Issue 44, November 30, 2021

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 44, November 30, 2021

This week, Science Clips is pleased to collaborate with CDC Vital Signs by featuring scientific articles from the latest issue on Disparities in HIV Infection, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men. The articles marked with an asterisk are general review articles which may be of particular interest to clinicians and public health professionals seeking background information in this area.

  1. CDC Vital Signs
    • Communicable Diseases: Disparities in HIV Infection, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men
      1. *Ending the HIV epidemic: A plan for the United Statesexternal icon
        Fauci AS, Redfield RR, Sigounas G, Weahkee MD, Giroir BP.
        Jama. 2019 Mar 5;321(9):844-845.

      2. *Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2015–2019external icon
        US Department of Health and Human Services , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
        HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 2021 ;26(1).

      3. Improving engagement in HIV care using a data-to-care and patient navigation system in Louisiana, United Statesexternal icon
        Anderson S, Henley C, Lass K, Burgess S, Jenner E.
        J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2020 Sep-Oct;31(5):553-565.
        An estimated 57% of persons living with HIV (PLWH) in the United States are not connected to regular medical care or have lapsed from regular care (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018), increasing risk of HIV progression and transmission and delaying viral suppression. The state of Louisiana has consistently ranked in the top five US states for HIV case rates. We evaluated the impact of a combined data-to-care and patient navigation system that was implemented in 3 cities in Louisiana from 2013 to 2015. The program, LA Links, used a surveillance system to identify PLWH who were not in regular health care and connected them to a patient navigator. During the intervention period, persons who lapsed from care were 17% more likely to reengage in care than persons in the comparison group, and persons newly diagnosed during the intervention period were 56% more likely to link to care.

      4. Strategies to increase HIV testing among MSM: A synthesis of the literatureexternal icon
        Campbell CK, Lippman SA, Moss N, Lightfoot M.
        AIDS Behav. 2018 Aug;22(8):2387-2412.
        More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted. It is estimated that worldwide nearly half of MSM infected with HIV are unaware of their status, making HIV testing along with early linkage to care crucial to HIV prevention efforts. However, there remain significant barriers to HIV testing among MSM, due largely to complex issues of layered stigma that deter MSM from accessing traditional, clinic-based testing. We conducted a review and synthesis of the literature on strategies to increase uptake of HIV testing among MSM. We found that social network-based strategies, community-based testing, HIV self-testing, and modifications to the traditional clinic-based model can effectively reach a subset of MSM, but success was often context-specific and there are significant gaps in evidence. We provide recommendations for increasing HIV testing rates and status awareness among MSM.

      5. Employing telehealth within HIV care: advantages, challenges, and recommendationsexternal icon
        Grove M, Brown LL, Knudsen HK, Martin EG, Garner BR.
        Aids. 2021 Jul 1;35(8):1328-1330.

      6. Human immunodeficiency virus prevention with preexposure prophylaxis in sexually transmitted disease clinicsexternal icon
        Hoover KW, Ham DC, Peters PJ, Smith DK, Bernstein KT.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2016 May;43(5):277-82.

      7. The impact of localized implementation: determining the cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention and care interventions across six United States citiesexternal icon
        Krebs E, Zang X, Enns B, Min JE, Behrends CN, Del Rio C, Dombrowski JC, Feaster DJ, Gebo KA, Golden M, Marshall BD, Metsch LR, Schackman BR, Shoptaw S, Strathdee SA, Nosyk B.
        Aids. 2020 Mar 1;34(3):447-458.
        OBJECTIVE: Effective interventions to reduce the public health burden of HIV/AIDS can vary in their ability to deliver value at different levels of scale and in different epidemiological contexts. Our objective was to determine the cost-effectiveness of HIV treatment and prevention interventions implemented at previously documented scales of delivery in six US cities with diverse HIV microepidemics. DESIGN: Dynamic HIV transmission model-based cost-effectiveness analysis. METHODS: We identified and estimated previously documented scale of delivery and costs for 16 evidence-based interventions from the US CDC's Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention. Using a model calibrated for Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Seattle, we estimated averted HIV infections, quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (healthcare perspective; 3% discount rate, 2018$US), for each intervention and city (10-year implementation) compared with the status quo over a 20-year time horizon. RESULTS: Increased HIV testing was cost-saving or cost-effective across cities. Targeted preexposure prophylaxis for high-risk MSM was cost-saving in Miami and cost-effective in Atlanta ($6123/QALY), Baltimore ($18 333/QALY) and Los Angeles ($86 117/QALY). Interventions designed to improve antiretroviral therapy initiation provided greater value than other treatment engagement interventions. No single intervention was projected to reduce HIV incidence by more than 10.1% in any city. CONCLUSION: Combination implementation strategies should be tailored to local epidemiological contexts to provide the most value. Complementary strategies addressing factors hindering access to HIV care will be necessary to meet targets for HIV elimination in the United States.

      8. Reducing HIV-related health disparities in the Health Resources and Services Administration's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programexternal icon
        Mandsager P, Marier A, Cohen S, Fanning M, Hauck H, Cheever LW.
        Am J Public Health. 2018 Nov;108(S4):S246-s250.
        The Health Resources and Services Administration's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) supports direct health care treatment and support services to more than 50% of all people living with diagnosed HIV in the United States. A critical goal of the RWHAP is to reduce HIV-related health disparities to help end the HIV epidemic. From 2010 through 2016, the RWHAP made significant progress reducing viral suppression disparities among client populations, particularly among women, transgender persons, youths, Blacks or African Americans, and unstably housed clients. To assist with the reduction of the remaining disparities in HIV-related health outcomes among clients, the RWHAP continues to support planning and resource allocation for RWHAP Parts A through D and AIDS Drug Assistance Program, as well as through implementing policy and program initiatives, Special Projects of National Significance, evaluation studies, and collaborations to disseminate effective interventions.

      9. The persistent and evolving HIV epidemic in American men who have sex with menexternal icon
        Mayer KH, Nelson L, Hightow-Weidman L, Mimiaga MJ, Mena L, Reisner S, Daskalakis D, Safren SA, Beyrer C, Sullivan PS.
        Lancet. 2021 Mar 20;397(10279):1116-1126.
        Men who have sex with men (MSM) in the USA were the first population to be identified with AIDS and continue to be at very high risk of HIV acquisition. We did a systematic literature search to identify the factors that explain the reasons for the ongoing epidemic in this population, using a social-ecological perspective. Common features of the HIV epidemic in American MSM include role versatility and biological, individual, and social and structural factors. The high-prevalence networks of some racial and ethnic minority men are further concentrated because of assortative mixing, adverse life experiences (including high rates of incarceration), and avoidant behaviour because of negative interactions with the health-care system. Young MSM have additional risks for HIV because their impulse control is less developed and they are less familiar with serostatus and other risk mitigation discussions. They might benefit from prevention efforts that use digital technologies, which they often use to meet partners and obtain health-related information. Older MSM remain at risk of HIV and are the largest population of US residents with chronic HIV, requiring culturally responsive programmes that address longer-term comorbidities. Transgender MSM are an understudied population, but emerging data suggest that some are at great risk of HIV and require specifically tailored information on HIV prevention. In the current era of pre-exposure prophylaxis and the undetectable equals untransmittable campaign, training of health-care providers to create culturally competent programmes for all MSM is crucial, since the use of antiretrovirals is foundational to optimising HIV care and prevention. Effective control of the HIV epidemic among all American MSM will require scaling up programmes that address their common vulnerabilities, but are sufficiently nuanced to address the specific sociocultural, structural, and behavioural issues of diverse subgroups.

      10. HIV self-testing (HIVST) provides an at-home option to counter the barriers that patients face with testing performed in health care settings. HIVST has gradually increased in popularity in a time when social media and technology-based solutions are preferred. In this paper, we consider the aspects of self-testing that merit its integration into HIV testing and prevention systems in the United States. Several elements favor self-testing for large-scale implementation, including ease of use, convenience, potential for integration with mobile health (mHealth), and availability for various modes of distribution. HIVST has a demonstrated ability to reach at-risk individuals who otherwise rarely test. The paradigm of self-testing, however, introduces new challenges, including lesser test performance relative to that in health care settings, nonstandard counseling following receipt of test results, and difficulty in providing linkage to care. After discussing the performance of oral fluid versus blood-based HIVST, we review data regarding acceptability of HIVST, offer insights into counseling and linkage to care for HIVST, and provide examples of novel applications of and future research directions for HIVST.

  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. An update on the US adult thalassaemia population: a report from the CDC thalassaemia treatment centresexternal icon
        Chapin J, Cohen AR, Neufeld EJ, Vichinsky E, Giardina PJ, Boudreaux J, Le BC, Kenney K, Trimble S, Thompson AA.
        Br J Haematol. 2021 Nov 14.
        Thalassaemia is caused by genetic globin defects leading to anaemia, transfusion-dependence and comorbidities. Reduced survival and systemic organ disease affect transfusion-dependent thalassaemia major and thalassaemia intermedia. Recent improvements in clinical management have reduced thalassaemia mortality. The therapeutic landscape of thalassaemia may soon include gene therapies as functional cures. An analysis of the adult US thalassaemia population has not been performed since the Thalassemia Clinical Research Network cohort study from 2000 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported US thalassaemia treatment centres (TTCs) to compile longitudinal information on individuals with thalassaemia. This dataset provided an opportunity to evaluate iron balance, chelation, comorbidities and demographics of adults with thalassaemia receiving care at TTCs. Two adult cohorts were compared: those over 40 years old (n = 75) and younger adults ages 18-39 (n = 201). The older adult cohort was characterized by higher numbers of iron-related comorbidities and transfusion-related complications. By contrast, younger adults had excess hepatic and cardiac iron and were receiving combination chelation therapy. The ethnic composition of the younger cohort was predominantly of Asian origin, reflecting the demographics of immigration. These findings demonstrate that comprehensive care and periodic surveys are needed to ensure optimal health and access to emerging therapies.

      2. Health Care Access and Use Among Adults with Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic - United States, February-March 2021external icon
        Czeisler M, Barrett CE, Siegel KR, Weaver MD, Czeisler CA, Rajaratnam SM, Howard ME, Bullard KM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 19;70(46):1597-1602.
        Diabetes affects approximately one in 10 persons in the United States(†) and is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 (1), especially when a patient's diabetes is not well managed (2). The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected diabetes care and management, and whether this varies across age groups, is currently unknown. To evaluate access to and use of health care, as well as experiences, attitudes, and behaviors about COVID-19 prevention and vaccination, a nonprobability, Internet-based survey was administered to 5,261 U.S. adults aged ≥18 years during February-March 2021. Among respondents, 760 (14%) adults who reported having diabetes currently managed with medication were included in the analysis. Younger adults (aged 18-29 years) with diabetes were more likely to report having missed medical care during the past 3 months (87%; 79) than were those aged 30-59 years (63%; 372) or ≥60 years (26%; 309) (p<0.001). Overall, 44% of younger adults reported difficulty accessing diabetes medications. Younger adults with diabetes also reported lower intention to receive COVID-19 vaccination (66%) compared with adults aged ≥60 years(§) (85%; p = 0.001). During the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to enhance access to diabetes care for adults with diabetes and deliver public health messages emphasizing the importance of diabetes management and COVID-19 prevention, including vaccination, are warranted, especially in younger adults.

      3. Prevalence and Characteristics of Subjective Cognitive Decline Among Unpaid Caregivers Aged ≥45 Years - 22 States, 2015-2019external icon
        Jeffers EM, Bouldin ED, McGuire LC, Knapp KA, Patel R, Guglielmo D, Taylor CA, Croft JB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 19;70(46):1591-1596.
        Approximately 20% of U.S. adults are unpaid caregivers (caregivers) (1) who provide support to a family member or friend with a health condition or disability. Although there are benefits to caregiving, it can negatively affect caregivers' physical and mental health (2-4). Much of the assistance caregivers provide, such as administering medications or financial management, relies on cognitive ability, but little is known about caregivers' cognitive functioning. Subjective cognitive decline (SCD), the self-reported experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss over the past year (5), could affect caregivers' risk for adverse health outcomes and affect the quality of care they provide. CDC analyzed SCD among caregivers aged ≥45 years through a cross-sectional analysis of data from 22 states in the 2015-2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Among adults aged ≥45 years, SCD was reported by 12.6% of caregivers who provided care to a family member or friend with a health condition or disability in the past 30 days compared with 10.2% of noncaregivers (p<0.001). Caregivers with SCD were more likely to be employed, men, aged 45-64 years, and have chronic health conditions than were noncaregivers with SCD. Caregivers with SCD were more likely to report frequent mental distress, a history of depression, and frequent activity limitations than were caregivers without SCD. SCD among caregivers could adversely affect the quality of care provided to care recipients. Understanding caregivers' cognitive health and the types of care provided is critical to maintaining the health, well-being, and independence of the caregiving dyad. Health care professionals can support patients and their patients' caregivers by increasing awareness among caregivers of the need to monitor their own health. The health care team can work with caregivers to identify potential treatments and access supports that might help them in their caregiving role and compensate for SCD.

      4. Gynecologic oncologist impact on adjuvant chemotherapy care for stage II-IV ovarian cancer patientsexternal icon
        Weeks KS, Lynch CF, West M, Carnahan R, O'Rorke M, Oleson J, McDonald M, Stewart SL, Charlton M.
        Gynecol Oncol. 2021 Nov 11.
        OBJECTIVE: We aim to evaluate the impact gynecologic oncologists have on ovarian cancer adjuvant chemotherapy care from their role as surgeons recommending adjuvant chemotherapy care and their role as adjuvant chemotherapy providers while considering rural-urban differences. METHODS: Multivariable adjusted logistic regressions and Cox proportional hazards models were developed using a population-based, retrospective cohort of stage II-IV and unknown stage ovarian cancer patients diagnosed in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri in 2010-2012 whose medical records were abstracted in 2017-2018. RESULTS: Gynecologic oncologist surgeons (versus other type of surgeon) were associated with increased odds of adjuvant chemotherapy initiation (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.18; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-4.33) and having a gynecologic oncologist adjuvant chemotherapy provider (OR 10.0; 95% CI 4.58-21.8). Independent of type of surgeon, rural patients were less likely to have a gynecologic oncologist chemotherapy provider (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.30-0.91). Gynecologic oncologist adjuvant chemotherapy providers (versus other providers) were associated with decreased surgery-to-chemotherapy time (rural: 6 days; urban: 8 days) and increased distance to chemotherapy (rural: 22 miles; urban: 11 miles). Rural women (versus urban) traveled 38 miles farther when their chemotherapy provider was a gynecologic oncologist and 27 miles farther when it was not. CONCLUSION: Gynecologic oncologist surgeons may impact adjuvant chemotherapy initiation. Gynecologic oncologists serving as adjuvant chemotherapy providers were associated with some care benefits, such as reduced time from surgery-to-chemotherapy, and some care barriers, such as travel distance. The barriers and benefits of having a gynecologic oncologist involved in adjuvant chemotherapy care, including rural-urban differences, warrant further research in other populations.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 among previously infected healthcare personnel and first respondersexternal icon
        Akinbami LJ, Biggerstaff BJ, Chan PA, McGibbon E, Pathela P, Petersen LR.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 15.
        BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 virus testing among first responders and healthcare personnel who participated in a May-August 2020 serosurvey which assessed spike protein antibodies (S1 region) provided an opportunity to assess reinfection. METHODS: Serology survey data were merged with virus testing results from Rhode Island (March 1, 2020-February 17, 2021) and New York City (March 10-December 14, 2020). Participants with a positive virus test ≥14 days before their serology test were included. Reinfection was defined as a second positive SARS-CoV-2 test result ≥90 days after the first positive test. The association between serostatus and reinfection was assessed with a proportional hazards model adjusting for demographics, exposures, and virus testing frequency. RESULTS: Among 1,572 previously infected persons, 40 (2.5%) were reinfected. Reinfection differed by serostatus: 8.4% among seronegative versus 1.9% among seropositive participants (p<0.0001). Most reinfections occurred among Rhode Island nursing home and corrections (RINHC) personnel (n=30) who were most frequently tested (mean 30.3 tests versus 4.6 for other Rhode Island and 2.3 for New York City participants). The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for reinfection in seropositive versus seronegative persons was 0.41 (95% CI 0.20, 0.81). Exposure to a household member with COVID-19 before the serosurvey was also protective (aHR 0.34, 95% CI 0.13, 0.89). CONCLUSIONS: Reinfections were uncommon among previously infected persons over a 9-month period that preceded widespread variant circulation. Seropositivity decreased reinfection risk. Lower reinfection risk associated with exposure to a household member with COVID-19 before the serosurvey may reflect subsequently reduced household transmission among members of previously infected households.

      2. Incidence of influenza and other respiratory viruses among pregnant women; a multi-country, multiyear cohortexternal icon
        Azziz-Baumgartner E, Veguilla V, Calvo A, Franco D, Dominguez R, Rauda R, Armero J, Hall AJ, Pascale JM, Gonzalez R.
        Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2021 Nov 12.
        OBJECTIVE: To quantify rates of influenza illness and assess value of influenza vaccination among pregnant women in Panama and El Salvador. METHODS: Pregnant women were enrolled and followed each week in a prospective cohort study to identify acute respiratory infections (ARI). Nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from women with febrile ARI were tested by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for influenza and other respiratory viruses. RESULTS: We enrolled 2,556 women between October 2014-April 2017. Sixteen percent developed at least one ARI; 59 had two ARI, and five had three ARI for a total of 463 ARI. Women in El Salvador and Panama contributed 297 person-years (py) and 293py, respectively, during influenza circulation. Twenty-one (11%) of 196 sampled women tested positive for influenza. Influenza incidence was 5.0/100py (4.3/100py in Panama and 5.7/100py in El Salvador). Only 13% of women in El Salvador and 43% in Panama had been vaccinated against influenza before influenza epidemics (p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: One in six pregnant women developed ARI and more than one in ten ARI were attributable to vaccine-preventable influenza. While women were at risk of influenza, few had vaccinated before each epidemic. Such findings suggest the utility of evaluations to optimize vaccine timing and coverage.

      3. SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in Sierra Leone, March 2021: a cross-sectional, nationally representative, age-stratified serosurveyexternal icon
        Barrie MB, Lakoh S, Kelly JD, Kanu JS, Squire JS, Koroma Z, Bah S, Sankoh O, Brima A, Ansumana R, Goldberg SA, Chitre S, Osuagwu C, Frankfurter R, Maeda J, Barekye B, Numbere TW, Abdulaziz M, Mounts A, Blanton C, Singh T, Samai M, Vandi M, Richardson ET.
        BMJ Glob Health. 2021 Nov;6(11).
        INTRODUCTION: As of 26 March 2021, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 4 159 055 cases of COVID-19 and 111 357 deaths among the 55 African Union member states; however, no country has published a nationally representative serosurvey as of October 2021. Such data are vital for understanding the pandemic's progression on the continent, evaluating containment measures, and policy planning. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional, nationally representative, age-stratified serosurvey in Sierra Leone in March 2021 by randomly selecting 120 Enumeration Areas throughout the country and 10 randomly selected households in each of these. One to two persons per selected household were interviewed to collect information on sociodemographics, symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, exposure history to laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, and history of COVID-19 illness. Capillary blood was collected by fingerstick, and blood samples were tested using the Hangzhou Biotest Biotech RightSign COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette. Total seroprevalence was estimated after applying sampling weights. RESULTS: The overall weighted seroprevalence was 2.6% (95% CI 1.9% to 3.4%). This was 43 times higher than the reported number of cases. Rural seropositivity was 1.8% (95% CI 1.0% to 2.5%), and urban seropositivity was 4.2% (95% CI 2.6% to 5.7%). DISCUSSION: Overall seroprevalence was low compared with countries in Europe and the Americas (suggesting relatively successful containment in Sierra Leone). This has ramifications for the country's third wave (which started in June 2021), during which the average number of daily reported cases was 87 by the end of the month:this could potentially be on the order of 3700 actual infections per day, calling for stronger containment measures in a country with only 0.2% of people fully vaccinated. It may also reflect significant under-reporting of incidence and mortality across the continent.

      4. Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Sexual Health Care Utilization and STD Reporting, Maricopa Countyexternal icon
        Bell J, Canepa S, Kreis S, Taylor MM.
        Inquiry. 2021 Jan-Dec;58:469580211055583.
        The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Clinic remained operational during a 6-week statewide Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Stay-at-Home Order. The present study sought to evaluate the effect of the Stay-at-Home Order on countywide STD reporting and uptake of sexual health services. We compared countywide daily median STD reporting and MCDPH STD clinic attendance across 3 timeframes; (1) Pre-Lockdown (01/01/2020-03/30/2020); (2) Lockdown (03/31/2020-05/15/2020); and (3) Post-Lockdown (05/16/2020-12/31/2020). STD reporting was characterized as incident chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis. Clinic attendance was characterized as clients visiting through express testing or provider visits. Differences in STD reporting and clinic attendance were evaluated using non-parametric testing. Comparing Pre-Lockdown to Lockdown, we observed significant declines in the daily median chlamydia case reporting (-22%) and clinic express testing attendance (-29%). Comparing Lockdown to Post-Lockdown, we observed significant increases in daily median chlamydia and gonorrhea case reporting (+20%, +15%; respectively) and clinic express testing and provider visits (+42%, +20%; respectively). No significant difference was observed in countywide syphilis reporting across the 3 timeframes. Declines in STD reporting were observed countywide during the lockdown and were concurrent with declines in attendance observed at the MCDPH STD Clinic. Maintenance of clinic operations during the lockdown allowed for continued uptake of STD testing, diagnosis, treatment, and partner services. This study of sexual health care utilization at the public STD clinic in Maricopa County, Arizona, found reduced testing and provider visits contributed to lower countywide STD reporting during the Arizona COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order.

      5. A Survey to Assess Serological Prevalence of Poliovirus Antibodies in Areas With High-Risk for Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Transmission in Chadexternal icon
        Gamougam K, Jeyaseelan V, Jones KA, Mainou BA, Palmer T, Diaha A, Wiesen E, Ntezayabo B, Ayangma R, Soke NG, Samba D, Okiror S, Mach O.
        J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2021 Nov 16.
        BACKGROUND: World Health Organization African region is wild poliovirus-free; however, outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) continue to expand across the continent including in Chad. We conducted a serological survey of polio antibodies in polio high-risk areas of Chad to assess population immunity against poliovirus and estimate the risk of future outbreaks. METHODS: This was a community-based, cross-sectional survey carried out in September 2019. Children between 12 and 59 months were randomly selected using GIS enumeration of structures. Informed consent, demographic and anthropometric data, vaccination history, and blood spots were collected. Seropositivity against all 3 poliovirus serotypes was assessed using a microneutralization assay at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. RESULTS: Analyzable data were obtained from 236 out of 285 (82.8%) enrolled children. Seroprevalence of polio antibodies for serotypes 1, 2, and 3 was 214/236 (90.7%); 145/236 (61.4%); and 196/236 (86.2%), respectively. For serotype 2, the seroprevalence significantly increased with age (P = .004); chronic malnutrition was a significant risk factor for being type 2-seronegative. INTERPRETATION: Poliovirus type 2 seroprevalence in young children was considered insufficient to protect against the spread of paralytic diseases caused by VDPV2. Indeed, VDPV2 outbreaks were reported from Chad in 2019 and 2020. High-quality immunization response to these outbreaks is needed to prevent further spread.

      6. The importation and establishment of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during the first eight weeks of the South African COVID-19 epidemicexternal icon
        McCarthy KM, Tempia S, Kufa T, Kleynhans J, Wolter N, Jassat W, Ebonwu J, von Gottberg A, Erasmus L, Muchengeti M, Walaza S, Ntshoe G, Shonhiwa AM, Manana PN, Pillay Y, Moonasar D, Muthivhi T, Mngemane S, Mlisana K, Chetty K, Blumberg LH, Cohen C, Govender NP.
        EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Sep;39:101072.
        BACKGROUND: We describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in South Africa following importation and during implementation of stringent lockdown measures. METHODS: Using national surveillance data including demographics, laboratory test data, clinical presentation, risk exposures (travel history, contacts and occupation) and outcomes of persons undergoing COVID-19 testing or hospitalised with COVID-19 at sentinel surveillance sites, we generated and interpreted descriptive statistics, epidemic curves, and initial reproductive numbers (Rt). FINDINGS: From 4 March to 30 April 2020, 271,670 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests were performed (462 tests/100,000 persons). Of these, 7,892 (2.9%) persons tested positive (median age 37 years (interquartile range 28-49 years), 4,568 (58%) male, cumulative incidence of 13.4 cases/100,000 persons). Hospitalization records were found for 1,271 patients (692 females (54%)) of whom 186 (14.6%) died. Amongst 2,819 cases with data, 489/2819 (17.3%) travelled internationally within 14 days prior to diagnosis, mostly during March 2020 (466 (95%)). Cases diagnosed in April compared with March were younger (median age, 37 vs. 40 years), less likely female (38% vs. 53%) and resident in a more populous province (98% vs. 91%). The national initial R(t) was 2.08 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.71-2.51). INTERPRETATION: The first eight weeks following COVID-19 importation were characterised by early predominance of imported cases and relatively low mortality and transmission rates. Despite stringent lockdown measures, the second month following importation was characterised by community transmission and increasing disease burden in more populous provinces.

      7. Adapting the Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at United States Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (SUPERNOVA) for COVID-19 Among Hospitalized Adults: Surveillance Protocolexternal icon
        Meites E, Bajema KL, Kambhampati A, Prill M, Marconi VC, Brown ST, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Beenhouwer DO, Holodniy M, Lucero-Obusan C, Cardemil C, Cates J, Surie D.
        Front Public Health. 2021 ;9:739076.
        Introduction: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rapidly initiated COVID-19 surveillance by leveraging existing hospital networks to assess disease burden among hospitalized inpatients and inform prevention efforts. Materials and Methods: The Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (SUPERNOVA) is a network of five United States Veterans Affairs Medical Centers which serves nearly 400,000 Veterans annually and conducts laboratory-based passive and active monitoring for pathogens associated with acute gastroenteritis and acute respiratory illness among hospitalized Veterans. This paper presents surveillance methods for adapting the SUPERNOVA surveillance platform to prospectively evaluate COVID-19 epidemiology during a public health emergency, including detecting, characterizing, and monitoring patients with and without COVID-19 beginning in March 2020. To allow for case-control analyses, patients with COVID-19 and patients with non-COVID-19 acute respiratory illness were included. Results: SUPERNOVA included 1,235 participants with COVID-19 and 707 participants with other acute respiratory illnesses hospitalized during February through December 2020. Most participants were male (93.1%), with a median age of 70 years, and 45.8% non-Hispanic Black and 32.6% non-Hispanic White. Among those with COVID-19, 28.2% were transferred to an intensive care unit, 9.4% received invasive mechanical ventilation, and 13.9% died. Compared with controls, after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, COVID-19 case-patients had significantly higher risk of mortality, respiratory failure, and invasive mechanical ventilation, and longer hospital stays. Discussion: Strengths of the SUPERNOVA platform for COVID-19 surveillance include the ability to collect and integrate multiple types of data, including clinical and illness outcome information, and SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test results from respiratory and serum specimens. Analysis of data from this platform also enables formal comparisons of participants with and without COVID-19. Surveillance data collected during a public health emergency from this key U.S. population of Veterans will be useful for epidemiologic investigations of COVID-19 spectrum of disease, underlying medical conditions, virus variants, and vaccine effectiveness, according to public health priorities and needs.

      8. Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Emergency Department Visits, and Hospitalizations Because of COVID-19 Among Persons Aged ≥12 Years, by COVID-19 Vaccination Status - Oregon and Washington, July 4-September 25, 2021external icon
        Naleway AL, Groom HC, Crawford PM, Salas SB, Henninger ML, Donald JL, Smith N, Thompson MG, Blanton LH, Bozio CH, Azziz-Baumgartner E.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 19;70(46):1608-1612.
        Population-based rates of infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and related health care utilization help determine estimates of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and averted illnesses, especially since the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant began circulating in June 2021. Among members aged ≥12 years of a large integrated health care delivery system in Oregon and Washington, incidence of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations were calculated by COVID-19 vaccination status, vaccine product, age, race, and ethnicity. Infection after full vaccination was defined as a positive SARS-CoV-2 molecular test result ≥14 days after completion of an authorized COVID-19 vaccination series.* During the July-September 2021 surveillance period, SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred among 4,146 of 137,616 unvaccinated persons (30.1 per 1,000 persons) and 3,009 of 344,848 fully vaccinated persons (8.7 per 1,000). Incidence was higher among unvaccinated persons than among vaccinated persons across all demographic strata. Unvaccinated persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection were more than twice as likely to receive ED care (18.5%) or to be hospitalized (9.0%) than were vaccinated persons with COVID-19 (8.1% and 3.9%, respectively). The crude mortality rate was also higher among unvaccinated patients (0.43 per 1,000) than in fully vaccinated patients (0.06 per 1,000). These data support CDC recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination, including additional and booster doses, to protect individual persons and communities against COVID-19, including illness and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant (1).

      9. Partner seeking and sexual behavior in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, March 2020-March 2021external icon
        Rushmore J, Copen CE, Schneider J, Lamuda P, Taylor BG, Kirkcaldy RD, Bernstein KT.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Nov 10.
        We examined partner-seeking and sexual behaviors among a representative sample of U.S. adults (N = 1,161) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 10% of survey respondents sought a new partner, with age and sexual identity being associated with partner seeking behavior. Approximately 7% of respondents had sex with a new partner, which marks a decrease as compared to a pre-pandemic estimate from 2015 - 2016 in which 16% of U.S. adults reported having sex with a new partner during the past year. Among respondents who had in-person sex with a new partner during the first year of the pandemic, public health guidelines for in-person sexual activity were infrequently followed.

      10. Recent infections among individuals with a new HIV diagnosis in Rwanda, 2018-2020external icon
        Rwibasira GN, Malamba SS, Musengimana G, Nkunda RC, Omolo J, Remera E, Masengesho V, Mbonitegeka V, Dzinamarira T, Kayirangwa E, Mugwaneza P.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0259708.
        BACKGROUND: Despite Rwanda's progress toward HIV epidemic control, 16.2% of HIV-positive individuals are unaware of their HIV positive status. Tailoring the public health strategy could help reach these individuals with new HIV infection and achieve epidemic control. Recency testing is primarily for surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation but it's not for diagnostic purposes. However, it's important to know what proportion of the newly diagnosed are recent infections so that HIV prevention can be tailored to the profile of people who are recently infected. We therefore used available national data to characterize individuals with recent HIV infection in Rwanda to inform the epidemic response. METHODS: We included all national-level data for recency testing reported from October 2018 to June 2020. Eligible participants were adults (aged ≥15 years) who had a new HIV diagnosis, who self-reported being antiretroviral therapy (ART) naïve, and who had consented to recency testing. Numbers and proportions of recent HIV infections were estimated, and precision around these estimates was calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with being recently (within 12 months) infected with HIV. RESULTS: Of 7,785 eligible individuals with a new HIV-positive diagnosis, 475 (6.1%) met the criteria for RITA recent infection. The proportion of RITA recent infections among individuals with newly identified HIV was high among those aged 15-24 years (9.6%) and in men aged ≥65 years (10.3%) compared to other age groups; and were higher among women (6.7%) than men (5.1%). Of all recent cases, 68.8% were women, and 72.2% were aged 15-34 years. The Northern province had the fewest individuals with newly diagnosed HIV but had the highest proportion of recent infections (10.0%) compared to other provinces. Recent infections decreased by 19.6% per unit change in time (measured in months). Patients aged ≥25 years were less likely to have recent infection than those aged 15-24 years with those aged 35-49 years being the least likely to have recent infection compared to those aged 15-24 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.415 [95% CI: 0.316-0.544]). CONCLUSION: Public health surveillance targeting the areas and the identified groups with high risk of recent infection could help improve outcomes.

      11. A qualitative assessment of factors affecting nursing home caregiving staff experiences during the COVID-19 pandemicexternal icon
        Snyder RL, Anderson LE, White KA, Tavitian S, Fike LV, Jones HN, Jacobs-Slifka KM, Stone ND, Sinkowitz-Cochran RL.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0260055.
        BACKGROUND: A large portion of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing homes; however, current literature including the frontline perspective of staff working in nursing homes is limited. The objective of this qualitative assessment was to better understand what individual and facility level factors may have contributed to the impact of COVID-19 on Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Environmental Services (EVS) staff working in nursing homes. METHODS: Based on a simple random sample from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), 7,520 facilities were emailed invitations requesting one CNA and/or one EVS staff member for participation in a voluntary focus group over Zoom. Facility characteristics were obtained via NHSN and publicly available sources; participant demographics were collected via SurveyMonkey during registration and polling during focus groups. Qualitative information was coded using NVIVO and Excel. RESULTS: Throughout April 2021, 23 focus groups including 110 participants from 84 facilities were conducted homogenous by participant role. Staffing problems were a recurring theme reported. Participants often cited the toll the pandemic took on their emotional well-being, describing increased stress, responsibilities, and time needed to complete their jobs. The lack of consistent and systematic guidance resulting in frequently changing infection prevention protocols was also reported across focus groups. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing concerns of low wages and lack of financial incentives may have the potential to attract and retain employees to help alleviate nursing home staff shortages. Additionally, access to mental health resources could help nursing home staff cope with the emotional burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. These frontline staff members provided invaluable insight and should be included in improvement efforts to support nursing homes recovering from the impact of COVID-19 as well as future pandemic planning.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Mongooses (Urva auropunctata) as reservoir hosts of Leptospira species in the United States Virgin Islands, 2019-2020external icon
        Cranford HM, Browne AS, LeCount K, Anderson T, Hamond C, Schlater L, Stuber T, Burke-France VJ, Taylor M, Harrison CJ, Matias KY, Medley A, Rossow J, Wiese N, Jankelunas L, de Wilde L, Mehalick M, Blanchard GL, Garcia KR, McKinley AS, Lombard CD, Angeli NF, Horner D, Kelley T, Worthington DJ, Valiulis J, Bradford B, Berentsen A, Salzer JS, Galloway R, Schafer IJ, Bisgard K, Roth J, Ellis BR, Ellis EM, Nally JE.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Nov;15(11):e0009859.
        During 2019-2020, the Virgin Islands Department of Health investigated potential animal reservoirs of Leptospira spp., the bacteria that cause leptospirosis. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated Leptospira spp. exposure and carriage in the small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata, syn: Herpestes auropunctatus), an invasive animal species. This study was conducted across the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), which are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. We used the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), fluorescent antibody test (FAT), real-time polymerase chain reaction (lipl32 rt-PCR), and bacterial culture to evaluate serum and kidney specimens and compared the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of these laboratory methods. Mongooses (n = 274) were live-trapped at 31 field sites in ten regions across USVI and humanely euthanized for Leptospira spp. testing. Bacterial isolates were sequenced and evaluated for species and phylogenetic analysis using the ppk gene. Anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 34% (87/256) of mongooses. Reactions were observed with the following serogroups: Sejroe, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pyrogenes, Mini, Cynopteri, Australis, Hebdomadis, Autumnalis, Mankarso, Pomona, and Ballum. Of the kidney specimens examined, 5.8% (16/270) were FAT-positive, 10% (27/274) were culture-positive, and 12.4% (34/274) were positive by rt-PCR. Of the Leptospira spp. isolated from mongooses, 25 were L. borgpetersenii, one was L. interrogans, and one was L. kirschneri. Positive predictive values of FAT and rt-PCR testing for predicting successful isolation of Leptospira by culture were 88% and 65%, respectively. The isolation and identification of Leptospira spp. in mongooses highlights the potential role of mongooses as a wildlife reservoir of leptospirosis; mongooses could be a source of Leptospira spp. infections for other wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Serum concentrations of legacy and emerging per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Anniston Community Health Surveys (ACHS I and ACHS II)external icon
        Petriello MC, Mottaleb MA, Serio TC, Balyan B, Cave MC, Pavuk M, Birnbaum LS, Morris AJ.
        Environ Int. 2021 Nov 8;158:106907.
        BACKGROUND: Residents of Anniston Alabama were highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) due to longstanding manufacturing in the area. The Anniston Community Health Surveys (ACHS I-2005-2007 and II, 2014) have linked these exposures with a variety of deletereous health outcomes. In addition to PCBs, these individuals were likely simultaneously exposed to other persistent organic pollutants including per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are an emerging class of ubiquitous industrial chemicals that are measurable in the blood of most individuals and have themselves been linked increased risk of some non communicable diseases. METHODS: To characterize PFAS exposures in ACHS I and ACHS II, we measured eight environmentally significant PFAS in serum by UPLC coupled electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorononanoate (PFNA), Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), and 4:2 Fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (4.2 FTS) were extracted from matched serum samples of individuals who participated in the original ACHS I (2005-2007; n = 297) and the follow up ACHS II (2014; n = 336). Data were collected in negative multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode with monitoring of quantitation and qualifier ions for all target PFAS analytes, surrogates and internal standards. VARCLUS procedure was used to create hierarchical clusters between PFAS and other legacy persistent organic pollutants which may share similar exposure routes. RESULTS: Overall, circulating PFAS levels decreased approximately 50% from ACHS I (2005-2007) to ACHS II (2014), but these changes varied by compound. Mean levels of PFOS were >3 times higher in ACHS I subjects than in conpemporaneous NHANES subjects (2005-2006; ACHS I mean: 71.1 ng/ml; NHANES mean: 20.2 ng/mL), and this relationship persisted in ACHS II subjects (2014: ACHS II mean: 34.7 ng/ml; NHANES mean: 5.92 ng/mL). PFNA was also higher in both ACHS I and ACHS II subjects in comparision to NHANES whereas levels of PFOA and PFHxS were lower than in NHANES. Finally, cluster analysis revealed that in ACHS II, most PFAS tracked with polybrominated diphenyl ethers, except PFNA and PFHpA which clustered with industrial PCBs. In ACHS I, PFAS analytes correlated more closely with industrial PCBs and chlorinated pesticides. CONCLUSIONS: Participants in the Anniston Community Health Surveys have higher levels of PFOS and PFNA than the general population with average PFOS levels >3 times contemporaneous NHANES levels. Since PFAS were not known to be manufactured in the area, more work needs to be completed to determine if population demographics, proximity to a military base, or regional manufacturing can explain the elevated levels.

      2. Phthalate and DINCH urinary concentrations across pregnancy and risk of preterm birthexternal icon
        Yland JJ, Zhang Y, Williams PL, Mustieles V, Vagios S, Souter I, Calafat AM, Hauser R, Messerlian C.
        Environ Pollut. 2021 Nov 8;292(Pt B):118476.
        Preconception and prenatal exposure to phthalates has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. However, it is unclear whether there are periods of heightened susceptibility during pregnancy. This prospective cohort study included 386 women undergoing fertility treatment who gave birth to a singleton infant during 2005 through 2018. Eleven phthalate metabolites were measured in spot urine samples collected at each trimester. In approximately 50% of participants, two metabolites of 1,2-cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester (DINCH), a phthalate substitute, were also measured. The molar sum of four di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP) was calculated. We evaluated the associations of mean maternal biomarker concentrations with risk of preterm birth using modified log-binomial models and utilized multiple informant models to compare trimester-specific associations. We examined the relative biomarker concentration across gestation comparing women with preterm birth to women with term delivery using quadratic mixed model. The risk ratio for preterm birth associated with a one-unit increase in the natural log-transformed urinary concentrations of ∑DEHP (mean during pregnancy) was 1.21 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.84, 1.72). In multiple informant models, these associations were strongest in the third trimester (RR = 1.51; 95% CI: 1.17, 1.95). Estimated mean ∑DEHP concentrations were higher among women with preterm than term delivery, especially late in gestation. Associations with preterm birth were also observed for each of the four individual DEHP metabolites. Detection of cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylic acid monocarboxyisooctyl ester (MCOCH), a metabolite of DINCH, appeared to be positively related to preterm birth. In this prospective cohort of subfertile couples, maternal ∑DEHP metabolite concentrations during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, particularly during late gestation.

    • Food Safety
      1. Notes from the Field: Acute Nonviral Hepatitis Linked to a Brand of Alkaline Bottled Water - Clark County, Nevada and California, 2020external icon
        Ruff JC, Zhang Y, Bui DP, Therriault C, Nogee D, Guthery SL, Daniel J.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 19;70(46):1617-1619.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Genomic Characterization of Group A Streptococci Causing Pharyngitis and Invasive Disease in Colorado, USA, June 2016 - April 2017external icon
        Li Y, Dominguez S, Nanduri SA, Rivers J, Mathis S, Li Z, McGee L, Chochua S, Metcalf BJ, Van Beneden CA, Beall B, Miller L.
        J Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 12.
        BACKGROUND: The genomic features and transmission link of circulating Group A streptococcus (GAS) strains causing different disease types, such as pharyngitis and invasive disease, are not well understood. METHODS: We used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to characterize GAS isolates recovered from persons with pharyngitis and invasive disease in the Denver metropolitan area from June 2016 to April 2017. RESULTS: GAS isolates were cultured from 236 invasive and 417 pharyngitis infections. WGS identified 34 emm types. Compared to pharyngitis isolates, invasive isolates were more likely to carry the erm family genes (23% vs. 7.4%, p<0.001), which confer resistance to erythromycin and clindamycin (including inducible resistance), and covS gene inactivation (7% vs. 0.5%, p<0.001). WGS identified 97 genomic clusters (433 isolates; 2-65 isolates per cluster) that consisted of genomically closely related isolates (median SNP (IQR) = 3 (1-4) within cluster). Thirty genomic clusters (200 isolates; 31% of all isolates) contained both pharyngitis and invasive isolates and were found in 11 emm types. CONCLUSIONS: In the Denver metropolitan population, mixed disease types were commonly seen in clusters of closely related isolates, indicative of overlapping transmission networks. Antibiotic-resistance and covS inactivation was disproportionally associated with invasive disease.

    • Health Economics
      1. Time trends in emergency department use among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilitiesexternal icon
        Horner-Johnson W, Lindner S, Levy A, Hall J, Kurth N, Garcia E, Frame A, Phillips K, Momany E, Lurie M, Shin Y, Lauer E, Kunte P, Silverstein R, Okoro C, McDermott S.
        Disabil Health J. 2021 Nov 6:101225.
        BACKGROUND: Emergency Department (ED) visits are common among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). However, little is known about how ED use has varied over time in this population, or how it has been affected by recent Medicaid policy changes. OBJECTIVE: To examine temporal trends in ED use among adult Medicaid members with IDD in eight states that ranged in the extent to which they had implemented state-level Medicaid policy changes that might affect ED use. METHODS: We conducted repeated cross-sectional analyses of 2010-2016 Medicaid claims data. Quarterly analyses included adults ages 18-64 years with IDD (identified by diagnosis codes) who were continuously enrolled in Medicaid for the past 12 months. We assessed change in number of ED visits per 1000 member months from 2010 to 2016 overall and interacted with state level policy changes such as Medicaid expansion. RESULTS: States with no Medicaid expansion experienced an increase in ED visits (linear trend coefficient: 1.13, p < 0.01), while states operating expansion via waiver had a much smaller (non-significant) increase, and states with ACA-governed expansion had a decrease in ED visits (linear trend coefficient: 1.17, p < 0.01). Other policy changes had limited or no association with ED visits. CONCLUSIONS: Medicaid expansion was associated with modest reduction or limited increase in ED visits compared to no expansion. We found no consistent decrease in ED visits in association with other Medicaid policy changes.

      2. Permanent Supportive Housing With Housing First: Findings From a Community Guide Systematic Economic Reviewexternal icon
        Jacob V, Chattopadhyay SK, Attipoe-Dorcoo S, Peng Y, Hahn RA, Finnie R, Cobb J, Cuellar AE, Emmons KM, Remington PL.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 Nov 10.
        INTRODUCTION: The annual economic burden of chronic homelessness in the U.S. is estimated to be as high as $3.4 billion. The Permanent Supportive Housing with Housing First (Housing First) program, implemented to address the problem, has been shown to be effective. This paper examines the economic cost and benefit of Housing First Programs. METHODS: The search of peer-reviewed and gray literature from inception of databases through November 2019 yielded 20 evaluation studies of Housing First Programs, 17 from the U.S. and 3 from Canada. All analyses were conducted from March 2019 through July 2020. Monetary values are reported in 2019 U.S. dollars. RESULTS: Evidence from studies conducted in the U.S. was separated from those conducted in Canada. The median intervention cost per person per year for U.S. studies was $16,479, and for all studies, including those from Canada, it was $16,336. The median total benefit for the U.S. studies was $18,247 per person per year, and it was $17,751 for all studies, including those from Canada. The benefit-to-cost ratio for U.S. studies was 1.80:1, and for all studies, including those from Canada, it was 1.06:1. DISCUSSION: The evidence from this review shows that economic benefits exceed the cost of Housing First Programs in the U.S. There were too few studies to determine cost-benefit in the Canadian context.

      3. Access and Cost-Related Nonadherence to Prescription Medications Among Lupus Patients and Controls: The Michigan Lupus Epidemiology and Surveillance Programexternal icon
        Minhas D, Marder W, Harlow S, Hassett AL, Zick SM, Gordon C, Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Wang L, Lee J, Padda A, McCune WJ, Somers EC.
        Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 Nov;73(11):1561-1567.
        OBJECTIVE: Medication access and adherence are important determinants of health outcomes. We investigated factors associated with access and cost-related nonadherence to prescriptions in a population-based cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and controls. METHODS: Detailed sociodemographic and prescription data were collected by structured interview in 2014-2015 from participants in the Michigan Lupus Epidemiology and Surveillance (MILES) cohort. We compared access between cases and frequency-matched controls and examined associated factors in separate multivariable logistic regression models. RESULTS: A total of 654 participants (462 SLE patients, 192 controls) completed the baseline visit; 584 (89%) were female, 285 (44%) were Black, and the mean age was 53 years. SLE patients and controls reported similar frequencies of being unable to access prescribed medications (12.1% versus 9.4%, respectively; P was not significant). SLE patients were twice as likely as controls to report cost-related prescription nonadherence in the preceding 12 months to save money (21.7% versus 10.4%; P = 0.001) but were also more likely to ask their doctor for lower cost alternatives (23.8% versus 15.6%; P = 0.02). Disparities were found in association with income, race, and health insurance status, but the main findings persisted after adjusting for these and other variables in multivariable models. CONCLUSION: SLE patients were more likely than controls from the general population to report cost-related prescription nonadherence, including skipping doses, taking less medicine, and delaying filling prescriptions; yet, <1 in 4 patients asked providers for lower cost medications. Consideration of medication costs in patient decision-making could provide a meaningful avenue for improving access and adherence to medications.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. A Description of the First Candida auris -Colonized Individuals in New York State, 2016-2017external icon
        Southwick K, Ostrowsky B, Greenko J, Adams E, Lutterloh E, Denis RJ, Patel R, Erazo R, Fernandez R, Bucher C, Quinn M, Green C, Chaturvedi S, Leach L, Zhu Y.
        Am J Infect Control. 2021 Nov 15.
        Candida auris (C. auris) is a globally-emerging multi-drug resistant yeast. New York State (NYS) first detected C. auris in July 2016 and is the state most affected. This brief report describes characteristics of the first 114 individuals colonized with C. auris identified through active surveillance/screening by NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH). "Colonized/screened" individuals were old (median age,74 year), had extensive healthcare exposures and underlying conditions (multiple healthcare facility admissions in the 90 days prior with more than 80% requiring mechanical ventilation), and had 30 and 90 day mortality rates of 17.5% and 37.7%, respectively (with approximately 60% expired in the two-year follow-up period). This description is helpful to inform additional prevention measures and add to the collective understanding of C. auris in the U.S.

      2. WHO global antimicrobial resistance surveillance for Neisseria gonorrhoeae 2017–18: a retrospective observational studyexternal icon
        Unemo M, Lahra MM, Escher M, Eremin S, Cole MJ, Galarza P, Ndowa F, Martin I, Dillon JA, Galas M, Ramon-Pardo P, Weinstock H, Wi T.
        The Lancet Microbe. 2021 ;2(11):e627-e636.
        Background: Gonorrhoea and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae are major health concerns globally. Increased global surveillance of gonococcal AMR is essential. We aimed to describe the 2017–18 data from WHO's global gonococcal AMR surveillance, and to discuss priorities essential for the effective management and control of gonorrhoea. Methods: We did a retrospective observational study of the AMR data of gonococcal isolates reported to WHO by 73 countries in 2017–18. WHO recommends that each country collects at least 100 gonococcal isolates per year, and that quantitative methods to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration of antimicrobials, interpreted by internationally standardised resistance breakpoints, are used. Findings: In 2017–18, 73 countries provided AMR data for one or more drug. Decreased susceptibility or resistance to ceftriaxone was reported by 21 (31%) of 68 reporting countries and to cefixime by 24 (47%) of 51 reporting countries. Resistance to azithromycin was reported by 51 (84%) of 61 reporting countries and to ciprofloxacin by all 70 (100%) reporting countries. The annual proportion of decreased susceptibility or resistance across countries was 0–21% to ceftriaxone and 0–22% to cefixime, and that of resistance was 0–60% to azithromycin and 0–100% to ciprofloxacin. The number of countries reporting gonococcal AMR and resistant isolates, and the number of examined isolates, have increased since 2015–16. Surveillance remains scarce in central America and the Caribbean and eastern Europe, and in the WHO African, Eastern Mediterranean, and South-East Asian regions. Interpretation: In many countries, ciprofloxacin resistance was exceedingly high, azithromycin resistance was increasing, and decreased susceptibility or resistance to ceftriaxone and cefixime continued to emerge. WHO's global surveillance of gonococcal AMR needs to expand internationally to provide imperative data for national and international management guidelines and public health policies. Improved prevention, early diagnosis, treatment of index patients and partners, enhanced surveillance (eg, infection, AMR, treatment failures, and antimicrobial use or misuse), and increased knowledge on antimicrobial selection, stewardship, and pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics are essential. The development of rapid, accurate, and affordable point-of-care gonococcal diagnostic tests, new antimicrobials, and gonococcal vaccines is imperative. Funding: None. © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Impact of rotavirus vaccination on rotavirus hospitalizations in Taiwanese childrenexternal icon
        Burke RM, Shih S, Hsiung CA, Yen C, Jiang B, Parashar UD, Tate JE, Wu FT, Huang YC.
        Vaccine. 2021 Nov 14.
        In 2006, two rotavirus vaccines were licensed in Taiwan but were not added to the national immunization schedule. National Health Insurance data from 2003 through 2017 were used to compare rotavirus-associated pediatric hospitalizations before and after vaccine introduction. Rotavirus hospitalization rates among children < 5 years of age significantly declined by 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] 23 - 25%) in post-vaccine compared to pre-vaccine rotavirus seasons. Rotavirus hospitalization rates declined by 42% (95% CI 39 - 44%) among infants < 12 months of age, and by 38% (95% CI 36 - 40%) among children 12 - 23 months of age. These findings suggest that, despite not being included in the national immunization schedule, rotavirus vaccines had a measurable impact on reducing rotavirus hospitalization burden among Taiwanese children.

      2. Reactogenicity within 2 weeks after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines: Findings from the CDC v-safe surveillance systemexternal icon
        Chapin-Bardales J, Myers T, Gee J, Shay DK, Marquez P, Baggs J, Zhang B, Licata C, Shimabukuro TT.
        Vaccine. 2021 Oct 16.
        BACKGROUND: Post-authorization monitoring of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines is needed to better characterize their reactogenicity. We assessed reactions reported during the 2 weeks after receipt of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines. METHODS: We monitored persons who enrolled in v-safe after vaccination health checker(SM), a U.S. smartphone-based vaccine monitoring system, after receiving BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273. V-safe participants received text message prompts to complete web-based surveys. We analyzed responses from persons who received BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 from December 14, 2020 through March 14, 2021 and completed at least one survey by March 28, 2021. We measured the proportion of participants reporting local and systemic reactions solicited in surveys completed days 0 through 7 post-vaccination. For day 14 surveys, participants described new or worsening symptoms in a free-text response. We assessed the proportion of participants reporting new or worsening local and systemic reactions. RESULTS: One-third of participants were aged <45 years, two-thirds were female, and approximately half received BNT162b2 vaccine. A total of 4,717,908 participants reported during the 7 days after dose 1 and 2,906,377 reported during the 7 days after dose 2. Most reported at least one injection-site reaction (68.5% after dose 1; 72.9% after dose 2) or at least one systemic reaction (50.6% after dose 1; 69.5% after dose 2). Reactogenicity was greater after dose 2 and among mRNA-1273 recipients, persons aged <45 years, and females. New or worsening local and systemic reactions were uncommon during week 2 after either dose; the most frequent were local reactions for dose 1 mRNA-1273 recipients (2.6%). These reactions were reported more often among females after dose 1 mRNA-1273 (3.6%). CONCLUSIONS: During post-authorization monitoring among >4 million vaccinees, local and systemic reactions were commonly reported following mRNA-based vaccines. Reactions were most common during the first week following dose 2 and among persons aged <45 years, females, and mRNA-1273 recipients.

      3. BACKGROUND: Seasonal influenza causes substantial morbidity and mortality among older U.S. adults and those with comorbid health conditions. OBJECTIVE: To describe seasonal influenza vaccine uptake and identify factors associated with missed opportunities for influenza vaccination. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Medicare fee-for-service claims. PARTICIPANTS: 31.6 million U.S. adults continuously enrolled under Medicare Parts A and B during the 2018 to 2019 influenza season. MEASUREMENTS: Influenza vaccine uptake and missed opportunities by patient demographic characteristics, high-risk status (that is, ≥1 condition increasing influenza complication risk), Medicare-Medicaid dual-eligibility status, and health care provider visits (that is, vaccination opportunities). RESULTS: Overall, 50.5% of beneficiaries aged 19 years or older had Medicare claims for influenza vaccination: 31.6% among people aged 19 to 64 years and 54% among people aged 65 years or older. More White beneficiaries were vaccinated (52.9%) than Black (34.9%) or Hispanic (30.4%) beneficiaries. Uptake was higher (56.1%) for beneficiaries with high-risk conditions than for those without (27.6%). Among unvaccinated beneficiaries overall, 77.4% visited a provider during influenza season; among unvaccinated beneficiaries with and without high-risk conditions, 91% and 43%, respectively, had seen a provider at least once. The proportion of beneficiaries with missed opportunities for influenza vaccination was 44.2% and was higher for beneficiaries in the non-high-risk group (59.1%) than those in the high-risk group (42.2%). Uptake was lower and proportions of missed opportunities were higher among beneficiaries in younger age groups, of Black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, without high-risk conditions, or with Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility. LIMITATIONS: Influenza vaccinations without claims could not be captured. Data on reasons for nonvaccination were unavailable. CONCLUSION: Influenza vaccination coverage for Medicare beneficiaries continues to be suboptimal, with missed opportunities despite availability of influenza vaccination with no copayment. Disparities persist in vaccination uptake by race/ethnicity. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: None.

      4. BACKGROUND: The effects of sequential vaccination with enhanced influenza vaccines are poorly understood. We conducted an exploratory open-label study to assess serologic response to sequential vaccination in older adults. METHODS: 160 adults aged 65 through 74 years were randomized (1:1:1) to receive trivalent inactivated standard dose (SD), high-dose (HD), or MF59-adjuvanted (AD) vaccine in 2016/17. In 2017/18, HD and AD recipients received the same vaccine; SD recipients were re-randomized to HD or AD. Hemagglutination inhibition assays were performed using turkey erythrocytes against A/California/7/2009(H1N1)-like and B/Brisbane/60/2008(B/Victoria)-like in both seasons, and A/Michigan/45/2015(H1N1)-like in season 2. Microneutralization assays were performed against cell-propagated A/Hong Kong/4801/2014(H3N2)-like using MDCK-SIAT1 cells. Postvaccination geometric mean titer (GMT), percent with titer ≥ 40, and mean fold rise (MFR, ratio of postvaccination versus prevaccination titer) in season 2 were compared across groups, and ratio of MFR in season 2 versus season 1 was assessed for each strain. RESULTS: Analysis included 152 participants (55 HD → HD, 58 AD → AD, 19 SD → HD, and 20 SD → AD). Season 2 postvaccination GMTs and percent with titer ≥ 40 did not differ between HD → HD and AD → AD recipients for vaccine strains examined. However, a higher percent of HD → HD and AD → AD recipients had postvaccination titer ≥ 40 than SD → AD recipients for A/H1N1 (86%-89% versus 60%) and SD → AD and SD → HD recipients for A/H3N2 (83%-87% versus 40%-53%). GMTs were higher in AD → AD versus SD → AD recipients for A/H1N1 (p = .01) and A/H3N2 (p = .002). MFRs in season 2 were low in all groups for A/H3N2 (1.5-2.2) and B/Victoria (1.7-2.3). MFR was lower in season 2 versus 1 for HD → HD and AD → AD recipients for all vaccine strains (1.6-3.7 versus 2.6-6.2). CONCLUSIONS: Sequential vaccination with enhanced vaccines did not reduce immunogenicity in adults aged 65 through 74 years. Serologic response to cell-propagated A/H3N2 was suboptimal for all vaccines. identifier. NCT02872311.

      5. Serogroup B meningococcal disease in persons previously vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine - United States, 2014-2019external icon
        Reese HE, McNamara LA, Vianzon V, Blain A, Topaz N, Many P, Barbeau B, Albertson JP, Lam E, DeBolt C, Zaremski EF, Hannagan SE, Evans DJ, Hariri S, Wang X, Granoff DM, Mbaeyi S.
        Vaccine. 2021 Nov 13.
        Since serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines became available in the United States, six serogroup B meningococcal disease cases have been reported in MenB-4C (n = 4) or MenB-FHbp (n = 2) recipients. Cases were identified and characterized through surveillance and health record review. All five available isolates were characterized using whole genome sequencing; four isolates (from MenB-4C recipients) were further characterized using flow cytometry, MenB-4C-induced serum bactericidal activity (SBA), and genetic Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (gMATS). Three patients were at increased meningococcal disease risk because of an outbreak or underlying medical conditions, and only four of the six patients had completed a full 2-dose MenB series. Isolates were available from 5 patients, and all contained sub-family A FHbp. The four isolates from MenB-4C recipients expressed NhbA but were mismatched for the other MenB-4C vaccine antigens. These four isolates were relatively resistant to MenB-4C-induced SBA, but predicted by gMATS to be covered. Overall, patient risk factors, incomplete vaccine series completion, waning immunity, and strain resistance to SBA likely contributed to disease in these six patients.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Business and property types experiencing excess violent crime: a micro-spatial analysisexternal icon
        Bowen DA, Anthony KM, Sumner SA.
        J Inj Violence Res. 2021 Nov 17;14(1).
        BACKGROUND: Beyond alcohol retail establishments, most business and property types receive limited attention in studies of violent crime. We sought to provide a comprehensive examination of which properties experience the most violent crime in a city and how that violence is distributed throughout a city. METHODS: For a large urban city, we merged violent incident data from police reports with municipal tax assessor data from 2012-2017 and tabulated patterns of violent crime for 15 commercial and public property types. To describe outlier establishments, we calculated the proportion of individual parcels within each property-type that experienced more than 5 times the average number of crimes for that property-type and also mapped the 25 parcels with the highest number of violent incidents to explore what proportion of violent crime in these block groups were contributed by the outlier establishments. RESULTS: While the hotel/lodging property-type experienced the highest number of violent crimes per parcel (2.72), each property-type had outlier establishments experiencing more than 5 times the average number of violent crimes per business. Twelve of 15 property-types (80%) had establishments with more than 10 times the mean number of violent incidents. The 25 parcels with the most violent crime comprised a wide variety of establishments, ranging from a shopping center, grocery store, gas station, motel, public park, vacant lot, public street, office building, transit station, hospital, pharmacy, school, community center, and movie theatre, and were distributed across the city. Eight of the 25 parcels with the highest amount of violent crime, accounted for 50% or more of the violent crime within a 400-meter buffer. CONCLUSIONS: All property-types had outlier establishments experiencing elevated counts of violent crimes. Furthermore, the 25 most violent properties in the city demonstrated remarkable diversity in property-type. Further studies assessing the risk of violent crime among additional property-types may aid in violence prevention.

      2. Supporting Local Health Departments to Lead Multisectoral Youth Violence Prevention Effortsexternal icon
        Dymnicki AB, Katz J, Young XJ, Thorngren M, Orazi J, Marshall KJ, Lumpkin CD.
        Health Promot Pract. 2021 Nov;22(6):863-872.
        This article examines organizational-level outcomes achieved during a technical assistance (TA) initiative designed to increase the capacity of local health departments (LHDs) to prevent youth violence (YV) via a multisectoral approach. This effort was designed to address the knowledge gap regarding how to provide effective TA to LHDs, specifically in YV. Twelve communities with high rates of YV were selected to participate using a multistage process. TA provided to LHD representatives (and other community partners) included monthly calls with TA specialists, group online learning events, community-of-practice calls, and access to an online portal offering additional resources. Data sources were used to determine the extent to which communities achieved the initiative's intended outcomes, including increased infrastructure to support youth violence prevention (YVP) at LHDs and the creation of community-wide violence prevention plans. Data sources included an online TA tracking system, annual semistructured group interviews, and point-of-contact surveys. While results indicated variation in TA uptake across sites, several target outcomes were achieved including increased representation and engagement of diverse perspectives in local YVP efforts and strengthened infrastructure and integration of YVP at LHDs. Findings highlight the importance of supporting LHDs to align YVP work with other priorities and funded activities, building a larger role for leadership in providing organizational support for YV, supporting the development of multisector coalitions or partnerships to decrease silos among different sectors focused on similar populations or communities. Implications from this initiative suggest that LHDs can be supported to convene local, multisector YVP efforts, which can be sustained if local YVP infrastructure is enhanced.

      3. Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Prevention Among Youth: A Community Guide Systematic Reviewexternal icon
        Finnie RK, Okasako-Schmucker DL, Buchanan L, Carty D, Wethington H, Mercer SL, Basile KC, DeGue S, Niolon PH, Bishop J, Titus T, Noursi S, Dickerson SA, Whitaker D, Swider S, Remington P.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 Nov 9.
        INTRODUCTION: Intimate partner violence and sexual violence are widespread and often occur early in life. This systematic review examines the effectiveness of interventions for primary prevention of intimate partner violence and sexual violence among youth. METHODS: Studies were identified from 2 previous systematic reviews and an updated search (January 2012-June 2016). Included studies were implemented among youth, conducted in high-income countries, and aimed to prevent or reduce the perpetration of intimate partner violence or sexual violence. In 2016-2017, Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) methods were used to assess effectiveness as determined by perpetration, victimization, or bystander action. When heterogeneity of outcomes prevented usual Community Guide methods, the team systematically applied criteria for favorability (statistically significant at p<0.05 or approaching significance at p<0.10) and consistency (75% of results in the same direction). RESULTS: A total of 28 studies (32 arms) met inclusion and quality of execution criteria. Interventions used combinations of teaching healthy relationship skills, promoting social norms to protect against violence, or creating protective environments. Overall, 18 of 24 study arms reported favorable results on the basis of the direction of effect for decreasing perpetration; however, favorability for bystander action diminished with longer follow-up. Interventions did not demonstrate consistent results for decreasing victimization. A bridge search conducted during Fall 2020 confirmed these results. DISCUSSION: Interventions for the primary prevention of intimate partner violence and sexual violence are effective in reducing perpetration. Increasing bystander action may require additional follow-up as effectiveness diminishes over time. Findings may inform researchers, school personnel, public health, and other decision makers about effective strategies to prevent intimate partner violence and sexual violence among youth.

      4. Introduction: In the United States, fall-related emergency department (ED) visits among older adults (age 65 and older) have increased over the past decade. Studies document seasonal variation in fall injuries in other countries, while research in the United States is inconclusive. The objectives of this study were to examine seasonal variation in older adult fall-related ED visits and explore if seasonal variation differs by the location of the fall (indoors vs. outdoors), age group, and sex of the faller. Methods: Fall-related ED visit data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program were analyzed by season of the ED visit, location of the fall, and demographics for adults aged 65 years and older. Results: Total fall-related ED visits were higher during winter compared with other seasons. This seasonal variation was found only for falls occurring outdoors. Among outdoor falls, the variation was found among males and adults aged 65 to 74 years. The percentages of visits for weather-related outdoor falls were also higher among males and the 65–74 year age group. Conclusions: In 2015, there was a seasonal variation in fall-related ED visits in the United States. Weather-related slips and trips in winter may partially account for the seasonal variation. Practical Implications: These results can inform healthcare providers about the importance of screening all older adults for fall risk and help to identify specific patients at increased risk during winter. They may encourage community-based organizations serving older adults to increase fall prevention messaging during winter. © 2021 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd

      5. Self-harming behavior in relation to exposure to inter-personal violence among youth and young adults in Colombiaexternal icon
        Moe CA, Villaveces A, Rivara FP, Rowhani-Rahbar A.
        Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2021 Nov 14:1-10.
        The effects of violence exposure on the risk of self-harming behaviors of youth in low- and middle-income countries is not well-understood. Using household survey data from one nationally representative sample and one sample from conflict-affected areas, we examined violence exposure and self-harm among Colombian youth aged 13-24. Survey-weighted prevalence ratios comparing self-harming behaviors by exposure to violence were estimated with Poisson log-linear models, controlling for age, sex, education and food insecurity. Compared to unexposed youth, those exposed to violence in both home and community settings were 7.97 (95% confidence interval [CI]:2.72-23.36) times more likely in the conflict-affected sample, and 21.05 (95% CI: 8.80-50.34) times more likely in the national sample to report having attempted suicide. Among Colombian youth, exposure to violence as either witness or victim was associated with greater prevalence of self-harming behaviors. Youth suicide prevention programs can address exposures to violence as a risk factor for self-harm.

      6. Homicides of American Indians/Alaska Natives - National Violent Death Reporting System, United States, 2003-2018external icon
        Petrosky E, Mercer Kollar LM, Kearns MC, Smith SG, Betz CJ, Fowler KA, Satter DE.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2021 Nov 19;70(8):1-19.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Homicide is a leading cause of death for American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Intimate partner violence (IPV) contributes to many homicides, particularly among AI/AN females. This report summarizes data from CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) on AI/AN homicides. Results include victim and suspect sex, age group, and race/ethnicity; method of injury; type of location where the homicide occurred; precipitating circumstances (i.e., events that contributed to the homicide); and other selected characteristics. PERIOD COVERED: 2003-2018. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: NVDRS collects data regarding violent deaths obtained from death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, and law enforcement reports and links related deaths (e.g., multiple homicides and homicide followed by suicide) into a single incident. This report includes data on AI/AN homicides that were collected from 34 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. RESULTS: NVDRS collected data on 2,226 homicides of AI/ANs in 34 states and the District of Columbia during 2003-2018. The age-adjusted AI/AN homicide rate was 8.0 per 100,000 population. The homicide rate was three times higher in AI/AN males than females (12.0 versus 3.9), and the median age of AI/AN victims was 32 years (interquartile range: 23-44 years). Approximately half of AI/AN homicide victims lived or were killed in metropolitan areas (48.2% and 52.7%, respectively). A firearm was used in nearly half (48.4%) of homicides and in a higher percentage of homicides of AI/AN males than females (51.5% versus 39.1%). More AI/AN females than males were killed in a house or apartment (61.8% versus 53.7%) or in their own home (47.7% versus 29.0%). Suspects were identified in 82.8% of AI/AN homicides. Most suspects were male (80.1%), and nearly one third (32.1%) of suspects were AI/ANs. For AI/AN male victims, the suspect was most often an acquaintance or friend (26.3%), a person known to the victim but the exact nature of the relationship was unclear (12.3%), or a relative (excluding intimate partners) (10.5%). For AI/AN female victims, the suspect was most often a current or former intimate partner (38.4%), an acquaintance or friend (11.5%), or a person known to the victim but the exact nature of the relationship was unclear (7.9%). A crime precipitated 24.6% of AI/AN homicides (i.e., the homicide occurred as the result of another serious crime). More AI/AN males were victims of homicides due to an argument or conflict than females (54.7% versus 37.3%), whereas more AI/AN females were victims of homicides due to IPV than males (45.0% versus 12.1%). For homicides related to IPV, 87.2% of AI/AN female victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner, whereas approximately half (51.5%) of AI/AN male victims were corollary victims (i.e., victims killed during an IPV-related incident who were not the intimate partners themselves). INTERPRETATION: This report provides a detailed summary of NVDRS data on AI/AN homicides during 2003-2018. Interpersonal conflict was a predominant circumstance, with nearly half of all AI/AN homicides precipitated by an argument and for female victims, 45.0% precipitated by IPV. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: NVDRS provides critical and ongoing data on AI/AN homicides that can be used to identify effective and early intervention strategies for preventing these deaths. When possible, violence prevention efforts should include community-developed, culturally relevant, and evidence-based strategies. These efforts should incorporate traditional native knowledge and solutions, implement and possibly adapt evidence-based IPV and other violence prevention strategies, and consider the influence of historical and larger societal factors that increase the likelihood of violence in AI/AN communities.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. BACKGROUND: The cross-contamination of cell lines in culture is a persistent problem. Genetically modified L20B (Mouse) and RD (Human Rhabdomyosarcoma) cell lines are commonly used in poliovirus research, surveillance, and diagnostics. Cross-contamination between these cell lines leads to unreproducible results and unreliable surveillance data, negatively affecting public health. The gold standard method for cell authentication is Short Tandem Repeats analysis, which is time-consuming and expensive. The disadvantage of STR is limited detection of interspecies contamination. METHODS: This assay targets the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (MTCO1) gene, a highly conserved and emergent DNA barcode region for detection of cross-contamination in RD and L20B cell lines. The MagNA Pure Compact instrument and ABI 7500 Fast Dx Real-time PCR systems were used for DNA extraction and to perform real-time PCR respectively. RESULTS: The newly developed assay is very sensitive with a limit of detection of 100 RD cells/1 million L20B/mL. The amplification efficiency and R(2)-value were 102.26% and 0.9969 respectively. We evaluated specificity of the assay with five human and four mouse cell lines, as well as monkey and rat cell lines. The assay showed no cross-reactivity with genomic DNA from human, mouse, rat, or monkey cell lines. The analytical sensitivity was also evaluated by spiking varying amounts of RD cells (0.001% - 10%) into L20B cells. There was no difference in C(T) values when running single-plex or duplex PCR reactions with similar experimental conditions. CONCLUSIONS: We have developed and validated a TaqMan real-time PCR assay, a sensitive method for the detection of cross-contamination of RD and L20B cell lines.

      2. A scattering function for correlated lamellaeexternal icon
        Camara M, Rishi K, Beaucage G, Sukumaran SK.
        Polymer. 2021 ;237.
        Melt crystallized polymers display an emergent, multi-hierarchical, ordered structure made up of stacked lamellar single crystals that form fibrous or other meso structures which, in turn, form macroscopic crystallites. A dominant feature of small-angle scattering from these complex assemblies is a correlation peak associated with the stacking period. A new model-based function is proposed for small-angle scattering data from such correlated lamellar multi-hierarchical structures. Generally, routine use of scattering data has been limited to a 1-d analysis to determine the long period from Lorentz corrected data (I(q)q2 versus q). Fourier transforms of the data are sometimes used to determine the 1-d pairwise correlation function for the electron-density distribution which has been further analyzed in terms of the structure of these materials. A simple 1-d fitting model limited to infinite width 2-d sheets was introduced by Hermans (1944; Hosemann, 1950) [1,2] in the 1940s with some success. A new approach, the Unified Born-Green Function (UBG), is proposed that uses the Unified Function as adapted to correlated lamellar structures and incorporates a Born-Green description of one-dimensional correlations. The UBG fit allows quantification of the average lamellar aspect ratio, the local degree of crystallinity within a stack, quantification of the stacking versus non-stacking amorphous, and two types of disorder in addition to the stacking period and lamellar thickness. UBG can account for higher levels of structure such as crystalline domains in block copolymers and convoluted lamellar structure. The UBG fit is compared to the Hermans (1944; Hosemann, 1950) [1,2] and a hybrid-Hermans function. Fits to data sets from a wide range of polyethylene are shown ranging from molecular weight standard samples that are isothermally crystallized, to commercial HDPE quenched from the melt and a metallocene blown film sample. Several other examples from the literature are explored. It is shown that the Unified fit allows for new understanding of the impact of thermal and mechanical history, chain structure, fillers, nucleating agents, and additives on the crystalline structure and the resulting physical properties. Limitations of the UBG approach are noted. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

      3. Diagnosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection using circulating antibody secreting cellsexternal icon
        Kyu S, Ramonell RP, Kuruvilla M, Kraft CS, Wang YF, Falsey AR, Walsh EE, Daiss JL, Paulos S, Rajam G, Wu H, Velusamy S, Lee FE.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0259644.
        BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae infections cause morbidity and mortality worldwide. A rapid, simple diagnostic method could reduce the time needed to introduce definitive therapy potentially improving patient outcomes. METHODS: We introduce two new methods for diagnosing S. pneumoniae infections by measuring the presence of newly activated, pathogen-specific, circulating Antibody Secreting Cells (ASC). First, ASC were detected by ELISpot assays that measure cells secreting antibodies specific for signature antigens. Second, the antibodies secreted by isolated ASC were collected in vitro in a novel matrix, MENSA (media enriched with newly synthesized antibodies) and antibodies against S. pneumoniae antigens were measured using Luminex immunoassays. Each assay was evaluated using blood from S. pneumoniae and non-S. pneumoniae-infected adult patients. RESULTS: We enrolled 23 patients with culture-confirmed S. pneumoniae infections and 24 controls consisting of 12 non-S. pneumoniae infections, 10 healthy donors and two colonized with S. pneumoniae. By ELISpot assays, twenty-one of 23 infected patients were positive, and all 24 controls were negative. Using MENSA samples, four of five S. pneumoniae-infected patients were positive by Luminex immunoassays while all five non-S. pneumoniae-infected patients were negative. CONCLUSION: Specific antibodies produced by activated ASC may provide a simple diagnostic for ongoing S. pneumoniae infections. This method has the potential to diagnose acute bacterial infections.

      4. Occupational exposure to 4,4'-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), the most widely used monomeric diisocyanate, is one of the leading causes of occupational asthma (OA). Previously, we identified microRNA (miR)-206-3p/miR-381-3p-mediated PPP3CA/calcineurin signaling regulated iNOS transcription in macrophages and bronchoalveolar lavage cells (BALCs) after acute MDI exposure; however, whether PPP3CA/calcineurin signaling participates in regulation of other asthma-associated mediators secreted by macrophages/BALCs after MDI exposure is unknown.Several asthma-associated, macrophage-secreted mediator mRNAs from MDI exposed murine BALCs and MDI-glutathione (GSH) conjugate treated differentiated THP-1 macrophages were analyzed using RT-qPCR.Endogenous IL1B, TNF, CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and TGFB1 were upregulated in MDI or MDI-GSH conjugate exposed BALCs and macrophages, respectively. Calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus (FK506) attenuated the MDI-GSH conjugate-mediated induction of CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and CXCL8/IL8 but not others. Transfection of either miR-inhibitor-206-3p or miR-inhibitor-381-3p in macrophages induced chemokine CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and CXCL8 transcription, whereas FK506 attenuated the miR-inhibitor-206-3p or miR-inhibitor-381-3p-mediated effects. Finally, MDI-GSH conjugate treated macrophages showed increased chemotactic ability to various immune cells, which may be attenuated by FK506.In conclusion, these results indicate that MDI exposure to macrophages/BALCs may recruit immune cells into the airway via induction of chemokines by miR-206-3p and miR-381-3p-mediated calcineurin signaling activation.

      5. Challenges encountered when evaluating an antibody-detecting point-of-care test for taeniosis in an endemic community in Zambia: A prospective diagnostic accuracy studyexternal icon
        Mubanga C, Trevisan C, Van Damme I, Schmidt V, Phiri IK, Zulu G, Noh J, Handali S, Mambo R, Chembensofu M, Masuku M, Reynders D, Jansen F, Bottieau E, Magnussen P, Winkler AS, Dorny P, Mwape KE, Gabriel S.
        Diagnostics. 2021 ;11(11).
        Taenia solium taeniosis diagnosis is challenging because current tests perform sub-optimally and/or are expensive, require sophisticated equipment, infrastructure and trained manpower, and therefore are not community deployable. A recently-developed, multi-strip, T. solium point-of-care test (TS POC) for simultaneous detection of tapeworm (TS POC T) and cysticercus (TS POC CC) human antibodies was evaluated for diagnostic accuracy on consecutively recruited community participants in Sinda district, Zambia. All participants were tested using the TS POC test. All test-positives and 20% of the test-negative participants were invited to give a blood and stool sample for reference testing. Three different reference tests were used for taeniosis diagnosis: recombinant rES33 enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (rES33 EITB), copro PCR and copro Ag ELISA. Bayesian analysis with probabilistic constraints was used to estimate sensitivity and specificity. In total, 1254 participants were tested with the TS POC test, of whom 13 tested positive using the TS POC T. Based on 161 participants with complete data, the estimated sensitivity and specificity for the TS POC T test were 38% (95% CI: 5–93%) and 99% (95% CI: 98–100%), respectively. The challenge of highly variable inter-assay performance is highlighted. We recommend either increasing the sensitivity or redesigning the test. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

      6. One of the primary diagnostic modalities for rabies is the detection of viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex (antigen) in the infected tissue samples. While the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test or the direct rapid immunohistochemical test (DRIT) are most commonly utilized for the antigen detection, both tests require fresh and/or frozen tissues for impressions on slides prior to the antigen detection using antibodies. If samples are collected and fixed in formalin, neither test is optimal for the antigen detection, however, testing can be performed by conventional immunohistochemistry (IHC) after embedding in paraffin blocks and sectioning. With this IHC method, tissues are stained with anti-rabies antibodies, sections are deparaffinized, antigen retrieved by partial proteolysis or other methods, and incubated with primary and secondary antibodies. Antigens are stained using horseradish peroxidase / amino ethyl carbazole and counterstained with hematoxylin for the visualization using a light microscope. In addition to the specific antigen detection, formalin fixation offers other advantages like the determination of histological changes, relaxed conditions for specimen storage and transport (under ambient temperatures), ability to test retrospective cases and improved biological safety through the inactivation of infectious agents.

      7. Laboratory safety evaluation at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, 2018-2019external icon
        Ringler S, Pieracci EG, Murphy S, Asefa D, Bushra FY, Kanter T, Getnet Y, Orciari LA, Reynolds M, Greenberg L.
        Journal of Global Health Reports. 2021 ;5(e2021004).
        Background: In 2015, Ethiopia designated rabies as a priority zoonotic disease. Challenges in rabies diagnostic capacity, including laboratory safety, were identified in 2016. As a pilot evaluation, the national rabies laboratory in Ethiopia (EPHI) was chosen to participate in an evaluation of necropsy laboratory facilities and procedures which was conducted over two years. This evaluation identified areas for improvement that strengthening would enhance safety in the laboratory environment. Process changes, specifically in cleaning procedures, will decrease the likelihood of cross contamination and improve precision of testing.

      8. Use of Diagnostic Ions for the Detection of Fentanyl Analogs in Human Matrices by LC-QTOFexternal icon
        Swanson KD, Shaner RL, Krajewski LC, Bragg WA, Johnson RC, Hamelin EI.
        J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2021 Nov 18.
        To combat the ongoing opioid epidemic, our laboratory has developed and evaluated an approach to detect fentanyl analogs in urine and plasma by screening LC-QTOF MS/MS spectra for ions that are diagnostic of the core fentanyl structure. MS/MS data from a training set of 142 fentanyl analogs were used to select the four product ions and six neutral losses that together provided the most complete coverage (97.2%) of the training set compounds. Furthermore, using the diagnostic ion screen against a set of 49 fentanyl analogs not in the training set resulted in 95.9% coverage of those compounds. With this approach, lower reportable limits for fentanyl and a subset of fentanyl-related compounds range from 0.25 to 2.5 ng/mL in urine and 0.5 to 5.0 ng/mL in plasma. This innovative processing method was applied to evaluate simulated exposure samples of remifentanil and carfentanil in water and their metabolites remifentanil acid and norcarfentanil in urine. This flexible approach enables a way to detect emerging fentanyl analogs in clinical samples.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Site, frequency, and duration of pain in young children with spina bifidaexternal icon
        Alriksson-Schmidt AI, Ong K, Reeder MR, Thibadeau JK, Feldkamp ML.
        J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2021 Nov 7.
        PURPOSE: To investigate the: (1) percent of children with spina bifida (SB) complaining of pain, (2) frequency, duration, and cause of pain by sex, level of lesion type of SB, and ambulation status, (3) body sites reported to hurt, by variables in objective 2, and (4) associations between physical and mental/emotional health between caregiver and child. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 101 caregivers of children (3 to 6 years old) with SB. Survey data and information from medical records were included. Pearson chi-square, one-way ANOVA, Fisher's exact test, logistic regressions, and bivariate correlations were used. RESULTS: Seventy percent reported that their child complained of pain, which did not significantly differ by sex, level of lesion, type of SB, or ambulation status. Most (86%) were reported to have experienced pain for less than 24 hours. The most frequently reported pain site was the head, followed by the abdomen and the lower body. Number of pain sites was moderately correlated with frequency of pain complaints. Correlations between how caregivers reported their own physical/mental/emotional health and how they rated that of their children ranged from weak (r = 0.22) to moderate (r = 0.55). CONCLUSION: Almost seven of ten children reportedly complained of pain ranging from at least once a month to everyday. Pain needs to be routinely assessed and treated in this population.

      2. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) phenotypes are used to describe disease progression in affected individuals. However, considerable heterogeneity has been observed across and within these two phenotypes, suggesting a spectrum of severity rather than distinct conditions. Characterizing the phenotypes and subphenotypes aids researchers in the design of clinical studies and clinicians in providing anticipatory guidance to affected individuals and their families. Using data from the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking, and Research Network (MD STARnet), we used K-means cluster analysis to group phenotypically similar males with pediatric-onset dystrophinopathy. We identified four dystrophinopathy clusters: Classical BMD, Classical DMD, late ambulatory DMD, and severe DMD. The clusters that we identified align with both 'classical' and 'non-classical' dystrophinopathy described in the literature. Individuals with dystrophinopathies have heterogenous clinical presentations that cluster into phenotypically similar groups. Use of clinically-derived phenotyping may provide a clearer understanding of disease trajectories, reduce variability in study results, and prevent exclusion of certain cohorts from analysis. Findings from studying subphenotypes may ultimately improve our ability to predict disease progression.

      3. Prevalence of neural tube defects, maternal HIV status, and antiretroviral therapy from a hospital-based birth defect surveillance in Kampala, Ugandaexternal icon
        Barlow-Mosha L, Serunjogi R, Kalibbala D, Mumpe-Mwanja D, Williamson D, Valencia D, Tinker SC, Matovu JN, Moore CA, Adler MR, Nelson L, Nankunda J, Nabunya E, Birabwa-Male D, Musoke P.
        Birth Defects Res. 2021 Nov 11.
        BACKGROUND: The estimated prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in Africa is 11.7 per 10,000 live births; however, data on the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy and the risk for birth defects in Africa are limited. METHODS: Data from a hospital-based surveillance program at four hospitals in Kampala, Uganda were used to estimate the baseline prevalence of NTDs and assess potential associations with HIV status and ART use. All live births, stillbirths, and spontaneous abortions delivered at the participating hospitals affected with selected birth defects between August 2015 and December 2018 were included. Trained midwives collected data from hospital records, maternal interviews, photographs, and narrative descriptions of birth defects. We estimated NTD prevalence per 10,000 births (live, stillbirths, spontaneous abortions), prevalence ratios, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: A total of 110,752 births from 107,133 women were included in the analysis; 9,394 (8.8%) women were HIV-infected and among those with HIV infection, 95.6% (n = 8,977) were on ART at delivery. Overall, 109 births were affected with NTDs, giving a prevalence of 9.8 (95% CI [8.2, 11.9]). Spina bifida (n = 63) was the most common type of NTD, with a prevalence of 5.7 (95% CI [4.4, 7.3]), followed by anencephaly (n = 31), with a prevalence of 2.8 (95% CI [2.0, 4.0]). CONCLUSION: The prevalence of NTDs among births in Kampala, Uganda is consistent with current estimates for Africa. With the continued introduction of new medications that may be taken during pregnancy, sustainable birth defect surveillance systems and pharmacovigilance are indicated.

      4. Missing diagnoses of congenital cytomegalovirus infection in electronic health records for infants with laboratory-confirmed infectionexternal icon
        Campione A, Lanzieri TM, Ricotta E, Grosse SD, Kadri SS, Nussenblatt V, Prevots R.
        Curr Med Res Opin. 2021 Nov 13:1-8.

      5. Peri-Pregnancy Cannabis Use and Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Offspring: Findings from the Study to Explore Early Developmentexternal icon
        DiGuiseppi C, Crume T, Van Dyke J, Sabourin KR, Soke GN, Croen LA, Daniels JL, Lee LC, Schieve LA, Windham GC, Friedman S, Robinson Rosenberg C.
        J Autism Dev Disord. 2021 Nov 12.
        The association of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with self-reported maternal cannabis use from 3 months pre-conception to delivery ("peri-pregnancy") was assessed in children aged 30-68 months, born 2003 to 2011. Children with ASD (N = 1428) were compared to children with other developmental delays/disorders (DD, N = 1198) and population controls (POP, N = 1628). Peri-pregnancy cannabis use was reported for 5.2% of ASD, 3.2% of DD and 4.4% of POP children. Adjusted odds of peri-pregnancy cannabis use did not differ significantly between ASD cases and DD or POP controls. Results were similar for any use during pregnancy. However, given potential risks suggested by underlying neurobiology and animal models, further studies in more recent cohorts, in which cannabis use and perception may have changed, are needed.

      6. Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) has been defined as the capacity of infants and young children to regulate their emotions, form secure relationships, and explore their environments. For this special issue, we conducted a review of IECMH outcomes from evaluations of couple- and family-based psychosocial interventions not explicitly designed for trauma exposure published from 2010 through 2019, following Evidence Base Update criteria and the current convention of classifying general categories of intervention approaches rather than the former practice of evaluating specific brand-name packaged programs. Full-text review of 695 articles resulted in 39 articles eligible for categorization into intervention approaches, taking into consideration the theoretical orientation of the treatment, the population served, the intervention participants, the target outcomes, the treatment theory of change, and the degree to which the intervention was standardized across participants. Four intervention approaches were identified in this review as Probably Efficacious: Behavioral Interventions to Support Parents of Toddlers, Interventions to Support Adolescent Mothers, Tiered Interventions to Provide Support Based on Assessed Risk, and Home Visiting Interventions to Provide Individualized Support to Parents. Other intervention approaches were classified as Possibly Efficacious, Experimental, or did not have sufficient evidence in this time period to classify under these criteria. Further research could explore how to ensure that all families who need support can receive it, such as by increasing the reach of effective programs and by decreasing the number of families needing additional support.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Prevalence of Municipal-Level Policies Dedicated to Transportation That Consider Food Accessexternal icon
        Dumas BL, Harris DM, McMahon JM, Daymude TJ, Warnock AL, Moore LV, Onufrak SJ.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2021 Nov 18;18:E97.
        INTRODUCTION: Local governments can address access to healthy food and transportation through policy and planning. This study is the first to examine municipal-level transportation supports for food access. METHODS: We used a nationally representative sample of US municipalities with 1,000 or more persons from the 2014 National Survey of Community-Based Policy and Environmental Supports for Healthy Eating and Active Living (N = 2,029) to assess 3 outcomes: public transit availability, consideration of food access in transportation planning, and presence of demand-responsive transportation (DRT). We used χ(2) tests to compare prevalences by municipal characteristics including population size, rurality, census region, median educational attainment, poverty prevalence, racial and ethnic population distribution, and low-income low-access to food (LILA) status. RESULTS: Among municipalities, 33.7% reported no public transit and 14.8% reported having DRT. Both public transit and DRT differed by population size (both P < .001) and census region (both P < .001) and were least commonly reported among municipalities with populations less than 2,500 (46.9% without public transit; 6.6% with DRT) and in the South (40.0% without public transit; 11.1% with DRT). Of those with public transit, 33.8% considered food access in transportation planning; this was more common with greater population size (55.9% among municipalities of ≥50,000 persons vs 16.8% among municipalities of <2,500 persons; P < .001), in the West (43.1% vs 26.8% in the Northeast, 33.7% in the Midwest, 32.2% in the South; P = .003), and municipalities with 20% or more of the population living below federal poverty guidelines (37.4% vs 32.2% among municipalities with less than 20% living in poverty; P = .07). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that opportunities exist to improve food access through transportation, especially in smaller and Southern communities, which may improve diet quality and reduce chronic disease.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Mortality following workplace injury: Quantitative bias analysisexternal icon
        Busey A, Asfaw A, Applebaum KM, O'Leary PK, Tripodis Y, Fox MP, Stokes AC, Boden LI.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2021 Oct 1;64:155-160.
        PURPOSE: Recent studies have shown increased all-cause mortality among workers following disabling workplace injury. These studies did not account for 2 potentially important confounders, smoking and obesity. We estimated injury-related mortality accounting for these factors. METHODS: We followed workers receiving New Mexico workers' compensation benefits (1994-2000) through 2013. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we derived the joint distribution of smoking status and obesity for workers with and without lost-time injuries. We conducted a quantitative bias analysis (QBA) to determine the adjusted relationship of injury and mortality. RESULTS: We observed hazard ratios after adjusting for smoking and obesity of 1.13 for women (95% simulation interval (SI) 0.97 to 1.31) and 1.12 for men (95% SI 1.00 to 1.27). The estimated fully adjusted excess hazard was about half the estimates not adjusted for these factors. CONCLUSIONS: Using QBA to adjust for smoking and obesity reduced the estimated mortality hazard from lost-time injuries and widened the simulation interval. The adjusted estimate still showed more than a 10 percent increase for both women and men. The change in estimates reveals the importance of accounting for these confounders. Of course, the results depend on the methods and assumptions used.

      2. OBJECTIVE: To analyze health behaviors and conditions among maritime workers using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRSS). METHODS: BRFSS data from 2014-2018 were used to calculate weighted prevalence estimates and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) for 10 health behaviors and conditions. Logistic regression was used to compare aPRs between maritime workers and all other U.S. workers. RESULTS: Compared to other workers, maritime workers had higher weighted prevalence estimates for six of ten health behaviors and conditions: binge drinking, smoking, obese/overweight, diabetes, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Maritime workers had significantly higher aPRs for binge drinking (aPR=1.28) and smoking cigarettes (aPR = 1.39) compared to all other U.S. workers. CONCLUSIONS: This study uses BRFSS data to estimate the prevalence of adverse health conditions across maritime industries. This study can serve as the foundation for additional follow-on research.

      3. Big data and analytics have shown promise in predicting safety incidents and identifying preventative measures directed towards specific risk variables. However, the safety industry is lagging in big data utilization due to various obstacles, which may include lack of data readiness (e.g., disparate databases, missing data, low validity) and personnel competencies. This paper provides a primer on the application of big data to safety. We then describe a safety analytics readiness assessment framework that highlights system requirements and the challenges that safety professionals may encounter in meeting these requirements. The proposed framework suggests that safety analytics readiness depends on (a) the quality of the data available, (b) organizational norms around data collection, scaling, and nomenclature, (c) foundational infrastructure, including technological platforms and skills required for data collection, storage, and analysis of health and safety metrics, and (d) measurement culture, or the emergent social patterns between employees, data acquisition, and analytic processes. A safety-analytics readiness assessment can assist organizations with understanding current capabilities so measurement systems can be matured to accommodate more advanced analytics for the ultimate purpose of improving decisions that mitigate injury and incidents. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

      4. This study compares human climbing performance, including climbing speed and movement and force patterns, between rail- and rung-climbing styles for a moderate aerial ladder slope (52.5°). Hand and foot movements and forces were recorded for 9 male and 10 female firefighters as they ascended and descended a 3.4-m ladder using elevated handrails (rail-climbing) or rungs (rung-climbing) for hand support. The results indicated that climbers used three or more points of contact 54% of the time for rung-climbing and 100% of the time for rail-climbing. Furthermore, rail-climbing was 10% faster than rung-climbing. In rail-climbing, the lateral hand forces were mostly directed away from the body; while during rung-climbing, they were alternated in lateral and medial directions. Overall, the results suggested that rail-climbing provides better control over body positioning and faster climbing speed. Furthermore, the continuous contact of both hands in rail-climbing may reduce the fall risk by facilitating the recovery from a slip or perturbation.

      5. US research needs related to fatigue, sleep, and working hours among oil and gas extraction workersexternal icon
        Hagan-Haynes K, Pratt S, Lerman S, Wong I, Baker A, Flower D, Riethmeister V.
        Am J Ind Med. 2021 Nov 14.
        BACKGROUND: During 2003-2013, 1189 US oil and gas extraction (OGE) workers died while working, resulting in an average annual workplace fatality rate seven times that for all US workers. OGE work commonly involves long hours, shiftwork, irregular schedules, and long commutes, but effects of these factors on fatigue, occupational injury, and illness in OGE are largely unknown. METHODS: A scoping review of relevant OGE research during 2000-2019 was completed and supplemented by input from a NIOSH-sponsored Forum. RESULTS: Seventy-eight papers were identified; 76% reported only offshore research. Five themes for research needs emerged: build knowledge about the impacts of fatigue; explore interactions between on- and off-the-job risk factors; identify and evaluate interventions; assess effectiveness of technology; and increase the diffusion of fatigue risk management information. CONCLUSIONS: Further collaboration between researchers and OGE operators and contractors can lead to action-oriented recommendations to mitigate the effects of fatigue, inadequate sleep, and shiftwork.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. A Comparison of Surface and Total Deltamethrin Levels of Insecticide-Treated Nets and Estimation of the Effective Insecticidal Lifetimeexternal icon
        Green M, Maxyay M, Pongvongsa T, Phompida S, Swamidoss I, Smith S, Irish S, Newton P.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Nov 15.
        The ability to anticipate the useful lifetime of an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN) would provide a proactive approach for planning net distribution programs. Therefore, we used an exponential decay model of deltamethrin depletion to predict the effective insecticidal lifetime of PermaNet® 2.0 nets used in the Lao PDR. Residual deltamethrin was measured using two nondestructive analytical field methods; X-ray fluorescence (total levels) and a colorimetric field test (surface levels) at 12 and 24 months postdistribution. The model assumes that the 12-month depletion rate can be used to predict future levels. The median total and surface deltamethrin levels for the Lao nets at 12 months were 31.2 and 0.0743 mg/m2, respectively. By defining a failed net as having total deltamethrin levels of less than 15 mg/m2 or a surface level less than 0.0028 mg/m2, it was predicted that 50% of the group of nets will fail at about 27 months after distribution. Insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) are recognized as important tools for reducing malaria transmission in malaria-endemic regions.1-3 The effectiveness of ITNs at reducing malaria transmission relies on their ability to act as chemical as well as physical barriers. Over time, the accumulation of holes, rips, and tears as well as depletion of insecticide potency, reduces the efficacy of ITNs. Although the accumulation of holes results in decreased personal protection, the presence of remaining insecticide still has the potential to reduce malaria.4 It has been suggested by mathematical models that 94% of transmission can be prevented if 80% of the population continues to use these nets.4 Thus, monitoring insecticide levels along with physical integrity are important in recognizing when an ITN is no longer effective. Although damage to the nets can be visually ascertained, monitoring insecticidal potency is often assessed by using mosquito bioassays or chemical techniques. Mosquito bioassays, such as the WHO Cone Test, are the "Gold Standard" for assessing ITNs. Although mosquito bioassays are important elements in evaluating net efficacy, it is difficult to compare net performance across geographical regions where mosquito behavior and insecticide resistance are quite variable. Therefore, this report focuses on measuring surface and total residual insecticide levels by chemical means as a practical way to monitor and predict net longevity. The chemical techniques used to measure insecticide levels usually result in the partial destruction of an ITN. Spectroscopic methods such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF)5,6 and surface level measurements such as the colorimetric field test for cyanopyrethroids (CFT)7 provide alternative insecticide analysis techniques that are nondestructive to the net, thus allowing the same net to be monitored for insecticide levels over time. The XRF method measures the total (TL) amount of insecticide per area and the CFT measures available insecticide on the net surface (SL) via an abrasion technique using filter paper. Deltamethrin adhered to the filter paper is measured using a colorimetric cyanopyrethroid analysis method.7 The deltamethrin molecule contains both cyano and bromine groups, thus allowing it to be detected by the CFT and XRF, respectively.5,7 In this report, we describe the use of both XRF and CFT methods were on the same net after 12 and 24 months of use. The objectives of this report are to apply an exponential decay model for predicting the effective longevity of ITNs based on TL and SL deltamethrin measured after 12 months of use. The model is based on an assumption that by 12 months, factors contributing to insecticidal loss, such as washing and storage habits have become routinely established, thereby resulting in a depletion rate constant, from which future levels can be predicted.

      2. Diagnostics to support elimination of lymphatic filariasis-Development of two target product profilesexternal icon
        Won KY, Gass K, Biamonte M, Dagne DA, Ducker C, Hanna C, Hoerauf A, Lammie PJ, Njenga SM, Noordin R, Ramaiah KD, Ramzy R, Scholte RG, Solomon AW, Souza AA, Tappero J, Toubali E, Weil GJ, Williams SA, King JD.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Nov 15;15(11):e0009968.
        As lymphatic filariasis (LF) programs move closer to established targets for validation elimination of LF as a public health problem, diagnostic tools capable of supporting the needs of the programs are critical for success. Known limitations of existing diagnostic tools make it challenging to have confidence that program endpoints have been achieved. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group (DTAG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases tasked with prioritizing diagnostic needs including defining use-cases and target product profiles (TPPs) for needed tools. Subsequently, disease-specific DTAG subgroups, including one focused on LF, were established to develop TPPs and use-case analyses to be used by product developers. Here, we describe the development of two priority TPPs for LF diagnostics needed for making decisions for stopping mass drug administration (MDA) of a triple drug regimen and surveillance. Utilizing the WHO core TPP development process as the framework, the LF subgroup convened to discuss and determine attributes required for each use case. TPPs considered the following parameters: product use, design, performance, product configuration and cost, and access and equity. Version 1.0 TPPs for two use cases were published by WHO on 12 March 2021 within the WHO Global Observatory on Health Research and Development. A common TPP characteristic that emerged in both use cases was the need to identify new biomarkers that would allow for greater precision in program delivery. As LF diagnostic tests are rarely used for individual clinical diagnosis, it became apparent that reliance on population-based surveys for decision making requires consideration of test performance in the context of such surveys. In low prevalence settings, the number of false positive test results may lead to unnecessary continuation or resumption of MDA, thus wasting valuable resources and time. Therefore, highly specific diagnostic tools are paramount when used to measure low thresholds. The TPP process brought to the forefront the importance of linking use case, program platform and diagnostic performance characteristics when defining required criteria for diagnostic tools.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Information needs and experiences from pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders: a qualitative analysis of narrative responsesexternal icon
        Shree R, Hatfield-Timajchy K, Brewer A, Tsigas E, Vidler M.
        BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Nov 2;21(1):743.
        BACKGROUND: Incorporation of the patient voice is urgently needed in a broad array of health care settings, but it is particularly lacking in the obstetrical literature. Systematically derived information about patients' experience with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), most notably preeclampsia, is necessary to improve patient-provider communication and ultimately inform patient-centered care and research. We sought to examine the information needs and experiences of individuals with pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative content analysis of narrative-responses to an open-ended question from the Preeclampsia Registry (TPR), an online registry hosted by the Preeclampsia Foundation. Individuals were invited to enroll in TPR via social media, web searches, and newsletters. We restricted our analysis to participants who self-reported a history of HDP and responded to the open-ended question, "Is there any information that you could have had at the time of this pregnancy that would have been helpful?". Available responses from July 2013 to March 2017 were included. Narrative responses were coded, reconciled, and thematically analyzed by multiple coders using an inductive approach. Our main outcome measures included participants' expressed needs and additional concerns with respect to their HDP pregnancy. RESULTS: Of 3202 enrolled participants, 1850 completed the survey and self-reported having at least one pregnancy complicated by HDP, of which 895 (48.4%) responded to the open-ended question. Participants delivered in the United States (83%) and 27 other countries. Compared to non-responders, responders reported more severe HDP phenotypes and adverse offspring outcomes. We identified three principal themes from responses: patient-identified needs, management and counseling, and potential action. Responses revealed that participants' baseline understanding of HDP, including symptoms, management, therapeutic strategies, and postpartum complications, was demonstrably lacking. Responders strongly desired improved counseling so that both they and their providers could collaboratively diagnose, appropriately manage, and robustly and continuously communicate to facilitate a partnership to address any HDP complications. CONCLUSIONS: Participants' responses regarding their HDP experience provide indispensable insight into the patient's perspectives. Our study suggests that improved education regarding possible HDP complications and transparency about the consideration of HDP and its associated outcomes during an evaluation are needed, and efforts to implement these strategies should be sought. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The Preeclampsia Registry: NCT02020174.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: Office-Based Primary Care Physicians, U.S., 2015-2016external icon
        Green PP, Cummings NA, Ward BW, McKnight-Eily LR.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 Nov 10.
        INTRODUCTION: In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force again recommended alcohol misuse screening and provision of brief behavioral counseling interventions to those engaged in risky drinking for all adults aged ≥18 years in primary care. This report presents national estimates of the provision of alcohol screening and brief intervention by U.S. primary care physicians, the screening methods, and the resources they identified as helpful in implementing alcohol/substance screening and intervention in primary care settings. METHODS: Data included 876 self-identified primary care physicians from the Physician Induction Interview portion of the 2015-2016 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, an annual nationally representative sample survey of nonfederal, office-based physicians in the U.S., encompassing all the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Descriptive estimates (annualized percentages) of alcohol misuse screening were generated for selected primary care physician characteristics. Estimates of how primary care physicians reported screening, the frequency of brief intervention, and resources identified as helpful in the implementation of screening/intervention procedures were also generated. Two-tailed significance tests were used to determine the differences between the compared groups. Data analyses were conducted in 2019-2020. RESULTS: In total, 71.7% of office-based primary care physicians reported screening patients for alcohol misuse. Statistically significant differences in screening were observed geographically and by provider specialty. CONCLUSIONS: Less than 40% of primary care physicians who screened patients for alcohol misuse reported always intervening with patients who screened positive for risky alcohol use. Collection of data on resources that primary care physicians report as being helpful for alcohol/substance screening and intervention implementation may be useful in continuous improvement efforts.

      2. Trends in State-Level Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing Rates, 2012–2019external icon
        Guy GP, Khushalani JS, Jackson H, Sims RS, Arifkhanova A.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 ;61(6):e289-e295.
        Introduction: Improving access to naloxone is an important public health strategy in the U.S. This study examines the state-level trends in naloxone dispensing from 2012 to 2019 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Methods: Data from IQVIA Xponent were used to examine the trends and geographic inequality in annual naloxone dispensing rates and the number of naloxone prescriptions dispensed per high-dose opioid prescription from 2012 to 2019 and from 2016 to 2019 to correspond with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain release. Annual percentage change was estimated using linear regression. Analyses were conducted in 2020. Results: Naloxone dispensing rates and the number of naloxone prescriptions per 100 high-dose opioid prescriptions increased from 2012 to 2019 across all states and the District of Columbia. Average state-level naloxone dispensing rates increased from 0.55 per 100,000 population in 2012 to 45.60 in 2016 and 292.31 in 2019. Similarly, the average number of naloxone prescriptions per 100 high-dose opioid prescriptions increased from 0.002 in 2012 to 0.24 in 2016 and 3.04 in 2019. Across both measures of naloxone dispensing, the geographic inequality gap increased during the study period. In 2019, the number of naloxone prescriptions dispensed per 100 high-dose opioid prescriptions ranged from 1.04 to 16.64 across states. Conclusions: Despite increases in naloxone dispensing across all states, dispensing rates remain low, with substantial variation and increasing disparities over time at the state level. This information may be helpful in efforts to improve naloxone access and in designing state-specific intervention programs. © 2021

      3. Trends in Cigar Sales and Prices, by Product and Flavor Type - United States, 2016-2020external icon
        Wang X, Kim Y, Borowiecki M, Tynan MA, Emery S, King BA.
        Nicotine Tob Res. 2021 Nov 18.
        INTRODUCTION: Cigar smoking has increased in recent decades as the cigar product landscape has diversified. This study assessed trends in U.S. cigar sales during 2016-2020. METHODS: Unit sales and average unit price for cigars were assessed during January 3, 2016-June 13, 2020, overall and by product and flavor type, for the 48 contiguous U.S. states and D.C. Assessed cigar types were large cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos; assessed flavor types were tobacco/unflavored, candy/sweets, fruit, menthol, alcohol, coffee, other flavors, and no flavor stated. A joinpoint regression model was used to assess the magnitude and significance of sales trends. RESULTS: During January 3, 2016-June 13, 2020, unit sales of cigarillos increased (average monthly percentage change (AMPC)=0.7%, p<0.001), while unit sales of large cigars (AMPC=-0.8%, p<0.001) and little cigars decreased (AMPC=-0.2%, p<0.001). The average price of cigarillos gradually decreased since mid-August 2017 (AMPC=-0.1%, p<0.001), and the average price of little cigars decreased from mid-June 2016 to mid-June 2019 (AMPC=-0.3%, p<0.001). In contrast, the average price of large cigars increased during the entire study period (AMPC=0.6%, p<0.001). Irrespective of cigar type, tobacco-flavored/unflavored products were the most commonly sold cigars during the assessed period; however, sales of other flavors varied by cigar type. CONCLUSIONS: Cigar sales and price vary by type over time in the U.S., including sales of cigarillos (94.2% of unit sales) increasing as their prices have decreased in recent years. Public health strategies are warranted to address the full scope of cigar types being used in the U.S. IMPLICATIONS: Surveillance of cigar sales data, including product characteristics, can provide a timely complement to self-reported survey data of cigar use. This study assessed trends in U.S. cigar sales during 2016-2020, including by product and flavor type. The findings indicate that sales of cigarillos, which comprise most cigar sales in the U.S. during the assessed period, increased as their prices decreased. Sales of certain flavors, such as candy/sweet cigarillos and coffee large cigars, increased significantly. These findings reinforce the importance of evidence-based strategies, including increasing price and restricting flavors, to reduce the affordability and consumption of cigars in the U.S.

    • Veterinary Medicine
      1. Every year, rabies causes great damage to human health and the economy of countries around the world. This neurotropic and zoonotic viral disease is endemic to Azerbaijan. This study describes cattle and dog rabies cases identified between 2015 and 2016. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to 100 respondents comprised of case owners, and non-case animal owners, to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices within this population. The study demonstrates a general lack of knowledge of rabies in the participating communities. The majority of respondents were familiar with rabies and understood that animal bites are a source of transmission. However, many respondents did not know that rabies is preventable and admitted not knowing additional routes of transmission. In addition, there was less perceived risk with contact with animal saliva. Despite free vaccinations in Azerbaijan, only 27 out of 45 dogs in this study were vaccinated. Although educational programming and preventive vaccination of dogs has been implemented, and significant progress has been made in the sphere of epidemiological surveillance and prevention, rabies cases remain problematic in the Sheki-Zagatala region. Regular educational programs for communities, strengthening of the existing vaccination programs, and a comprehensive epidemiological case-control study to identify the disease risk factors could help reduce the burden of rabies in Azerbaijan.

      2. Every Dog Has Its Data: Evaluation of a Technology-Aided Canine Rabies Vaccination Campaign to Implement a Microplanning Approachexternal icon
        Monroe B, Ludder F, Dilius P, Crowdis K, Lohr F, Cleaton J, Gamble L, Blanton J, Etheart M, Pieracci EG, Natal Vigilato MA, Molina-Flores B, Millien M, Gibson AD, Wallace RM.
        Front Public Health. 2021 ;9:757668.
        Background: Robust dog vaccination coverage is the primary way to eliminate canine rabies. Haiti conducts annual canine mass vaccination campaigns, but still has the most human deaths in the Latin American and Caribbean region. We conducted an evaluation of dog vaccination methods in Haiti to determine if more intensive, data-driven vaccination methods, using smartphones for data reporting and geo-communication, could increase vaccination coverage to a level capable of disrupting rabies virus transmission. Methods: Two cities were designated into "Traditional" and "Technology-aided" vaccination areas. Traditional areas utilized historical methods of vaccination staff management, whereas Technology-aided areas used smartphone-supported spatial coordination and management of vaccination teams. Smartphones enabled real time two-way geo-communication between campaign managers and vaccinators. Campaign managers provided geographic instruction to vaccinators by assigning mapped daily vaccination boundaries displayed on phone handsets, whilst vaccinators uploaded spatial data of dogs vaccinated for review by the campaign manager to inform assignment of subsequent vaccination zones. The methods were evaluated for vaccination effort, coverage, and cost. Results: A total of 11,420 dogs were vaccinated during the 14-day campaign. The technology-aided approach achieved 80% estimated vaccination coverage as compared to 44% in traditional areas. Daily vaccination rate was higher in Traditional areas (41.7 vaccinations per team-day) compared to in technology-aided areas (26.8) but resulted in significantly lower vaccination coverages. The cost per dog vaccinated increased exponentially with the associated vaccination coverage, with a cost of $1.86 to achieve 25%, $2.51 for 50% coverage, and $3.19 for 70% coverage. Conclusions: Traditional vaccination methods failed to achieve sufficiently high vaccination coverages needed to interrupt sustained rabies virus transmission, whilst the technology-aided approach increased coverage above this critical threshold. Over successive campaigns, this difference is likely to represent the success or failure of the intervention in eliminating the rabies virus. Technology-aided vaccination should be considered in resource limited settings where rabies has not been controlled by Traditional vaccination methods. The use of technology to direct health care workers based on near-real-time spatial data from the field has myriad potential applications in other vaccination and public health initiatives.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. First human infection of avian influenza A(H5N6) virus reported in Lao People's Democratic Republic, February-March 2021external icon
        Sengkeopraseuth B, Co KC, Leuangvilay P, Mott JA, Khomgsamphanh B, Somoulay V, Tsuyuoka R, Chiew M, Ketmayoon P, Jones J, Pusch E, Jang Y, Barnes J, Davis CT, Phommachanh P, Khamphaphongphane B, Olsen SJ, Xangsayyarath P.
        Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2021 Nov 10.
        In March 2021, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) reported an avian influenza A(H5N6) virus infection in a 5-year-old child identified through sentinel surveillance. This was the first human A(H5N6) infection reported outside of China. A multidisciplinary investigation undertook contact tracing and enhanced human and animal surveillance in surrounding villages and live bird markets. Seven Muscovy ducks tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N6) viruses. Sequenced viruses belonged to clade and were closely related to viruses detected in poultry in Vietnam and to previous viruses detected in Laos. Surveillance and coordinated outbreak response remain essential to global health security.

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

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