Issue 21, June 22, 2021

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 21, June 22, 2021

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

  1. Top Articles of the Week
    Selected weekly by a senior CDC scientist from the standard sections listed below.
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      • 2021 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritisexternal icon
        Fraenkel L, Bathon JM, England BR, St Clair EW, Arayssi T, Carandang K, Deane KD, Genovese M, Huston KK, Kerr G, Kremer J, Nakamura MC, Russell LA, Singh JA, Smith BJ, Sparks JA, Venkatachalam S, Weinblatt ME, Al-Gibbawi M, Baker JF, Barbour KE, Barton JL, Cappelli L, Chamseddine F, George M, Johnson SR, Kahale L, Karam BS, Khamis AM, Navarro-Millán I, Mirza R, Schwab P, Singh N, Turgunbaev M, Turner AS, Yaacoub S, Akl EA.
        Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 Jun 8.
        OBJECTIVE: To develop updated guidelines for the pharmacologic management of rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS: We developed clinically relevant population, intervention, comparator, and outcomes (PICO) questions. After conducting a systematic literature review, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to rate the certainty of evidence. A voting panel comprising clinicians and patients achieved consensus on the direction (for or against) and strength (strong or conditional) of recommendations. RESULTS: The guideline addresses treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including conventional synthetic DMARDs, biologic DMARDs, and targeted synthetic DMARDs, use of glucocorticoids, and use of DMARDs in certain high-risk populations (i.e., those with liver disease, heart failure, lymphoproliferative disorders, previous serious infections, and nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease). The guideline includes 44 recommendations (7 strong and 37 conditional). CONCLUSION: This clinical practice guideline is intended to serve as a tool to support clinician and patient decision-making. Recommendations are not prescriptive, and individual treatment decisions should be made through a shared decision-making process based on patients' values, goals, preferences, and comorbidities.

    • Communicable Diseases
      • Underlying Medical Conditions Associated With Severe COVID-19 Illness Among Childrenexternal icon
        Kompaniyets L, Agathis NT, Nelson JM, Preston LE, Ko JY, Belay B, Pennington AF, Danielson ML, DeSisto CL, Chevinsky JR, Schieber LZ, Yusuf H, Baggs J, Mac Kenzie WR, Wong KK, Boehmer TK, Gundlapalli AV, Goodman AB.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2111182.
        IMPORTANCE: Information on underlying conditions and severe COVID-19 illness among children is limited. OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children associated with underlying medical conditions and medical complexity. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study included patients aged 18 years and younger with International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification code U07.1 (COVID-19) or B97.29 (other coronavirus) during an emergency department or inpatient encounter from March 2020 through January 2021. Data were collected from the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release, which included data from more than 800 US hospitals. Multivariable generalized linear models, controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, were used to estimate adjusted risk of severe COVID-19 illness associated with underlying medical conditions and medical complexity. EXPOSURES: Underlying medical conditions and medical complexity (ie, presence of complex or noncomplex chronic disease). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Hospitalization and severe illness when hospitalized (ie, combined outcome of intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, or death). RESULTS: Among 43 465 patients with COVID-19 aged 18 years or younger, the median (interquartile range) age was 12 (4-16) years, 22 943 (52.8%) were female patients, and 12 491 (28.7%) had underlying medical conditions. The most common diagnosed conditions were asthma (4416 [10.2%]), neurodevelopmental disorders (1690 [3.9%]), anxiety and fear-related disorders (1374 [3.2%]), depressive disorders (1209 [2.8%]), and obesity (1071 [2.5%]). The strongest risk factors for hospitalization were type 1 diabetes (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 4.60; 95% CI, 3.91-5.42) and obesity (aRR, 3.07; 95% CI, 2.66-3.54), and the strongest risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness were type 1 diabetes (aRR, 2.38; 95% CI, 2.06-2.76) and cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies (aRR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.48-1.99). Prematurity was a risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness among children younger than 2 years (aRR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.47-2.29). Chronic and complex chronic disease were risk factors for hospitalization, with aRRs of 2.91 (95% CI, 2.63-3.23) and 7.86 (95% CI, 6.91-8.95), respectively, as well as for severe COVID-19 illness, with aRRs of 1.95 (95% CI, 1.69-2.26) and 2.86 (95% CI, 2.47-3.32), respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cross-sectional study found a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among children with medical complexity and certain underlying conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, and obesity. Health care practitioners could consider the potential need for close observation and cautious clinical management of children with these conditions and COVID-19.

      • Incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Among US Persons Infected With SARS-CoV-2external icon
        Payne AB, Gilani Z, Godfred-Cato S, Belay ED, Feldstein LR, Patel MM, Randolph AG, Newhams M, Thomas D, Magleby R, Hsu K, Burns M, Dufort E, Maxted A, Pietrowski M, Longenberger A, Bidol S, Henderson J, Sosa L, Edmundson A, Tobin-D'Angelo M, Edison L, Heidemann S, Singh AR, Giuliano JS, Kleinman LC, Tarquinio KM, Walsh RF, Fitzgerald JC, Clouser KN, Gertz SJ, Carroll RW, Carroll CL, Hoots BE, Reed C, Dahlgren FS, Oster ME, Pierce TJ, Curns AT, Langley GE, Campbell AP, Balachandran N, Murray TS, Burkholder C, Brancard T, Lifshitz J, Leach D, Charpie I, Tice C, Coffin SE, Perella D, Jones K, Marohn KL, Yager PH, Fernandes ND, Flori HR, Koncicki ML, Walker KS, Di Pentima MC, Li S, Horwitz SM, Gaur S, Coffey DC, Harwayne-Gidansky I, Hymes SR, Thomas NJ, Ackerman KG, Cholette JM.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2116420.
        IMPORTANCE: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is associated with recent or current SARS-CoV-2 infection. Information on MIS-C incidence is limited. OBJECTIVE: To estimate population-based MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 person-months and to estimate MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in persons younger than 21 years. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used enhanced surveillance data to identify persons with MIS-C during April to June 2020, in 7 jurisdictions reporting to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance and to Overcoming COVID-19, a multicenter MIS-C study. Denominators for population-based estimates were derived from census estimates; denominators for incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections were estimated by applying published age- and month-specific multipliers accounting for underdetection of reported COVID-19 case counts. Jurisdictions included Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York (excluding New York City), and Pennsylvania. Data analyses were conducted from August to December 2020. EXPOSURES: Race/ethnicity, sex, and age group (ie, ≤5, 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20 years). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Overall and stratum-specific adjusted estimated MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 person-months and per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections. RESULTS: In the 7 jurisdictions examined, 248 persons with MIS-C were reported (median [interquartile range] age, 8 [4-13] years; 133 [53.6%] male; 96 persons [38.7%] were Hispanic or Latino; 75 persons [30.2%] were Black). The incidence of MIS-C per 1 000 000 person-months was 5.1 (95% CI, 4.5-5.8) persons. Compared with White persons, incidence per 1 000 000 person-months was higher among Black persons (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 9.26 [95% CI, 6.15-13.93]), Hispanic or Latino persons (aIRR, 8.92 [95% CI, 6.00-13.26]), and Asian or Pacific Islander (aIRR, 2.94 [95% CI, 1.49-5.82]) persons. MIS-C incidence per 1 000 000 SARS-CoV-2 infections was 316 (95% CI, 278-357) persons and was higher among Black (aIRR, 5.62 [95% CI, 3.68-8.60]), Hispanic or Latino (aIRR, 4.26 [95% CI, 2.85-6.38]), and Asian or Pacific Islander persons (aIRR, 2.88 [95% CI, 1.42-5.83]) compared with White persons. For both analyses, incidence was highest among children aged 5 years or younger (4.9 [95% CI, 3.7-6.6] children per 1 000 000 person-months) and children aged 6 to 10 years (6.3 [95% CI, 4.8-8.3] children per 1 000 000 person-months). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, MIS-C was a rare complication associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Estimates for population-based incidence and incidence among persons with infection were higher among Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander persons. Further study is needed to understand variability by race/ethnicity and age group.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      • Mosquito community dynamics in urban areas are influenced by an array of both social and ecological factors. Human socioeconomic factors (SEF) can be related to mosquito abundance and diversity as urban mosquito development sites are modified by varying human activity, e.g., level of abandoned structures or amount of accumulated trash. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationships among mosquito diversity, populations of Aedes aegypti, and SEF in a tropical urban setting. Mosquitoes were collected using BG Sentinel 2 traps and CDC light traps during three periods between late 2018 and early 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were identified to species. SEFs (i.e. median household income, population density, college-level educational attainment, unemployment, health insurance coverage, percentage of households below the poverty line, amount of trash and level of abandoned homes) were measured using foot surveys and U.S. Census data. We found 19 species with the two most abundant species being Culex quinquefasciatus (n = 10 641, 87.6%) and Ae. aegypti (n = 1558, 12.8%). We found a positive association between Ae. aegypti abundance and mosquito diversity, which were both negatively related to SES and ecological factors. Specifically, lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods had both more Ae. aegypti and more diverse communities, due to more favorable development habitat, indicating that control efforts should be focused in these areas. © 2021 The Author(s).

    • Environmental Health
      • Biomonitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) among hairdressers in salons primarily serving women of color: A pilot studyexternal icon
        Louis LM, Kavi LK, Boyle M, Pool W, Bhandari D, De Jesús VR, Thomas S, Pollack AZ, Sun A, McLean S, Rule AM, Quirós-Alcalá L.
        Environ Int. 2021 Jun 2;154:106655.
        Hairdressers are exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which have been linked to acute and chronic health effects. Those hairdressers serving an ethnic clientele may potentially experience disproportionate exposures from frequent use of products containing VOCs or different VOC concentrations contained in products which are marketed to the specific needs of their clientele. However, no biomonitoring studies have investigated occupational exposures in this population. In the present pilot study, we sought to characterize concentrations and exposure determinants for 28 VOC biomarkers in post-shift urine samples among 23 hairdressers primarily serving an ethnic clientele. VOC biomarker concentrations among hairdressers of color were compared to concentrations among a comparison group of 17 office workers and a representative sample of women participating in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. VOC biomarkers were detected in all hairdressers with higher concentrations observed among hairdressers serving a predominantly Black versus Latino clientele, and among hairdressers overall versus office workers and women in the U.S. general population. Median biomarker concentrations for acrolein,1,3-butadiene, and xylene in hairdressers were more than twice as high as those observed among office workers. Median concentrations for 1-bromopropane, acrolein and 1,3-butadiene were more than four times higher among all hairdressers compared to those reported among women in the U.S. general population. Select salon services (e.g., sister locs, flat ironing, permanent hair coloring, permanent waves or texturizing, Brazilian blowout or keratin treatment, etc.) were also associated with higher VOC biomarker concentrations among hairdressers. This pilot study represents the first biomonitoring analysis to characterize VOC exposures among women hairdressers of color and to provide evidence that this occupational population may experience elevated VOC exposures compared to women in the U.S. general population. Results from our study represent an important first step in elucidating occupational VOC exposures in this understudied occupational group. Larger studies among a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of hairdressers are warranted to confirm our findings and inform future exposure interventions in this understudied occupational population.

    • Health Economics
      • U.S. healthcare spending attributable to cigarette smoking in 2014external icon
        Xu X, Shrestha SS, Trivers KF, Neff L, Armour BS, King BA.
        Prev Med. 2021 Mar 23:106529.
        INTRODUCTION: Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. Smoking also carries an economic burden, including smoking-attributable healthcare spending. This study assessed smoking-attributable fractions in healthcare spending between 2010 and 2014, overall and by insurance type (Medicaid, Medicare, private, out-of-pocket, other federal, other) and by medical service (inpatient, non-inpatient, prescriptions). METHODS: Data were obtained from the 2010-2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey linked to the 2008-2013 National Health Interview Survey. The final sample (n = 49,540) was restricted to non-pregnant adults aged 18 years or older. Estimates from two-part models (multivariable logistic regression and generalized linear models) and data from 2014 national health expenditures were combined to estimate the share of and total (in 2014 dollars) annual healthcare spending attributable to cigarette smoking among U.S. adults. All models controlled for socio-demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, and attitudes. RESULTS: During 2010-2014, an estimated 11.7% (95% CI = 11.6%, 11.8%) of U.S. annual healthcare spending could be attributed to adult cigarette smoking, translating to annual healthcare spending of more than $225 billion dollars based on total personal healthcare expenditures reported in 2014. More than 50% of this smoking-attributable spending was funded by Medicare or Medicaid. For Medicaid, the estimated healthcare spending attributable fraction increased more than 30% between 2010 and 2014. CONCLUSIONS: Cigarette smoking exacts a substantial economic burden in the U.S. Continuing efforts to implement proven population-based interventions have been shown to reduce the health and economic burden of cigarette smoking nationally.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      • U.S. Population-Based background incidence rates of medical conditions for use in safety assessment of COVID-19 vaccinesexternal icon
        Gubernot D, Jazwa A, Niu M, Baumblatt J, Gee J, Moro P, Duffy J, Harrington T, McNeil MM, Broder K, Su J, Kamidani S, Olson CK, Panagiotakopoulos L, Shimabukuro T, Forshee R, Anderson S, Bennett S.
        Vaccine. 2021 May 14.
        The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a devastating impact on global health, and has resulted in an unprecedented, international collaborative effort to develop vaccines to control the outbreak, protect human lives, and avoid further social and economic disruption. Mass vaccination campaigns are underway in multiple countries and are expected worldwide once more vaccine becomes available. Some early candidate vaccines use novel platforms, such as mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles, and relatively new platforms, such as replication-deficient viral vectors. While these new vaccine platforms hold promise, limited safety data in humans are available. Serious health outcomes linked to vaccinations are rare, and some outcomes may occur incidentally in the vaccinated population. Knowledge of background incidence rates of these medical conditions is a critical component of vaccine safety monitoring to aid in the assessment of adverse events temporally associated with vaccination and to put these events into context with what would be expected due to chance alone. A list of 22 potential adverse events of special interest (AESI), including neurologic, autoimmune, and cardiovascular disorders, was compiled by subject matter experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recently available U.S. background rates for these medical conditions, overall and by age, sex, and race/ethnicity (when available), were sourced from reported statistics (data published by medical panels/ associations or federal government reports), and literature reviews in PubMed. This review provides estimates of background incidence rates for medical conditions that may be monitored or studied as AESI during safety surveillance and research for COVID-19 vaccines and other new vaccines.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      • Technical viability of the YF MAC-HD ELISA kit for use in yellow fever-endemic regionsexternal icon
        Goodman CH, Demanou M, Mulders M, Mendez-Rico J, Basile AJ.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jun;15(6):e0009417.
        Yellow fever (YF), an arboviral disease, affects an estimated 200,000 people and causes 30,000 deaths per year and recently has caused major epidemics in Africa and South America. Timely and accurate diagnosis of YF is critical for managing outbreaks and implementing vaccination campaigns. A YF immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody-capture (MAC) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit, the YF MAC-HD, was successfully introduced starting in 2018 to laboratories in Africa and South America. The YF MAC-HD kit can be performed in 3.5 hours, test up to 24 samples, and includes all reagents necessary to perform the test, except for water used to dilute wash buffer. In 2018 and 2019, a total of 56 laboratory personnel from 39 countries in Africa and South America were trained to use the kit during workshops, followed by take-home YF IgM proficiency testing (PT) exercises. Participants received either a 10- or 20-sample YF PT panel and performed testing using the YF MAC-HD kit. All countries obtained 90% or higher correct results. These results verified the technical viability and transferability of YF MAC-HD kit use for laboratories in YF-endemic countries.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      • OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between adverse changes in employment status and physical and mental health among US adults (more than or equal to 18 years) during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Data from participants (N = 2565) of a national Internet panel (June 2020) were assessed using path analyses to test associations between changes in self-reported employment status and hours worked and physical and mental health outcomes. RESULTS: Respondents who lost a job after March 1, 2020 (vs those who did not) reported more than twice the number of mentally unhealthy days. Women and those lacking social support had significantly worse physical and mental health outcomes. Participants in the lowest, pre-pandemic household income groups reported experiencing worse mental health. CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrate the importance of providing social and economic support services to US adults experiencing poor mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      • Characteristics of e-Cigarette Use Behaviors Among US Youth, 2020external icon
        Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Neff LJ, Glidden EV, Jamal A, Park-Lee E, Ren C, Cullen KA, King BA, Hacker KA.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jun 1;4(6):e2111336.
        IMPORTANCE: Comprehensive surveillance of e-cigarette use behaviors among youth is important for informing strategies to address this public health epidemic. OBJECTIVE: To characterize e-cigarette use behaviors among US youth in 2020. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional, school-based survey of middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) students, was conducted from January 16, 2020, to March 16, 2020. A total of 14 531 students from 180 schools participated in the 2020 survey, yielding a corresponding student-level participation rate of 87.4% and school-level participation rate of 49.9%. The overall response rate, a product of the school-level and student-level participation rates, was 43.6%. EXPOSURES: Current (past 30-day) e-cigarette use. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Self-reported current e-cigarette use behaviors (frequency of use, usual e-cigarette brand, and access source) by school level and flavored e-cigarette use and flavor types among current e-cigarette users by school level and device type. Prevalence estimates were weighted to account for the complex survey design. RESULTS: Overall, 14 531 students completed the survey, including 7330 female students and 7133 male students with self-reported grade level and sex. In 2020, 19.6% (95% CI, 17.2%-22.2%) of high school students and 4.7% (95% CI, 3.6%-6.0%) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use. Among them, 38.9% (95% CI, 35.2%-42.6%) of high school users and 20.0% (95% CI, 16.0%-24.8%) of middle school users reported e-cigarette use on 20 to 30 days within the past 30 days. Among current users, JUUL was the most commonly reported usual brand (high school: 25.4%; 95% CI, 18.8%-33.4%; middle school: 35.1%; 95% CI, 27.9%-43.1%). Among current users, the most common source of obtaining e-cigarettes was from a friend (high school: 57.1%; 95% CI, 52.6%-61.4%; middle school: 58.9%; 95% CI, 51.4%-66.1%). Among current users, 84.7% (95% CI, 82.2%-86.9%) of high school students and 73.9% (95% CI, 66.9%-79.8%) of middle school students reported flavored e-cigarette use. Fruit-flavored e-cigarettes were the most commonly reported flavor among current exclusive e-cigarette users of prefilled pods or cartridges (67.3%; 95% CI, 60.9%-73.0%), disposable e-cigarettes (85.8%; 95% CI, 79.8%-90.3%), and tank-based devices (82.7%; 95% CI, 68.9%-91.1%), followed by mint-flavored e-cigarettes. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest that although current e-cigarette use decreased during 2019 to 2020, overall prevalence, frequent use, and flavored e-cigarette use remained high. Continued actions are warranted to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among US youth.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      • Fatal Dengue Acquired in Floridaexternal icon
        Sharp TM, Morris S, Morrison A, de Lima Corvino D, Santiago GA, Shieh WJ, Rico E, Kopp E, Muñoz-Jordán JL, Marttos A, Paz-Bailey G, Abbo LM, Stanek D.
        N Engl J Med. 2021 Jun 10;384(23):2257-2259.

      • Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) are an endangered primate species, with ~43% of the 1,063 individuals that remain on the planet today residing in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) in southwestern Uganda. These primates are at the heart of a growing tourism industry that has incentivized their continued protection, but close proximity between humans and gorillas during such encounters presents well-documented risks for disease transmission. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has developed rules to help protect the health of the gorillas, limiting each habituated gorilla group to a single 60 min visit each day by a group of no more than 8 tourists, and emphasizing that humans maintain a >7 m distance from gorillas at all times. A number of studies have documented that not all tour groups respect these rules. This project assesses rule-adherence during gorilla tourism encounters at BINP using both observational and survey-based data collected during the tourism high season between May and August, 2014. Observational data from 53 treks reveal that groups of 1-11 tourists engaged in gorilla viewing encounters between 46 and 98 min in duration. Although 96% of pre-trek briefings conducted by park rangers emphasized the need to maintain >7 m human-gorilla spacing, the 7 m distance rule was violated in over 98% (52 out of 53) of the tours examined in this study. Observational data were collected at 2 min intervals during gorilla-viewing encounters, documenting the nearest distance between any tourist and a gorilla (n = 1,604), of which 1,094 observations (68.2%) took place at a distance less than or equal to 7 m. Importantly, the 7 m rule was violated in visits to all of the gorilla groups habituated during the time of the study. In 224 observations (~14%, per 1,604 total), human-gorilla spacing was 3 m or less. Survey data (n = 243) revealed promising opportunities to improve tourist understanding of and adherence to park rules, with 73.6% of respondents indicating that they would be willing to utilize a precautionary measure of wearing a face-mask during encounters to protect gorilla health.

  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. Multilevel Small Area Estimation of Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening Test in the United States by Age Group: 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systemexternal icon
        Berkowitz Z, Zhang X, Richards TB, Sabatino SA, Peipins LA, Smith JL.
        J Am Board Fam Med. 2021 May-Jun;34(3):634-647.
        BACKGROUND: In 2018, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended prostate cancer screening for men aged 55 to 69 years who express a preference for being screened after being informed about and understanding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test benefits and risks. USPSTF recommended against screening men aged ≥70 years. We aim to generate county-level prevalence estimates, masked by national and state estimates, to identify counties with high PSA screening prevalence. METHODS: We fitted multilevel logistic regression mixed models for 4 age groups (≥40, 40 to 54, 55 to 69, ≥70 years), using data from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (n = 116,654) and other sources. We evaluated consistency between our model-based state and BRFSS direct state estimates with Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficients. RESULTS: PSA screening prevalence increased with increasing age groups: 7.7% for men aged 40 to 54 years, 27.2% for men aged 55 to 69 years, and 33.7% among men age ≥70 years, and was largely clustered in the South and Appalachia. Many county estimates among men aged ≥70 years exceeded 40%, especially in the South. Correlation coefficients were 0.94 for men aged ≥40, and ≥0.85 for men aged 40 to 54 years, 55 to 69 years, and ≥70 years. CONCLUSIONS: PSA screening was highest among men ≥70 years, for whom it is not recommended, and in the South among all age groups. Screening varied substantially within states. IMPACT: In 2018, on average, more than 1 in 4 men aged 55 to 69 years and 1 in 3 men aged ≥70 years underwent PSA screening in the prior year, suggesting potential overuse among some men.

      2. BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Achieving hypertension control requires multiple supportive inventions, including self-measured blood pressure (SMBP). The objective of this study is to report the use of SMBP among US adults. METHODS: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were used for this study. The 2019 survey included, for the first time, an optional SMBP module. Twenty states and the District of Columbia (N=159,536) opted to include the module, which assessed whether participants were advised by a healthcare professional to use SMBP, and if they used SMBP monitoring. Among those using SMBP, additional questions assessed the location of SMBP monitoring and whether SMBP readings were shared with a healthcare professional. RESULTS: Among adults in the study population, 33.9% (95% confidence interval 33.4%-34.5%) reported having hypertension (N=66,869). Among them, nearly 70% were recommended to use SMBP by their healthcare professional and approximately 61% reported SMBP use regardless of recommendation. The most common location of SMBP was the home (85.6%). Overall, >80% shared their SMBP reading with their healthcare professional, 74% and 7% were shared in person and via the internet or email, respectively. There were differences in healthcare professional recommendations, use of SMBP, and SMBP information sharing across demographic characteristics and state of residency. CONCLUSIONS: SMBP recommendation was common practice among healthcare professionals, as reported by US adults with hypertension. Data from this study can be used to guide interventions to promote hypertension self-management and control.

      3. Increase in Prevalence of Diabetic Ketoacidosis at Diagnosis Among Youth With Type 1 Diabetes: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Studyexternal icon
        Jensen ET, Stafford JM, Saydah S, D'Agostino RB, Dolan LM, Lawrence JM, Marcovina S, Mayer-Davis EJ, Pihoker C, Rewers A, Dabelea D.
        Diabetes Care. 2021 Jun 7.
        OBJECTIVE: We previously reported a high (30%) but stable prevalence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at youth-onset diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (2002 and 2010). Given the changing demographics of youth-onset type 1 diabetes, we sought to evaluate temporal trends in the prevalence of DKA at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes from 2010 to 2016 among youth <20 years of age and evaluate whether any change observed was associated with changes in sociodemographic distribution of those recently diagnosed. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We calculated prevalence of DKA within 1 month of type 1 diabetes diagnosis by year and evaluated trends over time (2010-2016) (n = 7,612 incident diabetes cases; mean [SD] age 10.1 [4.5] at diagnosis). To assess whether trends observed were attributable to the changing distribution of sociodemographic factors among youth with incident type 1 diabetes, we estimated an adjusted relative risk (RR) of DKA in relation to calendar year, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education, health insurance status, language, season of diagnosis, and SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study site. RESULTS: DKA prevalence increased from 35.3% (95% CI 32.2, 38.4) in 2010 to 40.6% (95% CI 37.8, 43.4) in 2016 (P (trend) = 0.01). Adjustment for sociodemographic factors did not substantively change the observed trends. We observed a 2% annual increase in prevalence of DKA at or near diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (crude RR 1.02 [95% CI 1.01, 1.04] and adjusted RR 1.02 [95% CI 1.01, 1.04]; P = 0.01 for both). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of DKA at or near type 1 diabetes diagnosis has increased from 2010 to 2016, following the high but stable prevalence observed from 2002 to 2010. This increase does not seem to be attributable to the changes in distribution of sociodemographic factors over time.

      4. Controlling Hypertension: Our Cardiology Practices Can Do a Better Jobexternal icon
        Oetgen WJ, Wright JS.
        J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 ;77(23):2973-2977.

      5. Self-Reported Diabetes Prevalence in Asian American Subgroups: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2013-2019external icon
        Shah NS, Luncheon C, Kandula NR, Cho P, Loustalot F, Fang J.
        J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jun 9.
        BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a leading contributor to morbidity and mortality in the United States (US). Prior DM prevalence estimates in Asian Americans are predominantly from Asians aggregated into a single group, but the Asian American population is heterogenous. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate self-reported DM prevalence in disaggregated Asian American subgroups to inform targeted management and prevention. DESIGN: Serial cross-sectional analysis. PARTICIPANTS: Respondents to the US Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys who self-identify as non-Hispanic Asian American (NHA, N=57,001), comprising Asian Indian (N=11,089), Chinese (N=9458), Filipino (N=9339), Japanese (N=10,387), and Korean Americans (N=2843), compared to non-Hispanic White (NHW, N=2,143,729) and non-Hispanic Black (NHB, N=215,957) Americans. MAIN MEASURES: Prevalence of self-reported DM. Univariate Satterthwaite-adjusted chi-square tests compared the differences in weighted DM prevalence by sociodemographic and health status. KEY RESULTS: Self-reported fully adjusted DM prevalence was 8.7% (95% confidence interval 8.2-9.3) in NHA, compared to 14.3% (14.0-14.6) in NHB and 10.0% (10.0-10.1) in NHW (p<0.01 for difference). In NHA subgroups overall, DM prevalence was 14.4% (12.6-16.3) in Filipino, 13.4% (10.9-16.2) in Japanese, 10.7% (9.6-11.8) in Asian Indian, 5.1% (4.2-6.2) in Chinese, and 4.7% (3.4-6.3) in Korean Americans (p<0.01). Among those aged ≥65 years, DM prevalence was highest in Filipino (35.0% (29.4-41.2)) and Asian Indian (31.5% (25.9-37.8)) Americans. Adjusted for sex, education, and race/ethnicity-specific obesity category, NHA overall had a 21% higher DM prevalence compared to NHW (prevalence ratio 1.21 [1.14-1.27]), while prevalence ratios were 1.42 (1.24-1.63) in Filipinos and 1.29 (1.14-1.46) in Asian Indians. CONCLUSIONS: Adjusted self-reported DM prevalence is higher in NHA compared with NHW. Disaggregating NHA reveals heterogeneity in self-reported DM prevalence, highest in Filipino and Asian Indian Americans.

      6. Screening for colorectal cancer in the United States: correlates and time trends by type of testexternal icon
        Shapiro JA, Soman AV, Berkowitz Z, Fedewa SA, Sabatino SA, de Moor JS, Clarke TC, Doria-Rose VP, Breslau ES, Jamal A, Nadel MR.
        Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Jun 4.
        BACKGROUND: It is strongly recommended that adults aged 50-75 years be screened for colorectal cancer (CRC). Recommended screening options include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, computed tomography colonography, guaiac fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), fecal immunochemical testing (FIT), or the more recently introduced FIT-DNA (FIT in combination with a stool DNA test). CRC screening programs can benefit from knowledge of patterns of use by test type and within population subgroups. METHODS: Using 2018 National Health Interview Survey data, we examined CRC screening test use for adults aged 50-75 years (N=10,595). We also examined time trends in CRC screening test use from 2010-2018. RESULTS: In 2018, an estimated 66.9% of U.S. adults aged 50-75 years had a CRC screening test within recommended time intervals. However, the prevalence was less than 50% among those aged 50-54 years, those without a usual source of health care, those with no doctor visits in the past year, and those who were uninsured. The test types most commonly used within recommended time intervals were colonoscopy within 10 years (61.1%), FOBT or FIT in the past year (8.8%), and FIT-DNA within 3 years (2.7%). After age-standardization to the 2010 census population, the percentage up-to-date with CRC screening increased from 61.2% in 2015 to 65.3% in 2018, driven by increased use of stool testing, including FIT-DNA. CONCLUSIONS: These results show some progress, driven by a modest increase in stool testing. However, CRC testing remains low in many population subgroups. IMPACT: These results can inform efforts to achieve population CRC screening goals.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Restricting Access: A Secondary Analysis of Scope of Practice Laws and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Prescribing in the United States, 2017external icon
        Carnes N, Zhang J, Gelaude D, Huang YA, Mizuno Y, Hoover KW.
        J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2021 Jun 2.
        To assess advanced practitioners' scope of practice laws (i.e., legal authority providers can prescribe regulated medications) as potential barriers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), we conducted an analysis using IQVIA Real World Data in association with scope of practice law classifications supplied by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse practitioners in states that allowed independent scope of practice were 1.4 times more likely to have prescribed PrEP compared with nurse practitioners in states where their prescribing authority is determined by a supervising medical doctor (MD). Physician assistants in states where the law or a state board defined their prescribing authority were more than twice as likely to prescribe PrEP compared with those in states where a supervising MD oversaw prescribing rights. Our findings suggest that restricting scope of prescribing practice by requiring MD oversight limits PrEP access and poses a barrier to scaling up PrEP.

      2. Decreases in COVID-19 Cases, Emergency Department Visits, Hospital Admissions, and Deaths Among Older Adults Following the Introduction of COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, September 6, 2020-May 1, 2021external icon
        Christie A, Henley SJ, Mattocks L, Fernando R, Lansky A, Ahmad FB, Adjemian J, Anderson RN, Binder AM, Carey K, Dee DL, Dias T, Duck WM, Gaughan DM, Lyons BC, McNaghten AD, Park MM, Reses H, Rodgers L, Van Santen K, Walker D, Beach MJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jun 11;70(23):858-864.
        Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, older U.S. adults have been at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death (1). On December 14, 2020, the United States began a nationwide vaccination campaign after the Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended prioritizing health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities, followed by essential workers and persons at risk for severe illness, including adults aged ≥65 years, in the early phases of the vaccination program (2). By May 1, 2021, 82%, 63%, and 42% of persons aged ≥65, 50-64, and 18-49 years, respectively, had received ≥1 COVID-19 vaccine dose. CDC calculated the rates of COVID-19 cases, emergency department (ED) visits, hospital admissions, and deaths by age group during November 29-December 12, 2020 (prevaccine) and April 18-May 1, 2021. The rate ratios comparing the oldest age groups (≥70 years for hospital admissions; ≥65 years for other measures) with adults aged 18-49 years were 40%, 59%, 65%, and 66% lower, respectively, in the latter period. These differential declines are likely due, in part, to higher COVID-19 vaccination coverage among older adults, highlighting the potential benefits of rapidly increasing vaccination coverage.

      3. Since 2010, reported chlamydia and gonorrhea rates decreased among Black women aged 15-19 years and were stable for Black women 20-24 in the United States. Rates increased for older Black women 25-39 and all White women. The Black:White rate ratio decreased across age groups. We examined whether trends in reported rates reflected changing prevalence or changing screening. We analyzed trends in reported chlamydia and gonorrhea rates during 2010 to 2018 among women in the United States aged 15-39 years by age and race/ethnicity subgroup, state, and reporting source. Most jurisdictions reported decreased chlamydia and gonorrhea rates among Black teens and increased rates among White teens and older women. Between 2010 and 2018, public clinics reported fewer cases, especially among young Black women, that were not restored by increases elsewhere. We reviewed literature on trends in screening, prevalence, and sequelae. Family planning clinics annual reports showed chlamydia tests among women <25 decreased by 541,573 tests (-38%) in 2018 compared with 2010 and the number of women visiting STD clinics had decreased 50% by 2016 compared with 2010. Prevalence of chlamydia in a sentinel population (Job Corps) was unchanged for Black women <25 and increased for Whites 20-24. Sequelae trends using data from a large all-payer ED database were mixed: PID decreased while ectopic pregnancy increased. Decreases in testing at public clinics likely missed diagnoses among young Black women, a group traditionally at highest risk, and in need of more testing. Innovative approaches to screening are needed.

      4. Program Adaptations to Provide Harm Reduction Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study of Syringe Services Programs in the U.Sexternal icon
        Frost MC, Sweek EW, Austin EJ, Corcorran MA, Juarez AM, Frank ND, Prohaska SM, LaKosky PA, Asher AK, Broz D, Jarlais DC, Williams EC, Glick SN.
        AIDS Behav. 2021 Jun 10.
        Syringe services programs (SSPs) are essential to preventing injection drug use-related infections and overdose death among people who use drugs (PWUD). The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initially impeded SSPs' operations. To effectively support these programs, information is needed regarding SSPs' experiences adapting their services and the challenges posed by COVID-19. We conducted qualitative interviews with leadership and staff from a sample of 31 U.S. SSPs. Respondents discussed urgent concerns including reduced reach of services, suspended HIV/hepatitis C testing, high COVID-19 risk among PWUD, and negative impacts of isolation on overdose and mental health. They also noted opportunities to improve future services for PWUD, including shifting to evidence-based distribution practices and maintaining regulatory changes that increased access to opioid use disorder medications post-pandemic. Findings can inform efforts to support SSPs in restoring and expanding services, and provide insight into SSPs' role in engaging PWUD during the COVID-19 response and future emergencies.

      5. Continuous quality improvement in HIV and TB services at selected healthcare facilities in South Africaexternal icon
        Gaga S, Mqoqi N, Chimatira R, Moko S, Igumbor JO.
        South Afr J HIV Med. 2021 ;22(1).
        Background: Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is essential for HIV and tuberculosis (TB) services. Similarly, a thorough understanding of the requirements and impact of CQI is critical to its successful institutionalisation. However, this is currently lacking. Objectives: The objective of this study is to describe the CQI implementation process and examine its effect on HIV and TB service delivery at selected primary healthcare facilities in two South African districts. Method: We used a separate sample, pre- and post-test, quasi-experimental study design based on data collected from the clinical audit of patient cohorts seen in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Quality was measured based on the extent to which prescribed services were provided. Tailored CQI interventions were implemented based on service delivery gaps identified by the 2014 CQI audit. Data were summarised and analysed using a combination of univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: The services identified as low quality were related to opportunistic infections management and laboratory practices. Compliance to prescribed service items in antiretroviral treatment initiation and monitoring, pharmacy and laboratory management, exceeded 70% across study sites. Over 80% of low quality service delivery items were optimised in less than six months with targeted quality improvement support. Conclusion: The observed improvements signal the effectiveness of the CQI approach, its capacity to rapidly improve under-performance, its high replicability and the need to provide quality maintenance support to sustain or improve healthcare facilities performing well. The study strongly underscores the need to improve the management of opportunistic infections and complications, particularly TB. © 2021. The Authors.

      6. Hospitalization of Adolescents Aged 12-17 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1, 2020-April 24, 2021external icon
        Havers FP, Whitaker M, Self JL, Chai SJ, Kirley PD, Alden NB, Kawasaki B, Meek J, Yousey-Hindes K, Anderson EJ, Openo KP, Weigel A, Teno K, Monroe ML, Ryan PA, Reeg L, Kohrman A, Lynfield R, Como-Sabetti K, Poblete M, McMullen C, Muse A, Spina N, Bennett NM, Gaitán M, Billing LM, Shiltz J, Sutton M, Abdullah N, Schaffner W, Talbot HK, Crossland M, George A, Patel K, Pham H, Milucky J, Anglin O, Ujamaa D, Hall AJ, Garg S, Taylor CA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jun 11;70(23):851-857.
        Most COVID-19-associated hospitalizations occur in older adults, but severe disease that requires hospitalization occurs in all age groups, including adolescents aged 12-17 years (1). On May 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include persons aged 12-15 years, and CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended it for this age group on May 12, 2021.* Before that time, COVID-19 vaccines had been available only to persons aged ≥16 years. Understanding and describing the epidemiology of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in adolescents and comparing it with adolescent hospitalizations associated with other vaccine-preventable respiratory viruses, such as influenza, offers evidence of the benefits of expanding the recommended age range for vaccination and provides a baseline and context from which to assess vaccination impact. Using the Coronavirus Disease 2019-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), CDC examined COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among adolescents aged 12-17 years, including demographic and clinical characteristics of adolescents admitted during January 1-March 31, 2021, and hospitalization rates (hospitalizations per 100,000 persons) among adolescents during March 1, 2020-April 24, 2021. Among 204 adolescents who were likely hospitalized primarily for COVID-19 during January 1-March 31, 2021, 31.4% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 4.9% required invasive mechanical ventilation; there were no associated deaths. During March 1, 2020-April 24, 2021, weekly adolescent hospitalization rates peaked at 2.1 per 100,000 in early January 2021, declined to 0.6 in mid-March, and then rose to 1.3 in April. Cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates during October 1, 2020-April 24, 2021, were 2.5-3.0 times higher than were influenza-associated hospitalization rates from three recent influenza seasons (2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20) obtained from the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET). Recent increased COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates in March and April 2021 and the potential for severe disease in adolescents reinforce the importance of continued COVID-19 prevention measures, including vaccination and correct and consistent wearing of masks by persons not yet fully vaccinated or when required by laws, rules, or regulations.(†).

      7. Geographic and demographic heterogeneity of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing in Illinois, USA, March to December 2020external icon
        Holden TM, Richardson RA, Arevalo P, Duffus WA, Runge M, Whitney E, Wise L, Ezike NO, Patrick S, Cobey S, Gerardin J.
        BMC Public Health. 2021 Jun 10;21(1):1105.
        BACKGROUND: Availability of SARS-CoV-2 testing in the United States (U.S.) has fluctuated through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the U.S. state of Illinois. Despite substantial ramp-up in test volume, access to SARS-CoV-2 testing remains limited, heterogeneous, and insufficient to control spread. METHODS: We compared SARS-CoV-2 testing rates across geographic regions, over time, and by demographic characteristics (i.e., age and racial/ethnic groups) in Illinois during March through December 2020. We compared age-matched case fatality ratios and infection fatality ratios through time to estimate the fraction of SARS-CoV-2 infections that have been detected through diagnostic testing. RESULTS: By the end of 2020, initial geographic differences in testing rates had closed substantially. Case fatality ratios were higher in non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic/Latino populations in Illinois relative to non-Hispanic White populations, suggesting that tests were insufficient to accurately capture the true burden of COVID-19 disease in the minority populations during the initial epidemic wave. While testing disparities decreased during 2020, Hispanic/Latino populations consistently remained the least tested at 1.87 tests per 1000 population per day compared with 2.58 and 2.87 for non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White populations, respectively, at the end of 2020. Despite a large expansion in testing since the beginning of the first wave of the epidemic, we estimated that over half (50-80%) of all SARS-CoV-2 infections were not detected by diagnostic testing and continued to evade surveillance. CONCLUSIONS: Systematic methods for identifying relatively under-tested geographic regions and demographic groups may enable policymakers to regularly monitor and evaluate the shifting landscape of diagnostic testing, allowing officials to prioritize allocation of testing resources to reduce disparities in COVID-19 burden and eventually reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

      8. BACKGROUND: Associations between online sex seeking and increased risk for STIs and HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) typically rely on convenience samples. We examined internet and mobile app use for finding sex partners among a nationally representative sample of MSM. METHODS: We analyzed 2011-2017 data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), a nationally representative sample of the civilian, non-institutionalized US population (15-44 years). The analytic sample was comprised of males who reported one or more same-sex partners in the past year. We also assessed associations between online sex-seeking and STI risk, sexual health care behaviors, and condom use. RESULTS: Of 13,320 male respondents, 442 (3.0%) reported sex with a man in the past year, of whom 215 (46.3%) had met a partner online. Between MSM who met partners online and those who did not, we found no differences by age, education, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status. MSM with online partners were more likely to identify as gay (68.4% vs 49.5%, p=0.0124). They also reported more sex partners overall (M = 3.04 versus 1.60, p <0.0001), and multiple insertive (46.3% versus 8.5%, p <0.0001) and receptive (33.2% versus 15.4%, p=0.0055) anal sex partners, in the past year. They were also more likely to receive sexual risk assessments (56.0% versus 40.4%, p=0.0129), STI testing (57.4% versus 35.3%, p =0.0002) and STI treatment (17.8% versus 8.7%, p=0.0152) in the past year. We found no differences in condom use. CONCLUSION: MSM who report using online sources to find sex partners are more likely than other MSM to report behaviors that increase risk for STI/HIV but are also more likely to engage in behaviors that may mitigate further transmission, such as STI testing.

      9. Mathematical modeling to inform vaccination strategies and testing approaches for COVID-19 in nursing homesexternal icon
        Kahn R, Holmdahl I, Reddy S, Jernigan J, Mina MJ, Slayton RB.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 4.
        BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents and staff were included in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the United States. Because the primary trial endpoint was vaccine efficacy (VE) against symptomatic disease, there are limited data on the extent to which vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and the ability to infect others (infectiousness). Assumptions about VE against infection and infectiousness have implications for changes to infection prevention guidance for vaccinated populations, including testing strategies. METHODS: We use a stochastic agent-based SEIR model of a nursing home to simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We model three scenarios, varying VE against infection, infectiousness, and symptoms, to understand the expected impact of vaccination in nursing homes, increasing staff vaccination coverage, and different screening testing strategies under each scenario. RESULTS: Increasing vaccination coverage in staff decreases total symptomatic cases in the nursing home (among staff and residents combined) in each VE scenario. In scenarios with 50% and 90% VE against infection and infectiousness, increasing staff coverage reduces symptomatic cases among residents. If vaccination only protects against symptoms, and asymptomatic cases remain infectious, increased staff coverage increases symptomatic cases among residents. However, this is outweighed by the reduction in symptomatic cases among staff. Higher frequency testing-more than once weekly-is needed to reduce total symptomatic cases if the vaccine has lower efficacy against infection and infectiousness, or only protects against symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Encouraging staff vaccination is not only important for protecting staff, but might also reduce symptomatic cases in residents if a vaccine confers at least some protection against infection or infectiousness.

      10. Effects of condom use on HIV transmission among adolescent sexual minority males in the United States: a mixed epidemiology and epidemic modeling studyexternal icon
        Katz DA, Hamilton DT, Rosenthal EM, Wang LY, Dunville RL, Aslam M, Barrios LC, Zlotorzynska M, Sanchez TH, Sullivan PS, Rosenberg ES, Goodreau SM.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Jun 3.
        PURPOSE: We examined condom use patterns and potential population-level effects of a hypothetical condom intervention on HIV transmission among adolescent sexual minority males (ASMM). METHODS: Using three datasets: national Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2015-2017 (YRBS-National), local YRBS data from 8 jurisdictions with sex of partner questions from 2011-2017 (YRBS-Trends), and American Men's Internet Survey (AMIS) 2014-2017, we assessed associations of condom use with year, age, and race/ethnicity among sexually-active ASMM. Using a stochastic agent-based network epidemic model, structured and parameterized based on the above analyses, we calculated the percent of HIV infections averted over 10 years among ASMM ages 13-18 by an intervention that increased condom use by 37% for 5 years and was delivered to 62% of ASMM at age 14. RESULTS: In YRBS, 51.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 41.3-62.3%) and 37.9% (32.7-42.3%) reported condom use at last sexual intercourse in national and trend datasets, respectively. In AMIS, 47.3% (95%CI = 44.6-49.9%) reported condom use at last anal sex with a male partner. Temporal trends were not observed in any dataset (p > 0.1). Condom use varied significantly by age in YRBS-National (p < 0.0001) and YRBS-Trends (p = 0.032) with 13-15-year-olds reporting the lowest use in both; age differences were not significant in AMIS (p = 0.919). Our hypothetical intervention averted a mean of 9.0% (95% simulation interval = -5.4%-21.2%) of infections among ASMM. CONCLUSIONS: Condom use among ASMM is low and appears to have remained stable during 2011-2017. Modeling suggests that condom use increases consistent with previous interventions have potential to avert 1 in 11 new HIV infections among ASMM.

      11. Decreases in Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemicexternal icon
        Kaufman HW, Bull-Otterson L, Meyer WA, Huang X, Doshani M, Thompson WW, Osinubi A, Khan MA, Harris AM, Gupta N, Van Handel M, Wester C, Mermin J, Nelson NP.
        . 2021 May 10.
        INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare services, reducing opportunities to conduct routine hepatitis C virus antibody screening, clinical care, and treatment. Therefore, people living with undiagnosed hepatitis C virus during the pandemic may later become identified at more advanced stages of the disease, leading to higher morbidity and mortality rates. Further, unidentified hepatitis C virus-infected individuals may continue to unknowingly transmit the virus to others. METHODS: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were evaluated from a large national reference clinical laboratory and from national estimates of dispensed prescriptions for hepatitis C virus treatment. Investigators estimated the average number of hepatitis C virus antibody tests, hepatitis C virus antibody-positive test results, and hepatitis C virus RNA-positive test results by month in January-July for 2018 and 2019, compared with the same months in 2020. To assess the impact of hepatitis C virus treatment, dispensed hepatitis C virus direct-acting antiretroviral medications were examined for the same time periods. Statistical analyses of trends were performed using negative binomial models. RESULTS: Compared with the 2018 and 2019 months, hepatitis C virus antibody testing volume decreased 59% during April 2020 and rebounded to a 6% reduction in July 2020. The number of hepatitis C virus RNA-positive results fell by 62% in March 2020 and remained 39% below the baseline by July 2020. For hepatitis C virus treatment, prescriptions decreased 43% in May, 37% in June, and 38% in July relative to the corresponding months in 2018 and 2019. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, continued public health messaging, interventions and outreach programs to restore hepatitis C virus testing and treatment to prepandemic levels, and maintenance of public health efforts to eliminate hepatitis C infections remain important.

      12. Risk Factors for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization: COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systemexternal icon
        Ko JY, Danielson ML, Town M, Derado G, Greenlund KJ, Kirley PD, Alden NB, Yousey-Hindes K, Anderson EJ, Ryan PA, Kim S, Lynfield R, Torres SM, Barney GR, Bennett NM, Sutton M, Talbot HK, Hill M, Hall AJ, Fry AM, Garg S, Kim L.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 1;72(11):e695-e703.
        BACKGROUND: Data on risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated hospitalization are needed to guide prevention efforts and clinical care. We sought to identify factors independently associated with COVID-19-associated hospitalizations. METHODS: Community-dwelling adults (aged ≥18 years) in the United States hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 during 1 March-23 June 2020 were identified from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), a multistate surveillance system. To calculate hospitalization rates by age, sex, and race/ethnicity strata, COVID-NET data served as the numerator and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System estimates served as the population denominator for characteristics of interest. Underlying medical conditions examined included hypertension, coronary artery disease, history of stroke, diabetes, obesity, severe obesity, chronic kidney disease, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Generalized Poisson regression models were used to calculate adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) for hospitalization. RESULTS: Among 5416 adults, hospitalization rates (all reported as aRR [95% confidence interval]) were higher among those with ≥3 underlying conditions (vs without) (5.0 [3.9-6.3]), severe obesity (4.4 [3.4-5.7]), chronic kidney disease (4.0 [3.0-5.2]), diabetes (3.2 [2.5-4.1]), obesity (2.9 [2.3-3.5]), hypertension (2.8 [2.3-3.4]), and asthma (1.4 [1.1-1.7]), after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Adjusting for the presence of an individual underlying medical condition, higher hospitalization rates were observed for adults aged ≥65 or 45-64 years (vs 18-44 years), males (vs females), and non-Hispanic black and other race/ethnicities (vs non-Hispanic whites). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings elucidate groups with higher hospitalization risk that may benefit from targeted preventive and therapeutic interventions.

      13. Survival following screening and preemptive antifungal therapy for subclinical cryptococcal disease in advanced HIV infectionexternal icon
        Makadzange TA, Hlupeni A, Machekano R, Boyd K, Mtisi T, Nyamayaro P, Ross C, Vallabhaneni S, Balachandra S, Chonzi P, Ndhlovu CE.
        Aids. 2021 Jun 4.
        OBJECTIVES: Our study's primary objective was to compare 1-year survival rates between serum cryptococcal antigen (sCrAg)-positive and sCrAg-negative HIV-positive individuals with CD4 counts <100 cells/μl without symptoms of meningitis in Zimbabwe. DESIGN: This was a prospective cohort study. METHODS: Participants were enrolled as either sCrAg-positive or sCrAg-negative and followed up for ≤52 weeks, with death as the outcome. Lumbar punctures (LPs) were recommended to all sCrAg-positives and inpatient management with intravenous amphotericin B and high-dose fluconazole was recommended to those with disseminated Cryptococcus. Antiretroviral therapy was initiated immediately in sCrAg-negatives and after ≥4 weeks following initiation of antifungals in sCrAg-positives. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine risk factors for mortality. RESULTS: We enrolled 1320 participants and 130 (9.8%) were sCrAg positive, with a median sCrAg titre of 1:20. Sixty-six (50.8%) sCrAg-positives had LPs and 16.7% (11/66) had central nervous system (CNS) dissemination. Cryptococcal blood cultures were performed in 129 sCrAg-positives, with 10 (7.8%) being positive. One-year (48-52 weeks) survival rates were 83.9% and 76.1% in sCrAg-negatives and sCrAg-positives, respectively, p = 0.011. Factors associated with increased mortality were a positive sCrAg, CD4 count <50 cells/μl and having presumptive tuberculosis (TB) symptoms. CONCLUSION: Our study reports a high prevalence of subclinical cryptococcal antigenemia and reiterates the importance of TB and a positive sCrAg as risk factors for mortality in advanced HIV disease (AHD). Therefore, TB and sCrAg screening remains a crucial component of AHD package, hence it should always be part of the comprehensive clinical evaluation in AHD patients.

      14. Klebsiella spp. cause severe and fatal disease in Mozambican children: antimicrobial resistance profile and molecular characterizationexternal icon
        Massinga AJ, Garrine M, Messa A, Nobela NA, Boisen N, Massora S, Cossa A, Varo R, Sitoe A, Hurtado JC, Ordi J, Mucavele H, Nhampossa T, Breiman RF, Whitney CG, Blau DM, Bassat Q, Mandomando I.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 5;21(1):526.
        BACKGROUND: Klebsiella spp. are important pathogens associated with bacteremia among admitted children and is among the leading cause of death in children < 5 years in postmortem studies, supporting a larger role than previously considered in childhood mortality. Herein, we compared the antimicrobial susceptibility, mechanisms of resistance, and the virulence profile of Klebsiella spp. from admitted and postmortem children. METHODS: Antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence factors of Klebsiella spp. recovered from blood samples collected upon admission to the hospital (n = 88) and postmortem blood (n = 23) from children < 5 years were assessed by disk diffusion and multiplex PCR. RESULTS: Klebsiella isolates from postmortem blood were likely to be ceftriaxone resistant (69.6%, 16/23 vs. 48.9%, 43/88, p = 0.045) or extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers (60.9%, 14/23 vs. 25%, 22/88, p = 0.001) compared to those from admitted children. bla(CTX-M-15) was the most frequent ESBL gene: 65.3%, 9/14 in postmortem isolates and 22.7% (5/22) from admitted children. We found higher frequency of genes associated with hypermucoviscosity phenotype and invasin in postmortem isolates than those from admitted children: rmpA (30.4%; 7/23 vs. 9.1%, 8/88, p = 0.011), wzi-K1 (34.7%; 8/23 vs. 8%; 7/88, p = 0.002) and traT (60.8%; 14/23 vs. 10.2%; 9/88, p < 0.0001), respectively. Additionally, serine protease auto-transporters of Enterobacteriaceae were detected from 1.8% (pic) to 12.6% (pet) among all isolates. Klebsiella case fatality rate was 30.7% (23/75). CONCLUSION: Multidrug resistant Klebsiella spp. harboring genes associated with hypermucoviscosity phenotype has emerged in Mozambique causing invasive fatal disease in children; highlighting the urgent need for prompt diagnosis, appropriate treatment and effective preventive measures for infection control.

      15. HIV care coverage among HIV-positive adolescent girls and young women in South Africa: results from the HERStory Studyexternal icon
        Mathews C, Cheyip M, Beauclair R, Puren A, Lombard C, Jonas K, Ayalew KA, Govindasamy D, Kuo C, Dietrich J, Abdullah F, Gray G.
        S Afr Med J. 2021 ;111(5):460-468.
        Background. Health service coverage cascades measure the proportion of a population in need of a service that experienced a positive health outcome from the service, and enable tracking of progress in achieving universal health coverage and inequities in care coverage. Objectives. To investigate HIV care coverage among HIV-positive adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) living in six South African districts, compare coverage by age and socioeconomic status (SES), and investigate other associated factors including participation in a combination HIV prevention intervention. Methods. The HERStory Study was an evaluation of the combination intervention, comprising a representative household survey of AGYW aged 15-24 years living in six intervention districts. From September 2017 to November 2018, biological, sociodemographic and behavioural data were collected. HIV-positive status, initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and viral suppression were determined through laboratory tests (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for HIV antibodies, antiretroviral (ARV) metabolites and viral load (VL) testing). Viral suppression was defined as a VL < 1 000 copies/mL. Knowledge of HIV-positive status was self-reported, and participants testing positive for ARV metabolites were assumed to have known their HIV-positive status. Unconditional HIV care cascades were created, stratified by age and SES. We used Pearson's X<sup>2</sup> tests corrected for survey-based analysis to describe factors associated with knowledge of HIV status, and being on ART. Results. Of the 4 399 participants, 568 were HIV-positive (12.4%), of whom 60.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 57.1-64.5) knew their status, 50.6% (95% CI 46.6-54.0) were on ART, and 62.1% (95% CI 58.4-65.9) were virally suppressed. Most participants (84.9%) were in the lower SES group, and they had better coverage than the higher SES group: 61.9% (95% CI 58.3-65.4) knew their status, 52.1% (95% CI 48.4-55.9) were on ART, and 64.9% (95% CI 61.3-68.4) were virally suppressed, compared with 55.0% (95% CI 42.1-68.0), 40.0% (95% CI 29.2-50.8), and 46.6% (95% CI 34.5-58.7), respectively. Participants aged 15-19 years had slightly inferior coverage to the 20-24-year-old group: 57.5% knew their status, 46.1% were on ART and 59.5% were virally suppressed, compared with 62.3%, 52.2% and 63.3%. Conclusions. These findings emphasise the need to close the gaps in HIV care coverage among AGYW, of whom only 61% knew their HIV-positive status and only 62% were virally suppressed. There is pro-poor inequality in HIV care coverage, with those in lower socioeconomic groups more likely to be virally suppressed.

      16. Sexual positioning practices and anal human papillomavirus infection among young men who have sex with men and transgender women - Chicago, Illinois, 2016-2018external icon
        Morgan E, Meites E, Markowitz LE, Xavier Hall CD, Querec TD, Unger ER, Crosby RA, Newcomb ME, Mustanski B.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Mar 31.
        BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States; men who have sex with men (MSM) have higher prevalence of infection and related disease compared with other men. We assessed whether differences in HPV acquisition exist among MSM according to their sexual positioning practices as well as self-reported receipt of HPV vaccination. METHODS: We enrolled young MSM and transgender women aged 18-26 years in Chicago, Illinois (N=666). Participants self-reported history of HPV vaccination, and submitted self-collected anal swab specimens for type-specific HPV detection using an L1-consensus PCR assay. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess relationships between sexual positioning practices and detection of any HPV or quadrivalent HPV vaccine (4vHPV) types by vaccination status, defined as self-reported receipt of ≥1 HPV vaccine dose versus none. RESULTS: Among 666 participants, 400 (60.1%) had any anal HPV, and 146 (21.9%) had a 4vHPV type. Among vaccinated participants, 18, 36, and 177 reported exclusively insertive, exclusively receptive, or both sexual positioning practices, respectively. Compared to participants reporting exclusively insertive anal sex, odds of any HPV were significantly higher among participants engaging exclusively in receptive anal sex (aOR=5.90, 95% CI: 2.52-13.78) as well as those engaging in both (aOR=3.32; 95% CI: 1.71-6.44). Vaccinated participants, compared with unvaccinated participants, had lower odds of 4vHPV-type HPV regardless of sexual positioning practices (aOR=0.56; 95% CI: 0.34-0.92). CONCLUSION: Adult men and transgender women who practice anal receptive sex have high prevalence of infection with any HPV. Routine vaccination of all adolescents is expected to reduce HPV-related disease incidence among adult MSM and transgender women as vaccinated cohorts age.

      17. Seroepidemiology of SARS-CoV-2, Yamagata, Japan, June 2020external icon
        Morikane K, Satoh N, Hatano K, Kanouchi K, Kakehata S, Satoh S, Uyeki TM, Ueno Y.
        Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2021 Jan-Mar;12(1):69-71.

      18. BACKGROUND & AIMS: In the United States, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the leading causes of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis and is a major cause of liver cancer. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of past and present HBV infection, susceptibility to HBV infection, and vaccine-induced immunity to hepatitis B among the US population during 2013-2018. METHODS: Prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals were analyzed by using 2013-2018 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Serologic testing among noninstitutionalized persons aged ≥6 years was used for classifying persons as total hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), indicative of current or previous (ever having had) HBV infection; hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), indicative of current HBV infection; and antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), indicative of immunity attributable to hepatitis B vaccination. Persons who tested negative for anti-HBc, HBsAg, and anti-HBs were considered susceptible to HBV infection. RESULTS: Non-US-born residents accounted for 69.1% of the population with chronic HBV infection and were 9.1 times more likely to be living with chronic hepatitis B, compared with US-born persons. Among adults aged ≥25 years who resided in US households, an estimated 155.8 million persons (or 73.4%) were susceptible to HBV infection, and an estimated 45.4 million had vaccine-induced immunity to hepatitis B. Men who have sex with men (MSM) were 3.6 times more likely to have ever been infected with HBV; however, MSM were just as likely to have vaccine-induced immunity to hepatitis B as non-MSM. CONCLUSION: Despite increasing immune protection among young persons vaccinated after birth, the estimated prevalence of persons living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States has remained unchanged at 0.3% since 1999.

      19. Tenofovir Alafenamide for HIV Prevention: Review of the Proceedings from the Gates Foundation Long-Acting TAF Product Development Meetingexternal icon
        Romano JW, Baum MM, Demkovich ZR, Diana F, Dobard C, Feldman PL, Garcia-Lerma JG, Grattoni A, Gunawardana M, Ho DK, Hope TJ, Massud I, Milad M, Moss JA, Pons-Faudoa FP, Roller S, van der Straten A, Srinivasan S, Veazey RS, Zane D.
        AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2021 Jun;37(6):409-420.
        The ability to successfully develop a safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of HIV infection has proven challenging. Consequently, alternative approaches to HIV infection prevention have been pursued, and there have been a number of successes with differing levels of efficacy. At present, only two oral preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) products are available, Truvada and Descovy. Descovy is a newer product not yet indicated in individuals at risk of HIV-1 infection from receptive vaginal sex, because it still needs to be evaluated in this population. A topical dapivirine vaginal ring is currently under regulatory review, and a long-acting (LA) injectable cabotegravir product shows strong promise. Although demonstrably effective, daily oral PrEP presents adherence challenges for many users, particularly adolescent girls and young women, key target populations. This limitation has triggered development efforts in LA HIV prevention options. This article reviews efforts supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as similar work by other groups, to identify and develop optimal LA HIV prevention products. Specifically, this article is a summary review of a meeting convened by the foundation in early 2020 that focused on the development of LA products designed for extended delivery of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) for HIV prevention. The review broadly serves as technical guidance for preclinical development of LA HIV prevention products. The meeting examined the technical feasibility of multiple delivery technologies, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and safety of subcutaneous (SC) delivery of TAF in animal models. Ultimately, the foundation concluded that there are technologies available for long-term delivery of TAF. However, because of potentially limited efficacy and possible toxicity issues with SC delivery, the foundation will not continue investing in the development of LA, SC delivery of TAF products for HIV prevention.

      20. Epidemiological Correlates of Polymerase Chain Reaction Cycle Threshold Values in the Detection of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)external icon
        Salvatore PP, Dawson P, Wadhwa A, Rabold EM, Buono S, Dietrich EA, Reses HE, Vuong J, Pawloski L, Dasu T, Bhattacharyya S, Pevzner E, Hall AJ, Tate JE, Kirking HL.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 1;72(11):e761-e767.
        BACKGROUND: Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has principally been performed through the use of real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction testing. Results of such tests can be reported as cycle threshold (Ct) values, which may provide semi-quantitative or indirect measurements of viral load. Previous reports have examined temporal trends in Ct values over the course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: Using testing data collected during a prospective household transmission investigation of outpatient and mild coronavirus disease 2019 cases, we examined the relationships between Ct values of the viral RNA N1 target and demographic, clinical, and epidemiological characteristics collected through participant interviews and daily symptom diaries. RESULTS: We found that Ct values are lowest (corresponding to a higher viral RNA concentration) soon after symptom onset and are significantly correlated with the time elapsed since onset (P < .001); within 7 days after symptom onset, the median Ct value was 26.5, compared with a median Ct value of 35.0 occurring 21 days after onset. Ct values were significantly lower among participants under 18 years of age (P = .01) and those reporting upper respiratory symptoms at the time of sample collection (P = .001), and were higher among participants reporting no symptoms (P = .05). CONCLUSIONS: These results emphasize the importance of early testing for SARS-CoV-2 among individuals with symptoms of respiratory illness, and allow cases to be identified and isolated when their viral shedding may be highest.

      21. The article, COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: Predictive Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision-Making (2021), is an important contribution to identifying and prioritizing the needs of Los Angeles' public healthcare in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

      22. Use of U.S. Blood Donors for National Serosurveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies: Basis for an Expanded National Donor Serosurveillance Programexternal icon
        Stone M, Di Germanio C, Wright DJ, Sulaeman H, Dave H, Fink RV, Notari EP, Green V, Strauss D, Kessler D, Destree M, Saa P, Williamson PC, Simmons G, Stramer SL, Opsomer J, Jones JM, Kleinman S, Busch MP.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 10.
        INTRODUCTION: The REDS-IV-P Epidemiology, Surveillance and Preparedness of the Novel SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic (RESPONSE) seroprevalence study conducted monthly cross-sectional testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on blood donors in six U.S. metropolitan regions to estimate the extent of SARS-COV-2 infections over time. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS: During March-August 2020, approximately ≥1,000 serum specimens were collected monthly from each region and tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a well-validated algorithm. Regional seroprevalence estimates were weighted based on demographic differences with the general population. Seroprevalence was compared with reported COVID-19 case rates over time. RESULTS/FINDINGS: For all regions, seroprevalence was <1.0% in March 2020. New York experienced the biggest increase (peak seroprevalence, 15.8 % in May). All other regions experienced modest increases in seroprevalence(1-2% in May-June to 2-4% in July-August). Seroprevalence was higher in younger, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic donors. Temporal increases in donor seroprevalence correlated with reported case rates in each region. In August, 1.3-5.6 estimated cumulative infections (based on seroprevalence data) per COVID-19 case reported to CDC. CONCLUSION: Increases in seroprevalence were found in all regions, with the largest increase in New York. Seroprevalence was higher in non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic blood donors than in non-Hispanic White blood donors. SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing of blood donor samples can be used to estimate the seroprevalence in the general population by region and demographic group. The methods derived from the RESPONSE seroprevalence study served as the basis for expanding SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence surveillance to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

      23. The Potential Epidemiological Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Epidemic and the Cost-effectiveness of Linked, Opt-out HIV Testing: A Modeling Study in 6 US Citiesexternal icon
        Zang X, Krebs E, Chen S, Piske M, Armstrong WS, Behrends CN, Del Rio C, Feaster DJ, Marshall BD, Mehta SH, Mermin J, Metsch LR, Schackman BR, Strathdee SA, Nosyk B.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 1;72(11):e828-e834.
        BACKGROUND: Widespread viral and serological testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may present a unique opportunity to also test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We estimated the potential impact of adding linked, opt-out HIV testing alongside SARS-CoV-2 testing on the HIV incidence and the cost-effectiveness of this strategy in 6 US cities. METHODS: Using a previously calibrated dynamic HIV transmission model, we constructed 3 sets of scenarios for each city: (1) sustained current levels of HIV-related treatment and prevention services (status quo); (2) temporary disruptions in health services and changes in sexual and injection risk behaviors at discrete levels between 0%-50%; and (3) linked HIV and SARS-CoV-2 testing offered to 10%-90% of the adult population in addition to Scenario 2. We estimated the cumulative number of HIV infections between 2020-2025 and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of linked HIV testing over 20 years. RESULTS: In the absence of linked, opt-out HIV testing, we estimated a total of a 16.5% decrease in HIV infections between 2020-2025 in the best-case scenario (50% reduction in risk behaviors and no service disruptions), and a 9.0% increase in the worst-case scenario (no behavioral change and 50% reduction in service access). We estimated that HIV testing (offered at 10%-90% levels) could avert a total of 576-7225 (1.6%-17.2%) new infections. The intervention would require an initial investment of $20.6M-$220.7M across cities; however, the intervention would ultimately result in savings in health-care costs in each city. CONCLUSIONS: A campaign in which HIV testing is linked with SARS-CoV-2 testing could substantially reduce the HIV incidence and reduce direct and indirect health care costs attributable to HIV.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. An update on the distribution, bionomics, and insecticide susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi in Ethiopia, 2018-2020external icon
        Balkew M, Mumba P, Yohannes G, Abiy E, Getachew D, Yared S, Worku A, Gebresilassie A, Tadesse FG, Gadisa E, Esayas E, Ashine T, Yewhalaw D, Chibsa S, Teka H, Murphy M, Yoshimizu M, Dengela D, Zohdy S, Irish S.
        Malar J. 2021 Jun 9;20(1):263.
        BACKGROUND: Anopheles stephensi, an invasive malaria vector, was first detected in Africa nearly 10 years ago. After the initial finding in Djibouti, it has subsequently been found in Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. To better inform policies and vector control decisions, it is important to understand the distribution, bionomics, insecticide susceptibility, and transmission potential of An. stephensi. These aspects were studied as part of routine entomological monitoring in Ethiopia between 2018 and 2020. METHODS: Adult mosquitoes were collected using human landing collections, pyrethrum spray catches, CDC light traps, animal-baited tent traps, resting boxes, and manual aspiration from animal shelters. Larvae were collected using hand-held dippers. The source of blood in blood-fed mosquitoes and the presence of sporozoites was assessed through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Insecticide susceptibility was assessed for pyrethroids, organophosphates and carbamates. RESULTS: Adult An. stephensi were collected with aspiration, black resting boxes, and animal-baited traps collecting the highest numbers of mosquitoes. Although sampling efforts were geographically widespread, An. stephensi larvae were collected in urban and rural sites in eastern Ethiopia, but An. stephensi larvae were not found in western Ethiopian sites. Blood-meal analysis revealed a high proportion of blood meals that were taken from goats, and only a small proportion from humans. Plasmodium vivax was detected in wild-collected An. stephensi. High levels of insecticide resistance were detected to pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates. Pre-exposure to piperonyl butoxide increased susceptibility to pyrethroids. Larvae were found to be susceptible to temephos. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the bionomics, insecticide susceptibility and distribution of An. stephensi will improve the quality of a national response in Ethiopia and provide additional information on populations of this invasive species in Africa. Further work is needed to understand the role that An. stephensi will have in Plasmodium transmission and malaria case incidence. While additional data are being collected, national programmes can use the available data to formulate and operationalize national strategies against the threat of An. stephensi.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Associations of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and PFAS mixtures with adipokines in midlife womenexternal icon
        Ding N, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Herman WH, Calafat AM, Mukherjee B, Park SK.
        Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2021 Jun 2;235:113777.
        BACKGROUND: Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure have been associated with obesity and related comorbidities, possibly through disrupting signaling pathways of adipokines. Both leptin and adiponectin can modulate metabolic processes. However, the effects of PFAS on adipokines are not well understood. OBJECTIVE: We determined if serum PFAS concentrations were associated with adipokine profiles in midlife women. METHODS: We examined 1245 women aged 45-56 years from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Concentrations of 11 PFAS were quantified in baseline serum samples collected in 1999-2000. Linear and branched perfluorooctane sulfonic acid isomers (n-PFOS and Sm-PFOS) and their sum (PFOS), linear perfluorooctanoic acid (n-PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), 2-(N-methyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid (MeFOSAA), and 2-(N-ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid (EtFOSAA) with detection frequencies >60% were included in the analysis. Adipokines including leptin, soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R), free leptin index (FLI, the ratio of leptin to sOB-R), total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin were assessed in 2002-2003. We utilized multivariable linear regressions and Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) to assess individual and overall joint effects of PFAS on adipokines with adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, study site, education, smoking status, physical activity, menopausal status, and waist circumference. RESULTS: A doubling of PFAS concentrations was associated with 7.8% (95% CI: 2.5%, 13.4%) higher FLI for PFOS, 9.4% (95% CI: 3.7%, 15.3%) for n-PFOA, 5.5% (95% CI: 2.2%, 9.0%) for EtFOSAA and 7.4% (95% CI: 2.8%, 12.2%) for MeFOSAA. Similar associations were found for leptin. Only EtFOSAA was associated with lower sOB-R concentrations (-1.4%, 95% CI: -2.7%, -0.1%). Results remained in women with overweight or obesity but not those with normal weight or underweight. No statistically significant associations were observed with total or HMW adiponectin, except for PFNA with total and HMW adiponectin observed in women with normal weight or underweight. In BKMR analysis, women with PFAS concentrations at the median and the 90th percentile had 30.9% (95% CI: 15.6%, 48.3%) and 52.1% (95% CI: 27.9%, 81.0%) higher FLI, respectively, compared with those with concentrations fixed at the 10th percentile. CONCLUSION: Some PFAS may alter circulating levels of leptin. Understanding associations between PFAS and adipokines may help elucidate whether PFAS can influence obesity and metabolic disease.

      2. Environmental Toxins Found Historically in the Polycythemia Vera Cluster Area and their Potential for Inducing DNA Damageexternal icon
        Irvin-Barnwell EA, Benson KM, Lu M, Ragin A, Wheeler J, Hoffman R.
        J Environ Anal Toxicol. 2021 Feb 15;8(1).
        In 2006, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry received a request to determine whether a cluster of polycythemia vera patients existed in a northeast Pennsylvania community. A significant cluster of PV cases was identified at the nexus of three counties near several hazardous waste sites. The current study evaluated the potential for a select number of environmental contaminants previously detected in the cluster area to induce DNA damage using in vitro assays with hematopoietic stem-cell derived progenitor cells. CD34+ cells were isolated from normal cord blood samples and were cultured for 48-72 hours to generate erythroid progenitor cells. Eighteen compounds were chosen for the assay; arsenic trioxide, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, methylene chloride, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), trichloroethylene, potassium chloride, ethylbenzene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, styrene, cadmium chloride, hydroquinone, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, sodium cyanide, manganese chloride, chromium oxide, lead oxide, and sodium arsenite. Genotoxicity of the compounds was determined using the comet assay, and toxicity determined via the cell viability assay. Using the comet assay, 16 compounds at 10 nM concentration, induced a significant amount of DNA damage compared to the control. When evaluating whether a dose-dependent relationship was present, seventeen of the eighteen compounds led to greater DNA damage with increasing exposure concentrations. 2,3,7,8-TCDD was particularly potent, inducing DNA damage in virtually all cells at 1 μM. In conclusion, most of the toxins evaluated using the comet assay showed potential to induce DNA damage in hematopoietic cells, and the genotoxic effects were dose-dependent.

      3. Vishniacozyma victoriae (syn. Cryptococcus victoriae) in the homes of asthmatic and non-asthmatic children in New York Cityexternal icon
        Rush RE, Dannemiller KC, Cochran SJ, Haines SR, Acosta L, Divjan A, Rundle AG, Miller RL, Perzanowski MS, Croston TL, Green BJ.
        J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 5.
        BACKGROUND: Indoor environments contain a broad diversity of non-pathogenic Basidiomycota yeasts, but their role in exacerbating adverse health effects has remained unclear. OBJECTIVE: To understand the role of Vishniacozyma victoriae exposure and its impact on human health. METHODS: A qPCR assay was developed to detect and quantify an abundant indoor yeast species, Vishniacozyma victoriae (syn. Cryptococcus victoriae), from homes participating in the New York City Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study (NAAS). We evaluated the associations between V. victoriae, housing characteristics, and asthma relevant health endpoints. RESULTS: V. victoriae was quantified in 236 of the 256 bedroom floor dust samples ranging from less than 300-45,918 cell equivalents/mg of dust. Higher concentrations of V. victoriae were significantly associated with carpeted bedroom floors (P = 0.044), mean specific humidity (P = 0.004), winter (P < 0.0001) and spring (P = 0.001) seasons, and the presence of dog (P = 0.010) and dog allergen Can f 1 (P = 0.027). V. victoriae concentrations were lower in homes of children with asthma vs. without asthma (P = 0.027), an association observed only among the non-seroatopic children.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Genomic Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating in the United States, December 2020-May 2021external icon
        Paul P, France AM, Aoki Y, Batra D, Biggerstaff M, Dugan V, Galloway S, Hall AJ, Johansson MA, Kondor RJ, Halpin AL, Lee B, Lee JS, Limbago B, MacNeil A, MacCannell D, Paden CR, Queen K, Reese HE, Retchless AC, Slayton RB, Steele M, Tong S, Walters MS, Wentworth DE, Silk BJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jun 11;70(23):846-850.
        SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly mutating, leading to new variants (1). Variants have the potential to affect transmission, disease severity, diagnostics, therapeutics, and natural and vaccine-induced immunity. In November 2020, CDC established national surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 variants using genomic sequencing. As of May 6, 2021, sequences from 177,044 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected during December 20, 2020-May 6, 2021, from 55 U.S. jurisdictions had been generated by or reported to CDC. These included 3,275 sequences for the 2-week period ending January 2, 2021, compared with 25,000 sequences for the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021 (0.1% and 3.1% of reported positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, respectively). Because sequences might be generated by multiple laboratories and sequence availability varies both geographically and over time, CDC developed statistical weighting and variance estimation methods to generate population-based estimates of the proportions of identified variants among SARS-CoV-2 infections circulating nationwide and in each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) geographic regions.* During the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021, the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants represented an estimated 66.0% and 5.0% of U.S. SARS-CoV-2 infections, respectively, demonstrating the rise to predominance of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern(†) (VOC) and emergence of the P.1 VOC in the United States. Using SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance methods to analyze surveillance data produces timely population-based estimates of the proportions of variants circulating nationally and regionally. Surveillance findings demonstrate the potential for new variants to emerge and become predominant, and the importance of robust genomic surveillance. Along with efforts to characterize the clinical and public health impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, surveillance can help guide interventions to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

      2. Genomic analysis of Clostridioides difficile in two regions of the United States reveals a diversity of strains and limited transmissionexternal icon
        Pecora N, Holzbauer S, Wang X, Gu Y, Taffner S, Hatwar T, Hardy D, Dziejman M, D'Heilly P, Pung K, Guh A, Qiu X, Gill S, Dumyati G.
        J Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 9.
        BACKGROUND: The distribution of Clostridioides difficile strains and transmission dynamics in the United States are not well defined. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) across two CDC Emerging Infections Program C. difficile infection (CDI) surveillance regions (Minnesota and New York) was performed to identify predominant multilocus sequence types (MLSTs) in community and healthcare-associated disease and assess transmission. METHODS: C. difficile isolates from CDI cases over three months between 2016 and 2017 underwent WGS. Cases were residents of the catchment area without a positive C. difficile test in the preceding 8 weeks. Cases were epidemiologically classified as healthcare (HCA) or community (CA) associated. RESULTS: Of 422 isolates, 212 (50.2%) were HCA and 203 (48.1%) were CA. Predominant MLSTs were ST42 (9.3%), ST8 (7.8%), and ST2 (8.1%). MLSTs associated with HCA-CDI included ST1 (76%), ST53 (83.3%), ST43 (80.0%), while those associated with CA-CDI included ST3 (76.9%), and ST41 (77.8%). ST1 was more frequent in NY than MN (10.8% vs 3.1%). Thirty three pairs were closely related genomically, 14 of which had potential patient-patient transmission supported by chart review. DISCUSSION: The genomic epidemiology of C. difficile across two regions of the US indicates the presence of a diverse strain profile and limited direct transmission.

    • Health Behavior and Risk
      1. LET's CONNECT Community Mentorship Program for Adolescents with Peer Social Problems: A Randomized Intervention Trialexternal icon
        King CA, Gipson PY, Arango A, Lernihan D, Clark M, Ewell Foster C, Caldwell C, Ghaziuddin N, Stone D.
        Am J Community Psychol. 2021 Jun 9.
        This study examined the effectiveness of LET's CONNECT (LC), a community mentorship program based on the positive youth development model. Participants were 218 youth (66.5% girls), ages 12 to 15, who reported peer victimization, bullying perpetration, and/or low social connectedness. These youth were randomized to LC or the control group (community resource information). The LC program linked youth to community mentors who connected with youth and facilitated their involvement in social growth activities across a 16-month period. Outcomes were assessed at 6 and 16 months with self-report measures of social and community connectedness, thwarted belongingness, depression, self-esteem, and suicidal ideation and behavior. In intent-to-treat analyses, LC was associated with modest positive effects for social connectedness, self-esteem, and depression. It had no effects on suicidal ideation or behavior. Results suggest that LC has the potential to positively impact the developmental trajectories of youth dealing with the interpersonal challenges of victimization, bullying perpetration, or low social connectedness. LC implementation challenges and directions for further research are also discussed.

    • Health Disparities
      1. Utility of linking survey and registry data to evaluate interventions and policies to address disparities in breast cancer survivorship among young womenexternal icon
        Subramanian S, Jones M, Tangka FK, Edwards P, Flanigan T, Kaganova J, Smith K, Fairley T, Hawkins NA, Rodriguez JL, Guy GP, Thomas CC.
        Eval Program Plann. 2021 May 29;88:101967.
        PURPOSE: There is limited research linking data sources to evaluate the multifactorial impacts on the quality of treatment received and financial burden among young women with breast cancer. To address this gap and support future evaluation efforts, we examined the utility of combining patient survey and cancer registry data. PATIENT AND METHODS: We administered a survey to women, aged 18-39 years, with breast cancer from four U.S. states. We conducted a systematic response-rate analysis and evaluated differences between racial groups. Survey responses were linked with cancer registry data to assess whether surveys could reliably supplement registry data. RESULTS: A total of 830 women completed the survey for a response rate of 28.4 %. Blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders were half as likely to respond as white women. Concordance between survey and registry data was high for demographic variables (Cohen's kappa [k]: 0.879 to 0.949), moderate to high for treatments received (k: 0.467 to 0.854), and low for hormone receptor status (k: 0.167 to 0.553). Survey items related to insurance status, employment, and symptoms revealed racial differences. CONCLUSION: Cancer registry data, supplemented by patient surveys, can provide a broader understanding of the quality of care and financial impacts of breast cancer among young women.

    • Health Economics
      1. BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allocates funds annually to state and local programs in the United States to monitor and prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In 2014 a funding formula was implemented to allocate prevention funds to jurisdictions according to their STD burden and population size. We estimated the effect of implementing the funding formula in terms of gonorrhea cases averted from 2014-2018, a period during which inflation-adjusted CDC STD prevention funding declined. METHODS: Our model assumed that STD prevention funds have a measurable effect on subsequent reported gonorrhea case rates, and the magnitude of this effect was as estimated in an empirical analysis of decades of state-level gonorrhea rates. In applying this equation-based model, we assumed all factors affecting jurisdictions' gonorrhea rates were constant over time except for their STD prevention funding allocations. We used data on CDC STD prevention funding allocated to each jurisdiction over time. We estimated gonorrhea rates under the "funding formula" scenario compared to a hypothetical "status quo" funding scenario, which reflected traditional methods to allocate prevention funds. RESULTS: In the model, gonorrhea cases increased from 2014-2018 by approximately 6% due to a decline in prevention funding, regardless of how funds were allocated. However, the estimated increase in gonorrhea cases was 5,222 (range: 1,181-9,195) cases less in the "funding formula" scenario than in the "status quo" scenario. CONCLUSIONS: By shifting resources towards jurisdictions with greater disease burden, the funding formula averted a substantial number of gonorrhea cases at no additional cost.

      2. Breast Cancer-Related Employment Disruption and Financial Hardship in the Sister Studyexternal icon
        Meernik C, Sandler DP, Peipins LA, Hodgson ME, Blinder VS, Wheeler SB, Nichols HB.
        JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2021 Jun;5(3):pkab024.
        BACKGROUND: More than one-half of breast cancer cases are diagnosed among women aged younger than 62 years, which may result in employment challenges. This study examined whether cancer-related employment disruption was associated with increased financial hardship in a national US study of women with breast cancer. METHODS: Women with breast cancer who were enrolled in the Sister or Two Sister Studies completed a survivorship survey in 2012. Employment disruption was defined as stopping work completely or working fewer hours after diagnosis. Financial hardship was defined as: 1) experiencing financial problems paying for cancer care, 2) borrowing money or incurring debt, or 3) filing for bankruptcy because of cancer. Prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between employment disruption and financial hardship were estimated using multivariable Poisson regression with robust variance. RESULTS: We analyzed data from women employed at diagnosis (n = 1628). Women were a median age of 48 years at diagnosis and 5.6 years from diagnosis at survey completion. Overall, 27.3% of women reported employment disruption (15.4% stopped working; 11.9% reduced hours), and 21.0% experienced financial hardship (16.0% had difficulty paying for care; 12.6% borrowed money or incurred debt; 1.8% filed for bankruptcy). In adjusted analysis, employment disruption was associated with nearly twice the prevalence of financial hardship (prevalence ratio = 1.93, 95% confidence interval = 1.58 to 2.35). CONCLUSIONS: Women experiencing employment disruptions after breast cancer may be more vulnerable to financial hardship. Findings highlight the need to target risk factors for employment disruption, facilitate return to work or ongoing employment, and mitigate financial consequences after cancer.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Patient notification about suspected hospital-associated outbreaks of invasive mold infections: Considerations for public health and hospital personnelexternal icon
        Gandhi P, Benedict K, Toda M, Beer KD, Chiller TM, Jackson BR.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 10:1-6.
        A common type of fungal disease investigation involves hospital-associated clusters of invasive mold infections (IMIs), which typically occur among immunocompromised patients. Responding to IMI clusters can be challenging for public health and hospital personnel for several reasons such as difficulty of confirming the existence of an outbreak, difficulty of determining source. Although many resources exist to guide patient notification about healthcare incidents (eg, bloodborne exposures, disease outbreaks), IMI clusters involve special considerations related to the complex diseases, uncertain exposures, and differential benefits and risks of notification. Early, nuanced communication about hospital-associated IMI clusters is almost always the best course of action to help reduce risks to patients' health and foster trust between patients and hospitals.

      2. Nonventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia: A call to actionexternal icon
        Munro SC, Baker D, Giuliano KK, Sullivan SC, Haber J, Jones BE, Crist MB, Nelson RE, Carey E, Lounsbury O, Lucatorto M, Miller R, Pauley B, Klompas M.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 9:1-6.
        In 2020 a group of U.S. healthcare leaders formed the National Organization to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (NOHAP) to issue a call to action to address non-ventilator-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (NVHAP). NVHAP is one of the most common and morbid healthcare-associated infections, but it is not tracked, reported, or actively prevented by most hospitals. This national call to action includes (1) launching a national healthcare conversation about NVHAP prevention; (2) adding NVHAP prevention measures to education for patients, healthcare professionals, and students; (3) challenging healthcare systems and insurers to implement and support NVHAP prevention; and (4) encouraging researchers to develop new strategies for NVHAP surveillance and prevention. The purpose of this document is to outline research needs to support the NVHAP call to action. Primary needs include the development of better models to estimate the economic cost of NVHAP, to elucidate the pathophysiology of NVHAP and identify the most promising pathways for prevention, to develop objective and efficient surveillance methods to track NVHAP, to rigorously test the impact of prevention strategies proposed to prevent NVHAP, and to identify the policy levers that will best engage hospitals in NVHAP surveillance and prevention. A joint task force developed this document including stakeholders from the Veterans' Health Administration (VHA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Joint Commission, the American Dental Association, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP), Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH), industry partners and academia.

      3. Molecular epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales in Thailand, 2016-2018external icon
        Paveenkittiporn W, Lyman M, Biedron C, Chea N, Bunthi C, Kolwaite A, Janejai N.
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021 Jun 5;10(1):88.
        BACKGROUND: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) is a global threat. Enterobacterales develops carbapenem resistance through several mechanisms, including the production of carbapenemases. We aim to describe the prevalence of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) with and without carbapenemase production and distribution of carbapenemase-producing (CP) genes in Thailand using 2016-2018 data from a national antimicrobial resistance surveillance system developed by the Thailand National Institute of Health (NIH). METHODS: CRE was defined as any Enterobacterales resistant to ertapenem, imipenem, or meropenem. Starting in 2016, 25 tertiary care hospitals from the five regions of Thailand submitted the first CRE isolate from each specimen type and patient admission to Thailand NIH, accompanied by a case report form with patient information. NIH performed confirmatory identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing and performed multiplex polymerase chain reaction testing to detect CP-genes. Using 2016-2018 data, we calculated proportions of CP-CRE, stratified by specimen type, organism, and CP-gene using SAS 9.4. RESULTS: Overall, 4,296 presumed CRE isolates were submitted to Thailand NIH; 3,946 (93%) were confirmed CRE. Urine (n = 1622, 41%) and sputum (n = 1380, 35%) were the most common specimen types, while blood only accounted for 323 (8%) CRE isolates. The most common organism was Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 2660, 72%), followed by Escherichia coli (n = 799, 22%). The proportion of CP-CRE was high for all organism types (range: 85-98%). Of all CRE isolates, 2909 (80%) had one CP-gene and 629 (17%) had > 1 CP-gene. New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) was the most common CP-gene, present in 2392 (65%) CRE isolates. K. pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and Verona integron-encoded metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) genes were not detected among any isolates. CONCLUSION: CP genes were found in a high proportion (97%) of CRE isolates from hospitals across Thailand. The prevalence of NDM and OXA-48-like genes in Thailand is consistent with pattern seen in Southeast Asia, but different from that in the United States and other regions. As carbapenemase testing is not routinely performed in Thailand, hospital staff should consider treating all patients with CRE with enhanced infection control measures; in line with CDC recommendation for enhanced infection control measures for CP-CRE because of their high propensity to spread.

      4. Laboratory-identified vancomycin-resistant enterococci bacteremia incidence: A standardized infection ratio prediction modelexternal icon
        Tanwar SS, Weiner-Lastinger LM, Bell JM, Allen-Bridson K, Bagchi S, Dudeck MA, Edwards JR.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 4:1-5.
        BACKGROUND: We analyzed 2017 healthcare facility-onset (HO) vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) bacteremia data to identify hospital-level factors that were significant predictors of HO-VRE using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) multidrug-resistant organism and Clostridioides difficile reporting module. A risk-adjusted model that can be used to calculate the number of predicted HO-VRE bacteremia events in a facility was developed, thus enabling the calculation of VRE standardized infection ratios (SIRs). METHODS: Acute-care hospitals reporting at least 1 month of 2017 VRE bacteremia data were included in the analysis. Various hospital-level characteristics were assessed to develop a best-fit model and subsequently derive the 2018 national and state SIRs. RESULTS: In 2017, 470 facilities in 35 states participated in VRE bacteremia surveillance. Inpatient VRE community-onset prevalence rate, average length of patient stay, outpatient VRE community-onset prevalence rate, and presence of an oncology unit were all significantly associated (all 95% likelihood ratio confidence limits excluded the nominal value of zero) with HO-VRE bacteremia. The 2018 national SIR was 1.01 (95% CI, 0.93-1.09) with 577 HO bacteremia events reported. CONCLUSION: The creation of an SIR enables national-, state-, and facility-level monitoring of VRE bacteremia while controlling for individual hospital-level factors. Hospitals can compare their VRE burden to a national benchmark to help them determine the effectiveness of infection prevention efforts over time.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Knowledge and attitude of Kenyan healthcare workers towards pandemic influenza disease and vaccination: 9 years after the last influenza pandemicexternal icon
        Andayi F, Emukule GO, Osoro E, Ndegwa LK, Otiato F, Muturi P, Azziz-Baumgartner E, Kalani R, Anyango E, Muthoka PM, Ebama MS, Bresee J, Chaves SS.
        Vaccine. 2021 Jun 7.
        BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of exposure and transmission of infectious respiratory pathogens like influenza. Despite the potential benefits, safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination, vaccines are still underutilized in Africa, including among HCWs. METHOD: From May-June 2018, we conducted a cross-sectional, self-administered, written survey among HCWs from seven counties in Kenya and assessed their knowledge attitudes and perceptions towards pandemic influenza disease and vaccination. Using regression models, we assessed factors that were associated with the HCW's knowledge of pandemic influenza and vaccination. RESULTS: A total of 2,035 HCWs, representing 49% of the targeted respondents from 35 health facilities, completed the question. Sixty eight percent of the HCWs had ever heard of pandemic influenza, and 80.0% of these were willing to receive pandemic influenza vaccine if it was available. On average, Kenyan HCWs correctly answered 55.0% (95% CI 54.0-55.9) of the questions about pandemic influenza and vaccination. Physicians (65.6%, 95% CI 62.5-68.7) and pharmacists (61.7%, 95% CI 57.9-65.5) scored higher compared to nurses (53.1%, 95% CI 51.7-54.5). HCWs with 5 or more years of work experience (55.8, 95% CI 54.5-57.0) had marginally higher knowledge scores compared to those with less experience (53.9%, 95% CI 52.5-55.3). Most participants who were willing to receive pandemic influenza vaccine did so to protect their relatives (88.7%) or patients (85.9%). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest moderate knowledge of pandemic influenza and vaccination by HCWs in Kenya, which varied by cadre and years of work experience. These findings highlight the need for continued in-service health education to increase the HCW's awareness and knowledge of pandemic influenza to increase acceptance of influenza vaccination in the case of a pandemic.

      2. Realizing the Potential of Maternal Influenza Vaccinationexternal icon
        Azziz-Baumgartner E, Grohskopf L, Patel M.
        Jama. 2021 Jun 8;325(22):2257-2259.

      3. Temporal Trends in Undervaccination: A Population-Based Cohort Studyexternal icon
        Daley MF, Reifler LM, Shoup JA, Narwaney KJ, Kharbanda EO, Groom HC, Jackson ML, Jacobsen SJ, McLean HQ, Klein NP, Williams JT, Weintraub ES, McNeil MM, Glanz JM.
        . 2021 .
        Introduction: Monitoring the trends in undervaccination, including that because of parental vaccine refusal or delay, can inform public health responses directed at improving vaccine confidence and vaccination coverage. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in the Vaccine Safety Datalink. The cohort included all children born in 2004–2017 with ≥3 well-child visits between ages 2 and 23 months. Using electronic health record–based vaccination data, the average days undervaccinated was calculated for each child. Undervaccination patterns were assessed through age 23 months. Temporal trends were inspected for inflection points and were analyzed using linear regression. Nested within the cohort study, a survey was conducted to compare parent reports of vaccine refusal or delay with observed vaccination patterns. Data were analyzed in 2020. Results: The study cohort consisted of 808,170 children. The percentage of children with average days undervaccinated=0 (fully vaccinated, no delays) rose from a nadir of 47.1% for the birth year 2008 to 68.4% for the birth year 2017 (ptrend&lt;0.001). The percentage with no vaccines rose from 0.35% for the birth year 2004 to 1.28% for the birth year 2017 (ptrend&lt;0.001). Consistent vaccine limiting was observed in 2.04% for the birth year 2017. Omission of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine peaked at 4.76% in the birth year 2007 and declined thereafter (ptrend&lt;0.001). On the parent survey (response rate 60.2%), a high proportion of parents of the most undervaccinated children reported refusing or delaying vaccines. Conclusions: In a 14-year cohort study, vaccination timeliness has improved. However, the small but increasing number of children who received no vaccines by age 23 months warrants additional attention. © 2021 American Journal of Preventive Medicine

      4. The effect of influenza vaccination on influenza severity remains uncertain. We reviewed the literature for evidence to inform the question of whether influenza illness is less severe among individuals who received influenza vaccination compared with individuals with influenza illness who were unvaccinated prior to their illnesses. We conducted a narrative review to identify published findings comparing severity of influenza outcomes by vaccination status among community-dwelling adults and children ≥ 6 months of age with laboratory-confirmed influenza illness. When at least four effect estimates of the same type (e.g., odds ratio) were available for a specific outcome and age category (children versus adults), data were pooled with meta-analysis to generate a summary effect estimate. We identified 38 published articles reporting ≥ 1 association between influenza vaccination status and one of 21 indicators of severity of influenza illness among individuals with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Study methodologies and effect estimates were highly heterogenous, with only five severity indicators meeting criteria for calculating a combined effect. Among eight studies, influenza vaccination was associated with 26% reduction in odds of ICU admission among adults with influenza-associated hospitalization (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.58, 0.93). Among five studies of adults with influenza-associated hospitalization, vaccinated patients had 31% reduced risk of death compared with unvaccinated patients (OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.52, 0.92). Among four studies of children with influenza virus infection, vaccination was associated with an estimated 45% reduction in the odds of manifesting fever (OR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.42, 0.71). Vaccination was not significantly associated with receiving a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia among adults hospitalized with influenza (OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.82, 1.04) or with risk of hospitalization following outpatient influenza illness among adults (OR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.28, 1.28). Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that influenza vaccination may attenuate the course of disease among individuals with breakthrough influenza virus infection.

      5. Mapathons versus automated feature extraction: a comparative analysis for strengthening immunization microplanningexternal icon
        Mendes A, Palmer T, Berens A, Espey J, Price R, Mallya A, Brown S, Martinez M, Farag N, Kaplan B.
        Int J Health Geogr. 2021 Jun 7;20(1):27.
        BACKGROUND: Social instability and logistical factors like the displacement of vulnerable populations, the difficulty of accessing these populations, and the lack of geographic information for hard-to-reach areas continue to serve as barriers to global essential immunizations (EI). Microplanning, a population-based, healthcare intervention planning method has begun to leverage geographic information system (GIS) technology and geospatial methods to improve the remote identification and mapping of vulnerable populations to ensure inclusion in outreach and immunization services, when feasible. We compare two methods of accomplishing a remote inventory of building locations to assess their accuracy and similarity to currently employed microplan line-lists in the study area. METHODS: The outputs of a crowd-sourced digitization effort, or mapathon, were compared to those of a machine-learning algorithm for digitization, referred to as automatic feature extraction (AFE). The following accuracy assessments were employed to determine the performance of each feature generation method: (1) an agreement analysis of the two methods assessed the occurrence of matches across the two outputs, where agreements were labeled as "befriended" and disagreements as "lonely"; (2) true and false positive percentages of each method were calculated in comparison to satellite imagery; (3) counts of features generated from both the mapathon and AFE were statistically compared to the number of features listed in the microplan line-list for the study area; and (4) population estimates for both feature generation method were determined for every structure identified assuming a total of three households per compound, with each household averaging two adults and 5 children. RESULTS: The mapathon and AFE outputs detected 92,713 and 53,150 features, respectively. A higher proportion (30%) of AFE features were befriended compared with befriended mapathon points (28%). The AFE had a higher true positive rate (90.5%) of identifying structures than the mapathon (84.5%). The difference in the average number of features identified per area between the microplan and mapathon points was larger (t = 3.56) than the microplan and AFE (t = - 2.09) (alpha = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate AFE outputs had higher agreement (i.e., befriended), slightly higher likelihood of correctly identifying a structure, and were more similar to the local microplan line-lists than the mapathon outputs. These findings suggest AFE may be more accurate for identifying structures in high-resolution satellite imagery than mapathons. However, they both had their advantages and the ideal method would utilize both methods in tandem.

      6. Impact of rotavirus vaccine introduction on rotavirus hospitalizations among children under 5 years of age - World Health Organization African Region, 2008-2018external icon
        Mwenda JM, Hallowell BD, Parashar U, Shaba K, Biey JN, Weldegebriel GG, Paluku GK, Ntsama B, N'Diaye A, Bello IM, Bwaka AM, Zawaira FR, Mihigo R, Tate JE.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 5.
        BACKGROUND: Rotavirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) among children worldwide. Prior to rotavirus vaccine introduction, over one third of AGE hospitalizations in Africa were due to rotavirus. We describe the impact of rotavirus vaccines using data from the African Rotavirus Surveillance Network (ARSN). METHODS: For descriptive analysis, we included all sites reporting to ARSN for any length of time between 2008-2018. For vaccine impact analysis, continuous surveillance throughout the year was required to minimize potential bias due to enrollment of partial seasons and sites had to report a minimum of 100 AGE cases per year. We report the proportion of rotavirus AGE cases by year relative to vaccine introduction, and the relative reduction in the proportion of rotavirus AGE cases reported following vaccine introduction. RESULTS: From 2008-2018, 97,366 prospectively enrolled hospitalized children <5 years of age met the case definition for AGE, and 34.1% tested positive for rotavirus. Among countries that had introduced rotavirus vaccine, the proportion of hospitalized AGE cases positive for rotavirus declined from 39.2% in the pre-vaccine period to 25.3% in the post-vaccine period, a 35.5% (95% CI: 33.7-37.3) decline. No declines were observed among countries that had not introduced the vaccine over the 11-year period. CONCLUSION: Rotavirus vaccine introduction led to large and consistent declines in the proportion of hospitalized AGE cases that are positive for rotavirus. To maximize the public health benefit of these vaccines, efforts to introduce rotavirus vaccines to the remaining countries in the region and improve coverage should continue.

      7. Antibody responses induced by trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine among pregnant and non-pregnant women in Thailand: A matched cohort studyexternal icon
        Nakphook S, Patumanond J, Shrestha M, Prasert K, Chittaganpitch M, Mott JA, Praphasiri P.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(6):e0253028.
        BACKGROUND: We compared influenza antibody titers among vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant and non-pregnant women. METHODS: During 1st June- 30th September 2018, four groups of cohort participants-vaccinated pregnant, unvaccinated pregnant, vaccinated non-pregnant, and unvaccinated non-pregnant women were selected by matching age, gestational age, and the week of vaccination. Serum antibody titers against each strain of 2018 Southern Hemisphere inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine (IIV3) were assessed by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay on Day 0 (pre-vaccination) and Day 28 (one month post-vaccination) serum samples. Geometric mean titer (GMT), GMT ratio (GMR), seroconversion (defined as ≥4 fold increase in HI titer), and seroprotection (i.e. HI titer ≥1:40) were compared across the study groups using multilevel regression analyses, controlling for previous year vaccination from medical records and baseline antibody levels. RESULTS: A total of 132 participants were enrolled in the study (33 in each of the four study groups). The baseline GMTs for influenza A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and B vaccine strains were not significantly different among all four groups (all p-values >0.05). After one month, both vaccinated groups had significantly higher GMT, GMR, seroconversion, and seroprotection than their unvaccinated controls (all p-values <0.05). The seroconversion rate was over 60% for any strain among the vaccinated groups, with the highest (88.8%) observed against A(H1N1) in the vaccinated pregnant group. Similarly, at least 75% of the vaccinated participants developed seroprotective antibody levels against all three strains; the highest seroprotection was found against A(H3N2) at 92.6% among vaccinated non-pregnant participants. Antibody responses (post-vaccination GMT, GMR, seroconversion, and seroprotection) were not significantly different between pregnant and non-pregnant women for all three strains of IIV3 (all p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The 2018 seasonal IIV3 was immunogenic against all three vaccine strains and pregnancy did not seem to alter the immune response to IIV3. These findings support the current influenza vaccination recommendations for pregnant women.

      8. Progress Toward Rubella Elimination - World Health Organization European Region, 2005-2019external icon
        O'Connor P, Yankovic D, Zimmerman L, Ben Mamou M, Reef S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jun 11;70(23):833-839.
        In 2005, the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region (EUR) passed a resolution calling for the regional elimination of measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) (1). In 2010, all 53 countries in EUR* reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating measles, rubella, and CRS (2); this goal was included in the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015-2020 (3,4). Rubella, which typically manifests as a mild febrile rash illness, is the leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects. Rubella infection during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, fetal death, or a constellation of malformations known as CRS, which usually includes one or more visual, auditory, or cardiac defects (5). The WHO-recommended measles and rubella elimination strategies in EUR include 1) achieving and maintaining ≥95% coverage with 2 doses of measles- and rubella-containing vaccine (MRCV) through routine immunization services; 2) providing measles and rubella vaccination opportunities, including supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), to populations susceptible to measles or rubella; 3) strengthening surveillance by conducting case investigations and confirming suspected cases and outbreaks with laboratory results; and 4) improving the availability and use of evidence to clearly communicate the benefits and risks of preventing these diseases through vaccination to health professionals and the public (6). This report updates a previous report and describes progress toward rubella and CRS elimination in EUR during 2005-2019 (7). In 2000, estimated coverage with the first dose of a rubella-containing vaccine (RCV1) in EUR was 60%, and 621,039 rubella cases were reported (incidence = 716.9 per 1 million population). During 2005-2019, estimated regional coverage with RCV1 was 93%-95%, and in 2019, 31 (58%) countries achieved ≥95% coverage with the RCV1. During 2005-2019, approximately 38 million persons received an RCV during SIAs in 20 (37%) countries. Rubella incidence declined by >99%, from 234.9 cases per 1 million population (206,359 cases) in 2005 to 0.67 cases per 1 million population (620 cases) by 2019. CRS cases declined by 50%, from 16 cases in 2005 to eight cases in 2019. For rubella and CRS elimination in EUR to be achieved and maintained, measures are needed to strengthen immunization programs by ensuring high coverage with an RCV in every district of each country, offering supplementary rubella vaccination to susceptible adults, maintaining high-quality surveillance for rapid case detection and confirmation, and ensuring effective outbreak preparedness and response.

      9. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Administration of Selected Routine Childhood and Adolescent Vaccinations - 10 U.S. Jurisdictions, March-September 2020external icon
        Patel Murthy B, Zell E, Kirtland K, Jones-Jack N, Harris L, Sprague C, Schultz J, Le Q, Bramer CA, Kuramoto S, Cheng I, Woinarowicz M, Robison S, McHugh A, Schauer S, Gibbs-Scharf L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jun 11;70(23):840-845.
        After the March 2020 declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, an analysis of provider ordering data from the federally funded Vaccines for Children program found a substantial decrease in routine pediatric vaccine ordering (1), and data from New York City and Michigan indicated sharp declines in routine childhood vaccine administration in these areas (2,3). In November 2020, CDC interim guidance stated that routine vaccination of children and adolescents should remain an essential preventive service during the COVID-19 pandemic (4,5). To further understand the impact of the pandemic on routine childhood and adolescent vaccination, vaccine administration data during March-September 2020 from 10 U.S. jurisdictions with high-performing* immunization information systems were assessed. Fewer administered doses of routine childhood and adolescent vaccines were recorded in all 10 jurisdictions during March-September 2020 compared with those recorded during the same period in 2018 and 2019. The number of vaccine doses administered substantially declined during March-May 2020, when many jurisdictions enacted stay-at-home orders. After many jurisdictions lifted these orders, the number of vaccine doses administered during June-September 2020 approached prepandemic baseline levels, but did not increase to the level that would have been necessary to catch up children who did not receive routine vaccinations on time. This lag in catch-up vaccination might pose a serious public health threat that would result in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, especially in schools that have reopened for in-person learning. During the past few decades, the United States has achieved a substantial reduction in the prevalence of vaccine-preventable diseases driven in large part to the ongoing administration of routinely recommended pediatric vaccines. These efforts need to continue even during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. Health care providers should assess the vaccination status of all pediatric patients, including adolescents, and contact those who are behind schedule to ensure that all children are fully vaccinated.

    • Informatics
      1. An Automated Syphilis Serology Record Search and Review Algorithm to Prioritize Investigations by Health Departmentsexternal icon
        Karki S, Peterman TA, Johnson K, Hennessy RR, Matthias J, Wilson C, Mishra N, Weinstock H.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Jun 5.
        BACKGROUND: Reactive syphilis serologies are investigated by health departments to determine if they represent new infection, reinfection, or treatment failure. Serologies prioritized for investigation based on nontreponemal test titer and age (using a 'reactor grid') undergo manual record search and review. We developed a computerized algorithm that automates the record search and review. METHODS: We developed and tested the algorithm using a Florida Department of Health dataset containing serologies reported January 2016-December 2018 and previous records linked to each individual. The algorithm was based on the syphilis case definition, which requires (except primary cases with signs and symptoms) 1) a positive treponemal test and a newly positive nontreponemal test or, 2) a 4-fold increase in nontreponemal test titer. Two additional steps were added to avoid missing cases. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene validated this algorithm. RESULTS: The algorithm closed more investigations (49.9%) than the reactor grid (27.0%). The algorithm opened 99.4% of the individuals investigated and labeled as cases by the health department; it missed 75 cases. Many investigations opened by the algorithm were closed by the 'reactor grid'; we could not assess how many would have been cases. In New York City, the algorithm closed 70.9% of investigations, likely because more individuals had previous test in the database (88.2%) compared to Florida (56.5%). CONCLUSIONS: The automated algorithm successfully searched and reviewed records to help identify cases of syphilis. We estimate the algorithm would have saved Florida 590 workdays over 3 years.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. INTRODUCTION: During this time of intensified hardship and disruption due to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, communities, practitioners, and state and local governments have had to rapidly implement and adapt strategies that support mental health and wellbeing during a global pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and at least half of the top 10 leading causes of death have been associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). A number of established risk factors for suicide and ACEs may have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including loneliness and the lack of connectedness. METHOD: This article briefly considers the effects of COVID-19 on social connection and outlines the importance of adapting and developing programming and resources that address suicide and ACEs prevention during a time of infrastructure disruption. Practical Applications: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ways that many individuals are able to safely interact and socially connect due to public health prevention strategies implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Local, city, and state government, community organizations, and public health and medical practitioners should consider the adaptation and development of existing and new programming, resources, and activities that support and strengthen social connection. In addition to implementing programs, policies may help address systemic and structural barriers to social connection, such as access to parks and open space, public transportation, or digital connectivity.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Functional analysis of colonization factor antigen I positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli identifies genes implicated in survival in water and host colonizationexternal icon
        Abd El Ghany M, Barquist L, Clare S, Brandt C, Mayho M, Joffre E, Sjöling Å, Turner AK, Klena JD, Kingsley RA, Hill-Cawthorne GA, Dougan G, Pickard D.
        Microb Genom. 2021 Jun;7(6).
        Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) expressing the colonization pili CFA/I are common causes of diarrhoeal infections in humans. Here, we use a combination of transposon mutagenesis and transcriptomic analysis to identify genes and pathways that contribute to ETEC persistence in water environments and colonization of a mammalian host. ETEC persisting in water exhibit a distinct RNA expression profile from those growing in richer media. Multiple pathways were identified that contribute to water survival, including lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and stress response regulons. The analysis also indicated that ETEC growing in vivo in mice encounter a bottleneck driving down the diversity of colonizing ETEC populations.

      2. Clinical Laboratory Biosafety Gaps: Lessons Learned from Past Outbreaks Reveal a Path to a Safer Futureexternal icon
        Cornish NE, Anderson NL, Arambula DG, Arduino MJ, Bryan A, Burton NC, Chen B, Dickson BA, Giri JG, Griffith NK, Pentella MA, Salerno RM, Sandhu P, Snyder JW, Tormey CA, Wagar EA, Weirich EG, Campbell S.
        Clin Microbiol Rev. 2021 Jun 9:e0012618.
        Patient care and public health require timely, reliable laboratory testing. However, clinical laboratory professionals rarely know whether patient specimens contain infectious agents, making ensuring biosafety while performing testing procedures challenging. The importance of biosafety in clinical laboratories was highlighted during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, where concerns about biosafety resulted in delayed diagnoses and contributed to patient deaths. This review is a collaboration between subject matter experts from large and small laboratories and the federal government to evaluate the capability of clinical laboratories to manage biosafety risks and safely test patient specimens. We discuss the complexity of clinical laboratories, including anatomic pathology, and describe how applying current biosafety guidance may be difficult as these guidelines, largely based on practices in research laboratories, do not always correspond to the unique clinical laboratory environments and their specialized equipment and processes. We retrospectively describe the biosafety gaps and opportunities for improvement in the areas of risk assessment and management; automated and manual laboratory disciplines; specimen collection, processing, and storage; test utilization; equipment and instrumentation safety; disinfection practices; personal protective equipment; waste management; laboratory personnel training and competency assessment; accreditation processes; and ethical guidance. Also addressed are the unique biosafety challenges successfully handled by a Texas community hospital clinical laboratory that performed testing for patients with Ebola without a formal biocontainment unit. The gaps in knowledge and practices identified in previous and ongoing outbreaks demonstrate the need for collaborative, comprehensive solutions to improve clinical laboratory biosafety and to better combat future emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

      3. BACKGROUND: The use of RBC lysate (RBC-Lys) eliminates the need for serum folate and hematocrit (Hct) measurement to calculate RBC folate. Information on the long-term frozen storage stability of RBC-Lys is missing. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess the comparability of RBC folate forms in whole-blood lysate (WB-Lys) and RBC-Lys and the folate stability in both matrices. METHODS: We prepared conventional WB-Lys (1:11 dilution with 1% ascorbic acid) and RBC-Lys (1:11 dilution of washed and saline-diluted RBCs with 1% ascorbic acid) from EDTA blood (n = 60 adult donors) and stored lysates at -70°C until analysis at baseline (1 wk), 3, 6, 12, and 24 mo. Before analysis by HPLC-tandem MS, we incubated the WB-Lys (4 h at 37°C) and treated the RBC-Lys with human recombinant γ-glutamyl hydrolase for folate polyglutamate deconjugation. We analyzed RBC-Lys samples for hemoglobin (Hb) (same aliquot) to normalize for the preanalytical dilution; Hb-folate was converted to RBC folate for each folate form using the mean corpuscular Hb concentration. We analyzed Hct as well as folate forms in matching serum samples for traditional RBC folate calculation. We conducted descriptive data analyses (correlation, Bland-Altman plot, Deming regression). RESULTS: At baseline, results for RBC folate forms derived from WB-Lys compared with RBC-Lys samples showed excellent correlation (Pearson r ≥ 0.97). Mean ± SD concentrations compared well for total folate (WB-Lys: 886 ± 255 compared with RBC-Lys: 899 ± 271 nmol/L), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (WB-Lys: 831 ± 258 compared with RBC-Lys: 843 ± 276 nmol/L), and nonmethyl folate (WB-Lys: 53.3 ± 74.4 compared with RBC-Lys: 52.9 ± 70.7 nmol/L), but were 17% higher in RBC-Lys for pyrazino-s-triazine derivative of 4α-hydroxy-5-CH3-H4folate (MeFox) (WB-Lys: 147 ± 44.1 compared with RBC-Lys: 172 ± 53.5 nmol/L). Frozen storage of WB-Lys and RBC-Lys samples for ≤24 mo showed ≤5%, ≤5%, ≤13%, and ≤11% change in total folate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, nonmethyl folate, and MeFox, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Erythrocyte folate forms appear to be stable in RBC-Lys samples stored frozen at -70°C for ≤2 y. The relatively small changes in folate concentrations over time were comparable between RBC-Lys and conventionally prepared WB-Lys samples.

      4. Adaptation of an electronic dashboard to monitor HIV viral load testing in Côte d'Ivoireexternal icon
        Kirk M, Assoa PH, Iiams-Hauser C, Kouabenan YR, Antilla J, Steele-Lane C, Rossum G, Komena P, Ngatchou PS, Abiola N, Kouakou A, Pongathie A, Koffi JB, Adje C, Perrone LA.
        Afr J Lab Med. 2021 ;10(1).
        Background: The Ministère de le Santé et de l'Hygiène Publique in Côte d'Ivoire and the international community have invested in health information systems in Côte d'Ivoire since 2009, including electronic laboratory information systems. These systems have been implemented in more than 80 laboratories to date and capture all test results produced from these laboratories, including HIV viral load (VL) testing. In 2018 the national HIV programme in Côte d'Ivoire requested international support to develop real-time tools such as dashboards to aggregate and display test-specific data such as HIV VL testing to support the country's programmatic response to HIV. Intervention: The VL dashboard was adapted in 2018 using source software code obtained from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and modified for the Ivorian context. The dashboard enables users to assess relevant clinical data from all Ivoirians living with HIV who undergo VL testing through dashboard data visualisations, including the number of VL tests, kinds of samples tested, and VL levels stratified by demographics and geographic location. Lessons learnt: The VL dashboard enables rapid analysis of VL testing data from across the country and enables the national HIV programme, donors and partners to respond rapidly to issues pertaining to access, turn-around times and others. Recommendations: Adapting existing open-source software is an effective and efficient way to implement transformative tools such as dashboards. The VL dashboard will likely be an essential tool for Côte d'Ivoire to meet the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 90-90-90 targets.

      5. Periodic flow purging system for harvesting fibers from screensexternal icon
        Ku BK, Deye G, Turkevich LA.
        Aerosol Air Qual Res. 2021 ;21(6).
        Fiber length is believed to be an important factor in determining various toxicological responses to asbestos and other bio-persistent fibers. Length classification of fibers thus is crucial for toxicological assessment. Nylon mesh screens have been shown to be effective in separating fibers by length. In this note, we report development of a purging flow system for harvesting fibers from a nylon net screen, with the aim of separating airborne fibers by length. We evaluated the performance of this purging flow system by examining the lengths of glass fibers collected on a screen. Fibers aerosolized by vortex shaking were provided to 10 µm and 20 µm mesh screens, and the fibers collected on each screen were purged periodically with a backflow. The length of the purged fibers was measured and compared to that of fibers washed from the screen. The mean length of fibers on the screen is larger than that of the fibers in the original test aerosol. The mean length of the backflow purged fibers is smaller than that of the fibers from the washed screen. The results indicate that the purging flow system with screens can harvest the longer fibers from the original aerosol. © U.S. Government work.

      6. Aspergillus versicolor Inhalation Triggers Neuroimmune, Glial, and Neuropeptide Transcriptional Changesexternal icon
        Ladd TB, Johnson JA, Mumaw CL, Greve HJ, Xuei X, Simpson E, Barnes MA, Green BJ, Croston TL, Ahmed C, Lemons A, Beezhold DH, Block ML.
        ASN Neuro. 2021 Jan-Dec;13:17590914211019886.
        Increasing evidence associates indoor fungal exposure with deleterious central nervous system (CNS) health, such as cognitive and emotional deficits in children and adults, but the specific mechanisms by which it might impact the brain are poorly understood. Mice were exposed to filtered air, heat-inactivated Aspergillus versicolor (3 × 10(5) spores), or viable A. versicolor (3 × 10(5) spores) via nose-only inhalation exposure 2 times per week for 1, 2, or 4 weeks. Analysis of cortex, midbrain, olfactory bulb, and cerebellum tissue from mice exposed to viable A. versicolor spores for 1, 2, and 4 weeks revealed significantly elevated pro-inflammatory (Tnf and Il1b) and glial activity (Gdnf and Cxc3r1) gene expression in several brain regions when compared to filtered air control, with the most consistent and pronounced neuroimmune response 48H following the 4-week exposure in the midbrain and frontal lobe. Bulk RNA-seq analysis of the midbrain tissue confirmed that 4 weeks of A. versicolor exposure resulted in significant transcriptional enrichment of several biological pathways compared to the filtered air control, including neuroinflammation, glial cell activation, and regulation of postsynaptic organization. Upregulation of Drd1, Penk, and Pdyn mRNA expression was confirmed in the 4-week A. versicolor exposed midbrain tissue, highlighting that gene expression important for neurotransmission was affected by repeated A. versicolor inhalation exposure. Taken together, these findings indicate that the brain can detect and respond to A. versicolor inhalation exposure with changes in neuroimmune and neurotransmission gene expression, providing much needed insight into how inhaled fungal exposures can affect CNS responses and regulate neuroimmune homeostasis.

      7. BACKGROUND: Antibodies inhibiting von Willebrand factor (VWF) develop in a subset of patients with type 3 von Willebrand disease (VWD3) and may be detected by their inhibition of ristocetin cofactor activity (VWF:RCo). Some also inhibit factor VIII activity (VIII:C). AIM: To describe monitoring of ten VWD3 patients for VWF inhibitors using a quantitative assay. METHODS: VWF inhibitor was measured by comparing VWF:RCo activity of a mix of patient and pooled normal plasma (PNP) with a mix of buffer and PNP, using agglutination of fixed normal platelets in microtiter plates or lyophilized platelets in an aggregometer. VIII:C inhibitor was measured by Bethesda assay. Preanalytical heat treatment of patient plasma was used during treatment episodes. RESULTS: Four of 10 patients monitored developed VWF inhibitors, two detected during bleeding episodes refractory to treatment and two on routine screening. Data from the first five patients were used to establish an arbitrary unit, VWU, defined as the amount of inhibitor per millilitre of patient plasma inactivating 25% of the activity of 1 mL of PNP. In three of four patients, both VWF:RCo and VIIII:C were inhibited at some time points, although VIII:C inhibition sometimes disappeared. In one patient, no VIII:C inhibition was seen. Two patients remained inhibitor positive more than 15 years after inhibitor detection, one became negative following immune tolerance induction, and one was deceased. CONCLUSIONS: VWF inhibitors can be quantitatively monitored in VWD3 patients. Preanalytical heat treatment may be required for their detection post infusion.

      8. A liposome-displayed hemagglutinin vaccine platform protects mice and ferrets from heterologous influenza virus challengeexternal icon
        Sia ZR, He X, Zhang A, Ang JC, Shao S, Seffouh A, Huang WC, D'Agostino MR, Teimouri Dereshgi A, Suryaprakash S, Ortega J, Andersen H, Miller MS, Davidson BA, Lovell JF.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jun 1;118(22).
        Recombinant influenza virus vaccines based on hemagglutinin (HA) hold the potential to accelerate production timelines and improve efficacy relative to traditional egg-based platforms. Here, we assess a vaccine adjuvant system comprised of immunogenic liposomes that spontaneously convert soluble antigens into a particle format, displayed on the bilayer surface. When trimeric H3 HA was presented on liposomes, antigen delivery to macrophages was improved in vitro, and strong functional antibody responses were induced following intramuscular immunization of mice. Protection was conferred against challenge with a heterologous strain of H3N2 virus, and naive mice were also protected following passive serum transfer. When admixed with the particle-forming liposomes, immunization reduced viral infection severity at vaccine doses as low as 2 ng HA, highlighting dose-sparing potential. In ferrets, immunization induced neutralizing antibodies that reduced the upper respiratory viral load upon challenge with a more modern, heterologous H3N2 viral strain. To demonstrate the flexibility and modular nature of the liposome system, 10 recombinant surface antigens representing distinct influenza virus strains were bound simultaneously to generate a highly multivalent protein particle that with 5 ng individual antigen dosing induced antibodies in mice that specifically recognized the constituent immunogens and conferred protection against heterologous H5N1 influenza virus challenge. Taken together, these results show that stable presentation of recombinant HA on immunogenic liposome surfaces in an arrayed fashion enhances functional immune responses and warrants further attention for the development of broadly protective influenza virus vaccines.

      9. BACKGROUND: Matched-set data arise frequently in microbiome studies. For example, we may collect pre- and post-treatment samples from a set of individuals, or use important confounding variables to match data from case participants to one or more control participants. Thus, there is a need for statistical methods for data comprised of matched sets, to test hypotheses against traits of interest (e.g., clinical outcomes or environmental factors) at the community level and/or the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level. Optimally, these methods should accommodate complex data such as those with unequal sample sizes across sets, confounders varying within sets, and continuous traits of interest. METHODS: PERMANOVA is a commonly used distance-based method for testing hypotheses at the community level. We have also developed the linear decomposition model (LDM) that unifies the community-level and OTU-level tests into one framework. Here we present a new strategy that can be used with both PERMANOVA and the LDM for analyzing matched-set data. We propose to include an indicator variable for each set as covariates, so as to constrain comparisons between samples within a set, and also permute traits within each set, which can account for exchangeable sample correlations. The flexible nature of PERMANOVA and the LDM allows discrete or continuous traits or interactions to be tested, within-set confounders to be adjusted, and unbalanced data to be fully exploited. RESULTS: Our simulations indicate that our proposed strategy outperformed alternative strategies, including the commonly used one that utilizes restricted permutation only, in a wide range of scenarios. Using simulation, we also explored optimal designs for matched-set studies. The flexibility of PERMANOVA and the LDM for a variety of matched-set microbiome data is illustrated by the analysis of data from two real studies. CONCLUSIONS: Including set indicator variables and permuting within sets when analyzing matched-set data with PERMANOVA or the LDM is a strategy that performs well and is capable of handling the complex data structures that frequently occur in microbiome studies. Video Abstract.

    • Mining
      1. ObsPlus: A Pandas-centric ObsPy expansion packexternal icon
        Chambers DJ, Boltz MS, Chamberlain CJ.
        J Open Source Softw. 2021 Apr 15;6(60).
        Over the past decade, ObsPy, a python framework for seismology (Krischer et al., 2015), has become an integral part of many seismology research workflows. ObsPy provides parsers for most seismological data formats, clients for accessing data-centers, common signal processing routines, and event, station, and waveform data models. ObsPlus significantly expands ObsPy's functionality by providing simple data management abstractions and conversions between ObsPy classes and the ubiquitous pandas DataFrame (McKinney, 2010).

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Mothers' Perspectives of Complementary Feeding Practices in an Urban Informal Settlement in Kisumu County, Western Kenyaexternal icon
        Reynolds EC, Onyango D, Mwando R, Oele E, Misore T, Agaya J, Otieno P, Tippett Barr BA, Lee GO, Akelo V.
        Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 May;5(5):nzab065.
        BACKGROUND: In informal settlements, the benefits of urban dwelling are diminished by conditions of poverty that exacerbate child undernutrition. The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) project has identified malnutrition as the leading underlying cause of death in children under 5 in the Manyatta urban informal settlement in Kisumu County, Kenya. OBJECTIVE: This qualitative study, nested within the CHAMPS project, aimed to understand community perspectives on complementary feeding practices in this settlement. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 mothers who lived in the urban informal settlement and had a child 6-23 months old. Two focus group discussions were conducted, 1 with mothers and 1 with community health workers (CHWs), to further explore themes related to complementary feeding. RESULTS: Mothers were knowledgeable about globally recommended feeding practices, but such practices were often not implemented due to 1) the community/household water and sanitation environment, 2) the community/household food environment, 3) a lack of income and employment opportunities for women, and 4) sociocultural factors. Together, these create an environment that is not conducive to optimal child feeding practices. CONCLUSIONS: To improve complementary feeding practices and child nutritional outcomes in Kenya's informal urban settings, both community- and individual-level factors should be addressed. Possible interventions include investment in water infrastructure and social protection programs, such as cash transfers.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Evaluating the potential occupational health risk of engineered nanomaterials is an ongoing need. The objective of this meta-analysis, which consisted of 36 studies containing 86 materials, was to assess the availability of published in vivo rodent pulmonary toxicity data for a variety of nanoscale and microscale materials and to derive potency estimates via benchmark dose modeling. Additionally, the potency estimates based on particle mass lung dose associated with acute pulmonary inflammation were used to group materials based on toxicity. The commonalities among the physicochemical properties of the materials in each group were also explored. This exploration found that a material's potency tended to be associated primarily with the material class based on chemical composition and form (e.g. carbon nanotubes, TiO(2), ZnO) rather than with particular physicochemical properties. Limitations in the data available precluded a more extensive analysis of these associations. Issues such as data reporting and appropriate experimental design for use in quantitative risk assessment are the main reasons publications were excluded from these analyses and are discussed.

      2. Numerical investigation of powder aerosolization in a rotating drum apparatusexternal icon
        Chen H, Jog MA, Evans DE, Turkevich LA.
        Powder Technology. 2021 ;390:62-72.
        Essential to estimating the potential exposure from dusts of toxic, hazardous or irritant powders is the evaluation of the dustiness of the powders being handled. Dustiness is the tendency of a powder to aerosolize with a given input of energy. Evaluating dustiness of a manufactured powder can alert to a potential exposure to workers. It can also aid in the selection of manufacturing processes/operations which generate less dust for a particular substance and can provide vital information to guide selecting/creating powders which generate less dust. A widely used (but marginally understood) instrument to evaluate powder dustiness is the Rotating Drum. Using computational fluid dynamics, we have numerically investigated the flow inside the Rotating Drum dustiness tester during its operation. A complete description of the flow aerodynamics associated with operation of this instrument will assist in the interpretation of dustiness measurements conducted with this instrument. © 2021

      3. Quantile regression for exposure data with repeated measures in the presence of non-detectsexternal icon
        Chen IC, Bertke SJ, Curwin BD.
        J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Jun 9.
        BACKGROUND: Exposure data with repeated measures from occupational studies are frequently right-skewed and left-censored. To address right-skewed data, data are generally log-transformed and analyses modeling the geometric mean operate under the assumption the data are log-normally distributed. However, modeling the mean of exposure may lead to bias and loss of efficiency if the transformed data do not follow a known distribution. In addition, left censoring occurs when measurements are below the limit of detection (LOD). OBJECTIVE: To present a complete illustration of the entire conditional distribution of an exposure outcome by examining different quantiles, rather than modeling the mean. METHODS: We propose an approach combining the quantile regression model, which does not require any specified error distributions, with the substitution method for skewed data with repeated measurements and non-detects. RESULTS: In a simulation study and application example, we demonstrate that this method performs well, particularly for highly right-skewed data, as parameter estimates are consistent and have smaller mean squared error relative to existing approaches. SIGNIFICANCE: The proposed approach provides an alternative insight into the conditional distribution of an exposure outcome for repeated measures models.

      4. Missing data is a common problem in data collection for work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) risk-assessment studies. It can cause incompleteness of risk indicators, leading to erroneous conclusion on potential risk factors. Previous studies suggested that data fusion is a potential way to solve this issue. This research evaluated the numerical stability of a data fusion technique that applies canonical polyadic decomposition (CPD) for WMSD risk assessment in construction. Two knee WMSD risk-related data sets - three-dimensional (3D) knee rotation (kinematics) and electromyography (EMG) of five knee postural muscles - collected from previous studies were fused for the evaluation. By comparing the consistency performance with and without data fusion, it revealed that for all low to high proportion of missing data (10%-70%) from both kinematics and EMG data sets, the WMSD risk assessment using fused data sets outperformed using unfused kinematics data sets. For large proportions of missing data (>50%) from both kinematics and EMG data sets, better performance was observed by using fused data sets in comparison with unfused EMG data sets. These findings suggest that data fusion using CPD generates a more reliable risk assessment compared with data sets with missing values and therefore is an effective approach for remedying missing data in WMSD risk evaluation. © 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers.

      5. Cumulative Risks from Stressor Exposures and Personal Risk Factors in the Workplace: Examples from a Scoping Reviewexternal icon
        Fox MA, Niemeier RT, Hudson N, Siegel MR, Dotson GS.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 29;18(11).
        Protecting worker and public health involves an understanding of multiple determinants, including exposures to biological, chemical, or physical agents or stressors in combination with other determinants including type of employment, health status, and individual behaviors. This has been illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic by increased exposure and health risks for essential workers and those with pre-existing conditions, and mask-wearing behavior. Health risk assessment practices for environmental and occupational health typically do not incorporate multiple stressors in combination with personal risk factors. While conceptual developments in cumulative risk assessment to inform a more holistic approach to these real-life conditions have progressed, gaps remain, and practical methods and applications are rare. This scoping review characterizes existing evidence of combined stressor exposures and personal factors and risk to foster methods for occupational cumulative risk assessment. The review found examples from many workplaces, such as manufacturing, offices, and health care; exposures to chemical, physical, and psychosocial stressors combined with modifiable and unmodifiable determinants of health; and outcomes including respiratory function and disease, cancers, cardio-metabolic diseases, and hearing loss, as well as increased fertility, menstrual dysfunction and worsened mental health. To protect workers, workplace exposures and modifiable and unmodifiable characteristics should be considered in risk assessment and management. Data on combination exposures can improve assessments and risk estimates and inform protective exposure limits and management strategies.

      6. Occupational exposure to diacetyl, a butter flavor chemical, can result in obliterative bronchiolitis. Obliterative bronchiolitis is characterized by exertional dyspnea, fixed airflow obstruction, and histopathologic constrictive bronchiolitis, with bronchiolar wall fibrosis leading to luminal narrowing and obliteration. We describe a case of advanced lung disease with histopathology distinct from obliterative bronchiolitis in a 37-year-old male coffee worker following prolonged exposure to high levels of diacetyl and the related compound 2,3-pentanedione, who had no other medical, avocational, or occupational history that could account for his illness. He began working at a coffee facility in the flavoring room and grinding area in 2009. Four years later he moved to the packaging area but continued to flavor and grind coffee at least 1 full day per week. He reported chest tightness and mucous membrane irritation when working in the flavoring room and grinding area in 2010. Beginning in 2014, he developed dyspnea, intermittent cough, and a reduced sense of smell without a work-related pattern. In 2016, spirometry revealed a moderate mixed pattern that did not improve with bronchodilator. Thoracoscopic lung biopsy results demonstrated focal mild cellular bronchiolitis and pleuritis, and focal peribronchiolar giant cells/granulomas, but no evidence of constrictive bronchiolitis. Full-shift personal air-samples collected in the flavoring and grinding areas during 2016 measured diacetyl concentrations up to 84-fold higher than the recommended exposure limit. Medical evaluations indicate this worker developed work-related, airway-centric lung disease, most likely attributable to inhalational exposure to flavorings, with biopsy findings not usual for obliterative bronchiolitis. Clinicians should be aware that lung pathology could vary considerably in workers with suspected flavoring-related lung disease.

      7. PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to consolidate exposure assessment methods for occupational research on engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) published within the past 5 years (2015-2020). RECENT FINDINGS: The three ENMs that generated the highest volume of new research include titanium dioxide, graphene, and aluminum oxide. A multi-metric approach, using both online and offline instruments and analyses, has been found to be a useful method to characterize ENM workplace exposures and was commonly used in the recently published literature. Particle number concentration was the most common online exposure metric used, followed by the metrics of mass and surface area. There are currently no consensus methods for offline analyses of most ENMs. Researchers generally used gravimetric or elemental analyses for carbonaceous nanomaterials, titanium dioxide, and other nanometals, but there was little overlap between other ENM materials reviewed. Using biological markers of exposure, such as urinary oxidative stress biomarkers, as an indication of chronic exposure may also be useful for some ENMs and should be further researched. Generally, similar online instrumentation and offline electron microscopy methods were used for all ENMs. However, this consistency was not observed for offline mass analysis methods within specific ENMs. Consolidation of the most recent methods and results of exposure assessments within this broad material category can guide researchers toward future areas of study. Establishing consensus methods of exposure assessment for each individual ENM is crucial to characterizing workplace exposures, pooling data to fully understand their associated risks, and developing useful occupational exposure limits.

      8. PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions to prevent occupational hearing loss, following up on the findings of the most recent version of Cochrane systematic review on the same topic. RESEARCH STRATEGY: Searches were carried out in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases. SELECTION CRITERIA: The following interventions were considered: engineering/administrative controls; hearing protection devices (HPD); and audiological monitoring. DATA ANALYSIS: For bias risk analysis, each study was assessed according to randomization, allocation, blinding, outcomes, other sources of bias. RESULTS: 475 references were obtained. Of these, 17 studies met the inclusion criteria: one randomized, one interrupted time series, and 15 before and after studies. Most studies were conducted in industries; three in military and/or shooting training environments; one in an orchestra, and one in construction. Most studies showed a high risk of bias. Six studies found a reduction in short-term exposure to noise through engineering/administrative controls; one found a positive impact due to changes in legislation; five studies have found positive effects of HPD in reducing exposure to noise and of educational trainings in the use of HPD; lastly, two studies found a reduction in noise levels and an increase in the using of HPD due to the implementation of hearing conservation programs. CONCLUSÃO: Todos os estudos analisados concluíram que as intervenções utilizadas resultaram em efeitos positivos sobre a audição e/ou sobre a exposição ao ruído. Em relação aos efeitos de longo termo, a grande maioria dos estudos limitou-se a avaliar efeitos imediatos ou de curto termo, reforçando que estudos incluindo follow-up de longo termo devem ser desenvolvidos.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. BACKGROUND: Tanzania started implementing single screening and treatment (SST) for all pregnant women attending their first antenatal care (ANC) visits in 2014, using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and treating those who test positive according to the national guidelines. However, there is a paucity of data to show the acceptability of SST to both pregnant women and health care workers (HCWs), taking into consideration the shortage of workers and the added burden of this policy to the health system. This study assessed the perceptions and opinions of health service users and providers to determine the acceptability of SST policy. METHODS: Pregnant women and HCWs in eight health facilities in two districts of Lindi region (Kilwa and Lindi) were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires with open and close-ended questions. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected, including demographic characteristics, women's experience, their perception on SST and challenges they face when receiving services for malaria offered at ANC. Experience of HCWs regarding the implementation of SST as part of routine services and the challenges encountered when providing ANC services for malaria in pregnancy (MIP) were also assessed. RESULTS: Of the 143 pregnant women interviewed, 97% viewed testing favourably and would wish to be tested for malaria again, while 95% were satisfied with services and reasons for testing during the first ANC visit. Nearly all (99%) would recommend their fellow pregnant women to be tested for malaria and all women recommended that the Ministry of Health should continue the SST strategy. This was despite the fact that 76% of the women experienced pain and 16% had anxiety as a result of finger prick. Sixteen HCWs (mostly nurses) were interviewed; they also viewed SST implementation favourably and reported feeling empowered to use RDTs for malaria screening. The main challenge identified by HCWs was that nurses are not allowed to prescribe anti-malarials to women who test positive and need to refer them to the outpatient department for treatment. CONCLUSION: SST was considered an acceptable approach to control MIP by HCWs and pregnant women, and they recommended the continuation of the policy. In addition, consideration should be given to implementing a task-shifting policy to allow nurses to dispense anti-malarials to pregnant women.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Chlamydial Pgp3 seropositivity and population attributable fraction among women with tubal factor infertilityexternal icon
        Anyalechi GE, Hong J, Kirkcaldy RD, Wiesenfeld HC, Horner P, Wills GS, McClure MO, Hammond KR, Haggerty CL, Kissin DM, Hook EW, Steinkampf MP, Bernstein K, Geisler WM.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Mar 31.
        BACKGROUND: Chlamydial infection is associated with tubal factor infertility (TFI); however, assessment of prior chlamydial infection and TFI is imperfect. We previously evaluated a combination of serological assays for association with TFI. We now describe the chlamydial contribution to TFI using a newer Chlamydia trachomatis Pgp3 enhanced serological (Pgp3) assay. METHODS: In our case-control study of women 19-42 years old with hysterosalpingogram-diagnosed TFI (cases) and non-TFI (controls) in two U.S. infertility clinics, we assessed possible associations and effect modifiers between Pgp3 seropositivity and TFI using adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) stratified by race. We then estimated the adjusted chlamydia population attributable fraction (aPAF) with 95% CI of TFI. RESULTS: All black (n=107) and 618 of 620 non-black women had Pgp3 results. Pgp3 seropositivity was 25.9% (19.3-33.8%) for non-black cases, 15.2% (12.3-18.7%) for non-black controls, 66.0% (95% CI 51.7-77.8%) for black cases, and 71.7% (59.2-81.5%) for black controls. Among 476 non-black women without endometriosis (n=476), Pgp3 was associated with TFI (aOR 2.6 [1.5-4.4]), adjusting for clinic, age, and income; chlamydia TFI aPAF was 19.8% (95% CI 7.7-32.2%) in these women. Pgp3 positivity was not associated with TFI among non-black women with endometriosis nor among black women (regardless of endometriosis). CONCLUSIONS: Among non-black infertile women without endometriosis in these clinics, 20% of TFI was attributed to chlamydia. Better biomarkers are needed to estimate chlamydia TFI PAF, especially in black women.

      2. Development of the Practice Readiness to Evaluate and address Perinatal Depression (PREPD) assessmentexternal icon
        Masters GA, Brenckle L, Sankaran P, Moore Simas TA, Person SD, Allison J, Ziedonis D, Ko J, Robbins C, Byatt N.
        Psychiatry Res. 2021 May 29;302:114032.
        OBJECTIVE: Perinatal depression is a common pregnancy complication and universal screening is recommended. The Practice Readiness to Evaluate and address Perinatal Depression (PREPD) was developed to measure obstetric practice readiness to integrate depression care into workflows. Objectives were to describe: (1) the PREPD; (2) associated characteristics by readiness level; and (3) use of the assessment to measure change. METHOD: The PREPD has four components, each scored to a 16-point maximum: (1) Environmental Scan (10% of PREPD); (2) Depression Detection, Assessment, and Treatment Questionnaire (30%); (3) Depression-related Policies Questionnaire (10%); and (4) Chart Abstraction (50%). Components were weighted and summed for an overall score. Summary and component scores were calculated by patient, practice, and provider. RESULTS: Average overall PREPD score was 7.3/16 (range: 4.8-9.9); scores varied between practices. The Environmental Scan averaged 2.0/16 (range: 0-5.2); Detection, Assessment, and Treatment averaged 8.3/16 (range: 3.0-11.5); Chart Abstraction averaged 7.2/16 (range: 5.1-9.6); and Depression-related Policies averaged 10.4/16 (range: 7.5-15). CONCLUSION: We found wide variation in obstetric practices' readiness to implement interventions for depression; most were minimally prepared. These data may be used to tailor practice intervention goals and as benchmarks with which to measure changes in integration of depression care over time.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Microbiology of the American Smokeless Tobaccoexternal icon
        Rivera AJ, Tyx RE.
        Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Jun 10.
        Smokeless tobacco products (STP) contain diverse microbial communities that contribute to the formation of harmful chemical byproducts. This is concerning since 300 million individuals around the globe are users of smokeless tobacco. Significant evidence has shown that microbial metabolic activities mediate the formation of carcinogens during manufacturing. In recent years, studies have revealed a series of additional health impacts that include lesions and inflammation of the oral mucosa and the gastrointestinal tract, as well as alterations of the endogenous microbiota. These findings are due to recent developments in molecular technologies that allowed researchers to better examine the microbial component of these products. This new information illustrates the scale of the STP microbiota and its diversity in the finished product that is sold for consumption. Additionally, the application of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics has provided the tools to look at phylogenies across bacterial, viral, and eukaryotic groups, their functional capacities, and viability. Here we present key examples of tobacco microbiology research that utilizes newer approaches and strategies to define the microbial component of smokeless tobacco products. We also highlight challenges in these approaches, the knowledge gaps being filled, and those gaps that warrant further study. A better understanding of the microbiology of STP brings vast public health benefits. It will provide important information for the product consumer, impact manufacturing practices, and provide support for the development of attainable and more meaningful regulatory goals. KEY POINTS: Newer technologies allowed quicker and more comprehensive identification of microbes in tobacco samples, encapsulating microorganisms difficult or impossible to culture. Current research in smokeless tobacco microbiology is filling knowledge gaps previously unfilled due to the lack of suitable approaches. The microbial ecology of smokeless tobacco presents a clearer picture of diversity and variability not considered before.

      2. INTRODUCTION: During the E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) outbreak, patient data on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, product (EVP) use was collected, but data on non-affected adult product use after the onset of the EVALI outbreak is limited. This study describes adult THC-EVP use after EVALI began. METHODS: THC-EVP use data came from an 18-state web-based panel survey of adult THC- and nicotine-containing EVP users conducted February 2020. Unweighted descriptive statistics were calculated; logistic regression assessed correlates of use. RESULTS: Among 3,980 THC-EVP users, 23.5% used THC-EVPs daily. Common brands of THC-EVPs used were Dank Vapes (47.7%) and Golden Gorilla (38.7%). Reported substances used included THC oils (69.6%), marijuana herb (63.6%) and THC concentrate (46.4%). Access sources included: recreational dispensaries (41.1%), friend/family member (38.6%) and illicit dealers (15.1%). Respondents aged 45-64 years had lower odds for daily use compared with those aged 25-34 years (aOR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.60, 0.90). Compared with White respondents, Asian respondents had lower odds (aOR = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.36, 0.84) and Black respondents higher odds (aOR = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.17, 1.86) of daily use. Respondents odds of daily use and accessing THC-EVPs through commercial sources were higher among states with legalized nonmedical adult marijuana use compared to states without. CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of respondents reported daily or weekly THC-EVP use, and accessed products through both informal and formal sources, even after EVALI began. Given the potential for future EVALI-like conditions to occur, it is important to monitor the use of THC-EVPs and ensure effective education activities about associated risk.

      3. PURPOSE: Emergency department (ED) syndromic surveillance and hospital discharge data have been used to detect and monitor nonfatal drug overdose, yet few studies have assessed the differences and similarities between these two data sources. METHODS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (DOSE) system data from 14 states were used to compare these two sources at estimating monthly overdose burden and trends from January 2018 through December 2019 for nonfatal all drug, opioid-, heroin-, and stimulant-involved overdoses. RESULTS: Compared to discharge data, syndromic data captured 13.3% more overall ED visits, 67.8% more all drug overdose visits, 15.6% more opioid-involved overdose visits, and 78.8% more stimulant-involved overdose visits. Discharge data captured 18.9% more heroin-involved overdoses. Significant trends were identified for all drug (Average Monthly Percentage Change [AMPC]=1.1, 95% CI=0.4,1.8) and stimulant-involved overdoses (AMPC=2.4, 95% CI=1.2,3.7) in syndromic data; opioid-involved overdoses increased in both discharge and syndromic data (AMPC(Discharge)=0.9, 95% CI=0.2,1.7; AMPC(Syndromic)=1.9, CI=1.1,2.8). CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrate that discharge data may be better for reporting counts, yet syndromic data are preferable to detect changes quickly and to alert practitioners and public health officials to local overdose clusters. These data sources do serve complementary purposes when examining overdose trends.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2019external icon
        Ma X, Monroe BP, Wallace RM, Orciari LA, Gigante CM, Kirby JD, Chipman RB, Fehlner-Gardiner C, Cedillo VG, Petersen BW, Olson V, Bonwitt J.
        . 2021 Jun 1;258(11):1205-1220.
        OBJECTIVE: To provide epidemiological information on animal and human cases of rabies occurring in the United States during 2019 and summaries of 2019 rabies surveillance for Canada and Mexico. ANIMALS: All animals submitted for laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the United States during 2019. PROCEDURES: State and territorial public health departments and USDA Wildlife Services provided data on animals submitted for rabies testing in the United States during 2019. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic and wildlife rabies cases. RESULTS: During 2019, 53 jurisdictions submitted 97,523 animal samples for rabies testing, of which 94,770 (97.2%) had a conclusive (positive or negative) test result. Of these, 4,690 tested positive for rabies, representing a 5.3% decrease from the 4,951 cases reported in 2018. Texas (n = 565 [12.0%]), New York (391 [8.3%]), Virginia (385 [8.2%]), North Carolina (315 [6.7%]), California (276 [5.9%]), and Maryland (269 [5.7%]) together accounted for almost half of all animal rabies cases reported in 2019. Of the total reported rabid animals, 4,305 (91.8%) were wildlife, with raccoons (n = 1,545 [32.9%]), bats (1,387 [29.6%]), skunks (915 [19.5%]), and foxes (361 [7.7%]) as the primary species confirmed with rabies. Rabid cats (n = 245 [5.2%]) and dogs (66 [1.4%]) accounted for > 80% of rabies cases involving domestic animals in 2019. No human rabies cases were reported in 2019. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The overall number of animal rabies cases decreased from 2018 to 2019. Laboratory diagnosis of rabies in animals is critical to ensure that human rabies postexposure prophylaxis is administered judiciously.

      2. Veterinarians’ role in preventing zoonotic salmonellosis from hedgehogsexternal icon
        Waltenburg MA, Basler C, Nichols M, Scheftel J, Stobierski MG.
        . 2021 ;258(10).

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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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