Issue 45, December 21, 2020

CDC Science Clips: Volume 12, Issue 45, December 21, 2020

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

  1. 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. Depression, periodontitis, caries and missing teeth in the USA, NHANES 2009-2014external icon
        Aldosari M, Helmi M, Kennedy EN, Badamia R, Odani S, Agaku I, Vardavas C.
        Fam Med Community Health. 2020 Dec;8(4).
        PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the association between self-reported depressive symptoms and oral diseases in US adults, including periodontitis, caries, missing teeth and untreated dental caries. DESIGN: This study was designed as a secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional survey. We conducted descriptive, multivariable logistic and Poisson regression analyses on weighted data. SETTING: US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2014 data. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals aged ≥30 years who completed a periodontal examination and depression screening (n=9799). RESULTS: 21.6% (28.9 million) of adults aged ≥30 years reported depressive symptoms, with a higher prevalence among females, current smokers and participants with lower income and education status. More than half of the adults with moderate depressive symptoms had periodontal diseases, and more than one-third had teeth with untreated dental caries. After adjusting for sociodemographics, behavioural factors, having diabetes and psychotherapeutic medication use, depressive symptoms were associated with poorer oral health. Severe depressive symptoms were associated with higher odds of mild periodontitis (2.20; 99% CI 1.03 to 4.66). For those with mild depressive symptoms, the mean number of missing teeth was 1.20 (99% CI 1.06 to 1.37) times the average of non-symptomatic individuals; and 1.38 times (99% CI 1.15 to 1.66) among individuals with moderate depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptoms were associated with mild periodontitis and a greater number of missing teeth, while having teeth with untreated dental caries was attributed to sociodemographic factors. Awareness of oral health status among patients with depressive symptoms can inform both dental and mental health providers to develop tailored treatment and help patients achieve overall wellness.

      2. BACKGROUND: The treatment for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer has changed over time given the increased attention to the harms associated with over-diagnosis and the development of protocols for active surveillance. METHODS: We examined trends in the treatment of men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 2004 and 2015, using the most recently available data from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)-Medicare. Patients were stratified by Gleason score, age, and race groups. RESULTS: The use of active surveillance increased from 22% in 2004-2005 to 50% in 2014-2015 for patients with a Gleason score of 6 or below and increased from 9% in 2004-2005 to 13% in 2014-2015 for patients with a Gleason score of 7 or above. Patients with a Gleason score of 7 or above had increased use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy and prostatectomy, especially among patients aged 75 years and older. Among patients with a Gleason score of 6 or below non-Hispanic black men were less likely to undergo active surveillance than non-Hispanic white men. CONCLUSIONS: There has been a large increase in the use of active surveillance among men with a Gleason score of 6 or below. However, non-Hispanic black men with a Gleason score of 6 or below are less likely to receive active surveillance.

      3. Genetic causes of haemophilia in women and girlsexternal icon
        Miller CH, Bean CJ.
        Haemophilia. 2020 Dec 13.
        Women and girls reported as "haemophilic females" may have complex genetic causes for their haemophilia phenotype. In addition, women and girls may have excessive bleeding requiring treatment simply because they are heterozygous for haemophilia alleles. While severe and moderate haemophilia are rare in females, 16% of patients with mild haemophilia A and almost one-quarter of those with mild haemophilia B seen in U.S. haemophilia treatment centres are women and girls. A phenotypic female with a low level of factor VIII or factor IX may be classified into one of the following categories of causality: homozygosity (two identical haemophilia alleles), compound heterozygosity (two different haemophilia alleles), hemizygosity (one haemophilia allele and no normal allele), heterozygosity (one haemophilia allele and one normal allele), genetic causes other than haemophilia and non-genetic causes. Studies required for classification may include coagulation parameters, F8 or F9 sequencing, F8 inversion testing, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, karyotyping and X chromosome inactivation studies performed on the patient and parents. Women and girls who are homozygous, compound heterozygous or hemizygous clearly have haemophilia, as they do not have a normal allele. Heterozygous women and girls with factor levels below the haemostatic range also meet the definitions used for haemophilia treatment.

      4. Impact of age at type 2 diabetes mellitus diagnosis on mortality and vascular complications: systematic review and meta-analysesexternal icon
        Nanayakkara N, Curtis AJ, Heritier S, Gadowski AM, Pavkov ME, Kenealy T, Owens DR, Thomas RL, Song S, Wong J, Chan JC, Luk AO, Penno G, Ji L, Mohan V, Amutha A, Romero-Aroca P, Gasevic D, Magliano DJ, Teede HJ, Chalmers J, Zoungas S.
        Diabetologia. 2020 Dec 14.
        AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Few studies examine the association between age at diagnosis and subsequent complications from type 2 diabetes. This paper aims to summarise the risk of mortality, macrovascular complications and microvascular complications associated with age at diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Data were sourced from MEDLINE and All EBM (Evidence Based Medicine) databases from inception to July 2018. Observational studies, investigating the effect of age at diabetes diagnosis on macrovascular and microvascular diabetes complications in adults with type 2 diabetes were selected according to pre-specified criteria. Two investigators independently extracted data and evaluated all studies. If data were not reported in a comparable format, data were obtained from authors, presented as minimally adjusted ORs (and 95% CIs) per 1 year increase in age at diabetes diagnosis, adjusted for current age for each outcome of interest. The study protocol was recorded with PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42016043593). RESULTS: Data from 26 observational studies comprising 1,325,493 individuals from 30 countries were included. Random-effects meta-analyses with inverse variance weighting were used to obtain the pooled ORs. Age at diabetes diagnosis was inversely associated with risk of all-cause mortality and macrovascular and microvascular disease (all p < 0.001). Each 1 year increase in age at diabetes diagnosis was associated with a 4%, 3% and 5% decreased risk of all-cause mortality, macrovascular disease and microvascular disease, respectively, adjusted for current age. The effects were consistent for the individual components of the composite outcomes (all p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Younger, rather than older, age at diabetes diagnosis was associated with higher risk of mortality and vascular disease. Early and sustained interventions to delay type 2 diabetes onset and improve blood glucose levels and cardiovascular risk profiles of those already diagnosed are essential to reduce morbidity and mortality. Graphical abstract.

      5. BACKGROUND: Recent studies reported increasing trends in hospitalization of stroke patients aged 35-64 years. AIM: To examine changes in risk factor profiles among patients aged 35-64 years hospitalized with acute ischemic stroke between 2006 and 2017 in the United States. METHODS: We used data from the National Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project from 2006 through 2017. Principal ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM codes were used to identify acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations, and secondary codes were used to identify the presence of four major stroke risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, and tobacco use. We used the relative percent change to assess the changes in the prevalence of risk profile between 2006-2007 and 2016-2017 and linear regression models to obtain the p values for the overall trends across six time periods. RESULTS: Approximately 1.5 million acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations occurred during 2006-2017. The prevalence of having all four risk factors increased from 4.1% in 2006-2007 to 9.1% in 2016-2017 (relative percent change 122.0%, p < 0.001 for trend), prevalence of any three risk factors increased from 24.5% to 33.8% (relative percent change 38.0%, p < 0.001). Prevalence of only two risk factors decreased from 36.1% to 32.7% (p < 0.001), only one risk factor decreased from 25.2% to 18.1% (p < 0.001), and absence of risk factors decreased from 10.1% to 6.2% (p < 0.001). The most prevalent triad of risk factors was hypertension, diabetes, and lipid disorders (14.3% in 2006-2007 and 19.8% in 2016-2017), and the most common dyad risk factors was hypertension and lipid disorders (12.6% in 2006-2007 and 11.9% in 2016-2017). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of hospitalized acute ischemic stroke patients aged 35-64 years with all four or any three of four major stroke risk factors increased by 122% and 38%, while those with only one risk factor or no risk factor has declined by 28% and 39%, respectively, from 2006 to 2017. Younger adults are increasingly at higher risk for stroke from preventable and treatable risk factors. This growing public health problem will require clinicians, healthcare systems, and public health efforts to implement more effective prevention strategies among this population.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Factors associated with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results in outpatient health facilities and emergency departments among children and adolescents aged <18 years - Mississippi, September-November 2020external icon
        Hobbs CV, Martin LM, Kim SS, Kirmse BM, Haynie L, McGraw S, Byers P, Taylor KG, Patel MM, Flannery B.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1925-1929.
        As of December 14, 2020, children and adolescents aged <18 years have accounted for 10.2% of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases reported in the United States.* Mitigation strategies to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among persons of all ages, are important for pandemic control. Characterization of risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and adolescents can inform efforts by parents, school and program administrators, and public health officials to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. To assess school, community, and close contact exposures associated with pediatric COVID-19, a case-control study was conducted to compare exposures reported by parents or guardians of children and adolescents aged <18 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing (case-patients) with exposures reported among those who received negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results (control participants). Among 397 children and adolescents investigated, in-person school or child care attendance ≤14 days before the SARS-CoV-2 test was reported for 62% of case-patients and 68% of control participants and was not associated with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.5-1.3). Among 236 children aged ≥2 years who attended child care or school during the 2 weeks before SARS-CoV-2 testing, parents of 64% of case-patients and 76% of control participants reported that their child and all staff members wore masks inside the facility (aOR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2-0.8). In the 2 weeks preceding SARS-CoV-2 testing, case-patients were more likely to have had close contact with a person with known COVID-19 (aOR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2.0-5.0), have attended gatherings(†) with persons outside their household, including social functions (aOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.1-5.5) or activities with other children (aOR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.3-8.4), or have had visitors in the home (aOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2-2.9) than were control participants. Close contacts with persons with COVID-19 and gatherings contribute to SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and adolescents. Consistent use of masks, social distancing, isolation of infected persons, and quarantine of those who are exposed to the virus continue to be important to prevent COVID-19 spread.

      2. Timely intervention and control of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at a large skilled nursing facility - San Francisco, California, 2020external icon
        Karmarkar E, Blanco I, Amornkul P, DuBois A, Deng X, Moonan PK, Rubenstein BL, Miller DA, Kennedy I, Yu J, Dauterman J, Ongpin M, Hathaway W, Hoo L, Trammell S, Ememu E, Yu G, Khwaja Z, Lu W, Talai N, Jain S, Louie J, Philip S, Federman S, Masinde G, Wadford DA, Bobba N, Stoltey J, Smith A, Epson E, Chiu C, Bennett A, Vasquez AM, Williams T.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020 Dec 14:1-20.
        OBJECTIVE: To describe epidemiologic and genomic characteristics of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in a large skilled nursing facility (SNF), and the strategies that controlled transmission. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cohort study during March 22-May 4, 2020 of all staff and residents at a 780-bed SNF in San Francisco, California. METHODS: Contact tracing and symptom screening guided targeted testing of staff and residents; respiratory specimens were also collected through serial point prevalence surveys (PPS) in units with confirmed cases. Cases were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing for SARS-CoV-2; whole genome sequencing (WGS) characterized viral isolate lineages and relatedness. Infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions included restricting from work any staff who had close contact to a confirmed case; restricting movements between units; implementing surgical face masking facility-wide; and recommended PPE (isolation gown, gloves, N95 respirator and eye protection) for clinical interactions in units with confirmed cases. RESULTS: Of 725 staff and residents tested through targeted testing and serial PPS, twenty-one (3%) were SARS-CoV-2-positive; sixteen (76%) staff and 5 (24%) residents. Fifteen (71%) were linked to a single unit. Targeted testing identified 17 (81%) cases; PPS identified 4 (19%). Most (71%) cases were identified prior to IPC intervention. WGS was performed on SARS-CoV-2 isolates from four staff and four residents; five were of Santa Clara County lineage and the three others were distinct lineages. CONCLUSIONS: Early implementation of targeted testing, serial PPS, and multimodal IPC interventions limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the SNF.

      3. Impact of safe water programs on water treatment practices of people living with human immunodeficiency virus, Ethiopia, 2008external icon
        Kim S, O'Reilly CE, Abayneh SA, Bhattarai A, Ahmed J, Mekonnen A, Salah Z, Quick R.
        Water. 2020 ;12(11).
        Household water chlorination has been shown to reduce diarrhea incidence among people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (PLHIV). Some HIV programs in Ethiopia previously provided a socially marketed chlorination product (brand name WuhaAgar) to prevent diarrhea. To evaluate the program, we compared WuhaAgar use and water treatment practices between 795 clients from 20 antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics and 795 community members matched by age, sex, and neighborhood. Overall, 19% of study participants reported water treatment with WuhaAgar. Being an ART clinic client was associated with reported treatment of drinking water (matched odds ratios (mOR): 3.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.9-5.0), reported current water treatment with WuhaAgar (mOR: 5.5, 95% CI 3.9-7.7), and bottles of WuhaAgar observed in the home (mOR: 8.8, 95% CI 5.4-14.3). Being an ART clinic client was also associated with reported diarrhea among respondents (mOR: 4.8, 95% CI 2.9-7.9) and household members (mOR:2.8, 95% CI: 1.9-4.2) in the two weeks preceding the survey. Results suggest that promoting and distributing water chlorination products in ART clinics was effective in increasing access to and use of water treatment products among PLHIV. The positive association between ART clinic attendees and diarrhea likely resulted from the immunocompromised status of ART clinic clients.

      4. Depression, antiretroviral therapy initiation, and HIV viral suppression among people who inject drugs in Vietnamexternal icon
        Levintow SN, Pence BW, Powers KA, Breskin A, Sripaipan T, Ha TV, Chu VA, Quan VM, Latkin CA, Go VF.
        J Affect Disord. 2020 Dec 9;281:208-215.
        BACKGROUND: The burden of depression is high among people who inject drugs (PWID) and may contribute to the spread of HIV through poor treatment engagement and persistent viremia. We estimated the effects of depression on antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and viral suppression among PWID living with HIV. METHODS: Longitudinal data were collected from 455 PWID living with HIV in Vietnam during 2009-2013. We estimated the 6- and 12-month cumulative incidence of ART initiation and viral suppression, accounting for time-varying confounding, competing events, and missing data. The cumulative incidence difference (CID) contrasted the incidence of each outcome had participants always vs. never experienced severe depressive symptoms across study visits to date. RESULTS: Severe depressive symptoms decreased the cumulative incidence of ART initiation, with CID values comparing always vs. never having severe depressive symptoms of -7.5 percentage points (95% CI: -17.2, 2.2) at 6 months and -7.1 (95% CI: -17.9, 3.7) at 12 months. There was no appreciable difference in the cumulative incidence of viral suppression at 6 months (CID = 0.3, 95% CI: -11.3, 11.9) or 12 months (CID = 2.0, 95% CI: -21.8, 25.8). LIMITATIONS: Discrepancies between the ART initiation and viral suppression outcomes could be due to under-reporting of ART use and missing data on viral load. CONCLUSIONS: Future work probing the seemingly antagonistic effect of depression on treatment uptake - but not viral suppression - will inform the design of interventions promoting HIV clinical outcomes and reducing onward transmission among PWID.

      5. Protocol for a case-control study to investigate the association of pellagra with isoniazid exposure during tuberculosis preventive treatment scale-up in Malawiexternal icon
        Nabity SA, Mponda K, Gutreuter S, Surie D, Williams A, Sharma AJ, Schnaubelt ER, Marshall RE, Kirking HL, Zimba SB, Sunguti JL, Chisuwo L, Chiwaula MJ, Gregory JF, da Silva R, Odo M, Jahn A, Kalua T, Nyirenda R, Girma B, Mpunga J, Buono N, Maida A, Kim EJ, Gunde LJ, Mekonnen TF, Auld AF, Muula AS, Oeltmann JE.
        Front Public Health. 2020 ;8:551308.
        Background: Pellagra is caused by niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency and manifested by a distinctive dermatitis. Isoniazid is critical for treating tuberculosis globally and is a component of most regimens to prevent tuberculosis. Isoniazid may contribute to pellagra by disrupting intracellular niacin synthesis. In 2017, Malawian clinicians recognized a high incidence of pellagra-like rashes after scale-up of isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) to people living with HIV (PLHIV). This increase in pellagra incidence among PLHIV coincided with a seasonal period of sustained food insecurity in the region, which obscured epidemiological interpretations. Although isoniazid has been implicated as a secondary cause of pellagra for decades, no hypothesis-driven epidemiological study has assessed this relationship in a population exposed to isoniazid. We developed this case-control protocol to assess the association between large-scale isoniazid distribution and pellagra in Malawi. Methods: We measure the relative odds of having pellagra among isoniazid-exposed people compared to those without exposure while controlling for other pellagra risk factors. Secondary aims include measuring time from isoniazid initiation to onset of dermatitis, comparing niacin metabolites 1-methylnicotinamide (1-MN), and l-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide (2-PYR) in urine as a proxy for total body niacin status among subpopulations, and describing clinical outcomes after 30-days multi-B vitamin (containing 300 mg nicotinamide daily) therapy and isoniazid cessation (if exposed). We aim to enroll 197 participants with pellagra and 788 age- and sex-matched controls (1:4 ratio) presenting at three dermatology clinics. Four randomly selected community clinics within 3-25 km of designated dermatology clinics will refer persons with pellagra-like symptoms to one of the study enrollment sites for diagnosis. Trained study dermatologists will conduct a detailed exposure questionnaire and perform anthropometric measurements. A subset of enrollees will provide a casual urine specimen for niacin metabolites quantification and/or point-of-care isoniazid detection to confirm whether participants recently ingested isoniazid. We will use conditional logistic regression, matching age and sex, to estimate odds ratios for the primary study aim. Discussion: The results of this study will inform the programmatic scale-up of isoniazid-containing regimens to prevent tuberculosis.

      6. Health center testing for SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic - United States, June 5-October 2, 2020external icon
        Romero L, Pao LZ, Clark H, Riley C, Merali S, Park M, Eggers C, Campbell S, Bui C, Bolton J, Le X, Fanfair RN, Rose M, Hinckley A, Siza C.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1895-1901.
        Long-standing social inequities and health disparities have resulted in increased risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, severe illness, and death among racial and ethnic minority populations. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program supports nearly 1,400 health centers that provide comprehensive primary health care* to approximately 30 million patients in 13,000 service sites across the United States.(†) In 2019, 63% of HRSA health center patients who reported race and ethnicity identified as members of racial ethnic minority populations (1). Historically underserved communities and populations served by health centers have a need for access to important information and resources for preventing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to testing for those at risk, and to follow-up services for those with positive test results.(§) During the COVID-19 public health emergency, health centers(¶) have provided and continue to provide testing and follow-up care to medically underserved populations**; these centers are capable of reaching areas disproportionately affected by the pandemic.(††) HRSA administers a weekly, voluntary Health Center COVID-19 Survey(§§) to track health center COVID-19 testing capacity and the impact of COVID-19 on operations, patients, and personnel. Potential respondents can include up to 1,382 HRSA-funded health centers.(¶¶) To assess health centers' capacity to reach racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk for COVID-19 and to provide access to testing, CDC and HRSA analyzed survey data for the weeks June 5-October 2, 2020*** to describe all patients tested (3,194,838) and those who received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results (308,780) by race/ethnicity and state of residence. Among persons with known race/ethnicity who received testing (2,506,935), 36% were Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic), 38% were non-Hispanic White (White), and 20% were non-Hispanic Black (Black); among those with known race/ethnicity with positive test results, 56% were Hispanic, 24% were White, and 15% were Black. Improving health centers' ability to reach groups at increased risk for COVID-19 might reduce transmission by identifying cases and supporting contact tracing and isolation. Efforts to improve coordination of COVID-19 response-related activities between state and local public health departments and HRSA-funded health centers can increase access to testing and follow-up care for populations at increased risk for COVID-19.

      7. Respiratory syncytial virus seasonality in three epidemiological zones of Kenyaexternal icon
        Rose EB, Nyawanda BO, Munywoki PK, Murunga N, Bigogo GM, Otieno NA, Onyango C, Chaves SS, Verani JR, Emukule GO, Widdowson MA, Nokes DJ, Gerber SI, Langley GE.
        Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2020 Dec 10.
        Understanding respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulation patterns is necessary to guide the timing of limited-duration interventions such as vaccines. We describe RSV circulation over multiple seasons in three distinct counties of Kenya during 2006-2018. Kilifi and Siaya counties each had consistent but distinct RSV seasonality, lasting on average 18-22 weeks. Based on data from available years, RSV did not have a clear pattern of circulation in Nairobi. This information can help guide the timing of vaccines and immunoprophylaxis products that are under development.

      8. Factors that might affect SARS-CoV-2 transmission among foreign-born and U.S.-born poultry facility workers - Maryland, May 2020external icon
        Rubenstein BL, Campbell S, Meyers AR, Crum DA, Mitchell CS, Hutson J, Williams DL, Senesie SS, Gilani Z, Reynolds S, Alba B, Tavitian S, Billings K, Saintus L, Martin SB, Mainzer H.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1906-1910.
        Numerous recent assessments indicate that meat and poultry processing facility workers are at increased risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1-4). Physical proximity to other workers and shared equipment can facilitate disease transmission in these settings (2-4). The disproportionate number of foreign-born workers employed in meat and poultry processing reflects structural, social, and economic inequities that likely contribute to an increased COVID-19 incidence in this population* (5). In May 2020, the Maryland Department of Health and CDC investigated factors that might affect person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 transmission among persons who worked at two poultry processing facilities. A survey administered to 359 workers identified differences in risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection between workers born outside the United States and U.S.-born workers. Compared with U.S.-born workers, foreign-born workers had higher odds of working in fixed locations on the production floor (odds ratio [OR] for cutup and packaging jobs = 4.8), of having shared commutes (OR = 1.9), and of living with other poultry workers (OR = 6.0). They had lower odds of participating in social gatherings (OR for visits to family = 0.2; OR for visits to friends = 0.4), and they visited fewer businesses in the week before the survey than did their U.S.-born coworkers. Some workplace risk factors can be mitigated through engineering and administrative controls focused on the production floor, and this will be of particular benefit to the foreign-born workers concentrated in these areas. Employers and health departments can also partner with local organizations to disseminate culturally and linguistically tailored messages about risk reduction behaviors in community settings, including shared transportation(§) and household members dwelling in close quarters.

      9. Preparation for outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases is often predicated on beliefs that we will be able to understand the epidemiological nature of an outbreak early into its inception. However, since many rare emerging diseases exhibit different epidemiological behaviors from outbreak to outbreak, early and accurate estimation of the epidemiological situation may not be straightforward in all cases. Previous studies have proposed considering the role of active asymptomatic infections co-emerging and co-circulating as part of the process of emergence of a novel pathogen. Thus far, consideration of the role of asymptomatic infections in emerging disease dynamics have usually avoided considering some important sets of influences. In this paper, we present and analyze a mathematical model to explore the hypothetical scenario that some (re)emerging diseases may actually be able to maintain stable, endemic circulation successfully in an entirely asymptomatic state. We argue that an understanding of this potential mechanism for diversity in observed epidemiological dynamics may be of considerable importance in understanding and preparing for outbreaks of novel and/or emerging diseases.

      10. Update to CDC's Treatment Guidelines for Gonococcal Infection, 2020external icon
        St Cyr S, Barbee L, Workowski KA, Bachmann LH, Pham C, Schlanger K, Torrone E, Weinstock H, Kersh EN, Thorpe P.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1911-1916.
        Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococcal infections) have increased 63% since 2014 and are a cause of sequelae including pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility and can facilitate transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (1,2). Effective treatment can prevent complications and transmission, but N. gonorrhoeae's ability to acquire antimicrobial resistance influences treatment recommendations and complicates control (3). In 2010, CDC recommended a single 250 mg intramuscular (IM) dose of ceftriaxone and a single 1 g oral dose of azithromycin for treatment of uncomplicated gonococcal infections of the cervix, urethra, and rectum as a strategy for preventing ceftriaxone resistance and treating possible coinfection with Chlamydia trachomatis (4). Increasing concern for antimicrobial stewardship and the potential impact of dual therapy on commensal organisms and concurrent pathogens (3), in conjunction with the continued low incidence of ceftriaxone resistance and the increased incidence of azithromycin resistance, has led to reevaluation of this recommendation. This report, which updates previous guidelines (5), recommends a single 500 mg IM dose of ceftriaxone for treatment of uncomplicated urogenital, anorectal, and pharyngeal gonorrhea. If chlamydial infection has not been excluded, concurrent treatment with doxycycline (100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days) is recommended. Continuing to monitor for emergence of ceftriaxone resistance through surveillance and health care providers' reporting of treatment failures is essential to ensuring continued efficacy of recommended regimens.

      11. Development of the Global Mycetoma Working Groupexternal icon
        Traxler RM, Beer KD, Blaney DD, van de Sande WW, Fahal AH, Asiedu KB, Bower WA, Chiller T.
        Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Dec 15.
        The Global Mycetoma Working Group (GMWG) was formed in January 2018 in response to the declaration of mycetoma as a neglected tropical disease (NTD) by the World Health Assembly. The aim of the working group is to connect experts and public health practitioners around the world to accelerate mycetoma prevention activities and reduce the impact of mycetoma on patients, healthcare providers and society in the endemic regions. The working group has made tangible contributions to mycetoma programming, awareness and coordination among scientists, clinicians and public health professionals. The group's connectivity has enabled rapid response and review of NTD documents in development, has created a network of public health professionals to provide regional mycetoma expertise and has enabled mycetoma to be represented within broader NTD organizations. The GMWG will continue to serve as a hub for networking and building collaborations for the advancement of mycetoma clinical management and treatment, research and public health programming.

      12. Hepatitis E-associated hospitalizations in the United States: 2010-2015 and 2015-2017external icon
        Wasuwanich P, Ingviya T, Thawillarp S, Teshale EH, Kamili S, Crino JP, Scheimann AO, Argani C, Karnsakul W.
        J Viral Hepat. 2020 Dec 11.
        Hepatitis E is considered rare in the United States (US) despite its widespread occurrence in Asian and African countries. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of hepatitis E-related pregnancies and acute-on-chronic liver failure and analyze trends for hepatitis E diagnosis among hospitalized patients in the US.We examined data from the 2010-2017 National Inpatient Sample from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to determine mortality, morbidity, pregnancy diagnoses, chronic liver disease diagnoses, and other conditions during hospitalization. Data were extracted for hospitalizations with hepatitis E as defined by ICD-9 codes 070.43 and 070.53 and ICD-10 code B17.2. Of 208,462,242 hospitalizations from 2010-2015, we identified 960 hepatitis E hospitalizations. The hospitalization rate of hepatitis E was 3.7 per 10 million in 2010 and 6.4 per 10 million in 2015 (β=0.60, p=0.011). From 2015 to 2017, the hospitalization appeared to increase with slope (β) of 0.50. Among those hospitalizations, 34 (4%) died and 85 (9%) had acute-on-chronic liver failure. Ninety-five (10%) had a diagnosis of pregnancy, there were no reports of maternal or fetus/neonate deaths, but there was a high proportion of adverse events for both during hospitalization. Having a chronic liver disease was associated with hepatic coma diagnosis (OR=10.94, p=0.002). Although the hospitalization rate of hepatitis E in the US is low, it appears to be increasing over time. Further studies are necessary in order to conclude a causal association of hepatitis E with adverse events and mortalities in pregnancy and chronic liver disease in the US.

      13. Active surveillance for acute respiratory infections among pediatric long-term care facility staffexternal icon
        Wilmont S, Neu N, Hill-Ricciuti A, Alba L, Prill MM, Whitaker B, Garg S, Stone ND, Lu X, Kim L, Gerber SI, Larson E, Saiman L.
        Am J Infect Control. 2020 Dec;48(12):1474-1477.
        BACKGROUND: Transmission of respiratory viruses between staff and residents of pediatric long-term care facilities (pLTCFs) can occur. We assessed the feasibility of using text or email messages to perform surveillance for acute respiratory infections (ARIs) among staff. METHODS: From December 7, 2016 to May 7, 2017, 50 staff participants from 2 pLTCFs received weekly text or email requests to report the presence or absence of ARI symptoms. Those who fulfilled the ARI case definition (≥2 symptoms) had respiratory specimens collected to detect viruses by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays. Pre- and postsurveillance respiratory specimens were collected to assess subclinical viral shedding. RESULTS: The response rate to weekly electronic messages was 93%. Twenty-one ARIs reported from 20 (40%) participants fulfilled the case definition. Respiratory viruses were detected in 29% (5/17) of specimens collected at symptom onset (influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus, coronavirus [CoV] 229E, rhinovirus [RV], and dual detection of CoV OC43 and bocavirus). Four participants had positive presurveillance (4 RV), and 6 had positive postsurveillance specimens (3 RV, 2 CoV NL63, and 1 adenovirus). CONCLUSIONS: Electronic messaging to conduct ARI surveillance among pLTCF staff was feasible.

    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services
      1. Governors' use of executive orders and proclamations in hurricane response, 2006-2018external icon
        Gakh M, Sunshine G, Limeres A, Rutkow L.
        Health Secur. 2020 Dec;18(6):489-495.
        Hurricanes can destroy or overwhelm communities and cause or exacerbate health conditions. Legal mechanisms and practices may aid or impede hurricane response. In the United States, where states have primary public health responsibility, state governors possess legal powers to address hurricanes. They often exercise these powers using executive orders and proclamations-legal mechanisms that direct public and private parties. Although executive orders and proclamations are critical for hurricane preparedness and response, how governors use them to respond to hurricanes is not fully understood. Using legal epidemiology, we systematically identified and analyzed hurricane-related executive orders and proclamations issued in the United States from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2018. We found 468 relevant executive orders and proclamations, 14% of which were issued, at least in part, to benefit a jurisdiction other than the issuer's state. We observed variations in when and where such orders and proclamations were issued. Executive orders and proclamations were most commonly used to direct government response or recovery (32%), handle and administer government resources (31%), and suspend legal requirements perceived to inhibit response (27%). Fewer orders and proclamations regulated private parties (10%). Understanding how governors use executive orders and proclamations to respond to hurricanes can bolster future preparedness and response efforts.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Insecticide resistance status of Aedes aegypti in Bangladeshexternal icon
        Al-Amin HM, Johora FT, Irish SR, Hossainey MR, Vizcaino L, Paul KK, Khan WA, Haque R, Alam MS, Lenhart A.
        Parasit Vectors. 2020 Dec 14;13(1):622.
        BACKGROUND: Arboviral diseases, including dengue and chikungunya, are major public health concerns in Bangladesh where there have been unprecedented levels of transmission reported in recent years. The primary approach to control these diseases is to control the vector Aedes aegypti using pyrethroid insecticides. Although chemical control has long been practiced, no comprehensive analysis of Ae. aegypti susceptibility to insecticides has been conducted to date. The aim of this study was to determine the insecticide resistance status of Ae. aegypti in Bangladesh and investigate the role of detoxification enzymes and altered target site sensitivity as resistance mechanisms. METHODS: Eggs of Aedes mosquitoes were collected using ovitraps from five districts across Bangladesh and in eight neighborhoods of the capital city Dhaka, from August to November 2017. CDC bottle bioassays were conducted for permethrin, deltamethrin, malathion, and bendiocarb using 3- to 5-day-old F(0)-F(2) non-blood-fed female mosquitoes. Biochemical assays were conducted to detect metabolic resistance mechanisms, and real-time PCR was performed to determine the frequencies of the knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations Gly1016, Cys1534, and Leu410. RESULTS: High levels of resistance to permethrin were detected in all Ae. aegypti populations, with mortality ranging from 0 to 14.8% at the diagnostic dose. Substantial resistance continued to be detected against higher (2×) doses of permethrin (5.1-44.4% mortality). Susceptibility to deltamethrin and malathion varied between populations while complete susceptibility to bendiocarb was observed in all populations. Significantly higher levels of esterase and oxidase activity were detected in most of the test populations as compared to the susceptible reference Rockefeller strain. A significant association was detected between permethrin resistance and the presence of Gly1016 and Cys1534 homozygotes. The frequency of kdr (knockdown resistance) alleles varied across the Dhaka Aedes populations. Leu410 was not detected in any of the tested populations. CONCLUSIONS: The detection of widespread pyrethroid resistance and multiple resistance mechanisms highlights the urgency for implementing alternate Ae. aegypti control strategies. In addition, implementing routine monitoring of insecticide resistance in Ae. aegypti in Bangladesh will lead to a greater understanding of susceptibility trends over space and time, thereby enabling the development of improved control strategies.

      2. Delimiting cryptic morphological variation among human malaria vector species using convolutional neural networksexternal icon
        Couret J, Moreira DC, Bernier D, Loberti AM, Dotson EM, Alvarez M.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Dec;14(12):e0008904.
        Deep learning is a powerful approach for distinguishing classes of images, and there is a growing interest in applying these methods to delimit species, particularly in the identification of mosquito vectors. Visual identification of mosquito species is the foundation of mosquito-borne disease surveillance and management, but can be hindered by cryptic morphological variation in mosquito vector species complexes such as the malaria-transmitting Anopheles gambiae complex. We sought to apply Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to images of mosquitoes as a proof-of-concept to determine the feasibility of automatic classification of mosquito sex, genus, species, and strains using whole-body, 2D images of mosquitoes. We introduce a library of 1, 709 images of adult mosquitoes collected from 16 colonies of mosquito vector species and strains originating from five geographic regions, with 4 cryptic species not readily distinguishable morphologically even by trained medical entomologists. We present a methodology for image processing, data augmentation, and training and validation of a CNN. Our best CNN configuration achieved high prediction accuracies of 96.96% for species identification and 98.48% for sex. Our results demonstrate that CNNs can delimit species with cryptic morphological variation, 2 strains of a single species, and specimens from a single colony stored using two different methods. We present visualizations of the CNN feature space and predictions for interpretation of our results, and we further discuss applications of our findings for future applications in malaria mosquito surveillance.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Cardiopulmonary impact of particulate air pollution in high-risk populations: JACC State-of-the-Art Reviewexternal icon
        Newman JD, Bhatt DL, Rajagopalan S, Balmes JR, Brauer M, Breysse PN, Brown AG, Carnethon MR, Cascio WE, Collman GW, Fine LJ, Hansel NN, Hernandez A, Hochman JS, Jerrett M, Joubert BR, Kaufman JD, Malik AO, Mensah GA, Newby DE, Peel JL, Siegel J, Siscovick D, Thompson BL, Zhang J, Brook RD.
        J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Dec 15;76(24):2878-2894.
        Fine particulate air pollution <2.5 μm in diameter (PM(2.5)) is a major environmental threat to global public health. Multiple national and international medical and governmental organizations have recognized PM(2.5) as a risk factor for cardiopulmonary diseases. A growing body of evidence indicates that several personal-level approaches that reduce exposures to PM(2.5) can lead to improvements in health endpoints. Novel and forward-thinking strategies including randomized clinical trials are important to validate key aspects (e.g., feasibility, efficacy, health benefits, risks, burden, costs) of the various protective interventions, in particular among real-world susceptible and vulnerable populations. This paper summarizes the discussions and conclusions from an expert workshop, Reducing the Cardiopulmonary Impact of Particulate Matter Air Pollution in High Risk Populations, held on May 29 to 30, 2019, and convened by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      2. Surveillance for harmful algal bloom events and associated human and animal illnesses - One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System, United States, 2016-2018external icon
        Roberts VA, Vigar M, Backer L, Veytsel GE, Hilborn ED, Hamelin EI, Vanden Esschert KL, Lively JY, Cope JR, Hlavsa MC, Yoder JS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1889-1894.
        Harmful algal bloom events can result from the rapid growth, or bloom, of photosynthesizing organisms in natural bodies of fresh, brackish, and salt water. These events can be exacerbated by nutrient pollution (e.g., phosphorus) and warming waters and other climate change effects (1); have a negative impact on the health of humans, animals, and the environment; and damage local economies (2,3). U.S. harmful algal bloom events of public health concern are centered on a subset of phytoplankton: diatoms, dinoflagellates, and cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae). CDC launched the One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) in 2016 to inform efforts to prevent human and animal illnesses associated with harmful algal bloom events. A total of 18 states reported 421 harmful algal bloom events, 389 cases of human illness, and 413 cases of animal illness that occurred during 2016-2018. The majority of harmful algal bloom events occurred during May-October (413; 98%) and in freshwater bodies (377; 90%). Human and animal illnesses primarily occurred during June-September (378; 98%) and May-September (410; 100%). Gastrointestinal or generalized illness signs or symptoms were the most frequently reported (>40% of human cases and >50% of animal cases); however, multiple other signs and symptoms were reported. Surveillance data from harmful algal bloom events, exposures, and health effects provide a systematic description of these occurrences and can be used to inform control and prevention of harmful algal bloom-associated illnesses.

      3. Updated research agenda for water, sanitation and antimicrobial resistanceexternal icon
        Sano D, Louise Wester A, Schmitt H, Amarasiri M, Kirby A, Medlicott K, Roda Husman AM.
        J Water Health. 2020 Dec;18(6):858-866.
        The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including clinically relevant antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, genetic resistance elements, and antibiotic residues, presents a significant threat to human health. Reducing the incidence of infection by improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is one of five objectives in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Action Plan on AMR. In September 2019, WHO and the Health-Related Water Microbiology specialist group (HRWM-SG) of the International Water Association (IWA) organized its third workshop on AMR, focusing on the following three main issues: environmental pathways of AMR transmission, environmental surveillance, and removal from human waste. The workshop concluded that despite an increase in scientific evidence that the environment may play a significant role, especially in low-resource settings, the exact relative role of the environment is still unclear. Given many antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) can be part of the normal gut flora, it can be assumed that for environmental transmission, the burden of fecal-oral transmission of AMR in a geographical area follows that of WASH-related infections. There are some uncertainties as to the potential for the propagation of particular resistance genes within wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), but there is no doubt that the reduction in viable microbes (with or without resistance genes) available for transmission via the environment is one of the goals of human waste management. Although progress has been made in the past years with respect to quantifying environmental AMR transmission potential, still more data on the spread of environmental AMR within human communities is needed. Even though evidence on AMR in WWTPs has increased, the reduction in the emergence and spread of AMR by basic sanitation methods is yet unresolved. In order to contribute to the generation of harmonized One Health surveillance data, WHO has initiated an integrated One Health surveillance strategy that includes the environment. The main challenge lies in rolling it out globally including to the poorest regions.

      4. A review of data for quantifying human exposures to micro and nanoplastics and potential health risksexternal icon
        Zarus GM, Muianga C, Hunter CM, Pappas RS.
        Sci Total Environ. 2020 Nov 24;756:144010.
        Plastic debris have been shown to degenerate to particle sizes that can be transported in air, water, and food. Small particles are documented to enter and exit our bodies and translocate to and from some internal organs. Health effects on respiratory, hepatic, immune, and gastrointestinal systems have been reported in humans and other mammals in response to elevated particle or fiber exposures. These health effects differed by plastic type and size, and there was evidence of dose response for a few health endpoints. We conducted a systematic word search and reviewed published literature to identify microplastic and nanoplastic studies that quantified exposure via the ingestion, inhalation, and subcutaneous absorption (not dermal) exposure pathways; identified translocation, internal dose, and associations with health effects and markers related to exposures to specific sizes and types of plastics. We identified the data gaps in relating exposure data to health effects and biomarkers, most notably the lack of characterization of plastic particles and fibers smaller than 10 μm in most media.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      1. Integrated survey methodologies for neglected tropical diseasesexternal icon
        Harding-Esch EM, Brady MA, Angeles CA, Fleming FM, Martin DL, McPherson S, Hurtado HM, Nesemann JM, Nwobi BC, Scholte RG, Taleo F, Talero SL, Solomon AW, Saboyá-Díaz MI.
        Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Dec 10.
        The 2021-2030 Neglected Tropical Diseases road map calls for intensified cross-cutting approaches. By moving away from vertical programming, the integration of platforms and intervention delivery aims to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness and programme coverage. Drawing on the direct experiences of the authors, this article outlines key elements for successful integrated surveys, the challenges encountered, as well as future opportunities and threats to such surveys. There are multiple advantages. Careful planning should ensure that integration does not result in a process that is less efficient, more expensive or that generates data driving less reliable decisions than conducting multiple disease-specific surveys.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Web-based genome analysis of bacterial meningitis pathogens for public health applications using the Bacterial Meningitis Genomic Analysis Platform (BMGAP)external icon
        Buono SA, Kelly RJ, Topaz N, Retchless AC, Silva H, Chen A, Ramos E, Doho G, Khan AN, Okomo-Adhiambo MA, Hu F, Marasini D, Wang X.
        Front Genet. 2020 ;11:601870.
        Effective laboratory-based surveillance and public health response to bacterial meningitis depends on timely characterization of bacterial meningitis pathogens. Traditionally, characterizing bacterial meningitis pathogens such as Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) and Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) required several biochemical and molecular tests. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has enabled the development of pipelines capable of characterizing the given pathogen with equivalent results to many of the traditional tests. Here, we present the Bacterial Meningitis Genomic Analysis Platform (BMGAP): a secure, web-accessible informatics platform that facilitates automated analysis of WGS data in public health laboratories. BMGAP is a pipeline comprised of several components, including both widely used, open-source third-party software and customized analysis modules for the specific target pathogens. BMGAP performs de novo draft genome assembly and identifies the bacterial species by whole-genome comparisons against a curated reference collection of 17 focal species including Nm, Hi, and other closely related species. Genomes identified as Nm or Hi undergo multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and capsule characterization. Further typing information is captured from Nm genomes, such as peptides for the vaccine antigens FHbp, NadA, and NhbA. Assembled genomes are retained in the BMGAP database, serving as a repository for genomic comparisons. BMGAP's species identification and capsule characterization modules were validated using PCR and slide agglutination from 446 bacterial invasive isolates (273 Nm from nine different serogroups, 150 Hi from seven different serotypes, and 23 from nine other species) collected from 2017 to 2019 through surveillance programs. Among the validation isolates, BMGAP correctly identified the species for all 440 isolates (100% sensitivity and specificity) and accurately characterized all Nm serogroups (99% sensitivity and 98% specificity) and Hi serotypes (100% sensitivity and specificity). BMGAP provides an automated, multi-species analysis pipeline that can be extended to include additional analysis modules as needed. This provides easy-to-interpret and validated Nm and Hi genome analysis capacity to public health laboratories and collaborators. As the BMGAP database accumulates more genomic data, it grows as a valuable resource for rapid comparative genomic analyses during outbreak investigations.

    • Health Economics
      1. Engaging community health workers to increase cancer screening: A Community Guide Systematic Economic Reviewexternal icon
        Attipoe-Dorcoo S, Chattopadhyay SK, Verughese J, Ekwueme DU, Sabatino SA, Peng Y.
        Am J Prev Med. 2020 Dec 3.
        CONTEXT: The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends engaging community health workers to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness. This systematic review examines the economic evidence of these interventions. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic literature search was performed with a search period through April 2019 to identify relevant economic evaluation studies. All monetary values were adjusted to 2018 U.S. dollars, and the analysis was completed in 2019. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 19 studies were included in the final analysis with 3 on breast cancer, 5 on cervical cancer, 9 on colorectal cancer, and 2 that combined costs for breast and cervical cancers and for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. For cervical cancer screening, 2 U.S. studies reported incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year saved of $762 and $34,405. For colorectal cancer screening, 2 U.S. studies reported both a negative incremental cost and an increase in quality-adjusted life years saved with colonoscopy screening. CONCLUSIONS: Engaging community health workers to increase cervical and colorectal cancer screenings is cost effective on the basis of estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios that were less than the conservative $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year threshold. In addition, quality-adjusted life years saved from colorectal screening with colonoscopy were associated with net healthcare cost savings.

      2. As school districts across the United States consider how to safely operate during the 2020-21 academic year, CDC recommends mitigation strategies that schools can adopt to reduce the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). To identify the resources and costs needed to implement school-based mitigation strategies and provide schools and jurisdictions with information to aid resource allocation, a microcosting methodology was employed to estimate costs in three categories: materials and consumables, additional custodial staff members, and potential additional transportation. National average estimates, using the national pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (preK-12) public enrollment of 50,685,567 students, range between a mean of $55 (materials and consumables only) to $442 (all three categories) per student. State-by-state estimates of additional funds needed as a percentage of fiscal year 2018 student expenditures (2) range from an additional 0.3% (materials and consumables only) to 7.1% (all three categories); however, only seven states had a maximum estimate above 4.2%. These estimates, although not exhaustive, highlight the level of resources needed to ensure that schools reopen and remain open in the safest possible manner and offer administrators at schools and school districts and other decision-makers the cost information necessary to budget and prioritize school resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Safety and immunogenicity of two novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine candidates compared with a monovalent type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine in healthy adults: two clinical trialsexternal icon
        De Coster I, Leroux-Roels I, Bandyopadhyay AS, Gast C, Withanage K, Steenackers K, De Smedt P, Aerssens A, Leroux-Roels G, Oberste MS, Konopka-Anstadt JL, Weldon WC, Fix A, Konz J, Wahid R, Modlin J, Clemens R, Costa Clemens SA, Bachtiar NS, Van Damme P.
        Lancet. 2020 Dec 9.
        BACKGROUND: Two novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) candidates, novel OPV2-c1 and novel OPV2-c2, designed to be more genetically stable than the licensed Sabin monovalent OPV2, have been developed to respond to ongoing polio outbreaks due to circulating vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses. METHODS: We did two randomised studies at two centres in Belgium. The first was a phase 4 historical control study of monovalent OPV2 in Antwerp, done before global withdrawal of OPV2, and the second was a phase 2 study in Antwerp and Ghent with novel OPV2-c1 and novel OPV2-c2. Eligible participants were healthy adults aged 18-50 years with documented history of at least three polio vaccinations, including OPV in the phase 4 study and either OPV or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) in the novel OPV2 phase 2 study, with no dose within 12 months of study start. In the historical control trial, participants were randomly assigned to either one dose or two doses of monovalent OPV2. In the novel OPV2 trial, participants with previous OPV vaccinations were randomly assigned to either one or two doses of novel OPV2-c1 or to one or two doses of novel OPV2-c2. IPV-vaccinated participants were randomly assigned to receive two doses of either novel OPV2-c1, novel OPV2-c2, or placebo. Vaccine administrators were unmasked to treatment; medical staff performing safety and reactogenicity assessments or blood draws for immunogenicity assessments were masked. Participants received the first vaccine dose on day 0, and a second dose on day 28 if assigned to receive a second dose. Primary objectives were assessments and comparisons of safety up to 28 days after each dose, including solicited adverse events and serious adverse events, and immunogenicity (seroprotection rates on day 28 after the first vaccine dose) between monovalent OPV2 and the two novel OPV2 candidates. Primary immunogenicity analyses were done in the per-protocol population. Safety was assessed in the total vaccinated population-ie, all participants who received at least one dose of their assigned vaccine. The phase 4 control study is registered with EudraCT (2015-003325-33) and the phase 2 novel OPV2 study is registered with EudraCT (2018-001684-22) and (NCT04544787). FINDINGS: In the historical control study, between Jan 25 and March 18, 2016, 100 volunteers were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive one or two doses of monovalent OPV2 (n=50 in each group). In the novel OPV2 study, between Oct 15, 2018, and Feb 27, 2019, 200 previously OPV-vaccinated volunteers were assigned to the four groups to receive one or two doses of novel OPV2-c1 or novel OPV2-c2 (n=50 per group); a further 50 participants, previously vaccinated with IPV, were assigned to novel OPV2-c1 (n=17), novel OPV2-c2 (n=16), or placebo (n=17). All participants received the first dose of assigned vaccine or placebo and were included in the total vaccinated population. All vaccines appeared safe; no definitely vaccine-related withdrawals or serious adverse events were reported. After first doses in previously OPV-vaccinated participants, 62 (62%) of 100 monovalent OPV2 recipients, 71 (71%) of 100 recipients of novel OPV2-c1, and 74 (74%) of 100 recipients of novel OPV2-c2 reported solicited systemic adverse events, four (monovalent OPV2), three (novel OPV2-c1), and two (novel OPV2-c2) of which were considered severe. In IPV-vaccinated participants, solicited adverse events occurred in 16 (94%) of 17 who received novel OPV2-c1 (including one severe) and 13 (81%) of 16 who received novel OPV2-c2 (including one severe), compared with 15 (88%) of 17 placebo recipients (including two severe). In previously OPV-vaccinated participants, 286 (97%) of 296 were seropositive at baseline; after one dose, 100% of novel OPV2 vaccinees and 97 (97%) of monovalent OPV2 vaccinees were seropositive. INTERPRETATION: Novel OPV2 candidates were as safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic as monovalent OPV2 in previously OPV-vaccinated and IPV-vaccinated adults. These data supported the further assessment of the vaccine candidates in children and infants. FUNDING: University of Antwerp and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

      2. Safety surveillance of bivalent meningococcal group B vaccine, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, 2014-2018external icon
        Duffy J, Marquez P, Dores GM, Ng C, Su J, Cano M, Perez-Vilar S.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020 Dec;7(12):ofaa516.
        BACKGROUND: In October 2014, MenB-FHbp (Trumenba, Pfizer) became the first meningococcal group B vaccine licensed in the United States. It is approved for use in individuals aged 10-25 years. Our objective was to evaluate the safety of MenB-FHbp postlicensure. METHODS: The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national passive vaccine safety surveillance system. We analyzed US VAERS reports for MenB-FHbp received from the date of licensure in October 2014 through December 2018. We described the characteristics of the persons and adverse events (AEs) reported and calculated reporting rates using the number of doses distributed. We used empirical Bayesian data mining to identify AEs reported at least twice as often as expected compared with all other vaccines. RESULTS: VAERS received 2106 reports involving MenB-FHbp, representing 698 reports per million doses distributed. The median age of vaccinees was 17 years, and 55% were female. MenB-FHbp was given simultaneously with other vaccines in 37% of reports. Most reports (57%) described AEs that started on the day of or day after vaccination. The most common AEs reported were pyrexia (27%), headache (25%), and pain (16%). There were 44 serious reports (2% of all reports), among which 42 reported a hospitalization. Data mining identified disproportional reporting of headache, pyrexia, chills, and myalgia. CONCLUSIONS: The AEs most commonly or disproportionately reported following MenB-FHbp were consistent with those identified in clinical trials as described in the US package insert. We did not identify any new safety issues.

      3. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, December 2020external icon
        Oliver SE, Gargano JW, Marin M, Wallace M, Curran KG, Chamberland M, McClung N, Campos-Outcalt D, Morgan RL, Mbaeyi S, Romero JR, Talbot HK, Lee GM, Bell BP, Dooling K.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1922-1924.
        On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (BNT162b2) vaccine (Pfizer, Inc; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine encoding the prefusion spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). Vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine consists of 2 doses (30 μg, 0.3 mL each) administered intramuscularly, 3 weeks apart. On December 12, 2020, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation* for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in persons aged ≥16 years for the prevention of COVID-19. To guide its deliberations regarding the vaccine, ACIP employed the Evidence to Recommendation (EtR) Framework,(†) using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.(§) The recommendation for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be implemented in conjunction with ACIP's interim recommendation for allocating initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines (2). The ACIP recommendation for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under EUA is interim and will be updated as additional information becomes available.

      4. Safety and immunogenicity of two novel type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine candidates compared with a monovalent type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine in children and infants: two clinical trialsexternal icon
        Sáez-Llorens X, Bandyopadhyay AS, Gast C, Leon T, DeAntonio R, Jimeno J, Caballero MI, Aguirre G, Oberste MS, Weldon WC, Konopka-Anstadt JL, Modlin J, Bachtiar NS, Fix A, Konz J, Clemens R, Costa Clemens SA, Rüttimann R.
        Lancet. 2020 Dec 9.
        BACKGROUND: Continued emergence and spread of circulating vaccine-derived type 2 polioviruses and vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis from Sabin oral poliovirus vaccines (OPVs) has stimulated development of two novel type 2 OPV candidates (OPV2-c1 and OPV2-c2) designed to have similar immunogenicity, improved genetic stability, and less potential to reacquire neurovirulence. We aimed to assess safety and immunogenicity of the two novel OPV candidates compared with a monovalent Sabin OPV in children and infants. METHODS: We did two single-centre, multi-site, partly-masked, randomised trials in healthy cohorts of children (aged 1-4 years) and infants (aged 18-22 weeks) in Panama: a control phase 4 study with monovalent Sabin OPV2 before global cessation of monovalent OPV2 use, and a phase 2 study with low and high doses of two novel OPV2 candidates. All participants received one OPV2 vaccination and subsets received two doses 28 days apart. Parents reported solicited and unsolicited adverse events. Type 2 poliovirus neutralising antibodies were measured at days 0, 7, 28, and 56, and stool viral shedding was assessed up to 28 days post-vaccination. Primary objectives were to assess safety in all participants and non-inferiority of novel OPV2 day 28 seroprotection versus monovalent OPV2 in infants (non-inferiority margin 10%). These studies were registered with, NCT02521974 and NCT03554798. FINDINGS: The control study took place between Oct 23, 2015, and April 29, 2016, and the subsequent phase 2 study between Sept 19, 2018, and Sept 30, 2019. 150 children (50 in the control study and 100 of 129 assessed for eligibility in the novel OPV2 study) and 684 infants (110 of 114 assessed for eligibility in the control study and 574 of 684 assessed for eligibility in the novel OPV2 study) were enrolled and received at least one study vaccination. Vaccinations were safe and well tolerated with no causally associated serious adverse events or important medical events in any group. Solicited and unsolicited adverse events were overwhelmingly mild or moderate irrespective of vaccine or dose. Nearly all children were seroprotected at baseline, indicating high baseline immunity. In children, the seroprotection rate 28 days after one dose was 100% for monovalent OPV2 and both novel OPV2 candidates. In infants at day 28, 91 (94% [95% CI 87-98]) of 97 were seroprotected after receiving monovalent OPV2, 134 (94% [88-97]) of 143 after high-dose novel OPV2-c1, 122 (93% [87-97]) of 131 after low-dose novel OPV2-c1, 138 (95% [90-98]) of 146 after high-dose novel OPV2-c2, and 115 (91% [84-95]) of 127 after low-dose novel OPV2-c2. Non-inferiority was shown for low-dose and high-dose novel OPV2-c1 and high-dose novel OPV2-c2 despite monovalent OPV2 recipients having higher baseline immunity. INTERPRETATION: Both novel OPV2 candidates were safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic in children and infants. Novel OPV2 could be an important addition to our resources against poliovirus given the current epidemiological situation. FUNDING: Fighting Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

      5. Molecular insights into meningococcal carriage isolates from Burkina Faso 7 years after introduction of a serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccineexternal icon
        Topaz N, Kristiansen PA, Schmink S, Congo-Ouédraogo M, Kambiré D, Mbaeyi S, Paye M, Sanou M, Sangaré L, Ouédraogo R, Wang X.
        Microb Genom. 2020 Dec 17.
        In 2010, Burkina Faso completed the first nationwide mass-vaccination campaign of a meningococcal A conjugate vaccine, drastically reducing the incidence of disease caused by serogroup A meningococci. Since then, other strains, such as those belonging to serogroups W, X and C, have continued to cause outbreaks within the region. A carriage study was conducted in 2016 and 2017 in the country to characterize the meningococcal strains circulating among healthy individuals following the mass-vaccination campaign. Four cross-sectional carriage evaluation rounds were conducted in two districts of Burkina Faso, Kaya and Ouahigouya. Oropharyngeal swabs were collected for the detection of Neisseria meningitidis by culture. Confirmed N. meningitidis isolates underwent whole-genome sequencing for molecular characterization. Among 13 758 participants, 1035 (7.5 %) N. meningitidis isolates were recovered. Most isolates (934/1035; 90.2 %) were non-groupable and primarily belonged to clonal complex (CC) 192 (822/934; 88 %). Groupable isolates (101/1035; 9.8 %) primarily belonged to CCs associated with recent outbreaks in the region, such as CC11 (serogroup W) and CC10217 (serogroup C); carried serogroup A isolates were not detected. Phylogenetic analysis revealed several CC11 strains circulating within the country, several of which were closely related to invasive isolates. Three sequence types (STs) were identified among eleven CC10217 carriage isolates, two of which have caused recent outbreaks in the region (ST-10217 and ST-12446). Our results show the importance of carriage studies to track the outbreak-associated strains circulating within the population in order to inform future vaccination strategies and molecular surveillance programmes.

    • Informatics
      1. HTrack: A new tool to facilitate public health field visits and electronic data captureexternal icon
        Rodríguez DM, Ryff K, Sánchez-Gonzalez L, Rivera-Amill V, Paz-Bailey G, Adams L.
        PLoS One. 2020 ;15(12):e0244028.
        Many applications have been developed for electronic data collection. However, offline field navigation tools incorporating secure electronic data capture and field visit tracking are currently scarce. We created an R-Shiny application, HTrack (Household Tracking), for use on encrypted Android devices in the field. The application was implemented in the Communities Organized to Prevent Arboviruses (COPA) project, a study beginning in 2018 to better understand arboviral disease incidence in 38 communities in Puerto Rico. The application was used to navigate to randomly selected structures and capture visit outcomes after conducting multiple visits for participant recruitment. It also served as a bridge to an alternate software, Epi Info, to collect participant-level questionnaire data. This application successfully captured each visit outcome and improved the logistics of field level activities for the COPA project, eliminating the use of paper maps for navigation. We show the development of HTrack and comment on the limitations and strengths of this application and further improvements.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. BACKGROUND: Research from high-income countries shows that witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) between caregivers is experienced by up to a third of all children and is related to poor mental health outcomes. Much less is known about the burden of witnessing IPV in low- and middle-income countries. OBJECTIVES: This study seeks to explore the magnitude of witnessing IPV between caregivers, its association with other types of violence and the relationship between witnessing IPV in the past and current mental distress. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Representative data from the Violence against Children Surveys (VACS) from Cambodia (N = 2373), Malawi (N = 2147) and Nigeria (N = 4098) are employed. METHODS: Logistic regression was applied to assess the association between witnessing IPV in childhood and mental distress in adulthood. RESULTS: Between 22.4 % and 34.3 % of participants witnessed IPV between their caregivers during childhood. Respondents who witnessed IPV had higher odds of mental distress, compared to those who did not witness IPV in Cambodia (OR 2.73 [2.02, 3.72] for females, OR 2.38 [1.67, 3.41] for males) and Malawi (OR 2.48 [1.43, 4.28] for females, OR 1.66 [1.11, 2.48] for males). In Nigeria only male respondents who witnessed IPV had higher odds of mental distress (OR 2.12 [1.60, 2.80]), but females had no significant association (OR 0.91 [0.68, 1.20]). CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the association of negative mental health consequences faced by children living in households with intimate partner violence for selected low- and middle-income countries. Children's exposure to IPV should be considered when providing support to survivors of IPV. Special considerations should be made to provide culturally and resource-appropriate support.

      2. "Dating Matters(®)" is a CDC-developed comprehensive, multi-component teen dating violence (TDV) prevention model, made available to the public in 2019. A longitudinal, multi-site demonstration project found that the model significantly reduced TDV during middle school relative to an evidence-based, single-program intervention (Safe Dates; Niolon et al., 2019), when implemented across 46 middle schools in four high-risk urban areas with predominantly Black (55%) and Hispanic (28%) youth participants. Research on the costs of implementing TDV prevention strategies is limited, despite recognition within the field of prevention science that such data are critical to widespread dissemination. The current study adds to the available literature on the cost of dating violence prevention by estimating the budgetary impact from the payer perspective of implementing the comprehensive Dating Matters model, compared to Safe Dates, at four sites over four school years to inform prevention planning in communities. Total costs of implementing Dating Matters were relatively stable within sites over time but varied greatly between sites (M = $175,452 per year; range = $130,149 to $227,604). The mean per-student cost of Dating Matters was $145.40 but also ranged widely ($20.66 to $324.65) across sites and years. Variation was largely driven by staffing costs and number of students served. As expected, total and per-student costs were substantially lower at all sites for the Safe Dates program (M = $12,148; range = $2,848 to $17,840; $44.81 per student) compared to Dating Matters. This study provides an estimate from the payer perspective to demonstrate the budgetary impact of Dating Matters. These estimates can help inform implementation decisions and planning by potential funders, communities, and organizations as they seek to support and implement effective TDV prevention strategies. It also adds substantially to understanding of the additional costs associated with a move from single-program interventions to community-wide initiatives.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Mosquitoes are the greatest animal threat to human health, causing hundreds of millions of infections and around one million deaths each year. All mosquito-borne pathogens must traverse the salivary glands (SGs) to be transmitted to the next host, making this organ an ideal target for interventions. The adult SG develops from precursor cells located in the larval SG duct bud. Characterization of the larval SG has been limited. We sought to better understand larval SG architecture, secretion, and gene expression. We developed an optimized method for larval SG staining and surveyed hundreds of larval stage 4 (L4) SGs using fluorescence confocal microscopy. Remarkable variation in SG cell and chromatin organization differed among individuals and across the L4 stage. Lumen formation occurred during L4 stage through secretion likely involving a coincident cellular apical lipid enrichment and extracellular vesicle-like structures. Meta-analysis of microarray data showed that larval SG gene expression is divergent from adult SGs, more similar to larval gastric cecae, but different from other larval gut compartments. This work highlights the variable cell architecture of larval Anopheles gambiae SGs and provides candidate targets for genetic strategies aiming to disrupt SGs and transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens.

      2. Towards an SI-traceable reference measurement system for seven serum apolipoproteins using bottom-up quantitative proteomics: Conceptual approach enabled by cross-disciplinary/cross-sector collaborationexternal icon
        Cobbaert CM, Althaus H, Begcevic Brkovic I, Ceglarek U, Coassin S, Delatour V, Deprez L, Dikaios I, Dittrich J, Hoofnagle AN, Kostner GM, Kronenberg F, Kuklenyik Z, Prinzing U, Vesper HW, Zegers I, Ruhaak LR.
        Clin Chem. 2020 Dec 17.
        Current dyslipidemia management in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is based on traditional serum lipids. Yet, there is some indication from basic research that serum apolipoproteins A-I, (a), B, C-I, C-II, C-III, and E may give better pathophysiological insight into the root causes of dyslipidemia. To facilitate the future adoption of clinical serum apolipoprotein (apo) profiling for precision medicine, strategies for accurate testing should be developed in advance. Recent discoveries in basic science and translational medicine set the stage for the IFCC Working Group on Apolipoproteins by Mass Spectrometry. Main drivers were the convergence of unmet clinical needs in cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients with enabling technology and metrology. First, the residual cardiovascular risk after accounting for established risk factors demonstrates that the current lipid panel is too limited to capture the full complexity of lipid metabolism in patients. Second, there is a need for accurate test results in highly polymorphic and atherogenic apolipoproteins such as apo(a). Third, sufficient robustness of mass spectrometry technology allows reproducible protein quantification at the molecular level. Fourth, several calibration hierarchies in the revised ISO 17511:2020 guideline facilitate metrological traceability of test results, the highest achievable standard being traceability to SI. This article outlines the conceptual approach aimed at achieving a novel, multiplexed Reference Measurement System (RMS) for seven apolipoproteins based on isotope dilution mass spectrometry and peptide-based calibration. This RMS should enable standardization of existing and emerging apolipoprotein assays to SI, within allowable limits of measurement uncertainty, through a sustainable network of Reference Laboratories.

      3. A methodology for developing key events to advance nanomaterial-relevant adverse outcome pathways to inform risk assessmentexternal icon
        Halappanavar S, Ede JD, Mahapatra I, Krug HF, Kuempel ED, Lynch I, Vandebriel RJ, Shatkin JA.
        Nanotoxicology. 2020 Dec 14:1-24.
        Significant advances have been made in the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) over the last decade, mainly focused on the toxicity mechanisms of chemicals. These AOPs, although relevant to manufactured nanomaterials (MNs), do not currently capture the reported roles of size-associated properties of MNs on toxicity. Moreover, some AOs of relevance to airborne exposures to MNs such as lung inflammation and fibrosis shown in animal studies may not be targeted in routine regulatory decision making. The primary objective of the present study was to establish an approach to advance the development of AOPs of relevance to MNs using existing, publicly available, nanotoxicology literature. A systematic methodology was created for curating, organizing and applying the available literature for identifying key events (KEs). Using a case study approach, the study applied the available literature to build the biological plausibility for 'tissue injury', a KE of regulatory relevance to MNs. The results of the analysis reveal the various endpoints, assays and specific biological markers used for assessing and reporting tissue injury. The study elaborates on the limitations and opportunities of the current nanotoxicology literature and provides recommendations for the future reporting of nanotoxicology results that will expedite not only the development of AOPs for MNs but also aid in application of existing data for decision making.

      4. Laboratory infection of novel Akhmeta virus in CAST/EiJ miceexternal icon
        Morgan CN, Matheny AM, Nakazawa YJ, Kling C, Gallardo-Romero N, Seigler L, Barbosa Costa G, Hutson C, Maghlakelidze G, Olson V, Doty JB.
        Viruses. 2020 Dec 9;12(12).
        Akhmeta virus is a zoonotic Orthopoxvirus first identified in 2013 in the country of Georgia. Subsequent ecological investigations in Georgia have found evidence that this virus is widespread in its geographic distribution within the country and in its host-range, with rodents likely involved in its circulation in the wild. Yet, little is known about the pathogenicity of this virus in rodents. We conducted the first laboratory infection of Akhmeta virus in CAST/EiJ Mus musculus to further characterize this novel virus. We found a dose-dependent effect on mortality and weight loss (p < 0.05). Anti-orthopoxvirus antibodies were detected in the second- and third-highest dose groups (5 × 10(4) pfu and 3 × 10(2) pfu) at euthanasia by day 10, and day 14 post-infection, respectively. Anti-orthopoxvirus antibodies were not detected in the highest dose group (3 × 10(6) pfu), which were euthanized at day 7 post-infection and had high viral load in tissues, suggesting they succumbed to disease prior to mounting an effective immune response. In order of highest burden, viable virus was detected in the nostril, lung, tail, liver and spleen. All individuals tested in the highest dose groups were DNAemic. Akhmeta virus was highly pathogenic in CAST/EiJ Mus musculus, causing 100% mortality when ≥3 × 10(2) pfu was administered.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Neurogenic bowel treatments and continence outcomes in children and adults with myelomeningoceleexternal icon
        Kelly MS, Wiener JS, Liu T, Patel P, Castillo H, Castillo J, Dicianno BE, Jasien J, Peterson P, Routh JC, Sawin K, Sherburne E, Smith K, Taha A, Worley G.
        J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2020 Nov 27.
        PURPOSE: Neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD) is a common comorbidity of myelomeningocele (MMC), the most common and severe form of spina bifida. The National Spina Bifida Patient Registry (NSBPR) is a research collaboration between the CDC and Spina Bifida Clinics. Fecal continence (continence) outcomes for common treatment modalities for NBD have not been described in a large sample of individuals with MMC. NSBPR patients with MMC and NBD were studied to determine variation in continence status and their ability to perform their treatment independently according to treatment modality and individual characteristics. METHODS: Continence was defined as < 1 episode of incontinence per month. Eleven common treatments were evaluated. Inclusion criteria were established diagnoses of both MMC and NBD, as well as age ⩾ 5 years (n= 3670). Chi-square or exact statistical tests were used for bivariate analyses. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds of continence outcomes by age, sex, race/ethnicity, level of motor function, and insurance status. RESULTS: At total of 3670 members of the NSBPR met inclusion criteria between November 2013 and December 2017. Overall prevalence of continence was 45%. Prevalence ranged from 40-69% across different treatments. Among continent individuals, 60% achieved continence without surgery. Antegrade enemas were the most commonly used treatment and had the highest associated continence rate. Ability to carry out a treatment independently increased with age. Multivariable logistic regression showed significantly higher odds of continence among individuals aged ⩾ 12 years, female, non-Hispanic white, and with private insurance.

    • Medicine
      1. Telehealth practice among health centers during the COVID-19 pandemic - United States, July 11-17, 2020external icon
        Demeke HB, Pao LZ, Clark H, Romero L, Neri A, Shah R, McDow KB, Tindall E, Iqbal NJ, Hatfield-Timajchy K, Bolton J, Le X, Hair B, Campbell S, Bui C, Sandhu P, Nwaise I, Armstrong PA, Rose MA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1902-1905.
        Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in-person ambulatory health care visits declined by 60% across the United States, while telehealth* visits increased, accounting for up to 30% of total care provided in some locations (1,2). In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released updated regulations and guidance changing telehealth provisions during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, including the elimination of geographic barriers and enhanced reimbursement for telehealth services(†) (3-6). The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administers a voluntary weekly Health Center COVID-19 Survey(§) to track health centers' COVID-19 testing capacity and the impact of COVID-19 on operations, patients, and staff. CDC and HRSA analyzed data from the weekly COVID-19 survey completed by 1,009 HRSA-funded health centers (health centers(¶)) for the week of July 11-17, 2020, to describe telehealth service use in the United States by U.S. Census region,** urbanicity,(††) staffing capacity, change in visit volume, and personal protective equipment (PPE) supply. Among the 1,009 health center respondents, 963 (95.4%) reported providing telehealth services. Health centers in urban areas were more likely to provide >30% of health care visits virtually (i.e., via telehealth) than were health centers in rural areas. Telehealth is a promising approach to promoting access to care and can facilitate public health mitigation strategies and help prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory illnesses, while supporting continuity of care. Although CMS's change of its telehealth provisions enabled health centers to expand telehealth by aligning guidance and leveraging federal resources, sustaining expanded use of telehealth services might require additional policies and resources.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Gendered exposures: exploring the role of paid and unpaid work throughout life in U.S. women's cardiovascular healthexternal icon
        Ahonen EQ, Fujishiro K, Brown S, Wang Y, Palumbo AJ, Michael YL.
        Crit Public Health. 2020 .
        The paper explores how paid and unpaid labor history over the life course influence women's cardiovascular disease. U.S. women comprise about 50% of the paid workforce and perform the majority of unpaid labor. However, the influence of women's work on their health is under-researched. Our sample was drawn from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, a cohort of post-menopausal women in the U.S. aged 50-79 at recruitment. Women were categorized into five groups according to paid labor history: worked in paid jobs consistently throughout adult life; left the workforce early; entered the workforce later; discontinuous work history; never worked outside the home. Live birth history (none, at least one, missing) served as a proxy for unpaid labor in prime age. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the hazard ratio of CVD associated with different paid work histories. We then assessed the effect of unpaid labor on the relation between paid labor and CVD. Paid labor participation was not associated with CVD risk among women without unpaid labor after adjusting for age, education, and birth cohort. Among those with unpaid demands, leaving the workforce early or having discontinuous work history was protective. In this U.S. sample, the association between paid work participation history and CVD risk depends on the presence of unpaid labor. Our results demonstrate the necessity of including work-paid and unpaid-in consideration of women's health.

      2. Thermal spray coating is a process that applies a molten metal product under pressure onto a surface. Although thermal spray processes have been used for decades, exposure to aerosols formed during thermal spray coating is an emerging risk. Reports indicate that high concentrations of aerosols composed of toxic metals (e.g. chromium) are generated in the workplace. A knowledge gap exists related to the physicochemical properties of thermal spray coating aerosols as well as any potential associated health effects. The objective of this manuscript was to review thermal spray coating and previous studies that have examined the aerosols produced from this process. A thermal spray coating generator and exposure system is also described that has recently been developed to further evaluate the physical and chemical properties of aerosols formed during thermal spray coating as well as to assess the possible health effects of this process in an effort to mitigate potential occupational health hazards related to the industry.

      3. Forklift safety: a pilot study evaluation of retrofit lightsexternal icon
        Bobick TG, Hause M, Socias-Morales C, Gwilliam M, Decker T.
        Prof Saf. 2020 Dec;65(12):41-45.
        Forklift vehicles are important in many U.S. industries. From 2009 to 2018, slightly less than 1.7 million powered industrial trucks, including forklifts, were shipped from manufacturers to customers in the U.S. (ITA, 2019). Forklifts are used to move supplies and products throughout facilities and onto tractor-trailer vehicles for delivery to customers nationwide. For each forklift being used, typically one or two pedestrian workers in the same area are exposed to the mobile forklifts. Thus, numerous pedestrian workers are at risk of being injured, sometimes fatally. The initial research conducted on forklifts by NIOSH (2001) indicates that forklift injuries and fatalities are mainly due to vehicle overturns, bystander (pedestrian worker) struck-by events and crushed-by-forklift events. ... KEY TAKEAWAYS: 1. Blue and red lights were retrofitted onto three forklifts and used for 4 months in a warehouse environment to increase the awareness of approaching vehicles. 2. A short list of open-ended discussion questions pertaining to the retrofit lights was administered to nine employees who were operators and pedestrians. 3. Feedback indicates that all nine employees thought the addition of the lights increased the visibility of the forklifts and improved safety by making the vehicles more conspicuous. ... Future studies are needed to expand on this pilot study and confirm the efficacy of the blue and red lights in reducing injuries or forklift damage due to collisions. This could include comparing retrofit blue and red lights on forklifts between larger groups of employees and managers at different work sites, over longer observation periods and collecting more in-depth measures regarding their effectiveness (e.g., changes in annual number of injuries per 1,000 workers, dollar cost in damage to forklifts, annual number of workers' compensation claims). ... Not enough information is available about the use of retrofit lights on existing forklifts. Because of this lack of information, it would be beneficial to other safety professionals if the unsafe situations, which might be avoided in the future because of using the lights, were documented and published in a safety-related journal to help educate others in the safety community. OSH professionals in other warehousing operations can use the results from this pilot study to develop safe working conditions for their operations.

      4. On the use of simulation in robotics: Opportunities, challenges, and suggestions for moving forwardexternal icon
        Choi H, Crump C, Duriez C, Elmquist A, Hager G, Han D, Hearl F, Hodgins J, Jain A, Leve F, Li C, Meier F, Negrut D, Righetti L, Rodriguez A, Tan J, Trinkle J.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jan 7;118(1).
        The last five years marked a surge in interest for and use of smart robots, which operate in dynamic and unstructured environments and might interact with humans. We posit that well-validated computer simulation can provide a virtual proving ground that in many cases is instrumental in understanding safely, faster, at lower costs, and more thoroughly how the robots of the future should be designed and controlled for safe operation and improved performance. Against this backdrop, we discuss how simulation can help in robotics, barriers that currently prevent its broad adoption, and potential steps that can eliminate some of these barriers. The points and recommendations made concern the following simulation-in-robotics aspects: simulation of the dynamics of the robot; simulation of the virtual world; simulation of the sensing of this virtual world; simulation of the interaction between the human and the robot; and, in less depth, simulation of the communication between robots. This Perspectives contribution summarizes the points of view that coalesced during a 2018 National Science Foundation/Department of Defense/National Institute for Standards and Technology workshop dedicated to the topic at hand. The meeting brought together participants from a range of organizations, disciplines, and application fields, with expertise at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and physics-based simulation.

      5. Surgical N95 filtering facepiece respirators (surgical N95 FFRs) are National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs) cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for resistance to liquid penetration and flammability. A recent study showed that several N95 FFR models performed as well as surgical N95 FFRs in synthetic blood penetration tests that evaluate resistance to penetration by horizontal projection. This aspect, in addition to the influence of other factors on liquid penetration, are not well studied. To address this issue, the effect of liquid volume (1 mL and 2 mL), spray velocity (450 cm/sec and 635 cm/sec), and liquid composition (synthetic blood and diluted synthetic blood) were evaluated. Four types of common protective devices were studied: N95 FFRs, surgical N95 FFRs, surgical masks, and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) hoods. For each protective device type, five models were analyzed using a protocol based on the F1862 ASTM International (2017) test method. Reduced liquid volume had a significant effect in only 3 of 20 models. Increased velocity had significantly greater penetration in 9 of 20 models. Diluted synthetic blood had significantly more penetration in 8 of 20 models. This last result was not expected because, in hydrostatic tests, surface tension of the diluted blood would be expected to reduce penetrability; however, across all models tested, data showed that the diluted spray was more penetrable. The study results suggest that fluid composition may be as important as velocity when considering liquid spray penetration. Furthermore, the penetrability of a spray may be inversely related to the penetrability through direct hydrostatic contact.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Tafenoquine: a toxicity overviewexternal icon
        Chu CS, Hwang J.
        Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2020 Dec 11.
        INTRODUCTION: A century long history in 8-aminoquinolines, the only anti-malaria drug class preventing malaria relapse, has resulted in the approval of tafenoquine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and to date registration in Brazil and Thailand. Tafenoquine is an alternative anti-relapse treatment for vivax malaria and malaria prophylaxis. It should not be given in pregnancy, during lactation of infants with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) unknown or deficient status, and in those with G6PD deficiency or psychiatric illness. AREAS COVERED: This systematic review assesses tafenoquine associated adverse events in English-language, human clinical trials. Meta-analysis of commonly reported adverse events was conducted and grouped by comparison arms. EXPERT OPINION: Tafenoquine, either for radical cure or prophylaxis, is generally well tolerated in adults. There is no convincing evidence for neurologic ophthalmic, and cardiac toxicities. Psychotic disorder which has been attributed to higher doses is a contraindication for the chemoprophylaxis indication and psychiatric illness is a warning for the radical cure indication. Pregnancy assessment and quantitative G6PD testing are required. The optimal radical curative regimen including the tafenoquine dose along with its safety for parts of Southeast Asia, South America, and Oceania needs further assessment.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Assisted reproductive technology surveillance - United States, 2017external icon
        Sunderam S, Kissin DM, Zhang Y, Jewett A, Boulet SL, Warner L, Kroelinger CD, Barfield WD.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2020 Dec 18;69(9):1-20.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Since the first U.S. infant conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) was born in 1981, both the use of ART and the number of fertility clinics providing ART services have increased steadily in the United States. ART includes fertility treatments in which eggs or embryos are handled in the laboratory (i.e., in vitro fertilization [IVF] and related procedures). Although the majority of infants conceived through ART are singletons, women who undergo ART procedures are more likely than women who conceive naturally to have multiple-birth infants because multiple embryos may be transferred. Multiple births can pose substantial risks for both mothers and infants, including obstetric complications, preterm birth (<37 weeks), and low birthweight (<2,500 g). This report provides state-specific information for the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) on ART procedures performed in 2017 and compares birth outcomes that occurred in 2017 (resulting from ART procedures performed in 2016 and 2017) with outcomes for all infants born in the United States in 2017. PERIOD COVERED: 2017. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: In 1995, CDC began collecting data on ART procedures performed in fertility clinics in the United States as mandated by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-493 [October 24, 1992]). Data are collected through the National ART Surveillance System (NASS), a web-based data collection system developed by CDC. This report includes data from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. RESULTS: In 2017, a total of 196,454 ART procedures (range: 162 in Alaska to 24,179 in California) with at least one embryo transferred were performed in 448 U.S. fertility clinics and reported to CDC. These procedures resulted in 68,908 live-birth deliveries (range: 67 in Puerto Rico to 8,852 in California) and 78,052 infants born (range: 85 in Puerto Rico to 9,926 in California). Nationally, the number of ART procedures performed per 1 million women of reproductive age (15-44 years) was 3,040. ART use rates exceeded the national rate in 14 states (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia). ART use exceeded 1.5 times the national rate in seven states (Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York). Nationally, among all ART transfer procedures, the average number of embryos transferred increased slightly with increasing age (1.3 among women aged <35 years, 1.4 among women aged 35-37 years, and 1.5 among women aged >37 years). This year, single-embryo transfer (SET) rates among all embryo-transfer procedures are presented instead of elective single-embryo transfer procedures previously reported. Nationally, SET rates were 67.3% (range: 38.9% in South Dakota to 90.4% in Delaware), 65.0% (range: 23.6% in Puerto Rico to 89.4% in Delaware), and 60.0% (range: 28.6% in Puerto Rico to 83.1% in Delaware) among women aged <35 years, aged 35-37 years, and aged >37 years, respectively. In 2017, ART contributed to 1.9% of all infants born in the United States (range: 0.4% in Puerto Rico to 5.0% in Massachusetts). Approximately 73.6% of ART-conceived infants were singleton infants. Overall, ART contributed to 14.7% of all multiple births, including 14.7% of all twin infants and 17.3% of all triplets and higher-order infants. ART-conceived twins accounted for approximately 96.5% (18,890 of 19,570) of all ART-conceived infants born in multiple deliveries. The percentage of multiple births was higher among infants conceived with ART (26.4%) than among all infants born in the total birth population (3.4%). Approximately 25.5% of ART-conceived infants were twins, and 0.9% were triplets and higher-order infants. Nationally, infants conceived with ART contributed to 4.5% of all low birthweight (<2,500 g) infants. Among ART-conceived infants, 20.2% had low birthweight, compared with 8.3% among all infants. ART-conceived infants contributed to 5.3% of all preterm (gestational age <37 weeks) infants. The percentage of preterm births was higher among infants conceived with ART (27.8%) than among all infants born in the total birth population (9.9%). The percentage of low birthweight among singletons was 8.1% among ART-conceived infants and 6.6% among all infants born. The percentage of preterm births among ART-conceived singleton infants was 14.0%, compared with 8.1% among all singleton infants. The percentages of small for gestational age infants was 7.6% among ART-conceived infants, compared with 9.9% among all infants. INTERPRETATION: Although singleton infants accounted for the majority of ART-conceived infants, multiple births from ART still contributed to a substantial proportion of all twins, triplets, and higher-order infants born in the United States. Variations in SET rates among states and territories were noted, reflecting variations in embryo-transfer practices among fertility clinics, which might in part account for higher multiple birth from ART observed in some states and territories. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Reducing the number of embryos transferred and increasing use of SET, when clinically appropriate, can help reduce multiple births and related adverse health consequences for both mothers and infants. Because infants from multiple births are at increased risk for numerous adverse sequelae that cannot be ascertained from the data collected through NASS alone, long-term follow-up for ART infants through integration of existing maternal and infant health surveillance systems and registries with data available from NASS might be useful for monitoring adverse outcomes on a population basis.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Tobacco product use among middle and high school students - United States, 2020external icon
        Gentzke AS, Wang TW, Jamal A, Park-Lee E, Ren C, Cullen KA, Neff L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 18;69(50):1881-1888.
        Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States; nearly all tobacco product use begins during youth and young adulthood (1,2). CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2019 and 2020 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to determine changes in the current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco products among U.S. middle (grades 6-8) and high (grades 9-12) school students. In 2020, current use of any tobacco product was reported by 16.2% (4.47 million) of all students, including 23.6% (3.65 million) of high school and 6.7% (800,000) of middle school students. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were the most commonly used tobacco product among high school (19.6%; 3.02 million) and middle school (4.7%; 550,000) students. From 2019 to 2020, decreases in current use of any tobacco product, any combustible tobacco product, multiple tobacco products, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco occurred among high school and middle school students; these declines resulted in an estimated 1.73 million fewer current youth tobacco product users in 2020 than in 2019 (6.20 million) (3). From 2019 to 2020, no significant change occurred in the use of cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, or heated tobacco products. The comprehensive and sustained implementation of evidence-based tobacco control strategies at the national, state, and local levels, combined with tobacco product regulation by FDA, is warranted to help sustain this progress and to prevent and reduce all forms of tobacco product use among U.S. youths (1,2).

      2. E-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury: Looking back, moving forwardexternal icon
        King BA, Jones CM, Baldwin GT, Briss PA.
        Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Dec 15;22(Supplement_1):S96-s99.
        Implications In this commentary, we describe the evidence-based approach used to identify the primary cause of EVALI and to curb the 2019 outbreak. We also discuss future research opportunities and public health practice considerations to prevent a resurgence of EVALI.

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

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