Issue 23, June 13, 2017

CDC Science Clips: Volume 9, Issue 23, June 13, 2017

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

  1. Top Articles of the Week

    Selected weekly by a senior CDC scientist from the standard sections listed below.

    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions RSS Word feed
      • This analysis of the US Hemophilia Treatment Center Network and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance registry assessed trends in prophylaxis use and its impact on key indicators of arthropathy across the life-span among participants with severe hemophilia A. Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes were collected prospectively between 1999 and 2010 at annual clinical visits to 134 hemophilia treatment centers. Trends in treatment and outcomes were evaluated using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Data analyzed included 26 614 visits for 6196 males; mean age at first registry visit was 17.7 years; and median was 14 (range, 2 to 69). During this time, prophylaxis use increased from 31% to 59% overall, and by 2010, 75% of children and youths <20 years were on prophylaxis. On cross-sectional analysis, bleeding rates decreased dramatically for the entire population (P < .001) in parallel with increased prophylaxis usage, possibly because frequent bleeders adopted prophylaxis. Joint bleeding decreased proportionately with prophylaxis (22%) and nonprophylaxis (23%), and target joints decreased more with prophylaxis (80% vs 61%). Joint, total, and target joint bleeding on prophylaxis were 33%, 41%, and 27%, respectively, compared with nonprophylaxis. On longitudinal analysis of individuals over time, prophylaxis predicted decreased bleeding at any age (P < .001), but only prophylaxis initiation prior to age 4 years and nonobesity predicted preservation of joint motion (P < .001 for each). Using a national registry, care providers in a specialized health care network for a rare disorder were able to detect and track trends in outcomes over time.

    • Communicable Diseases RSS Word feed
      • HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been increasing in several high-income countries. A better understanding of the sexual behavior trends among MSM can be useful for informing HIV prevention. We conducted a systematic review of studies that examined behavioral trends (1990-2013) in any condomless anal sex, condomless anal sex with an HIV-discordant partner, and number of partners. Studies included come from the United States, Europe, and Australia. We found increasing trends in condomless anal sex and condomless anal sex with an HIV-discordant partner, and a decreasing trend in number of partners. The increase in condomless anal sex may help to explain the increase in HIV infections. More explanatory research is needed to provide insight into factors that contribute to these behavior trends. Continuous monitoring of HIV, risk behaviors, and use of prevention and treatment is needed to evaluate prevention efforts and monitor HIV transmission risk.

    • Environmental Health RSS Word feed
      • Exposure to multiple chemicals in a cohort of reproductive-aged Danish womenExternal
        Rosofsky A, Janulewicz P, Thayer KA, McClean M, Wise LA, Calafat AM, Mikkelsen EM, Taylor KW, Hatch EE.
        Environ Res. 2017 Apr;154:73-85.

        BACKGROUND: Current exposure assessment research does not sufficiently address multi-pollutant exposure and their correlations in human media. Understanding the extent of chemical exposure in reproductive-aged women is of particular concern due to the potential for in utero exposure and fetal susceptibility. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to characterize concentrations of chemical biomarkers during preconception and examine correlations between and within chemical classes. METHODS: We examined concentrations of 135 biomarkers from 16 chemical classes in blood and urine from 73 women aged 18-40 enrolled in Snart Foraeldre/Milieu, a prospective cohort study of pregnancy planners in Denmark (2011-2014). We compared biomarker concentrations with United States similarly-aged, non-pregnant women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Environmental Survey (NHANES) and with other international biomonitoring studies. We performed principal component analysis to examine biomarker correlations. RESULTS: The mean number of biomarkers detected in the population was 92 (range: 60-108). The most commonly detected chemical classes were phthalates, metals, phytoestrogens and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Except blood mercury, urinary barium and enterolactone, geometric means were higher in women from NHANES. Chemical classes measured in urine generally did not load on a single component, suggesting high between-class correlation among urinary biomarkers, while there is high within-class correlation for biomarkers measured in serum and blood. CONCLUSIONS: We identified ubiquitous exposure to multiple chemical classes in reproductive-aged Danish women, supporting the need for more research on chemical mixtures during preconception and early pregnancy. Inter- and intra-class correlation between measured biomarkers may reflect common exposure sources, specific lifestyle factors or shared metabolism pathways.

    • Genetics and Genomics RSS Word feed
    • Health Economics RSS Word feed
      • Optimal costs of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis for men who have sex with menExternal
        McKenney J, Chen A, Hoover KW, Kelly J, Dowdy D, Sharifi P, Sullivan PS, Rosenberg ES.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(6):e0178170.

        INTRODUCTION: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV due to their increased risk of infection. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effictive HIV-prevention strategy for MSM. Despite evidence of its effectiveness, PrEP uptake in the United States has been slow, in part due to its cost. As jurisdictions and health organizations begin to think about PrEP scale-up, the high cost to society needs to be understood. METHODS: We modified a previously-described decision-analysis model to estimate the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained, over a 1-year duration of PrEP intervention and lifetime time horizon. Using updated parameter estimates, we calculated: 1) the cost per QALY gained, stratified over 4 strata of PrEP cost (a function of both drug cost and provider costs); and 2) PrEP drug cost per year required to fall at or under 4 cost per QALY gained thresholds. RESULTS: When PrEP drug costs were reduced by 60% (with no sexual disinhibition) to 80% (assuming 25% sexual disinhibition), PrEP was cost-effective (at <$100,000 per QALY averted) in all scenarios of base-case or better adherence, as long as the background HIV prevalence was greater than 10%. For PrEP to be cost saving at base-case adherence/efficacy levels and at a background prevalence of 20%, drug cost would need to be reduced to $8,021 per year with no disinhibition, and to $2,548 with disinhibition. CONCLUSION: Results from our analysis suggest that PrEP drug costs need to be reduced in order to be cost-effective across a range of background HIV prevalence. Moreover, our results provide guidance on the pricing of generic emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, in order to provide those at high risk for HIV an affordable prevention option without financial burden on individuals or jurisdictions scaling-up coverage.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections RSS Word feed
      • Attributable mortality of healthcare-associated infections due to multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusExternal
        Nelson RE, Slayton RB, Stevens VW, Jones MM, Khader K, Rubin MA, Jernigan JA, Samore MH.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2017 Jun 01:1-9.

        OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to quantify the effect of multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) on mortality following infection, regardless of patient location. METHODS We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with an inpatient admission in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system between October 1, 2007, and November 30, 2010. We constructed multivariate log-binomial regressions to assess the impact of a positive culture on mortality in the 30- and 90-day periods following the first positive culture, using a propensity-score-matched subsample. RESULTS Patients identified with positive cultures due to MDR Acinetobacter (n=218), MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=1,026), and MDR Enterobacteriaceae (n=3,498) were propensity-score matched to 14,591 patients without positive cultures due to these organisms. In addition, 3,471 patients with positive cultures due to MRSA were propensity-score matched to 12,499 patients without positive MRSA cultures. Multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria were associated with a significantly elevated risk of mortality both for invasive (RR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.85-2.92) and noninvasive cultures (RR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.22-1.44) during the 30-day period. Similarly, patients with MRSA HAIs (RR, 2.77; 95% CI, 2.39-3.21) and colonizations (RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.22-1.50) had an increased risk of death at 30 days. CONCLUSIONS We found that HAIs due to gram-negative bacteria and MRSA conferred significantly elevated 30- and 90-day risks of mortality. This finding held true both for invasive cultures, which are likely to be true infections, and noninvasive infections, which are possibly colonizations. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;1-9.

    • Immunity and Immunization RSS Word feed
      • Maternal Tdap vaccination and risk of infant morbidityExternal
        DeSilva M, Vazquez-Benitez G, Nordin JD, Lipkind HS, Klein NP, Cheetham TC, Naleway AL, Hambidge SJ, Lee GM, Jackson ML, McCarthy NL, Kharbanda EO.
        Vaccine. 2017 May 25.

        INTRODUCTION: An increased risk of diagnosed chorioamnionitis in women vaccinated with Tdap during pregnancy was previously detected at two Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) sites. The clinical significance of this finding related to infant outcomes remains uncertain. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of singleton live births born to women who were continuously insured from 6 months prior to their last menstrual period through 6 weeks postpartum, with >/=1 outpatient visit during pregnancy from January 1, 2010 to November 15, 2013 at seven integrated United States health care systems part of the VSD. We re-evaluated the association between maternal Tdap and chorioamnionitis and evaluated whether specific infant morbidities differ among infants born to mothers who did and did not receive Tdap during pregnancy. We focused on 2 Tdap exposure windows: the recommended 27-36 weeks gestation or anytime during pregnancy. We identified inpatient diagnostic codes for transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN), neonatal sepsis, neonatal pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and newborn convulsions associated with an infant’s first hospitalization. A generalized linear model with Poisson distribution and log-link was used to estimate propensity score adjusted rate ratios (ARR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: The analyses included 197,564 pregnancies. Chorioamnionitis was recorded in 6.4% of women who received Tdap vaccination any time during pregnancy and 5.2% of women who did not (ARR [95% CI]: 1.23 [1.17, 1.28]). Compared with unvaccinated women, there were no significant increased risks (ARR [95% CI]) for TTN (1.04 [0.98, 1.11]), neonatal sepsis (1.06 [0.91, 1.23]), neonatal pneumonia (0.94 [0.72, 1.22]), RDS (0.91 [0.66, 1.26]), or newborn convulsions (1.16 [0.87, 1.53]) in infants born to Tdap-vaccinated women. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Despite an observed association between maternal Tdap vaccination and maternal chorioamnionitis, we did not find increased risk for clinically significant infant outcomes associated with maternal chorioamnionitis.

    • Maternal and Child Health RSS Word feed
      • Maternal use of opioids during pregnancy and congenital malformations: A systematic reviewExternal
        Lind JN, Interrante JD, Ailes EC, Gilboa SM, Khan S, Frey MT, Dawson AL, Honein MA, Dowling NF, Razzaghi H, Creanga AA, Broussard CS.
        Pediatrics. 2017 May 19.

        CONTEXT: Opioid use and abuse have increased dramatically in recent years, particularly among women. OBJECTIVES: We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the association between prenatal opioid use and congenital malformations. DATA SOURCES: We searched Medline and Embase for studies published from 1946 to 2016 and reviewed reference lists to identify additional relevant studies. STUDY SELECTION: We included studies that were full-text journal articles and reported the results of original epidemiologic research on prenatal opioid exposure and congenital malformations. We assessed study eligibility in multiple phases using a standardized, duplicate review process. DATA EXTRACTION: Data on study characteristics, opioid exposure, timing of exposure during pregnancy, congenital malformations (collectively or as individual subtypes), length of follow-up, and main findings were extracted from eligible studies. RESULTS: Of the 68 studies that met our inclusion criteria, 46 had an unexposed comparison group; of those, 30 performed statistical tests to measure associations between maternal opioid use during pregnancy and congenital malformations. Seventeen of these (10 of 12 case-control and 7 of 18 cohort studies) documented statistically significant positive associations. Among the case-control studies, associations with oral clefts and ventricular septal defects/atrial septal defects were the most frequently reported specific malformations. Among the cohort studies, clubfoot was the most frequently reported specific malformation. LIMITATIONS: Variabilities in study design, poor study quality, and weaknesses with outcome and exposure measurement. CONCLUSIONS: Uncertainty remains regarding the teratogenicity of opioids; a careful assessment of risks and benefits is warranted when considering opioid treatment for women of reproductive age.

    • Occupational Safety and Health RSS Word feed
      • Nanotechnology in agriculture: Opportunities, toxicological implications, and occupational risksExternal
        Iavicoli I, Leso V, Beezhold DH, Shvedova AA.
        Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 May 26.

        Nanotechnology has the potential to make a beneficial impact on several agricultural, forestry, and environmental challenges, such as urbanization, energy constraints, and sustainable use of resources. However, new environmental and human health hazards may emerge from nano-enhanced applications. This raises concerns for agricultural workers who may become primarily exposed to such xenobiotics during their job tasks. The aim of this review is to discuss promising solutions that nanotechnology may provide in agricultural activities, with a specific focus on critical aspects, challenging issues, and research needs for occupational risk assessment and management in this emerging field. Eco-toxicological aspects were not the focus of the review. Nano-fertilizers, (nano-sized nutrients, nano-coated fertilizers, or engineered metal-oxide or carbon-based nanomaterials per se), and nano-pesticides, (nano-formulations of traditional active ingredients or inorganic nanomaterials), may provide a targeted/controlled release of agrochemicals, aimed to obtain their fullest biological efficacy without over-dosage. Nano-sensors and nano-remediation methods may detect and remove environmental contaminants. However, limited knowledge concerning nanomaterial biosafety, adverse effects, fate, and acquired biological reactivity once dispersed into the environment, requires further scientific efforts to assess possible nano-agricultural risks. In this perspective, toxicological research should be aimed to define nanomaterial hazards and levels of exposure along the life-cycle of nano-enabled products, and to assess those physico-chemical features affecting nanomaterial toxicity, possible interactions with agro-system co-formulants, and stressors. Overall, this review highlights the importance to define adequate risk management strategies for workers, occupational safety practices and policies, as well as to develop a responsible regulatory consensus on nanotechnology in agriculture.

    • Occupational Safety and Health – Mining RSS Word feed
      • Development of ergonomics audits for bagging, haul truck, and maintenance and repair operations in miningExternal
        Dempsey PG, Pollard J, Porter WL, Mayton A, Heberger JR, Gallagher S, Reardon L, Drury CG.
        Ergonomics. 2017 May 26:1-38.

        The development and testing of ergonomics and safety audits for small and bulk bag filling, haul truck, and maintenance and repair operations in coal preparation and mineral processing plants found at surface mine sites is described. The content for the audits was derived from diverse sources of information on ergonomics and safety deficiencies including: analysis of injury, illness, and fatality data and reports; task analysis; empirical laboratory studies of particular tasks; field studies and observations at mine sites; and maintenance records. These diverse sources of information were utilized to establish construct validity of the modular audits that were developed for use by mine safety personnel. User and inter-rater reliability testing was carried out prior to finalizing the audits. The audits can be implemented using downloadable paper versions or with a free mobile NIOSH-developed Android application called ErgoMine. Practitioner Summary The methodology used to develop ergonomics audits for three types of mining operations is described. Various sources of audit content are compared and contrasted to serve as a guide for developing ergonomics audits for other occupational contexts.

    • Reproductive Health RSS Word feed
      • Hot spots, cluster detection and spatial outlier analysis of teen birth rates in the U.S., 2003-2012External
        Khan D, Rossen LM, Hamilton BE, He Y, Wei R, Dienes E.
        Spat Spatiotemporal Epidemiol. 2017 Jun;21:67-75.

        Teen birth rates have evidenced a significant decline in the United States over the past few decades. Most of the states in the US have mirrored this national decline, though some reports have illustrated substantial variation in the magnitude of these decreases across the U.S. Importantly, geographic variation at the county level has largely not been explored. We used National Vital Statistics Births data and Hierarchical Bayesian space-time interaction models to produce smoothed estimates of teen birth rates at the county level from 2003-2012. Results indicate that teen birth rates show evidence of clustering, where hot and cold spots occur, and identify spatial outliers. Findings from this analysis may help inform efforts targeting the prevention efforts by illustrating how geographic patterns of teen birth rates have changed over the past decade and where clusters of high or low teen birth rates are evident.

    • Substance Use and Abuse RSS Word feed
      • A new methodological approach to adjust alcohol exposure distributions to improve the estimation of alcohol-attributable fractionsExternal
        Parish WJ, Aldridge A, Allaire B, Ekwueme DU, Phelps D, Guy GP, Thomas CC, Trogdon JG.
        Addiction. 2017 May 27.

        BACKGROUND AND AIMS: To assess the burden of excessive alcohol use, researchers routinely estimate alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs). However, underreporting in survey data can bias these estimates. We present an approach that adjusts for underreporting in the estimation of AAFs, particularly across subgroups. This framework is a refinement of a previous method (Rehm et al., 2010). METHODS: We use a measurement error model to derive the “true” alcohol distribution from a “reported” alcohol distribution. The “true” distribution leverages per capita sales data to identify the distribution average and then identifies the shape of the distribution with self-reported survey data. Data are from the National Alcohol Survey (NAS), the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). We compared our approach with previous approaches by estimating the AAF of female breast cancer cases. RESULTS: Compared with Rehm et al.’s approach, our refinement performs similarly under a gamma assumption. For example, among females aged 18-25, the two approaches produce estimates from NHSDA that are within a percentage point. However, relaxing the gamma assumption generally produces more conservative evidence. For example, among females aged 18-25, estimates from NHSDA based on the best-fitting distribution are only 19.33 percent of breast cancer cases, which is a much smaller proportion than the gamma-based estimates of about 28 percent. CONCLUSIONS: A refinement of Rehm et al.’s approach to adjusting for underreporting in the estimation of alcohol-attributable fractions provides more flexibility. This flexibility can avoid biases associated with failing to account for the underlying differences in alcohol consumption patterns across different study populations. Comparisons of our refinement with Rehm et al.’s approach show that results are similar when a gamma distribution is assumed. However, results are appreciably lower when the best-fitting distribution is chosen versus gamma-based results.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions RSS Word feed
      1. Prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation by urban-rural county classification – United States, 2015External
        Boring MA, Hootman JM, Liu Y, Theis KA, Murphy LB, Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Brady TJ, Croft JB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 May 26;66(20):527-532.

        Rural populations in the United States have well documented health disparities, including higher prevalences of chronic health conditions (1,2). Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is one of the most prevalent health conditions (22.7%) in the United States, affecting approximately 54.4 million adults (3). The impact of arthritis is considerable: an estimated 23.7 million adults have arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL). The age-standardized prevalence of AAAL increased nearly 20% from 2002 to 2015 (3). Arthritis prevalence varies widely by state (range = 19%-36%) and county (range = 16%-39%) (4). Despite what is known about arthritis prevalence at the national, state, and county levels and the substantial impact of arthritis, little is known about the prevalence of arthritis and AAAL across urban-rural areas overall and among selected subgroups. To estimate the prevalence of arthritis and AAAL by urban-rural categories CDC analyzed data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The unadjusted prevalence of arthritis in the most rural areas was 31.8% (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 31.0%-32.5%) and in the most urban, was 20.5% (95% CI = 20.1%-21.0%). The unadjusted AAAL prevalence among adults with arthritis was 55.3% in the most rural areas and 49.7% in the most urban. Approximately 1 in 3 adults in the most rural areas have arthritis and over half of these adults have AAAL. Wider use of evidence-based interventions including physical activity and self-management education in rural areas might help reduce the impact of arthritis and AAAL.

      2. Vitamin D and albuminuria in youth with and without type 1 diabetesExternal
        Nandi-Munshi D, Afkarian M, Whitlock KB, Crandell JL, Bell RA, D’Agostino R, Saydah S, Mottl AK, Dabelea D, Black MH, Mayer-Davis EJ, Pihoker C.
        Horm Res Paediatr. 2017 May 29.

        BACKGROUND/AIMS: In adults, lower vitamin D has been associated with increased albuminuria. This association has not been extensively studied in youth with or without type 1 diabetes. METHODS: We examined the cross-sectional association between vitamin D and albuminuria (urine albumin to creatinine ratio >/=30 mg/g) in 8,789 participants of the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2001-2006 (NHANES), who were 6-19 years old. Further, we examined the association between vitamin D and albuminuria in 938 participants from the SEARCH Nutritional Ancillary Study (SNAS), a longitudinal cohort of youth with type 1 diabetes. RESULTS: Of the NHANES participants, 5.3, 19.5, and 53.7% had vitamin D levels <30, 50 and 80 nmol/L, respectively. Albuminuria was present in 12.8% and was more common in younger children, females, non-Hispanic whites, non-obese children, and children with hypertension. After adjustments, there was no association between vitamin D and albuminuria. Among the SNAS participants with type 1 diabetes, we also found no association between baseline vitamin D and subsequent albuminuria in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. CONCLUSION: We did not find an association between serum vitamin D and albuminuria in either non-diabetic youth or those with type 1 diabetes. Further research is needed to more fully understand this relationship.

      3. Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease – United States, 1999-2014External
        Taylor CA, Greenlund SF, McGuire LC, Lu H, Croft JB.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 May 26;66(20):521-526.

        Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s), an ultimately fatal form of dementia, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 3.6% of all deaths in 2014 (1,2). Alzheimer’s deaths can be an indicator of paid and unpaid caregiver burden because nearly everyone in the final stages of Alzheimer’s needs constant care, regardless of the setting, as the result of functional and cognitive declines (2). To examine deaths with Alzheimer’s as the underlying cause, state-level and county-level death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System for the period 1999-2014 were analyzed. A total of 93,541 Alzheimer’s deaths occurred in the United States in 2014 at an age-adjusted (to the 2000 standard population) rate of 25.4 deaths per 100,000 population, a 54.5% increase compared with the 1999 rate of 16.5 deaths per 100,000. Most deaths occurred in a nursing home or long-term care facility. The percentage of Alzheimer’s decedents who died in a medical facility (e.g., hospital) declined from 14.7% in 1999 to 6.6% in 2014, whereas the percentage who died at home increased from 13.9% in 1999 to 24.9% in 2014. Significant increases in Alzheimer’s deaths coupled with an increase in the number of persons with Alzheimer’s dying at home have likely added to the burden on family members or other unpaid caregivers. Caregivers might benefit from interventions such as education, respite care, and case management that can lessen the potential burden of caregiving and can improve the care received by persons with Alzheimer’s.

      4. Optimizing glaucoma screening in high risk population: design and 1-year findings of the Screening to Prevent (SToP) Glaucoma studyExternal
        Zhao D, Guallar E, Gajwani P, Swenor B, Crews J, Saaddine J, Mudie L, Varadaraj V, Friedman DS.
        Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 May 23.

        PURPOSE: To develop, implement, and evaluate replicable community-based screening intervention designed to improve glaucoma and other eye disease detection and follow-up care in high-risk populations in the United States. We present the design of the study and describe the findings of the first year of the program. DESIGN: Prospective study to evaluate screening and follow-up. METHODS: This is an ongoing study to develop an eye screening program using trained personnel to identify individuals with ophthalmic needs, focusing on African Americans >/=50 years of age at multiple inner-city community sites in Baltimore, MD. The screening examination uses a sequential referral approach and assesses presenting visual acuity (VA), best-corrected VA, digital fundus imaging, visual field testing, and measurement of intraocular pressure. RESULTS: We screened 901 individuals between Jan 2015 and Oct 2015. Subjects were mostly African Americans (94.9%) with a mean (SD) age of 64.3 (9.9) years. Among them, 356 (39.5%) participants were referred for a definitive eye exam and 107 (11.9%) only needed prescription glasses. The most common reasons for referral were ungradable fundus image (39.3% of those referred), best-corrected VA < 20/40 (14.6%), and ungradable autorefraction (11.8%). Among people referred for definitive exam, 153 (43%) people attended their scheduled exam. The most common diagnoses at the definitive exam were glaucoma and cataract (51% and 40%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of individuals screened required ophthalmic services, particularly those who were older and less well educated. To reach and encourage these individuals to attend screenings and follow-up exams, programs could develop innovative strategies and approaches.

    • Communicable Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. Sexual risk and protective behaviors among reproductive-aged women in the United StatesExternal
        Aholou TM, McCree DH, Oraka E, Jeffries WL, Rose CE, DiNenno E, Sutton MY.
        J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 May 30.

        BACKGROUND: In 2014, women represented 19% of HIV diagnoses in the United States. Of these, 78% were among black women and Latinas. Sexual risk behaviors-for example concurrent sex partnerships, nonmonogamous sex partners, and inconsistent condom use-are associated with increased HIV transmission and prevalence; these behaviors have been understudied, collectively, in women. METHODS: To examine HIV-related sexual risk behaviors among sexually active women aged 18-44 years by race/ethnicity and over time, we used data from the 2006-2008, 2008-2010, and 2011-2013 cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth. We estimated weighted percentages and performed logistic regression to measure adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between selected behaviors and sociodemographic covariates. RESULTS: Among 13,588 women, 1.1% reported concurrent sex partnerships, 10.3% reported male partners whom they perceived were nonmonogamous, and 21.1% reported using a condom at either last vaginal or anal sex. Black women (aPR = 1.52; CI = 1.36-1.71) and Latinas (aPR = 1.29; CI = 1.14-1.47) were more likely to report condom use at either last vaginal or anal sex compared with white women. However, black women were also more likely to report concurrent opposite-sex partnerships (aPR = 2.44; CI = 1.57-3.78) and perceived nonmonogamous sex partners (aPR = 1.33; CI = 1.14-1.56) compared with white women. CONCLUSIONS: Improved HIV behavioral risk-reduction strategies are needed for women. Black women could benefit from interventions that address partnership concurrency. For black women and Latinas, who are more likely to use condoms, further examination of broader social and structural factors as contributors to racial/ethnic gaps are warranted and vital for understanding and decreasing HIV-related disparities.

      2. Trends in prevalence of advanced HIV disease at antiretroviral therapy enrollment – 10 countries, 2004-2015External
        Auld AF, Shiraishi RW, Oboho I, Ross C, Bateganya M, Pelletier V, Dee J, Francois K, Duval N, Antoine M, Delcher C, Desforges G, Griswold M, Domercant JW, Joseph N, Deyde V, Desir Y, Van Onacker JD, Robin E, Chun H, Zulu I, Pathmanathan I, Dokubo EK, Lloyd S, Pati R, Kaplan J, Raizes E, Spira T, Mitruka K, Couto A, Gudo ES, Mbofana F, Briggs M, Alfredo C, Xavier C, Vergara A, Hamunime N, Agolory S, Mutandi G, Shoopala NN, Sawadogo S, Baughman AL, Bashorun A, Dalhatu I, Swaminathan M, Onotu D, Odafe S, Abiri OO, Debem HH, Tomlinson H, Okello V, Preko P, Ao T, Ryan C, Bicego G, Ehrenkranz P, Kamiru H, Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha H, Kwesigabo G, Ramadhani AA, Ng’wangu K, Swai P, Mfaume M, Gongo R, Carpenter D, Mastro TD, Hamilton C, Denison J, Wabwire-Mangen F, Koole O, Torpey K, Williams SG, Colebunders R, Kalamya JN, Namale A, Adler MR, Mugisa B, Gupta S, Tsui S, van Praag E, Nguyen DB, Lyss S, Le Y, Abdul-Quader AS, Do NT, Mulenga M, Hachizovu S, Mugurungi O, Barr BA, Gonese E, Mutasa-Apollo T, Balachandra S, Behel S, Bingham T, Mackellar D, Lowrance D, Ellerbrock TV.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Jun 02;66(21):558-563.

        Monitoring prevalence of advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease (i.e., CD4+ T-cell count <200 cells/muL) among persons starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) is important to understand ART program outcomes, inform HIV prevention strategy, and forecast need for adjunctive therapies. To assess trends in prevalence of advanced disease at ART initiation in 10 high-burden countries during 2004-2015, records of 694,138 ART enrollees aged >/=15 years from 797 ART facilities were analyzed. Availability of national electronic medical record systems allowed up-to-date evaluation of trends in Haiti (2004-2015), Mozambique (2004-2014), and Namibia (2004-2012), where prevalence of advanced disease at ART initiation declined from 75% to 34% (p<0.001), 73% to 37% (p<0.001), and 80% to 41% (p<0.001), respectively. Significant declines in prevalence of advanced disease during 2004-2011 were observed in Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. The encouraging declines in prevalence of advanced disease at ART enrollment are likely due to scale-up of testing and treatment services and ART-eligibility guidelines encouraging earlier ART initiation. However, in 2015, approximately a third of new ART patients still initiated ART with advanced HIV disease. To reduce prevalence of advanced disease at ART initiation, adoption of World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended “treat-all” guidelines and strategies to facilitate earlier HIV testing and treatment are needed to reduce HIV-related mortality and HIV incidence.

      3. Notes from the field: Veillonella misidentified as Francisella tularensis – Idaho, 2016External
        Carter KK, Peterson EM, Voermans RL, Anderson KS, Cox T, Kassem AM, Ball CL, Hahn CG.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Jun 02;66(21):564-565.

        [No abstract]

      4. Cluster of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates with high-level azithromycin resistance and decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility, Hawaii, 2016External
        Katz AR, Komeya AY, Kirkcaldy RD, Whelen AC, Soge OO, Papp JR, Kersh EN, Wasserman GM, O’Connor NP, O’Brien PS, Sato DT, Maningas EV, Kunimoto GY, Tomas JE.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 May 26.

        Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends dual therapy with ceftriaxone and azithromycin for gonorrhea to ensure effective treatment and slow emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Since 2013, the prevalence of reduced azithromycin susceptibility increased in the United States; however, these strains were highly susceptible to cephalosporins. We report on a cluster of N. gonorrhoeae isolates demonstrating high-level azithromycin resistance, several of which also demonstrated decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility. Methods: Eight N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected from 7 patients on Oahu seen 21 April through 10 May 2016 underwent routine Etest antimicrobial susceptibility testing by Hawaii Department of Health. All demonstrated elevated azithromycin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) >256 mul/mL and elevated ceftriaxone MICs (>/=0.125 mug/mL). Isolates were sent to University of Washington and CDC for confirmatory agar dilution testing, and sequence data were sent to CDC for analysis. All patients were interviewed and treated, and when possible, partners were interviewed, tested, and treated. Results: All isolates had azithromycin MICs >16 microg/mL and 5 had ceftriaxone MICs = 0.125 microg/mL by agar dilution. All isolates were beta-lactamase positive, and were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, and ciprofloxacin. Genomic analysis revealed genetic relatedness. No patients reported recent travel or antibiotic use and no male patients reported male sex partners. All patients were successfully treated. Conclusions: This cluster of genetically related gonococcal isolates with decreased ceftriaxone susceptibility and high-level azithromycin resistance may bring the threat of treatment failure in the United States with the current recommended dual therapy one step closer.

      5. Strategies for preventing HIV infection among HIV-uninfected women attempting conception with HIV-infected men – United StatesExternal
        Kawwass JF, Smith DK, Kissin DM, Haddad LB, Boulet SL, Sunderam S, Jamieson DJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Jun 02;66(21):554-557.

        By the end of 2014, a total of 955,081 persons in the United States (299.5 per 100,000 population) had received a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection (1). The annual estimated number of HIV infections and incidence rate in the United States decreased from 2010 to 2014, and the survival rate has increased over time (1). Effective highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is helping persons with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. Many of these persons, including an unknown percentage in discordant relationships (i.e., one partner is HIV-infected, and the other is HIV-uninfected), might wish to have their own biologic children. When the female partner is HIV-infected and the male partner is not, a discordant couple can undergo autologous sperm intrauterine inseminations to achieve conception without placing the man at risk for infection. However, for HIV-discordant couples in which the man is HIV-infected and the woman is not, strategies to minimize the risk for sexual transmission are needed. In 1988, CDC recommended against insemination with semen from HIV-infected men (2). Since 1988, new information has emerged regarding prevention of HIV transmission in HIV-discordant couples. This report reviews laboratory and epidemiologic information regarding the prevention of HIV transmission for HIV-discordant couples, in which the male is HIV-infected and the female is HIV-uninfected, who would like to attempt conception.

      6. There is a complex interrelationship between human papillomaviruses (HPV) and human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) that has been recognized from the start of the HIV epidemic. Cervical cancer was used as a surveillance indicator for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) before definitive identification of the viral etiology of either condition were known. Careful epidemiologic studies combined with clinical and laboratory measures of HPV, HPV-associated disease, and HIV have helped us understand many aspects of the relationship between these two virus groups; however, questions remain. The histopathology associated with HPV is identical in HIV-positive and negative patients though the lesions are more frequent, with higher frequency of multiple HPV types, and persistent in HIV infected individuals. In this review we will briefly explain the pathobiology of HPV in HIV-infected persons and the potential impact of secondary (screening) and primary (vaccination) prevention to reduce HPV-associated disease in those infected with HIV.

      7. Maternal humoral immune correlates of peripartum transmission of Clade C HIV-1 in the setting of peripartum antiretroviralsExternal
        Mutucumarana CP, Eudailey J, McGuire EP, Vandergrift N, Tegha G, Chasela C, Ellington S, van der Horst C, Kourtis AP, Permar SR, Fouda GG.
        Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2017 May 31.

        Despite widespread use of antiretrovirals (ARV), more than 150,000 pediatric HIV-1 infections continue to occur annually. Supplemental strategies are necessary to eliminate pediatric HIV infections. We previously reported that maternal HIV envelope-specific anti-V3 IgG, CD4 binding site-directed antibodies, and tier 1 virus neutralization predicted reduced risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 (MTCT) in the pre-ARV era US-based Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) cohort. As the majority of ongoing pediatric HIV infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, we sought to determine if the same maternal humoral immune correlates predicted MTCT in a subset of the Malawian Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) cohort of HIV-infected mothers (n=88, 45 transmitting and 43 non-transmitting). Women and infants received ARV at delivery, thus the majority of MTCT was in utero (91%). In a multivariable logistic regression model, neither maternal anti-V3 IgG nor clade C tier 1 virus neutralization were associated with MTCT. Unexpectedly, maternal CD4 binding site antibodies and anti-V1V2 IgG were associated with increased MTCT, independent of maternal viral load. Neither infant Env-specific IgG levels nor maternal IgG transplacental transfer efficiency were associated with transmission. Distinct humoral immune correlates of MTCT in the BAN and WITS studies could be due to differences between transmission mode, virus clade, or maternal antiretroviral use. The association between specific maternal antibody responses and in utero transmission, distinct from potentially protective maternal antibodies in the WITS cohort, underlines the importance of investigating additional cohorts with well-defined transmission modes to understand the role of antibodies during HIV-1 MTCT.

      8. Integration and decentralisation of TB-HIV services increases HIV testing of TB cases in Rajasthan, IndiaExternal
        Sinha SK, Saxena A, Mishra V, Volkmann T, Kumar AM, Nair SA, Moonan PK, Oeltmann JE, Chadha VK.
        Public Health Action. 2017 March;7(1):71-73.

        The proportion of tuberculosis (TB) patients tested for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the state of Rajasthan, India, is limited by the availability of HIV testing facilities. Rajasthan implemented a policy of initiating TBHIV diagnosis at all health institutions in July 2013. The number of TB diagnostic facilities increased from 33 to 63 in Banswara District and from 22 to 68 in Jhunjhunu District, while the number of HIV testing facilities in these districts increased from 1 to 53 and from 10 to 81, respectively, after the policy implementation. The proportion of TB patients tested for HIV increased by respectively 27% and 19%.

      9. BACKGROUND: Group C Rotavirus (RVC) is an enteric pathogen responsible for acute gastroenteritis in children and adults globally. At present there are no surveillance studies on group C Rotaviruses in India and therefore their prevalence in India remains unknown. The present study aimed to evaluate group C rotavirus infection among <5 years old children hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in New Delhi. METHODS: A total of 350 fecal specimens were collected during September 2013 to November 2014 from <5 years old diarrheal patients admitted at KSCH hospital, Delhi. The samples found negative for group A rotavirus (N = 180) by Enzyme immunoassay were screened for group C rotavirus by RT-PCR with VP6, VP7 and VP4 gene specific primers. The PCR products were further sequenced (VP6, VP7, VP4) and analyzed to ascertain their origin and G and P genotypes. RESULTS: Six out of 180 (group A rotavirus negative) samples were found positive for group C rotavirus by VP6 gene specific RT-PCR, of which 3 were also found positive for VP7 and VP4 genes. Phylogenetic analysis of VP7 and VP4 genes of these showed them to be G4 and P[2] genotypes. Overall, the nucleotide sequence data (VP6, VP7 and VP4) revealed a close relationship with the human group C rotavirus with no evidence of animal ancestry. Interestingly, the nucleotide sequence analysis of various genes also indicated differences in their origin. While the identity matrix of VP4 gene (n = 3) showed high amino acid sequence identity (97.60 to 98.20%) with Korean strain, the VP6 gene (n = 6) showed maximum identity with Nigerian strain (96.40 to 97.60%) and VP7 gene (n = 3) with Bangladeshi and USA strains. This is true for all analyzed samples. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated the group C rotavirus as the cause of severe diarrhea in young children in Delhi and provides insights on the origin of group C rotavirus genes among the local strains indicating their source of transmission. Our study also highlights the need for a simple and reliable diagnostic test that can be utilized to determine the disease burden due to group C rotavirus in India.

      10. Notes from the Field: Measles outbreak at a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility – Arizona, May-June 2016External
        Venkat H, Kassem AM, Su CP, Hill C, Timme E, Briggs G, Komatsu K, Robinson S, Sunenshine R, Patel M, Elson D, Gastanaduy P, Brady S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 May 26;66(20):543-544.

        [No abstract]

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors RSS Word feed
      1. Pioneer study of population genetics of Rhodnius ecuadoriensis (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) from the central coast and southern Andean regions of EcuadorExternal
        Villacis AG, Marcet PL, Yumiseva CA, Dotson EM, Tibayrenc M, Breniere SF, Grijalva MJ.
        Infect Genet Evol. 2017 May 22.

        Effective control of Chagas disease vector populations requires a good understanding of the epidemiological components, including a reliable analysis of the genetic structure of vector populations. Rhodnius ecuadoriensis is the most widespread vector of Chagas disease in Ecuador, occupying domestic, peridomestic and sylvatic habitats. It is widely distributed in the central coast and southern highlands regions of Ecuador, two very different regions in terms of bio-geographical characteristics. To evaluate the genetic relationship among R. ecuadoriensis populations in these two regions, we analyzed genetic variability at two microsatellite loci for 326 specimens (n=122 in Manabi and n=204 in Loja) and the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (Cyt b) sequences for 174 individuals collected in the two provinces (n=73 and=101 in Manabi and Loja respectively). The individual samples were grouped in populations according to their community of origin. A few populations presented positive FIS, possible due to Wahlund effect. Significant pairwise differentiation was detected between populations within each province for both genetic markers, and the isolation by distance model was significant for these populations. Microsatellite markers showed significant genetic differentiation between the populations of the two provinces. The partial sequences of the Cyt b gene (578bp) identified a total of 34 haplotypes among 174 specimens sequenced, which translated into high haplotype diversity (Hd=0.929). The haplotype distribution differed among provinces (significant Fisher’s exact test). Overall, the genetic differentiation of R. ecuadoriensis between provinces detected in this study is consistent with the biological and phenotypic differences previously observed between Manabi and Loja populations. The current phylogenetic analysis evidenced the monophyly of the populations of R. ecuadoriensis within the R. pallescens species complex; R. pallescens and R. colombiensis were more closely related than they were to R. ecuadoriensis.

    • Drug Safety RSS Word feed
      1. Measuring antibiotic appropriateness for urinary tract infections in nursing home residentsExternal
        Eure T, LaPlace LL, Melchreit R, Maloney M, Lynfield R, Whitten T, Warnke L, Dumyati G, Quinlan G, Concannon C, Thompson D, Stone ND, Thompson ND.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2017 May 31:1-4.

        We assessed the appropriateness of initiating antibiotics in 49 nursing home (NH) residents receiving antibiotics for urinary tract infection (UTI) using 3 published algorithms. Overall, 16 residents (32%) received prophylaxis, and among the 33 receiving treatment, the percentage of appropriate use ranged from 15% to 45%. Opportunities exist for improving UTI antibiotic prescribing in NH. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;1-4.

    • Environmental Health RSS Word feed
      1. Phthalates and thyroid function in preschool age children: Sex specific associationsExternal
        Morgenstern R, Whyatt RM, Insel BJ, Calafat AM, Liu X, Rauh VA, Herbstman J, Bradwin G, Factor-Litvak P.
        Environ Int. 2017 May 26;106:11-18.

        BACKGROUND: Research relating either prenatal or concurrent measures of phthalate exposure to thyroid function in preschool children is inconclusive. METHODS: In a study of inner-city mothers and their children, metabolites of di-n-butyl phthalate, butylbenzyl phthalate, di-isobutyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and diethyl phthalate were measured in a spot urine sample collected from women in late pregnancy and from their children at age 3years. We measured children’s serum free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) at age 3. Linear regression models were used to investigate the associations between phthalate metabolites, measured in maternal urine during late pregnancy and measured in child urine at age 3 and thyroid function measured at age 3. RESULTS: Mean concentrations (ranges) were 1.42ng/dL (1.02-2.24) for FT4, and 2.62uIU/mL (0.61-11.67) for TSH. In the children at age 3, among girls, FT4 decreased with increasing loge mono-n-butyl phthalate [estimated b=-0.06; 95% CI: (-0.09, -0.02)], loge mono-isobutyl phthalate [b=-0.05; 95% CI: (-0.09, -0.01)], loge monoethyl phthalate [b=-0.04; 95% CI: (-0.07, -0.01)], and loge mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate [b=-0.04; 95% CI: (-0.07, -0.003)] and loge mono(2-ethyl-5-oxy-hexyl) phthalate [b=-0.04; 95% CI: (-0.07, -0.004)]. In contrast, among boys, we observed no associations between FT4 and child phthalate metabolites at age 3. On the other hand, in late gestation, FT4 increased with increasing loge mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate [estimated b=0.04; 95% CI: (0.02, 0.06)] and no sex difference was observed. We found no associations between phthalate biomarkers measured in either the child or prenatal samples and TSH at age 3. CONCLUSIONS: The data show inverse and sex specific associations between specific phthalate metabolites measured in children at age 3 and thyroid function in preschool children. These results may provide evidence for the hypothesis that reductions in thyroid hormones mediate associations between early life phthalate exposure and child cognitive outcomes.

    • Genetics and Genomics RSS Word feed
      1. Identification and comparative analysis of hepatitis B virus genotype D/E recombinants in AfricaExternal
        Boyce CL, Ganova-Raeva L, Archampong TN, Lartey M, Sagoe KW, Obo-Akwa A, Kenu E, Kwara A, Blackard JT.
        Virus Genes. 2017 May 31.

        Globally, there are approximately 240 million people chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. Ten different HBV genotypes (A-J) have been identified with distinct geographic distributions. Novel variants generated by recombination between different HBV genotypes have been documented worldwide and represent an important element of genetic variability with possible clinical implications. Here, the complete genome sequence of an HBV genotype D/E recombinant from Ghana is reported. The full-length sequence was obtained using rolling circle amplification followed by PCR and sequenced using next-generation sequencing (NGS). A consensus sequence was extracted from the NGS data and underwent phylogenetic analysis to determine genotype, as well as the recombination pattern. Subsequently, the sequence was compared to recombinants described previously in Africa. Based on MCMC phylogenetic analysis, SimPlot recombination analyses, and intragroup genetic distance, the isolate 007N full-length genome is unique compared to other reported D/E recombinants in Africa.

      2. Whole genome and core genome multilocus sequence typing and single nucleotide polymorphism analyses of Listeria monocytogenes associated with an outbreak linked to cheese, United States, 2013External
        Chen Y, Luo Y, Carleton H, Timme R, Melka D, Muruvanda T, Wang C, Kastanis G, Katz LS, Turner L, Fritzinger A, Moore T, Stones R, Blankenship J, Salter M, Parish M, Hammack TS, Evans PS, Tarr CL, Allard MW, Strain EA, Brown EW.
        Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 May 26.

        Epidemiological findings of a listeriosis outbreak in 2013 implicated Hispanic-style cheese produced by Company A, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were performed on clinical isolates and representative isolates collected from Company A cheese and environmental samples during the investigation. The results strengthened the evidence for cheese as the vehicle. Surveillance sampling and WGS three months later revealed that the equipment purchased by Company B from Company A yielded an environmental isolate highly similar to all outbreak isolates. The whole genome and core genome multilocus sequence typing and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses were compared to demonstrate the maximum discriminatory power obtained by using multiple analyses, which were needed to differentiate outbreak-associated isolates from a PFGE-indistinguishable isolate collected in a non-implicated food source in 2012. This unrelated isolate differed from the outbreak isolates by only 7 to 14 SNPs, and as a result, minimum spanning tree by the whole genome analyses and certain variant calling approach and phylogenetic algorithm for core genome-based analyses could not provide the differentiation between unrelated isolates. Our data also suggest that SNP/allele counts should always be combined with WGS clustering generated by phylogenetically meaningful algorithms on sufficient number of isolates, and SNP/allele threshold alone is not sufficient evidence to delineate an outbreak. The putative prophages were conserved across all the outbreak isolates. All outbreak isolates belonged to clonal complex 5 and serotype 1/2b, had an identical inlA sequence, which did not have premature stop codons.IMPORTANCE In this outbreak, multiple analytical approaches were used for maximum discriminatory power. A PFGE-matched, epidemiologically unrelated isolate had high genetic similarity to the outbreak-associated isolates, with as few as only 7 SNP differences. Therefore, the SNP/allele threshold should not be used as the only evidence to define the scope of an outbreak. It is critical that the SNP/allele counts be complemented by WGS clustering generated by phylogenetically meaningful algorithms to distinguish outbreak-associated isolates from epidemiologically unrelated isolates. Careful selection of a variant calling approach and phylogenetic algorithm is critical for core genome-based analyses. The whole genome-based analyses were able to construct the highly resolved phylogeny needed to support the findings of the outbreak investigation. Ultimately, epidemiologic evidence and multiple WGS analyses should be combined to increase the confidence in outbreak investigations.

      3. Finished whole-genome sequence of Clostridium argentinense producing Botulinum neurotoxin type GExternal
        Halpin JL, Hill K, Johnson SL, Bruce DC, Shirey TB, Dykes JK, Luquez C.
        Genome Announc. 2017 May 25;5(21).

        Here, we present a closed genome sequence for Clostridium argentinense strain 89G, the first strain identified to produce botulinum neurotoxin type G (BoNT/G). Although discovered in 1970, to date, there have been no reference quality sequences publicly available for this species.

      4. Finished whole-genome sequences of two Clostridium botulinum type A(B) isolatesExternal
        Halpin JL, Hill K, Johnson SL, Bruce DC, Shirey TB, Dykes JK, Luquez C.
        Genome Announc. 2017 May 25;5(21).

        Clostridium botulinum secretes a potent neurotoxin that causes devastating effects when ingested, including paralysis and death if not treated. In the United States, some clinically significant strains produce toxin type A while also harboring a silent B gene. These are the first two closed genome sequences published for this subset.

      5. A fundamental challenge in analyzing next-generation sequencing (NGS) data is to determine an individual’s genotype accurately, as the accuracy of the inferred genotype is essential to downstream analyses. Correctly estimating the base-calling error rate is critical to accurate genotype calls. Phred scores that accompany each call can be used to decide which calls are reliable. Some genotype callers, such as GATK and SAMtools, directly calculate the base-calling error rates from phred scores or recalibrated base quality scores. Others, such as SeqEM, estimate error rates from the read data without using any quality scores. It is also a common quality control procedure to filter out reads with low phred scores. However, choosing an appropriate phred score threshold is problematic as a too high threshold may lose data, while a too low threshold may introduce errors. We propose a new likelihood-based genotype-calling approach that exploits all reads and estimates the per-base error rates by incorporating phred scores through a logistic regression model. The approach, which we call PhredEM, uses the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to obtain consistent estimates of genotype frequencies and logistic regression parameters. It also includes a simple, computationally efficient screening algorithm to identify loci that are estimated to be monomorphic, so that only loci estimated to be nonmonomorphic require application of the EM algorithm. Like GATK, PhredEM can be used together with a linkage-disequilibrium-based method such as Beagle, which can further improve genotype calling as a refinement step. We evaluate the performance of PhredEM using both simulated data and real sequencing data from the UK10K project and the 1000 Genomes project. The results demonstrate that PhredEM performs better than either GATK or SeqEM, and that PhredEM is an improved, robust, and widely applicable genotype-calling approach for NGS studies. The relevant software is freely available.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections RSS Word feed
      1. BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance definitions are the most widely used criteria for health care-associated infection (HAI) surveillance. NHSN participants agree to conduct surveillance in accordance with the NHSN protocol and criteria. To assess the application of these standardized surveillance specifications and offer infection preventionists (IPs) opportunities for ongoing education, a series of case studies, with questions related to NHSN definitions and criteria were published. METHODS: Beginning in 2010, case studies with multiple-choice questions based on standard surveillance criteria and protocols were written and published in the American Journal of Infection Control with a link to an online survey. Participants anonymously submitted their responses before receiving the correct answers. RESULTS: The 22 case studies had 7,950 respondents who provided 27,790 responses to 75 questions during the first 6 years. Correct responses were selected 62.5% of the time (17,376 out of 27,290), but ranged widely (16%-87%). In a subset analysis, 93% of participants self-identified as IPs (3,387 out of 3,640), 4.5% were public health professionals (163 out of 3,640), and 2.5% were physicians (90 out of 3,640). IPs responded correctly (62%) more often than physicians (55%) (P = .006). CONCLUSIONS: Among a cohort of voluntary participants, accurate application of surveillance criteria to case studies was suboptimal, highlighting the need for continuing education, competency development, and auditing.

    • Immunity and Immunization RSS Word feed
      1. Assessment of the status of measles elimination in the United States, 2001-2014External
        Gastanaduy PA, Paul P, Fiebelkorn AP, Redd SB, Lopman BA, Gambhir M, Wallace GS.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Apr 01;185(7):562-569.

        We assessed the status of measles elimination in the United States using outbreak notification data. Measles transmissibility was assessed by estimation of the reproduction number, R, the average number of secondary cases per infection, using 4 methods; elimination requires maintaining R at <1. Method 1 estimates R as 1 minus the proportion of cases that are imported. Methods 2 and 3 estimate R by fitting a model of the spread of infection to data on the sizes and generations of chains of transmission, respectively. Method 4 assesses transmissibility before public health interventions, by estimating R for the case with the earliest symptom onset in each cluster (Rindex). During 2001-2014, R and Rindex estimates obtained using methods 1-4 were 0.72 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68, 0.76), 0.66 (95% CI: 0.62, 0.70), 0.45 (95% CI: 0.40, 0.49), and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.69), respectively. Year-to-year variability in the values of R and Rindex and an increase in transmissibility in recent years were noted with all methods. Elimination of endemic measles transmission is maintained in the United States. A suggested increase in measles transmissibility since elimination warrants continued monitoring and emphasizes the importance of high measles vaccination coverage throughout the population.

      2. [No abstract]

      3. Tdap vaccination among healthcare personnel, Internet Panel Survey, 2012-2014External
        Srivastav A, Black CL, Lu PJ, Zhang J, Liang JL, Greby SM.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 May 23.

        INTRODUCTION: Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at risk for pertussis infection exposure or transmitting the disease to patients in their work settings. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination for HCP to minimize these risks. This study assessed Tdap vaccination coverage among U.S. HCP by sociodemographic and occupation-related characteristics. METHODS: The 2012, 2013, and 2014 Internet Panel Surveys were analyzed in 2015 to assess HCP Tdap vaccination. Effective sample sizes for 2012, 2013, and 2014 survey years were 2,038, 1613, and 1633, respectively. Missing values were assigned using multiple imputation. Multivariable logistic regression identified factors independently associated with HCP Tdap vaccination. Statistical measures were calculated with an assumption of random sampling. RESULTS: Overall, Tdap vaccination coverage among HCP was 34.8% (95% CI=30.6%, 39.0%); 40.2% (95% CI=36.1%, 44.4%); and 42.4% (95% CI=38.7%, 46.0%) in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. Nurse practitioners/physician’s assistants, physicians, nurses, and HCP working in hospitals and ambulatory care settings had higher Tdap coverage. Having contact with an infant aged </=6 months and influenza vaccination receipt were associated with increased Tdap vaccination. Non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity, having an associate/bachelor’s degree, being below poverty, non-clinical personnel status, and working in a long-term care setting were associated with decreased Tdap vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: HCP Tdap vaccination coverage increased during 2012-2014; however, coverage remains low. Vaccination coverage varied widely by healthcare occupation, occupational setting, and sociodemographic characteristics. Evidence-based employer strategies used to increase HCP influenza vaccination, if applied to Tdap, may increase Tdap coverage.

      4. Stockpiled pre-pandemic H5N1 influenza virus vaccines with AS03 adjuvant provide cross-protection from H5N2 clade virus challenge in ferretsExternal
        Sun X, Belser JA, Pulit-Penaloza JA, Creager HM, Guo Z, Jefferson SN, Liu F, York IA, Stevens J, Maines TR, Jernigan DB, Katz JM, Levine MZ, Tumpey TM.
        Virology. 2017 May 26;508:164-169.

        Avian influenza viruses, notably H5 subtype viruses, pose a continuous threat to public health due to their pandemic potential. In recent years, influenza virus H5 subtype split vaccines with novel oil-in-water emulsion based adjuvants (e.g. AS03, MF59) have been shown to be safe, immunogenic, and able to induce broad immune responses in clinical trials, providing strong scientific support for vaccine stockpiling. However, whether such vaccines can provide protection from infection with emerging, antigenically distinct clades of H5 viruses has not been adequately addressed. Here, we selected two AS03-adjuvanted H5N1 vaccines from the US national pre-pandemic influenza vaccine stockpile and assessed whether the 2004-05 vaccines could provide protection against a 2014 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 virus (A/northern pintail/Washington/40964/2014), a clade virus responsible for mass culling of poultry in North America. Ferrets received two doses of adjuvanted vaccine containing 7.5microg of hemagglutinin (HA) from A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (clade 1) or A/Anhui/1/2005 (clade 2.3.4) virus either in a homologous or heterologous prime-boost vaccination regime. We found that both vaccination regimens elicited robust antibody responses against the 2004-05 vaccine viruses and could reduce virus-induced morbidity and viral replication in the lower respiratory tract upon heterologous challenge despite the low level of cross-reactive antibody titers to the challenge H5N2 virus. This study supports the value of existing stockpiled 2004-05 influenza H5N1 vaccines, combined with AS03-adjuvant for early use in the event of an emerging pandemic with H5N2-like clade viruses.

    • Laboratory Sciences RSS Word feed
      1. Comparison of the toxicity of sintered and unsintered indium-tin oxide particles in murine macrophage and epidermal cellsExternal
        Olgun NS, Morris AM, Barber TL, Stefaniak AB, Kashon ML, Schwegler-Berry D, Cummings KJ, Leonard SS.
        Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 May 25.

        Indium-tin oxide (ITO) is used to produce flat panel displays and several other technology products. Composed of 90% indium oxide (In2O3) and 10% tin oxide (SnO2) by weight, ITO is synthesized under conditions of high heat via a process known as sintering. Indium lung disease, a recently recognized occupational illness, is characterized by pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, fibrosis, and emphysema. Murine macrophage (RAW 264.7) and epidermal (JB6) cells stably transfected with AP-1 to study tumor promoting potential, were used to differentiate between the toxicological profiles of sintered ITO (SITO) and unsintered mixture (UITO). We hypothesized that sintering would play a key role in free radical generation and cytotoxicity. Exposure of cells to both UITO and SITO caused a time and dose dependent decrease of the viability of cells. Intracellular ROS generation was inversely related to the dose of both UITO and SITO, a direct reflection of the decreased number of viable RAW 264.7 and JB6/AP-1 cells observed at higher concentrations. Electron spin resonance showed significantly increased hydroxyl radical (OH) generation in cells exposed to UITO compared to SITO. This is different from LDH release, which showed that SITO caused significantly increased damage to the cell membrane compared to UITO. Lastly, the JB6/AP-1 cell line did not show activation of the AP-1 pathway. Our results highlight both the differences in the mechanisms of cytotoxicity and the consistent adverse effects associated with UITO and SITO exposure.

      2. Rectal administration of a chlamydial subunit vaccine protects against genital infection and upper reproductive tract pathology in miceExternal
        Pais R, Omosun Y, He Q, Blas-Machado U, Black C, Igietseme JU, Fujihashi K, Eko FO.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(6):e0178537.

        In this study, we tested the hypothesis that rectal immunization with a VCG-based chlamydial vaccine would cross-protect mice against heterologous genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection and Chlamydia-induced upper genital tract pathologies in mice. Female mice were immunized with a C. trachomatis serovar D-derived subunit vaccine or control or live serovar D elementary bodies (EBs) and the antigen-specific mucosal and systemic immune responses were characterized. Vaccine efficacy was determined by evaluating the intensity and duration of genital chlamydial shedding following intravaginal challenge with live serovar E chlamydiae. Protection against upper genital tract pathology was determined by assessing infertility and tubal inflammation. Rectal immunization elicited high levels of chlamydial-specific IFN-gamma-producing CD4 T cells and humoral immune responses in mucosal and systemic tissues. The elicited immune effectors cross-reacted with the serovar E chlamydial antigen and reduced the length and intensity of genital chlamydial shedding. Furthermore, immunization with the VCG-vaccine but not the rVCG-gD2 control reduced the incidence of tubal inflammation and protected mice against Chlamydia-induced infertility. These results highlight the potential of rectal immunization as a viable mucosal route for inducing protective immunity in the female genital tract.

    • Maternal and Child Health RSS Word feed
      1. First trimester influenza vaccination and risks for major structural birth defects in offspringExternal
        Kharbanda EO, Vazquez-Benitez G, Romitti PA, Naleway AL, Cheetham TC, Lipkind HS, Klein NP, Lee G, Jackson ML, Hambidge SJ, McCarthy N, DeStefano F, Nordin JD.
        J Pediatr. 2017 May 24.

        OBJECTIVE: To examine risks for major structural birth defects in infants after first trimester inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) exposures. STUDY DESIGN: In this observational study, we used electronic health data from 7 Vaccine Safety Datalink sites to examine risks for selected major structural defects in infants after maternal IIV exposure. Vaccine exposures for women with continuous insurance enrollment through pregnancy who delivered singleton live births between 2004 and 2013 were identified from standardized files. Infants with continuous insurance enrollment were followed to 1 year of age. We excluded mother-infant pairs with other exposures that potentially increased their background risk for birth defects. Selected cardiac, orofacial or respiratory, neurologic, ophthalmologic or otologic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and muscular or limb defects were identified from diagnostic codes in infant medical records using validated algorithms. Propensity score adjusted generalized estimating equations were used to estimate prevalence ratios (PRs). RESULTS: We identified 52 856 infants with maternal first trimester IIV exposure and 373 088 infants whose mothers were unexposed to IIV during first trimester. Prevalence (per 100 live births) for selected major structural birth defects was 1.6 among first trimester IIV exposed versus 1.5 among unexposed mothers. The adjusted PR was 1.02 (95% CI 0.94-1.10). Organ system-specific PRs were similar to the overall PR. CONCLUSION: First trimester maternal IIV exposure was not associated with an increased risk for selected major structural birth defects in this large cohort of singleton live births.

      2. Racial and ethnic trends in sudden unexpected infant deaths: United States, 1995-2013External
        Parks SE, Erck Lambert AB, Shapiro-Mendoza CK.
        Pediatrics. 2017 May 15.

        BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Immediately after the 1994 Back-to-Sleep campaign, sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) rates decreased dramatically, but they have remained relatively stable (93.4 per 100 000 live births) since 2000. In this study, we examined trends in SUID rates and disparities by race/ethnicity since the Back-to-Sleep campaign. METHODS: We used 1995-2013 US period-linked birth-infant death data to evaluate SUID rates per 100 000 live births by non-Hispanic white (NHW), non-Hispanic black (NHB), Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander racial/ethnic groupings. To examine racial/ethnic disparities, we calculated rate ratios with NHWs as the referent group. Unadjusted linear regression was used to evaluate trends (P < .05) in rates and rate ratios. The distribution and rates of SUID by demographic and birth characteristics were compared for 1995-1997 and 2011-2013, and chi2 tests were used to evaluate significance. RESULTS: From 1995 to 2013, SUID rates were consistently highest for American Indian/Alaska Natives, followed by NHBs. The rate for NHBs decreased significantly, whereas the rate for NHWs also declined, but not significantly. As a result, the disparity between NHWs and NHBs narrowed slightly. The SUID rates for Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders were lower than the rates for NHWs and showed a significant decrease, resulting in an increase in their advantage over NHWs. CONCLUSIONS: Each racial/ethnic group showed a unique trend in SUID rates since the Back-to-Sleep campaign. When implementing risk-reduction strategies, it is important to consider these trends in targeting populations for prevention and developing culturally appropriate approaches for racial/ethnic communities.

    • Nutritional Sciences RSS Word feed
      1. Hemoglobin (Hb), mean cell volume (MCV), and erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP) are commonly used to screen for iron deficiency (ID), but systematic evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of these tests is limited. The objective of this study is to determine the sensitivity and specificity of Hb, MCV, and EP measurements in screening for ID in preschool children, non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age, and pregnant women. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) (NHANES 2003-2006: n = 861, children three to five years of age; n = 3112, non-pregnant women 15 to 49 years of age. NHANES 1999-2006: n = 1150, pregnant women) were examined for this purpose. Children or women with blood lead >/=10 microg/dL or C-reactive protein (CRP) >5.0 mg/L were excluded. ID was defined as total body iron stores <0 mg/kg body weight, calculated from the ratio of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) to serum ferritin (SF). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of Hb, MCV, and EP measurements in screening for ID. In detecting ID in children three to five years of age, EP (Area under the Curve (AUC) 0.80) was superior to Hb (AUC 0.62) (p < 0.01) but not statistically different from MCV (AUC 0.73). In women, EP and Hb were comparable (non-pregnant AUC 0.86 and 0.84, respectively; pregnant 0.77 and 0.74, respectively), and both were better than MCV (non-pregnant AUC 0.80; pregnant 0.70) (p < 0.01). We concluded that the sensitivity and specificity of EP in screening for ID were consistently superior to or at least as effective as those of Hb and MCV in each population examined. For children three to five years of age, EP screening for ID was significantly better than Hb and similar to MCV. For both non-pregnant and pregnant women, the performance of EP and Hb were comparable; both were significantly superior to MCV.

    • Occupational Safety and Health RSS Word feed
      1. Health problems and disinfectant product exposure among staff at a large multispecialty hospitalExternal
        Casey ML, Hawley B, Edwards N, Cox-Ganser JM, Cummings KJ.
        Am J Infect Control. 2017 May 23.

        BACKGROUND: Hospital staff expressed health concerns after a surface disinfectant product containing hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and acetic acid was introduced. We sought to determine if this product posed a health hazard. METHODS: An interviewer-administered questionnaire on work and health characteristics was completed by 163 current staff. Symptoms that improved away from work were considered work-related. Forty-nine air samples were taken for hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and acetic acid. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were calculated using Poisson regression, and standardized morbidity ratios (SMRs) were calculated using nationally representative data. RESULTS: Product users reported higher prevalence of work-related wheeze and watery eyes than nonusers (P < .05). Workers in the department with the highest air measurements had significantly higher prevalence of watery eyes (PR, 2.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-7.05) than those in departments with lower air measurements, and they also had a >3-fold excess of current asthma (SMR, 3.47; 95% CI, 1.48-8.13) compared with the U.S. POPULATION: CONCLUSIONS: This disinfectant product was associated with mucous membrane and respiratory health effects. Risks of mucous membrane irritation and asthma in health care workers should be considered in development of disinfection protocols to protect patients from hospital-acquired infections. Identification of optimal protocols that reduce worker exposures while maintaining patient safety is needed.

    • Parasitic Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. Malaria surveillance – United States, 2014External
        Mace KE, Arguin PM.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 May 26;66(12):1-24.

        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Malaria in humans is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. These parasites are transmitted by the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito. The majority of malaria infections in the United States occur among persons who have traveled to regions with ongoing malaria transmission. However, malaria is occasionally acquired by persons who have not traveled out of the country through exposure to infected blood products, congenital transmission, laboratory exposure, or local mosquitoborne transmission. Malaria surveillance in the United States is conducted to identify episodes of local transmission and to guide prevention recommendations for travelers. PERIOD COVERED: This report summarizes cases in persons with onset of illness in 2014 and trends during previous years. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: Malaria cases diagnosed by blood film, polymerase chain reaction, or rapid diagnostic tests are reported to local and state health departments by health care providers or laboratory staff. Case investigations are conducted by local and state health departments, and reports are transmitted to CDC through the National Malaria Surveillance System, National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, or direct CDC consultations. CDC conducts antimalarial drug resistance marker testing on blood samples submitted by health care providers or local or state health departments. Data from these reporting systems serve as the basis for this report. RESULTS: CDC received reports of 1,724 confirmed malaria cases, including one congenital case and two cryptic cases, with onset of symptoms in 2014 among persons in the United States. The number of confirmed cases in 2014 is consistent with the number of confirmed cases reported in 2013 (n = 1,741; this number has been updated from a previous publication to account for delayed reporting for persons with symptom onset occurring in late 2013). Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae were identified in 66.1%, 13.3%, 5.2%, and 2.7% of cases, respectively. Less than 1.0% of patients were infected with two species. The infecting species was unreported or undetermined in 11.7% of cases. CDC provided diagnostic assistance for 14.2% of confirmed cases and tested 12.0% of P. falciparum specimens for antimalarial resistance markers. Of patients who reported purpose of travel, 57.5% were visiting friends and relatives (VFR). Among U.S. residents for whom information on chemoprophylaxis use and travel region was known, 7.8% reported that they initiated and adhered to a chemoprophylaxis drug regimen recommended by CDC for the regions to which they had traveled. Thirty-two cases were among pregnant women, none of whom had adhered to chemoprophylaxis. Among all reported cases, 17.0% were classified as severe illness, and five persons with malaria died. CDC received 137 P. falciparum-positive samples for the detection of antimalarial resistance markers (although some loci for chloroquine and mefloquine were untestable for up to nine samples). Of the 137 samples tested, 131 (95.6%) had genetic polymorphisms associated with pyrimethamine drug resistance, 96 (70.0%) with sulfadoxine resistance, 77 (57.5%) with chloroquine resistance, three (2.3%) with mefloquine drug resistance, one (<1.0%) with atovaquone resistance, and two (1.4%) with artemisinin resistance. INTERPRETATION: The overall trend of malaria cases has been increasing since 1973; the number of cases reported in 2014 is the fourth highest annual total since then. Despite progress in reducing global prevalence of malaria, the disease remains endemic in many regions and use of appropriate prevention measures by travelers is still inadequate. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Completion of data elements on the malaria case report form increased slightly in 2014 compared with 2013, but still remains unacceptably low. In 2014, at least one essential element (i.e., species, travel history, or resident status) was missing in 21.3% of case report forms. Incomplete reporting compromises efforts to examine trends in malaria cases and prevent infections. VFR travelers continue to be a difficult population to reach with effective malaria prevention strategies. Evidence-based prevention strategies that effectively target VFR travelers need to be developed and implemented to have a substantial impact on the number of imported malaria cases in the United States. Fewer U.S. resident patients reported taking chemoprophylaxis in 2014 (27.2%) compared with 2013 (28.6%), and adherence was poor among those who did take chemoprophylaxis. Proper use of malaria chemoprophylaxis will prevent the majority of malaria illnesses and reduce risk for severe disease ( Malaria infections can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly with antimalarial medications appropriate for the patient’s age and medical history, likely country of malaria acquisition, and previous use of antimalarial chemoprophylaxis. Recent molecular laboratory advances have enabled CDC to identify and conduct molecular surveillance of antimalarial drug resistance markers ( and improve the ability of CDC to track, guide treatment, and manage drug resistance in malaria parasites both domestically and globally. For this effort to be successful, specimens should be submitted for all cases diagnosed in the United States. Clinicians should consult CDC Guidelines for Treatment of Malaria in the United States and contact the CDC Malaria Hotline for case management advice, when needed. Malaria treatment recommendations can be obtained online at or by calling the Malaria Hotline at 770-488-7788 or toll-free at 855-856-4713.

      2. Giardia duodenalis is a common parasitic protozoan in human and animals. Epidemiological and molecular data are available from dairy cattle in many industrialized countries, but information on genetic diversity at multiple genetic loci is limited, especially in pre-weaned dairy calves. In this study, 818 fecal specimens were collected from five dairy cattle farms located in suburbs of Shanghai, China, with two to five samplings per farm. G. duodenalis assemblages and subtypes were determined using multilocus genotyping (MLG) at the beta-giardin (bg), glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), and triosephosphate isomerase (tpi) loci. The overall prevalence was 60.1% (492/818) combining data from the three genetic loci. Three G. duodenalis assemblages were detected, including E (n = 482), A (n = 5), and B (n = 1), with the concurrence of A and E in a few animals (n = 4). Intra-genotypic sequence diversity was high for assemblage E, showing 12, 13, and 17 subtypes at the bg, gdh, and tpi loci, including four, six, and eight new subtypes, respectively. All dominant subtypes (E3, E2, and E8 at the bg locus; E1 and E3 at the gdh locus; and E11 and E3 at the tpi locus) were detected on all farms at most sampling occasions, and only limited differences in subtype distribution were observed among five farms. Altogether, 58 assemblage E MLGs were identified, all of which had not been reported before, and seven (MLG-E1-MLG-E7) were each seen on multiple farms. These results indicate a high occurrence of G. duodenalis in dairy calves, the existence of high genetic heterogeneity of assemblage E on five farms, and frequent exchange of parasite populations among farms within a small geographic area. The clinical and epidemiologic significance of these observations warrants further investigations.

      3. Evaluation of a laboratory quality assurance pilot programme for malaria diagnostics in low-transmission areas of Kenya, 2013External
        Wanja E, Achilla R, Obare P, Adeny R, Moseti C, Otieno V, Morang’a C, Murigi E, Nyamuni J, Monthei DR, Ogutu B, Buff AM.
        Malar J. 2017 May 25;16(1):221.

        BACKGROUND: One objective of the Kenya National Malaria Strategy 2009-2017 is scaling access to prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. In 2013, a quality assurance (QA) pilot was implemented to improve accuracy of malaria diagnostics at selected health facilities in low-transmission counties of Kenya. Trends in malaria diagnostic and QA indicator performance during the pilot are described. METHODS: From June to December 2013, 28 QA officers provided on-the-job training and mentoring for malaria microscopy, malaria rapid diagnostic tests and laboratory QA/quality control (QC) practices over four 1-day visits at 83 health facilities. QA officers observed and recorded laboratory conditions and practices and cross-checked blood slides for malaria parasite presence, and a portion of cross-checked slides were confirmed by reference laboratories. RESULTS: Eighty (96%) facilities completed the pilot. Among 315 personnel at pilot initiation, 13% (n = 40) reported malaria diagnostics training within the previous 12 months. Slide positivity ranged from 3 to 7%. Compared to the reference laboratory, microscopy sensitivity ranged from 53 to 96% and positive predictive value from 39 to 53% for facility staff and from 60 to 96% and 52 to 80%, respectively, for QA officers. Compared to reference, specificity ranged from 88 to 98% and negative predictive value from 98 to 99% for health-facility personnel and from 93 to 99% and 99%, respectively, for QA officers. The kappa value ranged from 0.48-0.66 for facility staff and 0.57-0.84 for QA officers compared to reference. The only significant test performance improvement observed for facility staff was for specificity from 88% (95% CI 85-90%) to 98% (95% CI 97-99%). QA/QC practices, including use of positive-control slides, internal and external slide cross-checking and recording of QA/QC activities, all increased significantly across the pilot (p < 0.001). Reference material availability also increased significantly; availability of six microscopy job aids and seven microscopy standard operating procedures increased by a mean of 32 percentage points (p < 0.001) and 38 percentage points (p < 0.001), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Significant gains were observed in malaria QA/QC practices over the pilot. However, these advances did not translate into improved accuracy of malaria diagnostic performance perhaps because of the limited duration of the QA pilot implementation.

    • Physical Activity RSS Word feed
      1. Applying the ACSM preparticipation screening algorithm to U.S. adults: NHANES 2001-04External
        Whitfield GP, Riebe D, Magal M, Liguori G.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017 May 26.

        PURPOSE: For most people, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks. Research has suggested exercise preparticipation questionnaires might refer an unwarranted number of adults for medical evaluation before exercise initiation, creating a potential barrier to adoption. The new American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) prescreening algorithm relies on current exercise participation; history and symptoms of cardiovascular, metabolic or renal disease; and desired exercise intensity to determine referral status. Our purpose was to compare the referral proportion of the ACSM algorithm to that of previous screening tools using a representative sample of US adults. METHODS: Based on responses to health questionnaires from the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we calculated the proportion of adults aged 40 years or older who would be referred for medical clearance before exercise participation based on the ACSM algorithm. Results were stratified by age and sex and compared to previous results for the ACSM/American Heart Association Preparticipation Questionnaire and the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. RESULTS: Based on the ACSM algorithm, 2.6% of adults would be referred only before beginning vigorous exercise and 54.2% of respondents would be referred before beginning any exercise. Men were more frequently referred before vigorous exercise and women were more frequently referred before any exercise. Referral was more common with increasing age. The ACSM algorithm referred a smaller proportion of adults for preparticipation medical clearance than the previously examined questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: Although additional validation is needed to determine if the algorithm correctly identifies those at risk for cardiovascular complications, the revised ACSM algorithm referred fewer respondents than other screening tools. A lower referral proportion may mitigate an important barrier of medical clearance from exercise participation.

    • Statistics as Topic RSS Word feed
      1. Bayesian quantile impairment threshold benchmark dose estimation for continuous endpointsExternal
        Wheeler MW, Bailer AJ, Cole T, Park RM, Shao K.
        Risk Anal. 2017 May 29.

        Quantitative risk assessment often begins with an estimate of the exposure or dose associated with a particular risk level from which exposure levels posing low risk to populations can be extrapolated. For continuous exposures, this value, the benchmark dose, is often defined by a specified increase (or decrease) from the median or mean response at no exposure. This method of calculating the benchmark dose does not take into account the response distribution and, consequently, cannot be interpreted based upon probability statements of the target population. We investigate quantile regression as an alternative to the use of the median or mean regression. By defining the dose-response quantile relationship and an impairment threshold, we specify a benchmark dose as the dose associated with a specified probability that the population will have a response equal to or more extreme than the specified impairment threshold. In addition, in an effort to minimize model uncertainty, we use Bayesian monotonic semiparametric regression to define the exposure-response quantile relationship, which gives the model flexibility to estimate the quantal dose-response function. We describe this methodology and apply it to both epidemiology and toxicology data.

    • Substance Use and Abuse RSS Word feed
      1. Current tobacco smoking and desire to quit smoking among students aged 13-15 years – Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 61 countries, 2012-2015External
        Arrazola RA, Ahluwalia IB, Pun E, Garcia de Quevedo I, Babb S, Armour BS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 May 26;66(20):533-537.

        Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, resulting in nearly 6 million deaths each year (1). Smoked tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, are the most common form of tobacco consumed worldwide (2), and most tobacco smokers begin smoking during adolescence (3). The health benefits of quitting are greater for persons who stop smoking at earlier ages; however, quitting smoking at any age has health benefits (4). CDC used the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data from 61 countries across the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions from 2012 to 2015 to examine the prevalence of current tobacco smoking and desire to quit smoking among students aged 13-15 years. Across all 61 countries, the median current tobacco smoking prevalence among students aged 13-15 years was 10.7% (range = 1.7%, Sri Lanka to 35.0%, Timor-Leste). By sex, the median current tobacco smoking prevalence was 14.6% among males (range = 2.9%, Tajikistan to 61.4%, Timor-Leste) and 7.5% among females (range = 1.6%, Tajikistan to 29.0%, Bulgaria). In the majority of countries assessed, the proportion of current tobacco smokers who desired to quit smoking exceeded 50%. These findings could be used by country level tobacco control programs to inform strategies to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use.

      2. Contrasting trends of smoking cessation status: Insights from the stages of change theory using repeat data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Thailand (2009 and 2011) and Turkey (2008 and 2012)External
        Mbulo L, Murty KS, Husain MJ, Bashir R, Blutcher-Nelson G, Benjakul S, Kengganpanich M, Erguder T, Keskinkilic B., Polat S, Sinha N, Palipudi K, Ahluwalia IB.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Jun 01;14:E42.

        OBJECTIVE: The World Health Organization recommends that smokers be offered help to quit. A better understanding of smokers’ interest in and commitment to quitting could guide tobacco control efforts. We assessed temporal differences in stages of change toward quitting among smokers in Thailand and Turkey. METHODS: Two waves (independent samples) of data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, a national household survey of adults aged 15 years or older, were assessed for Thailand (2009 and 2011) and Turkey (2008 and 2012). Current smokers were categorized into 3 stages of change based on their cessation status: precontemplation, contemplation, and preparation. Relative change in the proportion of smokers in each stage between waves 1 and 2 was computed for each country. RESULTS: Between waves, overall current tobacco smoking did not change in Thailand (23.7% to 24.0%) but declined in Turkey (31.2% to 27.1%; P < .001). Between 2009 and 2011, precontemplation increased among smokers in Thailand (76.1% to 85.4%; P < .001), whereas contemplation (17.6% to 12.0%; P < .001) and preparation (6.3% to 2.6%; P < .001) declined. Between 2008 and 2012, there were declines in precontemplation among smokers in Turkey (72.2% to 64.6%; P < .001), whereas there were increases in contemplation (21.2% to 26.9%; P = .008) and no significant change in preparation (6.5% to 8.5%; P = .097). CONCLUSION: Nearly two-thirds of smokers in Turkey and more than two-thirds in Thailand were in the precontemplation stage during the last survey wave assessed. The proportion of smokers in the preparation stage increased in Turkey but declined in Thailand. Identifying stages of cessation helps guide population-based targeted interventions to support smokers at varying stages of change toward quitting.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases RSS Word feed
      1. The impact of poverty on dog ownership and access to canine rabies vaccination: results from a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey, Uganda 2013External
        Wallace RM, Mehal J, Nakazawa Y, Recuenco S, Bakamutumaho B, Osinubi M, Tugumizemu V, Blanton JD, Gilbert A, Wamala J.
        Infect Dis Poverty. 2017 Jun 01;6(1):97.

        BACKGROUND: Rabies is a neglected disease despite being responsible for more human deaths than any other zoonosis. A lack of adequate human and dog surveillance, resulting in low prioritization, is often blamed for this paradox. Estimation methods are often employed to describe the rabies burden when surveillance data are not available, however these figures are rarely based on country-specific data. METHODS: In 2013 a knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey was conducted in Uganda to understand dog population, rabies vaccination, and human rabies risk factors and improve in-country and regional rabies burden estimates. Poisson and multi-level logistic regression techniques were conducted to estimate the total dog population and vaccination coverage. RESULTS: Twenty-four villages were selected, of which 798 households completed the survey, representing 4 375 people. Dog owning households represented 12.9% of the population, for which 175 dogs were owned (25 people per dog). A history of vaccination was reported in 55.6% of owned dogs. Poverty and human population density highly correlated with dog ownership, and when accounted for in multi-level regression models, the human to dog ratio fell to 47:1 and the estimated national canine-rabies vaccination coverage fell to 36.1%. This study estimates there are 729 486 owned dogs in Uganda (95% CI: 719 919 – 739 053). Ten percent of survey respondents provided care to dogs they did not own, however unowned dog populations were not enumerated in this estimate. 89.8% of Uganda’s human population was estimated to reside in a community that can support enzootic canine rabies transmission. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to comprehensively evaluate the effect of poverty on dog ownership in Africa. These results indicate that describing a dog population may not be as simple as applying a human: dog ratio, and factors such as poverty are likely to heavily influence dog ownership and vaccination coverage. These modelled estimates should be confirmed through further field studies, however, if validated, canine rabies elimination through mass vaccination may not be as difficult as previously considered in Uganda. Data derived from this study should be considered to improve models for estimating the in-country and regional rabies burden.

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

Page last reviewed: January 31, 2019