Issue 14, April 20, 2021

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 14, April 20, 2021

This week Science Clips is pleased to highlight Hispanic Health in the United States.

The Hispanic population is not only the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States, but it is also the youngest and one of the fastest growing. Population projections estimate that the Hispanic population in the U.S. will almost double by 2060 (increasing from approximately 18% of the population currently to 28%). However, the Hispanic population faces significant health disparities. Disproportionate numbers of Hispanics live in poverty, are uninsured, have poor/fair health status, live and work in unsafe conditions, and face significant disease morbidity and low rates of health care utilization.

Public health efforts to address inequities faced by the Hispanic population require multi-level approaches to consider wide ranging factors from immigration and health care policy, to cultural factors that may impact health beliefs, and contextual factors unique to populations living in ethnic and cultural enclaves. The accompanying reading list is intended to provide a primer on the Hispanic population in the U.S., and highlight key factors that may be crucial in understanding disparities, such as acculturation and social determinants of health, as well as provide examples of research designs and analytic approaches used to study health outcomes of interest.
  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas
    Subject matter experts decide what topic to feature, and articles are selected from the last 3 to 6 months of published literature. Key topic coincides monthly with other CDC products (e.g. Vital Signs).
    • Hispanic Health in the US - Overview
      1. Latino Immigrants, Acculturation, and Health: Promising New Directions in Researchexternal icon
        Abraído-Lanza AF, Echeverría SE, Flórez KR.
        Annu Rev Public Health. 2016 ;37:219-36.
        This article provides an analysis of novel topics emerging in recent years in research on Latino immigrants, acculturation, and health. In the past ten years, the number of studies assessing new ways to conceptualize and understand how acculturation-related processes may influence health has grown. These new frameworks draw from integrative approaches testing new ground to acknowledge the fundamental role of context and policy. We classify the emerging body of evidence according to themes that we identify as promising directions--intrapersonal, interpersonal, social environmental, community, political, and global contexts, cross-cutting themes in life course and developmental approaches, and segmented assimilation--and discuss the challenges and opportunities each theme presents. This body of work, which considers acculturation in context, points to the emergence of a new wave of research that holds great promise in driving forward the study of Latino immigrants, acculturation, and health. We provide suggestions to further advance the ideologic and methodologic rigor of this new wave.

      2. Racial disparities in mortality in the adult hispanic populationexternal icon
        Arias E, Johnson NJ, Vera BT.
        SSM Popul Health. 2020 Aug;11:100583.
        OBJECTIVE: We addressed three research questions: (1) Are there racial mortality disparities in the adult Hispanic population that resemble those observed in the non-Hispanic population in the US? (2) Does nativity mediate the race-mortality relationship in the Hispanic population? and (3) What does the Hispanic mortality advantage relative to the non-Hispanic white population look like when Hispanic race is considered? METHODS: We estimated a series of parametric hazard models on eight years of mortality follow-up data and calculated life expectancy estimates using the Mortality Disparities in American Communities database. RESULTS: Hispanic white adults experience lower mortality than their Hispanic black, American Indian and Alaska Native, Some Other Race, and multiple race counterparts. This Hispanic white advantage is found mostly among the US born. The Hispanic advantage relative to the non-Hispanic white population operates for most Hispanic race groups among the foreign born but either disappears or converts to a disadvantage for most of the non-white Hispanic groups among the US born. CONTRIBUTION: Our study extends the literature on the Hispanic Mortality Paradox by revealing that the adult Hispanic population experiences racial mortality disparities that closely resemble those observed in the non-Hispanic population. The Hispanic mortality advantage is mediated not only by nativity but by race. These results indicate that race is a critical factor that should be considered in any study with the goal of understanding the health and mortality profiles of the Hispanic population in the US.

      3. Purpose: This systematic review of the literature informed of (a) the relationship between acculturation and acculturative stress, (b) examined the determinants of acculturative stress among Latino immigrants in the U.S., and (c) provided a conceptual framework that can be used to specify the interactive effect of various factors on acculturative stress. Methods: Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), this review synthesized the results of thirty studies published between 2000 and 2015 that investigated the influence of several socio-demographic and cultural contexts on acculturative stress among Latino immigrants categorized using Family Stress Management (FSM) theory as a framework. Results: Studied highlighted several protectors from and risks to acculturative stress. Historical context protective factors included having a choice over the decision to migrate and social support; risks included discrimination, family left abroad, and fear of deportation. Economic context protective factors included higher income. The development context protective factors included English skills, years in the U.S., and being married; risks included being female. Cultural context protective factors included being culturally competent and acculturation; risks included family-cultural conflict and ethnic enclave pressures. Internal context protectors included post-immigration religious coping, church attendance, and family values. Implications: The results highlighted incorporating cultural aspects (i.e. family values and social support) in mental health practice with Latino immigrants. A less stressful integration experience can be achieved if age-related stressors and experiences of discrimination are acknowledged and the need for social support and harmonious family dynamics was prioritized in service plans.

      4. Vital signs: leading causes of death, prevalence of diseases and risk factors, and use of health services among Hispanics in the United States - 2009-2013external icon
        Dominguez K, Penman-Aguilar A, Chang MH, Moonesinghe R, Castellanos T, Rodriguez-Lainz A, Schieber R.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 May 8;64(17):469-78.
        BACKGROUND: Hispanics and Latinos (Hispanics) are estimated to represent 17.7% of the U.S. population. Published national health estimates stratified by Hispanic origin and nativity are lacking. METHODS: Four national data sets were analyzed to compare Hispanics overall, non-Hispanic whites (whites), and Hispanic country/region of origin subgroups (Hispanic origin subgroups) for leading causes of death, prevalence of diseases and associated risk factors, and use of health services. Analyses were generally restricted to ages 18-64 years and were further stratified when possible by sex and nativity. RESULTS: Hispanics were on average nearly 15 years younger than whites; they were more likely to live below the poverty line and not to have completed high school. Hispanics showed a 24% lower all-cause death rate and lower death rates for nine of the 15 leading causes of death, but higher death rates from diabetes (51% higher), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (48%), essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (8%), and homicide (96%) and higher prevalence of diabetes (133%) and obesity (23%) compared with whites. In all, 41.5% of Hispanics lacked health insurance (15.1% of whites), and 15.5% of Hispanics reported delay or nonreceipt of needed medical care because of cost concerns (13.6% of whites). Among Hispanics, self-reported smoking prevalences varied by Hispanic origin and by sex. U.S.-born Hispanics had higher prevalences of obesity, hypertension, smoking, heart disease, and cancer than foreign-born Hispanics: 30% higher, 40%, 72%, 89%, and 93%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Hispanics had better health outcomes than whites for most analyzed health factors, despite facing worse socioeconomic barriers, but they had much higher death rates from diabetes, chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, and homicide, and a higher prevalence of obesity. There were substantial differences among Hispanics by origin, nativity, and sex. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Differences by origin, nativity, and sex are important considerations when targeting health programs to specific audiences. Increasing the proportions of Hispanics with health insurance and a medical home (patientcentered, team-based, comprehensive, coordinated health care with enhanced access) is critical. A feasible and systematic data collection strategy is needed to reflect health diversity among Hispanic origin subgroups, including by nativity.

      5. Hispanics have accounted for more than half of total U.S. population growth since 2010external icon
        Krogstad J.
        Fact Tank: News in Numbers. 2020 ;Pew Research Center .
        From 2010 to 2019, the U.S. population increased by 18.9 million, and Hispanics accounted for more than half (52%) of this growth, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, the last before 2020 census figures are released.

      6. Hispanic health in the USA: a scoping review of the literatureexternal icon
        Velasco-Mondragon E, Jimenez A, Palladino-Davis AG, Davis D, Escamilla-Cejudo JA.
        Public Health Rev. 2016 ;37:31.
        Hispanics are the largest minority group in the USA. They contribute to the economy, cultural diversity, and health of the nation. Assessing their health status and health needs is key to inform health policy formulation and program implementation. To this end, we conducted a scoping review of the literature and national statistics on Hispanic health in the USA using a modified social-ecological framework that includes social determinants of health, health disparities, risk factors, and health services, as they shape the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. These social, environmental, and biological forces have modified the epidemiologic profile of Hispanics in the USA, with cancer being the leading cause of mortality, followed by cardiovascular diseases and unintentional injuries. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in improved access to health services for Hispanics, but challenges remain due to limited cultural sensitivity, health literacy, and a shortage of Hispanic health care providers. Acculturation barriers and underinsured or uninsured status remain as major obstacles to health care access. Advantageous health outcomes from the "Hispanic Mortality Paradox" and the "Latina Birth Outcomes Paradox" persist, but health gains may be offset in the future by increasing rates of obesity and diabetes. Recommendations focus on the adoption of the Health in All Policies framework, expanding access to health care, developing cultural sensitivity in the health care workforce, and generating and disseminating research findings on Hispanic health.

      7. Demographic Turning Points for the United States: Population Projections for 2020 to 2060pdf iconexternal icon
        Vespa J, Medina L, Armstrong D.
        Current Population Reports. 2020 ;P25-1144:U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, 2020.
        The results in this report are based on the 2017 National Population Projections, which are the third set of projections based on the 2010 Census, and cover the period from 2017 to 2060. This series updates the prior series released in 2014, which was the first to incorporate separate assumptions about the fertility of native- and foreign-born women living in the United States, since the latter tend to have higher fertility rates. The 2017 series extends that work to include separate assumptions about the mortality of native- and foreign-born people. For the first time, the national population projections account for the generally lower mortality rates and higher life expectancy of the foreign-born, which allows us to better project for the effects of international migration on the population of the United States. The 2017 series also includes projections of the racial and ethnic composition of chil dren and older adults for the first time. The 2017 National Population Projections include projections of the resident population by several demographic traits, including age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and nativity (whether people were born in the United States or in another country). They are based on the 2010 Census and official population estimates through 2016. This series uses the cohort-component method, which projects the three components of population change—fertility, mortality, and international migration—separately for each birth cohort based on historical trends. The base population is advanced each year using projected survival rates and net international migration. New birth cohorts are added to the population by applying the annual pro jected age-specific fertility rates to the female population.

    • Hispanic Health in the US - Access to Care
      1. Health Care Access and Utilization for Latino Youth in the United States: The Roles of Maternal Citizenship and Distressexternal icon
        Alberto CK, Pintor JK, Martínez-Donate AP, Chen J, Ortega AN.
        Med Care. 2020 Jun;58(6):541-548.
        OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the associations between maternal citizenship and health care access and utilization for US-born Latino youth and to determine whether maternal distress is a moderator of the associations. METHODS: Using 2010-2017 Integrated Public Use Microdata Series National Health Interview Survey data, multivariable logistic regressions were run to examine the associations among maternal citizenship and health care access and utilization for US-born Latino youth. Maternal citizenship and distress interactions were tested. RESULTS: Noncitizen mothers had higher odds of reporting uninsurance, lack of transportation for delaying care, and lower odds of health care utilization for their youth than citizen mothers. Compared with no distress, moderate and severe distress were positively associated with uninsurance, delayed medical care due to cost, lack of transportation, and having had an emergency department visit for their youth. Moderate distress was positively associated with youth having had a doctor's office visit. Noncitizen mothers with moderate distress were less likely to report their youth having had an emergency department visit than citizen mothers with moderate distress. Among severely distressed mothers, noncitizen mothers were more likely to report youth uninsurance and delayed care due to lack of transportation compared with citizen mothers. CONCLUSIONS: Health care access and utilization among US-born Latino youth are influenced by maternal citizenship and distress. Maternal distress moderates the associations among maternal citizenship and youth's health care access and use. Almost one-third of all US-born youth in the United States are Latino and current federal and state noninclusive immigration policies and anti-Latino immigrant rhetoric may exacerbate health care disparities.

      2. INTRODUCTION: Latino farmworkers lack access to basic needs, including health care services. These farmworkers face barriers common to rural areas (eg, limited health services and public transportation), as well as language barriers, an unfamiliar medical system, no health insurance, and income-based financial challenges exacerbated by a lack of workers' rights. METHODS: This study involved focus group discussions to elicit community health priorities and barriers to health care service use among Latinos in rural farm working communities, as well as participants' ideal model for health care services delivery. Free mobile clinics were subsequently implemented at locations and times the community identified as ideal, and pre- and postinterviews of patients' experiences utilizing clinic services, and perceptions of access barriers, were conducted. RESULTS: Results from focus group discussions (n = 82) and one-on-one interviews (n = 15) to evaluate mobile clinic health care services use confirmed documented barriers to health care for this population, shed light on structural and cultural barriers to service access, and suggested innovative models for service delivery to Spanish-speaking Latino farmworkers in rural communities. These models should (1) provide care within farm working communities, (2) offer services at times outside of business hours, and (3) encourage provider immersion in patient communities to better understand their health care needs. DISCUSSION: Traditional models of care that expect patients to access health care services at brick and mortar structures are impractical for Latino farmworkers in rural communities. Innovative models bringing health care services to community spaces can reduce access barriers and emergency department utilization and improve health outcomes for this structurally vulnerable population.

      3. Federal and State Policies Affecting Immigrant Access to Health Careexternal icon
        Wilson FA, Stimpson JP.
        JAMA Health Forum. 2020 ;1(4):e200271-e200271.
        Immigration continues to be the focus of much public debate at both the state and federal levels in the US. Recent debate has focused on litigation surrounding the Trump administration’s new interpretation and planned enforcement of the public charge rule for current or former immigrants who apply for permanent residency (ie, green cards). The public charge rule states that immigrants are ineligible for green cards if they are “likely at any time to become a public charge,”(p41292) which means receiving public assistance for longer than 12 months. In addition to receipt of cash-based public assistance, the administration will include receipt of noncash assistance, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing vouchers, or other subsidies, when US Citizenship and Immigration Services officers determine whether an applicant for a green card is likely to become a public charge. Immigrants falling within the public charge rule will be ineligible for changes in immigration status or extensions of their stay. Until recently, the revised public charge rule was delayed by litigation. However, on January 27, 2020, the US Supreme Court lifted injunctions against the new rule, and it is expected to be implemented in the near future.

    • Hispanic Health in the US - Social Determinants
      1. While racial residential segregation is frequently cited as a fundamental cause of racial health disparities, its health impacts for Hispanic Americans remain unclear. We argue that several shortcomings have limited our understanding of how segregation influences Hispanic health outcomes, most notably a failure to assess the possible diverging impacts of segregation by neighborhood poverty level and the conflation of segregation with ethnic enclaves. We use multiple years of restricted geocoded data from a nationally representative sample of the US population (2006-2013 National Health Interview Survey) to investigate the association between metropolitan-level Hispanic segregation and obesity by nativity and neighborhood poverty level. We find segregation to be protective against obesity for Hispanic immigrants who reside in low poverty neighborhoods. For Hispanic immigrants residing in higher neighborhood poverty, no association between segregation and obesity was found. Among US-born Hispanics, we observe an increased risk of obesity-but only for those in high poverty neighborhoods. No association was found for those in low and medium neighborhood poverty. Results provide evidence to indicate that the relationship between segregation and health for Hispanics is not uniform within a metropolitan area. In the case of obesity, the consequences of metropolitan Hispanic segregation can be either protective, null, or deleterious depending not only on local neighborhood context but also on nativity.

      2. Little is known about how the neighborhood social environment (e.g., safety, crime, traffic) impacts child physical activity. We examine the mechanism by which the neighborhood social environment is associated with child physical activity, moderated by individual-level cultural factors (e.g., language at home, immigrant generation) and mediated by neighborhood physical activity-related social norms (e.g., seeing walkers in the neighborhood). Data included 2749 non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children from the Healthy Communities Study. Multilevel regression was performed. The neighborhood social environment was not associated with physical activity in the full sample. However, Hispanic children speaking both English and Spanish and first- or second-generation Hispanic children engaged in more physical activity when the quality of the neighborhood social environment was higher (b = 1.60, p < 0.001 for Hispanic children speaking English and Spanish; b = 2.03, p < 0.01 for first-generation Hispanic children; b = 1.29, p < 0.01 for second-generation Hispanic children). Neighborhood physical activity-related social norms mediated the association between the neighborhood social environment and physical activity among Hispanic children speaking English and Spanish (b = 0.33, p < 0.001) and second-generation Hispanic children (b = 0.40, p < 0.001). Findings suggest heterogeneity in how neighborhood social environments impact physical activity by cultural factors. Health promotion programs may need to enhance neighborhood social environments to increase Hispanic children's physical activity.

      3. Hispanic and Latino (HL) cancer survivors are at a critical disadvantage compared with non-Hispanic White (NHW) patients regarding sociodemographic adversities and access to equitable treatment options. By 2030, there will be about four million HL cancer survivors in the U.S., representing nearly 20% of survivors in this country. Hispanics and Latinos are subjected to significant challenges in accessing and receiving equitable care relative to NHWs. Hispanics and Latinos also experience lower rates of health insurance and financial resources, limiting health care options. These disparities often originate from disparate social determinants of health, including lower funding for education and school programs, greater neighborhood stressors and violence, lower access to healthy and affordable food, and greater barriers to community health and exercise opportunities. Even among HL cancer survivors with proper access to health care, they experience disparate treatment options, including low inclusion in clinical trials and/or access to experimental therapies. A solution to these barriers necessitates complex and systemic changes that involve, for example, investing in public health programs, increasing the diversity and cultural awareness of the medical workforce, and promoting research opportunities such as clinical trials that are inclusive of HLs. Only through meaningful reform will equitable cancer care be available for all in the U.S. regardless of racial and/or ethnic background. This article reviews some of the critical social determinants of health and biases relevant to HL cancer survivors and provides recommendations for achieving cancer health equity. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Hispanics and Latinos experience a significant and often disproportionate cancer-related burden compared with non-Hispanic and Latino White individuals and other racial and ethnic groups. Meaningful reform to achieve health equity in oncology should focus on approaches to gaining trust among diverse patients, cultural and community sensitivity and engagement in oncology care and research, diversifying the workforce, and improving inclusion in clinical trial participation. Taken together, these recommendations can lead to exemplary and equitable care for all patients.

      4. Nativity, ethnic enclave residence, and breast cancer survival among Latinas: Variations between California and Texasexternal icon
        Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL, Canchola AJ, Fullington H, Hughes AE, Zhu H, Pruitt SL.
        Cancer. 2020 Jun 15;126(12):2849-2858.
        BACKGROUND: Among Latinas with breast cancer, residence in an ethnic enclave may be associated with survival. However, findings from prior studies are inconsistent. METHODS: The authors conducted parallel analyses of California and Texas cancer registry data for adult (aged ≥18 years) Latinas who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1996 to 2005, with follow-up through 2014. Existing indices applied to tract-level 2000 US Census data were used to measure Latinx enclaves and neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES). Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were fit for all-cause and breast cancer-specific survival adjusted for year of diagnosis, patient age, nativity (with multiple imputation), tumor stage, histology, grade, size, and clustering by census tract. RESULTS: Among 38,858 Latinas, the majority (61.3% in California and 70.5% in Texas) lived in enclaves. In fully adjusted models for both states, foreign-born women were found to be more likely to die of breast cancer and all causes when compared with US-born women. Living in enclaves and in neighborhoods with higher SES were found to be independently associated with improved survival from both causes. When combined into a 4-level variable, those in low nSES nonenclaves had worse survival for both causes compared with those living in low nSES enclaves and, in the all-cause but not breast cancer-specific models, those in high nSES neighborhoods, regardless of enclave status, had improved survival from all causes. CONCLUSIONS: Applying the same methods across 2 states eliminated previously published inconsistent associations between enclave residence and breast cancer survival. Future studies should identify specific protective effects of enclave residence to inform interventions.

    • Hispanic Health in the US - Health Outcomes
      1. OBJECTIVE: HIV disproportionately affects Hispanic/Latino people in the United States, and factors other than individual attributes may be contributing to these differences. We examined differences in the distribution of HIV diagnosis and social determinants of health (SDH) among US-born and non-US-born Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States and Puerto Rico. METHODS: We used data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS) to determine US census tract-level HIV diagnosis rates and percentages among US-born and non-US-born Hispanic/Latino adults aged ≥18 for 2017. We merged data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey with NHSS data to examine regional differences in federal poverty level, education, median household income, employment, and health insurance coverage among 8648 US-born (n = 3328) and non-US-born (n = 5320) Hispanic/Latino adults. RESULTS: A comparison of US-born and non-US-born men by region showed similar distributions of HIV diagnoses. The largest percentages occurred in census tracts where ≥19% of residents lived below the federal poverty level, ≥18% did not finish high school, the median household income was <$40 000 per year, ≥6% were unemployed, and ≥16% did not have health insurance. A comparison of US-born and non-US-born women by region showed similar distributions. CONCLUSION: The findings of higher numbers of HIV diagnoses among non-US-born Hispanic/Latino adults than among US-born Hispanic/Latino adults, regional similarities in patterns of SDH and HIV percentages and rates, and Hispanic/Latino adults faring poorly in each SDH category are important for understanding SDH barriers that may be affecting Hispanic/Latino adults with HIV in the United States.

      2. Immigration Status and Disparities in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (Visit 2, 2014-2017)external icon
        Guadamuz JS, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Daviglus ML, Perreira KM, Calip GS, Nutescu EA, Gallo LC, Castaneda SF, Gonzalez F, Qato DM.
        Am J Public Health. 2020 Sep;110(9):1397-1404.
        Objectives. To estimate treatment rates of high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes among Hispanic/Latino immigrants by immigration status (i.e., naturalized citizens, documented immigrants, or undocumented immigrants).Methods. We performed a cross-sectional analyses of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (visit 2, 2014-2017). We restricted our analysis to Hispanic/Latino immigrants with high cholesterol (n = 3974), hypertension (n = 3353), or diabetes (n = 2406); treatment was defined as use of statins, antihypertensives, and antidiabetics, respectively.Results. When compared with naturalized citizens, undocumented and documented immigrants were less likely to receive treatment for high cholesterol (38.4% vs 14.1%; prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.37 [95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.27, 0.51] and 25.7%; PR = 0.67 [95% CI = 0.58, 0.76]), hypertension (77.7% vs 57.7%; PR = 0.74 [95% CI = 0.62, 0.89] and 68.1%; PR = 0.88 [95% CI = 0.82, 0.94]), and diabetes (60.3% vs. 50.4%; PR = 0.84 [95% CI = 0.68, 1.02] and 55.8%; PR = 0.93 [95% CI = 0.83, 1.03]); the latter did not reach statistical significance. Undocumented and documented immigrants had less access to health care, including insurance coverage or a usual health care provider, than naturalized citizens. Therefore, adjusting for health care access largely explained treatment disparities across immigration status.Conclusions. Preventing cardiovascular disease among Hispanic/Latino immigrants should focus on undertreatment of high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes by increasing health care access, especially among undocumented immigrants.

      3. PURPOSE: To compare prevalence of self-reported diabetes between U.S. state-born, Puerto Rico-born, Mexico-born, Cuba-born, and South/Central America-born Hispanic groups, and examine whether risk for diabetes differs by country of origin and experiences with discrimination when accounting for BMI. METHODS: Data from 6223 Hispanic respondents from the nationally representative NESARC-III study was used. Sociodemographic characteristics were compared across nativity groups, and adjusted odds of self-reported diabetes diagnosis (past year) tested. Differences by perceived discrimination (using endorsement of individual items assessing specific experiences) and by nativity were examined when accounting for sociodemographic characteristics, acculturation, and BMI. RESULTS: Prevalence of self-reported diabetes diagnosis was significantly higher among the Puerto Rico-born Hispanics, and remained significantly elevated when adjusting for perceived discrimination, acculturation, and health risk behaviors. When adjusting further for BMI, there were no significant differences in the odds of diabetes by nativity. Prevalence of lifetime perceived discrimination was significantly lower among Cuba-born Hispanics. Mean BMI was significantly lower in South/Central America-born Hispanic individuals relative to U.S. state-, Mexico-, and Puerto Rico-born Hispanic groups. Higher BMI was associated with significantly greater risk of diabetes diagnosis across groups. CONCLUSION: Marked heterogeneity exists in prevalence and in factors associated with diabetes risk and weight status across Hispanic groups in the U.S. Experiences with discrimination may play an important role in accounting for these differences. This should be considered when planning future research to inform the most optimal patient-centered prevention efforts. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort analytic study.

      4. Elimination of cervical cancer in U.S. Hispanic populations: Puerto Rico as a case studyexternal icon
        Ortiz AP, Soto-Salgado M, Calo WA, Hull P, Fernández ME, Colon-López V, Tortolero-Luna G.
        Prev Med. 2021 Mar;144:106336.
        Cervical cancer remains a major burden for women around the world. In 2018, the World Health Organization called for the elimination of cervical cancer worldwide (<4 cases per 100,000 women-years), within the 21st century. In the U.S., despite great progress toward this goal, existing disparities among racial/ethnic groups in cervical cancer raise concerns about whether elimination can be achieved for all women. We describe: 1) disparities in cervical cancer among Hispanics in the U.S. and factors that contribute to their increased risk, 2) prevention and control efforts to increase equity in the elimination of cervical cancer in this population, and 3) cervical cancer control efforts in Puerto Rico (PR), a U.S. territory, as a case study for cervical cancer elimination among a minority and underserved Hispanic population. Hispanics have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among all racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. Despite being more likely to complete HPV vaccination series, lower cervical cancer screening and access to treatment may lead to a higher cervical cancer mortality in Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic White women. These disparities are influenced by multiple individual-, sociocultural-, and system-level factors. To achieve the goal of cervical cancer elimination in the U.S., systematic elimination plans that consider the needs of Hispanic populations should be included within the Comprehensive Cancer Control Plans of each state. Because PR has implemented coordinated efforts for the prevention and control of cervical cancer, it represents a notable case study for examining strategies that can lead to cervical cancer elimination among Hispanics.

      5. Disproportionate Incidence of COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Among Persons Identifying as Hispanic or Latino - Denver, Colorado March-October 2020external icon
        Podewils LJ, Burket TL, Mettenbrink C, Steiner A, Seidel A, Scott K, Cervantes L, Hasnain-Wynia R.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Dec 4;69(48):1812-1816.
        Persons identifying as Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) represent the second largest racial/ethnic group in the United States (1), yet understanding of the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in this population is limited. To evaluate COVID-19 health disparities in the community and inform public health, health system, and community-based interventions, local public health authorities analyzed the sociodemographic characteristics of persons who were diagnosed, hospitalized, and who died with COVID-19 in Denver, Colorado. During the first 7 months of the COVID-19 epidemic in Denver (March 6-October 6, 2020) the majority of adult COVID-19 cases (54.8%), hospitalizations (62.1%), and deaths (51.2%) were among persons identifying as Hispanic, more than double the proportion of Hispanic adults in the Denver community (24.9%) (1). Systemic drivers that influence how Hispanic persons live and work increase their exposure risks: compared with non-Hispanic persons, Hispanic persons with COVID-19 in Denver reported larger household sizes and were more likely to report known exposures to household and close contacts with COVID-19, working in an essential industry, and working while ill. Reducing the disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among Hispanic persons will require implementation of strategies that address upstream social and environmental factors that contribute to an increased risk for both infection and transmission and that facilitate improved access to culturally congruent care.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Increases in Human Papillomavirus Testing Preceding Diagnosis of Cervical Precancer in 5 US States, 2008-2016external icon
        Cleveland AA, Gargano JW, Griffin MR, Park IU, Niccolai LM, Bennett NM, Pemmaraju M, Fink D, Brackney M, Scahill M, Ehlers SJ, Unger ER, Markowitz LE.
        J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2021 Apr 1.
        OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to describe trends in human papillomavirus (HPV) testing preceding diagnosis of cervical precancer during a time of changing screening recommendations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from active, population-based, laboratory surveillance among 1.5 million residents of 5 areas in the United States. We included women aged 21-39 years diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2, 2/3, or 3 or adenocarcinoma in situ (collectively, CIN2+) during 2008-2016, who had a cytology and/or HPV test before diagnosis (n = 16,359). RESULTS: The proportion of women with an HPV test preceding CIN2+ increased from 42.9% in 2008 to 73.3% in 2016 (p < .01); testing increased in all age groups (21-24 y: 35.3% to 47.6%, 25-29 y: 40.9% to 64.1%, 30-39 y: 51.7% to 85.9%, all p < .01). The HPV testing varied by cytology result and was highest among women with atypical squamous cells of unknown significance (n = 4,310/4,629, 93.1%), negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy (n = 446/517, 86.3%), and atypical glandular cells (n = 145/257, 56.4%). By 2016, at least half of all cases in every surveillance area had an HPV test before diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: During 2008-2016, the proportion of women with an HPV test preceding CIN2+ increased significantly for all age groups, cytology results, and surveillance areas. By 2016, most (85.9%) women aged 30-39 years had an HPV test, consistent with recommendations. Increasing utilization of HPV tests, which have demonstrated improved sensitivity for detecting cervical disease, may in part explain increasing rates of cervical precancer among women 30 years and older.

      2. INTRODUCTION: Untreated dental disease and resulting tooth loss can diminish quality of life for older adults by limiting food choices and discouraging social interaction. Before the Basic Screening Survey (BSS) for older adults, no clinical data were available to monitor the oral health of older adults in long-term care (LTC) facilities at the national level or older adults overall at the state level. Although BSS is widely used, no guidelines exist to ensure the validity, reliability, and comparability of survey information across states. We examined BSS content to help establish reporting guidelines and synthesized findings across states for older adults living in LTC. METHODS: We systematically reviewed BSS reports published from 2011-2019, assessing how oral health outcomes were measured and reported. For reports that included statewide estimates for LTC residents, we calculated the mean, median, and ranges of 3 preventable oral health conditions and 4 indicators of tooth loss. RESULTS: We found wide variation in reporting of sampling, screening, and statistical methods, as well as in indicators of tooth loss. Median prevalence of untreated tooth decay and edentulism (total tooth loss) among LTC adults in 11 states was almost twice that for community-dwelling adults in a national survey. CONCLUSIONS: The substantial variation in BSS reporting highlights the potential benefits of adopting standardized guidance, which could improve the utility of BSS. Poor oral health outcomes among LTC residents underscore the importance of systematic monitoring of the oral health of this vulnerable population.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Environmental Surveillance for Polioviruses in Haïti (2017-2019): The Dynamic Process for the Establishment and Monitoring of Sampling Sitesexternal icon
        Alleman MM, Coulliette-Salmond AD, Wilnique P, Belgasmi-Wright H, Sayyad L, Wong K, Gue E, Barrais R, Rey-Benito G, Burns CC, Vega E.
        Viruses. 2021 Mar 18;13(3).
        Haïti is at risk for wild poliovirus (WPV) importation and circulation, as well as vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) emergence. Environmental surveillance (ES) for polioviruses was established in Port au Prince and Gonaïves in 2016. During 2017-2019, initial ES sites were re-evaluated, and ES was expanded into Cap Haïtien and Saint Marc. Wastewater samples and data on weather, hour of collection, and sample temperature and pH were collected every 4 weeks during March 2017-December 2019 (272 sampling events) from 21 sites in Cap Haïtien, Gonaïves, Port au Prince, and Saint Marc. Samples were processed for the detection of polio and non-polio enteroviruses using the two-phase and "Concentration and Filter Elution" methodologies. Polioviruses were serotyped and underwent intra-typic characterization. No WPV or VDPVs were isolated. Sabin-like polioviruses (oral vaccine strain) of serotypes 1 and 3 were sporadically detected. Five of six (83%), one of six (17%), five of six (83%), and two of three (67%) sites evaluated in Cap Haïtien, Gonaïves, Port au Prince, and Saint Marc, respectively, had enterovirus isolation from >50% of sampling events; these results and considerations, such as watershed population size and overlap, influence of sea water, and excessive particulates in samples, were factors in site retention or termination. The evaluation of 21 ES sampling sites in four Haïtian cities led to the termination of 11 sites. Every-four-weekly sampling continues at the remaining 10 sites across the four cities as a core Global Polio Eradication Initiative activity.

      2. Trends in Geographic and Temporal Distribution of US Children With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome During the COVID-19 Pandemicexternal icon
        Belay ED, Abrams J, Oster ME, Giovanni J, Pierce T, Meng L, Prezzato E, Balachandran N, Openshaw JJ, Rosen HE, Kim M, Richardson G, Hand J, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Wilson S, Hartley A, Jones C, Kolsin J, Mohamed H, Colles Z, Hammett T, Patel P, Stierman B, Campbell AP, Godfred-Cato S.
        JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Apr 6.
        IMPORTANCE: Multiple inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) occurs in association with the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical characteristics and geographic and temporal distribution of the largest cohort of patients with MIS-C in the United States to date. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional analysis was conducted on clinical and laboratory data collected from patients with MIS-C. The analysis included patients with illness onset from March 2020 to January 2021 and met MIS-C case definition. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Geographic and temporal distribution of MIS-C was compared with that of COVID-19 nationally, by region, and level of urbanicity by county. Clinical and laboratory findings and changes over time were described by age group and by presence or absence of preceding COVID-19. RESULTS: A total of 1733 patients with MIS-C were identified; 994 (57.6%) were male and 1117 (71.3%) were Hispanic or non-Hispanic Black. Gastrointestinal symptoms, rash, and conjunctival hyperemia were reported by 53% (n = 931) to 67% (n = 1153) of patients. A total of 937 patients (54%) had hypotension or shock, and 1009 (58.2%) were admitted for intensive care. Cardiac dysfunction was reported in 484 patients (31.0%), pericardial effusion in 365 (23.4%), myocarditis in 300 (17.3%), and coronary artery dilatation or aneurysms in 258 (16.5%). Patients aged 0 to 4 years had the lowest proportion of severe manifestations, although 171 patients (38.4%) had hypotension or shock and 197 (44.3%) were admitted for intensive care. Patients aged 18 to 20 years had the highest proportions with myocarditis (17 [30.9%]), pneumonia (20 [36.4%]), acute respiratory distress syndrome (10 [18.2%]), and polymerase chain reaction positivity (39 [70.9%]). These older adolescents also had the highest proportion reporting preceding COVID-19-like illness (63%). Nationally, the first 2 MIS-C peaks followed the COVID-19 peaks by 2 to 5 weeks. The cumulative MIS-C incidence per 100 000 persons younger than 21 years was 2.1 and varied from 0.2 to 6.3 by state. Twenty-four patients (1.4%) died. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional study of a large cohort of patients with MIS-C, 2 peaks that followed COVID-19 peaks by 2 to 5 weeks were identified. The geographic and temporal association of MIS-C with the COVID-19 pandemic suggested that MIS-C resulted from delayed immunologic responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The clinical manifestations varied by age and by presence or absence of preceding COVID-19.

      3. Blastomycosis Surveillance in 5 States, United States, 1987-2018external icon
        Benedict K, Gibbons-Burgener S, Kocharian A, Ireland M, Rothfeldt L, Christophe N, Signs K, Jackson BR.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):999-1006.
        Blastomycosis is caused by inhalation of Blastomyces spp. fungi. Limited data are available on the incidence and geographic range of blastomycosis in the United States. To better characterize its epidemiologic features, we analyzed combined surveillance data from the 5 states in which blastomycosis is reportable: Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Surveillance identified 4,441 cases during 1987–2018, a mean of 192 cases per year. The mean annual incidence was <1 case/100,000 population in most areas but >20 cases/100,000 population in some northern counties of Wisconsin. Median patient age was 46 years, 2,892 (65%) patients were male, 1,662 (57%) were hospitalized, and 278 (8%) died. The median time from symptom onset to diagnosis was 33 days. The severity of illness and diagnostic delays suggest that surveillance underestimates the true number of cases. More in-depth surveillance in additional states could elucidate blastomycosis incidence and inform efforts to increase awareness. The median time from symptom onset to diagnosis and the severity of illness suggest that surveillance underestimates the true number of cases. eng

      4. Cholera outbreak associated with contaminated water sources in paddy fields, Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh, Indiaexternal icon
        Dutta BP, Kumar N, Meshram KC, Yadav R, Sodha SV, Gupta S.
        Indian J Public Health. 2021 Jan;65(Supplement):S46-s50.
        BACKGROUND: Mandla District in Madhya Pradesh, India, reported a suspected cholera outbreak from Ghughri subdistrict on August 18, 2016. OBJECTIVE: We investigated to determine risk factors and recommend control and prevention measures. METHODS: We defined a case as >3 loose stools in 24 h in a Ghughri resident between July 20 and August 19, 2016. We identified cases by passive surveillance in health facilities and by a house-to-house survey in 28 highly affected villages. We conducted a 1:2 unmatched case-control study, collected stool samples for culture, and tested water sources for fecal contamination. RESULTS: We identified 628 cases (61% female) from 96 villages; the median age was 27 years (range: 1 month-76 years). Illnesses began 7 days after rainfall with 259 (41%) hospitalizations and 14 (2%) deaths in people from remote villages who died before reaching a health facility; 12 (86%) worked in paddy fields. Illness was associated with drinking well water within paddy fields (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-8.0) and not washing hands with soap after defecation (OR = 6.1, CI = 1.7-21). Of 34 stool cultures, 11 (34%) tested positive for Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa. We observed open defecation in affected villages around paddy fields. Of 16 tested water sources in paddy fields, eight (50%) were protected, but 100% had fecal contamination. CONCLUSION: We recommended education regarding pit latrine sanitation and safe water, especially in paddy fields, provision of oral rehydration solution in remote villages, and chlorine tablets for point-of-use treatment of drinking water.

      5. Rotavirus Genotype Trends and Gastrointestinal Pathogen Detection in the United States, 2014-16: Results from the New Vaccine Surveillance Networkexternal icon
        Esona MD, Ward ML, Wikswo ME, Rustempasic SM, Gautam R, Perkins C, Selvarangan R, Harrison CJ, Boom JA, Englund JA, Klein EJ, Staat MA, McNeal MM, Halasa N, Chappell J, Weinberg GA, Payne DC, Parashar UD, Bowen MD.
        J Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 2.
        BACKGROUND: Following the implementation of rotavirus vaccination in 2006, severe acute gastroenteritis (AGE) due to group A rotavirus (RVA) has substantially declined in USA (US) children. We report the RVA genotype prevalence as well as co-infection data from seven US New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) sites during three consecutive RVA seasons, 2014-2016. METHODS: A total of 1041 stool samples that tested positive for RVA by Rotaclone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for RVA genotyping and multipathogen testing. RESULTS: A total of 795 (76%) contained detectable RVA at CDC. Rotavirus disease was highest in children < 3 years of age. Four G types (G1, G2, G9, and G12) accounted for 94.6% of strains while two P types (P[4] and P[8]) accounted 94.7% of the strains. Overall, G12P[8] was the most common genotype detected in all three seasons. Stepwise conditional logistic analysis found year and study site were significant predictors of genotype. Twenty four percent (24%) of RVA-positive specimens contained other AGE pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: G12P[8] predominated over three seasons, but strain predominance varied by year and study site. Ongoing surveillance provides continuous tracking and monitoring of US genotypes during the post vaccine era.

      6. Death Certificate-Based ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes for COVID-19 Mortality Surveillance - United States, January-December 2020external icon
        Gundlapalli AV, Lavery AM, Boehmer TK, Beach MJ, Walke HT, Sutton PD, Anderson RN.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):523-527.
        Approximately 375,000 deaths during 2020 were attributed to COVID-19 on death certificates reported to CDC (1). Concerns have been raised that some deaths are being improperly attributed to COVID-19 (2). Analysis of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnoses on official death certificates might provide an expedient and efficient method to demonstrate whether reported COVID-19 deaths are being overestimated. CDC assessed documentation of diagnoses co-occurring with an ICD-10 code for COVID-19 (U07.1) on U.S. death certificates from 2020 that had been reported to CDC as of February 22, 2021. Among 378,048 death certificates listing U07.1, a total of 357,133 (94.5%) had at least one other ICD-10 code; 20,915 (5.5%) had only U07.1. Overall, 97.3% of 357,133 death certificates with at least one other diagnosis (91.9% of all 378,048 death certificates) were noted to have a co-occurring diagnosis that was a plausible chain-of-event condition (e.g., pneumonia or respiratory failure), a significant contributing condition (e.g., hypertension or diabetes), or both. Overall, 70%-80% of death certificates had both a chain-of-event condition and a significant contributing condition or a chain-of-event condition only; this was noted for adults aged 18-84 years, both males and females, persons of all races and ethnicities, those who died in inpatient and outpatient or emergency department settings, and those whose manner of death was listed as natural. These findings support the accuracy of COVID-19 mortality surveillance in the United States using official death certificates. High-quality documentation of co-occurring diagnoses on the death certificate is essential for a comprehensive and authoritative public record. Continued messaging and training (3) for professionals who complete death certificates remains important as the pandemic progresses. Accurate mortality surveillance is critical for understanding the impact of variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and of COVID-19 vaccination and for guiding public health action.

      7. A decision analytics model to optimize investment in interventions targeting the HIV PrEP cascade of careexternal icon
        Jenness SM, Knowlton G, Smith DK, Marcus JL, Anderson EJ, Siegler AJ, Jones J, Sullivan PS, Enns E.
        Aids. 2021 Apr 6.
        OBJECTIVES: Gaps between recommended and actual levels of HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use remain among men who have sex with men (MSM). Interventions can address these gaps, but it is unknown how public health initiatives should invest prevention funds into these interventions to maximize their population impact. DESIGN: We used a stochastic network-based HIV transmission model for MSM in the Atlanta area paired with an economic budget optimization model. METHODS: The model simulated MSM participating in up to three real-world PrEP cascade interventions designed to improve initiation, adherence, or persistence. The primary outcome was infections averted over 10 years. The budget optimization model identified the investment combination under different budgets that maximized this outcome given intervention costs from a payer perspective. RESULTS: From the base 15% PrEP coverage level, the three interventions could increase coverage to 27%, resulting in 12.3% of infections averted over 10 years. Uptake of each intervention was interdependent: maximal use of the adherence and persistence interventions depended on new PrEP users generated by the initiation intervention. As the budget increased, optimal investment involved a mixture of the initiation and persistence interventions, but not the adherence intervention. If adherence intervention costs were halved, the optimal investment was roughly equal across interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Investments into the PrEP cascade through initiatives should account for the interactions of the interventions as they are collectively deployed. Given current intervention efficacy estimates, the total population impact of each intervention may be improved with greater total budgets or reduced intervention costs.

      8. Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Adults With Diagnosed HIV in the U.Sexternal icon
        Lemons-Lyn AB, Baugher AR, Dasgupta S, Fagan JL, Smith SG, Shouse RL.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 Mar 11.
        INTRODUCTION: Intimate partner violence is associated with adverse health consequences among people with diagnosed HIV, which could have implications for disease progression and transmission. However, nationally representative estimates of intimate partner violence among people with diagnosed HIV are lacking. Investigators used nationally representative data to estimate the prevalence of physical violence by an intimate partner among adults with diagnosed HIV and examine the differences by selected characteristics. METHODS: This analysis included interview and medical record data from the 2015-2017 cycles of the Medical Monitoring Project, analyzed in 2019. Weighted percentages and 95% CIs were used to report the prevalence of intimate partner violence among people with diagnosed HIV (N=11,768). Bivariate and multivariate differences in intimate partner violence by sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics were examined using Rao-Scott chi-square tests (p<0.05). RESULTS: Among people with diagnosed HIV, 26.3% reported having ever experienced intimate partner violence, and 4.4% reported having experienced intimate partner violence in the past 12 months. The prevalence of intimate partner violence differed by gender and gender/sexual identity. People who experienced intimate partner violence in the past 12 months were more likely to engage in behaviors associated with elevated HIV transmission risk and have unmet needs for supportive services. People who recently experienced intimate partner violence were less likely to be engaged in routine HIV care but were more likely to seek emergency care services and have poor HIV clinical outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: This study's findings support the need for screening people with diagnosed HIV for intimate partner violence and offering linkage to supportive services. Screening for intimate partner violence among people with diagnosed HIV, coupled with supportive services and counseling, may lead to improved safety and HIV clinical outcomes and decreased need for emergency and inpatient medical services.

      9. Notes from the Field: COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program - Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota, September-November 2020external icon
        Matthias J, Charboneau T, Schaffer C, Rusten J, Whitmer S, de la Paz J, Dykstra J, Pathmanathan I, Stowell D.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):533-534.

      10. Diagnosed and Undiagnosed COVID-19 in US Emergency Department Health Care Personnel: A Cross-sectional Analysisexternal icon
        Mohr NM, Harland KK, Krishnadasan A, Eyck PT, Mower WR, Willey J, Chisolm-Straker M, Lim SC, McDonald LC, Kutty PK, Hesse E, Santibanez S, Talan DA.
        Ann Emerg Med. 2020 Dec 17.
        STUDY OBJECTIVE: We determine the percentage of diagnosed and undiagnosed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among a sample of US emergency department (ED) health care personnel before July 2020. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analysis of ED health care personnel in 20 geographically diverse university-affiliated EDs from May 13, to July 8, 2020, including case counts of prior laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnoses among all ED health care personnel, and then point-in-time serology (with confirmatory testing) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing in a sample of volunteers without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis. Health care staff were categorized as clinical (physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses) and nonclinical (clerks, social workers, and case managers). Previously undiagnosed infection was based on positive SARS-CoV-2 serology or reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction result among health care personnel without prior diagnosis. RESULTS: Diagnosed COVID-19 occurred in 2.8% of health care personnel (193/6,788), and the prevalence was similar for nonclinical and clinical staff (3.8% versus 2.7%; odds ratio 1.5; 95% confidence interval 0.7 to 3.2). Among 1,606 health care personnel without previously diagnosed COVID-19, 29 (1.8%) had evidence of current or past SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most (62%; 18/29) who were seropositive did not think they had been infected, 76% (19/25) recalled COVID-19-compatible symptoms, and 89% (17/19) continued to work while symptomatic. Accounting for both diagnosed and undiagnosed infections, 4.6% (95% confidence interval 2.8% to 7.5%) of ED health care personnel were estimated to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, with 38% of those infections undiagnosed. CONCLUSION: In late spring and early summer 2020, the estimated prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection was 4.6%, and greater than one third of infections were undiagnosed. Undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection may pose substantial risk for transmission to other staff and patients.

      11. Increasing Capacity to Detect Clusters of Rapid HIV Transmission in Varied Populations-United Statesexternal icon
        Oster AM, Panneer N, Lyss SB, McClung RP, Watson M, Saduvala N, Ocfemia MC, Linley L, Switzer WM, Wertheim JO, Campbell E, Hernandez AL, France AM.
        Viruses. 2021 Mar 30;13(4).
        Molecular cluster detection analyzes HIV sequences to identify rapid HIV transmission and inform public health responses. We describe changes in the capability to detect molecular clusters and in geographic variation in transmission dynamics. We examined the reporting completeness of HIV-1 polymerase sequences in quarterly National HIV Surveillance System datasets from December 2015 to December 2019. Priority clusters were identified quarterly. To understand populations recently affected by rapid transmission, we described the transmission risk and race/ethnicity of people in clusters first detected in 2018-2019. During December 2015 to December 2019, national sequence completeness increased from 26% to 45%. Of the 1212 people in the 136 clusters first detected in 2018-2019, 69% were men who have sex with men (MSM) and 11% were people who inject drugs (PWID). State-by-state analysis showed substantial variation in transmission risk and racial/ethnic groups in clusters of rapid transmission. HIV sequence reporting has increased nationwide. Molecular cluster analysis identifies rapid transmission in varied populations and identifies emerging patterns of rapid transmission in specific population groups, such as PWID, who, in 2015-2016, comprised only 1% of people in such molecular clusters. These data can guide efforts to focus, tailor, and scale up prevention and care services for these populations.

      12. Characteristics and Risk Factors of Hospitalized and Nonhospitalized COVID-19 Patients, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March-April 2020external icon
        Pettrone K, Burnett E, Link-Gelles R, Haight SC, Schrodt C, England L, Gomes DJ, Shamout M, O'Laughlin K, Kimball A, Blau EF, Ladva CN, Szablewski CM, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Oosmanally N, Drenzek C, Browning SD, Bruce BB, da Silva J, Gold JA, Jackson BR, Morris SB, Natarajan P, Fanfair RN, Patel PR, Rogers-Brown J, Rossow J, Wong KK, Murphy DJ, Blum JM, Hollberg J, Lefkove B, Brown FW, Shimabukuro T, Midgley CM, Tate JE, Killerby ME.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 ;27(4):1164-1168.
        We compared the characteristics of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients who had coronavirus disease in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. We found that risk for hospitalization increased with a patient's age and number of concurrent conditions. We also found a potential association between hospitalization and high hemoglobin A1c levels in persons with diabetes.

      13. Use of Stay-at-Home Orders and Mask Mandates to Control COVID-19 Transmission - Blackfeet Tribal Reservation, Montana, June-December 2020external icon
        Pratt CQ, Chard AN, LaPine R, Galbreath KW, Crawford C, Plant A, Stiffarm G, Rhodes NS, Hannon L, Dinh TH.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):514-518.
        COVID-19 has disproportionately affected persons who identify as non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) (1). The Blackfeet Tribal Reservation, the northern Montana home of the sovereign Blackfeet Nation, with an estimated population of 10,629 (2), detected the first COVID-19 case in the community on June 16, 2020. Following CDC guidance,* and with free testing widely available, the Indian Health Service and Blackfeet Tribal Health Department began investigating all confirmed cases and their contacts on June 25. The relationship between three community mitigation resolutions passed and enforced by the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and changes in the daily COVID-19 incidence and in the distributions of new cases was assessed. After the September 28 issuance of a strictly enforced stay-at-home order and adoption of a mask use resolution, COVID-19 incidence in the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation decreased by a factor of 33 from its peak of 6.40 cases per 1,000 residents per day on October 5 to 0.19 on November 7. Other mitigation measures the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation used included closing the east gate of Glacier National Park for the summer tourism season, instituting remote learning for public school students throughout the fall semester, and providing a Thanksgiving meal to every household to reduce trips to grocery stores. CDC has recommended use of routine public health interventions for infectious diseases, including case investigation with prompt isolation, contact tracing, and immediate quarantine after exposure to prevent and control transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (3). Stay-at-home orders, physical distancing, and mask wearing indoors, outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, or when in close contact with infected or exposed persons are also recommended as nonpharmaceutical community mitigation measures (3,4). Implementation and strict enforcement of stay-at-home orders and a mask use mandate likely helped reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation.

      14. Systematic Review of Reported HIV Outbreaks, Pakistan, 2000-2019external icon
        Rabold EM, Ali H, Fernandez D, Knuth M, Schenkel K, Asghar RJ, Baig MA, Shaikh S, Morgan O.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):1039-1047.
        Unsafe injection practices and injection drug use have been linked to multiple HIV outbreaks in Pakistan since 2003; however, few studies have systematically analyzed the causes of these outbreaks. We conducted a systematic review of published English-language literature indexed in bibliographic databases and search engines and a focused gray literature review to collate and analyze all reported HIV outbreaks in Pakistan during 2000–2019. Of 774 unique publications reviewed, we identified 25 eligible publications describing 7 outbreaks. More than half occurred during 2016–2019. The primary sources of transmission were iatrogenic transmission, affecting children, persons with chronic medical conditions, and the general population (4 outbreaks); injection drug use (2 outbreaks); and a combination of both (1 outbreak). In the absence of robust HIV testing and surveillance in Pakistan, timely and detailed outbreak reporting is important to understand the epidemiology of HIV in the country. In the absence of robust testing programs, timely and detailed outbreak reporting is essential for HIV control. eng

      15. Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Associated with a Local Bar Opening Event - Illinois, February 2021external icon
        Sami S, Turbyfill CR, Daniel-Wayman S, Shonkwiler S, Fisher KA, Kuhring M, Patrick AM, Hinton S, Minor AS, Ricaldi JN, Ezike N, Kauerauf J, Duffus WA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):528-532.
        During February 2021, an opening event was held indoors at a rural Illinois bar that accommodates approximately 100 persons. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health department staff members investigated a COVID-19 outbreak associated with this opening event. Overall, 46 COVID-19 cases were linked to the event, including cases in 26 patrons and three staff members who attended the opening event and 17 secondary cases. Four persons with cases had COVID-19-like symptoms on the same day they attended the event. Secondary cases included 12 cases in eight households with children, two on a school sports team, and three in a long-term care facility (LTCF). Transmission associated with the opening event resulted in one school closure affecting 650 children (9,100 lost person-days of school) and hospitalization of one LTCF resident with COVID-19. These findings demonstrate that opening up settings such as bars, where mask wearing and physical distancing are challenging, can increase the risk for community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As community businesses begin to reopen, a multicomponent approach should be emphasized in settings such as bars to prevent transmission* (1). This includes enforcing consistent and correct mask use, maintaining ≥6 ft of physical distance between persons, reducing indoor bar occupancy, prioritizing outdoor seating, improving building ventilation, and promoting behaviors such as staying at home when ill, as well as implementing contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine when COVID-19 cases are diagnosed.

      16. Who Are the Men Who Pay for Sex in Mozambique? Results from the National HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey 2015external icon
        Semá Baltazar C, Mehta N, Juga A, Boothe M, Chitsondzo Langa D, Simbine P, Kellogg TA.
        Arch Sex Behav. 2021 Apr 5.
        Mozambique has one of the highest burdens of HIV in the world, where the prevalence is estimated at 13.2% among adults aged 15-49 years. Men who pay for sex (MPS) are considered a bridging population for HIV infection. However, the characteristics of MPS in Mozambique are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of paid sex among men 15-49 years and investigate risk factors associated with paid sex. We analyzed data collected from 4724 men, aged 15-49 years, as part of the 2015 Mozambique AIDS Indicator Survey. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression models accounting for survey design were used to assess the associations between paying for sex and demographic characteristics and the number of lifetime and recent sex partners, condom use at last sex, and self-reported sexually transmitted infection symptoms. The prevalence of paid sex in the last 12 months was 10.4% (95% CI 9.0-12.1), with Cabo Delgado province having the highest prevalence (38.8%). MPS in the last 12 months were most frequently between the ages of 20-24 years (13.5%), not in a relationship (17.8%), had a primary education (11.9%), from poor households (14.0%), had more than three sexual partners excluding their spouse in the last 12 months (44.7%), and self-reported a STI in the past 12 months (44.2%). HIV prevalence was higher among men who ever paid for sex compared with men who did not (13.1% vs. 9.4%, p = .02). Men who reported 10+ lifetime partner (aOR 7.7; 95% CI 4.5-13.0; p < .001), from Cabo Delgado (aOR 4.0; 95% CI 2.2-7.4; p < .001), who reported STI symptoms in the past 12 months (aOR 2.7; 95% CI 1.7-4.2; p < .001), and HIV positive (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.0-3.7; p = .05) were more likely to have paid for sex in the last 12 months. These findings present the HIV prevalence among Mozambican MPS and highlight the need for a comprehensive behavioral, structural, and biomedical approach to interventions to reduce the risks of commercial and transactional sex.

      17. Progression and transmission of HIV (PATH 4.0)-A new agent-based evolving network simulation for modeling HIV transmission clustersexternal icon
        Singh S, France AM, Chen YH, Farnham PG, Oster AM, Gopalappa C.
        Math Biosci Eng. 2021 ;18(3):2150-2181.
        We present the Progression and Transmission of HIV (PATH 4.0), a simulation tool for analyses of cluster detection and intervention strategies. Molecular clusters are groups of HIV infections that are genetically similar, indicating rapid HIV transmission where HIV prevention resources are needed to improve health outcomes and prevent new infections. PATH 4.0 was constructed using a newly developed agent-based evolving network modeling (ABENM) technique and evolving contact network algorithm (ECNA) for generating scale-free networks. ABENM and ECNA were developed to facilitate simulation of transmission networks for low-prevalence diseases, such as HIV, which creates computational challenges for current network simulation techniques. Simulating transmission networks is essential for studying network dynamics, including clusters. We validated PATH 4.0 by comparing simulated projections of HIV diagnoses with estimates from the National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS) for 2010-2017. We also applied a cluster generation algorithm to PATH 4.0 to estimate cluster features, including the distribution of persons with diagnosed HIV infection by cluster status and size and the size distribution of clusters. Simulated features matched well with NHSS estimates, which used molecular methods to detect clusters among HIV nucleotide sequences of persons with HIV diagnosed during 2015-2017. Cluster detection and response is a component of the U.S. Ending the HIV Epidemic strategy. While surveillance is critical for detecting clusters, a model in conjunction with surveillance can allow us to refine cluster detection methods, understand factors associated with cluster growth, and assess interventions to inform effective response strategies. As surveillance data are only available for cases that are diagnosed and reported, a model is a critical tool to understand the true size of clusters and assess key questions, such as the relative contributions of clusters to onward transmissions. We believe PATH 4.0 is the first modeling tool available to assess cluster detection and response at the national-level and could help inform the national strategic plan. © 2021 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (

      18. Neisseria meningitidis urethritis in a Thai maleexternal icon
        Tongtoyai J, Tatakham N, Cherdtrakulkiat T, Sirivongrangson P, Hickey A.
        J Health Sci Med Res. 2021 ;39(3):251-255.
        Although Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) urogenital infections have been reported widely, meningococcal urethritis has not been reported previously in Thailand. A 42-year-old Thai male presented at a sexual health clinic with dysuria and urethral discharge following oral and insertive anal intercourse. N. meningitidis, serogroup C was cultured from a urethral discharge specimen and the patient was treated successfully with standard treatment for gonococcal urethritis. This case reflects a growing trend of reports describing meningococcal urethritis, likely resulting from sexual contact. © 2020 JHSMR. Hosting by Prince of Songkla University.

      19. The first sixty days of COVID-19 in a humanitarian response setting: a descriptive epidemiological analysis of the outbreak in South Sudanexternal icon
        Waya JL, Lako R, Bunga S, Chun H, Mize V, Ambani B, Wamala JF, Guyo AG, Gray JH, Gai M, Maleghemi S, Kol M, Rumunu J, Tukuru M, Olu OO.
        Pan Afr Med J. 2020 ;37:384.
        INTRODUCTION: the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. South Sudan, a low-income and humanitarian response setting, reported its first case of COVID-19 on April 5, 2020. We describe the socio-demographic and epidemiologic characteristics of COVID-19 cases in this setting. METHODS: we conducted a cross-sectional descriptive analysis of data for 1,330 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the first 60 days of the outbreak. RESULTS: among the 1,330 confirmed cases, the mean age was 37.1 years, 77% were male, 17% were symptomatic with 95% categorized as mild, and the case fatality rate was 1.1%. Only 24.7% of cases were detected through alerts and sentinel site surveillance, with 95% of the cases reported from the capital, Juba. Epidemic doubling time averaged 9.8 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.7 - 13.4), with an attack rate of 11.5 per 100,000 population. Test positivity rate was 18.2%, with test rate per 100,000 population of 53 and mean test turn-around time of 9 days. The case to contact ratio was 1: 2.2. CONCLUSION: this 2-month initial period of COVID-19 in South Sudan demonstrated mostly young adults and men affected, with most cases reported as asymptomatic. Systems´ limitations highlighted included a small proportion of cases detected through surveillance, low testing rates, low contact elicitation, and long collection to test turn-around times limiting the country´s ability to effectively respond to the outbreak. A multi-pronged response including greater access to testing, scale-up of surveillance, contact tracing and community engagement, among other interventions are needed to improve the COVID-19 response in this setting.

      20. STI Prevalence, Incidence, and Costs in the United States: New Estimates, New Approachexternal icon
        Weinstock HS, Kreisel KM, Spicknall IH, Chesson HW, Miller WC.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Apr 1;48(4):207.

      21. Place-Based Correlates of Exchange Sex Among People Who Inject Drugs in 19 U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2012external icon
        Wise A, Kianian B, Chang H, Linton S, Wolfe ME, Smith J, Tempalski B, Des Jarlais D, Ross Z, Semaan S, Wejnert C, Broz D, Cooper H.
        Arch Sex Behav. 2021 Apr 1.
        This study examined overall and gender-specific associations between place-based characteristics and opposite-sex exchange sex among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the U.S. PWID were recruited from 19 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2012 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance. Administrative data were used to describe the economic, social, and political features of the ZIP codes, MSAs, counties, and states where PWID lived. Multilevel modeling estimated associations of place characteristics and exchange sex. We found that 52% of women and 23% of men reported past-year opposite-sex exchange sex (N = 7599). Female PWID living in states with stronger policies supporting working caregivers had lower odds of exchange sex (aOR = 0.80; 95% CI 0.69, 0.94). PWID living in ZIP codes with greater economic deprivation had higher odds of exchange sex (aOR = 1.10; 95% CI 1.03, 1.17). We found that a high percentage of male PWID exchanged sex with women; determinants and risks of this group merit exploration. If future research establishes that the relationships identified here are causal, interventions to reduce exchange sex among PWID should include policies supporting working caregivers and reducing poverty rates.

      22. Outbreak of COVID-19 and Interventions in a Large Jail - Cook County, IL, United States, 2020external icon
        Zawitz C, Welbel S, Ghinai I, Mennella C, Levin R, Samala U, Smith MB, Gubser J, Jones B, Varela K, Kirbiyik U, Rafinski J, Fitzgerald A, Orris P, Bahls A, Black SR, Binder AM, Armstrong PA.
        Am J Infect Control. 2021 Apr 1.
        BACKGROUND: Correctional and detention facilities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to shared space, contact between staff and detained persons, and movement within facilities. On March 18, 2020, Cook County Jail, one of the United States' largest, identified its first suspected case of COVID-19 in a detained person. METHODS: This analysis includes SARS-CoV-2 cases confirmed by molecular detection among detained persons and Cook County Sheriff's Office staff. We examined occurrence of symptomatic cases in each building and proportions of asymptomatic detained persons testing positive, and timing of interventions including social distancing, mask use, and expanded testing and show outbreak trajectory in the jail compared to case counts in Chicago. RESULTS: During March 1-April 30, 907 symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were detected among detained persons (n = 628) and staff (n = 279). Among asymptomatic detained persons in quarantine, 23.6% tested positive. Programmatic activity and visitation stopped March 9, cells were converted into single occupancy beginning March 26, and universal masking was implemented for staff (April 2) and detained persons (April 13). Cases at the jail declined while cases in Chicago increased. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Aggressive intervention strategies coupled with widespread diagnostic testing of detained and staff populations can limit introduction and mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection in correctional and detention facilities.

    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services
      1. Factors That Affect Emergency Responder Wellbeing: Considerations for Public Health Respondersexternal icon
        Gebreyesus T, Cohen J, Rasulnia B, Kuwabara S.
        Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021 Apr 5:1-9.
        PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to identify key risk factors that could negatively affect public health emergency responders' health and wellbeing. We seek to use this information to provide recommendations and strategies to mitigate such risks. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A narrative review of the peer-reviewed literature on wellbeing of military personnel and other responders was conducted. Data was grouped and categorized according to overarching domains. FINDINGS: Factors associated with wellbeing were categorized into 5 domains: (1) demographics; (2) mental health concerns; (3) social networks; (4) work environment; and (5) postdeployment life. The strategies identified to promote wellbeing included mental health assessments, preparedness trainings, debriefs in the field, postdeployment debriefs, resources in the field, and further postdeployment decompression strategies. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This study provides a unique understanding of the risk factors associated with poor health and wellbeing outcomes in public health emergency response work by extending the body of knowledge that focuses on other types of emergency and military response.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Pesticide resistance in medically significant disease vectors can negatively impact the efficacy of control efforts. Resistance research on ticks has focused primarily on species of veterinary significance that experience relatively high degrees of control pressure. Resistance in tick vectors of medical significance has received little attention, in part because area-wide pesticide applications are not used to control these generalist tick species. One of the few effective methods currently used for area-wide control of medically important ticks, including Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), is deployment of 4-poster devices. Deer self-apply a topical acaricide (permethrin) while feeding on corn from the devices. A 4-poster program using permethrin has been deployed on Shelter Island, NY to control I. scapularis populations since 2008. We collected engorged female ticks from deer in this management area and a location in the Mid-Hudson River Valley, NY without area-wide tick control. Larvae were reared from egg masses and their susceptibility to permethrin was tested. Larvae originating from a long-term laboratory colony were used as a susceptible baseline for comparison. Compared against the laboratory colony, resistance ratios at LC-50 for Shelter Island and Hudson Valley I. scapularis were 1.87 and 1.51, respectively. The susceptibilities of the field populations to permethrin were significantly lower than that of the colony ticks. We provide the first data using the larval packet test to establish baseline susceptibility for I. scapularis to permethrin along with information relevant to understanding resistance emergence in tick populations under sustained control pressure from 4-poster devices.

      2. Molecular Confirmation of Anopheles melas (Diptera: Culicidae) in Democratic Republic of Congoexternal icon
        Moyo M, Lawrence GG, Bobanga T, Irish SR.
        Afr Entomol. 2021 ;29(1):298-300.

      3. Octomitus is a diplomonad genus known to inhabit the intestinal tracts of rodents. Ultrastructural morphology and 18S rDNA gene sequence analysis support the placement of Octomitus as the closest sister lineage to Giardia, a parasite which causes diarrheal disease in humans and animals worldwide. However, further information on the ecology and diversity of Octomitus is currently scarce. Expanding the available database of characterized sequences for this organism would therefore be helpful to studies of Diplomonad ecology, evolution, and epidemiology, particularly related to the evolution of parasitism in Giardia and Spironucleus, another related Diplomonad common in commercial fish farming. In order to study the prevalence and genotypic diversity of Octomitus, we developed a nested PCR assay specific to Octomitus and optimized to detect genotypes in fecal samples collected from wildlife in a New York watershed, and sequenced a portion of the small subunit ribosomal DNA (18S rDNA) gene to identify samples to species level. Molecular evidence suggested that Octomitus genotypes display similar prevalence to Cryptosporidium and microsporidian pathogens in wildlife as well as strong host preference for rodent and opossum hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed strong support for 14 Octomitus genotypes, 13 of these novel, and patterns of host-parasite co-evolution. © 2021

    • Environmental Health
      1. Marginal warming associated with a COVID-19 quarantine and the implications for disease transmissionexternal icon
        Miller PW, Reesman C, Grossman MK, Nelson SA, Liu V, Wang P.
        Sci Total Environ. 2021 Mar 19;780:146579.
        During January-February 2020, parts of China faced restricted mobility under COVID-19 quarantines, which have been associated with improved air quality. Because particulate pollutants scatter, diffuse, and absorb incoming solar radiation, a net negative radiative forcing, decreased air pollution can yield surface warming. As such, this study (1) documents the evolution of China's January-February 2020 air temperature and concurrent particulate changes; (2) determines the temperature response related to reduced particulates during the COVID-19 quarantine (C19Q); and (3) discusses the conceptual implications for temperature-dependent disease transmission. C19Q particulate evolution is monitored using satellite analyses, and concurrent temperature anomalies are diagnosed using surface stations and Aqua AIRS imagery. Meanwhile, two WRF-Chem simulations are forced by normal emissions and the satellite-based urban aerosol changes, respectively. Urban aerosols decreased from 27.1% of pre-C19Q aerosols to only 17.5% during C19Q. WRF-Chem resolved ~0.2 °C warming across east-central China, that represented a minor, though statistically significant contribution to C19Q temperature anomalies. The largest area of warming is concentrated south of Chengdu and Wuhan where temperatures increased between +0.2-0.3 °C. The results of this study are important for understanding the anthropogenic forcing on regional meteorology. Epidemiologically, the marginal, yet persistent, warming during C19Q may retard temperature-dependent disease transmission, possibly including SARS-CoV-2.

      2. Acceptability of urine diversion dry toilets in Dollo Ado refugee camp, Ethiopiaexternal icon
        Patrick M, Tsige Y, Adow A, Abdirashid M, Yunis H, Githiri D, Hulland E, Murphy J, Akers P, Brown TW, Blanton C, Handzel T.
        Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2021 Mar 31;234:113745.
        Given the increasing frequency and duration of humanitarian emergencies worldwide, there is a need to identify a greater range of effective and contextually appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. Typical sanitation systems may be poorly suited for some of the conditions in which humanitarian emergencies can occur, such as in drought-prone regions. Urine-diversion dry toilets (UDDTs) are one potential alternative sanitation option which can be used in these conditions. Between 2014 and 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with local agencies to evaluate the acceptability of UDDTs in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. The overall goals were to provide evidence regarding the level of adoption and satisfaction with UDDTs in this emergency context and the factors associated with satisfaction. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted 18-months apart, using a stratified design to sample UDDT and latrine users for comparison. The proportion who reported to use their UDDT consistently was 88.8% (95% CI 85.1-92.5) in the first survey and 93.4% (95% CI 90.6-96.2) in the second survey. Reported satisfaction levels were significantly higher among respondents in the second survey (p < 0.0001), where 97.0% (95% CI 95.1-98.9) of respondents stated either that they were mostly or very satisfied with their UDDT. There was no significant difference detected in satisfaction between UDDT and latrine users (p = 0.28). Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we identified several factors associated with a higher level of satisfaction with UDDTs. Those who had previously (before coming to the camp) used a pit latrine (AOR = 4.2; 95% CI 1.4-12.7) or had no sanitation system (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.3-4.4) relative to a pour-flush toilet, had a clean UDDT (AOR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.7-4.6), had been in the camp for a longer time period (AOR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.7-3.0), did not share their UDDT (AOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.0-3.0) and had used their UDDT for a longer time period (AOR = 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.4) had higher odds of satisfaction. The findings demonstrate that UDDTs have been effectively introduced and utilized in this context and this may have implications for other humanitarian settings where they can be similarly managed.

      3. The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) support and conduct research advancing national, state, and local public health response to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals used in industry and consumer products that persist in the environment. Given the growing evidence linking PFAS with adverse health effects in humans, NCEH and ATSDR developed a public health research framework to capture the broad range of PFAS research activities being conducted and supported by the agency to determine future research priorities and identify opportunities for interagency collaboration. The framework was conceptualized via a multidisciplinary visioning process designed to identify compelling questions and research activities that span five scientific domains: toxicology, exposure, human health, public health action, and cross-cutting priorities. This paper presents a framework, compelling questions and research activities to help NCEH and ATSDR advance scientific discovery in partnership with federal, state, and local stakeholders as part of a comprehensive public health response to PFAS contamination.

      4. Chronic environmental contamination: A narrative review of psychosocial health consequences, risk factors, and pathways to community resilienceexternal icon
        Sullivan D, Schmitt HJ, Calloway EE, Clausen W, Tucker P, Rayman J, Gerhardstein B.
        Soc Sci Med. 2021 Mar 24;276:113877.
        A body of psychological and social scientific evidence suggests that the experience of technological disaster or long-term exposure to environmental contamination can be psychologically stressful. Addressing the psychosocial impact in communities living with chronic contamination is therefore a vital part of improving their resilience. Guided by a synthetic theoretical model of the unique psychosocial impact of chronic environmental contamination (in contrast to natural and technological disasters, and background pollution), we undertook a narrative review to assess the current research on this important social problem. Relevant qualitative peer-reviewed studies and grey literature were examined to derive a model identifying likely factors increasing risk for distress in chronic contamination experience and actions that may be taken by public health professionals and local leaders to enhance community resilience and take health-protective actions. Based on our initial theoretical model and the literature reviewed, we emphasize the importance of considering both the material and social dimensions of chronic environmental contamination experience. For instance, our review of the qualitative literature suggests that individuals who attribute material health impacts to contamination, and who have the social experience of their concerns being delegitimized by responsible institutions, are most at risk for psychological stress. Psychological stress in the context of chronic contamination is an important potential public health burden and a key area for additional research.

    • Food Safety
      1. Rare Norovirus GIV Foodborne Outbreak, Wisconsin, USAexternal icon
        Barclay L, Davis T, Vinjé J.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):1151-1154.
        We report a norovirus GIV outbreak in the United States, 15 years after the last reported outbreak. During May 2016 in Wisconsin, 53 persons, including 4 food handlers, reported being ill. The outbreak was linked to individually prepared fruit consumed as a fruit salad. The virus was phylogenetically classified as a novel GIV genotype.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Candida auris Whole-Genome Sequence Benchmark Dataset for Phylogenomic Pipelinesexternal icon
        Welsh RM, Misas E, Forsberg K, Lyman M, Chow NA.
        J Fungi (Basel). 2021 Mar 16;7(3).
        Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant pathogen that represents a serious public health threat due to its rapid global emergence, increasing incidence of healthcare-associated outbreaks, and high rates of antifungal resistance. Whole-genome sequencing and genomic surveillance have the potential to bolster C. auris surveillance networks moving forward. Laboratories conducting genomic surveillance need to be able to compare analyses from various national and international surveillance partners to ensure that results are mutually trusted and understood. Therefore, we established an empirical outbreak benchmark dataset consisting of 23 C. auris genomes to help validate comparisons of genomic analyses and facilitate communication among surveillance networks. Our outbreak benchmark dataset represents a polyclonal phylogeny with three subclades. The genomes in this dataset are from well-vetted studies that are supported by multiple lines of evidence, which demonstrate that the whole-genome sequencing data, phylogenetic tree, and epidemiological data are all in agreement. This C. auris benchmark set allows for standardized comparisons of phylogenomic pipelines, ultimately promoting effective C. auris collaborations.

    • Global Health
      1. Applying a One Health Approach in Global Health and Medicine: Enhancing Involvement of Medical Schools and Global Health Centersexternal icon
        Machalaba C, Raufman J, Anyamba A, Berrian AM, Berthe FC, Gray GC, Jonas O, Karesh WB, Larsen MH, Laxminarayan R, Madoff LC, Martin K, Mazet JA, Mumford E, Parker T, Pintea L, Rostal MK, de Castañeda RR, Vora NM, Wannous C, Weiss LM.
        Ann Glob Health. 2021 Mar 26;87(1):30.
        BACKGROUND: Multidisciplinary and multisectoral approaches such as One Health and related concepts (e.g., Planetary Health, EcoHealth) offer opportunities for synergistic expertise to address complex health threats. The connections between humans, animals, and the environment necessitate collaboration among sectors to comprehensively understand and reduce risks and consequences on health and wellbeing. One Health approaches are increasingly emphasized for national and international plans and strategies related to zoonotic diseases, food safety, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change, but to date, the possible applications in clinical practice and benefits impacting human health are largely missing. METHODS: In 2018 the "Application of the One Health Approach to Global Health Centers" conference held at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine convened experts involved in One Health policy and practice. The conference examined issues relevant to One Health approaches, sharing examples of challenges and successes to guide application to medical school curricula and clinical practice for human health. This paper presents a synthesis of conference proceedings, framed around objectives identified from presentations and audience feedback. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The following objectives provide opportunities for One Health involvement and benefits for medical schools and global health centers by: 1) Improving One Health resource sharing in global health and medical education; 2) Creating pathways for information flow in clinical medicine and global health practice; 3) Developing innovative partnerships for improved health sector outcomes; and 4) Informing and empowering health through public outreach. These objectives can leverage existing resources to deliver value to additional settings and stakeholders through resource efficiency, more holistic and effective service delivery, and greater ability to manage determinants of poor health status. We encourage medical and global health educators, practitioners, and students to explore entry points where One Health can add value to their work from local to global scale.

    • Health Behavior and Risk
      1. Introduction: Sexual behavior information can provide context for understanding rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and inform potential impact of interventions. Methods: We used 2013–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 4930) and 2011–2015 National Survey of Family Growth (n = 16,643) data from sexually experienced 20–44-year old US females and males to estimate the number of lifetime and past year partners and percent with a new past year partner overall and by marital status, in 5-year age groups. Group differences were qualitatively assessed. Results: Estimates from both surveys were comparable. The median number of lifetime sex partners ranged from 4.2 to 5.2 across age groups among females and was higher among older (9.1) than younger (4.6) males, persons with a new past year partner than those without, and persons widowed/divorced/separated/never married than those married/living with partner. Percents with ≥ 2 past year partners and a new past year partner were highest in the youngest age group and lower with age. Percent with a new past year partner was 19–46 percentage points higher in persons widowed/divorced/separated/never married (range 21.7–56.4%) compared to persons married/living with partner (range 2.7–12.4%). Conclusions: In the USA, there are differences in sexual behaviors by gender, age, and marital status. The percent of adults with a new sex partner is lower with increasing age; however, a portion of all subgroups reported having had a new sex partner in the past year indicating some adults remain at risk of acquiring an STI. Policy Implications: These data can help inform policies for STI screening and other interventions. © 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

    • Health Economics
      1. The Estimated Lifetime Medical Cost of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis in the United States, 2018external icon
        Kumar S, Chesson HW, Spicknall IH, Kreisel KM, Gift TL.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Apr 1;48(4):238-246.
        BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to provide updated estimates of the average lifetime medical cost per infection for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. METHODS: We adapted a published decision tree model that allowed for 7 possible outcomes of infection: (1) symptomatic infection, treated, no sequelae; (2) symptomatic infection, not treated, sequelae; (3) symptomatic infection, not treated, no sequelae; (4) asymptomatic infection, treated, sequelae; (5) asymptomatic infection, treated, no sequelae; (6) asymptomatic infection, not treated, sequelae; and (7) asymptomatic infection, not treated, no sequelae. The base case values and ranges we applied for the model inputs (i.e., the probability and cost assumptions) were based on published studies. RESULTS: The estimated lifetime medical costs per infection for men and women, respectively, were $46 (95% credibility interval, $32-$62) and $262 ($127-$483) for chlamydia, $78 ($36-$145) and $254 ($96-$518) for gonorrhea, and $5 ($1-$14) and $36 ($17-$58) for trichomoniasis. Cost estimates for men were most sensitive to assumptions regarding the probability that the infection is symptomatic, the probability of treatment if asymptomatic, and the cost of treatment of infection. Cost estimates for chlamydia and gonorrhea in women were most sensitive to assumptions regarding the probability and cost of subsequent pelvic inflammatory disease. CONCLUSIONS: These estimates of the lifetime medical cost per infection can inform updated estimates of the total annual cost of sexually transmitted infections in the United States, as well as analyses of the value and cost-effectiveness of sexually transmitted infection prevention interventions.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Antimicrobial Use in a Cohort of US Nursing Homes, 2017external icon
        Thompson ND, Stone ND, Brown CJ, Penna AR, Eure TR, Bamberg WM, Barney GR, Barter D, Clogher P, DeSilva MB, Dumyati G, Frank L, Felsen CB, Godine D, Irizarry L, Kainer MA, Li L, Lynfield R, Mahoehney JP, Maloney M, Nadle J, Ocampo VL, Pierce R, Ray SM, Davis SS, Sievers M, Srinivasan K, Wilson LE, Zhang AY, Magill SS.
        Jama. 2021 Apr 6;325(13):1286-1295.
        IMPORTANCE: Controlling antimicrobial resistance in health care is a public health priority, although data describing antimicrobial use in US nursing homes are limited. OBJECTIVE: To measure the prevalence of antimicrobial use and describe antimicrobial classes and common indications among nursing home residents. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional, 1-day point-prevalence surveys of antimicrobial use performed between April 2017 and October 2017, last survey date October 31, 2017, and including 15 276 residents present on the survey date in 161 randomly selected nursing homes from selected counties of 10 Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states. EIP staff reviewed nursing home records to collect data on characteristics of residents and antimicrobials administered at the time of the survey. Nursing home characteristics were obtained from nursing home staff and the Nursing Home Compare website. EXPOSURES: Residence in one of the participating nursing homes at the time of the survey. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Prevalence of antimicrobial use per 100 residents, defined as the number of residents receiving antimicrobial drugs at the time of the survey divided by the total number of surveyed residents. Multivariable logistic regression modeling of antimicrobial use and percentages of drugs within various classifications. RESULTS: Among 15 276 nursing home residents included in the study (mean [SD] age, 77.6 [13.7] years; 9475 [62%] women), complete prevalence data were available for 96.8%. The overall antimicrobial use prevalence was 8.2 per 100 residents (95% CI, 7.8-8.8). Antimicrobial use was more prevalent in residents admitted to the nursing home within 30 days before the survey date (18.8 per 100 residents; 95% CI, 17.4-20.3), with central venous catheters (62.8 per 100 residents; 95% CI, 56.9-68.3) or with indwelling urinary catheters (19.1 per 100 residents; 95% CI, 16.4-22.0). Antimicrobials were most often used to treat active infections (77% [95% CI, 74.8%-79.2%]) and primarily for urinary tract infections (28.1% [95% CI, 15.5%-30.7%]). While 18.2% (95% CI, 16.1%-20.1%) were for medical prophylaxis, most often use was for the urinary tract (40.8% [95% CI, 34.8%-47.1%]). Fluoroquinolones were the most common antimicrobial class (12.9% [95% CI, 11.3%-14.8%]), and 33.1% (95% CI, 30.7%-35.6%) of antimicrobials used were broad-spectrum antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional survey of a cohort of US nursing homes in 2017, prevalence of antimicrobial use was 8.2 per 100 residents. This study provides information on the patterns of antimicrobial use among these nursing home residents.

      2. Influenza-associated aspergillosis (IAA) is an emerging phenomenon in intensive care unit patients with severe influenza. In a large US health insurance claims database, IAA was uncommon (0.3%) during 2013-2018. The low IAA frequency likely reflects underdiagnosis and differences in medical practices or epidemiologic differences.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Reactogenicity Following Receipt of mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccinesexternal icon
        Chapin-Bardales J, Gee J, Myers T.
        Jama. 2021 Apr 5.

      2. Association of Inadvertent 9-Valent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Pregnancy With Spontaneous Abortion and Adverse Birth Outcomesexternal icon
        Kharbanda EO, Vazquez-Benitez G, DeSilva MB, Naleway AL, Klein NP, Hechter RC, Glanz JM, Donahue JG, Jackson LA, Sheth SS, Greenberg V, Panagiotakopoulos L, Mba-Jonas A, Lipkind HS.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Apr 1;4(4):e214340.
        IMPORTANCE: The 9-valent human papillomavirus (9vHPV) vaccine is recommended for individuals through age 26 years and may be administered to women up to age 45 years. Data on 9vHPV vaccine exposures during pregnancy are limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the associations between 9vHPV vaccine exposures during pregnancy or peripregnancy and selected pregnancy and birth outcomes (spontaneous abortion [SAB], preterm birth, small-for-gestational age [SGA] birth, and major structural birth defect). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study analyzed data from 7 participating health systems in the Vaccine Safety Datalink. The cohort comprised pregnancies among girls and women aged 12 to 28 years that ended between October 26, 2015, and November 15, 2018. Singleton pregnancies that ended in a live birth, stillbirth, or SAB were included. EXPOSURES: Vaccine exposure windows were distal (9vHPV or 4vHPV vaccine administered from 22 to 16 weeks before last menstrual period [LMP]), peripregnancy (9vHPV vaccine administered from 42 days before LMP until LMP), and during pregnancy (9vHPV vaccine administered from LMP to 19 completed weeks' gestation). Primary comparisons were (1) girls and women with 9vHPV vaccine exposures during pregnancy vs those with 4vHPV or 9vHPV distal vaccine exposures, (2) girls and women with vaccine exposures peripregnancy vs those with 4vHPV or 9vHPV distal vaccine exposures, and (3) girls and women with 9vHPV vaccine exposures during pregnancy or peripregnancy vs those with 4vHPV or 9vHPV distal vaccine exposure. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Spontaneous abortions were confirmed based on medical record review and adjudication. Preterm and SGA births were identified from electronic health record and birth data. Major structural birth defects were based on diagnostic codes using a validated algorithm. Inverse probability weighting was used to balance the covariates. Time-dependent covariate Cox proportional hazards regression models and Poisson regression were used to estimate the associations between 9vHPV vaccine exposures and pregnancy and birth outcomes. RESULTS: The final cohort included 1493 pregnancies among girls and women with a mean (SD) maternal age of 23.9 (2.9) years. Of these pregnancies, 445 (29.8%) had exposures to the 9vHPV vaccine during pregnancy, 496 (33.2%) had exposures to the 9vHPV vaccine peripregnancy, and 552 (37.0%) had 4vHPV or 9vHPV distal vaccine exposures. The 9vHPV vaccine administered during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk for SAB (hazard ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.66-1.93) compared with distal vaccine exposures. Findings were similar for 9vHPV vaccine exposures peripregnancy (relative risk [RR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.42-1.24). Among live births (n = 1409), 9vHPV vaccine exposures during pregnancy were not associated with increased risks for preterm birth (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.44-1.20) or SGA birth (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.78-2.20). Results were similar regarding the association between 9vHPV vaccine exposures peripregnancy and preterm birth (RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.45-1.17) and SGA birth (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.65-1.88). Birth defects were rare in all exposure groups, occurring in about 1% of live births with available infant data. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study found that 9vHPV vaccine exposures during or around the time of pregnancy were uncommon and not associated with SABs or selected adverse birth outcomes. These findings can inform counseling for inadvertent 9vHPV vaccine exposures.

    • Informatics
      1. Trojan Horse: An Analysis of Targeted Advertising to Reduce Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among YMSMexternal icon
        Tolosa-Kline A, Yom-Tov E, Hoffman C, Walker-Baban C, Lewis FM.
        Health Educ Behav. 2021 Apr 3.
        BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men (MSM) increasingly use internet-based websites and geospatial apps to seek sex. Though these platforms may be useful for public health intervention, evaluations of such interventions are rare. We sought to evaluate the online behavior of young MSM of color in Philadelphia and the effectiveness of using ads to link them to, where users can order free condoms, lubricant, and sexually transmitted infection test kits delivered via the U.S. postal service. METHOD: Data collection and analyses were conducted in two phases. First, we performed keyword research and analyzed web browser logs using a proprietary data set owned by Microsoft. Subsequently, we ran a Google Ads campaign using the keywords identified in the preliminary phase, and directed targeted users to the condom or test kit ordering pages. Results were analyzed using MATLAB 2018. RESULTS: Test kit advertisements received 5,628 impressions, 157 clicks, and 18 unique conversions. The condom advertisements received 128,007 impressions, 2,583 clicks, and 303 unique conversions. Correlation between the click-through rate and the conversion rate per keyword was ρ = -.35 (P = .0096) and per advertisement was ρ = .40 (P = .14). Keywords that directly related to condoms were most effective for condom ordering (42% conversion rate vs. ≤2% for other classes), while keywords emphasizing the adverse effects of unprotected sex were most effective in test kit ordering (91% conversion rate vs. 13% and 12% for other classes). CONCLUSIONS: Online advertisements seemed to affect real-world sexual health behavior, as measured by orders of condoms and test kits, among a group of young MSM living in the same community.

      2. Iterative guided machine learning-assisted systematic literature reviews: a diabetes case studyexternal icon
        Zimmerman J, Soler RE, Lavinder J, Murphy S, Atkins C, Hulbert L, Lusk R, Ng BP.
        Syst Rev. 2021 Apr 2;10(1):97.
        BACKGROUND: Systematic Reviews (SR), studies of studies, use a formal process to evaluate the quality of scientific literature and determine ensuing effectiveness from qualifying articles to establish consensus findings around a hypothesis. Their value is increasing as the conduct and publication of research and evaluation has expanded and the process of identifying key insights becomes more time consuming. Text analytics and machine learning (ML) techniques may help overcome this problem of scale while still maintaining the level of rigor expected of SRs. METHODS: In this article, we discuss an approach that uses existing examples of SRs to build and test a method for assisting the SR title and abstract pre-screening by reducing the initial pool of potential articles down to articles that meet inclusion criteria. Our approach differs from previous approaches to using ML as a SR tool in that it incorporates ML configurations guided by previously conducted SRs, and human confirmation on ML predictions of relevant articles during multiple iterative reviews on smaller tranches of citations. We applied the tailored method to a new SR review effort to validate performance. RESULTS: The case study test of the approach proved a sensitivity (recall) in finding relevant articles during down selection that may rival many traditional processes and show ability to overcome most type II errors. The study achieved a sensitivity of 99.5% (213 out of 214) of total relevant articles while only conducting a human review of 31% of total articles available for review. CONCLUSIONS: We believe this iterative method can help overcome bias in initial ML model training by having humans reinforce ML models with new and relevant information, and is an applied step towards transfer learning for ML in SR.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Engaging Parents in Zimbabwe to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse: A Pilot Evaluationexternal icon
        Shaw S, Cham HJ, Galloway E, Winskell K, Mupambireyi Z, Kasese C, Bangani Z, Miller K.
        J Child Fam Stud. 2021 .
        Data from the Violence Against Children Surveys reveal alarming rates of child sexual abuse (CSA) in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the critical need for public health programming to prevent and respond to this issue. This paper describes the results of the Families Matter! Program (FMP) pilot evaluation study conducted in two urban suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe to measure the effect of a new FMP session about preventing and responding to CSA. FMP is an evidence-based intervention for parents of adolescents designed to promote positive parenting practices and effective parent–child communication about sexual risk reduction and HIV prevention. We applied a pre/post-prospective study design to assess changes in CSA-related indicators such as parental monitoring, parent–child communication about CSA, and ability to respond to instances of CSA. Parents and their children (ages 9–12) enrolled in the study as dyads and participated in two assessments administered via ACASI prior to and three months following the intervention, with 248 dyads completing both assessments. Parents and children reported significantly higher levels of parental monitoring (p < 1.001) and communication about CSA after the intervention (p < 0.001). Significantly more parents also reported conversations with people in their community about CSA (p < 0.001) and knowledge of where to access services if their child was abused (p < 0.001). The pilot evaluation suggests that FMP equipped parents with skills and knowledge to prevent and respond to CSA, and increased communication regarding CSA within communities, further normalizing the need to address and talk about child abuse, CSA in particular. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Difficulties in Differentiating Coronaviruses from Subcellular Structures in Human Tissues by Electron Microscopyexternal icon
        Bullock HA, Goldsmith CS, Zaki SR, Martines RB, Miller SE.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):1023-1031.
        Efforts to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have placed a renewed focus on the use of transmission electron microscopy for identifying coronavirus in tissues. In attempts to attribute pathology of COVID-19 patients directly to tissue damage caused by SARS-CoV-2, investigators have inaccurately reported subcellular structures, including coated vesicles, multivesicular bodies, and vesiculating rough endoplasmic reticulum, as coronavirus particles. We describe morphologic features of coronavirus that distinguish it from subcellular structures, including particle size range (60-140 nm), intracellular particle location within membrane-bound vacuoles, and a nucleocapsid appearing in cross section as dense dots (6-12 nm) within the particles. In addition, although the characteristic spikes of coronaviruses may be visible on the virus surface, especially on extracellular particles, they are less evident in thin sections than in negative stain preparations.

      2. Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by the free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris is a highly fatal disease that was first isolated from a mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), and has since been diagnosed in several nonhuman primates including orangutans. Indirect immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) techniques for Balamuthia have been used in the fields of human medicine and epidemiology both for exposure assessment and screening of clinical patients for antemortem diagnosis. Stored serum samples from five captive Northwest Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus), including one who had died from B. mandrillaris infection, housed at a single facility were screened with a human IFA assay for B. mandrillaris. Only the single, clinically affected individual was seropositive, and the results suggest that the use of the available human B. mandrillaris IFA assay is a novel diagnostic option for detection of Balamuthia antibodies in this species. A validated screening serological test could be used in individuals exhibiting signs consistent with granulomatous amoebic encephalitis to facilitate earlier antemortem diagnosis of Balamuthia infection, which is critical if treatment is to be pursued. This pilot study presents the use of serological detection methods for B. mandrillaris screening in a nonhuman primate. Subsequent use of the B. mandrillaris IFA assay in the larger captive population should be pursued for validation of the test and to provide further information on seroprevalence and evaluation of risk factors for exposure to Balamuthia and subsequent development of disease.

      3. Malignant pleural mesothelioma interactome with 364 novel protein‐protein interactionsexternal icon
        Karunakaran KB, Yanamala N, Boyce G, Becich MJ, Ganapathiraju MK.
        Cancers. 2021 ;13(7).
        Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer affecting the outer lining of the lung, with a median survival of less than one year. We constructed an ‘MPM interactome’ with over 300 computationally predicted protein‐protein interactions (PPIs) and over 2400 known PPIs of 62 literature‐curated genes whose activity affects MPM. Known PPIs of the 62 MPM associated genes were derived from Biological General Repository for Interaction Datasets (BioGRID) and Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD). Novel PPIs were predicted by applying the HiPPIP algorithm, which computes features of protein pairs such as cellular localization, molecular func-tion, biological process membership, genomic location of the gene, and gene expression in microar-ray experiments, and classifies the pairwise features as interacting or non‐interacting based on a random forest model. We validated five novel predicted PPIs experimentally. The interactome is significantly enriched with genes differentially ex‐pressed in MPM tumors compared with normal pleura and with other thoracic tumors, genes whose high expression has been correlated with un-favorable prognosis in lung cancer, genes differentially expressed on crocidolite exposure, and ex-osome‐derived proteins identified from malignant mesothelioma cell lines. 28 of the interactors of MPM proteins are targets of 147 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)‐approved drugs. By comparing disease‐associated versus drug‐induced differential expression profiles, we identified five potentially repurposable drugs, namely cabazitaxel, primaquine, pyrimethamine, trime-thoprim and gliclazide. Preclinical studies may be con‐ducted in vitro to validate these computa-tional results. Interactome analysis of disease‐associated genes is a powerful approach with high translational impact. It shows how MPM‐associated genes identified by various high throughput studies are functionally linked, leading to clinically translatable results such as repurposed drugs. The PPIs are made available on a webserver with interactive user interface, visualization and advanced search capabilities.

      4. Standardizing clinical culture specimen collection in Ethiopia: a training-of-trainersexternal icon
        Kue J, Bersani A, Stevenson K, Yimer G, Wang SH, Gebreyes W, Hazim C, Westercamp M, Omondi M, Amare B, Alebachew G, Abubeker R, Fentaw S, Tigabu E, Kirley D, Vanderende D, Bancroft E, Gallagher KM, Kanter T, Balada-Llasat JM.
        BMC Med Educ. 2021 Apr 7;21(1):195.
        BACKGROUND: Proper specimen collection is central to improving patient care by ensuring optimal yield of diagnostic tests, guiding appropriate management, and targeting treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe the development and implementation of a training-of-trainers educational program designed to improve clinical culture specimen collection among healthcare personnel (HCP) in Ethiopia. METHODS: A Clinical Specimen Collection training package was created consisting of a Trainer's Manual, Reference Manual, Assessment Tools, Step-by-Step Instruction Guides (i.e., job aides), and Core Module PowerPoint Slides. RESULTS: A two-day course was used in training 16 master trainers and 47 facility-based trainers responsible for cascading trainings on clinical specimen collection to HCP at the pre-service, in-service, or national-levels. The Clinical Specimen Collection Package is offered online via The Ohio State University's CANVAS online platform. CONCLUSIONS: The training-of-trainers approach may be an effective model for development of enhanced specimen collection practices in low-resource countries.

      5. Editorial: Immune Mechanisms in the Pathologic Response to Particles, Fibers, and Nanomaterialsexternal icon
        Ma Q, Pollard KM, Brown JM, Italiani P, Moghimi SM.
        Front Immunol. 2021 ;12:665810.

      6. Evolution of the complex transcription network controlling biofilm formation in Candida speciesexternal icon
        Mancera E, Nocedal I, Hammel S, Gulati M, Mitchell KF, Andes DR, Nobile CJ, Butler G, Johnson AD.
        Elife. 2021 Apr 7;10.
        We examine how a complex transcription network composed of seven 'master' regulators and hundreds of target genes evolved over a span of approximately 70 million years. The network controls biofilm formation in several Candida species, a group of fungi that are present in humans both as constituents of the microbiota and as opportunistic pathogens. Using a variety of approaches, we observed two major types of changes that have occurred in the biofilm network since the four extant species we examined last shared a common ancestor. Master regulator 'substitutions' occurred over relatively long evolutionary times, resulting in different species having overlapping, but different sets of master regulators of biofilm formation. Second, massive changes in the connections between the master regulators and their target genes occurred over much shorter timescales. We believe this analysis is the first detailed, empirical description of how a complex transcription network has evolved.

      7. Use of Real-Time PCR for Chlamydia psittaci Detection in Human Specimens During an Outbreak of Psittacosis - Georgia and Virginia, 2018external icon
        McGovern OL, Kobayashi M, Shaw KA, Szablewski C, Gabel J, Holsinger C, Drenzek C, Brennan S, Milucky J, Farrar JL, Wolff BJ, Benitez AJ, Thurman KA, Diaz MH, Winchell JM, Schrag S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):505-509.
        Psittacosis is typically a mild febrile respiratory illness caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci and usually transmitted to humans by infected birds (1). On average, 11 psittacosis cases per year were reported in the United States during 2000-2017. During August-October 2018, the largest U.S. psittacosis outbreak in 30 years (82 cases identified*) occurred in two poultry slaughter plants, one each in Virginia and Georgia, that shared source farms (2). CDC used C. psittaci real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to test 54 human specimens from this outbreak. This was the largest number of human specimens from a single outbreak ever tested for C. psittaci using real-time PCR, which is faster and more sensitive than commercially available serologic tests. This represented a rare opportunity to assess the utility of multiple specimen types for real-time PCR detection of C. psittaci. C. psittaci was detected more frequently in lower respiratory specimens (59% [10 of 17]) and stool (four of five) than in upper respiratory specimens (7% [two of 28]). Among six patients with sputum and nasopharyngeal swabs tested, C. psittaci was detected only in sputum in five patients. Cycle threshold (Ct) values suggested bacterial load was higher in lower respiratory specimens than in nasopharyngeal swabs. These findings support prioritizing lower respiratory specimens for real-time PCR detection of C. psittaci. Stool specimens might also have utility for diagnosis of psittacosis.

      8. Lower respiratory tract infections originate from multiple aerosol sources, varying from droplets erupting from bursting bubbles in a toilet or those produced by human speech. A key component of the aerosol-based infection pathway-from source to potential host-is the survival of the pathogen during aerosolization. Due to their finite-time instability, pinch-off processes occurring during aerosolization have the potential to rapidly accelerate the fluid into focused regions of these droplets, stress objects therein, and if powerful enough, disrupt biological life. However, the extent that a pathogen will be exposed to damaging hydrodynamic stressors during the aerosolization process is unknown. Here we compute the probability that particulates will be exposed to a hydrodynamic stressor during the generation of droplets that range in size from one to 100 microns. For example, particulates in water droplets less than 5 μm have a 50% chance of being subjected to an energy dissipation rate in excess of 1011 W/m3, hydrodynamic stresses in excess of 104 Pa, and strain rates in excess of 107 s-1, values known to damage certain biological cells. Using a combination of numerical simulations and self-similar dynamics, we show how the exposure within a droplet can be generally predicted from its size, surface tension, and density, even across different aerosolization mechanisms. Collectively, these results introduce aerosol agitation as a potential factor in pathogen transmission and implicate the pinch-off singularity flow as setting the distribution of hydrodynamic stressors experienced within the droplet. © 2021 American Physical Society.

      9. Evaluation of natural killer cell assay performance on shipped blood specimensexternal icon
        Querec TD, Abrams J, Stewart JJ, Barnes Z, Balbin E, Klimas N, Fletcher MA, Brown L, Bertolli J, Unger ER.
        J Immunol Methods. 2021 Apr 2:113049.
        Documenting the importance of NK cell function as a biomarker for diseases and physiologic conditions including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), will require assays amenable to clinical implementation and standardization. Research studies typically perform NK functional assays on the day of sample collection. This pilot study was conducted to compare assay formats and specimen processing to identify those that are most tolerant of conditions required for shipping and amenable to standardization as shown by inter-assay and inter-laboratory correlation of results. We compared performance within and between assays that measure NK cell function using direct cytotoxicity [chromium-51 release (CRCA) or fluorescence (Flow Cytometry Cytotoxicity Assay, FCCA)] or an indirect surrogate marker (CD107a surface expression)]. Additional variables for within/between assay comparisons included time of testing (same day as specimen collection or next day within 24 h), specimen types [whole blood or isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs)], and processing method (fresh or cryopreserved). Statistical measures included number of samples tested in assay conditions (n), medians (x͂), interquartile range (IQR), Pearson correlation coefficient (R(2)), and correlation p-value (p). Samples came from 3 clinics and included 31 participants. Same day testing was only available for the subset of participants enrolled from the site of the laboratory performing CRCA. Results from same day CRCA testing of whole blood were considered the gold standard [n = 10, x͂=10.0%, IQR = 7.2%], and correlated well with PBMCs isolated next day [n = 26, x͂= 15.6%, IQR = 13.1%] [R(2) = 0.59, p = 0.03]. Next day CRCA results were compromised using whole blood or frozen PBMCs. Next day FCCA cytotoxicity in PBMC [n = 30, x͂=34.1%, IQR = 15.5%] correlated with same day CRCA PMBC [R(2) = 0.8, p = 0.001] and next day CRCA PMBC [R(2) = 0.5, p < 0.0001]. CD107a expression after induction by PMA and ionomycin did not correlate with other cytotoxicity measures. NK function can be measured in PBMCs isolated after overnight shipping/storage at ambient temperature and CRCA and FCCA results on this sample type are well correlated.

      10. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes elicit concordant changes in DNA methylation and gene expression following long-term pulmonary exposure in miceexternal icon
        Scala G, Delaval MN, Mukherjee SP, Federico A, Khaliullin TO, Yanamala N, Fatkhutdinova LM, Kisin ER, Greco D, Fadeel B, Shvedova AA.
        Carbon. 2021 ;178:563-572.
        Pulmonary exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) causes inflammation and fibrosis. Our previous work has shown that industrially produced MWCNTs trigger specific changes in gene expression in the lungs of exposed animals. To elucidate whether epigenetic effects play a role for these gene expression changes, we performed whole genome bisulphite sequencing to assess DNA methylation patterns in the lungs 56 days after exposure to MWCNTs. Lung tissues were also evaluated with respect to histopathological changes and cytokine profiling of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was conducted using a multi-plex array. Integrated analysis of transcriptomics data and DNA methylation data revealed concordant changes in gene expression. Functional analysis showed that the muscle contraction, immune system/inflammation, and extracellular matrix pathways were the most affected pathways. Taken together, the present study revealed that MWCNTs exert epigenetic effects in the lungs of exposed animals, potentially driving the subsequent gene expression changes. © 2021 The Authors

      11. Enhanced darkfield microscopy (EDFM) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) are being evaluated as a potential rapid screening modality to reduce the time-to-knowledge for direct visualization and analysis of filter media used to sample nanoparticulate from work environments, as compared to the current analytical gold standard of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Here, we compare accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity of several hyperspectral classification models and data pre-processing techniques to determine how to most effectively identify multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in hyperspectral images. Several classification schemes were identified that are capable of classifying pixels as MWCNT(+) or MWCNT(-) in hyperspectral images with specificity and sensitivity over 99% on the test dataset. Functional principal component analysis (FPCA) was identified as an appropriate data pre-processing technique, testing optimally when coupled with a quadratic discriminant analysis (QDA) model with forward stepwise variable selection and with a support vector machines (SVM) model. The success of these methods suggests that EDFM-HSI may be reliably employed to assess filter media exposed to MWCNTs. Future work will evaluate the ability of EDFM-HSI to quantify MWCNTs collected on filter media using this classification algorithm framework using the best-performing model identified here - quadratic discriminant analysis with forward stepwise selection on functional principal component data - on an expanded sample set. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

      12. Long Pine Key virus (LPKV) and Lammi virus are insect-specific flaviviruses that phylogenetically affiliate with dual-host flaviviruses. The goal of this study was to provide insight into the genetic determinants that condition this host range restriction. Chimeras were initially created by replacing select regions of the Zika virus genome, including the premembrane and envelope protein (prM-E) genes, with the corresponding regions of the LPKV genome. Of the four chimeras produced, one (the prM-E swap) yielded virus that replicated in mosquito cells. Another chimeric virus with a mosquito replication-competent phenotype was created by inserting the prM-E genes of Lammi virus into a Zika virus genetic background. Vertebrate cells did not support the replication of either chimeric virus although trace to modest amounts of viral antigen were produced, consistent with suboptimal viral entry. These data suggest that dual-host affiliated insect-specific flaviviruses cannot replicate in vertebrate cells due to entry and post-translational restrictions.

    • Mining
      1. This paper summarizes the changes in permeability at three boreholes located above an abutment pillar at a longwall coal mine in southwestern Pennsylvania. The motivation of this study was to better characterize the potential interaction between shale gas wells and the mine environment, through measurement of permeability changes in the coal mine overburden caused by mining-induced deformations. Measuring permeability changes around boreholes affected by longwall mining is an effective method to indicate changes in the fracture network above longwall abutment pillars and estimate the capacity for gas flow from shale gas wells to the mine environment. This study measured permeability through falling-head slug tests at different longwall face positions during the mining of two longwall panels on either side of the test abutment pillar where the test boreholes were located. Three test boreholes were drilled to different depths above the active mining level, and they had screened intervals to evaluate the response of different stratigraphic zones to mining-induced stresses. The results showed that the permeability around the slotted intervals of each borehole increased pre-mining to post-mining, and the permeability increased from mining of the first longwall panel to mining of the second one, adjacent to the pillar. © 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Probability of hyperthermia in a hot environment while wearing a liquid cooling garment underneath firefighters' protective clothingexternal icon
        Aljaroudi AM, Bhattacharya A, Yorio P, Strauch AL, Quinn TD, Williams WJ.
        J Occup Environ Hyg. 2021 Apr 5:1-13.
        Firefighters' protective clothing (FPC) can limit human thermoregulation due to limited water vapor permeability and insulation. This study investigated the effect of cooling on the physiological responses and probability of hyperthermia in subjects wearing FPC during exercise in a hot environment. Twelve males participated in this study. A maximal graded treadmill exercise test was performed to measure maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O(2max)) and to assess subjects' capacity to perform the assigned exercise. Exercise included treadmill walking at 40% V̇O(2max) in warm (30 °C) and humid (70% RH) conditions for 40 min while wearing FPC. Subjects participated in two randomly counterbalanced assigned experimental protocols: control (no cooling) and intervention (cooling). The experimental intervention consisted of a cooling garment infused with cooled water (18 °C) through silastic tubing sewn into the fabric and worn underneath FPC. Each subject served as their own control and, therefore, completed both the control and intervention of the protocol. A logistic regression model was used to analyze the interaction effect of cooling on the probability of progression to hyperthermia (T(c) ≥ 38 °C). Subjects' physiological responses increased during exercise in a warm and humid environment. Active cooling decreased (p < 0.05) the thermal stress thereby reducing the probability of hyperthermia while exercising in hot and humid conditions. The results indicate that when cooling was used each subject, on average, was 91% less likely to reach the lower threshold limit of hyperthermia. Exercise in hot environments while wearing FPC results in significant physiological strain, which may lead to hyperthermia. Utilization of a cooling garment reduced physiological strain and the probability of hyperthermia.

      2. Differential DNA Methylation by Hispanic Ethnicity Among Firefighters in the United Statesexternal icon
        Goodrich JM, Furlong MA, Caban-Martinez AJ, Jung AM, Batai K, Jenkins T, Beitel S, Littau S, Gulotta J, Wallentine D, Hughes J, Popp C, Calkins MM, Burgess JL.
        Epigenetics Insights. 2021 ;14.
        Firefighters are exposed to a variety of environmental hazards and are at increased risk for multiple cancers. There is evidence that risks differ by ethnicity, yet the biological or environmental differences underlying these differences are not known. DNA methylation is one type of epigenetic regulation that is altered in cancers. In this pilot study, we profiled DNA methylation with the Infinium MethylationEPIC in blood leukocytes from 31 Hispanic white and 163 non-Hispanic white firefighters. We compared DNA methylation (1) at 12 xenobiotic metabolizing genes and (2) at all loci on the array (>740 000), adjusting for confounders. Five of the xenobiotic metabolizing genes were differentially methylated at a raw P-value <.05 when comparing the 2 ethnic groups, yet were not statistically significant at a 5% false discovery rate (q-value <.05). In the epigenome-wide analysis, 76 loci exhibited DNA methylation differences at q <.05. Among these, 3 CpG sites in the promoter region of the biotransformation gene SULT1C2 had lower methylation in Hispanic compared to non-Hispanic firefighters. Other differentially methylated loci included genes that have been implicated in carcinogenesis in published studies (FOXK2, GYLTL1B, ZBTB16, ARHGEF10, and more). In this pilot study, we report differential DNA methylation between Hispanic and non-Hispanic firefighters in xenobiotic metabolism genes and other genes with functions related to cancer. Epigenetic susceptibility by ethnicity merits further study as this may alter risk for cancers linked to toxic exposures.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Immunofocusing humoral immunity potentiates the functional efficacy of the AnAPN1 malaria transmission-blocking vaccine antigenexternal icon
        Bender NG, Khare P, Martinez J, Tweedell RE, Nyasembe VO, López-Gutiérrez B, Tripathi A, Miller D, Hamerly T, Vela EM, Davis RR, Howard RF, Nsango S, Cobb RR, Harbers M, Dinglasan RR.
        NPJ Vaccines. 2021 Apr 6;6(1):49.
        Malaria transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) prevent the completion of the developmental lifecycle of malarial parasites within the mosquito vector, effectively blocking subsequent infections. The mosquito midgut protein Anopheline alanyl aminopeptidase N (AnAPN1) is the leading, mosquito-based TBV antigen. Structure-function studies identified two Class II epitopes that can induce potent transmission-blocking (T-B) antibodies, informing the design of the next-generation AnAPN1. Here, we functionally screened new immunogens and down-selected to the UF6b construct that has two glycine-linked copies of the T-B epitopes. We then established a process for manufacturing UF6b and evaluated in outbred female CD1 mice the immunogenicity of the preclinical product with the human-safe adjuvant Glucopyranosyl Lipid Adjuvant in a liposomal formulation with saponin QS21 (GLA-LSQ). UF6b:GLA-LSQ effectively immunofocused the humoral response to one of the key T-B epitopes resulting in potent T-B activity, underscoring UF6b as a prime TBV candidate to aid in malaria elimination and eradication efforts.

      2. OBJECTIVE: In this study, the performance of a commercially available malaria LAMP assay (Alethia® Malaria Plus LAMP) was evaluated using retrospective clinical samples obtained from travelers returning to the United States of America (USA). Recently, several laboratories in non-malaria endemic countries evaluated the use of the loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for the diagnosis of imported malaria cases. These tests are simpler than polymerase-chain reaction (PCR)-based assays and were shown to have high sensitivity. Much of malaria diagnoses in the USA, is undertaken at the state level using mainly microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). However, molecular tools offer greater sensitivity over microscopy and RDTs. A reliable, easy to perform molecular assay can provide a test of choice for the accurate detection of malaria parasites in places where expert microscopy is lacking and/or for the detection of low-parasite density infections. RESULTS: The Alethia® Malaria Plus LAMP assay was easy to use, had similar test performances as the real-time PCR reference test and results were obtained faster (within 1 h) than the reference test. The sensitivity of the assay was 100% with a kappa score of 1 when compared to the reference PET-PCR assay.

      3. Prevalence of Malaria Parasite Infections among U.S.-Bound Congolese Refugees with and without Splenomegalyexternal icon
        Mwesigwa M, Webster JL, Nsobya SL, Rowan A, Basnet MS, Phares CR, Weinberg M, Klosovsky A, Naoum M, Rosenthal PJ, Stauffer W.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Jan 18;104(3):996-9.
        All U.S.-bound refugees from sub-Saharan Africa receive presumptive antimalarial treatment before departing for the United States. Among U.S.-bound Congolese refugees, breakthrough malaria cases and persistent splenomegaly have been reported. In response, an enhanced malaria diagnostic program was instituted. Here, we report the prevalence of plasmodial infection among 803 U.S.-bound Congolese refugees who received enhanced diagnostics. Infections by either rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or PCR were detected in 187 (23%) refugees, with 78 (10%) by RDT only, 35 (4%) by PCR only, and 74 (9%) by both. Infections identified by PCR included 103 monoinfections (87 Plasmodium falciparum, eight Plasmodium ovale, seven Plasmodium vivax, and one Plasmodium malariae) and six mixed infections. Splenomegaly was associated with malaria detectable by RDT (odds ratio: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0-3.0), but not by PCR. Splenomegaly was not strongly associated with parasitemia, indicating that active malaria parasitemia is not necessary for splenomegaly.

      4. Assessing genetic relatedness of Plasmodium falciparum genotypes is a key component of antimalarial efficacy trials. Previous methods have focused on determining a priori definitions of the level of genetic similarity sufficient to classify two infections as sharing the same strain. However, factors such as mixed-strain infections, allelic suppression, imprecise typing methods, and heterozygosity complicate comparisons of apicomplexan genotypes. Here, we introduce a novel method for nonparametric statistical testing of relatedness for P. falciparum parasites. First, the background distribution of genetic distance between unrelated strains is computed. Second, a threshold genetic distance is computed from this empiric distribution of distances to demarcate genetic distances that are unlikely to have arisen by chance. Third, the genetic distance between paired samples is computed, and paired samples with genetic distances below the threshold are classified as related. The method is designed to work with any arbitrary genetic distance definition. We validated this procedure using two independent approaches to calculating genetic distance. We assessed the concordance of the novel nonparametric classification with a gold-standard Bayesian approach for 175 pairs of recurrent P. falciparum episodes from previously published malaria efficacy trials with microsatellite data from five studies in Guinea and Angola. The novel nonparametric approach was 98% sensitive and 84-89% specific in correctly identifying related genotypes compared with a gold-standard Bayesian algorithm. The approach provides a unified and systematic method to statistically assess relatedness of P. falciparum parasites using arbitrary genetic distance methodologies.

      5. Rapid Screening for Non-falciparum Malaria in Elimination Settings Using Multiplex Antigen and Antibody Detection: Post Hoc Identification of Plasmodium malariae in an Infant in Haitiexternal icon
        van den Hoogen LL, Herman C, Présumé J, Romilus I, Mondélus G, Elismé T, Existe A, Boncy J, Joseph V, Stresman G, Tetteh KK, Drakeley C, Chang MA, Lemoine JF, Eisele TP, Rogier E, Ashton RA.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Apr 5.
        Haiti is targeting malaria elimination by 2025. The Grand'Anse department in southwestern Haiti experiences one-third to half of all nationally reported Plasmodium falciparum cases. Although there are historical reports of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae, today, non-falciparum infections would remain undetected because of extensive use of falciparum-specific histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) at health facilities. A recent case-control study was conducted in Grand'Anse to identify risk factors for P. falciparum infection using HRP2-based RDTs (n = 1,107). Post hoc multiplex Plasmodium antigenemia and antibody (IgG) detection by multiplex bead assay revealed one blood sample positive for pan-Plasmodium aldolase, negative for P. falciparum HRP2, and positive for IgG antibodies to P. malariae. Based on this finding, we selected 52 samples with possible P. malariae infection using IgG and antigenemia data and confirmed infection status by species-specific PCR. We confirmed one P. malariae infection in a 6-month-old infant without travel history. Congenital P. malariae could not be excluded. However, our finding-in combination with historical reports of P. malariae-warrants further investigation into the presence and possible extent of non-falciparum malaria in Haiti. Furthermore, we showed the use of multiplex Plasmodium antigen and IgG detection in selecting samples of interest for subsequent PCR analysis, thereby reducing costs as opposed to testing all available samples by PCR. This is of specific use in low-transmission or eliminating settings where infections are rare.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Implementation of Community-Wide Initiatives Designed to Reduce Teen Pregnancy: Measuring Progress in a 5-Year Project in 10 Communitiesexternal icon
        House LD, Tevendale H, Brittain A, Burley K, Fuller TR, Mueller T, Romero L, Venugopalan B, Koumans EH.
        Sex Res Soc Policy. 2021 .
        Introduction: Community-wide initiatives (CWI) to prevent teen pregnancy were implemented in 10 communities in the USA. The CWI supported the implementation of evidence-based teen pregnancy interventions (EBIs) and implementation of best practices for adolescent reproductive health care. Implementation was supported through mobilizing communities, educating stakeholders, and strategies to promote health equity. Methods: We assessed indicators of progress of the CWI for the following five project components (data collected from 2010 to 2015): community mobilization, stakeholder education, working with diverse communities, evidence-based interventions, and increasing access to clinical services and the potential contributions of training and technical assistance. Results: Communities engaged multiple stakeholder groups to contribute to planning, community outreach and education, and partnership development and used multiple dissemination methods to share information on adolescent reproductive health needs and teen pregnancy prevention strategies. The amount of training and technical assistance from state- and community-based organizations was associated with increased numbers of youth receiving EBIs and increased provision of contraceptives. The number of health centers implementing best practices for adolescent reproductive health services increased; conducting sexual health assessments, offering hormonal contraception or IUD, and offering quick start of IUDs were associated with increases in long-acting reversible contraception utilization. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that scaled prevention efforts can occur with adequate support including training and technical assistance and community awareness and engagement in the process. Policy Implications: The findings raise important questions for understanding what factors contribute to successful community-wide implementation of EBIs and health center best practices for contraceptive access and whether these lead to reductions in teen pregnancies in highly impacted communities. © 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Urinary cotinine and cotinine + trans-3'-hydroxycotinine (TNE-2) cut-points for distinguishing tobacco use from non-use in the United States: PATH Study (2013-2014)external icon
        Edwards KC, Naz T, Stanton CA, Goniewicz ML, Hatsukami DK, Smith DM, Wang L, Villanti A, Pearson J, Blount BC, Bansal-Travers M, Feng J, Niaura R, Bover Manderski MT, Sosnoff CS, Delnevo CD, Duffy K, Del Valle-Pinero AY, Rostron BL, Everard C, Kimmel HL, van Bemmel DM, Hyland A.
        Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Apr 7.
        BACKGROUND: Determine the overall, sex-, and racially/ethnically-appropriate population-level cotinine and total nicotine equivalents (TNE-2, the molar sum of the two major nicotine metabolites) cut-points to distinguish tobacco users from non-users across multiple definitions of use (e.g., exclusive vs. polytobacco, and daily vs. non-daily). METHODS: Using Wave 1 (2013-2014) of the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, we conducted weighted Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) analysis to determine the optimal urinary cotinine and TNE-2 cut-points, stratified by sex and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: For past 30-day exclusive cigarette users, the cotinine cut-point that distinguished them from non-users was 40.5 ng/mL, with considerable variation by sex (male: 22.2 ng/mL; female: 43.1 ng/mL) and between racial/ethnic groups (non-Hispanic other: 5.2 ng/mL; non-Hispanic black: 297.0 ng/mL). A similar, but attenuated, pattern emerged when assessing polytobacco cigarette users (overall cut-point= 39.1 ng/mL, range= 5.5 ng/mL- 80.4 ng/mL) and any tobacco users (overall cut-point= 39.1 ng/mL, range= 4.8 ng/mL- 40.0 ng/mL). Using TNE-2, which is less impacted by racial differences in nicotine metabolism, produced a comparable pattern of results although reduced the range magnitude. CONCLUSIONS: Due to similar frequency of cigarette use among polytobacco users, overall cut-points for exclusive cigarette use were not substantially different from cut-points that included polytobacco cigarette use or any tobacco use. Results revealed important differences in sex and race/ethnicity appropriate cut-points when evaluating tobacco use status and established novel urinary TNE-2 cut-points. IMPACT: These cut-points may be used for biochemical verification of self-reported tobacco use in epidemiologic studies and clinical trials.

      2. An application of agent-based modeling to explore the impact of decreasing incarceration rates and increasing drug treatment access on sero-discordant partnerships among people who inject drugsexternal icon
        Linton SL, Jarlais DC, Ornstein JT, Kasman M, Hammond R, Kianian B, Smith JC, Wolfe ME, Ross Z, German D, Flynn C, Raymond HF, Klevens RM, Spencer E, Schacht JM, Finlayson T, Paz-Bailey G, Wejnert C, Cooper HL.
        Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Mar 30;94:103194.
        BACKGROUND: People who inject drugs (PWID) lag behind other key populations in HIV care continuum outcomes. The impacts of criminal justice reform and increasing drug treatment access on HIV have been underexplored. METHODS: We developed agent-based models (ABM) of sexual partnerships among PWID and non-PWID, and injection equipment-sharing partnerships among PWID in five US cities (Baltimore, Boston, Miami, New York City, San Francisco) over 3 years. The first set of ABM projected changes in partnership discordance among PWID as a function of decreasing ZIP code-level incarceration rates. The second set projected discordance as a function of increasing ZIP code-level drug treatment access. ABM were parameterized and validated overall, and by city and PWID race/ethnicity (Black, Latino, White) using National HIV Behavioral Surveillance data, administrative ZIP code-level data, surveillance reports and prior literature. Informed by research on prisoner release and community-level HIV prevalence, reductions in incarceration rates were fixed at 5% and 30% and respectively projected to increase ZIP code-level HIV prevalence by 2% and 12%. Increases in drug treatment access were fixed at 30% and 58%. RESULTS: In each city, a 30% reduction in ZIP code-level incarceration rates and 12% increase in ZIP code-level HIV prevalence significantly increased sero-discordance among at least one racial/ethnic group of PWID by 1-3 percentage points. A 5% reduction in incarceration rates, and 30% and 58% increases in drug treatment access, led to isolated significant changes in sero-discordance among Black and White PWID that were less than 1 percentage point. CONCLUSION: Reductions in incarceration rates may lead to short-term increases in sero-discordant partnerships among some PWID by increasing community-level HIV prevalence. Efforts to increase HIV testing, engagement in care and community reintegration post release, should be strengthened in the wake of incarceration reform. Additional research should confirm these findings and explore the lack of widespread impacts of drug treatment in this study.

      3. State-led opioid overdose prevention efforts: Challenges, solutions and lessons learned from the CDC Prevention for States Program (PfS)external icon
        Underwood N, Rooks-Peck C, Ali N, Wisdom A, Costa O, Robinson A, Mells J, Bacon S.
        Subst Abus. 2021 Apr 2:1-22.
        Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Prevention for States (PfS) program funded 29 state health departments to prevent opioid overdose by implementing evidence-based prevention strategies. The objectives of this analysis were to describe the scope of activities implemented across the four PfS strategies and identify implementation challenges. Methods: PfS recipients submitted annual progress reports (APRs) to state support staff at CDC from 2015 to 2017. APR data were used to calculate the number of required and optional activities implemented under each PfS strategy. APR data were qualitatively analyzed using a systematic content analysis approach to identify key implementation challenges. Results: From 2015 to 2017, PfS recipients implemented 177 activities across four strategies from 2015 to 2017. Cross-cutting implementation challenges were (1) multi-sector collaboration, (2) lack of knowledge and misperceptions about opioid used disorder (OUD) among some partners and local communities and; (3) management and access to opioid data among PfS recipients. Conclusions: PfS recipients implemented an array of prevention interventions to address the opioid overdose crisis and encountered several cross-cutting implementation challenges. Challenges and state driven solutions over the course of implementing PfS led to several lessons learned and actions that CDC enacted to continue to support and expand overdose prevention.

    • Vital Statistics
      1. Provisional Mortality Data - United States, 2020external icon
        Ahmad FB, Cisewski JA, Miniño A, Anderson RN.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 9;70(14):519-522.
        CDC's National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) collects and reports annual mortality statistics using data from U.S. death certificates. Because of the time needed to investigate certain causes of death and to process and review data, final annual mortality data for a given year are typically released 11 months after the end of the calendar year. Daily totals reported by CDC COVID-19 case surveillance are timely but can underestimate numbers of deaths because of incomplete or delayed reporting. As a result of improvements in timeliness and the pressing need for updated, quality data during the global COVID-19 pandemic, NVSS expanded provisional data releases to produce near real-time U.S. mortality data.* This report presents an overview of provisional U.S. mortality data for 2020, including the first ranking of leading causes of death. In 2020, approximately 3,358,814 deaths(†) occurred in the United States. From 2019 to 2020, the estimated age-adjusted death rate increased by 15.9%, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population. COVID-19 was reported as the underlying cause of death or a contributing cause of death for an estimated 377,883 (11.3%) of those deaths (91.5 deaths per 100,000). The highest age-adjusted death rates by age, race/ethnicity, and sex occurred among adults aged ≥85 years, non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons, and males. COVID-19 death rates were highest among adults aged ≥85 years, AI/AN and Hispanic persons, and males. COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer. Provisional death estimates provide an early indication of shifts in mortality trends and can guide public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing numbers of deaths that are directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. High Case-Fatality Rate for Human Anthrax, Northern Ghana, 2005-2016external icon
        Blackburn JK, Kenu E, Asiedu-Bekoe F, Sarkodie B, Kracalik IT, Bower WA, Stoddard RA, Traxler RM.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):1216-1219.
        The human cutaneous anthrax case-fatality rate is ≈1% when treated, 5%-20% when untreated. We report high case-fatality rates (median 35.0%; 95% CI 21.1%-66.7%) during 2005-2016 linked to livestock handling in northern Ghana, where veterinary resources are limited. Livestock vaccination and access to human treatment should be evaluated.

      2. Animal Reservoirs and Hosts for Emerging Alphacoronaviruses and Betacoronavirusesexternal icon
        Ghai RR, Carpenter A, Liew AY, Martin KB, Herring MK, Gerber SI, Hall AJ, Sleeman JM, VonDobschuetz S, Behravesh CB.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;27(4):1015-1022.
        The ongoing global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease has once again demonstrated the role of the family Coronaviridae in causing human disease outbreaks. Because severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was first detected in December 2019, information on its tropism, host range, and clinical manifestations in animals is limited. Given the limited information, data from other coronaviruses might be useful for informing scientific inquiry, risk assessment, and decision-making. We reviewed endemic and emerging infections of alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses in wildlife, livestock, and companion animals and provide information on the receptor use, known hosts, and clinical signs associated with each host for 15 coronaviruses detected in humans and animals. This information can be used to guide implementation of a One Health approach that involves human health, animal health, environmental, and other relevant partners in developing strategies for preparedness, response, and control to current and future coronavirus disease threats.

      3. Risk estimation of sexual transmission of Zika virus-United States, 2016-2017external icon
        Major CG, Paz-Bailey G, Hills SL, Rodriguez DM, Biggerstaff BJ, Johansson M.
        J Infect Dis. 2021 Apr 2.
        BACKGROUND: Zika virus (ZIKV) can be transmitted sexually, but the risk of sexual transmission remains unknown. Most evidence of sexual transmission is from partners of infected travelers returning from areas with ZIKV circulation. METHODS: We used data from the U.S. national arboviral disease surveillance system (ArboNET) on travel- and sexually-acquired ZIKV disease cases during 2016-2017 to develop individual-level simulations for estimating risk of male-to-female, male-to-male, and female-to-male sexual transmission of ZIKV via vaginal and/or anal intercourse. We specified parametric distributions to characterize individual-level variability of parameters for ZIKV persistence and sexual behaviors. RESULTS: Using ZIKV RNA persistence in semen/vaginal fluids to approximate infectiousness duration, male-to-male transmission had the highest estimated probability [1.3% (95% CI: 0.4-6.0) per anal sex act], followed by male-to-female and female-to-male transmission [0.4% (95% CI: 0.3-0.6) per vaginal/anal sex act and 0.1% (95% CI:0-0.8) per vaginal sex act, respectively]. Models using viral isolation in semen vs. RNA detection to approximate infectiousness duration predicted greater risk of sexual transmission. CONCLUSIONS: While likely insufficient to maintain sustained transmission, the estimated risk of ZIKV transmission through unprotected sex is not trivial and is especially important for pregnant women, as ZIKV infection can cause severe congenital disorders.

      4. Exposure of Domestic Cats to Three Zoonotic Bartonella Species in the United Statesexternal icon
        Osikowicz LM, Horiuchi K, Goodrich I, Breitschwerdt EB, Chomel B, Biggerstaff BJ, Kosoy M.
        Pathogens. 2021 Mar 17;10(3).
        Cat-associated Bartonella species, which include B. henselae, B. koehlerae, and B. clarridgeiae, can cause mild to severe illness in humans. In the present study, we evaluated 1362 serum samples obtained from domestic cats across the U.S. for seroreactivity against three species and two strain types of Bartonella associated with cats (B. henselae type 1, B. henselae type 2, B. koehlerae, and B. clarridgeiae) using an indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA). Overall, the seroprevalence at the cutoff titer level of ≥1:64 was 23.1%. Seroreactivity was 11.1% and 3.7% at the titer level cutoff of ≥1:128 and at the cutoff of ≥1:256, respectively. The highest observation of seroreactivity occurred in the East South-Central, South Atlantic, West North-Central, and West South-Central regions. The lowest seroreactivity was detected in the East North-Central, Middle Atlantic, Mountain, New England, and Pacific regions. We observed reactivity against all four Bartonella spp. antigens in samples from eight out of the nine U.S. geographic regions.

      5. Limited Genetic Diversity Detected in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus Variants Circulating in Dromedary Camels in Jordanexternal icon
        Seifert SN, Schulz JE, Ricklefs S, Letko M, Yabba E, Hijazeen ZS, Holloway P, Al-Omari B, Talafha HA, Tibbo M, Adney DR, Guitian J, Amarin N, Richt JA, McDowell C, Steel J, Abu-Basha EA, Al-Majali AM, van Doremalen N, Munster VJ.
        Viruses. 2021 Mar 31;13(4).
        Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a persistent zoonotic pathogen with frequent spillover from dromedary camels to humans in the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in limited outbreaks of MERS with a high case-fatality rate. Full genome sequence data from camel-derived MERS-CoV variants show diverse lineages circulating in domestic camels with frequent recombination. More than 90% of the available full MERS-CoV genome sequences derived from camels are from just two countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE). In this study, we employ a novel method to amplify and sequence the partial MERS-CoV genome with high sensitivity from nasal swabs of infected camels. We recovered more than 99% of the MERS-CoV genome from field-collected samples with greater than 500 TCID(50) equivalent per nasal swab from camel herds sampled in Jordan in May 2016. Our subsequent analyses of 14 camel-derived MERS-CoV genomes show a striking lack of genetic diversity circulating in Jordan camels relative to MERS-CoV genome sequences derived from large camel markets in KSA and UAE. The low genetic diversity detected in Jordan camels during our study is consistent with a lack of endemic circulation in these camel herds and reflective of data from MERS outbreaks in humans dominated by nosocomial transmission following a single introduction as reported during the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea. Our data suggest transmission of MERS-CoV among two camel herds in Jordan in 2016 following a single introduction event.

      6. Negligible risk of rabies importation in dogs thirty days after demonstration of adequate serum antibody titerexternal icon
        Smith TG, Fooks AR, Moore SM, Freuling CM, Müller T, Torres G, Wallace RM.
        Vaccine. 2021 Apr 4.

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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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