Volume 10, Issue 23, June 26, 2018

CDC Science Clips: Volume 10, Issue 23, June 26, 2018

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

  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas
    Subject matter experts decide what topic to feature, and articles are selected from the last 3 to 6 months of published literature. Key topic coincides monthly with other CDC products (e.g. Vital Signs).
    • CDC Shepard Science Award Winners and Nominees
      1. Estimates of global seasonal influenza-associated respiratory mortality: a modelling studyExternal
        Iuliano AD, Roguski KM, Chang HH, Muscatello DJ, Palekar R, Tempia S, Cohen C, Gran JM, Schanzer D, Cowling BJ, Wu P, Kyncl J, Ang LW, Park M, Redlberger-Fritz M, Yu H, Espenhain L, Krishnan A, Emukule G, van Asten L, Pereira da Silva S, Aungkulanon S, Buchholz U, Widdowson MA, Bresee JS.
        Lancet. 2018 Mar 31;391(10127):1285-1300.

        BACKGROUND: Estimates of influenza-associated mortality are important for national and international decision making on public health priorities. Previous estimates of 250 000-500 000 annual influenza deaths are outdated. We updated the estimated number of global annual influenza-associated respiratory deaths using country-specific influenza-associated excess respiratory mortality estimates from 1999-2015. METHODS: We estimated country-specific influenza-associated respiratory excess mortality rates (EMR) for 33 countries using time series log-linear regression models with vital death records and influenza surveillance data. To extrapolate estimates to countries without data, we divided countries into three analytic divisions for three age groups (<65 years, 65-74 years, and >/=75 years) using WHO Global Health Estimate (GHE) respiratory infection mortality rates. We calculated mortality rate ratios (MRR) to account for differences in risk of influenza death across countries by comparing GHE respiratory infection mortality rates from countries without EMR estimates with those with estimates. To calculate death estimates for individual countries within each age-specific analytic division, we multiplied randomly selected mean annual EMRs by the country’s MRR and population. Global 95% credible interval (CrI) estimates were obtained from the posterior distribution of the sum of country-specific estimates to represent the range of possible influenza-associated deaths in a season or year. We calculated influenza-associated deaths for children younger than 5 years for 92 countries with high rates of mortality due to respiratory infection using the same methods. FINDINGS: EMR-contributing countries represented 57% of the global population. The estimated mean annual influenza-associated respiratory EMR ranged from 0.1 to 6.4 per 100 000 individuals for people younger than 65 years, 2.9 to 44.0 per 100 000 individuals for people aged between 65 and 74 years, and 17.9 to 223.5 per 100 000 for people older than 75 years. We estimated that 291 243-645 832 seasonal influenza-associated respiratory deaths (4.0-8.8 per 100 000 individuals) occur annually. The highest mortality rates were estimated in sub-Saharan Africa (2.8-16.5 per 100 000 individuals), southeast Asia (3.5-9.2 per 100 000 individuals), and among people aged 75 years or older (51.3-99.4 per 100 000 individuals). For 92 countries, we estimated that among children younger than 5 years, 9243-105 690 influenza-associated respiratory deaths occur annually. INTERPRETATION: These global influenza-associated respiratory mortality estimates are higher than previously reported, suggesting that previous estimates might have underestimated disease burden. The contribution of non-respiratory causes of death to global influenza-associated mortality should be investigated. FUNDING: None.

      2. Detailed transmission network analysis of a large opiate-driven outbreak of HIV infection in the United StatesExternal
        Campbell EM, Jia H, Shankar A, Hanson D, Luo W, Masciotra S, Owen SM, Oster AM, Galang RR, Spiller MW, Blosser SJ, Chapman E, Roseberry JC, Gentry J, Pontones P, Duwve J, Peyrani P, Kagan RM, Whitcomb JM, Peters PJ, Heneine W, Brooks JT, Switzer WM.
        J Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 27;216(9):1053-1062.

        In January 2015, an outbreak of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among persons who inject drugs (PWID) was recognized in rural Indiana. By September 2016, 205 persons in this community of approximately 4400 had received a diagnosis of HIV infection. We report results of new approaches to analyzing epidemiologic and laboratory data to understand transmission during this outbreak. HIV genetic distances were calculated using the polymerase region. Networks were generated using data about reported high-risk contacts, viral genetic similarity, and their most parsimonious combinations. Sample collection dates and recency assay results were used to infer dates of infection. Epidemiologic and laboratory data each generated large and dense networks. Integration of these data revealed subgroups with epidemiologic and genetic commonalities, one of which appeared to contain the earliest infections. Predicted infection dates suggest that transmission began in 2011, underwent explosive growth in mid-2014, and slowed after the declaration of a public health emergency. Results from this phylodynamic analysis suggest that the majority of infections had likely already occurred when the investigation began and that early transmission may have been associated with sexual activity and injection drug use. Early and sustained efforts are needed to detect infections and prevent or interrupt rapid transmission within networks of uninfected PWID.

      3. Influenza virus exploits tunneling nanotubes for cell-to-cell spreadExternal
        Kumar A, Kim JH, Ranjan P, Metcalfe MG, Cao W, Mishina M, Gangappa S, Guo Z, Boyden ES, Zaki S, York I, Garcia-Sastre A, Shaw M, Sambhara S.
        Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 6;7:40360.

        Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) represent a novel route of intercellular communication. While previous work has shown that TNTs facilitate the exchange of viral or prion proteins from infected to naive cells, it is not clear whether the viral genome is also transferred via this mechanism and further, whether transfer via this route can result in productive replication of the infectious agents in the recipient cell. Here we present evidence that lung epithelial cells are connected by TNTs, and in spite of the presence of neutralizing antibodies and an antiviral agent, Oseltamivir, influenza virus can exploit these networks to transfer viral proteins and genome from the infected to naive cell, resulting in productive viral replication in the naive cells. These observations indicate that influenza viruses can spread using these intercellular networks that connect epithelial cells, evading immune and antiviral defenses and provide an explanation for the incidence of influenza infections even in influenza-immune individuals and vaccine failures.

      4. Importance: In 2011, critical congenital heart disease was added to the US Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for newborns, but whether state implementation of screening policies has been associated with infant death rates is unknown. Objective: To assess whether there was an association between implementation of state newborn screening policies for critical congenital heart disease and infant death rates. Design, Setting, and Participants: Observational study with group-level analyses. A difference-in-differences analysis was conducted using the National Center for Health Statistics’ period linked birth/infant death data set files for 2007-2013 for 26546503 US births through June 30, 2013, aggregated by month and state of birth. Exposures: State policies were classified as mandatory or nonmandatory (including voluntary policies and mandates that were not yet implemented). As of June 1, 2013, 8 states had implemented mandatory screening policies, 5 states had voluntary screening policies, and 9 states had adopted but not yet implemented mandates. Main Outcomes and Measures: Numbers of early infant deaths (between 24 hours and 6 months of age) coded for critical congenital heart disease or other/unspecified congenital cardiac causes for each state-month birth cohort. Results: Between 2007 and 2013, there were 2734 deaths due to critical congenital heart disease and 3967 deaths due to other/unspecified causes. Critical congenital heart disease death rates in states with mandatory screening policies were 8.0 (95% CI, 5.4-10.6) per 100000 births (n = 37) in 2007 and 6.4 (95% CI, 2.9-9.9) per 100000 births (n = 13) in 2013 (for births by the end of July); for other/unspecified cardiac causes, death rates were 11.7 (95% CI, 8.6-14.8) per 100000 births in 2007 (n = 54) and 10.3 (95% CI, 5.9-14.8) per 100000 births (n = 21) in 2013. Early infant deaths from critical congenital heart disease through December 31, 2013, decreased by 33.4% (95% CI, 10.6%-50.3%), with an absolute decline of 3.9 (95% CI, 3.6-4.1) deaths per 100000 births after states implemented mandatory screening compared with prior periods and states without screening policies. Early infant deaths from other/unspecified cardiac causes declined by 21.4% (95% CI, 6.9%-33.7%), with an absolute decline of 3.5 (95% CI, 3.2-3.8) deaths per 100000 births. No significant decrease was associated with nonmandatory screening policies. Conclusions and Relevance: Statewide implementation of mandatory policies for newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease was associated with a significant decrease in infant cardiac deaths between 2007 and 2013 compared with states without these policies.

      5. Contribution of maternal age and pregnancy checkbox on maternal mortality ratios in the United States, 1978-2012External
        Davis NL, Hoyert DL, Goodman DA, Hirai AH, Callaghan WM.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;217(3):352.e1-352.e7.

        BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality ratios (MMR) appear to have increased in the United States over the last decade. Three potential contributing factors are (1) a shifting maternal age distribution, (2) changes in age-specific MMR, and (3) the addition of a checkbox indicating recent pregnancy on the death certificate. OBJECTIVE: To determine the contribution of increasing maternal age on changes in MMR from 1978 to 2012 and estimate the contribution of the pregnancy checkbox on increases in MMR over the last decade. STUDY DESIGN: Kitagawa decomposition analyses were conducted to partition the maternal age contribution to the MMR increase into 2 components: changes due to a shifting maternal age distribution and changes due to greater age-specific mortality ratios. We used National Vital Statistics System natality and mortality data. The following 5-year groupings were used: 1978-1982, 1988-1992, 1998-2002, and 2008-2012. Changes in age-specific MMRs among states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox onto their death certificate before 2008 (n = 23) were compared with states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (n = 11) to estimate the percentage increase in the MMR due to the pregnancy checkbox. RESULTS: Overall US MMRs for 1978-1982, 1988-1992, and 1998-2002 were 9.0, 8.1, and 9.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, respectively. There was a modest increase in the MMR between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 11 states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (8.6 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000, respectively). However, the MMR more than doubled between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 23 states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox (9.0-22.4); this dramatic increase was almost entirely attributable to increases in age-specific MMRs (94.9%) as opposed to increases in maternal age (5.1%), with an estimated 90% of the observed change reflecting the change in maternal death identification rather than a real change in age-specific rates alone. Of all age categories, women ages 40 and older in states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox had the largest increase in MMR-from 31.9 to 200.5-a relative increase of 528%, which accounted for nearly one third of the overall increase. An estimated 28.8% of the observed change was potentially due to maternal death misclassification among women >/=40 years. CONCLUSION: Increasing age-specific maternal mortality seems to be contributing more heavily than a changing maternal age distribution to recent increases in MMR. In states with the standard pregnancy checkbox, the vast majority of the observed change in MMR over the last decade was estimated to be due to the pregnancy checkbox, with the greatest change in MMR occurring in women ages >/=40 years. The addition of a pregnancy checkbox on state death certificates appears to be increasing case identification but also may be leading to maternal death misclassification, particularly for women ages >/=40 years.

      6. Ebola RNA persistence in semen of Ebola virus disease survivors – final reportExternal
        Deen GF, Broutet N, Xu W, Knust B, Sesay FR, McDonald SL, Ervin E, Marrinan JE, Gaillard P, Habib N, Liu H, Liu W, Thorson AE, Yamba F, Massaquoi TA, James F, Ariyarajah A, Ross C, Bernstein K, Coursier A, Klena J, Carino M, Wurie AH, Zhang Y, Dumbuya MS, Abad N, Idriss B, Wi T, Bennett SD, Davies T, Ebrahim FK, Meites E, Naidoo D, Smith SJ, Ongpin P, Malik T, Banerjee A, Erickson BR, Liu Y, Liu Y, Xu K, Brault A, Durski KN, Winter J, Sealy T, Nichol ST, Lamunu M, Bangura J, Landoulsi S, Jambai A, Morgan O, Wu G, Liang M, Su Q, Lan Y, Hao Y, Formenty P, Stroher U, Sahr F.
        N Engl J Med. 2017 Oct 12;377(15):1428-1437.

        BACKGROUND: Ebola virus has been detected in the semen of men after their recovery from Ebola virus disease (EVD). We report the presence of Ebola virus RNA in semen in a cohort of survivors of EVD in Sierra Leone. METHODS: We enrolled a convenience sample of 220 adult male survivors of EVD in Sierra Leone, at various times after discharge from an Ebola treatment unit (ETU), in two phases (100 participants were in phase 1, and 120 in phase 2). Semen specimens obtained at baseline were tested by means of a quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay with the use of the target sequences of NP and VP40 (in phase 1) or NP and GP (in phase 2). This study did not evaluate directly the risk of sexual transmission of EVD. RESULTS: Of 210 participants who provided an initial semen specimen for analysis, 57 (27%) had positive results on quantitative RT-PCR. Ebola virus RNA was detected in the semen of all 7 men with a specimen obtained within 3 months after ETU discharge, in 26 of 42 (62%) with a specimen obtained at 4 to 6 months, in 15 of 60 (25%) with a specimen obtained at 7 to 9 months, in 4 of 26 (15%) with a specimen obtained at 10 to 12 months, in 4 of 38 (11%) with a specimen obtained at 13 to 15 months, in 1 of 25 (4%) with a specimen obtained at 16 to 18 months, and in no men with a specimen obtained at 19 months or later. Among the 46 participants with a positive result in phase 1, the median baseline cycle-threshold values (higher values indicate lower RNA values) for the NP and VP40 targets were lower within 3 months after ETU discharge (32.4 and 31.3, respectively; in 7 men) than at 4 to 6 months (34.3 and 33.1; in 25), at 7 to 9 months (37.4 and 36.6; in 13), and at 10 to 12 months (37.7 and 36.9; in 1). In phase 2, a total of 11 participants had positive results for NP and GP targets (samples obtained at 4.1 to 15.7 months after ETU discharge); cycle-threshold values ranged from 32.7 to 38.0 for NP and from 31.1 to 37.7 for GP. CONCLUSIONS: These data showed the long-term presence of Ebola virus RNA in semen and declining persistence with increasing time after ETU discharge. (Funded by the World Health Organization and others.).

      7. Childhood firearm injuries in the United StatesExternal
        Fowler KA, Dahlberg LL, Haileyesus T, Gutierrez C, Bacon S.
        Pediatrics. 2017 Jul;140(1).

        OBJECTIVES: Examine fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries among children aged 0 to 17 in the United States, including intent, demographic characteristics, trends, state-level patterns, and circumstances. METHODS: Fatal injuries were examined by using data from the National Vital Statistics System and nonfatal injuries by using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Trends from 2002 to 2014 were tested using joinpoint regression analyses. Incident characteristics and circumstances were examined by using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System. RESULTS: Nearly 1300 children die and 5790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year. Boys, older children, and minorities are disproportionately affected. Although unintentional firearm deaths among children declined from 2002 to 2014 and firearm homicides declined from 2007 to 2014, firearm suicides decreased between 2002 and 2007 and then showed a significant upward trend from 2007 to 2014. Rates of firearm homicide among children are higher in many Southern states and parts of the Midwest relative to other parts of the country. Firearm suicides are more dispersed across the United States with some of the highest rates occurring in Western states. Firearm homicides of younger children often occurred in multivictim events and involved intimate partner or family conflict; older children more often died in the context of crime and violence. Firearm suicides were often precipitated by situational and relationship problems. The shooter playing with a gun was the most common circumstance surrounding unintentional firearm deaths of both younger and older children. CONCLUSIONS: Firearm injuries are an important public health problem, contributing substantially to premature death and disability of children. Understanding their nature and impact is a first step toward prevention.

      8. Asthma morbidity, comorbidities, and modifiable factors among older adultsExternal
        Hsu J, Chen J, Mirabelli MC.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018 Jan – Feb;6(1):236-243.e7.

        BACKGROUND: Asthma morbidity is increased among older adults, especially older adult women. Interventions to improve asthma control in this population are not well described. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to identify risk factors (including modifiable factors) associated with asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department or urgent care center visits (ED/UCV) among older adults. A secondary objective was to investigate sex differences in variables relevant to asthma control. METHODS: Data were obtained from 14,076 older adults >/=65 years with active asthma participating in the 2006-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Asthma Call-back Survey (a random-digit dialed survey) in 40 US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, representative of >2.6 million persons. Weighted, adjusted logistic regression was conducted. RESULTS: One or more asthma-related hospitalizations in the past year were reported by 5.7% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 5.0% to 6.4%) of participants; 10.6% (95% CI = 9.7% to 11.5%) reported >/=1 asthma-related ED/UCV. Compared with older adults without asthma-related hospitalizations, adjusted odds were higher among those with >/=1 asthma-related hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, depression, cockroaches or mold in the home, and cost barriers to asthma-related health care or medication. All these factors, except for cockroaches, were associated with asthma-related ED/UCV. Compared with males, adjusted odds were higher among females for COPD, depression, obesity, and cost barriers to asthma-related health care or medication. CONCLUSIONS: Among older adults, asthma-related hospitalizations and ED/UCV were associated with clinical comorbidities, mold in the home, and financial barriers to asthma-related health care. Interventions addressing modifiable factors could reduce asthma morbidity among older adults.

      9. Prevalence of human papillomavirus among females after vaccine introduction – National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 2003-2014External
        Oliver SE, Unger ER, Lewis R, McDaniel D, Gargano JW, Steinau M, Markowitz LE.
        J Infect Dis. 2017 Sep 1;216(5):594-603.

        Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was recommended in 2006 for routine vaccination of US females aged 11-12 years. Most vaccine used through 2014 was quadrivalent vaccine (4vHPV), which prevents HPV-6, -11, -16, and -18 infection. To evaluate vaccine impact, we measured HPV prevalence in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Methods: We analyzed HPV DNA types detected in self-collected cervicovaginal specimens and demographic, sexual behavior, and self-reported vaccination data from females 14-34 years old. We estimated HPV prevalence in the prevaccine (2003-2006) and vaccine eras (2007-2010 and 2011-2014). Results: Among 14- to 19-year-olds, 4vHPV-type prevalence decreased from 11.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.1%-14.4%) in 2003-2006 to 3.3% (95% CI, 1.9%-5.8%) in 2011-2014, when >/=1-dose coverage was 55%. Among 20- to 24-year-olds, prevalence decreased from 18.5% (95% CI, 14.9%-22.8%) in 2003-2006 to 7.2% (95% CI, 4.7%-11.1%) in 2011-2014, when >/=1-dose coverage was 43%. Compared to 2003-2006, 4vHPV prevalence in sexually active 14- to 24-year-olds in 2011-2014 decreased 89% among those vaccinated and 34% among those unvaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness was 83%. Conclusions: Within 8 years of vaccine introduction, 4vHPV-type prevalence decreased 71% among 14- to 19-year-olds and 61% among 20- to 24-year-olds. Estimated vaccine effectiveness was high. The decrease in 4vHPV-type prevalence among unvaccinated females suggests herd protection.

      10. Persistence of Zika virus in body fluids – preliminary reportExternal
        Paz-Bailey G, Rosenberg ES, Doyle K, Munoz-Jordan J, Santiago GA, Klein L, Perez-Padilla J, Medina FA, Waterman SH, Gubern CG, Alvarado LI, Sharp TM.
        N Engl J Med. 2017 Feb 14.

        Background To estimate the frequency and duration of detectable Zika virus (ZIKV) RNA in human body fluids, we prospectively assessed a cohort of newly infected participants in Puerto Rico. Methods We evaluated samples obtained from 150 participants (including 55 men) in whom ZIKV RNA was detected on reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay in urine or blood in an enhanced arboviral clinical surveillance site. We collected serum, urine, saliva, semen, and vaginal secretions weekly for the first month and then at 2, 4, and 6 months. All specimens were tested by means of RT-PCR, and serum was tested with the use of anti-ZIKV IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among the participants with ZIKV RNA in any specimen at week 4, biweekly collection continued until all specimens tested negative. We used parametric Weibull regression models to estimate the time until the loss of ZIKV RNA detection in each body fluid and reported the findings in medians and 95th percentiles. Results The medians and 95th percentiles for the time until the loss of ZIKV RNA detection were 14 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 11 to 17) and 54 days (95% CI, 43 to 64), respectively, in serum; 8 days (95% CI, 6 to 10) and 39 days (95% CI, 31 to 47) in urine; and 34 days (95% CI, 28 to 41) and 81 days (95% CI, 64 to 98) in semen. Few participants had detectable ZIKV RNA in saliva or vaginal secretions. Conclusions The prolonged time until ZIKV RNA clearance in serum in this study may have implications for the diagnosis and prevention of ZIKV infection. Current sexual-prevention guidelines recommend that men use condoms or abstain from sex for 6 months after ZIKV exposure; in 95% of the men in this study, ZIKV RNA was cleared from semen after about 3 months. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).

      11. Million Hearts: Description of the national surveillance and modeling methodology used to monitor the number of cardiovascular events prevented during 2012-2016External
        Ritchey MD, Loustalot F, Wall HK, Steiner CA, Gillespie C, George MG, Wright JS.
        J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 May 2;6(5).

        BACKGROUND: This study describes the national surveillance and modeling methodology developed to monitor achievement of the Million Hearts initiative’s aim of preventing 1 million acute myocardial infarctions, strokes, and other related cardiovascular events during 2012-2016. METHODS AND RESULTS: We calculate sex- and age-specific cardiovascular event rates (combination of emergency department, hospitalization, and death events) among US adults aged >/=18 from 2006 to 2011 and, based on log-linear models fitted to the rates, calculate their annual percent change. We describe 2 baseline strategies to be used to compare observed versus expected event totals during 2012-2016: (1) stable baselines assume no rate changes, with modeled 2011 rates held constant through 2016; and (2) trend baselines assume 2006-2011 rate trends will continue, with the annual percent changes applied to the modeled 2011 rates to calculate expected 2012-2016 rates. Events prevented estimates during 2012-2013 were calculated using available data: 115 210 (95% CI, 60 858, 169 562) events were prevented using stable baselines and an excess of 43 934 (95% CI, -14 264, 102 132) events occurred using trend baselines. Women aged >/=75 had the most events prevented (stable, 76 242 [42 067, 110 417]; trend, 39 049 [1901, 76 197]). Men aged 45 to 64 had the greatest number of excess events (stable, 22 912 [95% CI, 855, 44 969]; trend, 38 810 [95% CI, 15 567, 62 053]). CONCLUSIONS: Around 115 000 events were prevented during the initiative’s first 2 years compared with what would have occurred had 2011 rates remained stable. Recent flattening or reversals in some event rate trends were observed supporting intensifying national action to prevent cardiovascular events.

      12. Socioeconomic factors explain racial disparities in invasive community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus disease ratesExternal
        See I, Wesson P, Gualandi N, Dumyati G, Harrison LH, Lesher L, Nadle J, Petit S, Reisenauer C, Schaffner W, Tunali A, Mu Y, Ahern J.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Mar 1;64(5):597-604.

        Background: Invasive community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) incidence in the United States is higher among black persons than white persons. We explored the extent to which socioeconomic factors might explain this racial disparity. Methods: A retrospective cohort was based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program surveillance data for invasive community-associated MRSA cases (isolated from a normally sterile site of an outpatient or on hospital admission day </=3 in a patient without specified major healthcare exposures) from 2009 to 2011 in 33 counties of 9 states. We used generalized estimating equations to determine census tract-level factors associated with differences in MRSA incidence and inverse odds ratio-weighted mediation analysis to determine the proportion of racial disparity mediated by socioeconomic factors. Results: Annual invasive community-associated MRSA incidence was 4.59 per 100000 among whites and 7.60 per 100000 among blacks (rate ratio [RR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-1.80). In the mediation analysis, after accounting for census tract-level measures of federally designated medically underserved areas, education, income, housing value, and rural status, 91% of the original racial disparity was explained; no significant association of black race with community-associated MRSA remained (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, .92-1.20). Conclusions: The racial disparity in invasive community-associated MRSA rates was largely explained by socioeconomic factors. The specific factors that underlie the association between census tract-level socioeconomic measures and MRSA incidence, which may include modifiable social (eg, poverty, crowding) and biological factors (not explored in this analysis), should be elucidated to define strategies for reducing racial disparities in community-associated MRSA rates.

      13. We assessed the US state-level budget and societal impact of implementing two child abuse and neglect (CAN) primary prevention programs. CAN cost estimates and data from two prevention programs (Child-Parent Centers and Nurse-Family Partnership) were combined with current population, cost, and CAN incidence data by US state. A cost-benefit mathematical model for each program by US state compared program costs with the future monetary value of benefits from reduced CAN. The models used a lifetime time horizon from government payer and societal perspectives. Both programs could potentially avert CAN among tens of thousands of children across the country. Lower costs from reduced CAN may substantially offset, but not always entirely eliminate, payers’ program implementation cost. Results are sensitive to the rate of CAN in each US state. Given the considerable lifetime societal cost of CAN, including victims’ lost work productivity, the programs were cost saving from the societal perspective in all US states using base case methods. This analysis represents an overall minimum return on payers’ investment because averted CAN is just one of many positive health and educational outcomes associated with these programs and non-monetary benefits from reduced CAN were not included. Translating cost and effectiveness research on injury prevention programs for local conditions might increase decision makers’ adoption of effective programs.

      14. Immunocapture isotope dilution mass spectrometry in response to a pandemic influenza threatExternal
        Pierce CL, Williams TL, Santana WI, Levine M, Chen LM, Cooper HC, Solano MI, Woolfitt AR, Marasco WA, Fang H, Donis RO, Barr JR.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 5;35(37):5011-5018.

        As a result of recent advances in mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation methods, these techniques are now poised to play a critical role in rapid formulation of pandemic influenza vaccines. Analytical techniques that have been developed and validated on seasonal influenza strains can be used to increase the quality and decrease the time required to deliver protective pandemic vaccines to the global population. The emergence of a potentially pandemic avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in March of 2013, prompted the US public health authorities and the vaccine industry to initiate production of a pre-pandemic vaccine for preparedness purposes. To this end, we evaluated the feasibility of using immunocapture isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IC-IDMS) to evaluate the suitability of the underlying monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies (mAbs and pAbs) for their capacity to isolate the H7 hemagglutinin (HA) in this new vaccine for quantification by IDMS. A broad range of H7 capture efficiencies was observed among mAbs tested by IC-IDMS with FR-545, 46/6, and G3 A533 exhibiting the highest cross-reactivity capabilities to H7 of A/Shanghai/2/2013. MAb FR-545 was selected for continued assessment, evaluated by IC-IDMS for mAb reactivity against H7 in the H7N9 candidate vaccine virus and compared with/to reactivity to the reference polyclonal antiserum in allantoic fluid, purified whole virus, lyophilized whole virus and final detergent-split monovalent vaccine preparations for vaccine development. IC-IDMS assessment of FR-545 alongside IC-IDMS using the reference polyclonal antiserum to A/Shanghai/2/2013 and with the regulatory SRID method showed strong correlation and mAb IC-IDMS could have played an important role in the event a potential surrogate potency test was required to be rapidly implemented.

      15. PROBLEM: Roadway incidents are the leading cause of work-related death in the United States. METHODS: The objective of this research was to evaluate whether two types of feedback from a commercially available in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS) would reduce the incidence of risky driving behaviors in drivers from two companies. IVMS were installed in 315 vehicles representing the industries of local truck transportation and oil and gas support operations, and data were collected over an approximate two-year period in intervention and control groups. In one period, intervention group drivers were given feedback from in-cab warning lights from an IVMS that indicated occurrence of harsh vehicle maneuvers. In another period, intervention group drivers viewed video recordings of their risky driving behaviors with supervisors, and were coached by supervisors on safe driving practices. RESULTS: Risky driving behaviors declined significantly more during the period with coaching plus instant feedback with lights in comparison to the period with lights-only feedback (ORadj=0.61 95% CI 0.43-0.86; Holm-adjusted p=0.035) and the control group (ORadj=0.52 95% CI 0.33-0.82; Holm-adjusted p=0.032). Lights-only feedback was not found to be significantly different than the control group’s decline from baseline (ORadj=0.86 95% CI 0.51-1.43; Holm-adjusted p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The largest decline in the rate of risky driving behaviors occurred when feedback included both supervisory coaching and lights. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Supervisory coaching is an effective form of feedback to improve driving habits in the workplace. The potential advantages and limitations of this IVMS-based intervention program are discussed.

  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. Tracking and variability in childhood levels of BMI: The Bogalusa Heart StudyExternal
        Freedman DS, Lawman HG, Galuska DA, Goodman AB, Berenson GS.
        Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Jun 11.

        OBJECTIVE: Although the tracking of BMI levels from childhood to adulthood has been examined, there is little information on the within-person variability of BMI. METHODS: Longitudinal data from 11,591 schoolchildren, 3,096 of whom were reexamined as adults, were used to explore the tracking and variability of BMI levels. This article focuses on changes in age-adjusted levels of BMI. RESULTS: There was strong tracking of BMI levels. The correlation of adjusted BMI levels was r = 0.88, and 78% of children with severe obesity at one examination had severe obesity at the next examination (mean interval, 2.7 years). Further, an increase in adjusted BMI from +5 kg/m(2) (above the median) to + 10 increased the risk for adult BMI >/= 40 by 2.7-fold. However, BMI levels among children and adolescents were variable. Over a 9- to 15-month interval, the SD of adjusted BMI change was 0.9 kg/m(2) , and 0.7% of children had an absolute change >/= 3.5. This variability was associated with the interval between examinations and with the initial BMI. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high degree of tracking of BMI, annual changes of 3.5 kg/m(2) or more are plausible. Knowledge of this variability is important when following a child over time.

      2. Obesity prevalence among adults living in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties – United States, 2016External
        Lundeen EA, Park S, Pan L, O’Toole T, Matthews K, Blanck HM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jun 15;67(23):653-658.

        Approximately 46 million persons (14%) in the United States live in nonmetropolitan counties.* Compared with metropolitan residents, nonmetropolitan residents have a higher prevalence of obesity-associated chronic diseases such as diabetes (1), coronary heart disease (1), and arthritis (2). The 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found a significantly higher obesity prevalence among adults in nonmetropolitan (39.6%) than in metropolitan (33.4%) counties (3). However, this difference has not been examined by state. Therefore, CDC examined state-level 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data and found that the prevalence of obesity (body mass index [BMI] >/=30 kg/m(2)) was 34.2% among U.S. adults living in nonmetropolitan counties and 28.7% among those living in metropolitan counties (p<0.001). Obesity prevalence was significantly higher among nonmetropolitan county residents than among metropolitan county residents in all U.S. Census regions, with the largest absolute difference in the South (5.6 percentage points) and Northeast (5.4 percentage points). In 24 of 47 states, obesity prevalence was significantly higher among persons in nonmetropolitan counties than among those in metropolitan counties; only in Wyoming was obesity prevalence higher among metropolitan county residents than among nonmetropolitan county residents. Both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties can address obesity through a variety of policy and environmental strategies to increase access to healthier foods and opportunities for physical activity (4).

      3. An innovative network approach to coordinating a national effort to improve cardiovascular health: The Case of Million HeartsExternal
        Varda DM, Williams MV, Schooley M, Duplantier D, Newman K, Lowe Beasley K, Lucido B, Marshall A.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018 Jun 7.

        OBJECTIVE: To assess the structure, content, quality, and quantity of partnerships that developed in response to a national cardiovascular health initiative, Million Hearts. DESIGN: This study used a social network analysis (SNA) approach to assess the Million Hearts initiative network partnerships and identify potential implications for policy and practice. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: The Million Hearts network comprised a core group of federal and private sector partners that participate in Million Hearts activities and align with initiative priorities. To bound the network for the SNA, we used a list of 58 organizations (74% response rate) from a previously completed qualitative analysis of Million Hearts partnerships. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used the online PARTNER (Program to Analyze Record and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships-www.partnertool.net) survey to collect data on individual organizational characteristics and relational questions that asked organizations to identify and describe their relationships with other partners in the network. Key SNA measures include network density, centralizations, value, and trust. RESULTS: Our analyses show a network that is decentralized, has strong perceptions of trust and value among its members, and strong agreement on intended outcomes. Interestingly, partners report a desire and ability to contribute resources to Million Hearts; however, the perceptions between partners are that resources are not being contributed at the level they potentially could be. The majority of partners reported that being in the network helped them achieve their goals related to cardiovascular disease prevention. The largest barrier to successful activities within the network was cited as lack of targeted funding and staff to support participation in the network. CONCLUSIONS: The Million Hearts network described in this article is unique in its membership at the national level, agreement on outcomes, its powerful information-sharing abilities that require few resources, and its decentralized structure. We identified strategies that could be implemented to strengthen the network and its activities. By examining a national-level public-private partnership formed to address a public health issue, we can identify ways to strengthen the network and provide a framework for developing other initiatives.

      4. Visualizing colonoscopy capacity for public health useExternal
        Vu MH, Tran JL.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2018 Jun 7;15:E75.

        [No abstract]

      5. Characteristics of health care practices and systems that excel in hypertension controlExternal
        Young A, Ritchey MD, George MG, Hannan J, Wright J.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2018 Jun 7;15:E73.

        Approximately 1 in 3 US adults has hypertension, but only half have their blood pressure controlled. We identified characteristics of health care practices and systems (hereinafter practices) effective in achieving control rates at or above 70% by using data collected via applications submitted from April through June 2017 for consideration in the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge. We included 96 practices serving 635,000 patients with hypertension across 34 US states in the analysis. Mean hypertension control rate was 77.1%; 27.1% of practices had a control rate of 80% or greater. Although many practices served large populations with multiple risk factors for uncontrolled hypertension, high control rates were achieved with implementation of evidenced-based strategies.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Tuberculosis case finding using population-based disease surveillance platforms in urban and rural KenyaExternal
        Bigogo G, Cain K, Nyole D, Masyongo G, Auko JA, Wamola N, Okumu A, Agaya J, Montgomery J, Borgdorff M, Burton D.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Jun 7;18(1):262.

        BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) case finding is an important component of TB control because it can reduce transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) through prompt detection and treatment of infectious patients. METHODS: Using population-based infectious disease surveillance (PBIDS) platforms with links to health facilities in Kenya we implemented intensified TB case finding in the community and at the health facilities, as an adjunct to routine passive case finding conducted by the national TB program. From 2011 to 2014, PBIDS participants >/=15 years were screened either at home or health facilities for possible TB symptoms which included cough, fever, night sweats or weight loss in the preceding 2 weeks. At home, participants with possible TB symptoms had expectorated sputum collected. At the clinic, HIV-infected participants with possible TB symptoms were invited to produce sputum. Those without HIV but with symptoms lasting 7 days including the visit day had chest radiographs performed, and had sputum collected if the radiographs were abnormal. Sputum samples were tested for the presence of MTB using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. TB detection rates were calculated per 100,000 persons screened. RESULTS: Of 11,191 participants aged >/=15 years screened at home at both sites, 2695 (23.9%) reported possible TB symptoms, of whom 2258 (83.8%) produced sputum specimens. MTB was detected in 32 (1.4%) of the specimens resulting in a detection rate of 286/100,000 persons screened. At the health facilities, a total of 11,762 person were screened, 7500 (63.8%) had possible TB symptoms of whom 1282 (17.1%) produced sputum samples. MTB was detected in 69 (5.4%) of the samples, resulting in an overall detection rate of 587/100,000 persons screened. The TB detection rate was higher in persons with HIV compared to those without at both home (HIV-infected – 769/100,000, HIV-uninfected 141/100,000, rate ratio (RR) – 5.45, 95% CI 3.25-22.37), and health facilities (HIV-infected 3399/100,000, HIV-uninfected 294/100,000, RR 11.56, 95% CI 6.18-18.44). CONCLUSION: Facility-based intensified TB case finding detected more TB cases per the number of specimens tested and the number of persons screened, including those with HIV, than home-based TB screening and should be further evaluated to determine its potential programmatic impact.

      2. Distribution of influenza virus types by age using case-based global surveillance data from twenty-nine countries, 1999-2014External
        Caini S, Spreeuwenberg P, Kusznierz GF, Rudi JM, Owen R, Pennington K, Wangchuk S, Gyeltshen S, Ferreira de Almeida WA, Pessanha Henriques CM, Njouom R, Vernet MA, Fasce RA, Andrade W, Yu H, Feng L, Yang J, Peng Z, Lara J, Bruno A, de Mora D, de Lozano C, Zambon M, Pebody R, Castillo L, Clara AW, Matute ML, Kosasih H, Nurhayati , Puzelli S, Rizzo C, Kadjo HA, Daouda C, Kiyanbekova L, Ospanova A, Mott JA, Emukule GO, Heraud JM, Razanajatovo NH, Barakat A, El Falaki F, Huang SQ, Lopez L, Balmaseda A, Moreno B, Rodrigues AP, Guiomar R, Ang LW, Lee VJ, Venter M, Cohen C, Badur S, Ciblak MA, Mironenko A, Holubka O, Bresee J, Brammer L, Hoang PV, Le MT, Fleming D, Seblain CE, Schellevis F, Paget J.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Jun 8;18(1):269.

        BACKGROUND: Influenza disease burden varies by age and this has important public health implications. We compared the proportional distribution of different influenza virus types within age strata using surveillance data from twenty-nine countries during 1999-2014 (N=358,796 influenza cases). METHODS: For each virus, we calculated a Relative Illness Ratio (defined as the ratio of the percentage of cases in an age group to the percentage of the country population in the same age group) for young children (0-4 years), older children (5-17 years), young adults (18-39 years), older adults (40-64 years), and the elderly (65+ years). We used random-effects meta-analysis models to obtain summary relative illness ratios (sRIRs), and conducted meta-regression and sub-group analyses to explore causes of between-estimates heterogeneity. RESULTS: The influenza virus with highest sRIR was A(H1N1) for young children, B for older children, A(H1N1)pdm2009 for adults, and (A(H3N2) for the elderly. As expected, considering the diverse nature of the national surveillance datasets included in our analysis, between-estimates heterogeneity was high (I(2)>90%) for most sRIRs. The variations of countries’ geographic, demographic and economic characteristics and the proportion of outpatients among reported influenza cases explained only part of the heterogeneity, suggesting that multiple factors were at play. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the importance of presenting burden of disease estimates by age group and virus (sub)type.

      3. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the end tuberculosis eraExternal
        Cegielski JP.
        Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica. 2018 ;35(1):110-117.

        Multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) emerged shortly after introduction of rifamycins in the 1960s; isoniazid resistance had already emerged by the mid-1950s. Without these two drugs, tuberculosis is very difficult and costly to treat, with unacceptably high rates of treatment failure, death, loss to follow-up, and no known preventive treatment. Global attention first focused on MDR TB in the early 1990s when nosocomial outbreaks with high case fatality rates were reported in many countries. Prevalence data for MDR TB on a global scale first became available in 1997. In 2016, about 4.1% of estimated ~10.4 million new TB patients plus 19% of ~1 million previously treated patients, that is ~600,000 people develop MDR TB or rifampicin resistant TB; 250,000 die annually. Ten years ago, <5% of them were diagnosed and enrolled on treatment, increasing to about 21.6% in 2016, leaving much room for improvement. Over that same period of time, momentum has been building to combat MDR TB, including advances in diagnostics, therapeutics, and care; decentralizing patient-centered care coupled with social support; growing improvements in prevention of transmission; increasing use of highly effective antiretroviral treatment; communications, advocacy, and social mobilization; leadership and updated policy guidance. Taking into account long-term epidemiological trends, all of these factors coupled with funding from the Global Fund and other major donors, suggest we may be on the verge of accelerating declines in MDR TB morbidity and mortality. Extreme poverty, which allows tuberculosis to flourish, has actually decreased by about one billion people over the past 25 years. What is needed now is political will on the part of national governments to apply these advances diligently and further reductions in poverty, pushing epidemiological trends past the inflection point to the downward slope. All these can be accelerated with increased support for science leading to better diagnosis, treatment and an effective vaccine to sustain and accelerate the meager declines reported thus far.

      4. HIV infection in patients with sexually transmitted infections in Zimbabwe – Results from the Zimbabwe STI etiology studyExternal
        Kilmarx PH, Gonese E, Lewis DA, Chirenje ZM, Barr BA, Latif AS, Gwanzura L, Handsfield HH, Machiha A, Mugurungi O, Rietmeijer CA.
        PLoS One. 2018 ;13(6):e0198683.

        BACKGROUND: HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) frequently co-occur. We conducted HIV diagnostic testing in an assessment of the etiologies of major STI syndromes in Zimbabwe. METHODS: A total of 600 patients were enrolled at six geographically diverse, high-volume STI clinics in Zimbabwe in 2014-15: 200 men with urethral discharge, 200 women with vaginal discharge, and 100 men and 100 women each with genital ulcer disease (GUD). Patients completed a questionnaire, underwent a genital examination, and had specimens taken for etiologic testing. Patients were offered, but not required to accept, HIV testing using a standard HIV algorithm in which two rapid tests defined a positive result. RESULTS: A total of 489 participants (81.5%) accepted HIV testing; 201 (41.1%) tested HIV-1-positive, including 16 (11.9%) of 134 participants who reported an HIV-negative status at study enrollment, and 58 (28.2%) of 206 participants who reported their HIV status as unknown. Of 147 who self-reported being HIV-positive at study enrollment, 21 (14.3%) tested HIV negative. HIV infection prevalence was higher in women (47.3%) than in men (34.8%, p<0.01), and was 28.5% in men with urethral discharge, 40.5% in women with vaginal discharge, 45.2% in men with GUD, and 59.8% in women with GUD (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of HIV infection in STI clinic patients in Zimbabwe underscores the importance of providing HIV testing and referral for indicated prevention and treatment services for this population. The discrepancy between positive self-reported and negative study HIV test results highlights the need for operator training, strict attention to laboratory quality assurance, and clear communication with patients about their HIV infection status.

      5. Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with exposure to animal manure in a rural community – Arizona and Utah, June-July 2017External
        Luna S, Krishnasamy V, Saw L, Smith L, Wagner J, Weigand J, Tewell M, Kellis M, Penev R, McCullough L, Eason J, McCaffrey K, Burnett C, Oakeson K, Dimond M, Nakashima A, Barlow D, Scherzer A, Sarino M, Schroeder M, Hassan R, Basler C, Wise M, Gieraltowski L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jun 15;67(23):659-662.

        On June 26, 2017, a hospital in southern Utah notified the Utah Department of Health of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 infections in two children from a small community on the Arizona-Utah border. Both children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, characterized by hemolytic anemia, acute kidney failure, and thrombocytopenia and died within a few days of illness onset. Over the next few days, several more STEC-associated illnesses were reported in residents of the community. A joint investigation by local and state health agencies from Arizona and Utah and CDC was initiated to identify the outbreak source and prevent additional cases; a total of 12 cases were identified, including the two children who died. Investigators initially explored multiple potential sources of illness; epidemiologic and environmental information revealed cow manure contact as the likely initial cause of the outbreak, which was followed by subsequent person-to-person transmission. One of the outbreak strains was isolated from bull and horse manure collected from a yard near a community household with two ill children. Local health agencies made recommendations to the public related to both animal contact and hand hygiene to reduce the risk for STEC transmission. Animal or animal manure contact should be considered a potential source of STEC O157:H7 during outbreaks in communities where ruminants are kept near the home.

      6. Peer-delivered linkage case management and same-day ART initiation for men and young persons with HIV infection – Eswatini, 2015-2017External
        MacKellar D, Williams D, Bhembe B, Dlamini M, Byrd J, Dube L, Mazibuko S, Ao T, Pathmanathan I, Auld AF, Faura P, Lukhele N, Ryan C.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jun 15;67(23):663-667.

        To achieve epidemic control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, sub-Saharan African countries are striving to diagnose 90% of HIV infections, initiate and retain 90% of HIV-diagnosed persons on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achieve viral load suppression* for 90% of ART recipients (90-90-90) (1). In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), the country with the world’s highest estimated HIV prevalence (27.2%), achieving 90-90-90 depends upon improving access to early ART for men and young adults with HIV infection, two groups with low ART coverage (1-3). Although community-based strategies test many men and young adults with HIV infection in Eswatini, fewer than one third of all persons who test positive in community settings enroll in HIV care within 6 months of diagnosis after receiving standard referral services (4,5). To evaluate the effectiveness of peer-delivered linkage case management(dagger) in improving early ART initiation for persons with HIV infection diagnosed in community settings in Eswatini, CDC analyzed data on 651 participants in CommLink, a community-based, mobile HIV-testing, point-of-diagnosis HIV care, and peer-delivered linkage case management demonstration project, and found that after diagnosis, 635 (98%) enrolled in care within a median of 5 days (interquartile range [IQR] = 2-8 days), and 541 (83%) initiated ART within a median of 6 days (IQR = 2-14 days), including 402 (74%) on the day of their first clinic visit (same-day ART). After expanding ART eligibility to all persons with HIV infection on October 1, 2016, 96% of 225 CommLink clients initiated ART, including 87% at their first clinic visit. Compared with women and adult clients aged >/=30 years, similar high proportions of men and persons aged 15-29 years enrolled in HIV care and received same-day ART. To help achieve 90-90-90 by 2020, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is supporting the national scale-up of CommLink in Eswatini and recommending peer-delivered linkage case management as a potential strategy for countries to achieve >90% early enrollment in care and ART initiation after diagnosis of HIV infection (6).

      7. Notes from the Field: Contact investigation for an infant with congenital tuberculosis infection – North Carolina, 2016External
        Rinsky JL, Farmer D, Dixon J, Maillard JM, Young T, Stout J, Ahmed A, Fleischauer A, MacFarquhar J, Moore Z.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jun 15;67(23):670-671.

        [No abstract]

      8. Utility of state-level influenza disease burden and severity estimates to investigate an apparent increase in reported severe cases of influenza A(H1N1) pdm09 – Arizona, 2015-2016External
        Russell K, Herrick K, Venkat H, Brady S, Komatsu K, Goodin K, Berisha V, Sunenshine R, Perez-Velez C, Elliott S, Olsen SJ, Reed C.
        Epidemiol Infect. 2018 Jun 14:1-7.

        The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015-2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015-2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015-2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.

      9. Severe morbidity among hospitalised adults with acute influenza and other respiratory infections: 2014-2015 and 2015-2016External
        Segaloff HE, Petrie JG, Malosh RE, Cheng CK, McSpadden EJ, Ferdinands JM, Lamerato L, Lauring AS, Monto AS, Martin ET.
        Epidemiol Infect. 2018 Jun 8:1-9.

        Our objective was to identify predictors of severe acute respiratory infection in hospitalised patients and understand the impact of vaccination and neuraminidase inhibitor administration on severe influenza. We analysed data from a study evaluating influenza vaccine effectiveness in two Michigan hospitals during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 influenza seasons. Adults admitted to the hospital with an acute respiratory infection were eligible. Through patient interview and medical record review, we evaluated potential risk factors for severe disease, defined as ICU admission, 30-day readmission, and hospital length of stay (LOS). Two hundred sixteen of 1119 participants had PCR-confirmed influenza. Frailty score, Charlson score and tertile of prior-year healthcare visits were associated with LOS. Charlson score >2 (OR 1.5 (1.0-2.3)) was associated with ICU admission. Highest tertile of prior-year visits (OR 0.3 (0.2-0.7)) was associated with decreased ICU admission. Increasing tertile of visits (OR 1.5 (1.2-1.8)) was associated with 30-day readmission. Frailty and prior-year healthcare visits were associated with 30-day readmission among influenza-positive participants. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with decreased LOS among vaccinated participants with influenza A (HR 1.6 (1.0-2.4)). Overall, frailty and lack of prior-year healthcare visits were predictors of disease severity. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with reduced severity among vaccine recipients.

      10. Phylogenetic analyses of local HIV transmissionExternal
        Sullivan PS, Oster AM.
        Lancet HIV. 2018 Jun;5(6):e270-e271.

        [No abstract]

      11. Estimated impact of screening on gonorrhea epidemiology in the United States: insights from a mathematical modelExternal
        Tuite AR, Ronn MM, Wolf EE, Gift TL, Chesson HW, Berruti A, Galer K, Menzies NA, Hsu K, Salomon JA.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2018 Jun 11.

        BACKGROUND: The burden of gonorrhea infections in the United States is high. There are marked disparities by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. We quantified the impact of screening and treatment on gonorrhea rates in the US population aged 15-39 years for the time period 2000 to 2015 and estimated the impact that alternative screening strategies might have had over the same time period. METHODS: We developed a national-level transmission model that divides the population by race/ethnicity, preferred sex of sex partners, age, sex, and sexual activity level. We compared our fitted model (‘base case’) to four alternative strategies: (i) no screening; (ii) full adherence to current screening guidelines; (iii) annual universal screening; or (iv) enhanced screening in groups with the highest infection burden. Main outcomes were incidence, infections averted, and incidence rate ratios by race/ethnicity. Mean values and 95% credible intervals (CrI) were calculated from 1000 draws from parameter posterior distributions. RESULTS: The calibrated model reproduced observed trends in gonorrhea, including disparities in infection burden by race/ethnicity. We estimated that screening for gonorrhea from 2000-2015 averted 30% (95% CrI: 18-44%) of total infections that would otherwise have occurred. All alternative active screening strategies were estimated to further reduce, but not eliminate, gonorrhea infections relative to the base case, with differential impacts on the subpopulations of interest. CONCLUSIONS: Our model results suggest that screening has reduced gonorrhea incidence in the US population. Additional reductions in infection burden may have been possible over this time period with increased screening, but elimination was unlikely.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services
      1. Systems, supplies, and staff: a mixed-methods study of health care workers’ experiences and health facility preparedness during a large national cholera outbreak, Kenya 2015External
        Curran KG, Wells E, Crowe SJ, Narra R, Oremo J, Boru W, Githuku J, Obonyo M, De Cock KM, Montgomery JM, Makayotto L, Langat D, Lowther SA, O’Reilly C, Gura Z, Kioko J.
        BMC Public Health. 2018 Jun 11;18(1):723.

        BACKGROUND: From December 2014 to September 2016, a cholera outbreak in Kenya, the largest since 2010, caused 16,840 reported cases and 256 deaths. The outbreak affected 30 of Kenya’s 47 counties and occurred shortly after the decentralization of many healthcare services to the county level. This mixed-methods study, conducted June-July 2015, assessed cholera preparedness in Homa Bay, Nairobi, and Mombasa counties and explored clinic- and community-based health care workers’ (HCW) experiences during outbreak response. METHODS: Counties were selected based on cumulative cholera burden and geographic characteristics. We conducted 44 health facility cholera preparedness checklists (according to national guidelines) and 8 focus group discussions (FGDs). Frequencies from preparedness checklists were generated. To determine key themes from FGDs, inductive and deductive codes were applied; MAX software for qualitative data analysis (MAXQDA) was used to identify patterns. RESULTS: Some facilities lacked key materials for treating cholera patients, diagnosing cases, and maintaining infection control. Overall, 82% (36/44) of health facilities had oral rehydration salts, 65% (28/43) had IV fluids, 27% (12/44) had rectal swabs, 11% (5/44) had Cary-Blair transport media, and 86% (38/44) had gloves. A considerable number of facilities lacked disease reporting forms (34%, 14/41) and cholera treatment guidelines (37%, 16/43). In FDGs, HCWs described confusion regarding roles and reporting during the outbreak, which highlighted issues in coordination and management structures within the health system. Similar to checklist findings, FGD participants described supply challenges affecting laboratory preparedness and infection prevention and control. Perceived successes included community engagement, health education, strong collaboration between clinic and community HCWs, and HCWs’ personal passion to help others. CONCLUSIONS: The confusion over roles, reporting, and management found in this evaluation highlights a need to adapt, implement, and communicate health strategies at the county level, in order to inform and train HCWs during health system transformations. International, national, and county stakeholders could strengthen preparedness and response for cholera and other public health emergencies in Kenya, and thereby strengthen global health security, through further investment in the existing Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response structure and national cholera prevention and control plan, and the adoption of county-specific cholera control plans.

      2. The disaster information needs of families of children with special healthcare needs: A scoping reviewExternal
        Hipper TJ, Davis R, Massey PM, Turchi RM, Lubell KM, Pechta LE, Rose DA, Wolkin A, Briseno L, Franks JL, Chernak E.
        Health Secur. 2018 Jun 8.

        Families with children who have access and mobility challenges, chronic illness, or intellectual or developmental disabilities require targeted messages before, during, and after disasters to ensure that they understand risks to their children’s health and can take measures to avoid harm and build resilience. A scoping review was conducted to assess current evidence for optimal ways to address the disaster information needs and communication preferences of families with children and youth with special healthcare needs. The disaster information needs of such families remain understudied, with few published evidence-based practices. Much of the relevant research focuses on information content, specifically the preparedness needs of these families; disaster recovery information for them remains a major gap. The few studies that have been performed suggest that parents with children and youth with special healthcare needs require additional information, education, and training to develop an effective disaster preparedness plan for their children. They are also largely unaware of schools’ disaster plans, and schools are often unable to meet parents’ expectations for timely, accurate information during a disaster. Several guidance documents highlighted the importance of completing an emergency information form before an event. Several studies suggested that one-on-one education or counseling was a strategy for encouraging preparedness planning; others highlighted potential value in incorporating families directly into disaster risk reduction planning. Evidence about channel preferences and their effectiveness in this population was generally lacking. Future studies should expand the evidence basis for optimal communication during all disaster phases both with parents of children and youth with special healthcare needs and with children directly.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Complete Anopheles funestus mitogenomes reveal an ancient history of mitochondrial lineages and their distribution in southern and central AfricaExternal
        Jones CM, Lee Y, Kitchen A, Collier T, Pringle JC, Muleba M, Irish S, Stevenson JC, Coetzee M, Cornel AJ, Norris DE, Carpi G.
        Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 13;8(1):9054.

        Anopheles funestus s.s. is a primary vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its important role in human Plasmodium transmission, evolutionary history, genetic diversity, and population structure of An. funestus in southern and central Africa remains understudied. We deep sequenced, assembled, and annotated the complete mitochondrial genome of An. funestus s.s. for the first time, providing a foundation for further genetic research of this important malaria vector species. We further analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes of 43 An. funestus s.s. from three sites in Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania. From these 43 mitogenomes we identified 41 unique haplotypes that comprised 567 polymorphic sites. Bayesian phylogenetic reconstruction confirmed the co-existence of two highly divergent An. funestus maternal lineages, herein defined as lineages I and II, in Zambia and Tanzania. The estimated coalescence time of these two mitochondrial lineages is ~500,000 years ago (95% HPD 426,000-594,000 years ago) with subsequent independent diversification. Haplotype network and phylogenetic analysis revealed two major clusters within lineage I, and genetic relatedness of samples with deep branching in lineage II. At this time, data suggest that the lineages are partially sympatric. This study illustrates that accurate retrieval of full mitogenomes of Anopheles vectors enables fine-resolution studies of intraspecies genetic relationships, population differentiation, and demographic history. Further investigations on whether An. funestus mitochondrial lineages represent biologically meaningful populations and their potential implications for malaria vector control are warranted.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Trimester-specific phthalate concentrations and glucose levels among women from a fertility clinicExternal
        James-Todd TM, Chiu YH, Messerlian C, Minguez-Alarcon L, Ford JB, Keller M, Petrozza J, Williams PL, Ye X, Calafat AM, Hauser R.
        Environ Health. 2018 Jun 14;17(1):55.

        BACKGROUND: Subfertile women are at increased risk of glucose intolerance in pregnancy. Based on epidemiologic studies, exposure to certain phthalates is associated with diabetes, elevated glucose, and increased insulin resistance. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association between urinary phthalate metabolites and pregnancy glucose levels in women seeking medically assisted reproduction. METHODS: We evaluated 245 women participating in a prospective cohort study based at a large fertility clinic who delivered live births and had data on pregnancy urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and blood glucose levels. Urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations were from single spot urine samples collected in 1st and 2nd trimesters. Blood glucose data was abstracted from medical records for non-fasting 50-g glucose challenge tests at 24-28 weeks gestation. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between 7 urinary phthalate metabolites in quartiles and mean glucose adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS: Eighteen percent of women had glucose levels >/= 140 mg/dL. Second trimester monoethyl phthalate (MEP) concentrations were positively associated with glucose levels, with adjusted mean (95%CI) glucose levels of 121 mg/dl (114, 128) vs. 109 mg/dL (103, 116) for women in highest and lowest quartiles, respectively. Women in the highest quartile of second trimester mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP) concentrations had a mean glucose level 14 mg/dL lower compared to women in the lowest quartile. No other urinary phthalate metabolites were associated with glucose levels. CONCLUSIONS: MEP and MiBP-metabolites of diethyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate, respectively-were associated with higher pregnancy glucose in subfertile women-a population at high risk of glucose intolerance in pregnancy.

      2. [No abstract]

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      1. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2017External
        Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, Shanklin SL, Flint KH, Queen B, Lowry R, Chyen D, Whittle L, Thornton J, Lim C, Bradford D, Yamakawa Y, Leon M, Brener N, Ethier KA.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018 Jun 15;67(8):1-114.

        PROBLEM: Health-risk behaviors contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth and adults in the United States. In addition, significant health disparities exist among demographic subgroups of youth defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and grade in school and between sexual minority and nonsexual minority youth. Population-based data on the most important health-related behaviors at the national, state, and local levels can be used to help monitor the effectiveness of public health interventions designed to protect and promote the health of youth at the national, state, and local levels. REPORTING PERIOD COVERED: September 2016-December 2017. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of priority health-related behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity. In addition, YRBSS monitors the prevalence of other health-related behaviors, obesity, and asthma. YRBSS includes a national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted by CDC and state and large urban school district school-based YRBSs conducted by state and local education and health agencies. Starting with the 2015 YRBSS cycle, a question to ascertain sexual identity and a question to ascertain sex of sexual contacts were added to the national YRBS questionnaire and to the standard YRBS questionnaire used by the states and large urban school districts as a starting point for their questionnaires. This report summarizes results from the 2017 national YRBS for 121 health-related behaviors and for obesity, overweight, and asthma by demographic subgroups defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and grade in school and by sexual minority status; updates the numbers of sexual minority students nationwide; and describes overall trends in health-related behaviors during 1991-2017. This reports also summarizes results from 39 state and 21 large urban school district surveys with weighted data for the 2017 YRBSS cycle by sex and sexual minority status (where available). RESULTS: Results from the 2017 national YRBS indicated that many high school students are engaged in health-risk behaviors associated with the leading causes of death among persons aged 10-24 years in the United States. During the 30 days before the survey, 39.2% of high school students nationwide (among the 62.8% who drove a car or other vehicle during the 30 days before the survey) had texted or e-mailed while driving, 29.8% reported current alcohol use, and 19.8% reported current marijuana use. In addition, 14.0% of students had taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it one or more times during their life. During the 12 months before the survey, 19.0% had been bullied on school property and 7.4% had attempted suicide. Many high school students are engaged in sexual risk behaviors that relate to unintended pregnancies and STIs, including HIV infection. Nationwide, 39.5% of students had ever had sexual intercourse and 9.7% had had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life. Among currently sexually active students, 53.8% reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. Results from the 2017 national YRBS also indicated many high school students are engaged in behaviors associated with chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Nationwide, 8.8% of high school students had smoked cigarettes and 13.2% had used an electronic vapor product on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. Forty-three percent played video or computer games or used a computer for 3 or more hours per day on an average school day for something that was not school work and 15.4% had not been physically active for a total of at least 60 minutes on at least 1 day during the 7 days before the survey. Further, 14.8% had obesity and 15.6% were overweight. The prevalence of most health-related behaviors varies by sex, race/ethnicity, and, particularly, sexual identity and sex of sexual contacts. Specifically, the prevalence of many health-risk behaviors is significantly higher among sexual minority students compared with nonsexual minority students. Nonetheless, analysis of long-term temporal trends indicates that the overall prevalence of most health-risk behaviors has moved in the desired direction. INTERPRETATION: Most high school students cope with the transition from childhood through adolescence to adulthood successfully and become healthy and productive adults. However, this report documents that some subgroups of students defined by sex, race/ethnicity, grade in school, and especially sexual minority status have a higher prevalence of many health-risk behaviors that might place them at risk for unnecessary or premature mortality, morbidity, and social problems (e.g., academic failure, poverty, and crime). PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: YRBSS data are used widely to compare the prevalence of health-related behaviors among subpopulations of students; assess trends in health-related behaviors over time; monitor progress toward achieving 21 national health objectives; provide comparable state and large urban school district data; and take public health actions to decrease health-risk behaviors and improve health outcomes among youth. Using this and other reports based on scientifically sound data is important for raising awareness about the prevalence of health-related behaviors among students in grades 9-12, especially sexual minority students, among decision makers, the public, and a wide variety of agencies and organizations that work with youth. These agencies and organizations, including schools and youth-friendly health care providers, can help facilitate access to critically important education, health care, and high-impact, evidence-based interventions.

    • Food Safety
      1. Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) and Salmonella Weltevreden infections linked to imported frozen raw tuna: USA, March-July 2015External
        Hassan R, Tecle S, Adcock B, Kellis M, Weiss J, Saupe A, Sorenson A, Klos R, Blankenship J, Blessington T, Whitlock L, Carleton HA, Concepcion-Acevedo J, Tolar B, Wise M, Neil KP.
        Epidemiol Infect. 2018 Jun 8:1-7.

        Foodborne non-typhoidal salmonellosis causes approximately 1 million illnesses annually in the USA. In April 2015, we investigated a multistate outbreak of 65 Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections associated with frozen raw tuna imported from Indonesia, which was consumed raw in sushi. Forty-six (92%) of 50 case-patients interviewed ate sushi during the week before illness onset, and 44 (98%) of 45 who specified ate sushi containing raw tuna. Two outbreak strains were isolated from the samples of frozen raw tuna. Traceback identified a single importer as a common source of tuna consumed by case-patients; this importer issued three voluntary recalls of tuna sourced from one Indonesian processor. Four Salmonella Weltevreden infections were also linked to this outbreak. Whole-genome sequencing was useful in establishing a link between Salmonella isolated from ill people and tuna. This outbreak highlights the continuing foodborne illness risk associated with raw seafood consumption, the importance of processing seafood in a manner that minimises contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and the continuing need to ensure imported foods are safe to eat. People at higher risk for foodborne illness should not consume undercooked animal products, such as raw seafood.

    • Health Economics
      1. Cost-effectiveness of nonavalent HPV vaccination among males aged 22 through 26 years in the United StatesExternal
        Chesson HW, Meites E, Ekwueme DU, Saraiya M, Markowitz LE.
        Vaccine. 2018 Jun 7.

        INTRODUCTION: In the United States, routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is recommended for females and males at age 11 or 12years; the series can be started at age 9years. Vaccination is also recommended for females through age 26years and males through age 21years. The objective of this study was to assess the health impact and cost-effectiveness of harmonizing female and male vaccination recommendations by increasing the upper recommended catch-up age of HPV vaccination for males from age 21 to age 26years. METHODS: We updated a published model of the health impact and cost-effectiveness of 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine (9vHPV). We examined the cost-effectiveness of (1) 9vHPV for females aged 12 through 26years and males aged 12 through 21years, and (2) an expanded program including males through age 26years. RESULTS: Compared to no vaccination, providing 9vHPV for females aged 12 through 26years and males aged 12 through 21years cost an estimated $16,600 (in 2016 U.S. dollars) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. The estimated cost per QALY gained by expanding male vaccination through age 26years was $228,800 and ranged from $137,900 to $367,300 in multi-way sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The cost-effectiveness ratios we estimated are not so favorable as to make a strong economic case for recommending expanding male vaccination, yet are not so unfavorable as to preclude consideration of expanding male vaccination. The wide range of plausible results we obtained may underestimate the true degree of uncertainty, due to model limitations. For example, the cost per QALY might be less than our lower bound estimate of $137,900 had our model allowed for vaccine protection against re-infection. Models that specifically incorporate men who have sex with men (MSM) are needed to provide a more comprehensive assessment of male HPV vaccination strategies.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Transmission of Clostridium difficile from asymptomatically colonized or infected long-term care facility residentsExternal
        Donskey CJ, Sunkesula VC, Stone ND, Gould CV, McDonald LC, Samore M, Mayer J, Pacheco SM, Jencson AL, Sambol SP, Petrella LA, Gulvik CA, Gerding DN.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2018 May 31:1-8.

        OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions. DESIGN: A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS). SETTING: Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.ParticipantsThe study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases. RESULTS: Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18.9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11.5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36.4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71.4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28.6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (2018), 0 1-8.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Direct and possible indirect effects of vaccination on rotavirus hospitalisations among children in Malawi four years after programmatic introductionExternal
        Bennett A, Pollock L, Jere KC, Pitzer VE, Parashar U, Tate JE, Heyderman RS, Mwansambo C, French N, Nakagomi O, Iturriza-Gomara M, Everett D, Cunliffe NA, Bar-Zeev N.
        Vaccine. 2018 Jun 7.

        INTRODUCTION: Despite increased use of vaccine in routine immunisation, rotavirus remains a major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in low-income countries. We describe rotavirus prevalence and hospitalisation in Malawi pre and four years post vaccine introduction; provide updated vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates; and assess rotavirus vaccine indirect effects. METHODS: Children under five years of age presenting to a referral hospital in Blantyre with AGE were recruited. Stool samples were tested for rotavirus using Enzyme Immunoassay. The change in rotavirus prevalence was evaluated using Poisson regression. Time series analysis was used to further investigate trends in prevalence over time. VE against rotavirus diarrhoea of any severity was estimated using logistic regression. Indirect effects were estimated by evaluating rotavirus prevalence in unvaccinated children over time, and by comparing observed reductions in incidence of rotavirus hospitalisation to those expected based on vaccine coverage and trial efficacy estimates. RESULTS: 2320 children were included. Prevalence of rotavirus in hospitalised infants (<12months) with AGE decreased from 69/139(49.64%) prior to vaccine introduction to 197/607(32.45%) post-vaccine introduction (adjusted RR 0.67[95% CI 0.55, 0.82]). Prevalence in children aged 12-23months demonstrated a less substantial decline: 15/37(40.54%) pre- and 122/352(34.66%) post-vaccine introduction (adjusted RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.57, 1.28). Adjusted VE was 61.89%(95% CI 28.04-79.82), but lower in children aged 12-23months (31.69% [95% CI -139.03 to 80.48]). In hospitalised infants with rotavirus disease, the observed overall effect of the vaccine was 9% greater than expected according to vaccine coverage and efficacy estimates. Rotavirus prevalence among unvaccinated infants declined post-vaccine introduction (RR 0.70[95% CI 0.55-0.80]). CONCLUSIONS: Following rotavirus vaccine introduction in Malawi, prevalence of rotavirus in hospitalised children with AGE has declined significantly, with some evidence of an indirect effect in infants. Despite this, rotavirus remains an important cause of severe diarrhoea in Malawian children, particularly in the second year of life.

      2. Childhood vaccine attitudes and information sources among Oregon parents and guardiansExternal
        Deas J, Bean SJ, Sokolovska I, Fautin C.
        Health Promot Pract. 2018 Jun 1:1524839918778830.

        We sought to examine parent vaccine information sources and to understand vaccine beliefs and concerns of a representative sample of Oregon parents from an area where low vaccination levels occur. We hoped to understand how these beliefs affect pediatric vaccine uptake and to inform efforts to shift vaccine-hesitant habits toward a norm of full vaccination. Oregon still permits nonmedical exemptions. We passively recruited parents of children ages 0 to 13 years, then divided them into focus groups by stance-whether vaccine-accepting or -hesitant. Because of recruitment challenges, we supplemented focus group data from 33 participants with six individual parent interviews. In focus groups and interviews, we probed for vaccine information sources perceived as credible as well as perceptions about vaccines and their utility, benefit, and safety, using constructs of the health belief model. The information sources included medical providers, family, and peers or social networks. We found that vaccine beliefs are not dichotomous but fall along a continuum from full acceptance to full opposition. Most parents who participated inclined toward flexible vaccination scheduling. Another new finding was that most participants, regardless of vaccine stance, acknowledged the tension between social responsibility and individual choice regarding vaccination; vaccine-accepters supported social responsibility and vaccine-hesitant participants stressed individual choice. In addition, parents across the spectrum expressed skepticism about the reliability of social media.

      3. Varicella vaccination among US adolescents: Coverage and missed opportunities, 2007-2014External
        Leung J, Reagan-Steiner S, Lopez A, Jeyarajah J, Marin M.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018 Jun 7.

        CONTEXT: Since 2007, 2 doses of varicella vaccine have been routinely recommended, with a catch-up second dose recommended for those who received only 1 prior dose. OBJECTIVE: To examine varicella vaccination coverage with 2 or more doses and the proportions of adolescents with evidence of immunity to varicella (>/=2 doses of vaccine or varicella history) during 2007-2014. To assess timing of second-dose receipt, factors associated with 2 or more vaccine doses, and missed second-dose opportunities during 2014. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We used data from the 2007-2014 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen), which collects information on adolescents aged 13 to 17 years in the United States. RESULTS: From 2007 to 2014, varicella vaccination coverage with 2 or more doses increased from 8.3% to 66.9% in 13- to 15-year-olds and from 3.6% to 56.7% in 16- to 17-year-olds. The proportions with evidence of immunity also increased from 68.0% to 84.1% (13- to 15-year-olds) and 78.6% to 83.4% (16- to 17-year-olds). In 2014, 13.4% of 13- to 15-year-olds and 3.2% of 16- to 17-year-olds had received their second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Factors most significantly associated with lower coverage with 2 or more doses were not having an 11- to 12-year well-child visit, not receiving an adolescent vaccine, and residence in a state with no 2-dose immunization school entry requirement. Seventy-seven percent of 1-dose vaccinated adolescents had 1 or more missed opportunities to receive their second dose; if were they not missed, 2-dose coverage would have increased from 79.5% to 94.8%. CONCLUSIONS: Levels of varicella vaccination coverage with 2 or more doses and the proportion of adolescents with evidence of immunity increased from 2007 to 2014, though 16% lacked evidence of immunity in 2014. Although catch-up campaigns have succeeded, missed vaccination opportunities persist.

      4. BACKGROUND: In March 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration licensed an inactivated Vero cell culture-derived Japanese encephalitis vaccine (JE-VC [IXIARO(R)]) for use in persons aged >/=17years. In 2013, licensure was extended to include children aged >/=2months. A previous analysis reviewed adverse events reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from May 2009 through April 2012. METHODS: We reviewed adverse events reported to VAERS following JE-VC administered from May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2016. Adverse event reporting rates were calculated using 802,229 doses distributed. RESULTS: During the 4-year period, 119 adverse event reports were received for a reporting rate of 14.8 per 100,000 doses distributed. Nine (8%) adverse events were classified as serious for a reporting rate of 1.1 per 100,000 distributed. The most commonly reported event was hypersensitivity (n=24; 20%) for a rate of 3.0 per 100,000 doses distributed; 1 anaphylaxis event was reported. Ten (8%) neurologic events were reported for a rate of 1.2 per 100,000 doses distributed; 2 events were classified as seizures. Sixty-three (53%) adverse events occurred after a first dose of JE-VC. Eighty (67%) adverse events occurred after administration of JE-VC with other vaccines. Eleven (9%) adverse events were reported in children; 1 was considered serious. CONCLUSIONS: These data continue to support the generally favorable safety profile of JE-VC. Reporting rates of adverse events were similar to those of the previous analysis. Although reporting rates of adverse events in children could not be calculated, there were low numbers of reported events in this age group. Post-licensure adverse event surveillance for this relatively new vaccine continues to be important to monitor adverse event reporting rates and identify possible rare serious events.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Yellowstone National Park is home to the largest bison population on public land in the United States. Although Yellowstone regulations require visitors to remain at least 23 m from bison, since 1980, bison have injured more visitors to Yellowstone than any other animal. We examined a series of bison-related injuries at Yellowstone to evaluate the circumstances of these injuries and to identify common risk-enhancing behaviors that lead to injury. To do this, we analyzed narrative case incident records from law enforcement regarding bison-human encounters in Yellowstone during 2000-2015. Data regarding demographics, preencounter activities, number of persons involved, type of injury, and acknowledgement of appropriate viewing distance were extracted from the records. Bison encounters resulted in injury to 25 persons (21 visitors and 4 employees). Age range for injured persons was 7-68 years (median: 49 years), and 13 were female. All injuries occurred in areas of high visitor concentration. Mean visitor distance from bison before injury was 3.4 m (range: 0.3-6.1 m). Twenty persons (80%) actively approached bison before their injuries; 5 (20%) failed to retreat when bison approached. Fifteen persons (60%) were injured when in a group of >/=3 persons approaching bison. Twelve persons (48%) sustained injuries while photographing bison. Six persons (24%) acknowledged they were too close to bison. Education alone might not be sufficient to reduce bison-related injuries. Effective injury prevention campaigns for national parks require an understanding of the behaviors and motivations of persons who approach bison. Including behavioral science and behavior change techniques in bison injury prevention campaigns might reduce injuries at Yellowstone.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Investigative ImmunotoxicologyExternal
        Anderson SE, Shane HL.
        Methods Mol Biol. 2018 ;1803:27-46.

        Immunotoxicology is the study of immune system dysfunction that can result from occupational, inadvertent, or therapeutic exposure to a variety of chemical or biologic agents that alter the immune system and affect human health. Immunotoxicology can manifest in a variety of ways, with one of the most prominent effects being immunosuppression. Immunosuppression can be defined as a reduced ability of the immune system to respond to a challenge from a level considered normal, regardless of whether clinical disease results. Although immunosuppression can lead to an increased incidence and severity of infectious and neoplastic disease, interpreting data from experimental immunotoxicology studies, or even epidemiologic studies, for quantitative risk assessment has been a persistent challenge. Decades of research has resulted in the development of specific assays and the identification of sensitive endpoints that measure effects on the immune response, from which many regulatory agencies have developed specific immunotoxicity testing guidelines. However, establishing a direct link between exposure and disease manifestations for immunosuppression in humans is an ongoing challenge due to inherent limitations of epidemiological studies to draw causal conclusions. Efforts have been made to examine the relationships between laboratory measures of immune response and disease resistance in experimental animal models and also in human studies. The identification of sensitive endpoints and the development of experimental assays to identify suspect immunotoxicants are a primary focus of the field of immunotoxicology. This chapter is organized around sections discussing the impact and scientific basis of immunotoxicity testing, predictive immunotoxicity testing strategies, examples of immunotoxicity testing, and key considerations and recent developments related to effective testing strategies for health risk reduction.

      2. Incorporation of IgG depletion in a neutralization assay facilitates differential diagnosis of Zika and dengue in secondary flavivirus infection casesExternal
        Calvert AE, Boroughs KL, Laven J, Stovall JL, Luy BE, Kosoy OI, Huang CY.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Jun;56(6).

        Zika virus (ZIKV) has emerged as a major global public health concern due to its link as a causative agent of human birth defects. Laboratory diagnosis of suspected ZIKV infections by serological testing of specimens collected a week or more after symptom onset primarily relies on detection of anti-ZIKV-specific IgM antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay coupled with detection of ZIKV-specific neutralizing antibody by neutralization tests. A definitive diagnosis based on serological assays is possible during primary ZIKV infections; however, due to the cross-reactivity of antibodies elicited during flaviviral infections, a definitive diagnosis is not always possible, especially among individuals who have previously been exposed to closely related flaviviruses, such as dengue virus (DENV). Here, we investigated the neutralizing IgM antibody profiles of 33 diagnostic specimens collected from individuals with suspected primary and secondary flaviviral infections acquired when visiting areas experiencing active ZIKV transmission in 2015 and 2016. Specimens collected between 1 day and 3 months postexposure were tested for ZIKV and dengue virus type 1 (DENV1) and type 2 (DENV2) by the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) before and after IgG depletion. We found that IgG depletion prior to neutralization testing had little effect in differentiating samples from individuals with secondary infections taken less than 3 weeks postexposure; however, IgG depletion significantly reduced the cross-reactive neutralizing antibody titers and increased the percentage of cases discernible by PRNT from 15.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.3 to 42.2%) to 76.9% (95% CI, 49.7 to 91.8%) for samples collected between roughly 3 and 12 weeks postexposure. These results highlight the potential of IgG depletion to improve the specificity of PRNT for better confirmation and differential diagnosis of flavivirus infections.

      3. Performance of Chlamydia trachomatis OmcB ELISA in the serodiagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in womenExternal
        Gupta K, Brown L, Bakshi RK, Press CG, Chi X, Gorwitz RJ, Papp JR, Geisler WM.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2018 Jun 13.

        Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) serological assays with improved sensitivity over commercially available assays are needed to evaluate the burden of CT infection and effectiveness of prevention efforts. We evaluated the performance of a CT outer membrane complex protein B (OmcB) ELISA in the detection of anti-CT antibody responses in CT-infected women. OmcB ELISA was less sensitive than our CT elementary body (EB ELISA), but was highly specific. The magnitude of the antibody response was higher in African Americans and those with prior CT infection. Unlike EB ELISA, the IgG1 response to CT OmcB was short-lived and not maintained by repeat CT infection.

      4. Yellow fever (YF) is a reemerging public health threat, with frequent outbreaks prompting large vaccination campaigns in regions of endemicity in Africa and South America. Specific detection of vaccine-related adverse events is resource-intensive, time-consuming, and difficult to achieve during an outbreak. To address this, we have developed a highly transferable rapid yellow fever virus (YFV) vaccine-specific real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay that distinguishes vaccine from wild-type lineages. The assay utilizes a specific hydrolysis probe that includes locked nucleic acids to enhance specific discrimination of the YFV17D vaccine strain genome. Promisingly, sensitivity and specificity analyses reveal this assay to be highly specific to vaccine strain(s) when tested on clinical samples and YFV cell culture isolates of global origin. Taken together, our data suggest the utility of this assay for use in laboratories of varied capacity for the identification and differentiation of vaccine-related adverse events from wild-type infections of both African and South American origin.

      5. Resistome of carbapenem- and colistin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolatesExternal
        Lomonaco S, Crawford MA, Lascols C, Timme RE, Anderson K, Hodge DR, Fisher DJ, Pillai SP, Morse SA, Khan E, Hughes MA, Allard MW, Sharma SK.
        PLoS One. 2018 ;13(6):e0198526.

        The emergence and dissemination of carbapenemases, bacterial enzymes able to inactivate most beta-lactam antibiotics, in Enterobacteriaceae is of increasing concern. The concurrent spread of resistance against colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, further compounds this challenge further. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) can play a significant role in the rapid and accurate detection/characterization of existing and emergent resistance determinants, an essential aspect of public health surveillance and response activities to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. In the current study, WGS data was used to characterize the genomic content of antimicrobial resistance genes, including those encoding carbapenemases, in 10 multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates from Pakistan. These clinical isolates represented five sequence types: ST11 (n = 3 isolates), ST14 (n = 3), ST15 (n = 1), ST101 (n = 2), and ST307 (n = 1). Resistance profiles against 25 clinically-relevant antimicrobials were determined by broth microdilution; resistant phenotypes were observed for at least 15 of the 25 antibiotics tested in all isolates except one. Specifically, 8/10 isolates were carbapenem-resistant and 7/10 isolates were colistin-resistant. The blaNDM-1 and blaOXA-48 carbapenemase genes were present in 7/10 and 5/10 isolates, respectively; including 2 isolates carrying both genes. No plasmid-mediated determinants for colistin resistance (e.g. mcr) were detected, but disruptions and mutations in chromosomal loci (i.e. mgrB and pmrB) previously reported to confer colistin resistance were observed. A blaOXA-48-carrying IncL/M-type plasmid was found in all blaOXA-48-positive isolates. The application of WGS to molecular epidemiology and surveillance studies, as exemplified here, will provide both a more complete understanding of the global distribution of MDR isolates and a robust surveillance tool useful for detecting emerging threats to public health.

      6. Broadly-reactive human monoclonal antibodies elicited following pandemic H1N1 influenza virus exposure protect mice from highly pathogenic H5N1 challengeExternal
        Nachbagauer R, Shore D, Yang H, Johnson SK, Gabbard JD, Tompkins SM, Wrammert J, Wilson PC, Stevens J, Ahmed R, Krammer F, Ellebedy AH.
        J Virol. 2018 Jun 13.

        Broadly cross-reactive antibodies that recognize conserved epitopes within the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) stalk domain are of particular interest for their potential use as therapeutic and prophylactic agents against multiple influenza virus subtypes including zoonotic virus strains. Here, we characterized four human HA stalk-reactive monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for their binding breadth and affinity, in vitro neutralization capacity, and in vivo protective potential against an highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. The monoclonal antibodies were isolated from individuals shortly following infection with (70-1F02 and 1009-3B05) or vaccination against (05-2G02 and 09-3A01) A(H1N1)pdm09. Three of the mAbs bound HAs from multiple strains of group 1 viruses, and one mAb, 05-2G02, bound to both group 1 and group 2 influenza A HAs. All four antibodies prophylactically protected mice against a lethal challenge with the highly pathogenic A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) strain. Two mAbs, 70-1F02 and 09-3A01, were further tested for their therapeutic efficacy against the same strain and showed good efficacy in this setting as well. One mAb, 70-1F02, was co-crystallized with H5 HA and showed similar heavy chain only interactions as a the previously described anti-stalk antibody CR6261. Finally, we showed that antibodies that compete with these mAbs are prevalent in serum from an individual recently infected with A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. The antibodies described here can be developed into broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics that could be used to combat infections with zoonotic or emerging pandemic influenza viruses.IMPORTANCE The rise in zoonotic infections of humans with emerging influenza viruses is a worldwide public health concern. The majority of recent zoonotic human influenza cases were caused by H7N9 and H5Nx viruses and were associated with high morbidity and mortality. In addition, seasonal influenza viruses are estimated to cause up to 650,000 deaths annually worldwide. Currently available anti-viral treatment options include only neuraminidase inhibitors, but some influenza viruses are naturally resistant to these drugs, and others quickly develop resistance-conferring mutations. Alternative therapeutics are urgently needed. Broadly protective antibodies that target the conserved ‘stalk’ domain of the hemagglutinin represent potential potent antiviral prophylactic and therapeutic agents that can assist pandemic preparedness. Here, we describe four human monoclonal antibodies that target conserved regions of influenza HA and characterize their binding spectrum, as well as their protective capacity in prophylactic and therapeutic settings against a lethal challenge with a zoonotic influenza virus.

      7. During the past decade, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have diversified genetically and antigenically, suggesting the need for multiple H5N1 vaccines. However, preparation of multiple vaccines from live H5N1 HPAI viruses is difficult and economically not feasible representing a challenge for pandemic preparedness. Here we evaluated a novel multi-clade recombinant H5N1 virus-like particle (VLP) design, in which H5 hemagglutinins (HA) and N1 neuraminidase (NA) derived from four distinct clades of H5N1 virus were co-localized within the VLP structure. The multi-clade H5N1 VLPs were prepared by using a recombinant baculovirus expression system and evaluated for functional hemagglutination and neuraminidase enzyme activities, particle size and morphology, as well as for the presence of baculovirus in the purified VLP preparations. To remove residual baculovirus, VLP preparations were treated with beta-propiolactone (BPL). Immunogenicity and efficacy of multi-clade H5N1 VLPs were determined in an experimental ferret H5N1 HPAI challenge model, to ascertain the effect of BPL on immunogenicity and protective efficacy against lethal challenge. Although treatment with BPL reduced immunogenicity of VLPs, all vaccinated ferrets were protected from lethal challenge with influenza A/VietNam/1203/2004 (H5N1) HPAI virus, indicating that multi-clade VLP preparations treated with BPL represent a potential approach for pandemic preparedness vaccines.

      8. The effects of repeated automated plasmapheresis in goats (Capra hircus) in response to vaccination with purified influenza hemagglutinin proteinsExternal
        Taylor WD, Langham GL, Weed JL, Rowe T, Song W, Isenberg KA, Xu X, Wentworth DE, Lathrop G, Powell N.
        PLoS One. 2018 ;13(6):e0195903.

        Seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that annually affects millions of people worldwide. To identify currently circulating influenza virus subtypes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s International Reagent Resource distributes the World Health Organization (WHO) influenza reagent kits, which are used globally by testing laboratories for influenza surveillance. The data generated by the kits aid in strain selection for the influenza vaccine each season. The use of animals to produce high quality and quantities of antibodies is critical to the production of these kits. In this study, we assessed the effects and efficacy of repeated sampling from automated plasmapheresis in goats. Analysis of blood samples demonstrated that repeated automated plasmapheresis procedures did not adversely affect the immediate or long-term health of goats. Further, our results indicate that repeated plasmapheresis in goats was capable of generating 2 liters of antibody-rich plasma per goat per week. This volume is sufficient to produce enough WHO influenza kits to conduct over 1 million tests. Thus, we have shown that the rapid production of plasma in goats can positively impact the public health preparedness and response to influenza.

      9. Assessing the stability of Cd, Mn, Pb, Se, and total Hg in whole human blood by ICP-DRC-MS as a function of temperature and timeExternal
        Tevis DS, Jarrett JM, Jones DR, Cheng PY, Franklin M, Mullinex N, Caldwell KL, Jones RL.
        Clin Chim Acta. 2018 Jun 9.

        BACKGROUND: Comprehensive information on the effect of time and temperature storage on the measurement of elements in human, whole blood (WB) by inductively coupled plasma-dynamic reaction cell-mass spectrometry (ICP-DRC-MS) is lacking, particularly for Mn and Se. METHODS: Human WB was spiked at 3 concentration levels, dispensed, and then stored at 5 different temperatures: -70 degrees C, -20 degrees C, 4 degrees C, 23 degrees C, and 37 degrees C. At 3 and 5weeks, and at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 36months, samples were analyzed for Pb, Cd, Mn, Se and total Hg, using ICP-DRC-MS. We used a multiple linear regression model including time and temperature as covariates to fit the data with the measurement value as the outcome. We used an equivalence test using ratios to determine if results from the test storage conditions, warmer temperature and longer time, were comparable to the reference storage condition of 3weeks storage time at -70 degrees C. RESULTS: Model estimates for all elements in human WB samples stored in polypropylene cryovials at -70 degrees C were equivalent to estimates from samples stored at 37 degrees C for up to 2months, 23 degrees C up to 10months, and -20 degrees C and 4 degrees C for up to 36months. Model estimates for samples stored for 3weeks at -70 degrees C were equivalent to estimates from samples stored for 2months at -20 degrees C, 4 degrees C, 23 degrees C and 37 degrees C; 10months at -20 degrees C, 4 degrees C, and 23 degrees C; and 36months at -20 degrees C and 4 degrees C. This equivalence was true for all elements and pools except for the low concentration blood pool for Cd. CONCLUSIONS: Storage temperatures of -20 degrees C and 4 degrees C are equivalent to -70 degrees C for stability of Cd, Mn, Pb, Se, and Hg in human whole blood for at least 36months when blood is stored in sealed polypropylene vials. Increasing the sample storage temperature from -70 degrees C to -20 degrees C or 4 degrees C can lead to large energy savings. The best analytical results are obtained when storage time at higher temperature conditions (e.g. 23 degrees C and 37 degrees C) is minimized because recovery of Se and Hg is reduced. Blood samples stored in polypropylene vials also lose volume over time and develop clots at higher temperature conditions (e.g., 23 degrees C and 37 degrees C), making them unacceptable for elemental testing after 10months and 2months, respectively.

      10. Notes from the Field: Carbapenemase-Producing Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae from Less Common Enterobacteriaceae Genera – United States, 2014-2017External
        Walters MS, Witwer M, Lee YK, Albrecht V, Lonsway D, Rasheed JK, Anacker M, Snippes-Vagnone P, Lynfield R, Kallen AJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jun 15;67(23):668-669.

        [No abstract]

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Maternal ambient heat exposure during early pregnancy in summer and spring and congenital heart defects – A large US population-based, case-control studyExternal
        Lin S, Lin Z, Ou Y, Soim A, Shrestha S, Lu Y, Sheridan S, Luben TJ, Fitzgerald E, Bell E, Shaw GM, Reefhuis J, Langlois PH, Romitti P, Feldkamp ML, Malik S, Pantea C, Nayak S, Hwang SA, Browne M.
        Environ Int. 2018 Jun 7;118:211-221.

        BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Few studies have assessed the effect of ambient heat during the fetal development period on congenital heart defects (CHDs), especially in transitional seasons. We examined and compared the associations between extreme heat and CHD phenotypes in summer and spring, assessed their geographical differences, and compared different heat indicators. METHODS: We identified 5848 CHD cases and 5742 controls (without major structural defects) from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a US multicenter, population-based case-control study. Extreme heat events (EHEs) were defined by using the 95th (EHE95) or 90th (EHE90) percentile of daily maximum temperature and its frequency and duration during postconceptional weeks 3-8. We used a two-stage Bayesian hierarchical model to examine both regional and study-wide associations. Exposure odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analyses, while controlling for potential confounding factors. RESULTS: Overall, we observed no significant relationships between maternal EHE exposure and CHDs in most regions during summer. However, we found that 3-11days of EHE90 during summer and spring was significantly associated with ventricular septal defects (VSDs) study-wide (ORs ranged: 2.17-3.24). EHE95 in spring was significantly associated with conotruncal defects and VSDs in the South (ORs: 1.23-1.78). Most EHE indicators in spring were significantly associated with increased septal defects (both VSDs and atrial septal defects (ASDs)) in the Northeast. CONCLUSION: While generally null results were found, long duration of unseasonable heat was associated with the increased risks for VSDs and ASDs, mainly in South and Northeast of the US. Further research to confirm our findings is needed.

    • Mining
      1. Evaluation of fiber optic methane sensor using a smoke chamberExternal
        Li M, Dubaniewicz T, Dougherty H, Addis J.
        . 2018 .

        This report presents the results of experiments to evaluate a prototype fiber optic methane monitor exposed to smoke using a smoke chamber to simulate atmospheric conditions in an underground coal mine after a fire or explosion. The experiments were conducted using test fires of different combustible sources commonly found in mines – douglas-fir wood, SBR belt, and Pittsburgh seam coal. The experiments were designed to assess the response of the fiber optic methane sensor to different contaminants, different contaminant levels and different contaminant durations produced from the test fires. Since the prototype methane monitor detects methane by measuring absorption at a specific wavelength, optical power at the absorption wavelength (1650 nm) was measured as a function of smoke concentration and duration. The other sensor response parameter-methane response times-were measured between smoke tests to assess the impact of soot accumulation on the sensor. Results indicate that the sensor screen effectively prevented smoke from obscuring the optical beam within the sensor head, with minimal impact on the system optical power budget. Methane response times increased with smoke exposure duration, attributed to soot loading on the protective screen.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. State-level guidance and district-level policies and practices for food marketing in US school districtsExternal
        Merlo CL, Michael S, Brener ND, Blanck H.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2018 Jun 7;15:E74.

        State agencies play a critical role in providing school districts with guidance and technical assistance on school nutrition issues, including food and beverage marketing practices. We examined associations between state-level guidance and the policies and practices in school districts regarding food and beverage marketing and promotion. State policy guidance was positively associated with districts prohibiting advertisements for junk food or fast food restaurants on school property. Technical assistance from states was negatively associated with 2 district practices to restrict marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, but positively associated with 1 practice to promote healthy options. These findings may help inform the guidance that states provide to school districts and help identify which districts may need additional assistance to address marketing and promotion practices.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Drivers of international variation in prevalence of disabling low back pain: Findings from the CUPID studyExternal
        Coggon D, Ntani G, Palmer KT, Felli VE, Harari F, Quintana LA, Felknor SA, Rojas M, Cattrell A, Vargas-Prada S, Bonzini M, Solidaki E, Merisalu E, Habib RR, Sadeghian F, Kadir MM, Warnakulasuriya SS, Matsudaira K, Nyantumbu-Mkhize B, Kelsall HL, Harcombe H.
        Eur J Pain. 2018 Jun 8.

        BACKGROUND: Wide international variation in the prevalence of disabling low back pain (LBP) among working populations is not explained by known risk factors. It would be useful to know whether the drivers of this variation are specific to the spine or factors that predispose to musculoskeletal pain more generally. METHODS: Baseline information about musculoskeletal pain and risk factors was elicited from 11,710 participants aged 20-59 years, who were sampled from 45 occupational groups in 18 countries. Wider propensity to pain was characterised by the number of anatomical sites outside the low back that had been painful in the 12 months before baseline (“pain propensity index”). After a mean interval of 14 months, 9,055 participants (77.3%) provided follow-up data on disabling LBP in the past month. Baseline risk factors for disabling LBP at follow-up were assessed by random intercept Poisson regression. RESULTS: After allowance for other known and suspected risk factors, pain propensity showed the strongest association with disabling LBP (prevalence rate ratios up to 2.6, 95%CI 2.2-3.1; population attributable fraction 39.8%). Across the 45 occupational groups, the prevalence of disabling LBP varied sevenfold (much more than within-country differences between nurses and office workers), and correlated with mean pain propensity index (r = 0.58). CONCLUSIONS: Within our study, major international variation in the prevalence of disabling LBP appeared to be driven largely by factors predisposing to musculoskeletal pain at multiple anatomical sites rather than by risk factors specific to the spine. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

      2. Work-related injury and management strategies among certified athletic trainersExternal
        Kucera KL, Lipscomb HJ, Roos KG, Dement JM, Hootman JM.
        J Athl Train. 2018 Jun 13.

        CONTEXT: Health care workers have high rates of musculoskeletal injuries, but many of these injuries go unreported to workers’ compensation and national surveillance systems. Little is known regarding the work-related injuries of certified athletic trainers (ATs). OBJECTIVE: To determine the 12-month incidence and prevalence of work-related injuries and describe injury-reporting and -management strategies. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Population-based online survey. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Of the 29 051 ATs currently certified by the Board of Certification, Inc, who “opted in” to research studies, we randomly selected 10 000. Of these, 1826 (18.3%) ATs currently working in the clinical setting were eligible and participated in the baseline survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: An online survey was e-mailed in May of 2012. We assessed self-reported work-related injuries in the previous 12 months and management strategies including medical care, work limitations or modifications, and time off work. Statistics (frequencies and percentages) were calculated to describe injury rates per 200 000 work hours, injury prevalence, injury characteristics, and injury-reporting and -management strategies. RESULTS: A total of 247 ATs reported 419 work-related injuries during the previous 12 months, for an incidence rate of 21.6 per 200 000 hours (95% confidence interval [CI] = 19.6, 23.7) and injury prevalence of 13.5% (95% CI = 12.0%, 15.1%). The low back (26%), hand/fingers (9%), and knee (9%) were frequently affected body sites. Injuries were most often caused by bodily motion/overexertion/repetition (52%), contact with objects/equipment/persons (24%), or slips/trips/falls (15%). More than half of injured ATs (55.5%) sought medical care; 25% missed work, and most (77%) did not file a workers’ compensation claim for their injury. Half of injured ATs were limited at work (n = 125), and 89% modified or changed their athletic training work as a result of the injury. CONCLUSIONS: More than half of AT work-related injuries required medical care or work limitations and were not reported for workers’ compensation. Understanding how ATs care for and manage their work-related injuries is important given that few take time off work.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Adherence to Ebola-specific malaria case management guidelines at health facilities in Guinea during the West African Ebola epidemicExternal
        Hennessee I, Guilavogui T, Camara A, Halsey ES, Marston B, McFarland D, Freeman M, Plucinski MM.
        Malar J. 2018 Jun 14;17(1):230.

        BACKGROUND: Malaria case management in the context of the 2014-2016 West African Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic was complicated by a similar initial clinical presentation of the two diseases. In September 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) released recommendations titled, “Guidance on temporary malaria control measures in Ebola-affected countries”, which aimed at reducing the risk of EVD transmission and improving malaria outcomes. This guidance recommended malaria diagnostic testing of fever cases only if adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) was available, defined as examination gloves, face shield, disposable gown, boots, and head cover; otherwise presumptive anti-malarial treatment was recommended. The extent to which health workers adhered to these guidelines in affected countries has not been assessed. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 118 health units in Guinea in November 2014 to produce a representative and probabilistic sample of health facilities and patients. Adherence to the EVD-specific malaria case management guidelines during the height of the EVD epidemic was assessed. Associations between case management practices and possible determinants were calculated using multivariate logistic regression, controlling for expected confounders and the complex sample design. RESULTS: Most (78%) facilities reported availability of examination gloves, but adequate PPE was available at only 27% of facilities. Only 28% of febrile patients received correct malaria case management per the WHO temporary malaria case management guidelines. The most common error was diagnostic testing in the absence of adequate PPE (45% of febrile patients), followed by no presumptive treatment in the absence of adequate PPE (14%). Having had a report of an EVD case at a health facility and health worker-reported participation in EVD-specific malaria trainings were associated with lower odds of diagnostic testing and higher odds of presumptive treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to guidance on malaria case management in EVD-affected countries was low at the height of the EVD epidemic in Guinea, and there was substantial malaria diagnostic testing in the absence of adequate PPE, which could have contributed to increased EVD transmission in the healthcare setting. Conversely, low presumptive treatment when diagnostic tests were not performed may have led to additional morbidity and mortality among malaria positive patients. National malaria control programs may consider preparing contingency plans for future implementation of temporary changes to malaria case management guidelines to facilitate uptake by health workers. Additional training on standard and transmission-based precautions should help health workers understand how to protect themselves in the face of emerging and unknown pathogens.

      2. Schistosomiasis control programs are designed to reduce morbidity by providing mass drug administration (MDA) of praziquantel to at-risk populations. We compared morbidity markers between two cohorts of Kenyan schoolchildren that initially had high prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infections. One cohort (N = 416 at year 1) received four rounds of annual MDA in a community-wide treatment (CWT) strategy. The other cohort (N = 386 at year 1) received school-based treatment (SBT) every other year over the 4-year period. We measured infection with S. mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) as well as subtle morbidity markers at year 1, year 3, and year 5 and compared cohorts with mixed models after controlling for age and gender. At year 5, neither overall S. mansoni prevalence nor the prevalence of high infection-intensity S. mansoni infection was significantly reduced compared with baseline in either the CWT cohort (N = 277 remaining) or the SBT cohort (N = 235 remaining). Nevertheless, by year 5, children in both cohorts demonstrated significant decreases in wasting, ultrasound-detected organomegaly, and STH infection along with significantly improved pediatric quality-of-life scores compared with year 1. Stunting did not change over time, but children who were S. mansoni egg-positive at year 5 had significantly more stunting than children without schistosomiasis. The only significant difference between arms at year 5 was a lower prevalence of STH infections in the CWT group.

    • Physical Activity
      1. Racial and ethnic differences in perceived safety barriers to walking, United States National Health Interview Survey – 2015External
        Whitfield GP, Carlson SA, Ussery EN, Watson KB, Brown DR, Berrigan D, Fulton JE.
        Prev Med. 2018 Jun 9;114:57-63.

        Barriers to safe walking may prevent people from being physically active, and previous reports have identified differences in barriers to safe walking across racial and ethnic groups. The purpose of this research was to determine the role demographic characteristics play on racial/ethnic differences in perceived barriers to safe walking and determine if racial/ethnic differences vary by urban/rural residence and Census region. Participants in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Supplement (n=31,433 adults >/=18years) reported perceived barriers to safe walking (traffic, crime, and animals) and demographic characteristics. Urban/rural residence and Census region were based on home addresses. We calculated adjusted prevalence of barriers by race/ethnicity using logistic regression; geographic differences in barriers across racial/ethnic groups were examined via interaction terms. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, non-Hispanic blacks (blacks) and Hispanics reported crime and animals as barriers more frequently than non-Hispanic whites (whites) (crime: blacks, 22.2%; Hispanics, 16.7%; whites, 9.0%; animals: blacks, 18.0%; Hispanics, 12.4%; whites, 8.5%). Racial/ethnic differences in perceived crime as a barrier were more pronounced in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. Urban-dwelling blacks (all regions) and Hispanics (Midwest and South) reported animals as barriers more frequently than whites. Racial/ethnic differences in perceived barriers to safe walking remained after adjusting for demographic characteristics and varied by geographic location. Addressing perceived crime and animals as barriers to walking could help reduce racial/ethnic differences in physical activity, and several barriers may need to be assessed to account for geographic variation.

    • Program Evaluation
      1. Practical recommendations for the evaluation of improvement initiativesExternal
        Parry G, Coly A, Goldmann D, Rowe AK, Chattu V, Logiudice D, Rabrenovic M, Nambiar B.
        Int J Qual Health Care. 2018 Apr 20;30(suppl_1):29-36.

        A lack of clear guidance for funders, evaluators and improvers on what to include in evaluation proposals can lead to evaluation designs that do not answer the questions stakeholders want to know. These evaluation designs may not match the iterative nature of improvement and may be imposed onto an initiative in a way that is impractical from the perspective of improvers and the communities with whom they work. Consequently, the results of evaluations are often controversial, and attribution remains poorly understood. Improvement initiatives are iterative, adaptive and context-specific. Evaluation approaches and designs must align with these features, specifically in their ability to consider complexity, to evolve as the initiative adapts over time and to understand the interaction with local context. Improvement initiatives often identify broadly defined change concepts and provide tools for care teams to tailor these in more detail to local conditions. Correspondingly, recommendations for evaluation are best provided as broad guidance, to be tailored to the specifics of the initiative. In this paper, we provide practical guidance and recommendations that funders and evaluators can use when developing an evaluation plan for improvement initiatives that seeks to: identify the questions stakeholders want to address; develop the initial program theory of the initiative; identify high-priority areas to measure progress over time; describe the context the initiative will be applied within; and identify experimental or observational designs that will address attribution.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. The Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study: A prospective preconception cohortExternal
        Messerlian C, Williams PL, Ford JB, Chavarro JE, Minguez-Alarcon L, Dadd R, Braun JM, Gaskins AJ, Meeker JD, James-Todd T, Chiu YH, Nassan FL, Souter I, Petrozza J, Keller M, Toth TL, Calafat AM, Hauser R.
        Hum Reprod Open. 2018 Feb;2018(2).

        Background: The Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study is an ongoing prospective preconception cohort designed to investigate the impact of environmental, nutritional, and lifestyle factors among both women and men on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Methods: The EARTH Study recruits women 18 to 45 years and men 18 to 55 years seeking fertility evaluation and treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Fertility Center, Boston, USA. Women and men are eligible to join either independently or as a couple. Participants are followed from study entry throughout each fertility treatment cycle, once per trimester of pregnancy (for those achieving pregnancy), and up to labor and delivery, or until they discontinue treatment or withdraw from the study. The study collects biological samples, self-reported questionnaire data (including a food frequency questionnaire) and clinically abstracted information. Results: As of June 2017, the study cohort included 799 women and 487 men (447 couples; 40 men joined without female partners). Women were on average 34.7 years old at time of enrolment and predominantly Caucasian (81%), educated (49% have a graduate degree), and nulliparous (83%). Men were on average 36.6 years at baseline and mostly Caucasian (86%) and never-smokers (67%). Conclusions: The EARTH Study is one of the few cohorts designed to examine multiple potentially critical windows of vulnerability, including the paternal and maternal preconception windows and the periconception and prenatal windows in pregnancy. It is also one of the few human studies that has assessed potential interactions between environmental exposures and dietary factors.

    • Statistics as Topic
      1. In many biomedical studies, disease progress is monitored by a biomarker over time, eg, repeated measures of CD4 in AIDS and hemoglobin in end-stage renal disease patients. The endpoint of interest, eg, death or diagnosis of a specific disease, is correlated with the longitudinal biomarker. In this paper, we examine and compare different models of longitudinal and survival data to investigate causal mechanisms, specifically, those related to the role of random effects. We illustrate the methods by data from two clinical trials: an AIDS study and a liver cirrhosis study.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. BACKGROUND: On December 6 and 7, 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted its first Code-a-Thon event aimed at leveraging technology and data-driven solutions to help combat the opioid epidemic. The authors-an interdisciplinary team from academia, the private sector, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-participated in the Code-a-Thon as part of the prevention track. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop and deploy a methodology using machine learning to accurately detect the marketing and sale of opioids by illicit online sellers via Twitter as part of participation at the HHS Opioid Code-a-Thon event. METHODS: Tweets were collected from the Twitter public application programming interface stream filtered for common prescription opioid keywords in conjunction with participation in the Code-a-Thon from November 15, 2017 to December 5, 2017. An unsupervised machine learning-based approach was developed and used during the Code-a-Thon competition (24 hours) to obtain a summary of the content of the tweets to isolate those clusters associated with illegal online marketing and sale using a biterm topic model (BTM). After isolating relevant tweets, hyperlinks associated with these tweets were reviewed to assess the characteristics of illegal online sellers. RESULTS: We collected and analyzed 213,041 tweets over the course of the Code-a-Thon containing keywords codeine, percocet, vicodin, oxycontin, oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydrocodone. Using BTM, 0.32% (692/213,041) tweets were identified as being associated with illegal online marketing and sale of prescription opioids. After removing duplicates and dead links, we identified 34 unique “live” tweets, with 44% (15/34) directing consumers to illicit online pharmacies, 32% (11/34) linked to individual drug sellers, and 21% (7/34) used by marketing affiliates. In addition to offering the “no prescription” sale of opioids, many of these vendors also sold other controlled substances and illicit drugs. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are in line with prior studies that have identified social media platforms, including Twitter, as a potential conduit for supply and sale of illicit opioids. To translate these results into action, authors also developed a prototype wireframe for the purposes of detecting, classifying, and reporting illicit online pharmacy tweets selling controlled substances illegally to the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Further development of solutions based on these methods has the potential to proactively alert regulators and law enforcement agencies of illegal opioid sales, while also making the online environment safer for the public.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Breast milk transmission of flaviviruses in the context of Zika virus: A systematic reviewExternal
        Mann TZ, Haddad LB, Williams TR, Hills SL, Read JS, Dee DL, Dziuban EJ, Perez-Padilla J, Jamieson DJ, Honein MA, Shapiro-Mendoza CK.
        Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2018 Jun 8.

        BACKGROUND: Since the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas began in 2015, Zika virus transmission has occurred throughout the Americas. However, limited information exists regarding possible risks of transmission of Zika virus and other flaviviruses through breast feeding and human milk. We conducted a systematic review of the evidence regarding flaviviruses detection in and transmission through milk, specifically regarding Zika virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, Powassan virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus. METHODS: Medline, Embase, Global Health, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Popline, Virtual Health Library, and WorldCat were searched through June 2017. Two authors independently screened potential studies for inclusion and extracted data. Human and nonhuman (animal) studies describing: 1) confirmed or suspected cases of mother-to-child transmission through milk; or 2) the presence of flavivirus genomic material in milk. RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included, four animal models and thirteen observational studies. Dengue virus, West Nile virus, and Zika virus viral ribonucleic acid was detected in human milk, including infectious Zika virus and dengue virus viral particles. Human breast-feeding transmission was confirmed for only yellow fever virus. There was evidence of milk-related transmission of dengue virus, Powassan virus, and West Nile virus in animal studies. CONCLUSIONS: Because the health advantages of breast feeding are considered greater than the potential risk of transmission, the World Health Organization recommends that mothers with possible or confirmed Zika virus infection or exposure continue to breast feed. This review did not identify any data that might alter this recommendation.

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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.

Page last reviewed: January 31, 2019