Issue 42, November 16, 2021

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 42, November 16, 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
      • Longitudinal Analysis of Neighborhood Food Environment and Diabetes Risk in the Veterans Administration Diabetes Risk Cohortexternal icon
        Kanchi R, Lopez P, Rummo PE, Lee DC, Adhikari S, Schwartz MD, Avramovic S, Siegel KR, Rolka DB, Imperatore G, Elbel B, Thorpe LE.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Oct 1;4(10):e2130789.
        IMPORTANCE: Diabetes causes substantial morbidity and mortality among adults in the US, yet its incidence varies across the country, suggesting that neighborhood factors are associated with geographical disparities in diabetes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between neighborhood food environment and risk of incident type 2 diabetes across different community types (high-density urban, low-density urban, suburban, and rural). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This is a national cohort study of 4 100 650 US veterans without type 2 diabetes. Participants entered the cohort between 2008 and 2016 and were followed up through 2018. The median (IQR) duration of follow-up was 5.5 (2.6-9.8) person-years. Data were obtained from Veterans Affairs electronic health records. Incident type 2 diabetes was defined as 2 encounters with type 2 diabetes International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision or Tenth Revision codes, a prescription for diabetes medication other than metformin or acarbose alone, or 1 encounter with type 2 diabetes International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision or Tenth Revision codes and 2 instances of elevated hemoglobin A1c (≥6.5%). Data analysis was performed from October 2020 to March 2021. EXPOSURES: Five-year mean counts of fast-food restaurants and supermarkets relative to other food outlets at baseline were used to generate neighborhood food environment measures. The association between food environment and time to incident diabetes was examined using piecewise exponential models with 2-year interval of person-time and county-level random effects stratifying by community types. RESULTS: The mean (SD) age of cohort participants was 59.4 (17.2) years. Most of the participants were non-Hispanic White (2 783 756 participants [76.3%]) and male (3 779 555 participants [92.2%]). The relative density of fast-food restaurants was positively associated with a modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in all community types. The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) was 1.01 (95% CI, 1.00-1.02) in high-density urban communities, 1.01 (95% CI, 1.01-1.01) in low-density urban communities, 1.02 (95% CI, 1.01-1.03) in suburban communities, and 1.01 (95% CI, 1.01-1.02) in rural communities. The relative density of supermarkets was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk only in suburban (aHR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99) and rural (aHR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99) communities. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that neighborhood food environment measures are associated with type 2 diabetes among US veterans in multiple community types and that food environments are potential avenues for action to address the burden of diabetes. Tailored interventions targeting the availability of supermarkets may be associated with reduced diabetes risk, particularly in suburban and rural communities, whereas restrictions on fast-food restaurants may help in all community types.

    • Communicable Diseases
      • Kaposi Sarcoma Rates Among Persons Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the United States: 2008-2016external icon
        Luo Q, Satcher Johnson A, Hall HI, Cahoon EK, Shiels M.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 5;73(7):e2226-e2233.
        BACKGROUND: Recent studies have suggested that Kaposi sarcoma (KS) rates might be increasing in some racial/ethnic groups, age groups, and US regions. We estimated recent US trends in KS incidence among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; PLWH). METHODS: Incident KS patients aged 20-59 years were obtained from 36 cancer registries and assumed to be living with HIV. The number of PLWH was obtained from national HIV surveillance data from 2008 to 2016. Age-standardized KS rates and annual percent changes (APCs) in rates were estimated by age, sex, race/ethnicity, state, and region. RESULTS: Between 2008 and 2016, the age-adjusted KS rate among PLWH was 116/100 000. Rates were higher among males, in younger age groups, and among white PLWH. Washington, Maine, and California had the highest KS rates among PLWH. KS rates among PLWH decreased significantly (average APC = -3.2% per year, P < .001) from 136/100 000 to 97/100 000 between 2008 and 2016. There were no statistically significant increases in KS rates in any age, sex, or racial/ethnic group or in any geographic region or state. However, there were nondecreasing trends in some states and in younger age groups, primarily among black PLWH. CONCLUSIONS: KS incidence rates among PLWH have decreased nationally between 2008 and 2016. Though there were no statistically significant increases in KS rates in any demographic or geographic group, nondecreasing/stagnant KS trends in some states and among younger and black PLWH highlight the need for early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection.

    • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Services
      • Federal statutes authorize several agencies to protect human populations from chemical emergencies and provide guidance to evacuate, clean, and re-occupy affected areas. Each of the authorized federal agencies have developed programs to provide managers, public health officials, and regulators, with a rapid assessment of potential hazards and risks associated with chemical emergencies. Emergency responses vary based on exposure scenarios, routes, temporal considerations, and the substance(s) present. Traditional chemical assessments and derivation of toxicity values are time-intensive, typically requiring large amounts of human epidemiological and experimental animal data. When a rapid assessment of health effects is needed, an integrated computational approach of augmenting extant toxicity data with in vitro (new alternative toxicity testing methods) data can provide a quick, evidence-based solution. In so doing, multiple streams of data can be used, including literature searches, hazard, dose-response, physicochemical, and environmental fate and transport property data, in vitro cell bioactivity testing and toxicogenomics. The field of toxicology is moving, ever so slowly, towards increased use of this approach as it transforms from observational to predictive science. The challenge is to objectively and transparently derive toxicity values using this approach to protect human health and the environment. Presented here are examples and efforts toward rapid risk assessment that demonstrate unified, parallel, and complementary work to provide timely protection in times of chemical emergency.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      • 'Hybrid Survey' approach to non-communicable disease surveillance in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islandsexternal icon
        Cash HL, De Jesus S, Durand AM, Tin ST, Shelton D, Robles R, Mendiola AR, Brikul S, Ipil M, Murphy M, Hunt LS, Nielsen Lesa F, Sigrah CA, Waguk R, Abraham D, Kapiriel SF, Camacho J, Chutaro E.
        BMJ Glob Health. 2021 Oct;6(10).
        In 2010 the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) declared a regional state of health emergency due to the epidemic of non-communicable disease (NCD) and an NCD monitoring and surveillance framework was developed that includes adult NCD risk factor and disease prevalence indicators to be collected every 5 years using a population-based survey. On evaluation of existing data from adult population-based NCD surveys, it was found that there was a lack of valid, available and consistently collected data. Therefore, a new model was developed to combine various indicators and survey tools from different partner agencies into one survey. After the report was endorsed by local health leadership, a dissemination workshop was conducted. In 2015 (baseline for Hybrid Survey implementation), three out of nine jurisdictions (33.3%) had completed a population-based survey in the past 5 years. Four (44.4%) had no adult prevalence data at all, two (22.2%) had data sets from their surveys and four (44.4%) had at least two surveys ever collected that could be used for comparison. As of 2020, all nine jurisdictions have, or are in the process of completing an adult population-based survey. Eight (88.9%) have data sets from their surveys, and five (55.6%) have at least two surveys collected that can be used for comparison. This Hybrid Survey model has helped to improve adult NCD surveillance in the USAPI by more efficiently using limited resources. This model could be considered in other small island nations, or rural areas where adult NCD surveillance is challenging.

    • Health Disparities
      • Association between county-level sociodemographic characteristics and county-level differences in opioid dispensingexternal icon
        Cremer LJ, Underwood N, Robinson A, Guy GP, Rooks-Peck CR.
        Preventive Medicine Reports. 2021 ;24.
        Background: While overall opioid prescribing has been decreasing in the United States, the rates of prescribing at the county level have been variable. Previous studies show that social determinants of health (the social and economic conditions in which we live) may play a role in opioid prescribing; however, researchers have not examined this relationship across US counties. This cross-sectional study seeks to determine whether county-level sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., economic, housing, social environment, healthcare environment, and population characteristics) are associated with county level differences in opioid dispensing. Methods: Data from 2,881 counties in the United States from 2017 to 2018 were used for this study. Opioid dispensing was measured using morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per capita. Spatial error models were used to measure the association between county-level sociodemographic characteristics and MME per capita while adjusting for spatial correlation between neighboring counties. Results: In the adjusted model, counties with a higher percentage of people below the poverty line, with less than a 4-year college degree, and without health insurance were associated with higher MME dispensed per capita, as were counties with higher percentages of families headed by a single parent, persons separated or divorced, and those with disabilities. Conversely, minority race/ethnicity and rural population were associated with lower opioid dispensing. Conclusions: County-level sociodemographics can differ in their association with opioid dispensing, hence examining which county-level factors help in improving opioid prescribing, and implementing overdose prevention strategies that tackle these factors is important. © 2021

    • Health Economics
      • The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Blindness in the United Statesexternal icon
        Rein DB, Wittenborn JS, Zhang P, Sublett F, Lamuda PA, Lundeen EA, Saaddine J.
        Ophthalmology. 2021 Sep 21.
        PURPOSE: To estimate the economic burden of vision loss (VL) in the United States and by state. DESIGN: Analysis of secondary data sources (American Community Survey [ACS], American Time Use Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey [MEPS], National and State Health Expenditure Accounts, and National Health Interview Survey [NHIS]) using attributable fraction, regression, and other methods to estimate the incremental direct and indirect 2017 costs of VL. PARTICIPANTS: People with a yes response to a question asking if they are blind or have serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses in the ACS, MEPS, or NHIS. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We estimated the direct costs of medical, nursing home (NH), and supportive services and the indirect costs of absenteeism, lost household production, reduced labor force participation, and informal care by age group, sex, and state in aggregate and per person with VL. RESULTS: We estimated an economic burden of VL of $134.2 billion: $98.7 billion in direct costs and $35.5 billion in indirect costs. The largest burden components were NH ($41.8 billion), other medical care services ($30.9 billion), and reduced labor force participation ($16.2 billion), all of which accounted for 66% of the total. Those with VL incurred $16 838 per year in incremental burden. Informal care was the largest burden component for people 0 to 18 years of age, reduced labor force participation was the largest burden component for people 19 to 64 years of age, and NH costs were the largest burden component for people 65 years of age or older. New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont experienced the highest costs per person with VL. Sensitivity analyses indicate total burden may range between $76 and $218 billion depending on the assumptions used in the model. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported VL imposes a substantial economic burden on the United States. Burden accrues in different ways at different ages, leading to state differences in the composition of per-person costs based on the age composition of the population with VL. Information on state variation can help local decision makers target resources better to address the burden of VL.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      • Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis among Transfusion and Transplant Recipients in the United Statesexternal icon
        Mowla SJ, Drexler NA, Cherry CC, Annambholta PD, Kracalik IT, Basavaraju SV.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2768-2775.
        Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are emerging tickborne diseases that can also be transmitted through blood transfusions or organ transplants. Since 2000, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis cases in the United States have increased substantially, resulting in potential risk to transplant and transfusion recipients. We reviewed ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis cases among blood transfusion and solid organ transplant recipients in the United States from peer-reviewed literature and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigations. We identified 132 cases during 1997-2020, 12 transfusion-associated cases and 120 cases in transplant recipients; 8 cases were donor-derived, and in 13 cases illness occurred <1 year after transplant. Disease in the remaining 99 cases occurred ≥1 year after transplant, suggesting donor-derived disease was unlikely. Severe illness or death were reported among 15 transfusion and transplant recipients. Clinicians should be alert for these possible infections among transfusion and transplant recipients to prevent severe complications or death by quickly treating them.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      • Frequency of early intervention sessions and vocabulary skills in children with hearing lossexternal icon
        Wiggin M, Sedey AL, Yoshinaga-Itano C, Mason CA, Gaffney M, Chung W.
        Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021 ;10(21).
        Background: A primary goal of early intervention is to assist children in achieving age-appropriate language skills. The amount of intervention a child receives is ideally based on his or her individual needs, yet it is unclear if language ability impacts amount of intervention and/or if an increased frequency of intervention sessions results in better outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the frequency of early intervention sessions and vocabulary outcomes in young children with hearing loss. Methods: This was a longitudinal study of 210 children 9 to 36 months of age with bilateral hearing loss living in 12 different states. Expressive vocabulary skills were evaluated using the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inven-tories. Results: A higher number of intervention sessions reported at the first assessment predicted better vocabulary scores at the second assessment, and more sessions reported at the second assessment predicted better scores at the third assessment. For each increase in the number of sessions reported, there was a corresponding, positive increase in vocabulary quotient. In contrast, children’s vocabulary ability at an earlier time point did not predict intervention session frequency at a later point in time. Conclusions: A significant prospective effect was apparent with more therapy sessions resulting in improved vocabulary scores 9 months later. These findings underscore the importance of early intervention. Pediatricians and other health care professionals can help apply these findings by counseling parents regarding the value of frequent and consistent participation in early inter-vention. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      • PURPOSE: Studies of the association between ultraprocessed foods (UPF) and cardiovascular disease risk factors have been mainly focused on the adult population. This study examined the association between usual percentage of calories (%kcal) from UPF and the American Heart Association's seven cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics among U.S. adolescents aged 12-19 years. METHODS: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2018 (n = 5,565). The NOVA food system was used to classify UPF according to the extent and purpose of food processing. Each CVH metric was given a score of 0, 1, or 2 (poor, intermediate, or ideal health, respectively). Scores of six metrics were summed (excluding diet) to categorize CVH as low (0-7), moderate (8-10), or high (11-12). The National Cancer Institute's methods were used to estimate usual %kcal from UPF. Multivariable linear regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between UPF and CVH. RESULTS: Among youth, 12.1% had low CVH, 56.3% moderate, and 31.6% high. The mean usual %kcal from UPF was 65.7%. Every 5% increase in calories from UPF was associated with .13 points lower CVH scores (p < .001). Comparing Q2, Q3, and Q4 to Q1 of UPF intake, the adjusted odds ratios for low versus high CVH were 1.43 (95% confidence interval 1.16-1.76), 1.86 (1.29-2.66), and 2.59 (1.49-4.55), respectively. The pattern of association was largely consistent across subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: U.S. adolescents consume about two thirds of daily calorie from UPF. There was a graded inverse association between %kcal from UPF and CVH score.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
    • Parasitic Diseases
      • BACKGROUND: Until recently, relatively little research has been done on how mosquitoes behave around the occupied bed net in the indoor environment. This has been partly remedied in the last few years through laboratory and field studies, most of these using video methods and mosquito flight tracking. Despite these recent advances, understanding of the mosquito-bed net environment system, and the principles that underlie mosquito behaviour within it, is limited. This project aimed to further understand this system by studying the effects of gently moving air (such as might be introduced through room design to make the indoor environment more comfortable and conducive to ITN use) and warmer vs. cooler ambient conditions on mosquito activity around ITNs and other bed nets. METHODS: The activity of colonized female Anopheles gambiae around an occupied untreated bed net set up in a mosquito-proof tent in a large laboratory space was recorded under different ambient conditions using a laser detection-video recording system. Conditions tested were 'cool' (23-25 °C) and 'warm' (27-30 °C) air temperatures and the presence or absence of a cross-flow produced by a small central processing unit (CPU) fan pointed at the side of the net so that it produced a 'low-' or 'high-' speed cross-draught (approx. 0.1 and 0.4 m/s, respectively). Near-net activity in recordings was measured using video image analysis. RESULTS: In cool, still air conditions, more than 80% of near-net activity by An. gambiae occurred on the net roof. Introduction of the low-speed or high-speed cross-draught resulted in an almost total drop off in roof activity within 1 to 2 min and, in the case of the high-speed cross-draught, a complementary increase in activity on the net side. In warm, still conditions, near-net activity appeared to be lower overall than in cool, still air conditions and to be relatively less focussed on the roof. Introduction of the high-speed cross-draught in warm conditions resulted in a decrease in roof activity and increase in side activity though neither effect was statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Results are interpreted in terms of the flow of the stimulatory odour plume produced by the net occupant which, consistent with established principles of fluid dynamics, appears to rise quickly and remain more intact above the net occupant in cool, still air than in warm, still air. Cross-draught effects are ascribed to the changes they cause in the flow of the host odour plume as opposed to mosquito flight directly. The implications of these results for house designs that promote indoor air movement, on bed net design, and on other vector control measures are discussed. How mosquitoes approach a net is influenced both by indoor temperature and ventilation and their interaction. This system is in need of further study.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      • Tracing the Origin, Spread, and Molecular Evolution of Zika Virus in Puerto Rico, 2016-2017external icon
        Santiago GA, Kalinich CC, Cruz-López F, González GL, Flores B, Hentoff A, Charriez KN, Fauver JR, Adams LE, Sharp TM, Black A, Bedford T, Ellis E, Ellis B, Waterman SH, Paz-Bailey G, Grubaugh ND, Muñoz-Jordán JL.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2971-2973.
        We reconstructed the 2016-2017 Zika virus epidemic in Puerto Rico by using complete genomes to uncover the epidemic's origin, spread, and evolutionary dynamics. Our study revealed that the epidemic was propelled by multiple introductions that spread across the island, intricate evolutionary patterns, and ≈10 months of cryptic transmission.

  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 for county-level prevalence of colorectal cancer screening test use in the United States using 2018 dataexternal icon
        Berkowitz Z, Zhang X, Richards TB, Sabatino SA, Smith JL, Peipins LA, Nadel M.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2021 Oct 27.
        PURPOSE-: National screening estimates mask county-level variations. We aimed to generate county-level colorectal cancer (CRC) screening prevalence estimates for 2018 among adults aged 50-75 years and identify counties with low screening prevalence. METHODS-: We combined individual-level county data from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (n=204,947) with the 2018 American Community Survey county poverty data as a covariate, and the 2018 U.S. Census county population count data to generate county-level prevalence estimates for being current with any CRC screening test, colonoscopy, and home stool blood test. Because BRFSS is a state-based survey, and because some counties did not have samples for analysis, we used correlation coefficients to test internal consistency between model-based and BRFSS state estimates. RESULTS-: Correlation coefficients tests were ≥0.97. Model-based national prevalence for any test was 69.9% (95% CI, 69.5%-70.4%) suggesting 30% are not current with screening test use. State mean estimates ranged from 62.1% in Alaska and Wyoming to 76.6% in Maine and Massachusetts. County mean estimates ranged from 42.2% in Alaska to 80.0% in Florida and Rhode Island. Most tests were performed with colonoscopy. CONCLUSIONS-: Estimates across all U.S. counties showed large variations. Estimates may be informative for planning by states and local screening programs.

      2. Disparities in Hemoglobin A(1c) Testing During the Transition to Adulthood and Association With Diabetes Outcomes in Youth-Onset Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Studyexternal icon
        Sauder KA, Stafford JM, Ehrlich S, Lawrence JM, Liese AD, Marcovina S, Mottl AK, Pihoker C, Saydah S, Shah AS, D'Agostino RB, Dabelea D.
        Diabetes Care. 2021 Aug 10.
        OBJECTIVE: To identify correlates of hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) testing frequency and associations with HbA(1c) levels and microvascular complications in youth-onset diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study collected data from individuals diagnosed with diabetes before age 20 at 8 years (n=1,885 type 1, n=230 type 2) and 13 years (n=649 type 1, n = 84 type 2) diabetes duration. We identified correlates of reporting ≥3 HbA(1c) tests/year using logistic regression. We examined associations of HbA(1c) testing with HbA(1c) levels and microvascular complications (retinopathy, neuropathy, or nephropathy) using sequentially adjusted linear and logistic regression. RESULTS: For type 1 diabetes, odds of reporting ≥3 HbA(1c) tests/year at 8 and 13 years diabetes duration decreased with older age at diagnosis (odds ratio [OR] 0.91 [95% CI 0.88-0.95]), longer duration of diabetes (OR 0.90 [0.82-0.99]), not having a personal doctor (OR 0.44 [0.30-0.65]), and lapses in health insurance (OR 0.51 [0.27-0.96]). HbA(1c) testing ≥3 times/year over time was associated with lower HbA(1c) levels (OR -0.36% [-0.65 to -0.06]) and lower odds of microvascular complications (OR 0.64 [0.43-0.97]) at 13 years duration, but associations were attenuated after adjustment for HbA(1c) testing correlates (OR -0.17 [-0.46 to 0.13] and 0.70 [0.46-1.07], respectively). For type 2 diabetes, not seeing an endocrinologist decreased the odds of reporting ≥3 HbA(1c) tests/year over time (OR 0.19 [0.06-0.63]), but HbA(1c) testing frequency was not associated with HbA(1c) levels or microvascular complications. CONCLUSIONS: We observed disparities in HbA(1c) testing frequency predominately by health care-related factors, which were associated with diabetes outcomes in type 1 diabetes.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Syphilis testing adherence among women with livebirth deliveries: Indianapolis 2014-2016external icon
        Ojo OC, Arno JN, Tao G, Patel CG, Dixon BE.
        BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Oct 30;21(1):739.
        BACKGROUND: The number of congenital syphilis (CS) cases in the United States are increasing. Effective prevention of CS requires routine serologic testing and treatment of infected pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit and subsequent testing at 28 weeks gestation and delivery for women at increased risk. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional cohort study of syphilis testing among pregnant women with a livebirth delivery from January 2014 to December 2016 in Marion County, Indiana. We extracted and linked maternal and infant data from the vital records in a local health department to electronic health records available in a regional health information exchange. We examined syphilis testing rates and factors associated with non-testing among women with livebirth delivery. We further examined these rates and factors among women who reside in syphilis prevalent areas. RESULTS: Among 21260 pregnancies that resulted in livebirths, syphilis testing in any trimester, including delivery, increased from 71.7% in 2014 to 86.6% in 2016. The number of maternal syphilis tests administered only at delivery decreased from 16.6% in 2014 to 4.04% in 2016. Among women living in areas with high syphilis rates, syphilis screening rates increased from 79.6% in 2014 to 94.2% in 2016. CONCLUSION: Improvement in prenatal syphilis screening is apparent and encouraging, yet roughly 1-in-10 women do not receive syphilis screening during pregnancy. Adherence to recommendations set out by CDC improved over time. Given increasing congenital syphilis cases, the need for timely diagnoses and prevention of transmission from mother to fetus remains a priority for public health.

      2. Mapping geographic clusters of new HIV diagnoses to inform granular-level interventions for HIV epidemic control in western Kenyaexternal icon
        Muttai H, Guyah B, Achia T, Musingila P, Nakhumwa J, Oyoo R, Olweny W, Odeny R, Ohaga S, Agot K, Oruenjo K, Awino B, Joseph RH, Miruka F, Zielinski-Gutierrez E.
        BMC Public Health. 2021 Oct 23;21(1):1926.
        BACKGROUND: As countries make progress towards HIV epidemic control, there is increasing need to identify finer geographic areas to target HIV interventions. We mapped geographic clusters of new HIV diagnoses, and described factors associated with HIV-positive diagnosis, in order to inform targeting of HIV interventions to finer geographic areas and sub-populations. METHODS: We analyzed data for clients aged > 15 years who received home-based HIV testing as part of a routine public health program between May 2016 and July 2017 in Siaya County, western Kenya. Geospatial analysis using Kulldorff's spatial scan statistic was used to detect geographic clusters (radius < 5 kilometers) of new HIV diagnoses. Factors associated with new HIV diagnosis were assessed in a spatially-integrated Bayesian hierarchical model. RESULTS: Of 268,153 clients with HIV test results, 2906 (1.1%) were diagnosed HIV-positive. We found spatial variation in the distribution of new HIV diagnoses, and identified nine clusters in which the number of new HIV diagnoses was significantly (1.56 to 2.64 times) higher than expected. Sub-populations with significantly higher HIV-positive yield identified in the multivariable spatially-integrated Bayesian model included: clients aged 20-24 years [adjusted relative risk (aRR) 3.45, 95% Bayesian Credible Intervals (CI) 2.85-4.20], 25-35 years (aRR 4.76, 95% CI 3.92-5.81) and > 35 years (aRR 2.44, 95% CI 1.99-3.00); those in polygamous marriage (aRR 1.84, 95% CI 1.55-2.16), or separated/divorced (aRR 3.36, 95% CI 2.72-4.08); and clients who reported having never been tested for HIV (aRR 2.35, 95% CI 2.02-2.72), or having been tested > 12 months ago (aRR 1.53, 95% CI 1.41-1.66). CONCLUSION: Our study used routine public health program data to identify granular geographic clusters of higher new HIV diagnoses, and sub-populations with higher HIV-positive yield in the setting of a generalized HIV epidemic. In order to target HIV testing and prevention interventions to finer granular geographic areas for maximal epidemiologic impact, integrating geospatial analysis into routine public health programs can be useful.

      3. Association of Shared Living Spaces and COVID-19 in University Students, Wisconsin, USA, 2020external icon
        Bigouette JP, Ford L, Segaloff HE, Langolf K, Kahrs J, Zochert T, Tate JE, Gieryn D, Kirking HL, Westergaard RP, Killerby ME.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2882-2886.
        We describe characteristics associated with having coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among students residing on a university campus. Of 2,187 students, 528 (24.1%) received a COVID-19 diagnosis during fall semester 2020. Students sharing a bedroom or suite had approximately twice the odds of contracting COVID-19 as those living alone.

      4. Interventions to Disrupt Coronavirus Disease Transmission at a University, Wisconsin, USA, August-October 2020external icon
        Currie DW, Moreno GK, Delahoy MJ, Pray IW, Jovaag A, Braun KM, Cole D, Shechter T, Fajardo GC, Griggs C, Yandell BS, Goldstein S, Bushman D, Segaloff HE, Kelly GP, Pitts C, Lee C, Grande KM, Kita-Yarbro A, Grogan B, Mader S, Baggott J, Bateman AC, Westergaard RP, Tate JE, Friedrich TC, Kirking HL, O'Connor DH, Killerby ME.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2776-2785.
        University settings have demonstrated potential for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks; they combine congregate living, substantial social activity, and a young population predisposed to mild illness. Using genomic and epidemiologic data, we describe a COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. During August-October 2020, a total of 3,485 students, including 856/6,162 students living in dormitories, tested positive. Case counts began rising during move-in week, August 25-31, 2020, then rose rapidly during September 1-11, 2020. The university initiated multiple prevention efforts, including quarantining 2 dormitories; a subsequent decline in cases was observed. Genomic surveillance of cases from Dane County, in which the university is located, did not find evidence of transmission from a large cluster of cases in the 2 quarantined dorms during the outbreak. Coordinated implementation of prevention measures can reduce COVID-19 spread in university settings and may limit spillover to the surrounding community.

      5. Fatal Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adult after SARS-CoV-2 Natural Infection and COVID-19 Vaccinationexternal icon
        Grome HN, Threlkeld M, Threlkeld S, Newman C, Martines RB, Reagan-Steiner S, Whitt MA, Gomes-Solecki M, Nair N, Fill MM, Jones TF, Schaffner W, Dunn J.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2914-2918.
        We describe a fatal case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in an adult with onset 22 days after a second dose of mRNA coronavirus disease vaccine. Serologic and clinical findings indicated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection occurred before vaccination. The immunopathology of this syndrome, regardless of vaccination status, remains poorly understood.

      6. Updated Estimates of the Number of Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) With Indications for HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxisexternal icon
        Bates L, Honeycutt A, Bass S, Green TA, Farnham PG.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 Dec 1;88(4):e28-e30.

      7. Tuberculosis treatment within differentiated service delivery models in global HIV/TB programmingexternal icon
        Tran CH, Moore BK, Pathmanathan I, Lungu P, Shah NS, Oboho I, Al-Samarrai T, Maloney SA, Date A, Boyd AT.
        J Int AIDS Soc. 2021 Oct;24 Suppl 6:e25809.
        INTRODUCTION: Providing more convenient and patient-centred options for service delivery is a priority within global HIV programmes. These efforts improve patient satisfaction and retention and free up time for providers to focus on new HIV diagnoses or severe illness. Recently, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic precipitated expanded eligibility criteria for these differentiated service delivery (DSD) models to decongest clinics and protect patients and healthcare workers. This has resulted in dramatic scale-up of DSD for antiretroviral therapy, cotrimoxazole and tuberculosis (TB) preventive treatment. While TB treatment among people living with HIV (PLHIV) has traditionally involved frequent, facility-based management, TB treatment can also be adapted within DSD models. Such adaptations could include electronic tools to ensure appropriate clinical management, treatment support, adherence counselling and adverse event (AE) monitoring. In this commentary, we outline considerations for DSD of TB treatment among PLHIV, building on best practices from global DSD model implementation for HIV service delivery. DISCUSSION: In operationalizing TB treatment in DSD models, we consider the following: what activity is being done, when or how often it takes place, where it takes place, by whom and for whom. We discuss considerations for various programme elements including TB screening and diagnosis; medication dispensing; patient education, counselling and support; clinical management and monitoring; and reporting and recording. General approaches include multi-month dispensing for TB medications during intensive and continuation phases of treatment and standardized virtual adherence and AE monitoring. Lastly, we provide operational examples of TB treatment delivery through DSD models, including a conceptual model and an early implementation experience from Zambia. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has catalysed the rapid expansion of differentiated patient-centred service delivery for PLHIV. Expanding DSD models to include TB treatment can capitalize on existing platforms, while providing high-quality, routine treatment, follow-up and patient education and empowerment.

      8. Illness severity indicators in newborns by COVID-19 status in the United States, March-December 2020external icon
        Wallace B, Chang D, Woodworth K, DeSisto CL, Simeone R, Ko JY, Tong VT, Gilboa SM, Ellington SR.
        J Perinatol. 2021 Nov 2:1-8.
        OBJECTIVE: To better understand COVID-19 in newborns, we compared in-hospital illness severity indicators by COVID-19 status during birth hospitalization. STUDY DESIGN: In a retrospective cohort of newborns born March-December 2020 in the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release, we classified COVID-19 status and severe illness indicators using ICD-CM-10 codes, laboratory data, and billing records. Illness severity indicators were compared by COVID-19 status, stratified by gestational age and race/ethnicity. RESULT: Among 701,777 newborns, 209 had a COVID-19 diagnosis during the birth hospitalization. COVID-19 status differed significantly by race/ethnicity, gestational age, payor, and region. Late preterm/term newborns with COVID-19 had increased intensive care unit admission and sepsis risk; early preterm newborns with COVID-19 had increased risk for invasive ventilation. Risk for illness severity varied among racial/ethnic strata. CONCLUSION: From March to December 2020, COVID-19 diagnosis in newborns was rare. More clinical data are needed to describe the risk profiles of newborns with COVID-19.

      9. Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Personnel, First Responders, and Other Essential Workers During a Prevaccination COVID-19 Surge in Arizonaexternal icon
        Ellingson K, Gerald J, Xiaoxiao S, Hollister J, Lutrick K, Parker J, Rivers P, Beitel S, Baccam Z, Lamberte J, Grant L, Kim E, Bhattarai R, Komatsu K, Meece J, Kutty P, Thompson M, Burgess J.
        JAMA Health Forum. 2021 ;2(10):1-10.

      10. Characterizing the Countrywide Epidemic Spread of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Virus in Kenya between 2009 and 2018external icon
        Owuor DC, de Laurent ZR, Kikwai GK, Mayieka LM, Ochieng M, Müller NF, Otieno NA, Emukule GO, Hunsperger EA, Garten R, Barnes JR, Chaves SS, Nokes DJ, Agoti CN.
        Viruses. 2021 Sep 29;13(10).
        The spatiotemporal patterns of spread of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses on a countrywide scale are unclear in many tropical/subtropical regions mainly because spatiotemporally representative sequence data are lacking. We isolated, sequenced, and analyzed 383 A(H1N1)pdm09 viral genomes from hospitalized patients between 2009 and 2018 from seven locations across Kenya. Using these genomes and contemporaneously sampled global sequences, we characterized the spread of the virus in Kenya over several seasons using phylodynamic methods. The transmission dynamics of A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in Kenya were characterized by (i) multiple virus introductions into Kenya over the study period, although only a few of those introductions instigated local seasonal epidemics that then established local transmission clusters, (ii) persistence of transmission clusters over several epidemic seasons across the country, (iii) seasonal fluctuations in effective reproduction number (R(e)) associated with lower number of infections and seasonal fluctuations in relative genetic diversity after an initial rapid increase during the early pandemic phase, which broadly corresponded to epidemic peaks in the northern and southern hemispheres, (iv) high virus genetic diversity with greater frequency of seasonal fluctuations in 2009-2011 and 2018 and low virus genetic diversity with relatively weaker seasonal fluctuations in 2012-2017, and (v) virus spread across Kenya. Considerable influenza virus diversity circulated within Kenya, including persistent viral lineages that were unique to the country, which may have been capable of dissemination to other continents through a globally migrating virus population. Further knowledge of the viral lineages that circulate within understudied low-to-middle-income tropical and subtropical regions is required to understand the full diversity and global ecology of influenza viruses in humans and to inform vaccination strategies within these regions.

      11. Evidence of Early Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Involving a School-aged Childexternal icon
        Temte JL, Barlow S, Temte E, Goss M, Florek K, Braun KM, Friedrich TC, Reisdorf E, Bateman AC, Uzicanin A.
        Wmj. 2021 Oct;120(3):233-236.
        INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the role of school-aged children and household transmission at the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. To evaluate for SARS-CoV-2 in school-aged children and assess household transmission, we performed reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction on 670 archived specimens that were collected between September 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 as part of a community-based study. CASE PRESENTATION: A single SARS-CoV-2 case was detected in an 11-year-old girl on March 18, 2020, resulting in very low prevalence (0.15% [95% CI, 0.03-0.84]) in this population. This case was associated with SARS-CoV-2 detection in all other household members. Symptoms were reported as mild to moderate. Whole genome sequencing supported household transmission of near-identical viruses within the 19B clade. DISCUSSION: This case represents the earliest known household cluster of SARS-CoV2 in Wisconsin. CONCLUSION: This case suggests that household transmission associated with school-aged children may have contributed to wide seeding across populations.

    • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Services
      1. An Emergency Preparedness Response to Opioid-Prescribing Enforcement Actions in Maryland, 2018-2019external icon
        Acharya JC, Lyons BC, Murthy V, Stanley J, Babcock C, Jackson K, Adams S.
        Public Health Rep. 2021 Nov-Dec;136(1_suppl):9s-17s.
        Federal and state enforcement authorities have increasingly intervened on the criminal overprescribing of opioids. However, little is known about the health effects these enforcement actions have on patients experiencing disrupted access to prescription opioids or medication-assisted treatment/medication for opioid use disorder. Simultaneously, opioid death rates have increased. In response, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has worked to coordinate mitigation strategies with enforcement partners (defined as any federal, state, or local enforcement authority or other governmental investigative authority). One strategy is a standardized protocol to implement emergency response functions, including rapidly identifying health hazards with real-time data access, deploying resources locally, and providing credible messages to partners and the public. From January 2018 through October 2019, MDH used the protocol in response to 12 enforcement actions targeting 34 medical professionals. A total of 9624 patients received Schedule II-V controlled substance prescriptions from affected prescribers under investigation in the 6 months before the respective enforcement action; 9270 (96%) patients were residents of Maryland. Preliminary data indicate fatal overdose events and potential loss of follow-up care among the patient population experiencing disrupted health care as a result of an enforcement action. The success of the strategy hinged on endorsement by leadership; the establishment of federal, state, and local roles and responsibilities; and data sharing. MDH's approach, data sources, and lessons learned may support health departments across the country that are interested in conducting similar activities on the front lines of the opioid crisis.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Factors Influencing Distribution of Coccidioides immitis in Soil, Washington State, 2016external icon
        Chow NA, Kangiser D, Gade L, McCotter OZ, Hurst S, Salamone A, Wohrle R, Clifford W, Kim S, Salah Z, Oltean HN, Plumlee GS, Litvintseva AP.
        mSphere. 2021 Nov 3:e0059821.
        Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii are causative agents of Valley fever, a serious fungal disease endemic to regions with hot, arid climate in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. The environmental niche of Coccidioides spp. is not well defined, and it remains unknown whether these fungi are primarily associated with rodents or grow as saprotrophs in soil. To better understand the environmental reservoir of these pathogens, we used a systematic soil sampling approach, quantitative PCR (qPCR), culture, whole-genome sequencing, and soil chemical analysis to identify factors associated with the presence of C. immitis at a known colonization site in Washington State linked to a human case in 2010. We found that the same strain colonized an area of over 46,000 m(2) and persisted in soil for over 6 years. No association with rodent burrows was observed, as C. immitis DNA was as likely to be detected inside rodent holes as it was in the surrounding soil. In addition, the presence of C. immitis DNA in soil was correlated with elevated levels of boron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and silicon in soil leachates. We also observed differences in the microbial communities between C. immitis-positive and -negative soils. Our artificial soil inoculation experiments demonstrated that C. immitis can use soil as a sole source of nutrients. Taken together, these results suggest that soil parameters need to be considered when modeling the distribution of this fungus in the environment. IMPORTANCE Coccidioidomycosis is considered a highly endemic disease for which geographic range is likely to expand from climate change. A better understanding of the ecological niche of Coccidioides spp. is essential for generating accurate distribution maps and predicting future changes in response to the changing environment. Our study used a systematic sampling strategy, advanced molecular detection methods, and soil chemical analysis to identify environmental factors associated with the presence of C. immitis in soil. Our results demonstrate the fungus can colonize the same areas for years and is associated with chemical and microbiological soil characteristics. Our results suggest that in addition to climate parameters, soil characteristics need to be considered when building habitat distribution models for this pathogen.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Biomonitoring of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in minority angler communities in central New York Stateexternal icon
        Wattigney WA, Savadatti SS, Liu M, Pavuk M, Lewis-Michl E, Kannan K, Wang W, Spliethoff H, Marquez-Bravo L, Hwang SA.
        Environ Res. 2021 Oct 30:112309.
        Onondaga Lake in central New York State was listed as a Superfund site in 1994 due to industrial disposal of pollutants. A biomonitoring program was conducted to assess exposure to over 70 legacy contaminants and contaminants of emerging concern in populations disproportionately at risk for exposure residing near Onondaga Lake and to educate these communities on how to reduce exposures. The populations of focus were refugees from Burma and Bhutan and low-income, primarily African American, anglers (urban anglers). These communities consume locally caught fish for economic as well as cultural reasons and therefore may be at higher risk of exposure. This study focuses on assessment of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and associations with local fish consumption. Using respondent driven sampling, 311 refugees and 89 urban anglers were enrolled in the study. Following informed consent, study participants provided blood and urine specimens and completed a questionnaire. Percentiles of locally caught fish meals in the past 12 months by race/ethnicity groups showed that the Burmese participants of Karen ethnicity were the highest consumers, with a median of 135 meals compared to 103 meals for the other Burmese participants, 70 meals for the urban anglers, and 44 meals for the Bhutanese participants. Compared to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2015-16 sample of the general U.S. population, the Karen participants had markedly elevated perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) levels with median serum concentrations 9.5 times greater (41.6 ng/mL vs. 4.4 ng/mL) and 26.9 times greater (2.69 ng/mL vs. 0.10 ng/mL), respectively; the other Burmese participants had moderately elevated levels of PFOS and PFDA with median serum concentrations 3.0 times greater (13.3 ng/mL vs. 4.4 ng/mL) and 7.3 greater times greater (0.73 ng/mL vs. 0.10 ng/mL), respectively; and, PFAS levels were not elevated in the Bhutanese or urban angler cohorts. Male gender was consistently the strongest predictor of PFAS exposure among all study cohorts. A positive association between local fish consumption was indicated only for PFOS among urban anglers. An association between local fish consumption and PFAS was not statistically significant among the refugee cohorts, perhaps due to the lack of 'lower-end' exposure or exposure variability. Community events were held by the program staff to present the biomonitoring results and distribute community outreach materials with visual aids specific for the study populations to promote safe fish eating.

      2. Update of the Blood Lead Reference Value - United States, 2021external icon
        Ruckart PZ, Jones RL, Courtney JG, LeBlanc TT, Jackson W, Karwowski MP, Cheng PY, Allwood P, Svendsen ER, Breysse PN.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Oct 29;70(43):1509-1512.
        The negative impact of lead exposure on young children and those who become pregnant is well documented but is not well known by those at highest risk from this hazard. Scientific evidence suggests that there is no known safe blood lead level (BLL), because even small amounts of lead can be harmful to a child's developing brain (1). In 2012, CDC introduced the population-based blood lead reference value (BLRV) to identify children exposed to more lead than most other children in the United States. The BLRV should be used as a guide to 1) help determine whether medical or environmental follow-up actions should be initiated for an individual child and 2) prioritize communities with the most need for primary prevention of exposure and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention efforts. The BLRV is based on the 97.5th percentile of the blood lead distribution in U.S. children aged 1-5 years from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. NHANES is a complex, multistage survey designed to provide a nationally representative assessment of health and nutritional status of the noninstitutionalized civilian adult and child populations in the United States (2). The initial BLRV of 5 μg/dL, established in 2012, was based on data from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 NHANES cycles. Consistent with recommendations from a former advisory committee, this report updates CDC's BLRV in children to 3.5 μg/dL using NHANES data derived from the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 cycles and provides helpful information to support adoption by state and local health departments, health care providers (HCPs), clinical laboratories, and others and serves as an opportunity to advance health equity and environmental justice related to preventable lead exposure. CDC recommends that public health and clinical professionals focus screening efforts on populations at high risk based on age of housing and sociodemographic risk factors. Public health and clinical professionals should collaborate to develop screening plans responsive to local conditions using local data. In the absence of such plans, universal BLL testing is recommended. In addition, jurisdictions should follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirement that all Medicaid-enrolled children be tested at ages 12 and 24 months or at age 24-72 months if they have not previously been screened (3).

    • Food Safety
      1. Cake Decorating Luster Dust Associated with Toxic Metal Poisonings - Rhode Island and Missouri, 2018-2019external icon
        Viveiros B, Caron G, Barkley J, Philo E, Odom S, Wenzel J, Buxton M, Semkiw E, Schaffer A, Brown L, Ettinger AS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Oct 29;70(43):1501-1504.
        During 2018-2019, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) investigated cases of metal poisonings associated with commercially and home-prepared cakes decorated with products referred to as luster dust. Several types of glitters and dusts, broadly known as luster dust,* for use on prepared foods can be purchased online and in craft and bakery supply stores (1). Decorating foods with luster dust and similar products is a current trend, popularized on television programs, instructional videos, blogs, and in magazine articles.(†) Some luster dusts are specifically produced with edible ingredients that can be safely consumed. Companies that make edible luster dust are required by law to include a list of ingredients on the label (2). Luster dusts that are safe for consumption are typically marked "edible" on the label. Some luster dusts used as cake decorations are not edible or food grade; labeled as "nontoxic" or "for decorative purposes only," these luster dusts are intended to be removed before consumption (3). RIDOH (2018) and Missouri DHSS (2019), investigated heavy metal poisonings associated with commercially and home-prepared cakes decorated with luster dust after receiving reports of children (aged 1-11 years) who became ill after consuming birthday cake. Cases in Rhode Island were associated with copper ingestion, and the case in Missouri was associated with a child's elevated blood lead level. In Rhode Island, luster dust products that had been used in cake frosting were found to contain high levels of multiple metals.(§) These events indicate that increased vigilance by public health departments and further guidance to consumers and bakeries are needed to prevent unintentional poisonings. Labeling indicating that a product is nontoxic does not imply that the product is safe for consumption. Explicit labeling indicating that nonedible products are not safe for human consumption is needed to prevent illness from inappropriate use of inedible products on foods. Educating consumers, commercial bakers, and public health professionals about potential hazards of items used in food preparation is essential to preventing illness and unintentional poisoning from toxic metals and other nonedible ingredients.

    • Health Disparities
      1. The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Diabetes Management on Clinical Outcomes: A Reinforcement Learning Analysis of Health Inequity Among Youth and Young Adults in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Studyexternal icon
        Kahkoska AR, Pokaprakarn T, Alexander GR, Crume TL, Dabelea D, Divers J, Dolan LM, Jensen ET, Lawrence JM, Marcovina S, Mottl AK, Pihoker C, Saydah SH, Kosorok MR, Mayer-Davis EJ.
        Diabetes Care. 2021 Nov 2.
        OBJECTIVE: To estimate difference in population-level glycemic control and the emergence of diabetes complications given a theoretical scenario in which non-White youth and young adults (YYA) with type 1 diabetes (T1D) receive and follow an equivalent distribution of diabetes treatment regimens as non-Hispanic White YYA. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Longitudinal data from YYA diagnosed 2002-2005 in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study were analyzed. Based on self-reported race/ethnicity, YYA were classified as non-White race or Hispanic ethnicity (non-White subgroup) versus non-Hispanic White race (White subgroup). In the White versus non-White subgroups, the propensity score models estimated treatment regimens, including patterns of insulin modality, self-monitored glucose frequency, and continuous glucose monitoring use. An analysis based on policy evaluation techniques in reinforcement learning estimated the effect of each treatment regimen on mean hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) and the prevalence of diabetes complications for non-White YYA. RESULTS: The study included 978 YYA. The sample was 47.5% female and 77.5% non-Hispanic White, with a mean age of 12.8 ± 2.4 years at diagnosis. The estimated population mean of longitudinal average HbA(1c) over visits was 9.2% and 8.2% for the non-White and White subgroup, respectively (difference of 0.9%). Within the non-White subgroup, mean HbA(1c) across visits was estimated to decrease by 0.33% (95% CI -0.45, -0.21) if these YYA received the distribution of diabetes treatment regimens of the White subgroup, explaining ∼35% of the estimated difference between the two subgroups. The non-White subgroup was also estimated to have a lower risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, and peripheral neuropathy with the White youth treatment regimen distribution (P < 0.05), although the low proportion of YYA who developed complications limited statistical power for risk estimations. CONCLUSIONS: Mathematically modeling an equalized distribution of T1D self-management tools and technology accounted for part of but not all disparities in glycemic control between non-White and White YYA, underscoring the complexity of race and ethnicity-based health inequity.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Laboratory-based surveillance of Candida auris in Colombia, 2016-2020external icon
        Escandón P, Cáceres DH, Lizarazo D, Lockhart SR, Lyman M, Duarte C.
        Mycoses. 2021 Nov 3.
        BACKGROUND: Since the first report of Candida auris in 2016, the Colombian Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) has implemented a national surveillance of the emerging multidrug-resistant fungus. OBJECTIVES: This report summarizes the findings of this laboratory-based surveillance from March 2016 to December 2020. RESULTS: A total of 1,720 C. auris cases were identified, including 393 (23%) colonization cases and 1,327 (77%) clinical cases. Cases were reported in 20 of 32 (62%) Departments of Colombia and involved hospitals from 33 cities. The median age of patients was 34 years; 317 (18%) cases were in children under 16 years, 54% were male. The peak number of cases was observed in 2019 (n=541). In 2020, 379 (94%) of 404 cases reported were clinical cases, including 225 bloodstream infections (BSI) and 154 non-BSI. Among the 404 cases reported in 2020, severe COVID-19 was reported in 122 (30%). Antifungal susceptibility was tested in 379 isolates. Using CDC tentative breakpoints for resistance, 35% of isolates were fluconazole resistant, 33% were amphotericin B resistant, and 0.3% isolate were anidulafungin resistant, 12% were multidrug resistant, and no pan-resistant isolates were identified. CONCLUSION: For five years of surveillance, we observed an increase in the number and geographic spread of clinical cases and an increase in fluconazole resistance. These observations emphasize the need for improved measures to mitigate spread.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness for Prevention of Severe Influenza-Associated Illness Among Adults in the United States, 2019-2020: A Test-Negative Studyexternal icon
        Grijalva CG, Feldstein LR, Talbot HK, Aboodi M, Baughman AH, Brown SM, Casey JD, Erickson HL, Exline MC, Files DC, Gibbs KW, Ginde AA, Gong MN, Halasa N, Khan A, Lindsell CJ, Nwosu SK, Peltan ID, Prekker ME, Rice TW, Shapiro NI, Steingrub JS, Stubblefield WB, Tenforde MW, Patel MM, Self WH.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 20;73(8):1459-1468.
        BACKGROUND: Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against a spectrum of severe disease, including critical illness and death, remains poorly characterized. METHODS: We conducted a test-negative study in an intensive care unit (ICU) network at 10 US hospitals to evaluate VE for preventing influenza-associated severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) during the 2019-2020 season, which was characterized by circulation of drifted A/H1N1 and B-lineage viruses. Cases were adults hospitalized in the ICU and a targeted number outside the ICU (to capture a spectrum of severity) with laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated SARI. Test-negative controls were frequency-matched based on hospital, timing of admission, and care location (ICU vs non-ICU). Estimates were adjusted for age, comorbidities, and other confounders. RESULTS: Among 638 patients, the median (interquartile) age was 57 (44-68) years; 286 (44.8%) patients were treated in the ICU and 42 (6.6%) died during hospitalization. Forty-five percent of cases and 61% of controls were vaccinated, which resulted in an overall VE of 32% (95% CI: 2-53%), including 28% (-9% to 52%) against influenza A and 52% (13-74%) against influenza B. VE was higher in adults 18-49 years old (62%; 95% CI: 27-81%) than those aged 50-64 years (20%; -48% to 57%) and ≥65 years old (-3%; 95% CI: -97% to 46%) (P = .0789 for interaction). VE was significantly higher against influenza-associated death (80%; 95% CI: 4-96%) than nonfatal influenza illness. CONCLUSIONS: During a season with drifted viruses, vaccination reduced severe influenza-associated illness among adults by 32%. VE was high among young adults.

      2. COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage, Intent, Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs among Essential Workers, United Statesexternal icon
        Nguyen KH, Yankey D, Coy KC, Brookmeyer KA, Abad N, Guerin R, Syamlal G, Lu PJ, Baack BN, Razzaghi H, Okun A, Singleton JA.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2908-2913.
        We assessed coronavirus disease vaccination and intent and knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among essential workers during March-June 2021. Coverage was 67%; 18% reported no intent to get vaccinated. Primary concerns were potential side effects, safety, and lack of trust in vaccines, highlighting the importance of increasing vaccine confidence in this population.

      3. Partnering with healthcare systems to improve HPV vaccination:The perspective of immunization program managersexternal icon
        Grabert BK, Heisler-MacKinnon J, Kurtzman R, Bjork A, Wells K, Brewer NT, Gilkey MB.
        Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2021 Oct 29:1-5.
        The US's 64 CDC-funded immunization programs are at the forefront of efforts to improve the quality of adolescent vaccination services. We sought to understand immunization program managers' perspectives on partnering with healthcare systems to improve HPV vaccine uptake. Managers of 44 state and local immunization programs completed our online survey in 2019. Immunization managers strongly endorsed the importance of partnering with systems to improve HPV vaccine uptake (mean = 3.8/4.0), and most wanted to do so in the next year (mean = 3.5). Immunization managers reported that common barriers included difficulty contacting systems' leadership (57%), differing organizational cultures (52%), and time (52%). Many perceived systems as not prioritizing HPV vaccination (77%). Immunization managers expressed strong interest in participating in a training on partnering with systems (mean = 3.5). Overall, immunization managers are highly interested in partnering with systems to improve HPV vaccine uptake. Training and other support are needed to expand programs' capacity for such partnerships. PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARYImmunization managers are interested in partnering with healthcare systems to improve HPV vaccination. However, support may be needed to facilitate partnerships between immunization programs and healthcare systems. eng

      4. Risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following Recombinant Zoster Vaccine in Medicare Beneficiariesexternal icon
        Goud R, Lufkin B, Duffy J, Whitaker B, Wong HL, Liao J, Lo AC, Parulekar S, Agger P, Anderson SA, Wernecke M, MaCurdy TE, Weintraub E, Kelman JA, Forshee RA.
        JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Nov 1.
        IMPORTANCE: Guillain-Barré syndrome can be reported after vaccination. This study assesses the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome after administration of recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV or Shingrix), which is administered in 2 doses 2 to 6 months apart. OBJECTIVE: Use Medicare claims data to evaluate risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome following vaccination with zoster vaccine. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This case series cohort study included 849 397 RZV-vaccinated and 1 817 099 zoster vaccine live (ZVL or Zostavax)-vaccinated beneficiaries aged 65 years or older. Self-controlled analyses included events identified from 2 113 758 eligible RZV-vaccinated beneficiaries 65 years or older. We compared the relative risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome after RZV vs ZVL, followed by claims-based and medical record-based self-controlled case series analyses to assess risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome during a postvaccination risk window (days 1-42) compared with a control window (days 43-183). In self-controlled analyses, RZV vaccinees were observed from October 1, 2017, to February 29, 2020. Patients were identified in the inpatient, outpatient procedural (including emergency department), and office settings using Medicare administrative data. EXPOSURES: Vaccination with RZV or ZVL vaccines. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Guillain-Barré syndrome was identified in Medicare administrative claims data, and cases were assessed through medical record review using the Brighton Collaboration case definition. RESULTS: Amongst those who received RZV vaccinees, the mean age was 74.8 years at first dose, and 58% were women, whereas among those who received the ZVL vaccine, the mean age was 74.3 years, and 60% were women. In the cohort analysis we detected an increase in risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome among RZV vaccinees compared with ZVL vaccinees (rate ratio [RR], 2.34; 95% CI, 1.01-5.41; P = .047). In the self-controlled analyses, we observed 24 and 20 cases during the risk and control period, respectively. Our claims-based analysis identified an increased risk in the risk window compared with the control window (RR, 2.84; 95% CI, 1.53-5.27; P = .001), with an attributable risk of 3 per million RZV doses (95% CI, 0.62-5.64). Our medical record-based analysis confirmed this increased risk (RR, 4.96; 95% CI, 1.43-17.27; P = .01). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Findings of this case series cohort study indicate a slightly increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 42 days following RZV vaccination in the Medicare population, with approximately 3 excess Guillain-Barré syndrome cases per million vaccinations. Clinicians and patients should be aware of this risk, while considering the benefit of decreasing the risk of herpes zoster and its complications through an efficacious vaccine, as risk-benefit balance remains in favor of vaccination.

      5. Routine Vaccination Coverage - Worldwide, 2020external icon
        Muhoza P, Danovaro-Holliday MC, Diallo MS, Murphy P, Sodha SV, Requejo JH, Wallace AS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Oct 29;70(43):1495-1500.
        Endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2020, the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) strives to reduce morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases across the life course (1). This report, which updates a previous report (2), presents global, regional,* and national vaccination coverage estimates and trends as of 2020. Changes are described in vaccination coverage and the numbers of unvaccinated and undervaccinated children as measured by receipt of the first and third doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis-containing vaccine (DTP) in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, compared with 2019. Global estimates of coverage with the third dose of DTP (DTP3) and a polio vaccine (Pol3) decreased from 86% in 2019 to 83% in 2020. Similarly, coverage with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) dropped from 86% in 2019 to 84% in 2020. The last year that coverage estimates were at 2020 levels was 2009 for DTP3 and 2014 for both MCV1 and Pol3. Worldwide, 22.7 million children (17% of the target population) were not vaccinated with DTP3 in 2020 compared with 19.0 million (14%) in 2019. Children who did not receive the first DTP dose (DTP1) by age 12 months (zero-dose children) accounted for 95% of the increased number. Among those who did not receive DTP3 in 2020, approximately 17.1 million (75%) were zero-dose children. Global coverage decreased in 2020 compared with 2019 estimates for the completed series of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), hepatitis B vaccine (HepB), human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), and rubella-containing vaccine (RCV). Full recovery from COVID-19-associated disruptions will require targeted, context-specific strategies to identify and catch up zero-dose and undervaccinated children, introduce interventions to minimize missed vaccinations, monitor coverage, and respond to program setbacks (3).

      6. COVID-19 Vaccination and Non-COVID-19 Mortality Risk - Seven Integrated Health Care Organizations, United States, December 14, 2020-July 31, 2021external icon
        Xu S, Huang R, Sy LS, Glenn SC, Ryan DS, Morrissette K, Shay DK, Vazquez-Benitez G, Glanz JM, Klein NP, McClure D, Liles EG, Weintraub ES, Tseng HF, Qian L.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Oct 29;70(43):1520-1524.
        By September 21, 2021, an estimated 182 million persons in the United States were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.* Clinical trials indicate that Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), Moderna (mRNA-1273), and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson; Ad.26.COV2.S) vaccines are effective and generally well tolerated (1-3). However, daily vaccination rates have declined approximately 78% since April 13, 2021(†); vaccine safety concerns have contributed to vaccine hesitancy (4). A cohort study of 19,625 nursing home residents found that those who received an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) had lower all-cause mortality than did unvaccinated residents (5), but no studies comparing mortality rates within the general population of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons have been conducted. To assess mortality not associated with COVID-19 (non-COVID-19 mortality) after COVID-19 vaccination in a general population setting, a cohort study was conducted during December 2020-July 2021 among approximately 11 million persons enrolled in seven Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) sites.(§) After standardizing mortality rates by age and sex, this study found that COVID-19 vaccine recipients had lower non-COVID-19 mortality than did unvaccinated persons. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and VSD site, this study found that adjusted relative risk (aRR) of non-COVID-19 mortality for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 0.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38-0.44) after dose 1 and 0.34 (95% CI = 0.33-0.36) after dose 2. The aRRs of non-COVID-19 mortality for the Moderna vaccine were 0.34 (95% CI = 0.32-0.37) after dose 1 and 0.31 (95% CI = 0.30-0.33) after dose 2. The aRR after receipt of the Janssen vaccine was 0.54 (95% CI = 0.49-0.59). There is no increased risk for mortality among COVID-19 vaccine recipients. This finding reinforces the safety profile of currently approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Intimate Partner Violence Advocates and Agenciesexternal icon
        Garcia R, Henderson C, Randell K, Villaveces A, Katz A, Abioye F, DeGue S, Premo K, Miller-Wallfish S, Chang JC, Miller E, Ragavan MI.
        J Fam Violence. 2021 Oct 26:1-14.
        Relatively few studies have considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence (IPV) advocates or the agencies where they work. In this study, based on United States IPV advocates' experiences working with survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted interviews to explore: 1) personal challenges and resilience working as IPV advocates during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) how agencies adapted to the pandemic to support IPV survivors and advocates; and 3) specific needs and challenges of culturally-specific agencies. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 53 IPV advocates from June to November 2020. Participants were included if they worked directly with survivors, identified as an IPV advocate, worked at a US-based agency, and spoke and understood English. We created a sampling matrix to ensure adequate representation from IPV advocates serving survivors from communities which have been marginalized. Interviews were conducted through a virtual platform by a trained member of the research team. We used an inductive thematic analysis approach, with weekly coding meetings to resolve discrepancies in coding. Five themes emerged from the data: 1) IPV advocates described how working as an IPV advocate during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted them personally; 2) agencies developed new methods of addressing IPV advocates' needs; 3) agencies developed new solutions to address pandemic-related client needs; 4) transitioning advocacy work to virtual formats created challenges but also opportunities and; 5) pandemic limitations and impacts compounded pre-pandemic challenges for culturally specific agencies. IPV advocates are frontline workers who have played essential roles in adjusting services to meet survivor needs during the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously coping with pandemic impacts on themselves and their agencies. Developing inter-agency collaborations and promoting advocates' safety and wellbeing during future public health crises will help support IPV survivors.

    • Laboratory Sciences

      1. Effectiveness of Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Test for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Outbreak among Horse Racetrack Workers, California, USAexternal icon
        Surasi K, Cummings KJ, Hanson C, Morris MK, Salas M, Seftel D, Ortiz L, Thilakaratne R, Stainken C, Wadford DA.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;27(11):2761-2767.
        The Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test is cheaper and faster than real-time reverse transcription PCR (rRT-PCR) for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We compared BinaxNOW with rRT-PCR in 769 paired specimens from 342 persons during a coronavirus disease outbreak among horse racetrack workers in California, USA. We found positive percent agreement was 43.3% (95% CI 34.6%-52.4%), negative percent agreement 100% (95% CI 99.4%-100%), positive predictive value 100% (95% CI 93.5%-100%), and negative predictive value 89.9% (95% CI 87.5%-92.0%). Among 127 rRT-PCR-positive specimens, the 55 with paired BinaxNOW-positive results had a lower mean cycle threshold than the 72 with paired BinaxNOW-negative results (17.8 vs. 28.5; p<0.001). Of 100 specimens with cycle threshold <30, a total of 51 resulted in positive virus isolation; 45 (88.2%) of those were BinaxNOW-positive. Our comparison supports immediate isolation for BinaxNOW-positive persons and confirmatory testing for negative persons.

      2. Titanium dioxide (TiO(2) ) is generally regarded as a nontoxic and nongenotoxic white mineral, which is mainly applied in the manufacture of paper, paint, plastic, sunscreen lotion and other products. Recently, TiO(2) nanoparticles (TiO(2) NPs) have been demonstrated to cause chronic inflammation and lung tumor formation in rats, which may be associated with the particle size of TiO(2) . Considering the important role of activator protein-1 (AP-1) in regulating multiple genes involved in the cell proliferation and inflammation and the induction of neoplastic transformation, we aimed to evaluate the potency of TiO(2) NPs (≤ 20 nm) on the activation of AP-1 signaling pathway and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a mouse epidermal cell line, JB6 cells. MTT, electron spin resonance (ESR), AP-1 luciferase activity assay in vitro and in vivo, and Western blotting assay were used to clarify this problem. Our results indicated that TiO(2) NPs dose-dependently caused the hydroxyl radical (·OH) generation and sequentially increased the AP-1 activity in JB6 cells. Using AP-1-luciferase reporter transgenic mice models, an obvious increased AP-1 activity was detected in dermal tissue after exposure to TiO(2) NPs for 24 h. Interestingly, TiO(2) NPs increased the AP-1 activity via stimulating the expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) family members, including extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs), p38 kinase, and C-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs). Of note, the AP-1 activation induced by TiO(2) NPs could be blocked by specific inhibitors (SB203580, PD98059, and SP 600125, respectively) that inhibit ERKs and p38 kinase but not JNKs. These findings indicate that ROS generation is involved in TiO(2) NPs-induced AP-1 activation mediated by MAPKs signal pathway.

      3. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health problem with about 257 million chronically infected people and over 887000 deaths annually. In this study, 32 whole HBV genomes of various genotypes were amplified from clinical isolates to create transfection clones. The clones were sequenced, and their biological properties characterized by transfecting linear HBV clones into HepG2 cells. We analysed the SPI and SPII promotor regions, X-gene, BCP/PC sequences, core, preS/S and HBV polymerase sequences. HBV clones analysed in this study revealed differential replication kinetics of viral nucleic acids and expression of proteins. Sequence analysis of HBV clones revealed mutations in preS1, preS2 and S genes; deletion and insertion and point mutations in BCP/PC region; including novel and previously reported mutations. Among the patient samples tested, HBV genotype B clones were more likely to have higher frequencies of mutations, while sub-genotype A1 and A2 clones tended to have fewer mutations. No polymerase drug resistant mutations were seen. HBeAg mutations were primarily in the BCP/PC region in genotype B, but core truncations were found in genotype E. S gene mutations affecting HBsAg expression and detection were seen in all genotypes except A2. Using an HBV clone with repetitive terminal sequences and a SapI restriction site allowed us to analyse HBV analyte production in cell culture and characterize the genetics of viral phenotypes using complete HBV genomes isolated from serum/plasma samples of infected patients.

      4. BACKGROUND: Cotinine is a widely used biomarker for classifying cigarette smoking status. However, cotinine does not differentiate between the use of combustible and noncombustible tobacco products. The increasing use of noncombustible tobacco drives the need for a complementary biomarker for distinguishing cigarette smokers from users of noncombustible tobacco products. METHODS: We evaluated the urinary acrylonitrile metabolite, 2CyEMA, as a biomarker of exposure to cigarette smoke in the U.S. population-representative data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES). Smoking status was categorized based on the recent tobacco use questionnaire. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to identify optimal cutoff concentrations by maximizing Youden's J index. The area under the curve (AUC) was used to compare 2CyEMA effectiveness with respect to serum cotinine. RESULTS: The overall cutoff concentration for the classification of cigarette smokers from nonsmokers was 7.32 ng/mL with high sensitivity and specificity (≥0.925). When stratified by demographic variables, the cutoff concentrations varied among subgroups based on age, sex, and race/Hispanic origin. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest cutoff concentration (15.3 ng/mL), and Hispanics had the lowest (4.63 ng/mL). Females had higher cutoff concentrations (8.80 ng/mL) compared to males (6.10 ng/mL). Among different age groups, the cutoff concentrations varied between 4.63 ng/mL (21 - 39 years old) and 10.6 ng/mL (for ≥60 years old). We also explored the creatinine adjusted cutoff values. CONCLUSIONS: 2CyEMA is an effective biomarker for distinguishing cigarette smokers from nonsmokers (users of noncombustible tobacco products or nonusers). IMPACT: Increasing use of noncombustible tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, complicates differentiating smokers from nonsmokers; we document that urinary 2CyEMA accurately differentiates cigarette smokers from the noncombustible tobacco product users and nonusers. Also, it is the first paper to report urinary 2CyEMA cutoff values based on U.S. representative population data.

      5. Serum peptidome: diagnostic window into pathogenic processes following occupational exposure to carbon nanomaterialsexternal icon
        Mostovenko E, Dahm MM, Schubauer-Berigan MK, Eye T, Erdely A, Young TL, Campen MJ, Ottens AK.
        Part Fibre Toxicol. 2021 Oct 28;18(1):39.
        BACKGROUND: Growing industrial use of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers (CNT/F) warrants consideration of human health outcomes. CNT/F produces pulmonary, cardiovascular, and other toxic effects in animals along with a significant release of bioactive peptides into the circulation, the augmented serum peptidome. While epidemiology among CNT/F workers reports on few acute symptoms, there remains concern over sub-clinical CNT/F effects that may prime for chronic disease, necessitating sensitive health outcome diagnostic markers for longitudinal follow-up. METHODS: Here, the serum peptidome was assessed for its biomarker potential in detecting sub-symptomatic pathobiology among CNT/F workers using label-free data-independent mass spectrometry. Studies employed a stratified design between High (> 0.5 µg/m(3)) and Low (< 0.1 µg/m(3)) inhalable CNT/F exposures in the industrial setting. Peptide biomarker model building and refinement employed linear regression and partial least squared discriminant analyses. Top-ranked peptides were then sequence identified and evaluated for pathological-relevance. RESULTS: In total, 41 peptides were found to be highly discriminatory after model building with a strong linear correlation to personal CNT/F exposure. The top-five peptide model offered ideal prediction with high accuracy (Q(2) = 0.99916). Unsupervised validation affirmed 43.5% of the serum peptidomic variance was attributable to CNT/F exposure. Peptide sequence identification reveals a predominant association with vascular pathology. ARHGAP21, ADAM15 and PLPP3 peptides suggest heightened cardiovasculature permeability and F13A1, FBN1 and VWDE peptides infer a pro-thrombotic state among High CNT/F workers. CONCLUSIONS: The serum peptidome affords a diagnostic window into sub-symptomatic pathology among CNT/F exposed workers for longitudinal monitoring of systemic health risks.

      6. Direct detection of polioviruses using a recombinant poliovirus receptorexternal icon
        Gerloff N, Mandelbaum M, Pang H, Collins N, Brown B, Sun H, Harrington C, Hecker J, Agha C, Burns CC, Vega E.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0259099.
        Polioviruses are positive-sense, single-stranded RNA picornaviruses and the principal cause of poliomyelitis. Global poliovirus surveillance has relied on poliovirus isolation in cells, which may take a minimum of 10 days, involves maintaining two cell lines, and propagates virus in high titers. With eradication underway, a major objective of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is to develop culture-independent detection of polioviruses as an alternative method to complement the current virus isolation technique. A culture-independent method on poliovirus-positive stool suspensions was assessed with commercially available recombinant soluble poliovirus receptor (PVR) coupled to Histidine (His) tags. Viral RNA was screened by quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR using the poliovirus intratypic differentiation kit. Poliovirus recovery was optimized with PVR-His-tagged protein and buffers supplemented with polyethylene glycol. To validate the poliovirus-PVR-His tag purification assay, 182 poliovirus-positive stools of programmatic importance were parallel tested against the GPLN-accepted virus isolation method. The PVR-His tag enrichment method detected poliovirus in 164 of 171 poliovirus-positive stools, whereas the virus isolation method misidentified 38 stools as poliovirus-negative (McNemar χ2 p<0.0001). Using this method in combination with RNA extraction, viral RNA recovery increased and showed similar (WPV1) or higher (Sabin 1) sensitivity than the World Health Organization accredited variation of the virus isolation method. The PVR-His enrichment method could be a viable addition to poliovirus surveillance; similar methods have the potential to capture other human pathogens such as EV71 using an appropriate soluble His tag receptor.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Characteristics of Clinical Trial Participants with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Data from the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking, and Research Network (MD STARnet)external icon
        Mathews KD, Conway KM, Gedlinske AM, Johnson N, Street N, Butterfield RJ, Hung M, Ciafaloni E, Romitti PA.
        Children (Basel). 2021 Sep 23;8(10).
        BACKGROUND: Therapeutic trials are critical to improving outcomes for individuals diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Understanding predictors of clinical trial participation could maximize enrollment. METHODS: Data from six sites (Colorado, Iowa, Piedmont region North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and western New York) of the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking, and Research Network (MD STARnet) were analyzed. Clinical trial participation and individual-level clinical and sociodemographic characteristics were obtained from medical records for the 2000-2015 calendar years. County-level characteristics were determined from linkage of the most recent county of residence identified from medical records and publicly available federal datasets. Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon two-sample tests were used with statistical significance set at one-sided p-value (<0.05) based on the hypothesis that nonparticipants had fewer resources. RESULTS: Clinical trial participation was identified among 17.9% (MD STARnet site: 3.7-27.3%) of 358 individuals with DMD. Corticosteroids, tadalafil, and ataluren (PTC124) were the most common trial medications recorded. Fewer non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites participated in clinical trials. Trial participants tended to reside in counties with lower percentages of non-Hispanic blacks. Conclusion: Understanding characteristics associated with clinical trial participation is critical for identifying participation barriers and generalizability of trial results. MD STARnet is uniquely able to track clinical trial participation through surveillance and describe patterns of participation.

      2. Progressive, Long-Term Hearing Loss in Congenital CMV Disease After Ganciclovir Therapyexternal icon
        Lanzieri TM, Caviness AC, Blum P, Demmler-Harrison G.
        J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2021 Oct 28.
        BACKGROUND: Long-term hearing outcomes among children with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease who received 6-week ganciclovir therapy early in life are unknown. METHODS: Longitudinal study of 76 children with symptomatic congenital CMV disease, born 1983-2005, who were categorized into three groups: group A treated with ganciclovir; group B untreated who had microcephaly, chorioretinitis, or sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL; ≥25 dB) diagnosed in the first month of life (congenital); and group C untreated who did not meet criteria for group B. RESULTS: Patients in groups A (n = 17), B (n = 27), and C (n = 32) were followed to median age of 13, 11, and 13 years, respectively. In group A, patients received ganciclovir for median of 40 (range, 11-63) days; 7 (41%) had grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. Congenital SNHL was diagnosed in 11 (65%) patients in group A, 15 (56%) in group B, and none in group C. Early-onset SNHL was diagnosed between ages ≥1-12 months in an additional 4 (24%), 6 (22%), and 8 (25%) patients in groups A, B, and C, respectively. By the end of follow-up, 12 (71%), 16 (59%), and 7 (22%) of patients in groups A, B, and C, respectively, had severe (>70 dB) SNHL in the better-hearing ear. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, most patients with symptomatic congenital CMV disease and congenital or early-onset SNHL eventually developed hearing loss severe enough to have been potential candidates for cochlear implantation, with or without 6-week ganciclovir therapy. Understanding long-term hearing outcomes of patients treated with 6-month oral valganciclovir (current standard of care) is needed.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Changes in High Weight-for-Length among Infants Enrolled in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children during 2010-2018external icon
        Pan L, Blanck HM, Galuska DA, Freedman DS, Lovellette G, Park S, Petersen R.
        Child Obes. 2021 Sep;17(6):408-419.
        Background: Infants and young children with high weight-for-length are at increased risk for obesity in later life. This study describes prevalence of high weight-for-length and examines changes during 2010-2018 among 11,366,755 infants and young children 3-23 months of age in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Methods: Children's weights and lengths were measured. High weight-for-length was defined as ≥2 standard deviations above sex and age-specific median on World Health Organization growth charts. Adjusted prevalence differences (APDs) between years were calculated as 100 times marginal effects from logistic regression models. APD was statistically significant if 95% confidence interval did not include 0. Results: Adjusted prevalence of high weight-for-length decreased from 2010 to 2014, and leveled off through 2018 overall, in boys and girls, those 6-11 and 18-23 months of age, and non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and Asians/Pacific Islanders. For 12-17 months old and American Indian/Alaska Native infants and young children, adjusted prevalence decreased from 2010 to 2014, and then increased slightly through 2018. Among 56 WIC state or territorial agencies, 33 had significant decreases between 2010 and 2018, whereas 8 had significant increases. Between 2014 and 2018, prevalence decreased significantly in 12 agencies and increased significantly in 23. Conclusions: The results indicate overall declines in prevalence of high weight-for-length from 2010 to 2018, with a prevalence stabilization since 2014. Continued surveillance is needed. Obesity prevention strategies in WIC and multiple settings are important for ensuring healthy child growth.

      2. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether the density of neighbourhood restaurants affected the frequency of eating restaurant meals and subsequently affected diet quality. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. Structural equation models assessed the indirect relationship between restaurant density (≤3 miles (4·8 km) of participant addresses) and dietary quality (Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI)) via the frequency of eating restaurant meals, after adjustment for sociodemographics, select health conditions, region, residence duration and area-level income. SETTING: Urbanised areas in multiple regions of the USA, years 2000-2002 and 2010-2012. PARTICIPANTS: Participants aged 45-84 years were followed for 10 years (n 3567). RESULTS: Median HEI (out of 100) was fifty-nine at baseline and sixty-two at follow-up. The cross-sectional analysis found that residing in areas with a high density of restaurants (highest-ranked quartile) was associated with 52 % higher odds of frequently eating restaurant meals (≥3 times/week, OR: 1·52, 95 % CI 1·18, 1·98) and 3 % higher odds of having lower dietary quality (HEI lowest quartile < 54, OR: 1·03, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·06); associations were not sustained in longitudinal analyses. The cross-sectional analysis found 34 % higher odds of having lower dietary quality for those who frequently ate at restaurants (OR: 1·34, 95 % CI 1·12, 1·61), and more restaurant meals (over time increase ≥ 1 time/week) were associated with higher odds of having worse dietary quality at follow-up (OR: 1·21, 95 % CI 1·00, 1·46). CONCLUSIONS: Restaurant density was associated with frequently eating out in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses but was associated with the lower dietary quality only in cross-sectional analyses. Frequent restaurant meals were negatively related to dietary quality. Interventions that encourage less frequent eating out may improve population dietary quality.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Expanding Reach of Occupational Health Knowledge: Contributing Subject-Matter Expertise to Wikipedia as a Class Assignmentexternal icon
        Ceballos DM, Herrick RF, Carreón T, Nguyen VT, Chu MT, Sadowski JP, Blumenthal H, Morata TC.
        Inquiry. 2021 Jan-Dec;58:469580211035735.
        The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and several university programs have collaborated on a large effort to expand and improve occupational safety and health content in Wikipedia using a platform developed by Wiki Education. This article describes the initiative, student contributions, and evaluations of this effort by instructors from two universities between 2016 and 2020. The Wiki Education platform allowed instructors to set timelines and track students' progress throughout the semester while students accessed training to best expand health content in Wikipedia. Students chose topics in occupational health based on their interests and by a set of topics deemed as a priority by the "WikiProject Occupational Safety and Health." Students' contributions were peer-reviewed by instructors, NIOSH Wikipedians-in-Residence, and traditional Wikipedians. Students presented their projects in class at the end of the semester. Students from both schools expanded 55 articles, created 8 new articles, and translated 2 articles to Spanish, adding 1270 references; these articles were viewed over 8 million times by May 2020. Feedback received from the implementation suggested that students learned about science communication and digital literacy-providing valuable content on occupational health while reducing misinformation in the public domain. The process of identifying and addressing gaps in occupational health in Wikipedia requires participation and engagement toward improving access to information that otherwise would be restricted to the scientific literature, often behind a paywall. The Wikipedia assignment proved to be an engaging approach for instruction and information literacy. It helped students improve their science communication skills and digital literacy, tools that are likely to be critical for successful communication of science in their future careers.

      2. Using a mobile app to estimate whole-body vibration and seat isolation performance in surface miningexternal icon
        Mayton AG, Kim BY.
        International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems. 2021 ;28(4):487-502.
        The objectives for this study were twofold: (1) to determine whether the whole-body vibration application (WBV app) may effectively serve as a simple tool for monitoring WBV exposure; and (2) to assess when vehicle seats may need adjustment, repair, or replacement. Data were collected on 17 mobile mining vehicles and equipment at six surface operations. Comparing the WBV app to the Siemens/LMS reference system showed excellent correlation (r = 0.998 and 0.987, respectively) for frequency-weighted-root-mean-square acceleration (aw) and vibration dose value (VDV) normalised to an 8-hour shift. Seat performance, using the mobile app showed greater variation, yet high positive correlations (r = 0.896 and 0.936) for the aw and VDV computational methods, respectively. Hence, the WBV app demonstrates potential as a low-cost instrument to measure WBV exposures for mobile equipment operators and the capability to estimate seat performance or seat effective amplitude transmissibility (SEAT) when utilised on two iPod Touch devices. Copyright © 2021 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

      3. Occupational exposures and mitigation strategies among homeless shelter workers at risk of COVID-19external icon
        Rao CY, Robinson T, Huster K, Laws RL, Keating R, Tobolowsky FA, McMichael TM, Gonzales E, Mosites E.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0253108.
        OBJECTIVE: To describe the work environment and COVID-19 mitigation measures for homeless shelter workers and assess occupational risk factors for COVID-19. METHODS: Between June 9-August 10, 2020, we conducted a self-administered survey among homeless shelter workers in Washington, Massachusetts, Utah, Maryland, and Georgia. We calculated frequencies for work environment, personal protective equipment use, and SARS-CoV-2 testing history. We used generalized linear models to produce unadjusted prevalence ratios (PR) to assess risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: Of the 106 respondents, 43.4% reported frequent close contact with clients; 75% were worried about work-related SARS-CoV-2 infections; 15% reported testing positive. Close contact with clients was associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (PR 3.97, 95%CI 1.06, 14.93). CONCLUSIONS: Homeless shelter workers may be at risk of being exposed to individuals with COVID-19 during the course of their work. Frequent close contact with clients was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Protecting these critical essential workers by implementing mitigation measures and prioritizing for COVID-19 vaccination is imperative during the pandemic.

    • Physical Activity
      1. Surveillance of Meeting the Youth Physical Activity Guideline: Impact of Including Vigorous-Intensity and Bone-Strengthening Activitiesexternal icon
        Hyde ET, Watson KB, Omura JD, Janz KF, Lee SM, Fulton JE, Carlson SA.
        Res Q Exerc Sport. 2021 Oct 28:1-6.
        PURPOSE: The US youth physical activity guideline recommends participation in four types of physical activity: moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic (MVPA), vigorous-intensity aerobic (VPA), muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activity. Current national prevalence estimates of meeting the youth physical activity guideline are typically based on measures of the MVPA and muscle-strengthening components. This study sought to examine differences in prevalence estimates using this current approach and then including measures of all four components. METHODS: Data from US high school student respondents to the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey were analyzed (n = 10,596). Prevalence of students meeting the youth physical activity guideline were assessed and compared using 1) measures of MVPA and muscle-strengthening components only and 2) also including measures of the VPA and bone-strengthening components. RESULTS: Overall, 15.2% students met the MVPA, 50.7% met the muscle-strengthening, 70.6% met the VPA, and 80.7% met the bone-strengthening components. In total, 12.1% (95% confidence interval: 10.9, 13.3) of students met both the MVPA and muscle-strengthening components, and 11.2% (95% confidence interval: 10.0, 12.4) met all four components. CONCLUSIONS: Incorporating additional measures of VPA and bone-strengthening activity into current surveillance systems may not meaningfully impact national estimates of meeting the youth physical activity guideline.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Adverse event profile and associated factors following surgical voluntary medical male circumcision in two regions of Namibia, 2015-2018external icon
        O'Bryan G, Feldacker C, Ensminger A, Nghatanga M, Brandt L, Shepard M, Billah I, Aupokolo M, Mengistu AT, Forster N, Zemburuka B, Sithole E, Mutandi G, Barnhart S, O'Malley G.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(10):e0258611.
        INTRODUCTION: Monitoring clinical safety of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is critical to minimize risk as VMMC programs for HIV prevention are scaled. This cross-sectional analysis describes the adverse event (AE) profile of a large-scale, routine VMMC program and identifies factors associated with the development, severity, and timing of AEs to provide recommendations for program quality improvement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 2015-2018 there were 28,990 circumcisions performed in International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) supported regions of Namibia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Two routine follow-up visits after VMMC were scheduled to identify clients with AEs. Summary statistics were used to describe characteristics of all VMMC clients and the subset who experienced an AE. We used chi-square tests to evaluate associations between AE timing, patient age, and other patient and AE characteristics. We used a logistic regression model to explore associations between patient characteristics and AE severity. RESULTS: Of the 498 clients with AEs (AE rate of 1.7%), 40 (8%) occurred ≤2 days, 262 (53%) occurred 3-7 days, 161 (32%) between day 8 and 14, and 35 (7%) were ≥15 days post-VMMC. Early AEs (on or before day 2) tended to be severe and categorized as bleeding, while infections were the most common AEs occurring later (p<0.001). Younger clients (aged 10-14 years) experienced more infections, whereas older clients experienced more bleeding (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Almost 40% of AEs occurred after the second follow-up visit, of which 179 (91%) were infections. Improvements in pre-surgical and post-surgical counselling and post-operative educational materials encouraging clients to seek care at any time, adoption of alternative follow-up methods, and the addition of a third follow-up visit may improve outcomes for patients. Enhancing post-surgical counselling and emphasizing wound care for younger VMMC clients and their caregivers could help mitigate elevated risk of infection.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. INTRODUCTION: Nonfatal and fatal drug overdoses have recently increased. There are limited data describing the range of illicit, prescribed, and over-the-counter drugs involved in overdoses presenting to U.S. emergency departments (EDs). METHODS: Using 2018 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide ED Sample (NEDS) data, we calculated weighted counts and percentages by drug among overdose-related ED visits. Overdose-related ED visits were those having an International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) drug poisoning code falling under parent codes T36-T50 (codes involving alcohol were not explicitly queried). We identified the top 30 mutually exclusive polydrug combinations and compared characteristics of visits by polydrug status. RESULTS: In 2018, 908,234 ED visits had a T36-T50 drug poisoning code. The most frequently reported drugs involved were opioids (30.3% of visits; heroin: 15.2%), benzodiazepines (11.0%), stimulants (7.9%), other/unspecified antidepressants (7.1%), 4-aminophenol derivatives (6.6%), and other/unspecified drugs, medicaments, and biological substances (11.8%). Overdose was uncommon for most other drug classes (e.g., antibiotics). Polydrug visits were more likely to involve females (prevalence ratio [PR]: 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-1.16), be coded intentional self-harm (PR: 1.81, 95% CI: 1.77-1.85), and result in hospitalization (PR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.79-1.89) or death (PR: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.22-1.53) compared to single-drug overdose-related visits. Benzodiazepines, opioids, and/or stimulants were most frequently involved in polydrug overdoses. CONCLUSION: Opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants were most commonly reported in both single-drug and polydrug overdose-involved ED visits. Other drugs involved in overdoses included antidepressants and 4-aminophenol derivatives. Jurisdictions can use data on drugs involved in overdoses to better tailor prevention strategies to emerging needs.

      2. Current Marijuana Use and Alcohol Consumption Among Adults Following the Legalization of Nonmedical Retail Marijuana Sales - Colorado, 2015-2019external icon
        Crawford KA, Gardner JA, Meyer EA, Hall KE, Gary DS, Esser MB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Oct 29;70(43):1505-1508.
        In Colorado, excessive alcohol use* contributed to $5 billion in economic costs in 2010 (1) and >1,800 deaths annually during 2011-2015 (2). The most common pattern of excessive drinking is binge drinking (consumption of four or more drinks on an occasion for women or five or more drinks for men) (3), which is associated with increased likelihood of using other substances, including marijuana (4). Retail (i.e., nonmedical) marijuana sales began in Colorado on January 1, 2014. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and CDC used data from Colorado's 2015-2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to examine current use of marijuana (including hashish) by drinking patterns among 45,991 persons aged ≥18 years who responded to questions about alcohol and marijuana use. The age-standardized, weighted prevalence of current marijuana use among persons who reported binge drinking (34.4%) was significantly higher than the prevalence among current non-binge drinkers (14.8%) and nondrinkers (9.9%). Evidence-based strategies recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force to reduce excessive alcohol use and tobacco use (e.g., increasing prices or reducing access) can reduce alcohol- and tobacco-related harms. Similar strategies might be effective in reducing marijuana use and its potential harms as well.

      3. Opioid Overdose Surveillance : Improving Data to Inform Actionexternal icon
        Hoots BE.
        Public Health Rep. 2021 Nov-Dec;136(1_suppl):5s-8s.

      4. OBJECTIVES: To monitor stimulant-involved overdose (SOD) trends, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed and evaluated the validity of a syndromic surveillance definition for suspected nonfatal, unintentional/undetermined intent stimulant-involved overdose (UUSOD). METHODS: We analyzed all emergency department (ED) visits in CDC's surveillance system that met the UUSOD syndrome definition (January 2018-December 2019). We classified visits as true positive, possible, or not UUSODs after reviewing diagnosis codes and chief complaints. We first assessed whether visits were acute SODs, subsequently classifying acute SODs by intent. The percentage of true-positive UUSODs did not include intentional or possibly intentional visits. We considered all visits with UUSOD diagnosis codes to be acute SODs and reviewed them for intent. We manually reviewed and double-coded a 10% random sample of visits without UUSOD diagnosis codes using decision rules based on signs and symptoms. The overall percentage of true-positive UUSODs was a weighted average of the percentage of true-positive UUSODs based on diagnosis codes and the percentage of true-positive UUSODs determined by manually reviewing visits without codes. RESULTS: During 2018-2019, 40 045 ED visits met the syndrome definition for UUSOD. Approximately half (n = 18 793; 46.9%) of 40 045 visits had UUSOD diagnosis codes, indicating acute SOD; of these, 98.6% (n = 18 534) were true-positive UUSODs. Of 2125 manually reviewed visits without UUSOD diagnosis codes, 32.6% (n = 693) were true-positive UUSODs, 54.2% (n = 1151) were possible UUSODs, and 13.2% (n = 281) were not UUSODs. Overall, 63.6% of visits were true-positive UUSODs, 29.3% were possible UUSODs, and 7.1% were not UUSODs. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: CDC's UUSOD definition may assist in surveillance efforts with further refinement to capture data on SOD clusters and trends.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Local conditions favor dengue transmission in the contiguous United States. (Special Issue: Arthropods vectored diseases.)external icon
        Wilke AB, Wisinski BF, Benelli G, Vasquez C, Mutebi JP, Petrie WD, Beier JC.
        Entomologia Generalis. 2021 ;41(5):523-529.
        A significant increase in dengue transmission has been reported in the United States even though cases are much fewer than in endemic areas in the Americas. In this context, Florida has been disproportionally afflicted by locally transmitted cases of dengue virus. In our opinion, there is a need to understand why Florida is at a higher risk of dengue transmission than other regions in the United States. Understanding mechanisms and the main drivers for dengue transmission are essential to further the development of effective vector control strategies at the forefront of vector biology and control research. This is especially important for preventing counties such as Miami-Dade in Florida from becoming endemic for dengue and other arboviruses.

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