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Issue 13, March 29, 2022

CDC Science Clips: Volume 14, Issue 13, March 29, 2022

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.
    • Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship
      1. Advancing diagnostic stewardship for healthcare-associated infections, antibiotic resistance, and sepsisexternal icon
        Curren EJ, Lutgring JD, Kabbani S, Diekema DJ, Gitterman S, Lautenbach E, Morgan DJ, Rock C, Salerno RM, McDonald LC.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Mar 1;74(4):723-728.
        Diagnostic stewardship means ordering the right tests for the right patient at the right time to inform optimal clinical care. Diagnostic stewardship is an integral part of antibiotic stewardship efforts to optimize antibiotic use and improve patient outcomes, including reductions in antibiotic resistance and treatment of sepsis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion hosted a meeting on improving patient safety through diagnostic stewardship with a focus on use of the laboratory. At the meeting, emerging issues in the field of diagnostic stewardship were identified, awareness of these issues among stakeholders was raised, and strategies and interventions to address the issues were discussed-all with an emphasis on improved outcomes and patient safety. Here, we summarize the key takeaways of the meeting including needs for diagnostic stewardship implementation, promising future avenues for diagnostic stewardship implementation, and areas of needed research.

      2. Antimicrobial susceptibility survey of invasive Neisseria meningitidis, United States 2012-2016external icon
        Potts CC, Rodriguez-Rivera LD, Retchless AC, Hu F, Marjuki H, Blain AE, McNamara LA, Wang X.
        J Infect Dis. 2022 Mar 10.
        BACKGROUND: Historically, antimicrobial resistance has been rare in US invasive meningococcal disease cases. METHODS: Meningococcal isolates (n=695) were collected through population-based surveillance, 2012-2016, and national surveillance, 2015-2016. Antimicrobial susceptibility was assessed by broth microdilution. Resistance mechanisms were characterized using whole genome sequencing. RESULTS: All isolates were susceptible to six antibiotics (cefotaxime, ceftriaxone, meropenem, rifampin, minocycline, and azithromycin). Approximately 25% were penicillin- or ampicillin-intermediate; among these, 79% contained mosaic penA gene mutations. Less than 1% of isolates were penicillin-, ampicillin-, ciprofloxacin-, or levofloxacin-resistant. CONCLUSION: Penicillin- and ampicillin-intermediate isolates were common, but resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics remained rare.

      3. Characterization of a Neisseria gonorrhoeae ciprofloxacin panel for an antimicrobial resistant isolate bankexternal icon
        Liu H, Tang K, Pham CD, Schmerer M, Kersh EN, Raphael BH.
        PLoS One. 2022 ;17(3):e0264149.
        OBJECTIVES: Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococcus) infection is one of the most commonly reported nationally notifiable conditions in the United States. Gonococcus has developed antimicrobial resistance to each previously used antibiotic for gonorrhea therapy. However, some isolates may be still susceptible to no longer recommended, yet still effective antibiotics. This in turn suggests that targeted therapy could slow resistance development to currently recommended empirical treatments. We curated a gonococcal Ciprofloxacin Antibiotic Resistance Isolate Bank panel (Cipro-panel) as a tool for validating or developing new tests to determine ciprofloxacin susceptibility. METHOD: The Cipro-panel was selected using whole genome sequencing, bioinformatic tools, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) data. Isolates were further selected based on nucleotide variations in gyrA and parC genes. RESULTS: We selected 14 unique N. gonorrhoeae isolates from the 2006-2012 Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP) collection. They represented a wide range of antimicrobial susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and commonly observed nucleotide variations of gyrA and parC genes. This Cipro-panel consists of 5 isolates with resistant phenotypes (MIC > = 1 μg/mL), 8 isolates with susceptible phenotypes (MIC < = 0.06 μg/mL), and 1 isolate falling in the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute defined intermediate range. Among the gyrA variations we observed a total of 18 SNPs. Four positions had nonsynonymous changes (nucleotide positions 272, 284, 1093, and 1783). The first two positions (272 and 284) have been linked previously with resistance to ciprofloxacin (i.e. amino acid positions 91 and 95). For the parC gene, we observed a total of 21 possible SNPs. Eight of those SNPs resulted in non-synonymous amino acid changes. One location (amino acid 87) has been previously reported to be associated with ciprofloxacin resistance. CONCLUSIONS: This Cipro-Panel is useful for researchers interested in developing clinical tests related to ciprofloxacin. It could also provide additional choices for validation, quality assurance purposes and improve antibiotic usage.

    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Prevalence of overactive bladder symptoms among women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndromeexternal icon
        Dubinskaya A, Tholemeier LN, Erickson T, De Hoedt AM, Barbour KE, Kim J, Freedland SJ, Anger JT.
        Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2022 Mar 1;28(3):e115-e119.
        IMPORTANCE: Symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency, and urinary leakage are characteristic of overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome. However, frequency and urgency symptoms are also present in most patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to describe the urge incontinence among women with IC/BPS, which may indicate true overlap of OAB and IC/BPS. STUDY DESIGN: This is a prospective study of women with IC/BPS diagnosed clinically in the Veterans Affairs Health Care system. Patients completed the OAB and Female Genitourinary Pain Index (F-GUPI) questionnaires. Questions from the OAB questionnaire were used to analyze symptoms of urinary urgency and urge incontinence. Pain symptoms, urinary symptoms, and impact on quality of life were assessed based on the F-GUPI. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and symptoms were reviewed. RESULTS: Within the cohort of 144 women with IC/BPS, 100 (69%) had urinary leakage associated with the strong desire to void and were more likely to have incontinence compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001). The IC/BPS group also had higher total and pain scores on the F-GUPI (P < 0.001), but pain scores were not affected by the presence of incontinence (P = 0.478). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of OAB symptoms of urinary leakage is high among women with IC/BPS. This may explain the efficacy of OAB medication and third-line therapies in this population.

      2. Public health agencies have played a critical role in addressing the complex health and mental health needs of cancer survivors. We conducted a mixed-methods evaluation via a Web-based survey (n = 51) and focus groups (n = 11) with National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) recipients and interviews (n = 9) with survivors, health care providers (HCPs), and patient navigators to explore these audiences' cancer survivorship information needs and strategies to improve resource dissemination. Participants revealed a need for tailored resources and support for survivors on healthy lifestyle, post-treatment survivorship concerns, psychosocial health, and navigating the health system. HCP needs included education on survivorship care plans and care coordination to facilitate the transition between oncology and primary care. HCPs were survivors' most trusted source for information; however, participants noted difficulties engaging HCPs in survivorship care. These findings can help public health practitioners focus their efforts to better meet the needs of cancer survivors and their HCPs.

      3. Epidemiology of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia in the United States, 2018 and 2019external icon
        Payne AB, Adamski A, Abe K, Reyes NL, Richardson LC, Hooper WC, Schieve LA.
        Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2022 Feb;6(2):e12682.
        BACKGROUND: Population-based data about cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) are limited. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the epidemiology of CVST in the United States. PATIENTS/METHODS: Three administrative data systems were analyzed: the 2018 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (NIS) the 2019 IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Claims Database, and the 2019 IBM MarketScan Multi-state Medicaid Database. CVST, thrombocytopenia, and numerous comorbidities were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. Incidence rates of CVST and CVST with thrombocytopenia were estimated (per 100,000 total US population [NIS] and per 100,000 population aged 0 to 64 years covered by relevant contributing health plans [MarketScan samples]). Comorbidity prevalence was estimated among CVST cases versus total inpatients in the NIS sample. Recent pregnancy prevalence was estimated for the Commercial sample. RESULTS: Incidence rates of CVST in NIS, Commercial, and Medicaid samples were 2.85, 2.45, and 3.16, respectively. Incidence rates of CVST with thrombocytopenia were 0.21, 0.22, and 0.16, respectively. In all samples, CVST incidence increased with age; however, peak incidence was reached at younger ages in females than males. Compared with the general inpatient population, persons with CVST had higher prevalences of hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, other venous thromboembolism (VTE), central nervous system infection, head or neck infection, prior VTE, thrombophilia, malignancy, head injury, hemorrhagic disorder, and connective tissue disorders. Women aged 18 to 49 years with CVST had a higher pregnancy prevalence than the same-aged general population. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide recent and comprehensive data on the epidemiology of CVST and CVST with thrombocytopenia.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Among EvergreenHealth Home Care Service professionals, no coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases were reported when they were instructed to use standard, contact, and droplet precautions with eye protection while providing home health care to patients diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). These precautions might provide some level of protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among home healthcare personnel.

      2. Severe acute respiratory illness surveillance for influenza in Kenya: Patient characteristics and lessons learntexternal icon
        Gachari MN, Ndegwa L, Emukule GO, Kirui L, Kalani R, Juma B, Mayieka L, Kinuthia P, Widdowson MA, Chaves SS.
        Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2022 Mar 14.
        BACKGROUND: We describe the epidemiology and clinical features of Kenyan patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza compared with those testing negative and discuss the potential contribution of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) surveillance in monitoring a broader range of respiratory pathogens. METHODS: We described demographic and clinical characteristics of SARI cases among children (<18 years) and adults, separately. We compared disease severity (clinical features and treatment) of hospitalized influenza positive versus negative cases and explored independent predictors of death among SARI cases using a multivariable logistic regression model. RESULTS: From January 2014 to December 2018, 11,666 persons were hospitalized with SARI and overall positivity for influenza was ~10%. There were 10,742 (96%) children (<18 years)-median age of 1 year, interquartile range (IQR = 6 months, 2 years). Only 424 (4%) of the SARI cases were adults (≥18 years), with median age of 38 years (IQR 28 years, 52 years). There was no difference in disease severity comparing influenza positive and negative cases among children. Children hospitalized with SARI who had an underlying illness had greater odds of in-hospital death compared with those without (adjusted odds ratio 2.11 95% CI 1.09-4.07). No further analysis was done among adults due to the small sample size. CONCLUSION: Kenya's sentinel surveillance for SARI mainly captures data on younger children. Hospital-based platforms designed to monitor influenza viruses and associated disease burden may be adapted and expanded to other respiratory viruses to inform public health interventions. Efforts should be made to capture adults as part of routine respiratory surveillance.

      3. SARS-CoV-2 incidence in k-12 school districts with mask-required versus mask-optional policies - Arkansas, August-October 2021external icon
        Donovan CV, Rose C, Lewis KN, Vang K, Stanley N, Motley M, Brown CC, Gray FJ, Thompson JW, Amick BC, Williams ML, Thomas E, Neatherlin J, Zohoori N, Porter A, Cima M.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):384-389.
        Masks are effective at limiting transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1), but the impact of policies requiring masks in school settings has not been widely evaluated (2-4). During fall 2021, some school districts in Arkansas implemented policies requiring masks for students in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12). To identify any association between mask policies and COVID-19 incidence, weekly school-associated COVID-19 incidence in school districts with full or partial mask requirements was compared with incidence in districts without mask requirements during August 23-October 16, 2021. Three analyses were performed: 1) incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated comparing districts with full mask requirements (universal mask requirement for all students and staff members) or partial mask requirements (e.g., masks required in certain settings, among certain populations, or if specific criteria could not be met) with school districts with no mask requirement; 2) ratios of observed-to-expected numbers of cases, by district were calculated; and 3) incidence in districts that switched from no mask requirement to any mask requirement were compared before and after implementation of the mask policy. Mean weekly district-level attack rates were 92-359 per 100,000 persons in the community* and 137-745 per 100,000 among students and staff members; mean student and staff member vaccination coverage ranged from 13.5% to 18.6%. Multivariable adjusted IRRs, which included adjustment for vaccination coverage, indicated that districts with full mask requirements had 23% lower COVID-19 incidence among students and staff members compared with school districts with no mask requirements. Observed-to-expected ratios for full and partial mask policies were lower than ratios for districts with no mask policy but were slightly higher for districts with partial policies than for those with full mask policies. Among districts that switched from no mask requirement to any mask requirement (full or partial), incidence among students and staff members decreased by 479.7 per 100,000 (p<0.01) upon implementation of the mask policy. In areas with high COVID-19 community levels, masks are an important part of a multicomponent prevention strategy in K-12 settings (5).

      4. Notes from the field: Congenital varicella syndrome case - Illinois, 2021external icon
        Leung J, Reid HD, Morgan J, Kadyk H, Havener G, Marin M.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):390-392.

      5. COVID-19 case investigations among federally quarantined evacuees from Wuhan, China, and exposed personnel at a US Military Base, United States, February 5-21, 2020external icon
        Chuey M, Stewart R, Walters M, Curren E, Hills S, Moser K, Staples JE, Braden C, McDonald E.
        Public Health Rep. 2022 ;137(2):203-207.
        In February 2020, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, 232 evacuees from Wuhan, China, were placed under federal 14-day quarantine upon arrival at a US military base in San Diego, California. We describe the monitoring of evacuees and responders for symptoms of COVID-19, case and contact investigations, infection control procedures, and lessons learned to inform future quarantine protocols for evacuated people from a hot spot resulting from a novel pathogen. Thirteen (5.6%) evacuees had COVID-19–compatible symptoms and 2 (0.9%) had laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2. Two case investigations identified 43 contacts; 3 (7.0%) contacts had symptoms but tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Daily symptom and temperature screening of evacuees and enacted infection control procedures resulted in rapid case identification and isolation and no detected secondary transmission among evacuees or responders. Lessons learned highlight the challenges associated with public health response to a novel pathogen and the evolution of mitigation strategies as knowledge of the pathogen evolves.

    • Community Health Services
      1. Overwhelming support for sexual health education in U.S. schools: A meta-analysis of 23 surveys conducted between 2000 and 2016external icon
        Szucs LE, Harper CR, Andrzejewski J, Barrios LC, Robin L, Hunt P.
        J Adolesc Health. 2022 ;70(4):598-606.
        Purpose: Surveys suggest that the general public (i.e., adults or parents) supports sexual health education in schools. However, the number of schools providing sex education continues to decline in the United States. The purpose of this study is to conduct a meta-analysis of U.S.-based representative surveys to provide a pooled estimate of public support for sexual health education delivered in schools. Methods: A systematic search of three databases (Medline, PsycInfo, and ERIC) was conducted to identify survey measuring adult and parent attitudes toward sexual health education in school between 2000 and 2016. Meta-analyses were conducted in OpenMetaAnalyst via the metaphor package in R using a DerSimonian-Laird random effect models to account for heterogeneity between surveys. Results: A total of 23 citations met study inclusion and exclusion criteria, representing 15 unique probability surveys conducted with the public. Among the included surveys, 14 were nationwide and 11 included parents or an overrepresentation of parents. Across all survey findings, 88.7% (95% confidence interval = 86.2–91.2) of respondents supported sexual health education. Among surveys that only included parents or oversampled for parents, 90.0% (95% confidence interval = 86.5–93.4) supported sexual health education, and among nationally representative surveys, 87.7% (95% confidence interval = 85.1–90.6) of respondents supported sexual health education. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate overwhelming support for sexual health education delivered in schools. Additional research is needed to determine individual differences in support for specific sexual health education topics and skills delivered through classroom-based instruction. © 2021

      2. Adolescents’ health behaviors and experiences contribute to many outcomes, including risks for HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancy. Public health interventions and approaches addressing risk behaviors or experiences in adolescence have the potential for wide-reaching impacts on sexual health and other related outcomes across the lifespan, and schools are a critical venue for such interventions. This paper describes a school-based program model developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Adolescent and School Health for preventing HIV/sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and related health risk behaviors and experiences among middle and high school students. This includes a summary of the theoretical and evidence base that inform the model, and a description of the model's activities, organized into three key strategies (sexual health education, sexual health services, and safe and supportive environments) and across three cross-cutting domains (strengthening staff capacity, increasing student access to programs and services, and engaging parent and community partners). The paper also outlines implications for adolescent health professionals and organizations working across schools, clinics, and communities, to address and promote adolescent sexual health and well-being. © 2021

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Surveillance and control of culex quinquefasciatus using autocidal gravid ovitrapsexternal icon
        Barrera R, Acevedo V, Amador M.
        J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2022 Mar 1;38(1):19-23.
        We monitored trap captures of Culex quinquefasciatus using an interrupted time-series study to determine if autocidal gravid ovitraps (AGO traps) were useful to control the population of this mosquito species in a community in southern Puerto Rico. Data for this report came from a previous study in which we used mass trapping to control Aedes aegypti, resulting in a significant 79% reduction in numbers of this species. The AGO traps used to monitor and control Ae. aegypti also captured numerous Cx. quinquefasciatus. Culex quinquefasciatus was monitored in surveillance AGO traps from October 2011 to February 2013, followed by a mosquito control intervention from February 2013 to June 2014. Optimal captures of this mosquito occurred on the 2nd wk after the traps were set or serviced, which happened every 8 wk. Changes in collection numbers of Cx. quinquefasciatus were positively correlated with rainfall and showed oscillations every 8 wk, as revealed by sample autocorrelation analyses. Culex quinquefasciatus was attracted to and captured by AGO traps, so mass trapping caused a significant but moderate reduction of the local population (31.2%) in comparison with previous results for Ae. aegypti, possibly resulting from female mosquitoes flying in from outside of the study area and decreased attraction to the traps past the 2nd wk of trap servicing. Because Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus are frequently established in urban areas, mass trapping to control the former has some impact on Cx. quinquefasciatus. Control of the latter could be improved by locating and treating its aquatic habitats within and around the community.

      2. Association between growth rate and pathogenicity of spotted fever group Rickettsiaexternal icon
        Bourchookarn A, Paddock CD, Macaluso KR, Bourchookarn W.
        J Pure Appl Microbiol. 2022 ;16(1):374-383.
        Rickettsia parkeri and Rickettsia amblyommatis are spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) associated with Amblyomma ticks. R. parkeri is a recognized human pathogen that causes an eschar-associated febrile illness, while R. amblyommatis has not been confirmed as a causative agent of human disease. We hypothesized that the rate of replication is one of the factors contributing to rickettsial pathogenicity. In this study, growth and infectivity of R. parkeri and R. amblyommatis in mammalian (Vero E6) and tick-derived (ISE6) cell lines were assessed and compared over a 96-hour time course of infection using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and microscopy. The pathogenic R. parkeri displayed a significantly higher level of infection in both Vero E6 and ISE6 cells than R. amblyommatis at 72 hours post-inoculation (hpi). Distinct growth profiles between rickettsial species with known and uncertain pathogenicity were identified. R. parkeri burdens were significantly greater than those of R. amblyommatis from 24 to 96 hpi. The relative fold changes of load were significantly higher in the pathogenic agent than in R. amblyommatis from 48 hpi onward and reached the maximum fold increase of ∼2002- and ∼296-fold in Vero E6 cells and ∼1363- and ∼161-fold in ISE6 cells, respectively, at 96 hpi. The results from the present study demonstrate that growth rate is associated with the pathogenicity of rickettsiae. Understanding SFGR growth characteristics in mammalian and tick cells will provide insight into rickettsial biology and pathogenesis. © The Author(s) 2022.

    • Drug Safety
      1. Dose tapering, increases, and discontinuity among patients on long-term high-dose opioid therapy in the United States, 2017-2019external icon
        Nataraj N, Strahan AE, Guy GP, Losby JL, Dowell D.
        Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 Mar 3;234:109392.
        BACKGROUND: While reduced exposure to prescription opioids may decrease risks, including overdose and opioid use disorder, abrupt tapering or discontinuation may pose new risks. OBJECTIVES: To examine potentially unsafe tapering and discontinuation among dosage changes in opioid prescriptions dispensed to US patients on high-dose long-term opioid therapy. DESIGN: Longitudinal observational study of adults (≥18 years) on stable high-dose (≥50 oral morphine milligram equivalents [MME] daily dosage) long-term opioid therapy during a 180-day baseline and a 360-day follow-up using all-payer pharmaceutical claims data, 2017-2019. MEASURES: Dosage tapering, increases, and/or stability during follow-up; sustained dosage stability, reductions, or discontinuation at the end of follow-up; and tapering rate. Patients could experience more than one outcome during follow-up. RESULTS: Among 595,078 patients receiving high-dose long-term opioid therapy in the sample, 26.7% experienced sustained dosage reductions and 9.3% experienced discontinuation. Among patients experiencing tapering, 62.0% experienced maximum taper rates between > 10-40% reductions per month and 36.1% experienced monthly rates ≥ 40%. Among patients with mean baseline daily dosages ≥ 150 MME, 47.7% experienced a maximum taper rate ≥ 40% per month. Relative to baseline, 19.7% of patients experiencing tapering had long-term dosage reductions ≥ 40% per month at the end of follow-up. IMPLICATIONS: Dosage changes for patients on high-dose long-term opioid therapy may warrant special attention, particularly over shorter intervals, to understand how potentially sudden tapering and discontinuation can be reduced while emphasizing patient safety and shared decision-making. Rapid discontinuation of opioids can increase risk of adverse outcomes including opioid withdrawal.

      2. Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Chagas disease is endemic in rural areas of Latin America, but T. cruzi, triatomine vectors, infected mammalian reservoir hosts, and rare cases of autochthonous vector borne transmission have been reported in the United States (1). Possible modes of transmission include the following: vector borne via skin or mucosal contact with feces of infected triatomine bugs, congenital, blood transfusion, organ transplantation, or laboratory accident. Chagas disease can be treated with benznidazole (commercially available since May 14, 2018) or nifurtimox (2). Before January 25, 2021, nifurtimox (Lampit) had been exclusively available through CDC under an Institutional Review Board-approved Investigational New Drug (IND) treatment protocol, at which time it became reasonably accessible to health care providers outside of the program. This report summarizes CDC Drug Service reports for selected characteristics of and adverse events reported by 336 patients for whom nifurtimox was requested under the CDC IND program during January 1, 2001-January 25, 2021. Of the 336 patients, 34.2% resided in California. Median age of patients was 37 years (range = 1-78 years). Most patients were aged ≥18 (91.8%; 305 of 332) and Hispanic (93.2%; 290 of 311). Among the patients with available information, 91.4% (222 of 243) reported an adverse event. Among those with information about the severity of their adverse events, 20.5% reported a severe event. On August 7, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of a nifurtimox product, Lampit (Bayer), for treatment of Chagas disease in patients aged <18 years weighing ≥5.5 lbs (≥2.5 kg). Lampit became commercially available during October 2020. Physicians should take frequency of adverse events into consideration when prescribing nifurtimox and counseling patients.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Factors related to water filter use for drinking tap water at home and its association with consuming plain water and sugar-sweetened beverages among U.S. Adultsexternal icon
        Park S, Onufrak SJ, Cradock AL, Hecht C, Patel A, Chevinsky JR, Blanck HM.
        Am J Health Promot. 2022 Jan 27:8901171211073304.
        OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with water filter use (WFU) for drinking tap water at home and its association with consuming plain water and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). DESIGN: Quantitative, cross-sectional study. SETTING: The 2018 SummerStyles survey data. SUBJECTS: U.S. adults (≥18 years; N=4042). MEASURES: Outcomes were intake of plain water (tap/bottled water) and SSBs. Exposure was WFU (yes, no, not drinking tap water at home). Covariates included sociodemographics, weight status, Census regions, and home ownership status. ANALYSIS: We used multivariable logistic regressions to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for consuming tap water, bottled water, or total plain water >3 cups/day (vs. ≤3 cups) and SSBs ≥1 time/day (vs. <1 time) by WFU. RESULTS: Overall, 36% of adults reported using a filter for drinking tap water at home; 14% did not drink tap water at home. Hispanics had significantly higher odds of using a water filter (AOR=1.50, 95% CI=1.14-1.98) vs non-Hispanic White. Factors significantly associated with lower odds of WFU were lower education (AOR=.69, 95% CI=.55-.86 for ≤high school; AOR=.78, 95% CI=.64-.95 for some college, vs college graduate), not being married (AOR=.81, 95% CI=.66-.98, vs married/domestic partnership), and lower household income (AOR=.68, 95% CI=.68-.90 for <$35,000, vs ≥$100,000). Using a water filter was associated with higher odds of drinking >3 cups/day of tap water (AOR=1.33, 95% CI=1.13-1.56) and lower odds of SSBs ≥1 time/day (AOR=.76, 95% CI=.62-.92). Not drinking tap water at home was associated with higher odds of drinking >3 cups/day bottled water (AOR=3.46, 95% CI=2.70-4.44). CONCLUSIONS: WFU was associated with higher tap water intake and lower SSB intake among U.S. adults. WFU was higher among Hispanics, but lower among those with lower education and income and not married adults. Although WFU was associated with healthful beverage habits, additional considerations for WFU may include source water quality, oral health, cost, and proper use.

      2. Randomized clinical trial of air cleaners to improve indoor air quality and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease health: Results of the CLEAN AIR Studyexternal icon
        Hansel NN, Putcha N, Woo H, Peng R, Diette GB, Fawzy A, Wise RA, Romero K, Davis MF, Rule AM, Eakin MN, Breysse PN, McCormack MC, Koehler K.
        Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Feb 15;205(4):421-430.
        Rationale: Indoor particulate matter is associated with worse chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) outcomes. It remains unknown whether reductions of indoor pollutants improve respiratory morbidity. Objectives: To determine whether placement of active portable high-efficiency particulate air cleaners can improve respiratory morbidity in former smokers. Methods: Eligible former smokers with moderate-to-severe COPD received active or sham portable high-efficiency particulate absolute air cleaners and were followed for 6 months in this blinded randomized controlled trial. The primary outcome was 6-month change in St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Secondary outcomes were exacerbation risk, respiratory symptoms, rescue medication use, and 6-minute-walk distance (6MWD). Intention-to-treat analysis included all subjects, and per-protocol analysis included adherent participants (greater than 80% use of air cleaner). Measurements and Main Results: A total of 116 participants were randomized, of which 84.5% completed the study. There was no statistically significant difference in total SGRQ score, but the active filter group had greater reduction in SGRQ symptom subscale (β, -7.7 [95% confidence interval (CI), -15.0 to -0.37]) and respiratory symptoms (Breathlessness, Cough, and Sputum Scale, β, -0.8 [95% CI, -1.5 to -0.1]); and lower rate of moderate exacerbations (incidence rate ratio, 0.32 [95% CI, 0.12-0.91]) and rescue medication use (incidence rate ratio, 0.54 [95% CI, 0.33-0.86]) compared with sham group (all P < 0.05). In per-protocol analysis, there was a statistically significant difference in primary outcome between the active filter versus sham group (SGRQ, β -4.76 [95% CI, -9.2 to -0.34]) and in moderate exacerbation risk, Breathlessness, Cough, and Sputum Scale, and 6MWD. Participants spending more time indoors were more likely to have treatment benefit. Conclusions: This is the first environmental intervention study conducted among former smokers with COPD showing potential health benefits of portable high-efficiency particulate absolute air cleaners, particularly among those with greater adherence and spending a greater time indoors.

      3. AIMS: To determine the efficacy of a panel of nine EPA-registered disinfectants against two human norovirus (HuNoV) surrogates [feline calicivirus (FCV) and Tulane virus (TuV)] and Clostridioides difficile endospores. METHODS AND RESULTS: Nine EPA-registered products, five of which contained H(2) O(2) as active ingredient, were tested against infectious FCV, TuV, and C. difficile endospores using two ASTM methods, a suspension and carrier test. Efficacy claims against FCV were confirmed for 8 of 9 products. The most efficacious product containing H(2) O(2) as ingredient, achieved a >5.1 log reduction of FCV and >3.1 log reduction of TuV after 5 min, and >6.0 log reduction of C. difficile endospores after 10 min. Of the five products containing H(2) O(2) , no strong correlation (R(2) =0.25, p=0.03) was observed between disinfection efficacy and H(2) O(2) concentration. Addition of 0.025% ferrous sulfate to 1% H(2) O(2) solution improved efficacy against FCV, TuV, and C. difficile. CONCLUSION: Disinfectants containing H(2) O(2) are the most efficacious disinfection products against FCV, TuV and C. difficile endospores. Product formulation, rather than the concentration of H(2) O(2) in a product, impacts the efficacy of a disinfection product. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY: H(2) O(2) -based disinfectants are efficacious against surrogate viruses for HuNoV and C. difficile endospores.

      4. Invasive mould infections in patients from floodwater- damaged areas after Hurricane Harvey - a closer look at an immunocompromised cancer patient populationexternal icon
        Wurster S, Paraskevopoulos T, Toda M, Jiang Y, Tarrand JJ, Williams S, Chiller TM, Jackson BR, Kontoyiannis DP.
        J Infect. 2022 Mar 11.
        OBJECTIVES: Extensive floodwater damage following hurricane Harvey raised concerns of increase in invasive mould infections (IMIs), especially in immunocompromised patients. To more comprehensively characterize the IMI landscape pre- and post- Harvey, we used a modified, less restrictive clinical IMI (mcIMI) definition by incorporating therapeutic-intent antifungal drug prescriptions combined with an expanded list of host and clinical features. METHODS: We reviewed 103 patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas), who lived in Harvey-affected counties and had mould-positive cultures within 12 months pre-/post-Harvey (36 and 67 patients, respectively). Cases were classified as proven or probable IMI (EORTC/MSG criteria), mcIMI, or colonization/ contamination. We also compared in-hospital mortality and 42- day survival outcomes of patients with mcIMI pre-/ post- Harvey. RESULTS: The number of patients with mould- positive cultures from Harvey- affected counties almost doubled from 36 pre- Harvey to 67 post- Harvey (p < 0.01). In contrast, no significant changes in (mc) IMI incidence post- Harvey nor changes in the etiological mould genera were noted. However, patients with mcIMIs from flood affected areas had significantly higher in- hospital mortality (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: We observed increased colonization but no excess cases of (mc)IMIs in immunosuppressed cancer patients from affected areas following a large flooding event such as hurricane Harvey.

      5. Understanding public perceptions of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances: Infodemiology study of social mediaexternal icon
        Tian H, Gaines C, Launi L, Pomales A, Vazquez G, Goharian A, Goodnight B, Haney E, Reh CM, Rogers RD.
        J Med Internet Res. 2022 Mar 11;24(3):e25614.
        BACKGROUND: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are environmental contaminants that have received significant public attention. PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. Human exposure to PFAS is a growing public health concern. Studies suggest that exposure to PFAS may increase the risk of some cancers and have negative health impacts on the endocrine, metabolic, and immune systems. Federal and state health partners are investigating the exposure to and possible health effects associated with PFAS. Government agencies can observe social media discourse on PFAS to better understand public concerns and develop targeted communication and outreach efforts. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study is to understand how social media is used to share, disseminate, and engage in public discussions of PFAS-related information in the United States. METHODS: We investigated PFAS-related content across 2 social media platforms between May 1, 2017, and April 30, 2019, to identify how social media is used in the United States to seek and disseminate PFAS-related information. Our key variable of interest was posts that mentioned "PFAS," "PFOA," "PFOS," and their hashtag variations across social media platforms. Additional variables included post type, time, PFAS event, and geographic location. We examined term use and post type differences across platforms. We used descriptive statistics and regression analysis to assess the incidence of PFAS discussions and to identify the date, event, and geographic patterns. We qualitatively analyzed social media content to determine the most prevalent themes discussed on social media platforms. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed that Twitter had a significantly greater volume of PFAS-related posts compared with Reddit (98,264 vs 3126 posts). PFAS-related social media posts increased by 670% over 2 years, indicating a marked increase in social media users' interest in and awareness of PFAS. Active engagement varied across platforms, with Reddit posts demonstrating more in-depth discussions compared with passive likes and reposts among Twitter users. Spikes in PFAS discussions were evident and connected to the discovery of contamination events, media coverage, and scientific publications. Thematic analysis revealed that social media users see PFAS as a significant public health concern and seek a trusted source of information about PFAS-related public health efforts. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis identified a prevalent theme-on social media, PFAS are perceived as an immediate public health concern, which demonstrates a growing sense of urgency to understand this emerging contaminant and its potential health impacts. Government agencies can continue using social media research to better understand the changing community sentiment on PFAS and disseminate targeted information and then use social media as a forum for dispelling misinformation, communicating scientific findings, and providing resources for relevant public health services.

    • Health Equity and Health Disparities
      1. Black/African American (Black) versus White persons are unequally burdened by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States. Structural factors can influence social determinants of health, key components in reducing HIV-related health inequality by race. This analysis examined HIV care outcomes among Black and White persons with diagnosed HIV (PWDH) in relation to three structural factors: racial redlining, Medicaid expansion, and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) use. Using National HIV Surveillance System, U.S. Census, and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, we examined linkage to HIV care and viral suppression (i.e., viral load < 200 copies/mL) in relation to the structural factors among 12,996 Black and White PWDH with HIV diagnosed in 2017/alive at year-end 2018, aged ≥ 18 years, and residing in 38 U.S. jurisdictions with complete laboratory data, geocoding, and census tract-level redlining indexes. Compared to White PWDH, a lower proportion of Black PWDH were linked to HIV care within 1 month after diagnosis and were virally suppressed in 2018. Redlining was not associated with the HIV care outcomes. A higher prevalence of PWDH residing (v. not residing) in states with Medicaid expansion were linked to HIV care ≤ 1 month after diagnosis. A higher prevalence of those residing (v. not residing) in states with > 50% of PWDH in RWHAP had viral suppression. Direct exposure to redlining was not associated with poor HIV care outcomes. Structural factors that reduce the financial burden of HIV care and improve care access like Medicaid expansion and RWHAP might improve HIV care outcomes of PWDH.

      2. Lessons learned from a qualitative COVID-19 investigation among essential workers with limited English proficiency in Southwest Kansasexternal icon
        Jaramillo J, Moran Bradley B, Jentes ES, Rahman M, Sood NJ, Weiner Ph DJ, Marano N, Ahmed FS, Kumar GS.
        Health Educ Behav. 2022 Mar 11:10901981221080091.
        In this commentary, we briefly describe our methodology in conducting a remote qualitative investigation with essential workers from southwest Kansas, and then describe some key considerations, challenges, and lessons learned in recruiting and conducting interviews remotely. From August 4, 2020 through August 26, 2020, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff conducted five phone interviews with culturally and linguistically diverse employees in southwest Kansas to understand COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practices and communication preferences. Our experience details the potential challenges of the federal government in recruiting individuals from these communities and highlights the possibilities for more effectively engaging health department and community partners to support investigation efforts. Optimizing recruitment strategies with additional participation from community partners, developing culturally and linguistically appropriate data collection tools, and providing supportive resources and services may augment participation from refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities in similar remote investigations.

      3. Background: CDC content directed toward the healthcare community tends to be highly technical. Infection control content created for the healthcare sector and those who care for patients tends to be written at high grade levels with an assumption of existing, and even robust, infection control knowledge among the intended audience. Many providing care to patients in long term care may not have attended medical school or received years of specialized training at nursing school. Conclusions: This commentary describes innovations that evolved in communicating about infection control for long-term care facilities, specifically nursing homes, and the need to address health equity in those communications that became especially clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    • Immune System Disorders
      1. Aberrant cellular glycosylation may increase the ability of influenza viruses to escape host immune responses through modification of the viral glycomeexternal icon
        Alymova IV, Cipollo JF, Parsons LM, Music N, Kamal RP, Tzeng WP, Goldsmith CS, Contessa JN, Hartshorn KL, Wilson JR, Zeng H, Gansebom S, York IA.
        mBio. 2022 Mar 14:e0298321.
        Individuals with metabolic dysregulation of cellular glycosylation often experience severe influenza disease, with a poor immune response to the virus and low vaccine efficacy. Here, we investigate the consequences of aberrant cellular glycosylation for the glycome and the biology of influenza virus. We transiently induced aberrant N-linked glycosylation in cultured cells with an oligosaccharyltransferase inhibitor, NGI-1. Cells treated with NGI-1 produced morphologically unaltered viable influenza virus with sequence-neutral glycosylation changes (primarily reduced site occupancy) in the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins. Hemagglutinin with reduced glycan occupancy required a higher concentration of surfactant protein D (an important innate immunity respiratory tract collectin) for inhibition compared to that with normal glycan occupancy. Immunization of mice with NGI-1-treated virus significantly reduced antihemagglutinin and antineuraminidase titers of total serum antibody and reduced hemagglutinin protective antibody responses. Our data suggest that aberrant cellular glycosylation may increase the risk of severe influenza as a result of the increased ability of glycome-modified influenza viruses to evade the immune response. IMPORTANCE People with disorders such as cancer, autoimmune disease, diabetes, or obesity often have metabolic dysregulation of cellular glycosylation and also have more severe influenza disease, a reduced immune response to the virus, and reduced vaccine efficacy. Since influenza viruses that infect such people do not show consistent genomic variations, it is generally assumed that the altered biology is mainly related to host factors. However, since host cells are responsible for glycosylation of influenza virus hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, and glycosylation is important for interactions of these proteins with the immune system, the viruses may have functional differences that are not reflected by their genomic sequence. Here, we show that imbalanced cellular glycosylation can modify the viral glycome without genomic changes, leading to reduced innate and adaptive host immune responses to infection. Our findings link metabolic dysregulation of host glycosylation to increased risk of severe influenza and reduced influenza virus vaccine efficacy.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Use of recombinant zoster vaccine in immunocompromised adults aged ≥19 years: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices-United States, 2022external icon
        Anderson TC, Masters NB, Guo A, Shepersky L, Leidner AJ, Lee GM, Kotton CN, Dooling KL.
        Am J Transplant. 2022 Mar;22(3):986-990.

      2. Association of community engagement with vaccination confidence and uptake: A cross-sectional survey in Sierra Leone, 2019external icon
        Jalloh MF, Sengeh P, Ibrahim N, Kulkarni S, Sesay T, Eboh V, Jalloh MB, Abu Pratt S, Webber N, Thomas H, Kaiser R, Singh T, Prybylski D, Omer SB, Brewer NT, Wallace AS.
        J Glob Health. 2022 ;12:04006.
        BACKGROUND: The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic disrupted childhood immunization in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. After the epidemic, the Government of Sierra Leone prioritized community engagement to increase vaccination confidence and uptake. To support these efforts, we examined potential drivers of vaccination confidence and uptake in Sierra Leone. METHODS: We conducted a population-based household survey with primary caregivers of children in a birth cohort of 12 to 23 months in four districts with low vaccination coverage in Sierra Leone in 2019. Modified Poisson regression modeling with robust variance estimation was used to examine if perceived community engagement in planning the immunization program in the community was associated with vaccination confidence and having a fully vaccinated child. RESULTS: The sample comprised 621 age-eligible children and their caregivers (91% response rate). Half of the caregivers (52%) reported that it usually takes too long to get to the vaccination site, and 36% perceived that health workers expect money for vaccination services that are supposed to be given at no charge. When mothers were the decision-makers of the children's vaccination, 80% of the children were fully vaccinated versus 69% when fathers were the decision-makers and 56% when other relatives were the decision-makers. Caregivers with high confidence in vaccination were more likely to have fully vaccinated children compared to caregivers with low confidence (78% versus 53%). For example, caregivers who thought vaccines are 'very much' safe were more likely to have fully vaccinated children than those who thought vaccines are 'somewhat' safe (76% versus 48%). Overall, 53% of caregivers perceived high level of community engagement, 41% perceived medium level of engagement, and 6% perceived low level of engagement. Perceiving high community engagement was associated with expressing high vaccination confidence (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 2.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.67-4.04) and having a fully vaccinated child (aPR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.18-2.38). CONCLUSIONS: In these four low coverage districts in Sierra Leone, the perceived level of community engagement was strongly associated with vaccination confidence among caregivers and vaccination uptake among children. We have provided exploratory cross-sectional evidence to inform future longitudinal assessments to further investigate the potential causal effect of community engagement on vaccination confidence and uptake.

      3. Safety of mRNA vaccines administered during the initial 6 months of the US COVID-19 vaccination programme: an observational study of reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and V-Safeexternal icon
        Rosenblum HG, Gee J, Liu R, Marquez PL, Zhang B, Strid P, Abara WE, McNeil MM, Myers TR, Hause AM, Su JR, Markowitz LE, Shimabukuro TT, Shay DK.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2022 Mar 7.
        BACKGROUND: In December, 2020, two mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines were authorised for use in the USA. We aimed to describe US surveillance data collected through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a passive system, and v-safe, a new active system, during the first 6 months of the US COVID-19 vaccination programme. METHODS: In this observational study, we analysed data reported to VAERS and v-safe during Dec 14, 2020, to June 14, 2021. VAERS reports were categorised as non-serious, serious, or death. Reporting rates were calculated using numbers of COVID-19 doses administered as the denominator. We analysed v-safe survey reports from days 0-7 after vaccination for reactogenicity, severity (mild, moderate, or severe), and health impacts (ie, unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, or received care from a medical professional). FINDINGS: During the study period, 298 792 852 doses of mRNA vaccines were administered in the USA. VAERS processed 340 522 reports: 313 499 (92·1%) were non-serious, 22 527 (6·6%) were serious (non-death), and 4496 (1·3%) were deaths. Over half of 7 914 583 v-safe participants self-reported local and systemic reactogenicity, more frequently after dose two (4 068 447 [71·7%] of 5 674 420 participants for local reactogenicity and 4 018 920 [70·8%] for systemic) than after dose one (4 644 989 [68·6%] of 6 775 515 participants for local reactogenicity and 3 573 429 [52·7%] for systemic). Injection-site pain (4 488 402 [66·2%] of 6 775 515 participants after dose one and 3 890 848 [68·6%] of 5 674 420 participants after dose two), fatigue (2 295 205 [33·9%] participants after dose one and 3 158 299 participants [55·7%] after dose two), and headache (1 831 471 [27·0%] participants after dose one and 2 623 721 [46·2%] participants after dose two) were commonly reported during days 0-7 following vaccination. Reactogenicity was reported most frequently the day after vaccination; most reactions were mild. More reports of being unable to work, do normal activities, or of seeking medical care occurred after dose two (1 821 421 [32·1%]) than after dose one (808 963 [11·9%]); less than 1% of participants reported seeking medical care after vaccination (56 647 [0·8%] after dose one and 53 077 [0·9%] after dose two). INTERPRETATION: Safety data from more than 298 million doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine administered in the first 6 months of the US vaccination programme show that most reported adverse events were mild and short in duration. FUNDING: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      4. Interim estimates of 2021-22 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness - United States, February 2022external icon
        Chung JR, Kim SS, Kondor RJ, Smith C, Budd AP, Tartof SY, Florea A, Talbot HK, Grijalva CG, Wernli KJ, Phillips CH, Monto AS, Martin ET, Belongia EA, McLean HQ, Gaglani M, Reis M, Geffel KM, Nowalk MP, DaSilva J, Keong LM, Stark TJ, Barnes JR, Wentworth DE, Brammer L, Burns E, Fry AM, Patel MM, Flannery B.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):365-370.
        In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months except when contraindicated (1). Currently available influenza vaccines are designed to protect against four influenza viruses: A(H1N1)pdm09 (the 2009 pandemic virus), A(H3N2), B/Victoria lineage, and B/Yamagata lineage. Most influenza viruses detected this season have been A(H3N2) (2). With the exception of the 2020-21 season, when data were insufficient to generate an estimate, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine at preventing laboratory-confirmed, mild/moderate (outpatient) medically attended acute respiratory infection (ARI) each season since 2004-05. This interim report uses data from 3,636 children and adults with ARI enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network during October 4, 2021-February 12, 2022. Overall, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended outpatient ARI associated with influenza A(H3N2) virus was 16% (95% CI = -16% to 39%), which is considered not statistically significant. This analysis indicates that influenza vaccination did not reduce the risk for outpatient medically attended illness with influenza A(H3N2) viruses that predominated so far this season. Enrollment was insufficient to generate reliable VE estimates by age group or by type of influenza vaccine product (1). CDC recommends influenza antiviral medications as an adjunct to vaccination; the potential public health benefit of antiviral medications is magnified in the context of reduced influenza VE. CDC routinely recommends that health care providers continue to administer influenza vaccine to persons aged ≥6 months as long as influenza viruses are circulating, even when VE against one virus is reduced, because vaccine can prevent serious outcomes (e.g., hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, or death) that are associated with influenza A(H3N2) virus infection and might protect against other influenza viruses that could circulate later in the season.

      5. COVID-19 vaccine provider access and vaccination coverage among children aged 5-11 Years - United States, November 2021-January 2022external icon
        Kim C, Yee R, Bhatkoti R, Carranza D, Henderson D, Kuwabara SA, Trinidad JP, Radesky S, Cohen A, Vogt TM, Smith Z, Duggar C, Chatham-Stephens K, Ottis C, Rand K, Lim T, Jackson AF, Richardson D, Jaffe A, Lubitz R, Hayes R, Zouela A, Kotulich DL, Kelleher PN, Guo A, Pillai SK, Patel A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):378-383.
        On October 29, 2021, the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization for children aged 5-11 years in the United States.(†) For a successful immunization program, both access to and uptake of the vaccine are needed. Fifteen million doses were initially made available to pediatric providers to ensure the broadest possible access for the estimated 28 million eligible children aged 5-11 years, especially those in high social vulnerability index (SVI)(§) communities. Initial supply was strategically distributed to maximize vaccination opportunities for U.S. children aged 5-11 years. COVID-19 vaccination coverage among persons aged 12-17 years has lagged (1), and vaccine confidence has been identified as a concern among parents and caregivers (2). Therefore, COVID-19 provider access and early vaccination coverage among children aged 5-11 years in high and low SVI communities were examined during November 1, 2021-January 18, 2022. As of November 29, 2021 (4 weeks after program launch), 38,732 providers were enrolled, and 92% of U.S. children aged 5-11 years lived within 5 miles of an active provider. As of January 18, 2022 (11 weeks after program launch), 39,786 providers had administered 13.3 million doses. First dose coverage at 4 weeks after launch was 15.0% (10.5% and 17.5% in high and low SVI areas, respectively; rate ratio [RR] = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.60-0.78), and at 11 weeks was 27.7% (21.2% and 29.0% in high and low SVI areas, respectively; RR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.68-0.84). Overall series completion at 11 weeks after launch was 19.1% (13.7% and 21.7% in high and low SVI areas, respectively; RR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.58-0.77). Pharmacies administered 46.4% of doses to this age group, including 48.7% of doses in high SVI areas and 44.4% in low SVI areas. Although COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates were low, particularly in high SVI areas, first dose coverage improved over time. Additional outreach is critical, especially in high SVI areas, to improve vaccine confidence and increase coverage rates among children aged 5-11 years.

      6. Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination for adolescents aged 11-12 years and cervical cancer screening for women aged 21-65 years are recommended to help prevent cervical cancer. The purpose of this study was to describe 2018 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data for the United States on HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening from 275 commercial preferred provider organizations (PPOs), 219 commercial health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and 204 Medicaid HMOs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NCQA analyzed the data in 2021. The HEDIS measure for HPV vaccination was the percentage of male and female adolescents aged 13 years who completed HPV immunization (2- or 3-dose series) on or before their 13th birthday. The measure for cervical cancer screening was the percentage of women screened either with cervical cytology within the last 3 years for women aged 21-64 years or with cervical cytology/HPV co-testing within the last 5 years for women aged 30-64 years. Nationally, the mean rate for HPV vaccination in 2018 was 37.8% in Medicaid HMOs, 30.3% in commercial HMOs, and 24.9% in PPOs. The mean rate for cervical cancer screening was 75.9% in commercial HMOs, 72.6% in commercial PPOs, and 60.3% among Medicaid HMOs. Medicaid HMOs reported higher HPV vaccination rates but lower cervical cancer screening rates than commercial plans. These differences raise questions about explanatory factors and how to improve prevention performance by plan category.

      7. B1 cell-derived natural antibodies are non-specific polyreactive antibodies and can activate the complement pathway leading to lysis of enveloped virus particles before activation of the adaptive immune response. We investigated the relationship between natural antibody levels and treatment outcomes of 126 treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients, who underwent entecavir (ETV) treatment. Serum IgG1-3 and complement C3 levels were significantly higher in HBeAg-positive patients. In pre-treatment, IgG1 (odd ratios [OR] 2.3, p < 0.0001), IgG2 (OR 9.8, p < 0.0001), IgG3 (OR 7.4, p < 0.0001), and C3 (OR 7.2, p < 0.0001) were associated with HBeAg-positive patients. At baseline, IgG2 (OR 10.2, p = 0.025), IgG4, (OR 3.4, p = 0.026), and complement C1q (OR 5.0, p = 0.0068) were associated with seroconverters. Post-treatment levels of IgG1-4 and C3/C1q were also associated with HBeAg-positive patients and seroconverters. High levels of IgG2-4 and C1q were observed in seroconverters but not in virological responders. Thus, high pretreatment and post-treatment levels of natural antibody IgG1-4, complement C3, and/or C1q were significantly associated with HBeAg-positivity and HBeAg seroconverters in CHB patients with ETV treatment. These results suggest that the presence of preexisting host immunity against chronic hepatitis B is closely related to outcome of ETV treatment.

      8. Following the global declaration of indigenous wild poliovirus type 2 eradication in 2015, the world switched to oral polio vaccine (OPV) that removed the type 2 component. This 'switch' included the widespread introduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccine and the creation of a stockpile of monovalent type 2 OPV (mOPV2) to respond to potential polio virus Type 2 (PV2) outbreaks and events. With subsequent detection of outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), it was necessary to use this stockpile for outbreak response. Not only were more outbreaks detected than anticipated in the first few years after the switch, but the number of supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) used to stop transmission was often high, and in many cases did not stop wider transmission. Use of mOPV type 2 led in some locations to the emergence of new outbreaks that required further use of the vaccine from the stockpile. In the following years, stockpile management became a critical element of the cVDPV2 outbreak response strategy and continued to evolve to include trivalent OPV and genetically stabilized 'novel OPV type 2' vaccines in the stockpile. An overview of this process and its evolution is presented to highlight several of these management challenges. The unpredictable vaccine demand, fixed production and procurement timelines, resource requirements, and multiple vaccine types contributes to the complexity of assuring appropriate vaccine availability for this critical programmatic need to stop outbreaks.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. STUDY OBJECTIVE: We describe trends in emergency department (ED) visits for initial firearm injury encounters in the United States. METHODS: Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Syndromic Surveillance Program, we analyzed monthly and yearly trends in ED visit rates involving a firearm injury (calculated as the number of firearm injury-related ED visits divided by the total number of ED visits for each month and multiplied by 100,000) by sex-specific age group and US region from 2018 to 2019 and conducted Joinpoint regression to detect trend significance. RESULTS: Among approximately 215 million ED visits captured in the National Syndromic Surveillance Program from January 2018 to December 2019, 132,767 involved a firearm injury (61.6 per 100,000 ED visits). Among males, rates of firearm injury-related ED visits significantly increased for all age groups between 15 and 64 years during the study period. Among females, rates of firearm injury-related ED visits significantly increased for all age groups between 15 and 54 years during the study period. By region, rates significantly changed in the northeast, southeast, and southwest for males and females during the study period. CONCLUSION: These analyses highlight a novel data source for monitoring trends in ED visits for firearm injuries. With increased and effective use of state and local syndromic surveillance data, in addition to improvements to firearm injury syndrome definitions by intent, public health professionals could better detect unusual patterns of firearm injuries across the United States for improved prevention and tailored response efforts.

      2. Bullying is a type of youth violence and an adverse childhood experience that can result in trauma and have immediate and long-term consequences for all involved. It can happen at school or elsewhere - including online entertainment and social and learning environments. Some children are at increased risk for bullying victimization, such as those targeted because of their racial/ethnic background or cultural identity. This study assessed U.S. parents and caregivers' self-reported changes in concern about their children's involvement in bullying during Fall 2020 compared to the prior year, which was marked by extraordinary historical circumstances (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic, heightened awareness of racial inequities, schools transitioning to virtual learning). Secondary analyses of data from the 2020 Fall ConsumerStyles and Estilos online panel surveys - designed to be representative of U.S. adults overall and U.S. Hispanic adults, respectively - were conducted. Differences by children's type of school attendance (i.e., physically at school or not) and parents' sociodemographic characteristics were explored. While findings suggest that U.S. parents' concern for their children being bullied during Fall 2020 compared to the prior year did not change, significant differences were found by the children's type of school attendance and the parents' race/ethnicity - with increased concern among parents of children who physically attended school, non-Hispanic Black parents and Hispanic parents. Among parents who reported being less concerned during Fall 2020 about their children being bullied compared to the prior year, not being physically at school is noted as the main reason why. Parents who reported being more concerned frequently noted racism as the reason why. It is imperative to understand what parents think about bullying, to best inform efforts to support their key role in bullying prevention.

      3. Traumatic brain injury in older adults-a public health perspectiveexternal icon
        Waltzman D, Haarbauer-Krupa J, Womack LS.
        JAMA Neurol. 2022 Mar 14.

      4. Exposure to a youth-led sexual violence prevention program among adolescents: The impact of engagementexternal icon
        Banyard V, Edwards KM, Waterman EA, Kollar LM, Jones LM, Mitchell KJ.
        Psychol Violence. 2022 .
        Objective: Most studies of peer sexual violence (SV) prevention programs for adolescents focus on program outcomes or feasibility and acceptability; few examine how exposure levels or dosage affects impact. The present study examined the effects of attending multiple community-located youth-led prevention events, as compared to attending one or none, on peer violence (PV)-related attitudes and behaviors. Method: Middle and high school students (Mage at first wave = 13.7; 53.2% female; 76.5% White; 21.0% Native American) responded to surveys across 3 years. Logistic regression analyses compared students who attended one community-based event, two or more events, and zero events on sexual violence victimization, any other violence perpetration/victimization, social norms, denial of the problem of sexual violence, and bystander behaviors. Results: After controlling for exposure to longer prevention leadership training as well as baseline outcome levels, youth who participated in two or more community prevention events showed lower perpetration over time, improved prevention attitudes, and more helpful bystander actions in response to peer sexual violence. No significant differences were noted for attendance at one community-based event. Conclusions: Impact of out of school prevention events on youth behavior depends on more vigorous engagement than one-time contacts. Community-based prevention programs can utilize youth-led engagement strategies to help increase youth participation and resulting benefits © 2022. American Psychological Association

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 after the second wave in South Africa in HIV-infected and uninfected persons: A cross-sectional household surveyexternal icon
        Wolter N, Tempia S, von Gottberg A, Bhiman JN, Walaza S, Kleynhans J, Moyes J, Buys A, McMorrow ML, Aitken S, Magni S, Yun J, Fellows T, Maakamedi T, Weiner R, Cawood C, Martinson N, Lebina L, Jassat W, Brauer M, Cohen C.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Mar 10.
        BACKGROUND: Seroprevalence studies are important for quantifying the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections in resource-constrained countries. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional household survey spanning the second pandemic wave (November 2020 - April 2021) in three communities. Blood was collected for SARS-CoV-2 antibody (two ELISA assays targeting spike and nucleocapsid) and HIV testing. An individual was considered seropositive if testing positive on ≥1 assay. Factors associated with infection, and the age-standardised infection to case detection rate (ICR), infection hospitalisation rate (IHR) and infection fatality rate (IFR) were calculated. RESULTS: Overall 7959 participants were enrolled, with a median age of 34 years and HIV prevalence of 22.7%. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 45.2% (95% confidence interval 43.7% - 46.7%), and increased from 26.9% among individuals enrolled in December 2020 to 47.1% among individuals in April 2021. On multivariable analysis, seropositivity was associated with age, sex, race, being overweight/obese, having respiratory symptoms, and low socioeconomic status. Persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) with high viral load were less likely to be seropositive compared to HIV-uninfected individuals. The site-specific ICR, IHR and IFR ranged across sites from 4.4% to 8.2%, 1.2% to 2.5% and 0.3% to 0.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: South Africa has experienced a large burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with <10% of infections diagnosed. Lower seroprevalence among non-virally suppressed PLWHIV, likely as a result of inadequate antibody production, highlights the need to prioritise this group for intervention.

      2. Determining the lower limit of detection required for HCV viral load assay for test of cure following direct-acting antiviral based treatment regimens: evidence from a global datasetexternal icon
        Morgan JR, Marsh E, Savinkina A, Shilton S, Shadaker S, Tsertsvadze T, Kamkamidze G, Alkhazashvili M, Morgan T, Belperio P, Backus L, Doss W, Esmat G, Hassany M, Elsharkawy A, Elakel W, Mehrez M, Foster GR, Wose K, Chew KW, Chasela CS, Sanne IM, Thanung YM, Loarec A, Aslam K, Balkan S, Easterbrook PJ, Linas BP.
        J Viral Hepat. 2022 Mar 12.
        Achieving global elimination of hepatitis C virus requires a substantial scale-up of testing. Point-of-care HCV viral load assays are available as an alternative to laboratory-based assays to promote access in hard to reach or marginalized populations. The diagnostic performance and lower limit of detection are important attributes of these new assays for both diagnosis and test of cure. Therefore, our objective was to determine an acceptable LLoD for detectable HCV viraemia as a test for cure, 12-weeks post-treatment (SVR12). We assembled a global dataset of patients with detectable viraemia at SVR12 from observational databases from 9 countries (Egypt, the United States, United Kingdom, Georgia, Ukraine, Myanmar, Cambodia, Pakistan, Mozambique), and two pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trial registries. We examined the distribution of HCV viral load at SVR12 and presented the 90(th) , 95th, 97th, and 99th percentiles. We used logistic regression to assess characteristics associated with low-level virological treatment failure (defined as <1000 IU/mL). There were 5,973 cases of detectable viremia at SVR12 from the combined dataset. Median detectable HCV RNA at SVR12 was 287,986 IU/mL. The level of detection for the 95(th) percentile was 227 IU/mL (95% CI 170-276). Females and those with minimal fibrosis were more likely to experience low-level viremia at SVR12 compared to men (adjusted odds ratio AOR = 1.60 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-1.97 and those with cirrhosis (AOR=1.49 95% CI 1.15-1.93). In conclusion, an assay with a level of detection of 1000 IU/mL or greater may miss a proportion of those with low-level treatment failure.

      3. Evaluation of serologic cross-reactivity between dengue virus and SARS-CoV-2 in patients with acute febrile illness - United States and Puerto Rico, April 2020-March 2021external icon
        Munoz-Jordan J, Cardona J, Beltrán M, Colón C, Schiffer J, Stewart-Clark E, Zellner B, Semenova V, Li Y, Jia LT, Maniatis P, Pawloski L, Adams L, Paz-Bailey G, Rivera-Amill V, Medina F.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):375-377.
        The diagnosis of dengue disease, caused by the dengue virus (DENV) (a flavivirus), often requires serologic testing during acute and early convalescent phases of the disease. Some symptoms of DENV infection, such as nonspecific fever, are similar to those caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In studies with few COVID-19 cases, positive DENV immunoglobulin M (IgM) results were reported with various serologic tests, indicating possible cross-reactivity in these tests for DENV and SARS-CoV-2 infections (1,2). DENV antibodies can cross-react with other flaviviruses, including Zika virus. To assess the potential cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2, DENV, and Zika virus IgM antibodies, serum specimens from 97 patients from Puerto Rico and 12 U.S.-based patients with confirmed COVID-19 were tested using the DENV Detect IgM Capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (InBios International).* In addition, 122 serum specimens from patients with confirmed dengue and 121 from patients with confirmed Zika virus disease (all from Puerto Rico) were tested using the SARS-CoV-2 pan-Ig Spike Protein ELISA (CDC).(†) Results obtained for DENV, Zika virus IgM, and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicated 98% test specificity and minimal levels of cross-reactivity between the two flaviviruses and SARS-CoV-2. These findings indicate that diagnoses of dengue or Zika virus diseases with the serological assays described in this report are not affected by COVID-19, nor do dengue or Zika virus diseases interfere with the diagnosis of COVID-19.

    • Maternal and Child Health

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Prior studies suggest a positive association between dietary AGEs and adverse health outcomes but have not well-characterized AGEs intake and its association with mortality in a general adult population in the United States. METHODS AND RESULTS: We included 5474 adults with diabetes from the 2003 to 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative sample of the non-institutionalized civilian population in the United States. Concordance to dietary guidelines (Healthy Eating Index 2015 [HEI-2015]) and intake of the AGE Nϵ-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) were estimated using an existing database and two 24-h food recalls. Multivariable Cox regression evaluated the association between AGEs intake and all-cause mortality. A secondary analysis measured CML, Nϵ-(1-carboxyethyl)lysine (CEL), and Nδ-(5-hydro-5-methyl-4-imidazolon-2-yl)-ornithine (MGH1) from an alternative database. Higher AGEs intake was associated with lower concordance to dietary guidelines (Means and standard errors of HEI-2015 score, by quartiles of AGEs intake: Q1 = 55.2 ± 0.6, Q2 = 54.1 ± 0.5, Q3 = 52.1 ± 0.5, Q4 = 49.0 ± 0.5; p < 0.001). There were 743 deaths among 3884 adults in the mortality analysis (mean follow-up = 3.8 years). AGEs intake was not significantly associated with all-cause mortality (Q2 vs. Q1: Hazard Ratio [HR] = 0.91 [0.69-1.21], Q3 vs. Q1: HR = 0.90 [0.63-1.27], Q4 vs. Q1: HR = 1.16 [0.84-1.60]). Results were similar in secondary analyses. CONCLUSION: While dietary AGEs intake was associated with concordance to dietary guidelines, it was not significantly associated with all-cause mortality among adults with diabetes. Further research may consider other health outcomes as well as the evaluating specific contribution of dietary AGEs to overall AGEs burden.

      2. BACKGROUND: Current studies examining the effects of high concentrations of red blood cell (RBC) or serum folates assume that high folate concentrations are an indicator of high folic acid intakes, often ignoring the contributions of other homeostatic and biological processes, such as kidney function. OBJECTIVE: The current study examined the relative contributions of declining kidney function, as measured by the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and usual total folic acid intake on the concentrations of RBC folate and serum folate (total as well as individual folate forms). DESIGN: Cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected in 2-year cycles were combined from 2011 to 2018. A total of 18,127 participants aged ≥16 years with available folate measures, kidney biomarker data (operationalized as a categorical CKD risk variable describing the risk of progression), and reliable dietary recall data were analyzed. RESULTS: RBC folate concentrations increased as CKD risk increased: low risk, 1089 (95% CI: 1069, 1110) nmol/L; moderate risk, 1189 (95% CI: 1158, 1220) nmol/L; high risk, 1488 (95% CI: 1419, 1561) nmol/L; and highest risk, 1443 (95% CI: 1302, 1598) nmol/L (p &lt; 0.0001). Similarly, serum total folate concentrations increased as CKD risk increased: low risk: 37.1 (95% CI: 26.3, 38.0) nmol/L; moderate risk: 40.2 (95% CI: 38.8, 41.7) nmol/L; high risk: 48.0 (95% CI: 44.3, 52.1) nmol/L; the highest Risk: 42.8 (95% CI: 37.8, 48.4) nmol/L (p &lt; 0.0001). The modeled usual intake of folic acid showed no difference among CKD risk groups, with a population median of 225 (interquartile range: 108-390) µg/day. CONCLUSION: Both RBC and serum folate concentrations increased with declining kidney function without increased folic acid intake. When analyzing associations between folate concentrations and disease outcomes, researchers may want to consider the confounding role of kidney function.

    • Occupational Safety and Health - Mining
      1. A calibrated and well-tuned ventilation network model plays a critical role in mine ventilation planning, optimization, and ventilation control. Moreover, it is critical to the mine fire simulation program as well since the fire simulation is built upon the mine ventilation model. The contaminants generated from a fire are transported by airflows throughout the mine ventilation system. The accuracy of the fire simulation results not only depends on the fire source model itself but also on the ventilation network model. With the increasing use of atmospheric monitoring systems in underground mines, airflow is continuously monitored using airflow sensors in the key areas of mines to ensure a steady and reliable ventilation. Experimental studies have been conducted at an experimental mine, the Safety Research Coal Mine (SRCM), to gain a better understanding on how to use the continuously monitored airflow data to improve the calibration of the mine ventilation network model. This paper introduces an improved method to calibrate a ventilation network using continuous airflow monitoring and addresses the practical problems encountered while calibrating and tuning the ventilation network of the SRCM using continuously monitored airflow data. In this study, the fluctuation of the air velocity sensor readings is analyzed, and the sensor location correction factors are applied to obtain a more accurate average air velocity for the ventilation network calibration. © 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Evaluation of an accelerometer-based monitor for detecting bed net use and human entry/exit using a machine learning algorithmexternal icon
        Koudou GB, Monroe A, Irish SR, Humes M, Krezanoski JD, Koenker H, Malone D, Hemingway J, Krezanoski PJ.
        Malar J. 2022 Mar 12;21(1):85.
        BACKGROUND: Distribution of long-lasting insecticidal bed nets (LLINs) is one of the main control strategies for malaria. Improving malaria prevention programmes requires understanding usage patterns in households receiving LLINs, but there are limits to what standard cross-sectional surveys of self-reported LLIN use can provide. This study was designed to assess the performance of an accelerometer-based approach for measuring a range of LLIN use behaviours as a proof of concept for more granular LLIN-use monitoring over longer time periods. METHODS: This study was carried out under controlled conditions from May to July 2018 in Liverpool, UK. A single accelerometer was affixed to the side panel of an LLIN and participants carried out five LLIN use behaviours: (1) unfurling a net; (2) entering an unfurled net; (3) lying still as if sleeping; (4) exiting from under a net; and, (5) folding up a net. The randomForest package in R, a supervised non-linear classification algorithm, was used to train models on 20-s epochs of tagged accelerometer data. Models were compared in a validation dataset using overall accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, receiver operating curves and the area under the curve (AUC). RESULTS: The five-category model had overall accuracy of 82.9% in the validation dataset, a sensitivity of 0.681 for entering a net, 0.632 for exiting, 0.733 for net down, and 0.800 for net up. A simplified four-category model, combining entering/exiting a net into one category had accuracy of 94.8%, and increased sensitivity for net down (0.756) and net up (0.829). A further simplified three-category model, identifying sleeping, net up, and a combined net down/enter/exit category had accuracy of 96.2% (483/502), with an AUC of 0.997 for net down and 0.987 for net up. Models for detecting entering/exiting by adults were significantly more accurate than for children (87.8% vs 70.0%; p < 0.001) and had a higher AUC (p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Understanding how LLINs are used is crucial for planning malaria prevention programmes. Accelerometer-based systems provide a promising new methodology for studying LLIN use. Further work exploring accelerometer placement, frequency of measurements and other machine learning approaches could make these methods even more accurate in the future.

      2. Evaluating malaria prevalence and land cover across varying transmission intensity in Tanzania using a cross-sectional survey of school-aged childrenexternal icon
        Mitchell CL, Ngasala B, Janko MM, Chacky F, Edwards JK, Pence BW, Mohamed A, Mhamilawa LE, Makene T, Kyaw T, Molteni F, Mkali H, Nyinondi S, Kabula B, Serbantez N, Eckert EL, Kitojo C, Reaves E, Emch M, Juliano JJ.
        Malar J. 2022 Mar 9;21(1):80.
        BACKGROUND: Transmission of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has become increasingly stratified following decades of malaria control interventions. The extent to which environmental and land cover risk factors for malaria may differ across distinct strata of transmission intensity is not well known and could provide actionable targets to maximize the success of malaria control efforts. METHODS: This study used cross-sectional malaria survey data from a nationally representative cohort of school-aged children in Tanzania, and satellite-derived measures for environmental features and land cover. Hierarchical logistic regression models were applied to evaluate associations between land cover and malaria prevalence within three distinct strata of transmission intensity: low and unstable, moderate and seasonal, and high and perennial. RESULTS: In areas with low malaria transmission, each 10-percentage point increase in cropland cover was associated with an increase in malaria prevalence odds of 2.44 (95% UI: 1.27, 5.11). However, at moderate and higher levels of transmission intensity, no association between cropland cover and malaria prevalence was detected. Small associations were observed between greater grassland cover and greater malaria prevalence in high intensity settings (prevalence odds ratio (POR): 1.10, 95% UI: 1.00, 1.21), and between greater forest cover and reduced malaria prevalence in low transmission areas (POR: 0.74, 95% UI: 0.51, 1.03), however the uncertainty intervals of both estimates included the null. CONCLUSIONS: The intensity of malaria transmission appears to modify relationships between land cover and malaria prevalence among school-aged children in Tanzania. In particular, greater cropland cover was positively associated with increased malaria prevalence in areas with low transmission intensity and presents an actionable target for environmental vector control interventions to complement current malaria control activities. As areas are nearing malaria elimination, it is important to re-evaluate environmental risk factors and employ appropriate interventions to effectively address low-level malaria transmission.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Bleeding disorders in women and girls: State of the science and CDC collaborative programsexternal icon
        Byams VR, Miller CH, Bethea FM, Abe K, Bean CJ, Schieve LA.
        J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2022 Mar;31(3):301-309.
        Women and girls with bleeding disorders experience abnormal and excessive bleeding that can negatively impact their overall health and quality of life. In this report, we provide an overview of the biology, types, clinical care, and state of the science related to bleeding disorders in girls and women and describe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activities related to (1) surveillance of bleeding disorders in women; (2) scientific review, research, and collaboration to inform health care gaps in identifying and caring for women with bleeding disorders; and (3) development of health promotion and education programs to bring awareness about bleeding disorders to both women and girls in the population at large and various health care providers who care for women. Findings generated from surveillance and research activities inform the development of new public health programs aimed at improving diagnostic and health care services and empowering women with bleeding disorders with the knowledge they need to navigate a complex health care system with the need for specialty care services. Additional work is needed to improve provider awareness and understanding of the unique needs of women and girls with bleeding disorders to achieve appropriate care and treatment and ensure optimal outcomes and quality of life.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. High-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of carbonyl emissions from e-cigarette, or vaping, productsexternal icon
        McGuigan M, Chapman G, Lewis E, Watson CH, Blount BC, Valentin-Blasini L.
        ACS Omega. 2022 Mar 8;7(9):7655-7661.
        A quantitative method was developed to measure four harmful carbonyls (acetaldehyde, acrolein, crotonaldehyde, and formaldehyde) in aerosol generated from e-cigarette, or vaping, products (EVPs). The method uses a commercially available sorbent bed treated with a derivatization solution to trap and stabilize reactive carbonyls in aerosol emissions from EVPs to reduce reactive analyte losses and improve quantification. Analytes were extracted from the sorbent material using acetonitrile and analyzed via high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The method was applied to aerosols generated from products obtained from case patients with EVP use-associated lung injury (EVALI). The method accuracy ranged from 93.6 to 105% in the solvent and 99.0 to 112% in the matrix. Limits of detection (LODs) were in the low nanogram range at 0.735-2.10 ng for all analytes, except formaldehyde at 14.7 ng. Intermediate precision, as determined from the replicate measurements of quality-control (QC) samples, showed a relative standard deviation (RSD) of less than 20% for all analytes. The EVALI case-related products delivered aerosol containing the following ranges of carbonyls: acetaldehyde (0.0856-5.59 μg), acrolein (0.00646-1.05 μg), crotonaldehyde (0.00168-0.108 μg), and formaldehyde (0.0533-12.6 μg). At least one carbonyl analyte was detected in every product. Carbonyl deliveries from EVALI-associated products of all types are consistent with the previously published results for e-cigarettes, and levels are lower than those observed in smoke from combustible cigarettes. This method is rugged, has high throughput, and is well suited for quantifying four harmful carbonyls in aerosol emissions produced by a broad spectrum of devices/solvents, ranging from e-cigarette containing polar solvents to vaping products containing nonpolar solvents.

      2. Accessible hepatitis C care for people who inject drugs: A randomized clinical trialexternal icon
        Eckhardt B, Mateu-Gelabert P, Aponte-Melendez Y, Fong C, Kapadia S, Smith M, Edlin BR, Marks KM.
        JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Mar 14.
        IMPORTANCE: To achieve hepatitis C elimination, treatment programs need to engage, treat, and cure people who inject drugs. OBJECTIVE: To compare a low-threshold, nonstigmatizing hepatitis C treatment program that was colocated at a syringe service program (accessible care) with facilitated referral to local clinicians through a patient navigation program (usual care). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This single-site randomized clinical trial was conducted at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, a syringe service program in New York, New York, and included 167 participants who were hepatitis C virus RNA-positive and had injected drugs during the prior 90 days. Participants enrolled between July 2017 and March 2020. Data were analyzed after all patients completed 1 year of follow-up (after March 2021). INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomized 1:1 to the accessible care or usual care arm. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was achieving sustained virologic response within 12 months of enrollment. RESULTS: Among the 572 participants screened, 167 (mean [SD] age, 42.0 [10.6] years; 128 (77.6%) male, 36 (21.8%) female, and 1 (0.6) transgender individuals; 8 (4.8%) Black, 97 (58.5%) Hispanic, and 53 (32.1%) White individuals) met eligibility criteria and were enrolled, with 2 excluded postrandomization (n = 165). Baseline characteristics were similar between the 2 arms. In the intention-to-treat analysis, 55 of 82 participants (67.1%) in the accessible care arm and 19 of 83 participants (22.9%) in the usual care arm achieved a sustained virologic response (P < .001). Loss to follow-up (12.2% [accessible care] and 16.9% [usual care]; P = .51) was similar in the 2 arms. Of the participants who received therapy, 55 of 64 (85.9%) and 19 of 22 (86.3%) achieved a sustained virologic response in the accessible care and usual care arms, respectively (P = .96). Significantly more participants in the accessible care arm achieved all steps in the care cascade, with the greatest attrition in the usual care arm seen in referral to hepatitis C virus clinician and attending clinical visit. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this randomized clinical trial, among people who inject drugs with hepatitis C infection, significantly higher rates of cure were achieved using the accessible care model that focused on low-threshold, colocated, destigmatized, and flexible hepatitis C care compared with facilitated referral. To achieve hepatitis C elimination, expansion of treatment programs that are specifically geared toward engaging people who inject drugs is paramount. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03214679.

      3. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students - national youth tobacco survey, United States, 2021external icon
        Gentzke AS, Wang TW, Cornelius M, Park-Lee E, Ren C, Sawdey MD, Cullen KA, Loretan C, Jamal A, Homa DM.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2022 Mar 11;71(5):1-29.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Most tobacco product use begins during adolescence. In recent years, tobacco products have evolved to include various combusted, smokeless, and electronic products. PERIOD COVERED: 2021. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) is an annual, cross-sectional, school-based, self-administered survey of U.S. middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) students. A three-stage cluster sampling procedure is used to generate a nationally representative sample of U.S. students attending public and private schools. NYTS is the only nationally representative survey of U.S. middle and high school students that focuses exclusively on tobacco use patterns and associated factors. NYTS provides data to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive youth tobacco use prevention and control programs and to guide tobacco regulatory activities. Since 2019, NYTS has been administered electronically via tablet computers. Because of emergency COVID-19 protocols that were in place across the United States during the 2021 NYTS fielding window (January 18-May 21, 2021), the 2021 survey was administered using a web URL to allow participation by eligible students learning under varying instructional models (in-person, distance/virtual, and hybrid). In total, 50.8% of student respondents reported completing the survey in a school building or classroom and 49.2% at home or some other place. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2021 NYTS to assess tobacco product use patterns and associated factors among U.S. middle and high school students. Overall, 20,413 students (out of 25,149 sampled students; student response rate: 81.2%) completed the questionnaire from 279 schools (out of 508 sampled schools; school response rate: 54.9%). The overall response rate, defined as the product of the student and school response rates, was 44.6%. The sample was weighted to represent approximately 11.97 million middle school students and 15.44 million high school students. Students with missing information about grade level were excluded from the school-level analyses (n = 135). RESULTS: In 2021, an estimated 34.0% of high school students (5.22 million) and 11.3% of middle school students (1.34 million) reported ever using a tobacco product (i.e., electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, pipe tobacco, heated tobacco products, nicotine pouches, and bidis [small brown cigarettes wrapped in a leaf]). Current (past 30-day) use of a tobacco product was 13.4% for high school students (2.06 million) and 4.0% for middle school students (470,000). E-cigarettes were the most commonly currently used tobacco product, cited by 11.3% of high school students (1.72 million) and 2.8% of middle school students (320,000), followed by cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, nicotine pouches, heated tobacco products, and pipe tobacco. Current use of any tobacco product was reported by 14.2% of students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) (versus 7.9% of heterosexual); 18.9% of students identifying as transgender (versus 8.2% of not transgender); and 14.2% of students reporting severe psychological distress (versus 5.5% with no distress). Among students who currently used each respective tobacco product, frequent use (on ≥20 days of the past 30 days) ranged from 17.2% for nicotine pouches to 39.4% for e-cigarettes. Among current users of any tobacco product, 79.1% reported using a flavored tobacco product; by product, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used flavored tobacco product. Among current users of any tobacco product, the most commonly reported source of access was from a friend (32.8%). Among students who currently used e-cigarettes, 53.7% used a disposable device, 28.7% used a prefilled/refillable pod or cartridge device, 9.0% used a tank or mod system (a system that can be customized by the user), and 8.6% did not know the device type. Among students who had ever used e-cigarettes, the most common reason for first trying them was "a friend used them" (57.8%); among current e-cigarette users, the most commonly cited reason for current use was "I am feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed" (43.4%). Among all middle and high school students, 75.2% reported past-year recognition of any antitobacco public education campaign ads. Exposure to marketing or advertising for any tobacco product was reported by 75.7% of students who had contact with an assessed potential source of tobacco product advertisements or promotions (going to a convenience store, supermarket, or gas station; using the Internet; watching television or streaming services or going to the movies; or reading newspapers or magazines). Among students who reported using social media, 73.5% had ever seen e-cigarette-related content. Among all students, perceiving "no" or "little" harm from intermittent tobacco product use was highest for e-cigarettes (16.6%) and lowest for cigarettes (9.6%). Among students who currently used any tobacco product, 27.2% had experienced cravings during the past 30 days; 19.5% reported wanting to use a tobacco product within 30 minutes of waking. Moreover, 65.3% of students who currently used tobacco products were seriously thinking about quitting the use of all products, and 60.2% had stopped using all products for ≥1 day because they were trying to quit during the past 12 months. INTERPRETATION: In 2021, approximately one in 10 U.S. middle and high school students (9.3%) had used a tobacco product during the preceding 30 days. By school level, this represented more than one in eight high school students (13.4%) and approximately one in 25 middle school students (4.0%). E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product in 2021. Tobacco product use was higher among certain subpopulations, such as those identifying as LGB or transgender, or those reporting psychological distress. Importantly, approximately two thirds of students who currently used tobacco products were seriously thinking about quitting. However, factors that might continue to promote tobacco product use among U.S. youths, such as the availability of flavors, access to tobacco products, exposure to tobacco product marketing, and misperceptions about harm from tobacco product use, remained prevalent in 2021. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: The continued monitoring of all forms of youth tobacco product use and associated factors through surveillance efforts including NYTS is important to the development of public health policy and action at national, state, and local levels. The 2021 NYTS was successfully administered during the COVID-19 pandemic using a web URL to allow participation by eligible students learning under varying instructional models. As a result of these modifications to the fielding procedures, any comparison of results between 2021 NYTS findings with previous years, including the direct attribution of any potential changes in tobacco product use, is not possible. Parents, educators, youth advocates, and health care providers can help protect youths from the harms of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. In addition, the comprehensive and sustained implementation of evidence-based tobacco control strategies, combined with FDA's regulation of tobacco products, is important for reducing all forms of tobacco product use among U.S. youths.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Accurate host identification is paramount to understand disease epidemiology and to apply appropriate control measures. This is especially important for multi-host pathogens such as the rabies virus, a major and almost invariably fatal zoonosis that has mobilized unanimous engagement at an international level towards the final goal of zero human deaths due to canine rabies. Currently, diagnostic laboratories implement a standardized identification using taxonomic keys. However, this method is challenged by high and undiscovered biodiversity, decomposition of carcasses and subjective misevaluation, as has been attested to by findings from a cohort of 242 archived specimens collected across Sub-Saharan Africa and submitted for rabies diagnosis. We applied two simple and cheap methods targeting the Cytochrome b and Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I to confirm the initial classification. We therefore suggest prioritizing a standardized protocol that includes, as a first step, the implementation of taxonomic keys at a family or subfamily level, followed by the molecular characterization of the host species. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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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