Issue 45, December 8, 2021

CDC Science Clips: Volume 13, Issue 45, December 8, 2021

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

  1. 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. Advancing measurement to address childhood obesity: Results of 3 workshopsexternal icon
        Ballard R, Arteaga SS, Berrigan D, Devlin HM, Galuska DA, Hamner HC, Kettel Khan L, Moore LV, Pannucci TE, Reedy J, Sharfman AS.
        Am J Prev Med. 2021 Dec;61(6):e296-e304.

      2. Lipid measurements in the management of cardiovascular diseases: Practical recommendations a scientific statement from the national lipid association writing groupexternal icon
        Wilson PW, Jacobson TA, Martin SS, Jackson EA, Le NA, Davidson MH, Vesper HW, Frikke-Schmidt R, Ballantyne CM, Remaley AT.
        J Clin Lipidol. 2021 Sep 24.
        Lipoprotein measurements are pivotal in the management of patients at risk for atherosclerotic coronary heart disease (CHD) with myocardial infarction and coronary death as the main outcomes, and for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), which includes CHD and stroke. Recent developments and changes in guidelines affect optimization of using lipid measures as cardiovascular biomarkers. This scientific statement reviews the pre-analytical, analytical, post-analytical, and clinical aspects of lipoprotein measurements. Highlights include the following: i) It is acceptable to screen with nonfasting lipids. ii) non-high-density lipoprotein HDL-cholesterol (non-HDL-C) is measured reliably in either the fasting or the nonfasting state and can effectively guide ASCVD prevention. iii) low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) can be estimated from total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) measurements. For patients with LDL-C>100 mg/dL and TG ≤150 mg/dL it is reasonable to use the Friedewald formula. However, for those with TG 150-400 mg/dL the Friedewald formula for LDL-C estimation is less accurate. The Martin/Hopkins method is recommended for LDL-C estimation throughout the range of LDL-C levels and up to TG levels of 399 mg/dL. For TG levels ≥400 mg/dL LDL-C estimating equations are currently not recommended and newer methods are being evaluated. iv) When LDL-C or TG screening results are abnormal the clinician should consider obtaining fasting lipids. v) Advanced lipoprotein tests using apolipoprotein B (apoB), LDL Particle Number (LDL-P) or remnant cholesterol may help to guide therapeutic decisions in select patients, but data are limited for patients already on lipid lowering therapy with low LDL-C levels. Better harmonization of advanced lipid measurement methods is needed. Lipid measurements are recommended 4-12 weeks after a change in lipid treatment. Lipid laboratory reports should denote desirable values and specifically identify extremely elevated LDL-C levels (≥190 mg/dL at any age or ≥160 mg/dL in children) as severe hypercholesterolemia. Potentially actionable abnormal lipid test results, including fasting triglycerides (TG) ≥500 mg/dL, should be reported as hypertriglyceridemia. Appropriate use and reporting of lipid tests should improve their utility in the management of persons at high risk for ASCVD events.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Acquired HIV drug resistance and virologic monitoring in a HIV hyper-endemic setting in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africaexternal icon
        Chimukangara B, Lessells RJ, Singh L, Grigalionyte I, Yende-Zuma N, Adams R, Dawood H, Dlamini L, Buthelezi S, Chetty S, Diallo K, Duffus WA, Mogashoa M, Hagen MB, Giandhari J, de Oliveira T, Moodley P, Padayatchi N, Naidoo K.
        AIDS Res Ther. 2021 Oct 16;18(1):74.
        BACKGROUND: Introduction of tenofovir (TDF) plus lamivudine (3TC) and dolutegravir (DTG) in first- and second-line HIV treatment regimens in South Africa warrants characterization of acquired HIV-1 drug resistance (ADR) mutations that could impact DTG-based antiretroviral therapy (ART). In this study, we sought to determine prevalence of ADR mutations and their potential impact on susceptibility to drugs used in combination with DTG among HIV-positive adults (≥ 18 years) accessing routine care at a selected ART facility in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. METHODS: We enrolled adult participants in a cross-sectional study between May and September 2019. Eligible participants had a most recent documented viral load (VL) ≥ 1000 copies/mL after at least 6 months on ART. We genotyped HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and protease genes by Sanger sequencing and assessed ADR. We characterized the effect of ADR mutations on the predicted susceptibility to drugs used in combination with DTG. RESULTS: From 143 participants enrolled, we obtained sequence data for 115 (80%), and 92.2% (95% CI 85.7-96.4) had ADR. The proportion with ADR was similar for participants on first-line ART (65/70, 92.9%, 95% CI 84.1-97.6) and those on second-line ART (40/44, 90.9%, 95% CI 78.3-97.5), and was present for the single participant on third-line ART. Approximately 89% (62/70) of those on first-line ART had dual class NRTI and NNRTI resistance and only six (13.6%) of those on second-line ART had major PI mutations. Most participants (82%) with first-line viraemia maintained susceptibility to Zidovudine (AZT), and the majority of them had lost susceptibility to TDF (71%) and 3TC (84%). Approximately two in every five TDF-treated individuals had thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs). CONCLUSIONS: Susceptibility to AZT among most participants with first-line viraemia suggests that a new second-line regimen of AZT + 3TC + DTG could be effective. However, atypical occurrence of TAMs in TDF-treated individuals suggests a less effective AZT + 3TC + DTG regimen in a subpopulation of patients. As most patients with first-line viraemia had at least low-level resistance to TDF and 3TC, identifying viraemia before switch to TDF + 3TC + DTG is important to avoid DTG functional monotherapy. These findings highlight a need for close monitoring of outcomes on new standardized treatment regimens.

      2. Tuberculosis screening among ambulatory people living with HIV: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysisexternal icon
        Dhana A, Hamada Y, Kengne AP, Kerkhoff AD, Rangaka MX, Kredo T, Baddeley A, Miller C, Singh S, Hanifa Y, Grant AD, Fielding K, Affolabi D, Merle CS, Wachinou AP, Yoon C, Cattamanchi A, Hoffmann CJ, Martinson N, Mbu ET, Sander MS, Balcha TT, Skogmar S, Reeve BW, Theron G, Ndlangalavu G, Modi S, Cavanaugh J, Swindells S, Chaisson RE, Ahmad Khan F, Howard AA, Wood R, Thit SS, Kyi MM, Hanson J, Drain PK, Shapiro AE, Kufa T, Churchyard G, Nguyen DT, Graviss EA, Bjerrum S, Johansen IS, Gersh JK, Horne DJ, LaCourse SM, Al-Darraji HA, Kamarulzaman A, Kempker RR, Tukvadze N, Barr DA, Meintjes G, Maartens G.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 17.
        BACKGROUND: The WHO-recommended tuberculosis screening and diagnostic algorithm in ambulatory people living with HIV is a four-symptom screen (known as the WHO-recommended four symptom screen [W4SS]) followed by a WHO-recommended molecular rapid diagnostic test (eg Xpert MTB/RIF [hereafter referred to as Xpert]) if W4SS is positive. To inform updated WHO guidelines, we aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of alternative screening tests and strategies for tuberculosis in this population. METHODS: In this systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis, we updated a search of PubMed (MEDLINE), Embase, the Cochrane Library, and conference abstracts for publications from Jan 1, 2011, to March 12, 2018, done in a previous systematic review to include the period up to Aug 2, 2019. We screened the reference lists of identified pieces and contacted experts in the field. We included prospective cross-sectional, observational studies and randomised trials among adult and adolescent (age ≥10 years) ambulatory people living with HIV, irrespective of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis. We extracted study-level data using a standardised data extraction form, and we requested individual participant data from study authors. We aimed to compare the W4SS with alternative screening tests and strategies and the WHO-recommended algorithm (ie, W4SS followed by Xpert) with Xpert for all in terms of diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity), overall and in key subgroups (eg, by antiretroviral therapy [ART] status). The reference standard was culture. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020155895. FINDINGS: We identified 25 studies, and obtained data from 22 studies (including 15 666 participants; 4347 [27·7%] of 15 663 participants with data were on ART). W4SS sensitivity was 82% (95% CI 72-89) and specificity was 42% (29-57). C-reactive protein (≥10 mg/L) had similar sensitivity to (77% [61-88]), but higher specificity (74% [61-83]; n=3571) than, W4SS. Cough (lasting ≥2 weeks), haemoglobin (<10 g/dL), body-mass index (<18·5 kg/m(2)), and lymphadenopathy had high specificities (80-90%) but low sensitivities (29-43%). The WHO-recommended algorithm had a sensitivity of 58% (50-66) and a specificity of 99% (98-100); Xpert for all had a sensitivity of 68% (57-76) and a specificity of 99% (98-99). In the one study that assessed both, the sensitivity of sputum Xpert Ultra was higher than sputum Xpert (73% [62-81] vs 57% [47-67]) and specificities were similar (98% [96-98] vs 99% [98-100]). Among outpatients on ART (4309 [99·1%] of 4347 people on ART), W4SS sensitivity was 53% (35-71) and specificity was 71% (51-85). In this population, a parallel strategy (two tests done at the same time) of W4SS with any chest x-ray abnormality had higher sensitivity (89% [70-97]) and lower specificity (33% [17-54]; n=2670) than W4SS alone; at a tuberculosis prevalence of 5%, this strategy would require 379 more rapid diagnostic tests per 1000 people living with HIV than W4SS but detect 18 more tuberculosis cases. Among outpatients not on ART (11 160 [71·8%] of 15 541 outpatients), W4SS sensitivity was 85% (76-91) and specificity was 37% (25-51). C-reactive protein (≥10 mg/L) alone had a similar sensitivity to (83% [79-86]), but higher specificity (67% [60-73]; n=3187) than, W4SS and a sequential strategy (both test positive) of W4SS then C-reactive protein (≥5 mg/L) had a similar sensitivity to (84% [75-90]), but higher specificity than (64% [57-71]; n=3187), W4SS alone; at 10% tuberculosis prevalence, these strategies would require 272 and 244 fewer rapid diagnostic tests per 1000 people living with HIV than W4SS but miss two and one more tuberculosis cases, respectively. INTERPRETATION: C-reactive protein reduces the need for further rapid diagnostic tests without compromising sensitivity and has been included in the updated WHO tuberculosis screening guidelines. However, C-reactive protein data were scarce for outpatients on ART, necessitating future research regarding the utility of C-reactive protein in this group. Chest x-ray can be useful in outpatients on ART when combined with W4SS. The WHO-recommended algorithm has suboptimal sensitivity; Xpert for all offers slight sensitivity gains and would have major resource implications. FUNDING: World Health Organization.

      3. Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and SARS-CoV-2 positive hospital admissions among children in South Africaexternal icon
        Kufa T, Jassat W, Cohen C, Tempia S, Masha M, Wolter N, Walaza S, von Gottburg A, Govender NP, Hunt G, Shonhiwa AM, Ebonwu J, Ntshoe G, Maruma W, Bapela P, Ndhlovu N, Mathema H, Modise M, Shuping L, Manana PN, Moore D, Dangor Z, Verwey C, Madhi SA, Saloojee H, Zar HJ, Blumberg L.
        Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2021 Nov 18.
        INTRODUCTION: We describe epidemiology and outcomes of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and positive admissions among children <18 years in South Africa, an upper-middle income setting with high inequality. METHODS: Laboratory and hospital COVID-19 surveillance data, 28 January - 19 September 2020 was used. Testing rates were calculated as number of tested for SARS-CoV-2 divided by population at risk; test positivity rates were calculated as positive tests divided by total number of tests. In-hospital case fatality ratio (CFR) was calculated based on hospitalized positive admissions with outcome data who died in-hospital and whose death was judged SARS-CoV-2 related by attending physician. FINDINGS: 315 570 children aged <18 years were tested for SARS-CoV-2; representing 8.9% of all 3 548 738 tests and 1.6% of all children in the country. Of children tested, 46 137 (14.6%) were positive. Children made up 2.9% (n = 2007) of all SARS-CoV-2 positive admissions to sentinel hospitals. Among children, 47 died (2.6% case-fatality). In-hospital deaths were associated with male sex [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.18 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.08-4.40)] vs female; age <1 year [aOR 4.11 (95% CI 1.08-15.54)], age 10-14 years [aOR 4.20 (95% CI1.07-16.44)], age 15-17 years [aOR 4.86 (95% 1.28-18.51)] vs age 1-4 years; admission to a public hospital [aOR 5.07(95% 2.01-12.76)] vs private hospital and ≥1 underlying conditions [aOR 12.09 (95% CI 4.19-34.89)] vs none. CONCLUSIONS: Children with underlying conditions were at greater risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Children > 10 years, those in certain provinces and those with underlying conditions should be considered for increased testing and vaccination.

      4. Changes in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 seroprevalence over time in 10 sites in the United States, March-August, 2020external icon
        Lim T, Delorey M, Bestul N, Johannson MA, Reed C, Hall AJ, Fry AM, Edens C, Semenova V, Li H, Browning P, Desai R, Epperson M, Jia T, Thornburg NJ, Schiffer J, Havers FP.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 16;73(10):1831-1839.
        BACKGROUND: Monitoring of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody prevalence can complement case reporting to inform more accurate estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection burden, but few studies have undertaken repeated sampling over time on a broad geographic scale. METHODS: We performed serologic testing on a convenience sample of residual serum obtained from persons of all ages, at 10 sites in the United States from 23 March through 14 August 2020, from routine clinical testing at commercial laboratories. We standardized our seroprevalence rates by age and sex, using census population projections and adjusted for laboratory assay performance. Confidence intervals were generated with a 2-stage bootstrap. We used bayesian modeling to test whether seroprevalence changes over time were statistically significant. RESULTS: Seroprevalence remained below 10% at all sites except New York and Florida, where it reached 23.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Statistically significant increases in seroprevalence followed peaks in reported cases in New York, South Florida, Utah, Missouri, and Louisiana. In the absence of such peaks, some significant decreases were observed over time in New York, Missouri, Utah, and Western Washington. The estimated cumulative number of infections with detectable antibody response continued to exceed reported cases in all sites. CONCLUSIONS: Estimated seroprevalence was low in most sites, indicating that most people in the United States had not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of July 2020. The majority of infections are likely not reported. Decreases in seroprevalence may be related to changes in healthcare-seeking behavior, or evidence of waning of detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels at the population level. Thus, seroprevalence estimates may underestimate the cumulative incidence of infection.

      5. Social contact patterns and implications for infectious disease transmission: a systematic review and meta-analysis of contact surveysexternal icon
        Mousa A, Winskill P, Watson OJ, Ratmann O, Monod M, Ajelli M, Diallo A, Dodd PJ, Grijalva CG, Kiti MC, Krishnan A, Kumar R, Kumar S, Kwok KO, Lanata CF, le Polain de Waroux O, Leung K, Mahikul W, Melegaro A, Morrow CD, Mossong J, Neal EF, Nokes DJ, Pan-Ngum W, Potter GE, Russell FM, Saha S, Sugimoto JD, Wei WI, Wood RR, Wu J, Zhang J, Walker P, Whittaker C.
        Elife. 2021 Nov 25;10.
        Background: Transmission of respiratory pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 depends on patterns of contact and mixing across populations. Understanding this is crucial to predict pathogen spread and the effectiveness of control efforts. Most analyses of contact patterns to date have focussed on high-income settings. Methods: Here, we conduct a systematic review and individual-participant meta-analysis of surveys carried out in low- and middle-income countries and compare patterns of contact in these settings to surveys previously carried out in high-income countries. Using individual-level data from 28,503 participants and 413,069 contacts across 27 surveys we explored how contact characteristics (number, location, duration and whether physical) vary across income settings. Results: Contact rates declined with age in high- and upper-middle-income settings, but not in low-income settings, where adults aged 65+ made similar numbers of contacts as younger individuals and mixed with all age-groups. Across all settings, increasing household size was a key determinant of contact frequency and characteristics, with low-income settings characterised by the largest, most intergenerational households. A higher proportion of contacts were made at home in low-income settings, and work/school contacts were more frequent in high-income strata. We also observed contrasting effects of gender across income-strata on the frequency, duration and type of contacts individuals made. Conclusions: These differences in contact patterns between settings have material consequences for both spread of respiratory pathogens, as well as the effectiveness of different non-pharmaceutical interventions. Funding: This work is primarily being funded by joint Centre funding from the UK Medical Research Council and DFID (MR/R015600/1).

      6. Persons with tuberculosis (TB) also often have a mental disorder (MD). We examined TB-MD comorbidity prevalence and its impact on TB treatment outcomes as reported in studies set in the United States or in the top five countries of origin (Mexico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China) for non-US-born persons with TB. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, OVID, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Scopus for articles published from database inception through September 2018. Of the 9 studies analyzed, one was set in the United States. The estimated pooled prevalence of comorbid TB-MD from eight non-US studies, with 2921 participants, was 34.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 21.1%-49.5%]. Comorbid TB-MD prevalence varied by country in the studies evaluated. Additional research might elucidate the extent of TB-MD in the United States and the top five countries of origin.

      7. Timely initiation of HIV antiretroviral therapy in Haiti 2004-2018: a retrospective cohort studyexternal icon
        Puttkammer N, Parrish C, Desir Y, Hyppolite N, Joseph N, Hall L, Honoré JG, Robin E, Perrin G, François K.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2021 ;45:e139.
        OBJECTIVE: To describe trends in timing of ART initiation for newly diagnosed people living with HIV before and after Haiti adopted its Test and Start policy for universal HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) in July 2016, and to explore predictors of timely ART initiation for both newly and previously diagnosed people living with HIV following Test and Start adoption. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study explored timing of ART initiation among 147 900 patients diagnosed with HIV at 94 ART clinics in 2004-2018 using secondary electronic medical record data. The study used survival analysis methods to assess time trends and risk factors for ART initiation. RESULTS: Timely uptake of ART expanded with Test and Start, such that same-day ART initiation rates increased from 3.7% to 45.0%. However, only 11.0% of previously diagnosed patients initiated ART after Test and Start. In adjusted analyses among newly diagnosed people living with HIV, factors negatively associated with timely ART initiation included being a pediatric patient aged 0-14 years (HR = 0.23, p < 0.001), being male (HR = 0.92, p = 0.03), being 50+ years (HR = 0.87, p = 0.03), being underweight (HR = 0.79, p < 0.001), and having WHO stage 3 (HR = 0.73, p < 0.001) or stage 4 disease (HR = 0.49, p < 0.001). Variation in timely ART initiation by geographic department and health facility was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Haiti has made substantial progress in scaling up Test and Start, but further work is needed to enroll previously diagnosed patients and to ensure rapid ART in key patient subgroups. Further research is needed on facility and geographic factors and on strategies for improving timely ART initiation among vulnerable subgroups.

      8. Enterovirus D68-associated acute respiratory illness ─ New Vaccine Surveillance Network, United States, July-November 2018-2020external icon
        Shah MM, Perez A, Lively JY, Avadhanula V, Boom JA, Chappell J, Englund JA, Fregoe W, Halasa NB, Harrison CJ, Hickey RW, Klein EJ, McNeal MM, Michaels MG, Moffatt ME, Otten C, Sahni LC, Schlaudecker E, Schuster JE, Selvarangan R, Staat MA, Stewart LS, Weinberg GA, Williams JV, Ng TF, Routh JA, Gerber SI, McMorrow ML, Rha B, Midgley CM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1623-1628.
        Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is associated with a broad spectrum of illnesses, including mild to severe acute respiratory illness (ARI) and acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Enteroviruses, including EV-D68, are typically detected in the United States during late summer through fall, with year-to-year fluctuations. Before 2014, EV-D68 was infrequently reported to CDC (1). However, numbers of EV-D68 detection have increased in recent years, with a biennial pattern observed during 2014-2018 in the United States, after the expansion of surveillance and wider availability of molecular testing. In 2014, a national outbreak of EV-D68 was detected (2). EV-D68 was also reported in 2016 via local (3) and passive national (4) surveillance. EV-D68 detections were limited in 2017, but substantial circulation was observed in 2018 (5). To assess recent levels of circulation, EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens collected from patients aged <18 years* with ARI evaluated in emergency departments (EDs) or admitted to one of seven U.S. medical centers(†) within the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) were summarized. This report provides a provisional description of EV-D68 detections during July-November in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and describes the demographic and clinical characteristics of these patients. In 2018, a total of 382 EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens obtained from patients aged <18 years with ARI were reported by NVSN; the number decreased to six detections in 2019 and 30 in 2020. Among patients aged <18 years with EV-D68 in 2020, 22 (73%) were non-Hispanic Black (Black) persons. EV-D68 detections in 2020 were lower than anticipated based on the biennial circulation pattern observed since 2014. The circulation of EV-D68 in 2020 might have been limited by widespread COVID-19 mitigation measures; how these changes in behavior might influence the timing and levels of circulation in future years is unknown. Ongoing monitoring of EV-D68 detections is warranted for preparedness for EV-D68-associated ARI and AFM.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      1. Crosswalks to convert U.S. Census Bureau industry and occupation codes, 1980-2018external icon
        Beard JD, Verdeja MA, Bonsrah DA, Westfall SD, Steege AL, Schubauer-Berigan MK.
        Epidemiology. 2021 Nov 8.

    • Food Safety
      1. A series of papaya-associated Salmonella illness outbreak investigations in 2017 and 2019: A focus on traceback, laboratory, and collaborative effortsexternal icon
        Whitney BM, McClure M, Hassan R, Pomeroy M, Seelman SL, Singleton LN, Blessington T, Hardy C, Blankenship J, Pereira E, Davidson CN, Luo Y, Pettengill J, Curry P, McConnell T, Gieraltowski L, Schwensohn C, Basler C, Fritz K, McKenna C, Nieves K, Oliveira J, Sandoval AL, Crosby A, Williams D, Crocker K, Thomas D, Fulton T, Muetter L, Li L, Omoregie E, Holloman K, Brennan C, Thomas N, Barnes A, Viazis S.
        J Food Prot. 2021 Nov 1;84(11):2002-2019.
        ABSTRACT: In 2017 and 2019, five outbreaks of infections from multiple strains of Salmonella linked to the consumption of whole, fresh Maradol papayas were reported in the United States, resulting in 325 ill persons. Traceback, laboratory, and epidemiologic evidence indicated papayas as the likely vehicle for each of these outbreaks and identified the source of papayas. State and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratories recovered Salmonella from papaya samples from various points of distribution, including at import entry, and conducted serotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and phylogenetic analyses of whole genome sequencing data. Federal and state partners led traceback investigations to determine the source of papayas. Four different suppliers of papayas were linked by traceback and laboratory results to five separate outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with papayas. In 2017, multiple states tested papaya samples collected at retail, and Maryland and Virginia investigators recovered strains of Salmonella associated with one outbreak. FDA collected 183 papaya samples in 2017, and 11 samples yielded 62 isolates of Salmonella. Eleven serotypes of Salmonella were recovered from FDA papaya samples, and nine serotypes were closely related genetically by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing to clinical isolates of four outbreaks, including the outbreak associated with positive state sample results. Four farms in Mexico were identified, and their names were released to the general public, retailers, and foreign authorities. In 2019, FDA collected 119 papaya samples, three of which yielded Salmonella; none yielded the 2019 outbreak strain. Investigators determined that papayas of interest had been sourced from a single farm in Campeche, Mexico, through traceback. This information was used to protect public health through public guidance, recalls, and import alerts and helped FDA collaborate with Mexican regulatory partners to enhance the food safety requirements for papayas imported from Mexico.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance reveals little spread from a large university campus to the surrounding communityexternal icon
        Valesano AL, Fitzsimmons WJ, Blair CN, Woods RJ, Gilbert J, Rudnik D, Mortenson L, Friedrich TC, O'Connor DH, MacCannell DR, Petrie JG, Martin ET, Lauring AS.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;8(11):ofab518.
        BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had high incidence rates at institutions of higher education (IHE) in the United States, but the transmission dynamics in these settings are poorly understood. It remains unclear to what extent IHE-associated outbreaks have contributed to transmission in nearby communities. METHODS: We implemented high-density prospective genomic surveillance to investigate these dynamics at the University of Michigan and the surrounding community during the Fall 2020 semester (August 16-November 24). We sequenced complete severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from 1659 individuals, including 468 students, representing 20% of cases in students and 25% of total cases in Washtenaw County over the study interval. RESULTS: Phylogenetic analysis identified >200 introductions into the student population, most of which were not related to other student cases. There were 2 prolonged student transmission clusters, of 115 and 73 individuals, that spanned multiple on-campus residences. Remarkably, <5% of nonstudent genomes were descended from student clusters, and viral descendants of student cases were rare during a subsequent wave of infections in the community. CONCLUSIONS: The largest outbreaks among students at the University of Michigan did not significantly contribute to the rise in community cases in Fall 2020. These results provide valuable insights into SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics at the regional level.

    • Health Disparities
      1. Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in awareness of preexposure prophylaxis among HIV-negative heterosexually active adults at increased risk for HIV infection - 23 urban areas, United States, 2019external icon
        Baugher AR, Trujillo L, Kanny D, Freeman JQ, Hickey T, Sionean C, Respress E, Bardales JC, Marcus R, Finlayson T, Wejnert C.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1635-1639.
        In 2019, heterosexual sex accounted for 23% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States and six dependent areas (1). Although preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can safely reduce the risk for HIV infection among heterosexual persons, this group is underrepresented in PrEP research (2). CDC analyzed National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) data to describe PrEP awareness among heterosexually active adults in cities with high HIV prevalence. Overall, although 32.3% of heterosexually active adults who were eligible were aware of PrEP, <1% used PrEP. Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities were identified, with the lowest awareness of PrEP among residents of Puerto Rico (5.8%) and Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) men (19.5%) and women (17.6%). Previous studies have found that heterosexual adults are interested in taking PrEP when they are aware of it (3); tailoring PrEP messaging, including Spanish-language messaging, to heterosexual adults, might increase PrEP awareness and mitigate disparities in use.

      2. Sexually transmitted infection epidemiology and care in rural areas: A narrative reviewexternal icon
        Jenkins WD, Williams LD, Pearson WS.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Dec 1;48(12):e236-e240.
        BACKGROUND: Although rural areas contain approximately 19% of the US population, little research has explored sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk and how urban-developed interventions may be suitable in more population-thin areas. Although STI rates vary across rural areas, these areas share diminishing access to screening and limited rural-specific testing of STI interventions. METHODS: This narrative review uses a political ecology model of health and explores 4 domains influencing STI risk and screening: epidemiology, health services, political and economic, and social. Articles describing aspects of rural STI epidemiology, screening access and use, and intervention utility within these domains were found by a search of PubMed. RESULTS: Epidemiology contributes to risk via multiple means, such as the presence of increased-risk populations and the at-times disproportionate impact of the opioid/drug use epidemic. Rural health services are diminishing in quantity, often have lesser accessibility, and may be stigmatizing to those needing services. Local political and economic influences include funding decisions, variable enforcement of laws/statutes, and systemic prevention of harm reduction services. Social norms such as stigma and discrimination can prevent individuals from seeking appropriate care, and also lessen individual self-efficacy to reduce personal risk. CONCLUSIONS: Sexually transmitted infection in rural areas is significant in scope and facing diminished prevention opportunities and resources. Although many STI interventions have been developed and piloted, few have been tested to scale or operationalized in rural areas. By considering rural STI risk reduction within a holistic model, purposeful exploration of interventions tailored to rural environments may be explored.

      3. The Massachusetts Racial Equity Data Road Map: Data as a tool toward ending structural racismexternal icon
        Manning SE, Blinn AM, Selk SC, Silva CF, Stetler K, Stone SL, Yazdy MM, Bharel M.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022 Jan-Feb 01;28(Suppl 1):S58-s65.
        BACKGROUND: In 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) adopted a Title V maternal and child health priority to "promote health and racial equity by addressing racial justice and reducing disparities." A survey assessing staff capacity to support this priority identified data collection and use as opportunities for improvement. In response, MDPH initiated a quality improvement project to improve use of data for action to promote racial equity. METHODS: MDPH conducted value stream mapping to understand existing processes for using data to inform racial equity work. Key informant interviews and a survey of program directors identified challenges to using data to promote racial equity. MDPH used a cause-and-effect diagram to identify and organize challenges to using data to inform racial equity work and better understand opportunities for improvement and potential solutions. RESULTS: Key informants highlighted the need to consider structural factors and historical and community contexts when interpreting data. Program directors noted limited staff time, lack of performance metrics, competing priorities, low data quality, and unclear expectations as challenges. To address the identified challenges, the team identified potential solutions and prioritized development and piloting of the MDPH Racial Equity Data Road Map (Road Map). CONCLUSIONS: The Road Map framework provides strategies for data collection and use that support the direction of actionable data-driven resources to racial inequities. The Road Map is a resource to support programs to authentically engage communities; frame data in the broader contexts that impact health; and design solutions that address root causes. With this starting point, public health systems can work toward creating data-driven programs and policies to improve racial equity.

      4. People living with HIV (PLWH) who experience homelessness have poorer clinical outcomes than people with HIV who are not homeless; however, there is limited information on PLWH who experience other forms of housing instability. We used interviews and medical record abstraction data from the Medical Monitoring Project, collected 2018-2019 (N = 4,050), to describe sociodemographic characteristics and clinical outcomes of adults with HIV by whether people experienced unstable housing in the past 12 months. Overall, 21% were unstably housed, of which 55.2% were unstably housed but not homeless. People who were unstably housed were more likely to be younger, have lower educational attainment, be previously incarcerated, live at or below the poverty level, and have poorer mental health and clinical outcomes, independent of homelessness. Interventions to address housing instability, integrated with clinical care, could benefit not just PLWH who are homeless but also those who are unstably housed.

      5. Public health strategies: A pathway for public health practice to leverage law in advancing equityexternal icon
        Weber SB, Penn M.
        J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022 Jan-Feb 01;28(Suppl 1):S27-s37.
        This article outlines a pathway for public health departments and practitioners to incorporate law into their efforts to advance equity in health outcomes. We assert that examining and applying law can accelerate public health efforts to mitigate structural and systemic inequities, including racism. Recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the community impacts of policing have brought into sharp relief the inequities faced by many populations. These stark and explosive examples arise out of long-standing, persistent, and sometimes hidden structural and systemic inequities that are difficult to trace because they are embedded in laws and accompanying policies and practices. We emphasize this point with a case study involving a small, majority Black community in semirural Appalachia that spent almost 50 years attempting to gain access to the local public water system, despite being surrounded by water lines. We suggest that public health practitioners have a role to play in addressing these kinds of public health problems, which are so clearly tied to the ways laws and policies are developed and executed. We further suggest that public health practitioners, invoking the 10 Essential Public Health Services, can employ law as a tool to increase their capacity to craft and implement evidence-based interventions.

    • Health Economics
      1. Cost-effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccination in pregnant women, healthcare workers and adults >= 60 years of age in Lao People's Democratic Republicexternal icon
        Ortega-Sanchez IR, Mott JA, Kittikraisak W, Khanthamaly V, McCarron M, Keokhonenang S, Ounaphom P, Pathammavong C, Phounphenghack K, Sayamoungkhoun P, Chanthavilay P, Bresee J, Tengbriacheu C.
        Vaccine. 2021 Nov 18.
        BACKGROUND: Pregnant women, healthcare workers (HW), and adults >= 60 years have shown an increased vulnerability to seasonal influenza virus infections and/or complications. In 2012, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) initiated a national influenza vaccination program for these target groups. A cost-effectiveness evaluation of this program was undertaken to inform program sustainability. METHODS: We designed a decision-analytical model and collected influenza-related medical resource utilization and cost data, including indirect costs. Model inputs were obtained from medical record abstraction, interviews of patients and staff at hospitals in the national influenza sentinel surveillance system and/or from literature reviews. We compared the annual disease and economic impact of influenza illnesses in each of the target groups in Lao PDR under scenarios of no vaccination and vaccination, and then estimated the cost-effectiveness of the vaccination program. We performed sensitivity analyses to identify influential variables. RESULTS: Overall, the vaccination of pregnant women, HWs, and adults >= 60 years could annually save 11,474 doctor visits, 1,961 days of hospitalizations, 43,027 days of work, and 1,416 life-years due to laboratory-confirmed influenza illness. After comparing the total vaccination program costs of 23.4 billion Kip, to the 18.4 billion Kip saved through vaccination, we estimated the vaccination program to incur a net cost of five billion Kip (599,391 USD) annually. The incremental cost per life-year saved (ICER) was 44 million Kip (5,295 USD) and 6.9 million Kip (825 USD) for pregnant women and adults >= 60 years, respectively. However, vaccinating HWs provided societal cost-savings, returning 2.88 Kip for every single Kip invested. Influenza vaccine effectiveness, attack rate and illness duration were the most influential variables to the model. CONCLUSION: Providing influenza vaccination to HWs in Lao PDR is cost-saving while vaccinating pregnant women and adults >= 60 is cost-effective and highly cost-effective, respectively, per WHO standards.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 at a reference laboratory and provincial hospital in central Viet Nam, 2020external icon
        Đỗ TH, Nguyễn VT, Đinh TH, Lê XH, Nguyễn QC, Lê VQ, Nguyễn BT, Nguyễn NB, Nguyễn TN, Huỳnh KM, Trịnh HL, Lê TK, Diệp TD, Đỗ TT, Bùi HT, Finlay AM, Nguyễn QV, Gould PL.
        Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2021 Jul-Sep;12(3):47-55.
        OBJECTIVE: To determine whether environmental surface contamination with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurred at a provincial hospital in Viet Nam that admitted patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and at the regional reference laboratory responsible for confirmatory testing for SARS-CoV-2 in 2020. METHODS: Environmental samples were collected from patient and staff areas at the hospital and various operational and staff areas at the laboratory. Specimens from frequently touched surfaces in all rooms were collected using a moistened swab rubbed over a 25 cm(2) area for each surface. The swabs were immediately transported to the laboratory for testing by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Throat specimens were collected from staff at both locations and were also tested for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time RT-PCR. RESULTS: During the sampling period, the laboratory tested 6607 respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 from patients within the region, and the hospital admitted 9 COVID-19 cases. Regular cleaning was conducted at both sites in accordance with infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. All 750 environmental samples (300 laboratory and 450 hospital) and 30 staff specimens were negative for SARS-CoV-2. DISCUSSION: IPC measures at the facilities may have contributed to the negative results from the environmental samples. Other possible explanations include sampling late in a patient's hospital stay when virus load was lower, having insufficient contact time with a surface or using insufficiently moist collection swabs. Further environmental sampling studies of SARS-CoV-2 should consider including testing for the environmental presence of viruses within laboratory settings, targeting the collection of samples to early in the course of a patient's illness and including sampling of confirmed positive control surfaces, while maintaining appropriate biosafety measures.

      2. Human colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms: Getting to the bottom of antibiotic resistanceexternal icon
        Smith RM, Lautenbach E, Omulo S, Araos R, Call DR, Kumar GC, Chowdhury F, McDonald CL, Park BJ.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;8(11):ofab531.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. BACKGROUND: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine vaccination with a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate serogroup A,C,W,Y (MenACWY) vaccine at 11-12 years of age, with a booster dose at 16 years. ACIP also recommends meningococcal vaccination for persons at increased risk of meningococcal disease, including a 2-dose primary series and regular booster doses for persons at increased risk because of underlying medical conditions. U.S. cases of serogroup A, C, W, and Y meningococcal disease in persons previously vaccinated with MenACWY vaccine have not been systematically described since 2008. Characterization of these cases is important to understand potential factors leading to breakthrough disease. METHODS: We analyzed cases of serogroup A,C,W, and Y meningococcal disease reported through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) from 2014 through 2018. State health departments submitted additional information on risk factors and clinical course. RESULTS: During 2014-2018, 822 cases of serogroup A, C, W, and Y meningococcal disease were reported through NNDSS; 34 (4%) were in patients who previously received ≥ 1 dose of MenACWY vaccine. Twenty-three vaccinated patients were up-to-date on MenACWY vaccine per recommendations, and seven were not up-to-date; four were missing information on the number of doses received. Seventeen cases (50%) occurred > 3 years after the most recent dose. A significantly higher proportion of vaccinated patients were people living with HIV (PLWH) compared to unvaccinated patients. Eight of the 34 vaccinated patients were immunosuppressed, including five PLWH, one taking eculizumab, and two taking other immunosuppressive medications. The case fatality ratio did not differ between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. CONCLUSIONS: Immunosuppression, incomplete vaccination, and waning immunity likely contributed to breakthrough cases of meningococcal disease among people who received MenACWY vaccine. Continued monitoring of serogroup A, C, W, and Y meningococcal disease in previously vaccinated persons will help inform meningococcal disease prevention efforts.

      2. Do rotavirus strains affect vaccine effectiveness? A systematic review and meta-analysisexternal icon
        Cates JE, Amin AB, Tate JE, Lopman B, Parashar U.
        Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2021 ;40(12):1135-1143.
        Background: Rotavirus causes 215,000 deaths from severe childhood diarrhea annually. Concerns exist that a monovalent vaccine (RV1) and a pentavalent vaccine (RV5) may be less effective against rotavirus strains not contained in the vaccines. We estimated the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of RV1 and RV5 against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis caused by vaccine (homotypic) and nonvaccine (partially and fully heterotypic) strains.

      3. Examining associations between knowledge and vaccine uptake using the Human Papillomavirus Knowledge Questionnaire (HPV-KQ)external icon
        Harrison SE, Yelverton V, Wang Y, Ostermann J, Fish LJ, Williams CL, Vasudevan L, Walter EB.
        Am J Health Behav. 2021 Sep 30;45(5):810-827.
        Objectives: Understanding the relationship between human papillomavirus (HPV) knowledge and vaccination behavior is important to inform public health interventions, yet few validated HPV knowledge scales exist. This study describes development of the Human Papillomavirus Knowledge Questionnaire (HPV-KQ) and its validation with parents residing in the southern United States (US). Methods: Drawing on previously published measures, we developed the 13-item HPV-KQ and administered the scale via Web-based survey to parents (N=1105) of adolescents ages 9 to 17 years. Dimensionality, internal consistency, model fit, and predictive validity were assessed. Results: The scale was bidimensional. One factor captured general HPV knowledge, and the second factor captured perceptions of gender differences in HPV infection and vaccine recommendations. The 13-item scale and 2-factor solution displayed strong internal consistency and good model fit. Parents of vaccinated adolescents scored higher on the 13-item HPV-KQ (Mean = 8.56) than parents of unvaccinated adolescents (Mean = 6.43) (p < .001). In regression models, controlling for key covariates, parents' performance on the HPV-KQ predicted adolescent HPV vaccination (p < .001). Conclusions: Evaluation indicates the HPV-KQ is a reliable and valid tool for measuring knowledge of HPV and the HPV vaccine among parents residing in the southern US. We recommend further efforts to validate the scale with other populations.

      4. To protect both patients and staff, healthcare personnel (HCP) were among the first groups in the United States recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We analyzed data reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Unified Hospital Data Surveillance System on COVID-19 vaccination coverage among hospital-based HCP. After vaccine introduction in December 2020, COVID-19 vaccine coverage rose steadily through April 2021, but the rate of uptake has since slowed; as of September 15, 2021, among 3,357,348 HCP in 2,086 hospitals included in this analysis, 70.0% were fully vaccinated. Additional efforts are needed to improve COVID-19 vaccine coverage among HCP.

      5. Mumps in vaccinated children and adolescents: 2007-2019external icon
        Shepersky L, Marin M, Zhang J, Pham H, Marlow MA.
        Pediatrics. 2021 Nov 22.
        BACKGROUND: Despite a >99% reduction in US mumps cases after the introduction of mumps vaccine in 1967, outbreaks have occurred in schools and other settings involving vaccinated children and adolescents since 2006. METHODS: We analyzed mumps cases reported by US health departments to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. We present the incidence and vaccination status of pediatric cases (age <18 years) during 2007-2019 and describe demographic, clinical, and vaccination characteristics of pediatric cases reported during the most recent resurgence in 2015-2019. RESULTS: During 2007-2019, 9172 pediatric cases were reported, accounting for a median of 32% of all cases reported each year (range: 13%-59%). A median of 87% (range: 81%-94%) of pediatric patients each year had previously received ≥1 measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine dose. During 2015-2019, of 5461 pediatric cases reported, only 2% of those with known import status (74%) were associated with international travel. One percent of patients had complications and 2% were hospitalized. Among patients aged ≥1 year with known vaccination status (72%), 74% of 1- to 4-year-olds had received ≥1 MMR dose and 86% of 5- to 17-year-olds had received ≥2 MMR doses. Since 2016, pediatric mumps cases have been reported in most US states each year (range: 38-45 states). CONCLUSIONS: Since 2007, one-third of US reported mumps cases occurred in children and adolescents, the majority of whom were vaccinated. Clinicians should suspect mumps in patients with parotitis or mumps complications, regardless of age, travel history, and vaccination status.

    • Informatics
      1. Electronic messaging for gonorrhea and chlamydia test result notification, improving treatment and patient satisfactionexternal icon
        Rahman MM, Johnson C, Whyte M, Ewell J, Cope AB, Chandler Y, Bennett TS, Gray T, Gruber D, Peterman TA.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Nov 22.
        BACKGROUND: Approximately 20% of chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhea (GC) cases in Louisiana are diagnosed at Parish Health Units (PHU). Patient notification of CT and GC test results involves nurses' phone calls and letters to positive patients, which is time consuming and inefficient. METHODS: In December 2018, electronic results notification was implemented in Caddo PHU using Chexout software to notify enrolled patients via text or email when test results are ready to view in a patient portal. We compared the timeliness of GC/CT results notification and treatment pre- (December 2017-November 2018) and post- (December 2018-November 2019) Chexout implementation. A random sample of patients were interviewed to assess acceptability. RESULTS: During December 2018 - November 2019, 5,432 patients were tested for CT/GC, 3,924 (72%) enrolled in Chexout, and notifications were sent to 3,884 (99%). Among CT positives, 472/568 (83%) viewed results in the portal compared to 2,451/3,356 (73%) CT negatives. Among GC positives, 300/353 (85%) viewed results compared to 2,657/3,571 (74%) GC negatives. Treatment success for CT improved from 493/670 (74%) to 506/568 (89%) and for GC from 332/409 (81%) to 325/353 (92%). Mean time to treatment decreased for CT (13.4 to 10.7 days) and GC (11.3 to 9.2 days). Enrolled patients found Chexout notification satisfactory 168/169 (99%) and easy to use 130/141 (92%). Reasons for declining electronic notification included lack of personal cell phone 55/86 (64%) and confidentiality concerns 42/86 (49%). CONCLUSIONS: Electronic messaging decreased time to notification and increased treatment success. Nurses spent less time notifying patients leaving more time for patient care.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Changes in prevalence of violence and risk factors for violence and HIV among children and young people in Kenya: a comparison of the 2010 and 2019 Kenya Violence Against Children and Youth Surveysexternal icon
        Annor FB, Chiang LF, Oluoch PR, Mang'oli V, Mogaka M, Mwangi M, Ngunjiri A, Obare F, Achia T, Patel P, Massetti GM, Dahlberg LL, Simon TR, Mercy JA.
        Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Nov 22.
        BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown a high prevalence of violence among young people in Kenya. Violence is a known risk factor for HIV acquisition and these two public health issues could be viewed as a syndemic. In 2010, Kenya became the third country to implement the Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS). The study found a high prevalence of violence in the country. Led by the Government of Kenya, stakeholders implemented several prevention and response strategies to reduce violence. In 2019, Kenya implemented a second VACS. This study examines the changes in violence and risk factors for violence and HIV between 2010 and 2019. METHODS: The 2010 and 2019 VACS used a similar sampling approach and measures. Both VACS were cross-sectional national household surveys of young people aged 13-24 years, designed to produce national estimates of physical, sexual, and emotional violence. Prevalence and changes in lifetime experiences of violence and risk factors for violence and HIV were estimated. The VACS uses a three-stage cluster sampling approach with random selection of enumeration areas as the first stage, households as the second stage, and an eligible participant from the selected household as the third stage. The VACS questionnaire contains sections on demographics, risk and protective factors, violence victimisation, violence perpetration, sexual behaviour, HIV testing and services, violence service knowledge and uptake, and health outcomes. For this study, the main outcome variables were violence victimisation, context of violence, and risk factors for violence. All analyses were done with the entire sample of 13-24-year-olds stratified by sex and survey year. FINDINGS: The prevalence of lifetime sexual, physical, and emotional violence significantly declined in 2019 compared with 2010, including unwanted sexual touching, for both females and males. Experience of pressured and forced sex among females also decreased between the surveys. Additionally, significantly more females sought and received services for sexual violence and significantly more males knew of a place to seek help in 2019 than in 2010. The prevalence of several risk factors for violence and HIV also declined, including infrequent condom use, endorsement of inequitable gender norms, endorsement of norms justifying wife beating, and never testing for HIV. INTERPRETATION: Kenya observed significant declines in the prevalence of lifetime violence and some risk factors for violence and HIV, and improvements in some service seeking indicators between 2010 and 2019. Continued prioritisation of preventing and responding to violence in Kenya could contribute to further reductions in violence and its negative outcomes. Other countries in the region that have made substantial investments and implemented similar violence prevention programmes could use repeat VACS data to monitor violence and related outcomes over time. FUNDING: None.

      2. Forced sexual initiation and early sexual debut and associated risk factors and health problems among adolescent girls and young women - Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys, Nine PEPFAR Countries, 2007-2018external icon
        Howard AL, Pals S, Walker B, Benevides R, Massetti GM, Oluoch RP, Ogbanufe O, Marcelin LH, Cela T, Mapoma CC, Gonese E, Msungama W, Magesa D, Kayange A, Galloway K, Apondi R, Wasula L, Mugurungi O, Ncube G, Sikanyiti I, Hamela J, Kihwele GV, Nzuza-Motsa N, Saul J, Patel P.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1629-1634.
        Adolescent girls and young women aged 13-24 years are disproportionately affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa (1), resulting from biologic, behavioral, and structural* factors, including violence. Girls in sub-Saharan Africa also experience sexual violence at higher rates than do boys (2), and women who experience intimate partner violence have 1.3-2.0 times the odds of acquiring HIV infection, compared with those who do not (3). Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) data during 2007-2018 from nine countries funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) were analyzed to estimate prevalence and assess factors associated with early sexual debut and forced sexual initiation.(†) Among adolescent girls and young women aged 13-24 years who ever had sex, the prevalence of lifetime sexual violence ranged from 12.5% to 49.3%, and forced sexual initiation ranged from 14.7% to 38.9%; early sexual debut among adolescent girls and young women aged 16-24 years ranged from 14.4% to 40.1%. In multiple logistic regression models, forced sexual initiation was associated with being unmarried, violence victimization, risky sexual behaviors, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and poor mental health. Early sexual debut was associated with lower education, marriage, ever witnessing parental intimate partner violence during childhood, risky sexual behaviors, poor mental health, and less HIV testing. Comprehensive violence and HIV prevention programming is needed to delay sexual debut and protect adolescent girls and young women from forced sex.

      3. BACKGROUND: Little is known about the effectiveness of school district concussion policies on reducing the concussion prevalence among students. METHODS: Data from the 2016 School Health Policies and Practices Study and 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 10 school districts were linked. The outcome variable was having a sports- or physical activity-related concussion during the 12 months before of the survey. Exposure variables were 2 district policies, including district-funded professional development and prioritizing return to the classroom before returning to athletics. Logistic regression models estimated the odds of a concussion among students in districts with one, both, or neither policy (referent). RESULTS: In districts with district-funded professional development, the odds of students self-reporting ≥2 sports- or physical activity-related concussions were 1.4 times higher than in districts with neither policy. In districts with a policy prioritizing a return to the classroom before returning to athletics, the odds of students self-reporting ≥2 concussions were significantly lower (OR = 0.6) than in districts with neither policy. CONCLUSION: School district concussion policies may have positive effects by identifying and reducing multiple concussions among students.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Descriptive Evaluation of Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Plasma and Gingival Crevicular Fluid in a Nursing Home Cohort-Arkansas, June-August 2020external icon
        Brown NE, Lyons AK, Schuh AJ, Stumpf MM, Harcourt JL, Tamin A, Rasheed MA, Mills L, Lester SN, Thornburg NJ, Nguyen K, Costantini V, Vinjé J, Huang JY, Gilbert SE, Gable P, Bollinger S, Sabour S, Beshearse E, Surie D, Biedron C, Gregory CJ, Clemmons NS, Whitaker B, Coughlin MM, Seely KA, Garner K, Gulley T, Haney T, Kothari A, Patil N, Halpin AL, McDonald LC, Kutty PK, Brown AC.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021 Nov 22:1-24.
        OBJECTIVE: Characterize and compare SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in plasma and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from nursing home residents during and after natural infection. DESIGN: Prospective cohort. SETTING: Nursing home. PARTICIPANTS: SARS-CoV-2-infected nursing home residents. METHODS: A convenience sample of 14 SARS-CoV-2-infected nursing home residents, enrolled 4-13 days after real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction diagnosis, were followed for 42 days. Post diagnosis, plasma SARS-CoV-2-specific pan-Immunoglobulin (Ig), IgG, IgA, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies were measured at 5 timepoints and GCF SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA were measured at 4 timepoints. RESULTS: All participants demonstrated immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among 12 phlebotomized participants, plasma was positive for pan-Ig and IgG in all 12, neutralizing antibodies in 11, IgM in 10, and IgA in 9. Among 14 participants with GCF specimens, GCF was positive for IgG in 13 and IgA in 12. Immunoglobulin responses in plasma and GCF had similar kinetics; median times to peak antibody response was similar across specimen types (4 weeks for IgG; 3 weeks for IgA). Participants with pan-Ig, IgG, and IgA detected in plasma and GCF IgG remained positive through this evaluation's end 46-55 days post-diagnosis. All participants were viral culture negative by the first detection of antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing home residents had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in plasma and GCF after infection. Kinetics of antibodies detected in GCF mirrored those from plasma. Non-invasive GCF may be useful for detecting and monitoring immunologic responses in populations unable or unwilling to be phlebotomized.

      2. Evaluation of OIDx Histoplasma Urinary Antigen EIAexternal icon
        Cáceres DH, Gómez BL, Tobón Á M, Chiller TM, Lindsley MD.
        Mycopathologia. 2021 Nov 20.
        A sandwich enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for the detection of Histoplasma antigens (Ag) in urine, developed by Optimum Imaging Diagnostics (OIDx) was evaluated. A verification using a standardized reference panel of urine samples found sensitivity of 92%, specificity of 32% and accuracy of 51%. In this study, the OIDx Histoplasma urinary Ag EIA displayed high sensitivity, however, in non-histoplasmosis cases this EIA displayed false-positive results in 68% of specimens tested.

      3. Performance of self-collected anterior nasal swabs and saliva specimens for detection of SARS-CoV-2 during symptomatic and asymptomatic periodsexternal icon
        Grijalva CG, Rolfes M, Zhu Y, Chappell J, Halasa N, Kim A, Reed C, Fry A, Talbot HK.
        Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Nov;8(11):ofab484.
        BACKGROUND: Anterior nasal swabs (ANS) are established specimen collection methods for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection detection. While saliva (SA) specimens provide an alternative, few studies have comprehensively characterized the performance of SA specimens in longitudinal studies. METHODS: We compared SARS-CoV-2 detections between paired self-collected ANS and SA specimens from a household transmission study. Participants recorded symptoms and paired ANS and SA specimens daily for 14 days. Specimens were tested using RT-PCR. We calculated the proportion of detections identified by each specimen type among the detections from both types combined. We computed percent agreement and Kappa statistics to assess concordance in detections. We also computed estimates stratified by presence of symptoms and examined the influence of traditional and inactivating transport media on the performance of ANS. RESULTS: We examined 2535 self-collected paired specimens from 216 participants. Among 1238 (49%) paired specimens with detections by either specimen type, ANS identified 77.1% (954; 95% CI, 74.6% to 79.3%) and SA 81.9% (1014; 95% CI, 79.7% to 84.0%), with a difference of 4.9% (95% CI, 1.4% to 8.5%). Overall agreement was 80.0%, and Kappa was 0.6 (95% CI, 0.5 to 0.6). Nevertheless, the difference in the proportion of detections identified by ANS and SA using traditional and inactivating transport media was 32.5% (95% CI, 26.8% to 38.0%) and -9.5% (95% CI, -13.7% to -5.2%), respectively. Among participants who remained asymptomatic, the difference in detections between SA and ANS was 51.2% (95% CI, 31.8% to 66.0%) and 26.1% (95% CI, 0% to 48.5%) using traditional and inactivating media, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Self-collected saliva specimens provide a noninvasive alternative to nasal swabs, especially to those collected in traditional transport media, for longitudinal field studies that aim to detect both symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.

      4. Broad-spectrum in vitro antiviral activity of ODBG-P-RVn: An orally-available, lipid-modified monophosphate prodrug of remdesivir parent nucleoside (GS-441524)external icon
        Lo MK, Shrivastava-Ranjan P, Chatterjee P, Flint M, Beadle JR, Valiaeva N, Murphy J, Schooley RT, Hostetler KY, Montgomery JM, Spiropoulou CF.
        Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Nov 24:e0153721.
        The necessity for intravenous administration of remdesivir confines its utility for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to hospitalized patients. We evaluated the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of ODBG-P-RVn, an orally available, lipid-modified monophosphate prodrug of the remdesivir parent nucleoside (GS-441524), against viruses that cause diseases of human public health concern, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). ODBG-P-RVn showed 20-fold greater antiviral activity than GS-441524 and had activity nearly equivalent to that of remdesivir in primary-like human small airway epithelial cells. Our results warrant in vivo efficacy evaluation of ODBG-P-RVn. IMPORTANCE While remdesivir remains one of the few drugs approved by the FDA to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), its intravenous route of administration limits its use to hospital settings. Optimizing the stability and absorption of remdesivir may lead to a more accessible and clinically potent therapeutic. Here, we describe an orally available lipid-modified version of remdesivir with activity nearly equivalent to that of remdesivir against emerging viruses that cause significant disease, including Ebola and Nipah viruses. Our work highlights the importance of such modifications to optimize drug delivery to relevant and appropriate human tissues that are most affected by such diseases.

      5. Modeled respiratory tract deposition of aerosolized oil diluents used in Δ(9)-THC-based electronic cigarette liquid productsexternal icon
        Ranpara A, Stefaniak AB, Williams K, Fernandez E, LeBouf RF.
        Front Public Health. 2021 ;9:744166.
        Electronic cigarette, or vaping, products (EVP) heat liquids ("e-liquids") that contain substances (licit or illicit) and deliver aerosolized particles into the lungs. Commercially available oils such as Vitamin-E-acetate (VEA), Vitamin E oil, coconut, and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) were often the constituents of e-liquids associated with an e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). The objective of this study was to evaluate the mass-based physical characteristics of the aerosolized e-liquids prepared using these oil diluents. These characteristics were particle size distributions for modeling regional respiratory deposition and puff-based total aerosol mass for estimating the number of particles delivered to the respiratory tract. Four types of e-liquids were prepared by adding terpenes to oil diluents individually: VEA, Vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and MCT. A smoking machine was used to aerosolize each e-liquid at a predetermined puff topography (volume of 55 ml for 3 s with 30-s intervals between puffs). A cascade impactor was used to collect the size-segregated aerosol for calculating the mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) and geometric standard deviation (GSD). The respiratory deposition of EVP aerosols on inhalation was estimated using the Multiple-Path Particle Dosimetry model. From these results, the exhaled fraction of EVP aerosols was calculated as a surrogate of secondhand exposure potential. The MMAD of VEA (0.61 μm) was statistically different compared to MCT (0.38 μm) and coconut oil (0.47 μm) but not to Vitamin E oil (0.58 μm); p < 0.05. Wider aerosol size distribution was observed for VEA (GSD 2.35) and MCT (GSD 2.08) compared with coconut oil (GSD 1.53) and Vitamin E oil (GSD 1.55). Irrespective of the statistical differences between MMADs, dosimetry modeling resulted in the similar regional and lobular deposition of particles for all e-liquids in the respiratory tract. The highest (~0.08 or more) fractional deposition was predicted in the pulmonary region, which is consistent as the site of injury among EVALI cases. Secondhand exposure calculations indicated that a substantial amount of EVP aerosols could be exhaled, which has potential implications for bystanders. The number of EVALI cases has declined with the removal of VEA; however, further research is required to investigate the commonly available commercial ingredients used in e-liquid preparations.

      6. Evaluation of urethrotropic clade meningococcal infection by urine metagenomic shotgun sequencingexternal icon
        Retchless AC, Itsko M, Bazan JA, Norris Turner A, Hu F, Joseph SJ, Carter A, Brown M, Snyder B, Wang X.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2021 Nov 24:Jcm0173221.
        Background Urethral infections caused by an emerging nongroupable (NG) urethrotropic clade of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) were first reported in the United States in 2015 (the "U.S. NmNG urethritis clade"). Here we evaluate for the presence of other urethral pathogens in men with U.S. NmNG urethritis clade infection. Methods: We evaluated 129 urine specimens collected from men at a sexual health clinic, including 33 from patients with culture-confirmed or suspected urethral Nm infection and 96 specimens in which nucleic acid amplification test detected Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng), Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct), both pathogens, or neither pathogen. Nm was detected first by real-time PCR, followed by metagenomic shotgun sequencing of 91 specimens to identify coinfections. Nm genomes were sequenced following selective whole genome amplification when possible. Results: Metagenomic sequencing detected Nm in 16 of 17 specimens from culture-confirmed Nm cases, with no coinfection by other conventional urethral pathogens. Metagenomic sequencing also detected Nm in three Ct positive specimens, one specimen positive for both Ng and Ct, and nine specimens with negative Ng and Ct results, eight of which had suspected Neisseria infections. Nm from culture-confirmed Nm cases belonged to the U.S. NmNG urethritis clade, while Nm identified in other specimens belonged to multiple clonal complexes. Additional urethral pathogens were predominant in non-Nm specimens, including Ng, Ct, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and herpes simplex virus type-2. Conclusions: Coinfection with other conventional urethral pathogens is rare in men with culture-confirmed U.S. NmNG urethritis clade infection and points to the strong association of this clade with disease.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Identifying and minimizing errors in the measurement of early childhood development: Lessons learned from the cognitive testing of the ECDI2030external icon
        Cappa C, Petrowski N, De Castro EF, Geisen E, Lebaron P, Allen-Leigh B, Place JM, Scanlon PJ.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 ;18(22).
        Challenges in measuring early childhood development (ECD) at scale have been docu-mented, yet little is known about the specific difficulties related to questionnaire design and question interpretation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the challenges of measuring ECD at scale in the context of household surveys and to show how to overcome them. The paper uses examples from the cognitive interviewing exercises that were conducted as part of the methodological work to develop a measure of ECD outcomes, the ECDI2030. It describes the methodological work carried out to inform the selection and improvement of question items and survey implementation tools as a fun-damental step to reduce and mitigate systematic measurement error and improve data quality. The project consisted of a total of five rounds of testing, comprising 191 one-on-one, in-depth cognitive interviews across six countries (Bulgaria, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Uganda, and the USA). Qualitative data analysis methods were used to determine matches and mismatches between intention of items and false positives or false negative answers among subgroups of respondents. Key themes emerged that could potentially lead to systematic measurement error in population-based surveys on ECD: (1) willingness of child to perform task versus ability of child to perform task; (2) performing task versus performing task correctly; (3) identifying letters or numbers versus recognizing letters or numbers; (4) consistently performing task versus correctly performing task; (5) applicability of skills being asked versus observability of skills being asked; and (6) language production versus language comprehension. Through an iterative process of testing and subsequent revision, improvements were made to item wording, response options, and interviewer training instructions. Given the difficulties inherent in population-level data collection in the context of global monitoring, this study’s findings confirm the importance of cognitive testing as a crucial step in careful, culturally relevant, and sensitive questionnaire design and as a means to reduce response bias in cross-cultural contexts. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. INTRODUCTION: Research examining the influence of neighborhood healthy food environment on diet has been mostly cross-sectional and has lacked robust characterization of the food environment. We examined longitudinal associations between features of the local food environment and healthy diet, and whether associations were modified by race/ethnicity. METHODS: Data on 3634 adults aged 45-84 followed for 10 years were obtained from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Diet quality was assessed using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index at Exam 1 (2000-2002) and Exam 5 (2010-2012). We assessed four measures of the local food environment using survey-based measures (e.g. perceptions of healthier food availability) and geographic information system (GIS)-based measures (e.g. distance to and density of healthier food stores) at Exam 1 and Exam 5. Random effects models adjusted for age, sex, education, moving status, per capita adjusted income, and neighborhood socioeconomic status, and used interaction terms to assess effect measure modification by race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Net of confounders, one standard z-score higher average composite local food environment was associated with higher average AHEI diet score (β=1.39, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.73) over the follow-up period from Exam 1 to 5. This pattern of association was consistent across both GIS-based and survey-based measures of local food environment and was more pronounced among minoritized racial/ethnic groups. There was no association between changes in neighborhood environment and change in AHEI score, or effect measure modification by race/ethnicity. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that neighborhood-level food environment is associated with better diet quality, especially among racially/ethnically minoritized populations.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Comparison of three internationally certified firefighter protective ensembles: Physiological responses, mobility, and comfortexternal icon
        Quinn TD, Gutiérrez-Santamaría B, Sáez I, Santisteban A, Lee J, Kim J, Coca A.
        Int J Ind Ergon. 2021 ;86:103232.
        Background Fire protective ensembles (FPEs) are essential to safely perform firefighting job tasks; however, they are often burdensome to the workers. The aim of this study was to compare three internationally certified fire protective ensembles from the European Union (EU), South Korea (SK), and United States (US) on physiological responses, mobility, and comfort. Methods Ten male professional firefighters performed a battery of exercises in the laboratory following the ASTM F3031-17 standard to evaluate mobility, occupation-specific performance, and physiological responses (body weight, heart rate (HR), core temperature (Tc), breathing rate (BR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE)) to 20 min of treadmill walking (3.2 mph, 5% incline). All participants carried out the evaluation wearing each FPE in a random order. Mixed effects models examined time (pre-vs. post-) by ensemble (EU, SK, US) interactions for all physiological variables and compared comfort, performance, and subjective variables across ensembles. Results No interaction effects were observed for body weight, HR, Tc, BR, or RPE (p = 0.890, p = 0.994, p = 0.897, p = 0.435, and p = 0.221; respectively). SK had greater trunk flexion than EU (78.4° vs. 74.6°, p = 0.026) and US had lower standing reach than EU (105.5 cm vs. 115.4 cm, p = 0.004). Agility circuit time was lower in US (9.3 s) compared to EU (9.8 s) or SK (9.9 s) (p = 0.051 and p = 0.019, respectively). Conclusions The findings suggest that physiological burden remained largely unchanged across the international FPEs. However, mobility, performance, and comfort may be significantly influenced across types. International stakeholders and end users should consider design implications when choosing fire protective ensembles.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. The classification of "parasites" in the medical field is a challenging notion, a group which historically has included all eukaryotes exclusive of fungi that invade and derive resources from the human host. Since antiquity, humans have been identifying and documenting parasitic infections, and this collective catalog of parasitic agents has expanded considerably with technology. As our understanding of species boundaries and the use of molecular tools has evolved, so has our concept of the taxonomy of human parasites. Consequently, new species have been recognized while others have been relegated to synonyms. On the other hand, the decline of expertise in classical parasitology and limited curricula have led to a loss of awareness of many rarely encountered species. Here, we provide a comprehensive checklist of all reported eukaryotic organisms (excluding fungi and allied taxa) parasitizing humans resulting in 274 genus-group taxa and 848 species-group taxa. For each species, or genus where indicated, a concise summary of geographic distribution, natural hosts, route of transmission and site within human host, and vectored pathogens are presented. Ubiquitous, human-adapted species as well as very rare, incidental zoonotic organisms are discussed in this annotated checklist. We also provide a list of 79 excluded genera and species that have been previously reported as human parasites but are not believed to be true human parasites or represent misidentifications or taxonomic changes.

      2. The effect of a mass distribution of insecticide-treated nets on insecticide resistance and entomological inoculation rates of Anopheles gambiae s.l. in Bandundu City, Democratic Republic of Congoexternal icon
        Metelo-Matubi E, Zanga J, Binene G, Mvuama N, Ngamukie S, Nkey J, Schopp P, Bamba M, Irish S, Nguya-Kalemba-maniania J, Fasine S, Nagahuedi J, Muyembe JJ, Mansiangi P.
        Pan African Medical Journal. 2021 ;40.
        Introduction: insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) remain the mainstay of malaria vector control in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, insecticide resistance of malaria vectors threatens their effectiveness. Entomological inoculation rates and insecticide susceptibility in Anopheles gambiae s.l. were evaluated before and after mass distribution of ITNs in Bandundu City for possible occurrence of resistance. Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted from 15th July 2015 to 15th June 2016. Adult mosquitoes were collected using pyrethrum spray catches and human landing catches and identified to species level and tested for the presence of sporozoites. Bioassays were carried out before and after distribution of ITNs to assess the susceptibility of adult mosquitoes to insecticides. Synergist bioassays were also conducted and target site mutations assessed using Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: a total of 1754 female An. gambiae s.l. were collected before and after deployment of ITNs. Fewer mosquitoes were collected after the distribution of ITNs. However, there was no significant difference in sporozoite rates or the overall entomological inoculation rate before and after the distribution of ITNs. Test-mosquitoes were resistant to deltamethrin, permethrin, and Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane but susceptible to bendiocarb. Pre-exposure of mosquitoes to Piperonyl butoxide increased their mortality after exposure to permethrin and deltamethrin. The frequency of the Kinase insert domain receptor (kdr)-West gene increased from 92 to 99% before and after the distribution of nets, respectively. Conclusion: seasonal impacts could be a limiting factor in the analysis of these data; however, the lack of decrease in transmission after the distribution of new nets could be explained by the high-level of resistance to pyrethroid. © Emery Metelo-Matubi et al.

    • Public Health Leadership and Management
      1. Stakeholders' assessment of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's contributions to the development of National Public Health Institutes in seven countriesexternal icon
        Woldetsadik MA, Fitzpatrick K, Del Castillo L, Miller B, Jarvis D, Carnevale C, Ravat F, Cassell CH, Williams A, Young SK, Clemente J, Baggett HC, Bratton S.
        J Public Health Policy. 2021 Nov 22.
        National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) can strengthen countries' public health capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies. This qualitative evaluation assessed the role of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in NPHI development and strengthening of public health functions. We interviewed NPHI staff (N = 43), non-NPHI government staff (N = 29), and non-governmental organization staff (N = 24) in seven countries where CDC has supported NPHI development: Cambodia, Colombia, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia. Participants identified four areas of support that were the most important: workforce capacity building, technical assistance for key public health functions, identifying institutional gaps and priorities, and funding to support countries' priorities. Participants underscored the need for capacity building directed toward country-driven priorities during planning and implementation. Continued support for NPHI development from CDC and other partners is vital to building stronger public health systems, improving population health, and strengthening global health security.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Risk for stillbirth among women with and without COVID-19 at delivery hospitalization - United States, March 2020-September 2021external icon
        DeSisto CL, Wallace B, Simeone RM, Polen K, Ko JY, Meaney-Delman D, Ellington SR.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1640-1645.
        Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe COVID-19-related illness, and COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal and neonatal complications (1-3). To date, studies assessing whether COVID-19 during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for stillbirth have yielded mixed results (2-4). Since the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) became the predominant circulating variant,* there have been anecdotal reports of increasing rates of stillbirths in women with COVID-19.(†) CDC used the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release (PHD-SR), a large hospital-based administrative database,(§) to assess whether a maternal COVID-19 diagnosis documented at delivery hospitalization was associated with stillbirth during March 2020-September 2021 as well as before and during the period of Delta variant predominance in the United States (March 2020-June 2021 and July-September 2021, respectively). Among 1,249,634 deliveries during March 2020-September 2021, stillbirths were rare (8,154; 0.65%): 273 (1.26%) occurred among 21,653 deliveries to women with COVID-19 documented at the delivery hospitalization, and 7,881 (0.64%) occurred among 1,227,981 deliveries without COVID-19. The adjusted risk for stillbirth was higher in deliveries with COVID-19 compared with deliveries without COVID-19 during March 2020-September 2021 (adjusted relative risk [aRR] = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.69-2.15), including during the pre-Delta (aRR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.27-1.71) and Delta periods (aRR = 4.04; 95% CI = 3.28-4.97). COVID-19 documented at delivery was associated with increased risk for stillbirth, with a stronger association during the period of Delta variant predominance. Implementing evidence-based COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination before or during pregnancy, is critical to reducing the impact of COVID-19 on stillbirths.

      2. COVID-19-associated deaths after SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy - Mississippi, March 1, 2020-October 6, 2021external icon
        Kasehagen L, Byers P, Taylor K, Kittle T, Roberts C, Collier C, Rust B, Ricaldi JN, Green J, Zapata LB, Beauregard J, Dobbs T.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1646-1648.
        Pregnant and recently pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 compared with women who are not pregnant or were not recently pregnant (1,2). CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for women who are pregnant, recently pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.*(,)(†) This report describes 15 COVID-19-associated deaths after infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) during pregnancy in Mississippi during March 1, 2020-October 6, 2021.

      3. Abortion Surveillance - United States, 2019external icon
        Kortsmit K, Mandel MG, Reeves JA, Clark E, Pagano HP, Nguyen A, Petersen EE, Whiteman MK.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2021 Nov 26;70(9):1-29.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: CDC conducts abortion surveillance to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions and number of abortion-related deaths in the United States. PERIOD COVERED: 2019. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies for 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. For 2019, 49 reporting areas voluntarily provided aggregate abortion data to CDC. Of these, 48 reporting areas provided data each year during 2010-2019. Census and natality data were used to calculate abortion rates (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years) and ratios (number of abortions per 1,000 live births), respectively. Abortion-related deaths from 2018 were assessed as part of CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS). RESULTS: A total of 629,898 abortions for 2019 were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Among 48 reporting areas with data each year during 2010-2019, in 2019, a total of 625,346 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, and the abortion ratio was 195 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2018 to 2019, the total number of abortions increased 2% (from 614,820 total abortions), the abortion rate increased 0.9% (from 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years), and the abortion ratio increased 3% (from 189 abortions per 1,000 live births). From 2010 to 2019, the total number of reported abortions, abortion rate, and abortion ratio decreased 18% (from 762,755), 21% (from 14.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years), and 13% (from 225 abortions per 1,000 live births), respectively. In 2019, women in their 20s accounted for more than half of abortions (56.9%). Women aged 20-24 and 25-29 years accounted for the highest percentages of abortions (27.6% and 29.3%, respectively) and had the highest abortion rates (19.0 and 18.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20-24 and 25-29 years, respectively). By contrast, adolescents aged <15 years and women aged ≥40 years accounted for the lowest percentages of abortions (0.2% and 3.7%, respectively) and had the lowest abortion rates (0.4 and 2.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged <15 and ≥40 years, respectively). However, abortion ratios in 2019 were highest among adolescents (aged ≤19 years) and lowest among women aged 25-39 years. Abortion rates decreased from 2010 to 2019 for all women, regardless of age. The decrease in abortion rate was highest among adolescents compared with any other age group. From 2018 to 2019, abortion rates decreased or did not change among women aged ≤24 years; however, the abortion rate increased among those aged ≥25 years. Abortion ratios also decreased or did not change from 2010 to 2019 for all age groups, except adolescents aged <15 years. The decrease in abortion ratio was highest among women aged ≥40 years compared with any other age group. From 2018 to 2019, abortion ratios increased for all age groups, except adolescents aged <15 years. In 2019, 79.3% of abortions were performed at ≤9 weeks' gestation, and nearly all (92.7%) were performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation. During 2010-2019, the percentage of abortions performed at >13 weeks' gestation remained consistently low (≤9.0%). In 2019, the highest proportion of abortions were performed by surgical abortion at ≤13 weeks' gestation (49.0%), followed by early medical abortion at ≤9 weeks' gestation (42.3%), surgical abortion at >13 weeks' gestation (7.2%), and medical abortion at >9 weeks' gestation (1.4%); all other methods were uncommon (<0.1%). Among those that were eligible (≤9 weeks' gestation), 53.7% of abortions were early medical abortions. In 2018, the most recent year for which PMSS data were reviewed for pregnancy-related deaths, two women died as a result of complications from legal induced abortion. INTERPRETATION: Among the 48 areas that reported data continuously during 2010-2019, overall decreases were observed during 2010-2019 in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions; however, from 2018 to 2019, 1%-3% increases were observed across all measures. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Abortion surveillance can be used to help evaluate programs aimed at promoting equitable access to patient-centered quality contraceptive services in the United States to reduce unintended pregnancies.

      4. Sensitivity of pregnancy field on the COVID-19 case report form among pregnancies completed through December 31, 2020: Illinois and Tennesseeexternal icon
        Manning SE, Bennett A, Ellington S, Goyal S, Harvey E, Sizemore L, Wingate H.
        Matern Child Health J. 2021 Nov 10:1-7.
        PURPOSE: The considerable volume of infections from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has made it challenging for health departments to collect complete data for national disease reporting. We sought to examine sensitivity of the COVID-19 case report form (CRF) pregnancy field by comparing CRF data to the gold standard of CRF data linked to birth and fetal death certificates. DESCRIPTION: CRFs for women aged 15-44 years with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were linked to birth and fetal death certificates for pregnancies completed during January 1-December 31, 2020 in Illinois and Tennessee. Among linked records, pregnancy was considered confirmed for women with a SARS-CoV-2 specimen collection date on or prior to the delivery date. Sensitivity of the COVID-19 CRF pregnancy field was calculated by dividing the number of confirmed pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection with pregnancy indicated on the CRF by the number of confirmed pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection. ASSESSMENT: Among 4276 (Illinois) and 2070 (Tennessee) CRFs that linked with a birth or fetal death certificate, CRF pregnancy field sensitivity was 45.3% and 42.1%, respectively. In both states, sensitivity varied significantly by maternal race/ethnicity, insurance, trimester of prenatal care entry, month of specimen collection, and trimester of specimen collection. Sensitivity also varied by maternal education in Illinois but not in Tennessee. CONCLUSION: Sensitivity of the COVID-19 CRF pregnancy field varied by state and demographic factors. To more accurately assess outcomes for pregnant women, jurisdictions might consider utilizing additional data sources and linkages to obtain pregnancy status.

      5. SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and associated outcomes: Results from an ongoing prospective cohortexternal icon
        Molenaar NM, Rommel AS, de Witte L, Dolan SM, Lieb W, Ibroci E, Ohrn S, Lynch J, Capuano C, Stadlbauer D, Krammer F, Zapata LB, Brody RI, Pop VJ, Jessel RH, Sperling RS, Afzal O, Gigase F, Missall R, Janevic T, Stone J, Howell EA, Bergink V.
        Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2021 Nov 21.
        BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global health threat, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Questions remain about how SARS-CoV-2 impacts pregnant individuals and their children. OBJECTIVE: To expand our understanding of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes, regardless of symptomatology, by using serological tests to measure IgG antibody levels. METHODS: The Generation C Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study conducted at the Mount Sinai Health System. All pregnant individuals receiving obstetrical care at the Mount Sinai Healthcare System from 20 April 2020 onwards are eligible for participation. For the current analysis, we included participants who had given birth to a liveborn singleton infant on or before 22 September 2020. For each woman, we tested the latest prenatal blood sample available to establish seropositivity using a SARS-CoV-2 serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Additionally, RT-PCR testing was performed on a nasopharyngeal swab taken during labour. Pregnancy outcomes of interest (i.e., gestational age at delivery, preterm birth, small for gestational age, Apgar scores, maternal and neonatal intensive care unit admission, and length of neonatal hospital stay) and covariates were extracted from medical records. Excluding individuals who tested RT-PCR positive at delivery, we conducted crude and adjusted regression models to compare antibody positive with antibody negative individuals at delivery. We stratified analyses by race/ethnicity to examine potential effect modification. RESULTS: The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence based on IgG measurement was 16.4% (95% confidence interval 13.7, 19.3; n=116). Twelve individuals (1.7%) were SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive at delivery. Seropositive individuals were generally younger, more often Black or Hispanic, and more often had public insurance and higher pre-pregnancy BMI compared with seronegative individuals. None of the examined pregnancy outcomes differed by seropositivity, overall or stratified by race/ethnicity. CONCLUSION: Seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 without RT-PCR positivity at delivery (suggesting that infection occurred earlier during pregnancy) was not associated with selected adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes among live births in a cohort sample from New York City.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Notes from the field: Testing for nonprescribed fentanyl and percentage of positive test results among patients with opioid use disorder - United States, 2019-2020external icon
        Niles JK, Gudin J, Vivolo-Kantor AM, Gladden RM, Mustaquim D, Seth P, Kaufman HW.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1649-1651.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Cluster of human Salmonella Guinea infections: Reported reptile exposures and associated opportunities for infection prevention - Ohio, 2019-2020external icon
        Dewart CM, Waltenburg MA, Dietrich S, Machesky K, Singh A, Brandt E, de Fijter S.
        Prev Vet Med. 2021 Nov 1;198:105530.
        A cluster of five human Salmonella Guinea cases was identified among Ohio residents through core genome multilocus sequence typing of clinical isolates. An investigation was conducted to characterize illnesses and identify common exposures. Four patients were aged ≤5 years and three of four patients with information available regarding exposure to animals reported prior exposure to bearded dragons. Practices that potentially increased the risk for Salmonella transmission from reptiles to humans included allowing pet reptiles to roam freely in the home, cleaning reptile habitats indoors, and kissing reptiles. These findings prompted a multistate investigation that resulted in the identification of additional closely related Salmonella Guinea isolates from patients across multiple states. The investigation of cases in Ohio and information shared by other states indicated the potential association between human Salmonella Guinea infections and reptiles, particularly bearded dragons. To prevent Salmonella transmission from reptiles, continued educational efforts should address pet owners and focus on specific reptile ownership practices.

      2. Prioritizing zoonotic diseases using a multisectoral, One Health approach for The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)external icon
        Goryoka GW, Lokossou VK, Varela K, Oussayef N, Kofi B, Iwar V, Behravesh CB.
        One Health Outlook. 2021 Nov 23;3(1):24.
        BACKGROUND: Zoonotic diseases pose a significant threat to human, animal, and environmental health. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endured a significant burden of zoonotic disease impacts. To address zoonotic disease threats in ECOWAS, a One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OHZDP) was conducted over five days in December 2018 to prioritize zoonotic diseases of greatest regional concern and develop next steps for addressing these priority zoonoses through a regional, multisectoral, One Health approach. METHODS: The OHZDP Process uses a mixed methods prioritization process developed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the OHZDP workshop, representatives from human, animal, and environmental health ministries from all 15 ECOWAS Member States used a transparent and equal process to prioritize endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases of greatest regional concern that should be jointly addressed by One Health ministries and other partners. After the priority zoonotic diseases were identified, participants discussed recommendations and further regional actions to address the priority zoonoses and advance One Health in the region. RESULTS: ECOWAS Member States agreed upon a list of seven priority zoonotic diseases for the region - Anthrax, Rabies, Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers (for example, Marburg fever, Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever), zoonotic influenzas, zoonotic tuberculosis, Trypanosomiasis, and Yellow fever. Participants developed recommendations and further regional actions that could be taken, using a One Health approach to address the priority zoonotic diseases in thematic areas including One Health collaboration and coordination, surveillance and laboratory, response and preparedness, prevention and control, workforce development, and research. CONCLUSIONS: ECOWAS was the first region to use the OHZDP Process to prioritize zoonotic disease of greatest concern. With identified priority zoonotic diseases for the region, ECOWAS Member States can collaborate more effectively to address zoonotic diseases threats across the region using a One Health approach. Strengthening national and regional level multisectoral, One Health Coordination Mechanisms will allow ECOWAS Member States to advance One Health and have the biggest impact on improving health outcomes for both people and animals living in a shared environment.

      3. Using a One Health approach to prioritize zoonotic diseases in China, 2019external icon
        Wang X, Rainey JJ, Goryoka GW, Liang Z, Wu S, Wen L, Duan R, Qin S, Huang H, Kharod G, Rao CY, Salyer SJ, Behravesh CB, Jing H.
        PLoS One. 2021 ;16(11):e0259706.
        BACKGROUND: China is vulnerable to zoonotic disease transmission due to a large agricultural work force, sizable domestic livestock population, and a highly biodiverse ecology. To better address this threat, representatives from the human, animal, and environmental health sectors in China held a One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OHZDP) workshop in May 2019 to develop a list of priority zoonotic diseases for multisectoral, One Health collaboration. METHODS: Representatives used the OHZDP Process, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), to prioritize zoonotic diseases for China. Representatives defined the criteria used for prioritization and determined questions and weights for each individual criterion. A review of English and Chinese literature was conducted prior to the workshop to collect disease specific information on prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) from China and the Western Pacific Region for zoonotic diseases considered for prioritization. RESULTS: Thirty zoonotic diseases were evaluated for prioritization. Criteria selected included: 1) disease hazard/severity (case fatality rate) in humans, 2) epidemic scale and intensity (in humans and animals) in China, 3) economic impact, 4) prevention and control, and 5) social impact. Disease specific information was obtained from 792 articles (637 in English and 155 in Chinese) and subject matter experts for the prioritization process. Following discussion of the OHZDP Tool output among disease experts, five priority zoonotic diseases were identified for China: avian influenza, echinococcosis, rabies, plague, and brucellosis. CONCLUSION: Representatives agreed on a list of five priority zoonotic diseases that can serve as a foundation to strengthen One Health collaboration for disease prevention and control in China; this list was developed prior to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Next steps focused on establishing a multisectoral, One Health coordination mechanism, improving multisectoral linkages in laboratory testing and surveillance platforms, creating multisectoral preparedness and response plans, and increasing workforce capacity.

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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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