simulated the administration of this vaccination campaign and tallied effects over 5 years. RESULTS: We estimated 30 times higher infectivity of CDI patients compared to other carriers. Simulations of the vaccination campaign produced an average reduction of 3-16 CDI cases per 1000 vaccinated patients, with 2-11 of those cases prevented among those vaccinated and 1-5 prevented among unvaccinated patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate potential for a vaccine against CDI to reduce transmissions in healthcare facilities, even with no direct effect on carriage susceptibility. The vaccine's population impact will increase if received by individuals at risk for CDI onset in high-transmission settings.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Vaccine effectiveness against influenza-associated lower respiratory tract infections in hospitalized adults, Louisville, Kentucky, 2010-2013external icon
        Chow EJ, Rolfes MA, Carrico RL, Furmanek S, Ramirez JA, Ferdinands JM, Fry AM, Patel MM.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020 Jul;7(7):ofaa262.
        BACKGROUND: Preventing severe complications of influenza such as hospitalization is a public health priority; however, estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza-associated acute lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) hospitalizations are limited. We examined influenza VE against influenza-associated LRTIs in hospitalized adult patients. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data from a randomized trial of oseltamivir treatment in adults hospitalized with LRTI in Louisville, Kentucky, from 2010 to 2013. Patients were systematically tested for influenza at the time of enrollment. We estimated VE as 1 - the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of antecedent vaccination in influenza-positives vs negatives × 100%. Vaccination status was obtained by patient self-report. Using logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, season, timing of illness, history of chronic lung disease, and activities of daily living, we estimated VE against hospitalized influenza-associated LRTIs and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) with radiographic findings of infiltrate. RESULTS: Of 810 patients with LRTI (median age, 62 years), 184 (23%) were influenza-positive and 57% had radiographically confirmed CAP. Among influenza-positives and -negatives, respectively, 61% and 69% were vaccinated. Overall, 29% were hospitalized in the prior 90 days and >80% had comorbidities. Influenza-negatives were more likely to have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than influenza-positives (59% vs 48%; P = .01), but baseline medical conditions were otherwise similar. Overall, VE was 35% (95% CI, 4% to 56%) against influenza-associated LRTI and 51% (95% CI, 13% to 72%) against influenza-associated radiographically confirmed CAP. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination reduced the risk of hospitalization for influenza-associated LRTI and radiographically confirmed CAP. Clinicians should maintain high rates of influenza vaccination to prevent severe influenza-associated complications.

      2. Decision making and implementation of the first public sector introduction of typhoid conjugate vaccine - Navi Mumbai, India, 2018external icon
        Date K, Shimpi R, Luby S, N R, Haldar P, Katkar A, Wannemuehler K, Mogasale V, Pallas S, Song D, Kunwar A, Loharikar A, Yewale V, Ahmed D, Horng L, Wilhelm E, Bahl S, Harvey P, Dutta S, Bhatnagar P.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 29;71(Supplement_2):S172-s178.
        BACKGROUND: Typhoid fever prevention and control efforts are critical in an era of rising antimicrobial resistance among typhoid pathogens. India remains one of the highest typhoid disease burden countries, although a highly efficacious typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), prequalified by the World Health Organization in 2017, has been available since 2013. In 2018, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) introduced TCV into its immunization program, targeting children aged 9 months to 14 years in 11 of 22 areas (Phase 1 campaign). We describe the decision making, implementation, and delivery costing to inform TCV use in other settings. METHODS: We collected information on the decision making and campaign implementation in addition to administrative coverage from NMMC and partners. We then used a microcosting approach from the local government (NMMC) perspective, using a new Microsoft Excel-based tool to estimate the financial and economic vaccination campaign costs. RESULTS: The planning and implementation of the campaign were led by NMMC with support from multiple partners. A fixed-post campaign was conducted during weekends and public holidays in July-August 2018 which achieved an administrative vaccination coverage of 71% (ranging from 46% in high-income to 92% in low-income areas). Not including vaccine and vaccination supplies, the average financial cost and economic cost per dose of TCV delivery were $0.45 and $1.42, respectively. CONCLUSION: The first public sector TCV campaign was successfully implemented by NMMC, with high administrative coverage in slums and low-income areas. Delivery cost estimates provide important inputs to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and affordability of TCV vaccination through public sector preventive campaigns.

      3. Kinetics of maternal pertussis-specific antibodies in infants of mothers vaccinated with tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) during pregnancyexternal icon
        Healy CM, Rench MA, Swaim LS, Timmins A, Vyas A, Sangi-Haghpeykar H, Ng N, Rajam G, Havers F, Schiffer J, Baker CJ.
        Vaccine. 2020 Jul 21.
        BACKGROUND: Kinetics of Tdap-induced maternally-derived antibodies in infants are poorly understood. Pre-Tdap era data suggest that maternal pertussis antibodies in infants have a half-life of approximately 5-6 weeks. METHODS: 34 mother-infant pairs had blood collected before maternal Tdap vaccination, 4 weeks later, at delivery (maternal and cord), and at infant ages 3 and 6 weeks from June 2014-March 2015. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) to pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), fimbrial proteins (FIM) and pertactin (PRN) was quantified by multiplex luminex assay (IU/ml). Geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) with 95% confidence intervals (C.I.) and half-life of pertussis antibodies were calculated. RESULTS: Tdap was administered to 34 women (mean age 31.1 years) at mean gestation 30.7 weeks (28-32.7). Mean neonatal gestation was 39.1 weeks (36-41.1) and mean birthweight was 3379 g (2580-4584). Four weeks post-Tdap vaccination, maternal pertussis-specific IgG GMCs increased ≥4-fold in 59%, 41%, 29% and 44% of women for PT, FHA, FIM and PRN, respectively, and then waned. The transplacental transport ratio of pertussis antibodies was 1.35 for PT, 1.41 for FHA, 1.31 for FIM and 1.36 for PRN. Between birth and age 6 weeks, infant serum GMC for PT-specific IgG decreased from 55.1 IU/mL (38.6-78.6) to 21.1 IU/ml (14.7-30.2), and the proportion of infants with PT levels ≥10 IU/ml fell from 97% to 67%. Half-life of pertussis-specific IgG in infants in days was 29.4 (95% CI 27.3-31.7) for PT, 29.8 (95% CI 27.7-32.2) for FHA, 31.2 (95% CI 28.9-33.7) for PRN, and 35.8 (95% CI 30.1-44.3) for FIM. CONCLUSION: The half-life of pertussis-specific antibodies in infants induced by maternal Tdap vaccination (29-36 days) is shorter than previously reported. Understanding how the durability of passively-acquired antibodies impacts infant susceptibility to pertussis and response to primary vaccination is critical to refine prevention strategies.

      4. BACKGROUND: On 12/23/2009 a new high-dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3-HD) was licensed for adults aged ≥65 years. We assessed the post-licensure safety data for IIV3-HD in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) during 2011-2019. METHODS: We searched VAERS for reports after IIV3-HD during 1/1/2011-06/30/2019 in persons aged ≥65 years. Medical records were reviewed for all death reports and for certain pre-specified conditions (e.g. Guillain Barré Syndrome [GBS], anaphylaxis). We also reviewed certain groups who received IIV3-HD erroneously (e.g. pregnant women, children). Empirical Bayesian data mining was used to identify disproportional reporting. RESULTS: VAERS received 12,320 reports after IIV3-HD;723 reports (5.9%) were serious. The most common adverse events (AEs) among serious reports were pyrexia (30.2%), asthenia (28.9%), and dyspnea (24.9%), and among non-serious reports were injection site erythema (16.8%), pain in extremity (15.8%), and injection site pain (14.2%). Among 55 death reports, the most common causes of death were diseases of the circulatory system (n = 23;41.8%). Based on medical record review, there were 61 reports of GBS and 13 of anaphylaxis. There were 13 reports of pregnant-women who inadvertently received IIV3-HD; three reports described arm pain or local reactions, and 10 did not report any AE. Among 59 reports of children who erroneously received IIV3-HD, 31 experienced an AE (most commonly injection site or constitutional reactions) and the remaining 28 reports did not describe any AE. CONCLUSIONS: Post-licensure safety data of IIV3-HD during 9 influenza seasons revealed no new or unexpected safety concerns among individuals ≥65 years. Inadvertent administration of IIV3-HD to children or pregnant women was observed, although with no serious AEs reported. Training and education of providers in vaccine recommendations and groups for whom the vaccine is indicated may help in preventing these vaccine administration errors. This review provides baseline information for future monitoring of the quadrivalent-high-dose influenza vaccine.

      5. Hospital-based surveillance for Japanese encephalitis in Bangladesh, 2007-2016: Implications for introduction of immunizationexternal icon
        Paul KK, Sazzad HM, Rahman M, Sultana S, Hossain MJ, Ledermann JP, Burns P, Friedman MS, Flora MS, Fischer M, Hills S, Luby SP, Gurley ES.
        Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 25.
        BACKGROUND: Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus is recognized as a major cause of encephalitis in Bangladesh. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends human immunization as the most effective means to control JE. Several WHO-prequalified vaccines are available to prevent JE but no vaccination program has been implemented in Bangladesh. METHODS: We conducted hospital-based surveillance for acute meningitis-encephalitis syndrome (AMES) to describe JE epidemiology and help inform policy decisions about possible immunization strategies for Bangladesh. RESULTS: During 2007-2016, a total of 6,543 AMES patients were identified at four tertiary hospitals. Of the 6,525 patients tested, 548 (8%) were classified as JE cases. These 548 patients resided in 36 (56%) out of 64 districts of Bangladesh, with the highest proportion of JE cases among AMES patients (12% and 7%) presenting at two hospitals in the northwestern part of the country. The median age of JE cases was 30 years, and 193 (35%) were aged ≤15 years. The majority of JE cases (80%) were identified from July through November. CONCLUSIONS: Surveillance results suggest that JE continues to be an important cause of meningo-encephalitis in Bangladesh. Immunization strategies including JE vaccine introduction into the routine childhood immunization program or mass vaccination in certain age groups or geographic areas need to be examined, taking into consideration the cost-effectiveness ratio of the approach and potential for decreasing disease burden.

      6. Influenza-associated medical visits prevented by influenza vaccination in young children in Thailand, 2012-2014external icon
        Rolfes MA, Olsen SJ, Kittikraisak W, Suntarattiwong P, Klungthong C, Ellison D, Mott JA, Chotpitayasunondh T.
        J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2020 Jul 24.
        Despite recommendations, few children aged 6-35 months in Thailand receive seasonal influenza vaccination. Using previously estimated incidence and vaccine effectiveness data from the period 2012-2014, we estimate that up to 121 000 medical visits could be prevented each year with 50% coverage and expanded recommendations to children aged <5 years.

    • Informatics
      1. Diagnostic code agreement for electronic health records and claims data for tuberculosisexternal icon
        Iqbal SA, Isenhour CJ, Mazurek G, Truman BI.
        Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2020 Jul 1;24(7):706-711.
        OBJECTIVE: To measure the frequency of diseases related to latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and tuberculosis (TB), we assessed the agreement between diagnosis codes for TB or LTBI in electronic health records (EHRs) and insurance claims for the same person.METHODS: In a US population-based, retrospective cohort study, we matched TB-related Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine-Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) EHR codes and International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10(th) Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) claims codes. Furthermore, LTBI was identified using a published ICD-based algorithm and all LTBI- and TB-related SNOMED CT codes.RESULTS: Of people with the 10 most frequent TB-related claim codes, 50% did not have an exact-matched EHR code. Positive tuberculin skin test was the most frequent unmatched EHR code and people with the 10 most frequent TB EHR codes, 40% did not have an exact-matched claim code. The most frequent unmatched claim code was TB screening encounter. EHR codes for LTBI matched to claims codes for TB testing; pulmonary TB; and nonspecific, positive or adverse tuberculin reaction.CONCLUSION: TB-related EHR codes and claims diagnostic codes often disagree, and people with claims codes for LTBI have unexpected EHR codes, indicating the need to reconcile these coding systems.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. In Nigeria, one in four females has experienced some form of sexual abuse. Therefore, it is imperative to examine risk factors associated with sexual violence victimization of Nigerian girls and young women to identify targets for prevention and help stakeholders prioritize response efforts. The present article focuses on secondary data analyses of 1,766 females, aged 13 to 24, interviewed in the population-based 2014 Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey. The outcome of interest is lifetime sexual violence (LSV). Several potential predictors were explored: beliefs about gender roles related to sex, early sexual debut (aged <16 years), and multiple sex partners in the past 12 months. Other risk factors assessed were age, ethnicity, religion, education, marital status, and employment. Logistic regression analyses estimated adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results revealed that females who endorsed beliefs about patriarchal sexual decision-making (AOR = 2.1, 95% CI = [1.28, 3.32]) or ever attended school (AOR = 2.4, 95% CI = [1.35, 4.34]) were more likely to report experiencing LSV. Prevention programs that target traditional norm beliefs about gender and sexuality have the potential to influence sexual violence in Nigeria. In addition, school attendance may expose females to potential perpetrators. Thus, to prevent sexual violence of girls who attend school, implementing safety measures may be beneficial for protecting them while in and traveling to/from school.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Comparison of molecular subtyping and antimicrobial resistance detection methods used in a large multi-state outbreak of extensively drug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to pet store puppiesexternal icon
        Joseph LA, Francois Watkins LK, Chen J, Tagg KA, Bennett C, Caidi H, Folster JP, Laughlin ME, Koski L, Silver R, Stevenson L, Robertson S, Pruckler J, Nichols M, Pouseele H, Carleton HA, Basler C, Friedman CR, Geissler A, Hise KB, Aubert RD.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2020 Jul 22.
        Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of enteric bacterial illness in the United States. Traditional molecular subtyping methods, such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and 7-gene multilocus sequencing typing (MLST), provided limited resolution to adequately identify C. jejuni outbreaks and separate out sporadic isolates during outbreak investigations. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has emerged as a powerful tool for C. jejuni outbreak detection. In this investigation, 45 human and 11 puppy isolates obtained during a 2016-2018 outbreak linked to pet store puppies were sequenced. Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) and high-quality single nucleotide polymorphism (hqSNP) analysis of the sequence data separated the isolates into the same two clades containing minor within clade differences; however, cgMLST analysis does not require selection of an appropriate reference genome making this method preferable to hqSNP analysis for Campylobacter surveillance and cluster detection. The isolates were classified as ST2109-a rarely seen MLST sequence type. PFGE was performed on 38 human and 10 puppy isolates; PFGE patterns did not reliably predict clustering by cgMLST analysis. Genetic detection of antimicrobial resistance determinants predicted that all outbreak-associated isolates would be resistant to six drug classes. Traditional antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) confirmed a high correlation between genotypic and phenotypic antimicrobial resistance determinations. WGS analysis linked C. jejuni isolates in humans and pet store puppies even when canine exposure information was unknown, aiding the epidemiological investigation during this outbreak. WGS data were also used to quickly identify the highly drug-resistant profile of these outbreak-associated C. jejuni isolates.

      2. Rapid, noninvasive diagnosis of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis by a plasma-based next-generation sequencing testexternal icon
        Kalyatanda G, Rand K, Lindner MS, Hong DK, Sait Albayram M, Gregory J, Kresak J, Ibne KM, Cope JR, Roy S, Gary JM, Reddy V, Ahmed AA.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020 Jul;7(7):ofaa189.
        Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris is a rare subacute infection with exceptionally high mortality. Diagnosis is typically made by brain biopsy or at autopsy. Detection of Balamuthia mandrillaris cell-free DNA by next-generation sequencing of plasma enabled rapid, noninvasive diagnosis in a case of amoebic encephalitis.

      3. Evaluation of commercial molecular diagnostic methods for detection and determination of macrolide resistance in Mycoplasma pneumoniaeexternal icon
        Leal SM, Totten AH, Xiao L, Crabb DM, Ratliff A, Duffy LB, Fowler KB, Mixon E, Winchell JM, Diaz MH, Benitez AJ, Wolff BJ, Qin X, Tang YW, Gonzalez M, Selvarangan R, Hong T, Brooks E, Dallas S, Atkinson TP, Zheng X, Dien Bard J, Waites KB.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2020 May 26;58(6).
        We evaluated six commercial molecular tests targeting Mycoplasma pneumoniae, namely, the BioFire FilmArray respiratory panel (RP), the Meridian Alethia Mycoplasma Direct, the GenMark ePlex respiratory pathogen panel (RPP), the Luminex NxTAG RPP, the ELITech ELITe InGenius Mycoplasma MGB research use only (RUO) PCR, and the SpeeDx Resistance Plus MP assays. Laboratory-developed PCR assays at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used as reference standards. Among 428 specimens, 212 were designated confirmed positives for M. pneumoniae The highest clinical sensitivities were found with the InGenius PCR (99.5%) and the FilmArray RP (98.1%). The Resistance Plus MP identified 93.3% of the confirmed-positive specimens, whereas 83.6, 64.6, and 55.7% were identified by the ePlex RPP, NxTAG RPP, and Mycoplasma Direct assays, respectively. There was no significant difference between the sensitivity of the reference methods and that of the FilmArray RP and InGenius assays, but the remaining four assays detected significantly fewer positive specimens (P < 0.05). Specificities of all assays were 99.5 to 100%. The Resistance Plus MP assay detected macrolide resistance in 27/33 specimens, resulting in a sensitivity of 81.8%. This study provides the first large-scale comparison of commercial molecular assays for detection of M. pneumoniae in the United States and identified clear differences among their performance. Additional studies are necessary to explore the impact of various test performances on patient outcome.

      4. Single oral dose for HIV pre or post-exposure prophylaxis: user desirability and biological efficacy in macaquesexternal icon
        Massud I, Ruone S, Zlotorzynska M, Haaland R, Mills P, Cong ME, Kelley K, Johnson R, Holder A, Dinh C, Khalil G, Pan Y, Kelley CF, Sanchez T, Heneine W, Garcia-Lerma JG.
        EBioMedicine. 2020 Jul 21;58:102894.
        BACKGROUND: Daily oral pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP or PEP) is highly effective in preventing HIV infection. However, many people find it challenging to adhere to a daily oral regimen. Chemoprophylaxis with single oral doses of antiretroviral drugs taken before or after sex may better adapt to changing or unanticipated sexual practices and be a desirable alternative to daily PrEP or PEP. We investigated willingness to use a single oral pill before or after sex among men who have sex with men (MSM) and assessed the biological efficacy of a potent antiretroviral combination containing elvitegravir (EVG), emtricitabine (FTC), and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). METHODS: Data on willingness to use single-dose PrEP or PEP were obtained from the 2017 cycle of the American Men's Internet Survey (AMIS), an annual online behavioral surveillance survey of MSM in the United States. Antiretroviral drug levels were measured in humans and macaques to define drug distribution in rectal tissue and identify clinically relevant doses for macaque modeling studies. The biological efficacy of a single dose of FTC/TAF/EVG as PrEP or PEP was investigated using a repeat-challenge macaque model of rectal HIV infection. FINDINGS: Through pharmacokinetic assessment in humans and macaques we found that EVG penetrates and concentrates in rectal tissues supporting its addition to FTC/TAF to boost and extend chemoprophylactic activity. Efficacy estimates for a single oral dose given to macaques 4h before or 2h after SHIV exposure was 91•7%[35•7%-98•9%] and 100%, respectively, compared to 80•1%[13•9%-95•4%] and 64•6%[-19•4%-89•5%] when single doses were given 6 and 24h post challenge, respectively. A two-dose regimen at 24h and 48h after exposure was also protective [77•1%[1•7%-94•7%]. INTERPRETATION: Informed by user willingness, human and macaque pharmacokinetic data, and preclinical efficacy we show that single-dose prophylaxis before or after sex is a promising HIV prevention strategy. Carefully designed clinical trials are needed to determine if any of these strategies will be effective in humans. FUNDING: Funded by CDC intramural funds, CDC contract HCVJCG2-2016-03948 (to CFK), and a grant from the MAC AIDS Fund and by the National Institutes of Health [P30AI050409] - the Emory Center for AIDS Research (to MZ and TS).

      5. The evolution of minimally invasive tissue sampling in postmortem examination: a narrative reviewexternal icon
        Paganelli CR, Goco NJ, McClure EM, Banke KK, Blau DM, Breiman RF, Menéndez C, Rakislova N, Bassat Q.
        Glob Health Action. 2020 Dec 31;13(1):1792682.
        BACKGROUND: Because of low acceptance rates and limited capacity, complete diagnostic autopsies (CDAs) are seldom conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There have been growing investments in less-invasive postmortem examination methodologies, including needle-based autopsy, known as minimally invasive autopsy or minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS). MITS has been shown to be a feasible and informative alternative to CDA for cause of death investigation and mortality surveillance purposes. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this narrative review is to describe historical use and evolution of needle-based postmortem procedures as a tool to ascertain the cause of death, especially in LMICs. METHODS: Key word searches were conducted in PubMed and EBSCO in 2018 and 2019. Abstracts were reviewed against inclusion and exclusion criteria. Full publications were reviewed for those abstracts meeting inclusion criteria and a start set was established. A snowball search methodology was used and references for all publications meeting inclusion criteria were manually reviewed until saturation was reached. RESULTS: A total of 1,177 publications were initially screened. Following an iterative review of references, 79 publications were included in this review. Twenty-nine studies, published between 1955 and 2019, included MITS as part of postmortem examination. Of the publications included, 76% (60/79) have publication dates after 2010. More than 60% of all publications included addressed MITS in LMICs, and a total of nine publications compared MITS with CDA. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is evidence of less-invasive postmortem sampling starting in the 1800s, more structured needle-based postmortem examination publications started to appear in the mid-twentieth century. Early studies were mostly conducted in high-income countries but starting in 2010 the number of publications began to increase, and a growing number of studies were conducted in LMICs. Initial studies in LMICs were disease-specific but since 2015 have evolved to include more expansive postmortem examination.

      6. Lassa virus (LASV) is a mammarenavirus (arenavirus) that causes zoonotic infection in humans that can lead to fatal hemorrhagic Lassa fever (LF) disease. Currently, there are no FDA-approved vaccines or therapeutics against LASV. Development of treatments against LF and other related arenavirus-induced hemorrhagic fevers (AHFs) requires relevant animal models that can recapitulate clinical and pathological features of AHF diseases in humans. Laboratory mice are generally resistant to LASV infection, and non-human primates, while being a good animal model for LF, are limited by their high cost. Here, we describe a small, affordable, and convenient animal model that is based on outbred Hartley guinea pigs infected with Pichinde virus (PICV), a mammarenavirus that is non-pathogenic in humans, for use as a surrogate model of human LF. We conducted a detailed analysis of tissue histopathology and immunohistochemical analysis of different organs of outbred Hartley guinea pigs infected with different PICV strains that show differential disease phenotypes and pathologies. Comparing to infection with the avirulent PICV strain (P2 or rP2), animals infected with the virulent strain (P18 or rP18) show extensive pathological changes in different organs that sustain high levels of virus replication. The similarity of tissue pathology and viral antigen distribution between the virulent PICV-guinea pig model and lethal human LASV infection supports a role of this small animal model as a surrogate model of studying human LF in order to understand its pathogenesis and for evaluating potential preventative and therapeutic options against AHFs.

      7. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays using virus-like particles containing mutations of conserved residues on envelope protein can distinguish three flavivirus infectionsexternal icon
        Tsai WY, Driesse K, Tsai JJ, Hsieh SC, Sznajder Granat R, Jenkins O, Chang GJ, Wang WK.
        Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):1722-1732.
        The recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) in flavivirus-endemic regions highlight the need for sensitive and specific serological tests. Previously we and others reported key fusion loop (FL) residues and/or BC loop (BCL) residues on dengue virus (DENV) envelope protein recognized by flavivirus cross-reactive human monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera. To improve ZIKV serodiagnosis, we employed wild type (WT) and FL or FL/BCL mutant virus-like particles (VLP) of ZIKV, DENV1 and West Nile virus (WNV) in enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and tested convalescent-phase serum or plasma samples from reverse-transcription PCR-confirmed cases with different ZIKV, DENV and WNV infections. For IgG ELISA, ZIKV WT-VLP had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 52.9%, which was improved to 83.3% by FL/BCL mutant VLP and 92.2% by the ratio of relative optical density of mutant to WT VLP. Similarly, DENV1 and WNV WT-VLP had a sensitivity/specificity of 100%/70.0% and 100%/56.3%, respectively; the specificity was improved to 93.3% and 83.0% by FL mutant VLP. For IgM ELISA, ZIKV, DENV1 and WNV WT-VLP had a specificity of 96.4%, 92.3% and 91.4%, respectively, for primary infection; the specificity was improved to 93.7-99.3% by FL or FL/BCL mutant VLP. An algorithm based on a combination of mutant and WT-VLP IgG ELISA is proposed to discriminate primary ZIKV, DENV and WNV infections as well as secondary DENV and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infections; this could be a powerful tool to better understand the seroprevalence and pathogenesis of ZIKV in regions where multiple flaviviruses co-circulate.

      8. Evaluation of serological assays to monitor antibody responses to single-dose HPV vaccinesexternal icon
        Tsang SH, Basu P, Bender N, Herrero R, Kemp TJ, Kreimer AR, Muller M, Panicker G, Pawlita M, Pinto LA, Sampson JN, Sankaranarayanan R, Schussler J, Sehr P, Sierra MS, Unger ER, Waterboer T, Hildesheim A.
        Vaccine. 2020 Jul 23.
        INTRODUCTION: Whether existing serological assays are sufficiently robust to measure the lower antibody levels expected following single-dose HPV vaccination is unknown. METHODS: We evaluated seven assays measuring HPV-16/18 immunological responses overall and by number of doses in 530 serum samples from participants receiving varying doses of Cervarix or Gardasil up to 36-months post-vaccination. Serum was evaluated by simplex (HPV-16 ELISA, HPV-18 ELISA), multiplex (LIA-4, VLP-MIA, M9ELISA, GST-L1), and high-throughput pseudovirion-based neutralization assays (HT-PBNA), and results were compared to the gold standard HPV-16/18 secreted alkaline phosphatase neutralization assay (SEAP-NA). Reproducibility was assessed by the coefficient of variation (CV) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Percent agreement, Pearson correlation, and weighted-kappa were used to assess validity. Determinants of seronegativity were evaluated by chi-squared test. RESULTS: HPV-16: Seropositivity range was 97.1-99.5% for single dose and 98.8-99.8% overall. CV range was 4.0-18.0% for single dose and 2.9-19.5% overall. ICC range was 0.77-0.99 for single dose and 0.74-0.99 overall. Correlation with SEAP-NA range was 0.43-0.85 for single dose and 0.51-0.90 overall. Weighted-kappa range was 0.34-0.82 for single dose and 0.45-0.84 overall. HPV-18: Seropositivity range was 63.9-94.7% for single dose and 86.2-97.9% overall. CV range was 8.1-18.2% for single dose and 4.6-18.6% overall. ICC range was 0.75-0.99 for single dose and 0.83-0.99 overall. Correlation with SEAP-NA range was 0.31-0.99 for single dose and 0.27-0.96 overall. Weighted-kappa range was 0.35-0.83 for single dose and 0.45-0.84 overall. HPV-16 seronegativity was <5% for all assays. HPV-18 seronegativity range was 5.5-17.3%. For LIA-4 and GST-L1 where the proportion of seronegativity was >10%, the strongest correlates of seronegativity were receiving a single vaccine dose and receiving Gardasil. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the utility of existing serological assays to monitor antibody responses following single-dose HPV vaccination.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. INTRODUCTION: Data on muscular dystrophies (MDs), a heterogeneous group of heritable diseases hallmarked by progressive muscle deterioration, are scarce. OBJECTIVE: We describe cross-sectional sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of individuals with congenital, distal, Emery-Dreifuss, facioscapulohumeral, limb-girdle, myotonic, or oculopharyngeal MD. METHODS: The study was conducted in four sites (Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and 12 western New York counties) as a pilot expansion of the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking and Research Network, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MDs were detected in healthcare facilities and administrative data sources using International Classification of Disease codes. Our sample contains 1,723 individuals with a MD diagnosis and a healthcare encounter between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Individuals were mostly non-Hispanic and white. Median ages ranged from 9.2 to 66.0 years. Most (98%) had health insurance. The proportion of individuals who were disabled or unable to work increased with age (range: 8.6-46.4%). People with limb-girdle MD aged ≥18 years were more likely to be nonambulatory (range: 24.5-44.7%). The percentages of individuals with documented clinical interventions during the surveillance period were low. The most common cause of death was respiratory causes (46.3-57.1%); an ICD-10 code for MD (G71.1 or G71.0) was reported for nearly one-half. Our findings show wide variability in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics across MDs.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Introduction: Design of next-generation ambulance patient compartment requires up-to date anthropometric data of emergency medical service providers (EMSP). Currently, no such data exist in the U.S. A large-scale anthropometric study of EMSP in the U.S. were conducted. This report provided the summary statistics (means, standard deviation, and percentiles) of the study's results and examined the anthropometric differences between the EMSP dataset and the U.S. general population, and between the EMSP dataset and U.S. military personnel dataset, respectively. Method: An anthropometric study of 471 male and 161 female EMSP from across the continental US was conducted, using a sampling strategy that took into account age, sex, and race strata. Results: On average, male EMSP were found to be 18 mm taller and 7 kg heavier than US male general population, and 19 mm taller and 11 kg heavier than US male military personnel. Female EMSP were found to be 25 mm taller than US female general population, and 10 kg heavier than US female military personnel. Conclusions: These results showed that it would be inappropriate to apply general population or military data to the design of next-generation ambulance patient compartment. This new dataset provided the most recent and accurate EMSP anthropometric measurements available in the US. Practical Application: Data from this study provided an invaluable resource for the design of next-generation ambulances in the US.

      2. Effects of metatarsal work boots on gait during level and inclined walkingexternal icon
        Kocher LM, Pollard JP, Whitson AE, Nasarwanji MF.
        J Appl Biomech. 2020 Jul 24:1-8.
        Footwear plays an important role in worker safety. Work boots with safety toes are often utilized at mine sites to protect workers from hazards. Increasingly, mining operations require metatarsal guards in addition to safety toe protection in boots. While these guards provide additional protection, the impact of metatarsal guards on gait are unknown. This study aimed to measure the effects of 4 safety work boots, steel toe, and steel toe with metatarsal protection in wader- and hiker-style boots, on level and inclined walking gait characteristics, during ascent and descent. A total of 10 participants completed this study. A motion capture system measured kinematics that allowed for the calculation of key gait parameters. Results indicated that gait parameters changed due to incline, similar to previous literature. Wader-style work boots reduced ankle range of motion when ascending an incline. Hip, knee, and ankle ranges of motion were also reduced during descent for this style of boot. Wader-style boots with metatarsal guards led to the smallest ankle range of motion when descending an inclined walkway. From these results, it is likely that boot style affects gait parameters and may impact a miner's risk for slips, trips, or falls.

    • Occupational Safety and Health - Mining
      1. Problem: Safety management literature generally categorizes key performance indicators (KPIs) as either leading or lagging. Traditional lagging indicators are measures related to negative safety incidents, such as injuries, while leading indicators are used to predict (and therefore can be used to prevent) the likelihood of future negative safety incidents. Recent theory suggests that traditional lagging indicators also possess characteristics of leading indicators, and vice versa, however empirical evidence is limited. Method: The current research investigated the temporal relationships among establishment-level injuries, near misses, and fatal events using injury and employment data from a sample of 24,910 mining establishments over a 12-year period. Results: While controlling for employee hours worked, establishment-level reported injuries and near misses were associated with of future fatal events across the sample of mines and over the time period studied. Fatal events were also associated with increases in future reported near misses, providing evidence of a cyclic relationship between them. Discussion: These findings challenge the strict categorization of injuries, near misses, and fatal events as lagging indicators. Practical applications: Understanding the KPIs that should be used to manage organizational safety, and how they can be used, is of critical practical importance. The results of the current study suggest that, depending on several considerations, metrics tied to negative safety incidents may be used to anticipate, and possibly prevent, future negative safety events.

    • Statistics as Topic
      1. Missingness mechanism is in theory unverifiable based only on observed data. If there is a suspicion of missing not at random, researchers often perform a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the impact of various missingness mechanisms. In general, sensitivity analysis approaches require a full specification of the relationship between missing values and missingness probabilities. Such relationship can be specified based on a selection model, a pattern-mixture model or a shared parameter model. Under the selection modeling framework, we propose a sensitivity analysis approach using a nonparametric multiple imputation strategy. The proposed approach only requires specifying the correlation coefficient between missing values and selection (response) probabilities under a selection model. The correlation coefficient is a standardized measure and can be used as a natural sensitivity analysis parameter. The sensitivity analysis involves multiple imputations of missing values, yet the sensitivity parameter is only used to select imputing/donor sets. Hence, the proposed approach might be more robust against misspecifications of the sensitivity parameter. For illustration, the proposed approach is applied to incomplete measurements of level of preoperative Hemoglobin A1c, for patients who had high-grade carotid artery stenosisa and were scheduled for surgery. A simulation study is conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach.

      2. OBJECTIVE: Multiple Imputation (MI) is a widely acceptable approach to missing data problems in epidemiological studies. Composite variables are often used to summarize information from multiple, correlated items. This study aims to assess and compare different MI methods for handling missing categorical composite variables. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We investigate the problem in the context of a real application: estimating the prevalence of HIV transmission category, which is a composite variable generated by applying a hierarchical algorithm to a group of binary risk source variables from a national program dataset. We use simulation studies to compare and assess the performance of alternative MI strategies. These methods include the active imputation, just another variable, and the passive imputation approaches. RESULTS: Our study suggests that the passive imputation approach performs better than the direct imputation approach and the inclusive and general imputation model (i.e. passive imputation with interactions) performs the best. There is no need to embed the information from the variable-combining algorithm in the passive imputation modeling. CONCLUSION: We recommend practitioners adopting an inclusive and general passive imputation modeling strategy.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Alcohol use and co-use of other substances among pregnant females aged 12-44 years - United States, 2015-2018external icon
        England LJ, Bennett C, Denny CH, Honein MA, Gilboa SM, Kim SY, Guy GP, Tran EL, Rose CE, Bohm MK, Boyle CA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Aug 7;69(31):1009-1014.
        Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, including birth defects, behavioral disorders, and impaired cognitive development (1). Little is known about the co-use of other substances by females who drink during pregnancy. CDC used 2015-2018 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to estimate the overall and trimester-specific prevalence of self-reported drinking in the past 12 months, current drinking, and binge drinking, overall and by trimester, and the co-use of other substances among pregnant females aged 12-44 years. Past drinking (12 months) was reported by 64.7% of pregnant respondents. Current drinking (at least one drink in the past 30 days) was reported by 19.6% of respondents who were in their first trimester of pregnancy and 4.7% of respondents who were in their second or third trimester. Binge drinking (consuming four or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past 30 days) was reported by 10.5% of first trimester respondents and 1.4% of second or third trimester respondents. Overall, 38.2% of pregnant respondents who reported current drinking also reported current use of one or more other substances. The substances used most with alcohol were tobacco and marijuana. Self-reported drinking prevalence was substantially lower among second or third trimester respondents than among first trimester respondents. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends alcohol use and substance use disorders screening for all females seeking obstetric-gynecologic care and counseling patients that there is no known safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy (2).

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Zika among international travellers presenting to GeoSentinel sites, 2012-2019: implications for clinical practiceexternal icon
        Angelo KM, Stoney RJ, Brun-Cottan G, Leder K, Grobusch MP, Hochberg N, Kuhn S, Bottieau E, Schlagenhauf P, Chen L, Hynes NA, Perez CP, Mockenhaupt FP, Molina I, Crespillo-Andújar C, Malvy D, Caumes E, Plourde P, Shaw M, McCarthy AE, Piper-Jenks N, Connor BA, Hamer DH, Wilder-Smith A.
        J Travel Med. 2020 Jul 14;27(4).
        INTRODUCTION: International travellers contribute to the rapid spread of Zika virus (ZIKV) and its sentinel identification globally. We describe ZIKV infections among international travellers seen at GeoSentinel sites with a focus on ZIKV acquired in the Americas and the Caribbean, describe countries of exposure and traveller characteristics, and assess ZIKV diagnostic testing by site. METHODS: Records with an international travel-related diagnosis of confirmed or probable ZIKV from January 2012 through December 2019 reported to GeoSentinel with a recorded illness onset date were included to show reported cases over time. Records from March 2016 through December 2019 with an exposure region of the Americas or the Caribbean were included in the descriptive analysis. A survey was conducted to assess the availability, accessibility and utilization of ZIKV diagnostic tests at GeoSentinel sites. RESULTS: GeoSentinel sites reported 525 ZIKV cases from 2012 through 2019. Between 2012 and 2014, eight cases were reported, and all were acquired in Asia or Oceania. After 2014, most cases were acquired in the Americas or the Caribbean, a large decline in ZIKV cases occurred in 2018-19.Between March 2016 and December 2019, 423 patients acquired ZIKV in the Americas or the Caribbean, peak reporting to these regions occurred in 2016 [330 cases (78%)]. The median age was 36 years (range: 3-92); 63% were female. The most frequent region of exposure was the Caribbean (60%). Thirteen travellers were pregnant during or after travel; one had a sexually acquired ZIKV infection. There was one case of fetal anomaly and two travellers with Guillain-Barré syndrome. GeoSentinel sites reported various challenges to diagnose ZIKV effectively. CONCLUSION: ZIKV should remain a consideration for travellers returning from areas with risk of ZIKV transmission. Travellers should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare providers to ensure ZIKV prevention measures are taken.


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DISCLAIMER: Articles listed in the CDC Science Clips are selected by the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library to provide current awareness of the public health literature. An article's inclusion does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the Clips, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.

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