Issue 38, September 26, 2017

CDC Science Clips: Volume 9, Issue 38, September 26, 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!

This week’s Science Clips highlight selected articles from the September 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health on “The Evolution of Public Health Emergency ManagementExternal.”  As noted by the guest editors, “The articles in this issue of AJPH provide detailed accounts of preparedness in action, showcasing competencies in biosurveillance, incident management, community resilience, information management, countermeasures and mitigation, and surge management. These articles demonstrate how and why public health agencies, health care systems, and communities play a vital role in protecting and securing the nation’s public health.”

  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas
    Subject matter experts decide what topic to feature, and articles are selected from the last 3 to 6 months of published literature. Key topic coincides monthly with other CDC products (e.g. Vital Signs). The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services
      1. From anthrax to Zika: Fifteen years of public health emergency preparednessExternal
        Nonkin Avchen R, LeBlanc TT, Kosmos C.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S117.

        [No abstract]

      2. How health department contextual factors affect public health preparedness (PHP) and perceptions of the 15 PHP capabilitiesExternal
        Horney JA, Carbone EG, Lynch M, Wang ZJ, Jones T, Rose DA.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S153-s160.

        OBJECTIVES: To assess how health department contextual factors influence perceptions of the 15 Public Health Preparedness Capabilities, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide guidance on organizing preparedness activities. METHODS: We conducted an online survey and focus group between September 2015 and May 2016 with directors of preparedness programs in state, metropolitan, and territorial jurisdictions funded by CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement. The survey collected demographic information and data on contextual factors including leadership, partnerships, organizational structure, resources and structural capacity, and data and evaluation. RESULTS: Seventy-seven percent (48 of 62) of PHEP directors completed the survey and 8 participated in the focus group. Respondents were experienced directors (mean = 10.6 years), and 58% led 7 or more emergency responses. Leadership, partnerships, and access to fiscal and human resources were associated with perception and use of the capabilities. CONCLUSIONS: Despite some deficiencies, PHEP awardees believe the capabilities provide useful guidance and a flexible framework for organizing their work. Contextual factors affect perceptions of the capabilities and possibly the effectiveness of their use. Public Health Implications. The capabilities can be used to address challenges in preparedness, including identifying evidence-based practices, developing performance measures, and improving responses.

      3. Science in emergency response at CDC: Structure and functionsExternal
        Iskander J, Rose DA, Ghiya ND.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S122-s125.

        Recent high-profile activations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) include responses to the West African Ebola and Zika virus epidemics. Within the EOC, emergency responses are organized according to the Incident Management System, which provides a standardized structure and chain of command, regardless of whether the EOC activation occurs in response to an outbreak, natural disaster, or other type of public health emergency. By embedding key scientific roles, such as the associate director for science, and functions within a Scientific Response Section, the current CDC emergency response structure ensures that both urgent and important science issues receive needed attention. Key functions during emergency responses include internal coordination of scientific work, data management, information dissemination, and scientific publication. We describe a case example involving the ongoing Zika virus response that demonstrates how the scientific response structure can be used to rapidly produce high-quality science needed to answer urgent public health questions and guide policy. Within the context of emergency response, longer-term priorities at CDC include both streamlining administrative requirements and funding mechanisms for scientific research.

      4. [No abstract]

      5. Progress in public health emergency preparedness – United States, 2001-2016External
        Murthy BP, Molinari NM, LeBlanc TT, Vagi SJ, Avchen RN.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S180-s185.

        OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program’s progress toward meeting public health preparedness capability standards in state, local, and territorial health departments. METHODS: All 62 PHEP awardees completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s self-administered PHEP Impact Assessment as part of program review measuring public health preparedness capability before September 11, 2001 (9/11), and in 2014. We collected additional self-reported capability self-assessments from 2016. We analyzed trends in congressional funding for public health preparedness from 2001 to 2016. RESULTS: Before 9/11, most PHEP awardees reported limited preparedness capabilities, but considerable progress was reported by 2016. The number of jurisdictions reporting established capability functions within the countermeasures and mitigation domain had the largest increase, almost 200%, by 2014. However, more than 20% of jurisdictions still reported underdeveloped coordination between the health system and public health agencies in 2016. Challenges and barriers to building PHEP capabilities included lack of trained personnel, plans, and sustained resources. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable progress in public health preparedness capability was observed from before 9/11 to 2016. Support, sustainment, and advancement of public health preparedness capability is critical to ensure a strong public health infrastructure.

      6. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate and describe outcomes of state and local medical countermeasure preparedness planning, which is critical to ensure rapid distribution and dispensing of a broad spectrum of life-saving medical assets during a public health emergency. METHODS: We used 2007 to 2014 state and local data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Technical Assistance Review. We calculated descriptive statistics from 50 states and 72 local Cities Readiness Initiative jurisdictions that participated in the Technical Assistance Review annually. RESULTS: From 2007 to 2014, the average overall Technical Assistance Review score increased by 13% for states and 41% for Cities Readiness Initiative jurisdictions. In 2014, nearly half of states achieved the maximum possible overall score (100), and 94% of local Cities Readiness Initiative jurisdictions achieved a score of 90 or more. CONCLUSIONS: Despite challenges, effective and timely medical countermeasure distribution and dispensing is possible with appropriate planning, staff, and resources. However, vigilance in training, exercising, and improving plans from lessons learned in a sustained, coordinated way is critical to ensure continued public health preparedness success.

      7. The evolution of public health emergency management as a field of practiceExternal
        Rose DA, Murthy S, Brooks J, Bryant J.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S126-s133.

        The health impacts of recent global infectious disease outbreaks and other disasters have demonstrated the importance of strengthening public health systems to better protect communities from naturally occurring and human-caused threats. Public health emergency management (PHEM) is an emergent field of practice that draws on specific sets of knowledge, techniques, and organizing principles necessary for the effective management of complex health events. We highlight how the nascent field of PHEM has evolved in recent years. We explore this development by first examining multiple sites of intersection between the fields of public health and emergency management. We then analyze 2 of the principal pillars on which PHEM was built: organizational and programmatic (i.e., industry) standards and the incident management system. This is followed by a sketch of the key domains, or functional areas, of PHEM and their application to the emergency management cycle. We conclude with some observations about PHEM in a global context and discuss how the field might continue to evolve.

      8. Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER): An innovative emergency management tool in the United StatesExternal
        Schnall A, Nakata N, Talbert T, Bayleyegn T, Martinez D, Wolkin A.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S186-s192.

        OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate how inclusion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) as a tool in Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning can increase public health capacity for emergency response. METHODS: We reviewed all domestic CASPER activities (i.e., trainings and assessments) between fiscal years 2012 and 2016. Data from these CASPER activities were compared with respect to differences in geographic distribution, type, actions, efficacy, and usefulness of training. RESULTS: During the study period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted 24 domestic in-person CASPER trainings for 1057 staff in 38 states. On average, there was a marked increase in knowledge of CASPER. Ninety-nine CASPERs were conducted in the United States, approximately half of which (53.5%) assessed preparedness; the others were categorized as response or recovery (27.2%) or were unrelated to a disaster (19.2%). CONCLUSIONS: CASPER trainings are successful in increasing disaster epidemiology skills. CASPER can be used by Public Health Emergency Preparedness program awardees to help build and sustain preparedness and response capabilities.

      9. Primary care emergency preparedness network, New York City, 2015: Comparison of member and nonmember sitesExternal
        Williams MD, Jean MC, Chen B, Molinari NM, LeBlanc TT.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S193-s198.

        OBJECTIVES: To assess whether Primary Care Emergency Preparedness Network member sites reported indicators of preparedness for public health emergencies compared with nonmember sites. The network-a collaboration between government and New York City primary care associations-offers technical assistance to primary care sites to improve disaster preparedness and response. METHODS: In 2015, we administered an online questionnaire to sites regarding facility characteristics and preparedness indicators. We estimated differences between members and nonmembers with natural logarithm-linked binomial models. Open-ended assessments identified preparedness gaps. RESULTS: One hundred seven sites completed the survey (23.3% response rate); 47 (43.9%) were nonmembers and 60 (56.1%) were members. Members were more likely to have completed hazard vulnerability analysis (risk ratio [RR] = 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28, 2.93), to have identified essential services for continuity of operations (RR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.03, 1.86), to have memoranda of understanding with external partners (RR = 2.49; 95% CI = 1.42, 4.36), and to have completed point-of-dispensing training (RR = 4.23; 95% CI = 1.76, 10.14). Identified preparedness gaps were improved communication, resource availability, and train-the-trainer programs. Public Health Implications. Primary Care Emergency Preparedness Network membership is associated with improved public health emergency preparedness among primary care sites.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. PURPOSE: A cross sectional study was designed to examine the relationship of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with comorbidities of cardiovascular and renal conditions in the representative population using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005-2008. METHODS: Participants (>/=40 years) who underwent retinal photography were included. Early AMD was defined by the retinal digital images. The comorbidities were self-reported stroke and heart disease (HD), including angina pectoris (AP), coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (CHF), and myocardial infarction (MI). Chronic kidney disease (CKD) was determined based on self-report, estimation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR), or the level of urine albumin. RESULTS: The age-adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI for having early AMD for persons with the selected conditions were: 2.6 (1.9, 3.6) for any type of HD. When the conditions were considered separately, ORs (95% CIs) were: 2.0 (1.2, 3.4) for AP; 2.5 (1.6, 3.8) for CHD; 2.4 (1.6, 3.6) for MI; 2.3 (1.3, 3.9) for CHF; 3.3 (2.2, 5.0) for stroke; and 2.4 (1.8, 3.2) for CKD. Covariable-adjusted ORs (AOR) were attenuated for all examined conditions, but remained statistically significant. Having any single condition (AOR [95%CI]: 2.7 [1.5, 4.8]) was significantly associated with early AMD, as was having >/= 2 conditions (AOR [95%CI]: 5.2 [3.0, 9.0]). The strongest association was between early AMD and the combination of HD and stroke (AOR [95% CI]: 6.3 [2.9, 13.8]). CONCLUSION: Cardiovascular and renal comorbidities are associated with early AMD in a representative sample of the US general population.

      2. The incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus in San Francisco County, California: The California Lupus Surveillance ProjectExternal
        Dall’Era M, Cisternas MG, Snipes K, Herrinton LJ, Gordon C, Helmick CG.
        Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 Sep 10.

        OBJECTIVE: Estimates of the incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the US have varied widely. The purpose of this study was to conduct the California Lupus Surveillance Project (CLSP) to determine credible estimates of SLE incidence and prevalence, with a special focus on Hispanics and Asians. METHODS: The CLSP, which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a population-based registry of individuals with SLE residing in San Francisco County, CA, from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009. Data sources included hospitals, rheumatologists, nephrologists, commercial laboratories, and a state hospital discharge database. We abstracted medical records to ascertain SLE cases, which we defined as patients who met >/=4 of the 11 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for SLE. We estimated crude and age-standardized incidence and prevalence, which were stratified by sex and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: The overall age-standardized annual incidence rate was 4.6 per 100,000 person-years. The average annual period prevalence was 84.8 per 100,000 persons. The age-standardized incidence rate in women and men was 8.6 and 0.7 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. This rate was highest among black women (30.5), followed by Hispanic women (8.9), Asian women (7.2), and white women (5.3). The age-standardized prevalence in women per 100,000 persons was 458.1 in blacks, 177.9 in Hispanics, 149.7 in Asians, and 109.8 in whites. Capture-recapture modeling estimated 33 additional incident cases and 147 additional prevalent cases. CONCLUSION: Comprehensive methods that include intensive case-finding provide more credible estimates of SLE in Hispanics and Asians, and confirm racial and ethnic disparities in SLE. The disease burden of SLE is highest in black women, followed by Hispanic women, Asian women, and white women.

      3. The incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus in New York County (Manhattan), New York: The Manhattan Lupus Surveillance ProgramExternal
        Izmirly PM, Wan I, Sahl S, Buyon JP, Belmont HM, Salmon JE, Askanase A, Bathon JM, Geraldino-Pardilla L, Ali Y, Ginzler EM, Putterman C, Gordon C, Helmick CG, Parton H.
        Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017 Sep 10.

        OBJECTIVE: The Manhattan Lupus Surveillance Program (MLSP) is a population-based registry designed to determine the prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in 2007 and the incidence from 2007 to 2009 among residents of New York County (Manhattan), New York, and to characterize cases by race/ethnicity, including Asians and Hispanics, for whom data are lacking. METHODS: We identified possible SLE cases from hospital records, rheumatologist records, and administrative databases. Cases were defined according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria, the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) classification criteria, or the treating rheumatologist’s diagnosis. Rates among Manhattan residents were age-standardized, and capture-recapture analyses were conducted to assess case underascertainment. RESULTS: By the ACR definition, the age-standardized prevalence and incidence rates of SLE were 62.2 and 4.6 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Rates were approximately 9 times higher in women than in men for prevalence (107.4 versus 12.5) and incidence (7.9 versus 1.0). Compared with non-Hispanic white women (64.3), prevalence was higher among non-Hispanic black (210.9), Hispanic (138.3), and non-Hispanic Asian (91.2) women. Incidence rates were higher among non-Hispanic black women (15.7) compared with non-Hispanic Asian (6.6), Hispanic (6.5), and non-Hispanic white (6.5) women. Capture-recapture adjustment increased the prevalence and incidence rates (75.9 and 6.0, respectively). Alternate SLE definitions without capture-recapture adjustment revealed higher age-standardized prevalence and incidence rates (73.8 and 6.2, respectively, by the SLICC definition and 72.6 and 5.0 by the rheumatologist definition) than the ACR definition, with similar patterns by sex and race/ethnicity. CONCLUSION: The MLSP confirms findings from other registries on disparities by sex and race/ethnicity, provides new estimates among Asians and Hispanics, and provides estimates using the SLICC criteria.

      4. Construction of a North American Cancer Survival Index to measure progress of cancer control effortsExternal
        Johnson CJ, Weir HK, Mariotto A, Wilson R, Nishri D.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Sep 14;14:E81.

        INTRODUCTION: Population-based cancer survival data provide insight into the effectiveness of health care delivery. Comparing survival for all cancer sites combined is challenging, because the primary cancer site and age distribution of patients may differ among areas or change over time. Cancer survival indices (CSIs) are summary measures of survival for cancers of all sites combined and are used in England and Europe to monitor temporal trends and examine geographic differences in survival. We describe the construction of the North American Cancer Survival Index and demonstrate how it can be used to compare survival by geographic area and by race. METHODS: We used data from 36 US cancer registries to estimate relative survival ratios for people diagnosed with cancer from 2006 through 2012 to create the CSI: the weighted sum of age-standardized, site-specific, relative survival ratios, with weights derived from the distribution of incident cases by sex and primary site from 2006 through 2008. The CSI was calculated for 32 registries for all races, 31 registries for whites, and 12 registries for blacks. RESULTS: The survival estimates standardized by age only versus age-, sex-, and site-standardized (CSI) were 64.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 64.1%-64.2%) and 63.9% (95% CI, 63.8%-63.9%), respectively, for the United States for all races combined. The inter-registry ranges in unstandardized and CSI estimates decreased from 12.3% to 5.0% for whites, and from 5.4% to 3.9% for blacks. We found less inter-registry variation in CSI estimates than in unstandardized all-sites survival estimates, but disparities by race persisted. CONCLUSIONS: CSIs calculated for different jurisdictions or periods are directly comparable, because they are standardized by age, sex, and primary site. A national CSI could be used to measure temporal progress in meeting public health objectives, such as Healthy People 2030.

      5. Values and worries of ovarian cancer patientsExternal
        Pisu M, Kenzik KM, Rim SH, Funkhouser EM, Bevis KS, Alvarez RD, Cantuaria G, Rocconi RP, Martin MY.
        Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Sep 06.

        INTRODUCTION: Older women with ovarian cancer (OC) are less likely to receive guideline concordant treatment. Differences in values and worries about treatment may explain why. METHODS: Women with OC in 2013-2015 were surveyed about values and worries at the time of initial treatment. Existing values (11 item, e.g., maintaining quality of life) and worries (12 items, e.g., treatment side effects) scales were adapted based on OC literature. Responses were very/somewhat/a little/not at all important or worried. Principal Component Analyses (PCA) identified groups of values and worries that best explained scales’ variation. We examined proportions reporting very/somewhat important/worried on >/=1 item in each component by age (older >/=65years, younger <65years). RESULTS: Of 170 respondents, 42.3% were older. PCA components for values were: functional well-being (3 survey items, proportion of variance explained [PoVE] 26.3%), length of life and sexual functioning (3 items, PoVE 20.1%), attitudes (3 items, PoVE 14.2%), and not becoming a burden (2 items, PoVE 13.7%). PCA components for worries were: economic (4 items, PoVE 27.2%), uncertainty (6 items, PoVE 26.0%), and family impact (2 items, PoVE 16.3%). Older women were less likely to indicate very/somewhat worried to >/=1 item in the economic (51.4% vs 72.4%, p=0.006), uncertainty (80.6% vs. 98.0%, p=0.001), and family impact component (55.6% vs. 70.4%, p=0.03). No other age differences were found. CONCLUSIONS: While worry during OC treatment decision-making may differ across age groups, values do not. Research should assess how differences in worry might affect OC medical decision-making for older and younger women.

      6. Use of community health workers and patient navigators to improve cancer outcomes among patients served by federally qualified health centers: A systematic literature reviewExternal
        Roland KB, Milliken EL, Rohan EA, DeGroff A, White S, Melillo S, Rorie WE, Signes CC, Young PA.
        Health Equity. 2017 ;1(1):61-76.

        Introduction: In the United States, disparities in cancer screening, morbidity, and mortality are well documented, and often are related to race/ethnicity and socioeconomic indicators including income, education, and healthcare access. Public health approaches that address social determinants of health have the greatest potential public health benefit, and can positively impact health disparities. As public health interventions, community health workers (CHWs), and patient navigators (PNs) work to address disparities and improve cancer outcomes through education, connecting patients to and navigating them through the healthcare system, supporting patient adherence to screening and diagnostic services, and providing social support and linkages to financial and community resources. Clinical settings, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are mandated to provide care to medically underserved communities, and thus are also valuable in the effort to address health disparities. We conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies of cancer-related CHW/PN interventions in FQHCs, and to describe the components and characteristics of those interventions in order to guide future intervention development and evaluation. Method: We searched five databases for peer-reviewed CHW/PN intervention studies conducted in partnership with FQHCs with a focus on cancer, carried out in the United States, and published in English between January 1990 and December 2013. Results: We identified 24 articles, all reporting positive outcomes of CHW/PNs interventions in FQHCs. CHW/PN interventions most commonly promoted breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer screening and/or referral for diagnostic resolution. Studies were supported largely through federal funding. Partnerships with academic institutions and community-based organizations provided support and helped develop capacity among FQHC clinic leadership and community members. Discussion: Both the FQHC system and CHW/PNs were borne from the need to address persistent, complex health disparities among medically underserved communities. Our findings support the effectiveness of CHW/PN programs to improve completion and timeliness of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening in FQHCs, and highlight intervention components useful to design and sustainability.

      7. Rates and trends of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia – United States, 2001-2014External
        Siegel DA, Henley SJ, Li J, Pollack LA, Van Dyne EA, White A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Sep 15;66(36):950-954.

        Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most prevalent cancer among children and adolescents in the United States, representing 20% of all cancers diagnosed in persons aged <20 years, or >3,000 new cases each year (1). Past studies reported increasing trends of ALL overall and among Hispanics, but these represented </=28% of the U.S. population and did not provide state-based estimates (1-3). To describe U.S. ALL incidence rates and trends among persons aged <20 years during 2001-2014, CDC analyzed rigorous data (based on established publication criteria) from the United States Cancer Statistics data set, which includes incidence data on approximately 15,000 new cases per year of all types of invasive cancer among children and adolescents aged <20 years (4). The data set represented 98% of the U.S. population during the study period. Overall incidence of pediatric ALL during 2001-2014 was 34.0 cases per 1 million persons and among all racial/ethnic groups was highest among Hispanics (42.9 per 1 million). Both overall and among Hispanics, pediatric ALL incidence increased during 2001-2008 and remained stable during 2008-2014. ALL incidence was higher in the West than in any other U.S. Census region. State-specific data indicated that the highest rates of pediatric ALL incidence were in California, New Mexico, and Vermont. These demographic and geographic ALL incidence data might better inform public health interventions targeting the following areas: exposures to recognized risk factors for leukemia; ALL treatment, including clinical trial enrollment; survivorship care planning; and studies designed to understand the factors affecting changes in pediatric cancer incidence.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Development of risk reduction behavioral counseling for Ebola virus disease survivors enrolled in the Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Persistence Study, 2015-2016External
        Abad N, Malik T, Ariyarajah A, Ongpin P, Hogben M, McDonald SL, Marrinan J, Massaquoi T, Thorson A, Ervin E, Bernstein K, Ross C, Liu WJ, Kroeger K, Durski KN, Broutet N, Knust B, Deen GF.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep;11(9):e0005827.

        BACKGROUND: During the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic, the public health community had concerns that sexual transmission of the Ebola virus (EBOV) from EVD survivors was a risk, due to EBOV persistence in body fluids of EVD survivors, particularly semen. The Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Persistence Study was initiated to investigate this risk by assessing EBOV persistence in numerous body fluids of EVD survivors and providing risk reduction counseling based on test results for semen, vaginal fluid, menstrual blood, urine, rectal fluid, sweat, tears, saliva, and breast milk. This publication describes implementation of the counseling protocol and the key lessons learned. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The Ebola Virus Persistence Risk Reduction Behavioral Counseling Protocol was developed from a framework used to prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The framework helped to identify barriers to risk reduction and facilitated the development of a personalized risk-reduction plan, particularly around condom use and abstinence. Pre-test and post-test counseling sessions included risk reduction guidance, and post-test counseling was based on the participants’ individual test results. The behavioral counseling protocol enabled study staff to translate the study’s body fluid test results into individualized information for study participants. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The Ebola Virus Persistence Risk Reduction Behavioral Counseling Protocol provided guidance to mitigate the risk of EBOV transmission from EVD survivors. It has since been shared with and adapted by other EVD survivor body fluid testing programs and studies in Ebola-affected countries.

      2. Swipe right: Dating website and app use among men who have sex with menExternal
        Badal HJ, Stryker JE, DeLuca N, Purcell DW.
        AIDS Behav. 2017 Sep 07.

        This study explored the frequency of dating website and app usage among MSM to understand sub-group differences in use. Web-based survey data (N = 3105) were analyzed to assess the use of dating websites and apps. More than half (55.7%) of MSM in this sample were frequent users of dating websites and apps. Two-thirds (66.7%) of frequent users had casual partners only in the past 12 months and reported a high average number of casual sexual partners in the past 12 months (Mdn = 5.0) compared to never users (Mdn = 0.0; chi 2(2) = 734.94, adj. p < .001). The most frequently used dating website or app was Grindr, with 60.2% of the sample reporting some or frequent use. Adam4Adam (23.5%), Jack’d (18.9%) and Scruff (18.7%) were also frequently used. Dating websites and apps may be effective channels to reach a diverse group of MSM with HIV prevention messages.

      3. Kiss and tell: Limited empirical data on oropharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae among men who have sex with men and implications for modelingExternal
        Bernstein KT, Chesson H, Kirkcaldy RD, Marcus JL, Gift TL, Aral SO.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2017 Oct;44(10):596-598.

        [No abstract]

      4. The significance of a gap in HIV care depends, at least partially, on whether patients continue to fill prescriptions for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs during the gap in care. We used a billing claims database to determine the proportion of persons who filled >/=1 prescription for ARV drugs during a gap in care (no clinic visit in >6 months). Persons were stratified into 3 groups: “never” (prescriptions never filled), “sometimes” (prescriptions filled >0%-<100% of months), and “always” (prescriptions filled monthly). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with “never” filling ARV drugs. Of 14 308 persons, 69% (n = 9817), 13% (n = 1928), and 18% (n = 2563) “never,” “sometimes,” and “always” filled ARV drugs during the gap in care. Persons aged 18 to 29 years (odds ratio [OR] = 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.39-1.74), women (OR = 1.67, CI 1.52-1.83), and persons from the Northeast region of the United States (OR = 1.86, CI 1.69-2.03) were more likely to never fill ARV drugs than persons aged >/=30 years, men, and persons outside the Northeast, respectively. Efforts should be made to minimize gaps in care, emphasize importance of therapy, and provide adherence support.

      5. Prevalence of signs of trachoma, ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection and antibodies to Pgp3 in residents of Kiritimati Island, KiribatiExternal
        Cama A, Muller A, Taoaba R, Butcher RM, Itibita I, Migchelsen SJ, Kiauea T, Pickering H, Willis R, Roberts CH, Bakhtiari A, Le Mesurier RT, Alexander ND, Martin DL, Tekeraoi R, Solomon AW.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep 12;11(9):e0005863.

        OBJECTIVE: In some Pacific Island countries, such as Solomon Islands and Fiji, active trachoma is common, but ocular Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) infection and trachomatous trichiasis (TT) are rare. On Tarawa, the most populous Kiribati island, both the active trachoma sign “trachomatous inflammation-follicular” (TF) and TT are present at prevalences warranting intervention. We sought to estimate prevalences of TF, TT, ocular Ct infection, and anti-Ct antibodies on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati, to assess local relationships between these parameters, and to help determine the need for interventions against trachoma on Kiribati islands other than Tarawa. METHODS: As part of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP), on Kiritimati, we examined 406 children aged 1-9 years for active trachoma. We collected conjunctival swabs (for droplet digital PCR against Ct plasmid targets) from 1-9-year-olds with active trachoma, and a systematic selection of 1-9-year-olds without active trachoma. We collected dried blood spots (for anti-Pgp3 ELISA) from all 1-9-year-old children. We also examined 416 adults aged >/=15 years for TT. Prevalence of TF and TT was adjusted for age (TF) or age and gender (TT) in five-year age bands. RESULTS: The age-adjusted prevalence of TF in 1-9-year-olds was 28% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 24-35). The age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of TT in those aged >/=15 years was 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1-0.3%). Twenty-six (13.5%) of 193 swabs from children without active trachoma, and 58 (49.2%) of 118 swabs from children with active trachoma were positive for Ct DNA. Two hundred and ten (53%) of 397 children had anti-Pgp3 antibodies. Both infection (p<0.0001) and seropositivity (p<0.0001) were strongly associated with active trachoma. In 1-9-year-olds, the prevalence of anti-Pgp3 antibodies rose steeply with age. CONCLUSION: Trachoma presents a public health problem on Kiritimati, where the high prevalence of ocular Ct infection and rapid increase in seropositivity with age suggest intense Ct transmission amongst young children. Interventions are required here to prevent future blindness.

      6. Estimating global, regional and national rotavirus deaths in children aged <5 years: Current approaches, new analyses and proposed improvementsExternal
        Clark A, Black R, Tate J, Roose A, Kotloff K, Lam D, Blackwelder W, Parashar U, Lanata C, Kang G, Troeger C, Platts-Mills J, Mokdad A, Sanderson C, Lamberti L, Levine M, Santosham M, Steele D.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(9):e0183392.

        BACKGROUND: Rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoeal mortality in children but there is considerable disagreement about how many deaths occur each year. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We compared CHERG, GBD and WHO/CDC estimates of age under 5 years (U5) rotavirus deaths at the global, regional and national level using a standard year (2013) and standard list of 186 countries. The global estimates were 157,398 (CHERG), 122,322 (GBD) and 215,757 (WHO/CDC). The three groups used different methods: (i) to select data points for rotavirus-positive proportions; (ii) to extrapolate data points to individual countries; (iii) to account for rotavirus vaccine coverage; (iv) to convert rotavirus-positive proportions to rotavirus attributable fractions; and (v) to calculate uncertainty ranges. We conducted new analyses to inform future estimates. We found that acute watery diarrhoea was associated with 87% (95% CI 83-90%) of U5 diarrhoea hospitalisations based on data from 84 hospital sites in 9 countries, and 65% (95% CI 57-74%) of U5 diarrhoea deaths based on verbal autopsy reports from 9 country sites. We reanalysed data from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) and found 44% (55% in Asia, and 32% in Africa) rotavirus-positivity among U5 acute watery diarrhoea hospitalisations, and 28% rotavirus-positivity among U5 acute watery diarrhoea deaths. 97% (95% CI 95-98%) of the U5 diarrhoea hospitalisations that tested positive for rotavirus were entirely attributable to rotavirus. For all clinical syndromes combined the rotavirus attributable fraction was 34% (95% CI 31-36%). This increased by a factor of 1.08 (95% CI 1.02-1.14) when the GEMS results were reanalysed using a more sensitive molecular test. CONCLUSIONS: We developed consensus on seven proposals for improving the quality and transparency of future rotavirus mortality estimates.

      7. Implementation of a study to examine the persistence of Ebola virus in the body fluids of Ebola virus disease survivors in Sierra Leone: Methodology and lessons learnedExternal
        Deen GF, McDonald SL, Marrinan JE, Sesay FR, Ervin E, Thorson AE, Xu W, Stroher U, Ongpin P, Abad N, Ariyarajah A, Malik T, Liu H, Ross C, Durski KN, Gaillard P, Morgan O, Formenty P, Knust B, Broutet N, Sahr F.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep;11(9):e0005723.

        BACKGROUND: The 2013-2016 West African Ebola virus disease epidemic was unprecedented in terms of the number of cases and survivors. Prior to this epidemic there was limited data available on the persistence of Ebola virus in survivors’ body fluids and the potential risk of transmission, including sexual transmission. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Given the urgent need to determine the persistence of Ebola virus in survivors’ body fluids, an observational cohort study was designed and implemented during the epidemic response operation in Sierra Leone. This publication describes study implementation methodology and the key lessons learned. Challenges encountered during implementation included unforeseen duration of follow-up, complexity of interpreting and communicating laboratory results to survivors, and the urgency of translating research findings into public health practice. Strong community engagement helped rapidly implement the study during the epidemic. The study was conducted in two phases. The first phase was initiated within five months of initial protocol discussions and assessed persistence of Ebola virus in semen of 100 adult men. The second phase assessed the persistence of virus in multiple body fluids (semen or vaginal fluid, menstrual blood, breast milk, and urine, rectal fluid, sweat, saliva, tears), of 120 men and 120 women. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Data from this study informed national and global guidelines in real time and demonstrated the need to implement semen testing programs among Ebola virus disease survivors. The lessons learned and study tools developed accelerated the implementation of such programs in Ebola virus disease affected countries, and also informed studies examining persistence of Zika virus. Research is a vital component of the public health response to an epidemic of a poorly characterized disease. Adequate resources should be rapidly made available to answer critical research questions, in order to better inform response efforts.

      8. 2015 pandemic influenza readiness assessment among US Public Health Emergency Preparedness awardeesExternal
        Fitzgerald TJ, Moulia DL, Graitcer SB, Vagi SJ, Dopson SA.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S177-s179.

        OBJECTIVES: To assess how US Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) awardees plan to respond to an influenza pandemic with vaccination. METHODS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment, an online survey sent to PHEP directors, to analyze, in part, the readiness of PHEP awardees to vaccinate 80% of the populations of their jurisdictions with 2 doses of pandemic influenza vaccine, separated by 21 days, within 16 weeks of vaccine availability. RESULTS: Thirty-eight of 60 (63.3%) awardees reported being able to vaccinate their populations within 16 weeks; 38 (63.3%) planned to allocate more than 20% of their pandemic vaccine supply to points of dispensing (PODs). Thirty-four of 58 (58.6%) reported staffing as a challenge to vaccinating 80% of their populations; 28 of 60 (46.7%) reported preparedness workforce decreases, and 22 (36.7%) reported immunization workforce decreases between January 2012 and July 2015. CONCLUSIONS: Awardees relied on PODs to vaccinate segments of their jurisdictions despite workforce decreases. Planners must ensure readiness for POD sites to vaccinate, but should also leverage complementary sites and providers to augment public health response.

      9. Introducing an accountability framework for polio eradication in Ethiopia: results from the first year of implementation 2014-2015External
        Kassahun A, Braka F, Gallagher K, Gebriel AW, Nsubuga P, M’Pele-Kilebou P.
        Pan Afr Med J. 2017 ;27(Suppl 2):12.

        INTRODUCTION: the World Health Organization (WHO), Ethiopia country office, introduced an accountability framework into its Polio Eradication Program in 2014 with the aim of improving the program’s performance. Our study aims to evaluate staff performance and key program indicators following the introduction of the accountability framework. METHODS: the impact of the WHO accountability framework was reviewed after its first year of implementation from June 2014 to June 2015. We analyzed selected program and staff performance indicators associated with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance from a database available at WHO. Data on managerial actions taken were also reviewed. Performance of a total of 38 staff was evaluated during our review. RESULTS: our review of results for the first four quarters of implementation of the polio eradication accountability framework showed improvement both at the program and individual level when compared with the previous year. Managerial actions taken during the study period based on the results from the monitoring tool included eleven written acknowledgments, six discussions regarding performance improvement, six rotations of staff, four written first-warning letters and nine non-renewal of contracts. CONCLUSION: the introduction of the accountability framework resulted in improvement in staff performance and overall program indicators for AFP surveillance.

      10. Identifying gaps in respiratory syncytial virus disease epidemiology in the United States prior to the introduction of vaccinesExternal
        Kim L, Rha B, Abramson JS, Anderson LJ, Byington CL, Chen GL, DeVincenzo J, Edwards KM, Englund JA, Falsey AR, Griffin MR, Karron RA, Martin KG, Meissner HC, Munoz FM, Pavia AT, Piedra PA, Schaffner W, Simoes EA, Singleton R, Talbot HK, Walsh EE, Zucker JR, Gerber SI.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Sep 15;65(6):1020-1025.

        Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes lower respiratory tract illness frequently. No effective antivirals or vaccines for RSV are approved for use in the United States; however, there are at least 50 vaccines and monoclonal antibody products in development, with those targeting older adults and pregnant women (to protect young infants) in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. Unanswered questions regarding RSV epidemiology need to be identified and addressed prior to RSV vaccine introduction to guide the measurement of impact and future recommendations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a technical consultation to gather input from external subject matter experts on their individual perspectives regarding evidence gaps in current RSV epidemiology in the United States, potential studies and surveillance platforms needed to fill these gaps, and prioritizing efforts. Participants articulated their individual views, and CDC staff synthesized individuals’ input into this report.

      11. Thinking beyond the common Candida species: Need for speciation of Candida due to the emergence of multidrug resistant Candida aurisExternal
        Lockhart SR, Jackson BR, Vallabhaneni S, Ostrosky-Zeichner L, Pappas PG, Chiller T.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Sep 13.

        Candida species are one of the leading causes of nosocomial infections. Because much of the treatment for Candida infections is empiric, some institutions do not identify Candida to species. With the worldwide emergence of the multidrug resistant species Candida auris, identification of Candida to species level has new clinical relevance. Species should be identified for invasive candidiasis isolates, and speciation can be considered for selected non-invasive isolates to improve detection of C. auris.

      12. Genomic characterization of urethritis-associated Neisseria meningitidis shows that a wide range of N. meningitidis strains can cause urethritisExternal
        Ma KC, Unemo M, Jeverica S, Kirkcaldy RD, Takahashi H, Ohnishi M, Grad YH.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2017 Sep 13.

        Neisseria meningitidis, typically a resident of the oro- or nasopharynx and the causative agent of meningococcal meningitis and meningococcemia, is capable of invading and colonizing the urogenital tract. This can result in urethritis, akin to the syndrome caused by its sister species N. gonorrhoeae, the etiologic agent of gonorrhea. Recently, meningococcal strains associated with outbreaks of urethritis were reported to share genetic characteristics with gonococcus, raising the question of the extent to which these strains contain features that promote adaptation to the genitourinary niche, making them gonococcal-like and distinguishing them from other N. meningitidis Here, we analyzed the genomes of 39 diverse N. meningitidis isolates associated with urethritis, collected independently over a decade and across three continents. In particular, we characterized the diversity of the nitrite reductase gene (aniA), the factor-H binding protein gene (fHbp), and the capsule biosynthetic locus, all of which are loci previously suggested to be associated with urogenital colonization. We observed notable diversity including frameshift variants in aniA and fHbp, and the presence of intact, disrupted, and absent capsule biosynthetic genes, indicating that urogenital colonization and urethritis caused by N. meningitidis is possible across a range of meningococcal genotypes. Previously identified allelic patterns in urethritis-associated N. meningitidis may reflect genetic diversity in the underlying meningococcal population rather than novel adaptation to the urogenital tract.

      13. Listening panel agreement and characteristics of lung sounds digitally recorded from children aged 1-59 months enrolled in the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) case-control studyExternal
        McCollum ED, Park DE, Watson NL, Buck WC, Bunthi C, Devendra A, Ebruke BE, Elhilali M, Emmanouilidou D, Garcia-Prats AJ, Githinji L, Hossain L, Madhi SA, Moore DP, Mulindwa J, Olson D, Awori JO, Vandepitte WP, Verwey C, West JE, Knoll MD, O’Brien KL, Feikin DR, Hammit LL.
        BMJ Open Respir Res. 2017 ;4(1):e000193.

        INTRODUCTION: Paediatric lung sound recordings can be systematically assessed, but methodological feasibility and validity is unknown, especially from developing countries. We examined the performance of acoustically interpreting recorded paediatric lung sounds and compared sound characteristics between cases and controls. METHODS: Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health staff in six African and Asian sites recorded lung sounds with a digital stethoscope in cases and controls. Cases aged 1-59 months had WHO severe or very severe pneumonia; age-matched community controls did not. A listening panel assigned examination results of normal, crackle, wheeze, crackle and wheeze or uninterpretable, with adjudication of discordant interpretations. Classifications were recategorised into any crackle, any wheeze or abnormal (any crackle or wheeze) and primary listener agreement (first two listeners) was analysed among interpretable examinations using the prevalence-adjusted, bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK). We examined predictors of disagreement with logistic regression and compared case and control lung sounds with descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Primary listeners considered 89.5% of 792 case and 92.4% of 301 control recordings interpretable. Among interpretable recordings, listeners agreed on the presence or absence of any abnormality in 74.9% (PABAK 0.50) of cases and 69.8% (PABAK 0.40) of controls, presence/absence of crackles in 70.6% (PABAK 0.41) of cases and 82.4% (PABAK 0.65) of controls and presence/absence of wheeze in 72.6% (PABAK 0.45) of cases and 73.8% (PABAK 0.48) of controls. Controls, tachypnoea, >3 uninterpretable chest positions, crying, upper airway noises and study site predicted listener disagreement. Among all interpretable examinations, 38.0% of cases and 84.9% of controls were normal (p<0.0001); wheezing was the most common sound (49.9%) in cases. CONCLUSIONS: Listening panel and case-control data suggests our methodology is feasible, likely valid and that small airway inflammation is common in WHO pneumonia. Digital auscultation may be an important future pneumonia diagnostic in developing countries.

      14. Hepatitis B virus and HIV co-infection among pregnant women in RwandaExternal
        Mutagoma M, Balisanga H, Malamba SS, Sebuhoro D, Remera E, Riedel DJ, Kanters S, Nsanzimana S.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2017 Sep 11;17(1):618.

        BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects people worldwide but the local burden especially in pregnant women and their new born babies is unknown. In Rwanda HIV-infected individuals who are also infected with HBV are supposed to be initiated on ART immediately. HBV is easily transmitted from mother to child during delivery. We sought to estimate the prevalence of chronic HBV infection among pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic (ANC) in Rwanda and to determine factors associated with HBV and HIV co-infection. METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional survey, targeting pregnant women in sentinel sites. Pregnant women were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HIV infection. A series of tests were done to ensure high sensitivity. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of HBV-HIV co-infection among those collected during ANC sentinel surveillance, these included: age, marital status, education level, occupation, residence, pregnancy and syphilis infection. RESULTS: The prevalence of HBsAg among 13,121 pregnant women was 3.7% (95% CI: 3.4-4.0%) and was similar among different socio-demographic characteristics that were assessed. The proportion of HIV-infection among HBsAg-positive pregnant women was 4.1% [95% CI: 2.5-6.3%]. The prevalence of HBV-HIV co-infection was higher among women aged 15-24 years compared to those women aged 25-49 years [aOR = 6.9 (95% CI: 1.8-27.0)]. Women residing in urban areas seemed having HBV-HIV co-infection compared with women residing in rural areas [aOR = 4.3 (95% CI: 1.2-16.4)]. Women with more than two pregnancies were potentially having the co-infection compared to those with two or less (aOR = 6.9 (95% CI: 1.7-27.8). Women with RPR-positive test were seemed associated with HBV-HIV co-infection (aOR = 24.9 (95% CI: 5.0-122.9). CONCLUSION: Chronic HBV infection is a public health problem among pregnant women in Rwanda. Understanding that HBV-HIV co-infection may be more prominent in younger women from urban residences will help inform and strengthen HBV prevention and treatment programmes among HIV-infected pregnant women, which is crucial to this population.

      15. GamaSTAN S/D (Grifols Therapeutics, Inc., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) is a sterile, preservative-free solution of immune globulin (IG) for intramuscular administration and is used for prophylaxis against disease caused by infection with hepatitis A, measles, varicella, and rubella viruses (1). GamaSTAN S/D is the only IG product approved by the Food and Drug Administration for hepatitis A virus (HAV) prophylaxis. In July 2017, GamaSTAN S/D prescribing information was updated with changes to the dosing instructions for hepatitis A preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis indications. These changes were made because of concerns about decreased HAV immunoglobulin G antibody (anti-HAV IgG) potency, likely resulting from decreasing prevalence of previous HAV infection among plasma donors, leading to declining anti-HAV antibody levels in donor plasma (2). No changes in dosing instructions were made for measles, varicella, or rubella preexposure or postexposure prophylaxis.

      16. Smallpox was the first human disease to be eradicated, through a concerted vaccination campaign led by the World Health Organization. Since its eradication, routine vaccination against smallpox has ceased, leaving the world population susceptible to disease caused by orthopoxviruses. In recent decades, reports of human disease from zoonotic orthopoxviruses have increased. Furthermore, multiple reports of newly identified poxviruses capable of causing human disease have occurred. These facts raise concerns regarding both the opportunity for these zoonotic orthopoxviruses to evolve and become a more severe public health issue, as well as the risk of Variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox) to be utilized as a bioterrorist weapon. The eradication of smallpox occurred prior to the development of the majority of modern virological and molecular biological techniques. Therefore, there is a considerable amount that is not understood regarding how this solely human pathogen interacts with its host. This paper briefly recounts the history and current status of diagnostic tools, vaccines, and anti-viral therapeutics for treatment of smallpox disease. The authors discuss the importance of further research to prepare the global community should a smallpox-like virus emerge.

      17. Incidence and trends of sepsis in US hospitals using clinical vs claims data, 2009-2014External
        Rhee C, Dantes R, Epstein L, Murphy DJ, Seymour CW, Iwashyna TJ, Kadri SS, Angus DC, Danner RL, Fiore AE, Jernigan JA, Martin GS, Septimus E, Warren DK, Karcz A, Chan C, Menchaca JT, Wang R, Gruber S, Klompas M.
        Jama. 2017 Sep 13.

        Importance: Estimates from claims-based analyses suggest that the incidence of sepsis is increasing and mortality rates from sepsis are decreasing. However, estimates from claims data may lack clinical fidelity and can be affected by changing diagnosis and coding practices over time. Objective: To estimate the US national incidence of sepsis and trends using detailed clinical data from the electronic health record (EHR) systems of diverse hospitals. Design, Setting, and Population: Retrospective cohort study of adult patients admitted to 409 academic, community, and federal hospitals from 2009-2014. Exposures: Sepsis was identified using clinical indicators of presumed infection and concurrent acute organ dysfunction, adapting Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) criteria for objective and consistent EHR-based surveillance. Main Outcomes and Measures: Sepsis incidence, outcomes, and trends from 2009-2014 were calculated using regression models and compared with claims-based estimates using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes for severe sepsis or septic shock. Case-finding criteria were validated against Sepsis-3 criteria using medical record reviews. Results: A total of 173690 sepsis cases (mean age, 66.5 [SD, 15.5] y; 77660 [42.4%] women) were identified using clinical criteria among 2901019 adults admitted to study hospitals in 2014 (6.0% incidence). Of these, 26061 (15.0%) died in the hospital and 10731 (6.2%) were discharged to hospice. From 2009-2014, sepsis incidence using clinical criteria was stable (+0.6% relative change/y [95% CI, -2.3% to 3.5%], P = .67) whereas incidence per claims increased (+10.3%/y [95% CI, 7.2% to 13.3%], P < .001). In-hospital mortality using clinical criteria declined (-3.3%/y [95% CI, -5.6% to -1.0%], P = .004), but there was no significant change in the combined outcome of death or discharge to hospice (-1.3%/y [95% CI, -3.2% to 0.6%], P = .19). In contrast, mortality using claims declined significantly (-7.0%/y [95% CI, -8.8% to -5.2%], P < .001), as did death or discharge to hospice (-4.5%/y [95% CI, -6.1% to -2.8%], P < .001). Clinical criteria were more sensitive in identifying sepsis than claims (69.7% [95% CI, 52.9% to 92.0%] vs 32.3% [95% CI, 24.4% to 43.0%], P < .001), with comparable positive predictive value (70.4% [95% CI, 64.0% to 76.8%] vs 75.2% [95% CI, 69.8% to 80.6%], P = .23). Conclusions and Relevance: In clinical data from 409 hospitals, sepsis was present in 6% of adult hospitalizations, and in contrast to claims-based analyses, neither the incidence of sepsis nor the combined outcome of death or discharge to hospice changed significantly between 2009-2014. The findings also suggest that EHR-based clinical data provide more objective estimates than claims-based data for sepsis surveillance.

      18. Antiretroviral drugs as the linchpin for prevention of HIV infections in the United StatesExternal
        Samandari T, Harris N, Cleveland JC, Purcell DW, McCray E.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Oct;107(10):1577-1579.

        [No abstract]

      19. Inclusion of MERS-spike protein ELISA in algorithm to determine serologic evidence of MERS-CoV infectionExternal
        Trivedi S, Miao C, Al-Abdallat MM, Haddadin A, Alqasrawi S, Iblan I, Nsour MA, Alsanouri T, Sheikh Ali S, Rha B, Gerber SI, Payne DC, Tamin A, Thornburg NJ.
        J Med Virol. 2017 Sep 14.

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) algorithm for detecting presence of serum antibodies against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in subjects with potential infections with the virus has included screening by indirect ELISA against recombinant nucleocapsid (N) protein and confirmation by immunofluorescent staining of infected monolayers and/or microneutralization titration. Other international groups include indirect ELISA assays using the spike (S) protein, as part of their serological determinations. In the current study, we describe development and validation of an indirect MERS-CoV S ELISA to be used as part of our serological determination for evidence of previous exposure to the virus.

      20. HIV transmission dynamics among foreign-born persons in the United StatesExternal
        Valverde EE, Oster AM, Xu S, Wertheim JO, Hernandez AL.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 Sep 07.

        BACKGROUND: In the United States (U.S.), foreign-born persons are disproportionately affected by HIV and differ epidemiologically from U.S.-born persons with diagnosed HIV infection. Understanding HIV transmission dynamics among foreign-born persons is important to guide HIV prevention efforts for these populations. We conducted molecular transmission network analysis to describe HIV transmission dynamics among foreign-born persons with diagnosed HIV. METHODS: Using HIV-1 polymerase nucleotide sequences reported to the U.S. National HIV Surveillance System for persons with diagnosed HIV infection during 2001-2013, we constructed a genetic distance based transmission network using HIV-TRACE and examined the birth region of potential transmission partners in this network. RESULTS: Of 77,686 people, 12,064 (16%) were foreign-born. Overall, 28% of foreign-born persons linked to at least one other person in the transmission network. Of potential transmission partners, 62% were born in the United States, 31% were born in the same region as the foreign-born person, and 7% were born in another region of the world. The majority of transmission partners of male foreign-born persons (63%) were born in the United States, whereas the majority of transmission partners of female foreign-born (57%) were born in their same world region. DISCUSSION: These finding suggests that a majority of HIV infections among foreign-born persons in our network occurred after immigrating to the United States. Efforts to prevent HIV infection among foreign-born persons in the U.S. should include information of the transmission networks in which these individuals acquire or transmit HIV in order to develop more targeted HIV prevention interventions.

      21. Delivery of HIV antiretroviral therapy adherence support services by HIV care providers in the United States, 2013 to 2014External
        Weiser J, Beer L, Brooks JT, Irwin K, West BT, Duke CC, Gremel GW, Skarbinski J.
        J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2017 Jan 01:2325957417729754.

        BACKGROUND: Little is known about clinicians’ adoption of recommendations of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care and others for supporting adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). METHODS: We surveyed a probability sample of US HIV care providers to estimate the percentage offering 3 ART adherence support services to most or all patients and assessed the characteristics of providers offering all 3 services (comprehensive support) to most or all patients. RESULTS: Almost all providers (95.5%) discussed ART adherence at every visit, 60.1% offered advice about tools to increase adherence, 53.5% referred nonadherent patients for supportive services, and 42.8% provided comprehensive support. Nurse practitioners were more likely to offer comprehensive support as were providers who practiced at Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-funded facilities, provided primary care, or started caring for HIV-infected patients within 10 years. CONCLUSION: Less than half of HIV care providers offered comprehensive ART adherence support. Certain subgroups may benefit from interventions to increase delivery of adherence support.

    • Disaster Control and Emergency Services
      1. Geographic distribution of blood collections in Haiti before and after the 2010 earthquakeExternal
        Bjork A, Jean Baptiste AE, Noel E, Jean Charles NP, Polo E, Pitman JP.
        ISBT Sci Ser. 2017 May;12(2):291-296.

        BACKGROUND: The January 2010 Haiti earthquake destroyed the National Blood Transfusion Center and reduced monthly national blood collections by > 46%. Efforts to rapidly scale-up blood collections outside of the earthquake-affected region were investigated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Blood collection data for 2004-2014 from Haiti’s 10 administrative departments were grouped into four regions: Northern, Central, Port-au-Prince and Southern. Analyses compared regional collection totals during the study period. RESULTS: Collections in Port-au-Prince accounted for 52% of Haiti’s blood supply in 2009, but fell 96% in February 2010. Haiti subsequently increased blood collections in the North, Central and Southern regions to compensate. By May 2010, national blood collections were only 10.9% lower than in May 2009, with 70% of collections coming from outside of Port-au-Prince. By 2013 national collections (27 478 units) had surpassed 2009 levels by 30%, and Port-au-Prince collections had recovered (from 11 074 units in 2009 to 11 670 units in 2013). CONCLUSION: Haiti’s National Blood Safety Program managed a rapid expansion of collections outside of Port-au-Prince following the earthquake. Annual collections exceeded pre-earthquake levels by 2012 and continued rising annually. Increased regional collections provided a greater share of the national blood supply, reducing dependence on Port-au-Prince for collections.

      2. Recent outbreaks of infectious diseases have revealed significant health care system vulnerabilities and highlighted the importance of rapid recognition and isolation of patients with potentially severe infectious diseases. During December 2015-May 2016, a series of unannounced “mystery patient drills” was carried out to assess New York City Emergency Departments’ (EDs) abilities to identify and respond to patients with communicable diseases of public health concern. Drill scenarios presented a patient reporting signs or symptoms and travel history consistent with possible measles or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Evaluators captured key infection control performance measures, including time to patient masking and isolation. Ninety-five drills (53 measles and 42 MERS) were conducted in 49 EDs with patients masked and isolated in 78% of drills. Median time from entry to masking was 1.5 minutes (range = 0-47 minutes) and from entry to isolation was 8.5 minutes (range = 1-57). Hospitals varied in their ability to identify potentially infectious patients and implement recommended infection control measures in a timely manner. Drill findings were used to inform hospital improvement planning to more rapidly and consistently identify and isolate patients with a potentially highly infectious disease.

      3. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Coast Guard Cohort studyExternal
        Rusiecki J, Alexander M, Schwartz EG, Wang L, Weems L, Barrett J, Christenbury K, Johndrow D, Funk RH, Engel LS.
        Occup Environ Med. 2017 Sep 12.

        OBJECTIVES: Long-term studies of oil spill responders are urgently needed as oil spills continue to occur. To this end, we established the prospective Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill Coast Guard Cohort study. METHODS: DWH oil spill responders (n=8696) and non-responders (n=44 823) who were members of the US Coast Guard (20 April-17 December 2010) were included. This cohort uses both prospective, objective health data from military medical encounters and cross-sectional survey data. Here, we describe the cohort, present adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) estimating cross-sectional associations between crude oil exposure (none, low/medium, high) and acute physical symptoms, and present adjusted relative risks (RRs) based on longitudinal medical encounter data (2010-2012) for responders/non-responders and responders exposed/not exposed to crude oil. RESULTS: Responders and non-responders in this large cohort (n=53 519) have similar characteristics. Crude oil exposure was reported by >50% of responders. We found statistically significant associations for crude oil exposure with coughing (PRhigh=1.78), shortness of breath (PRhigh=2.30), wheezing (PRhigh=2.32), headaches (PRhigh=1.46), light-headedness/dizziness (PRhigh=1.96), skin rash/itching (PRhigh=1.87), diarrhoea (PRhigh=1.76), stomach pain (PRhigh=1.67), nausea/vomiting (PRhigh=1.48) and painful/burning urination (PRhigh=2.89) during deployment. Longitudinal analyses revealed that responders had elevated RRs for dermal conditions (RR=1.09), as did oil-exposed responders for chronic respiratory conditions (RR=1.32), asthma (RR=1.83) and dermal conditions (RR=1.21). CONCLUSIONS: We found positive associations between crude oil exposure and various acute physical symptoms among responders, as well as longer term health effects. This cohort is well positioned to evaluate both short-term and long-term effects of oil spill exposures using both self-reported and clinical health data.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Minimum infectious dose for chikungunya virus in Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoesExternal
        Ledermann JP, Borland EM, Powers AM.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2017 Aug 21;41:e65.

        Understanding the ability of the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) to be transmitted by Aedes vectors in the Americas is critical for assessing epidemiological risk. One element that must be considered is the minimum infectious dose of virus that can lead to transmission following the extrinsic incubation period. This study aimed to determine the minimum infection rate for the two Aedes species studied. The results revealed that doses as low as 3.9 log10 plaque-forming units per mL (pfu/mL) of an Asian genotype CHIKV strain can lead to transmission by Ae. albopictus, and doses of at least 5.3 log10 pfu/mL from the same strain are needed for transmission from Ae. aegypti. These low infecting doses suggest that infected individuals may be infectious for almost the entire period of their viremia, and therefore, to prevent further cases, measures should be taken to prevent them from getting bitten by mosquitoes during this period.

      2. Identification of diverse viruses in upper respiratory samples in dromedary camels from United Arab EmiratesExternal
        Li Y, Khalafalla AI, Paden CR, Yusof MF, Eltahir YM, Al Hammadi ZM, Tao Y, Queen K, Hosani FA, Gerber SI, Hall AJ, Al Muhairi S, Tong S.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(9):e0184718.

        Camels are known carriers for many viral pathogens, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It is likely that there are additional, as yet unidentified viruses in camels with the potential to cause disease in humans. In this study, we performed metagenomic sequencing analysis on nasopharyngeal swab samples from 108 MERS-CoV-positive dromedary camels from a live animal market in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. We obtained a total of 846.72 million high-quality reads from these nasopharyngeal swab samples, of which 2.88 million (0.34%) were related to viral sequences while 512.63 million (60.5%) and 50.87 million (6%) matched bacterial and eukaryotic sequences, respectively. Among the viral reads, sequences related to mammalian viruses from 13 genera in 10 viral families were identified, including Coronaviridae, Nairoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Parvoviridae, Polyomaviridae, Papillomaviridae, Astroviridae, Picornaviridae, Poxviridae, and Genomoviridae. Some viral sequences belong to known camel or human viruses and others are from potentially novel camel viruses with only limited sequence similarity to virus sequences in GenBank. A total of five potentially novel virus species or strains were identified. Co-infection of at least two recently identified camel coronaviruses was detected in 92.6% of the camels in the study. This study provides a comprehensive survey of viruses in the virome of upper respiratory samples in camels that have extensive contact with the human population.

    • Drug Safety
      1. Antibiotic stewardship: Why we must, how we canExternal
        Srinivasan A.
        Cleve Clin J Med. 2017 Sep;84(9):673-679.

        Improving our antibiotic use is critical to the safety of our patients and the future of medicine. This can improve patient outcomes, save money, reduce resistance, and help prevent negative consequences such as Clostridium difficile infection. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is undertaking a nationwide effort to appropriately improve antibiotic use in inpatient and outpatient settings.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Serum polychlorinated biphenyls and leukocyte telomere length in a highly-exposed population: The Anniston Community Health SurveyExternal
        Callahan CL, Pavuk M, Birnbaum LS, Ren X, Olson JR, Bonner MR.
        Environ Int. 2017 Sep 05;108:212-220.

        BACKGROUND: Serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have previously been associated with longer leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in most, but not all, of the few previous studies. PCBs were produced in Anniston, Alabama from 1929 to 1971 and participants of the Anniston Community Health Survey (ACHS) were highly exposed. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated serum levels of 35 PCBs and relative telomere length in 559 ACHS participants. METHODS: Relative LTL was measured in DNA extracted from blood clots. We assessed PCBs individually, grouped by chlorination, and summed PCBs. We used linear regression to assess the association between each PCB metric while adjusting for pertinent covariates. RESULTS: Serum PCBs were associated with longer LTL among white participants and the oldest age group of black participants. Among white participants, compared with those in the first quartile of sum PCBs those in the third quartile of sum PCBs had 8.09% longer relative LTL (95% CI: 1.99; 14.55) and those in the fourth had 7.58% longer relative LTL (95%CI: -0.01; 15.76) (p-quadratic=0.05). Among African American participants, serum PCBs were associated with longer relative LTL among those over age 64 only. Tests for interaction were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a non-linear positive association between serum PCBs and LTL among white participants. Serum PCBs were associated with longer LTL in the oldest age group of African Americans. This association may provide insight into the cancers previously associated with exposure to PCBs, melanoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which have been associated with long LTL in previous studies.

      2. Personal care product use in men and urinary concentrations of select phthalate metabolites and parabens: Results from the Environment And Reproductive Health (EARTH) StudyExternal
        Nassan FL, Coull BA, Gaskins AJ, Williams MA, Skakkebaek NE, Ford JB, Ye X, Calafat AM, Braun JM, Hauser R.
        Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Aug 18;125(8):087012.

        BACKGROUND: Personal care products (PCPs) are exposure sources to phthalates and parabens; however, their contribution to men’s exposure is understudied. OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between PCP use and urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and parabens in men. METHODS: In a prospective cohort, at multiple study visits, men self-reported their use of 14 PCPs and provided a urine sample (2004-2015, Boston, MA). We measured urinary concentrations of 9 phthalate metabolites and methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. We estimated the covariate-adjusted percent change in urinary concentrations associated with PCP use using linear mixed and Tobit mixed regressions. We also estimated weights for each PCP in a weighted binary score regression and modeled the resulting composite weighted PCP use. RESULTS: Four hundred men contributed 1,037 urine samples (mean of 3/man). The largest percent increase in monoethyl phthalate (MEP) was associated with use of cologne/perfume (83%, p-value<0.01) and deodorant (74%, p-value<0.01). In contrast, the largest percent increase for parabens was associated with the use of suntan/sunblock lotion (66-156%) and hand/body lotion (79-147%). Increases in MEP and parabens were generally greater with PCP use within 6 h of urine collection. A subset of 10 PCPs that were used within 6 h of urine collection contributed to at least 70% of the weighted score and predicted a 254-1,333% increase in MEP and parabens concentrations. Associations between PCP use and concentrations of the other phthalate metabolites were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: We identified 10 PCPs of relevance and demonstrated that their use within 6 h of urine collection strongly predicted MEP and paraben urinary concentrations.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance
      1. Factors affecting workforce participation and healthy worker biases in U.S. women and menExternal
        Johnson CY, Rocheleau CM, Lawson CC, Grajewski B, Howards PP.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2017 Aug 25.

        PURPOSE: To investigate potential attenuation of healthy worker biases in populations in which healthy women of reproductive age opt out of the workforce to provide childcare. METHODS: We used 2013-2015 data from 120,928 U.S. women and men aged 22-44 years participating in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. We used logistic regression to estimate adjusted prevalence odds ratios (PORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between health and workforce nonparticipation. RESULTS: Women and men reporting poor health were more likely to be out of the workforce than individuals reporting excellent health (POR: 3.7, 95% CI: 3.2-4.2; POR: 6.7, 95% CI: 5.7-7.8, respectively), suggesting potential for healthy worker bias. For women (P < .001) but not men (P = .30), the strength of this association was modified by number of children in the home: POR: 7.3 (95% CI: 5.8-9.1) for women with no children, decreasing to POR: 0.9 (95% CI: 0.6-1.5) for women with four or more children. CONCLUSIONS: These results are consistent with attenuation of healthy worker biases when healthy women opt out of the workforce to provide childcare. Accordingly, we might expect the magnitude of these biases to vary with the proportion of women with differing numbers of children in the population.

      2. PURPOSE: Participation in health studies may be inversely associated with employment and stress. We investigated whether employment, perceived stress, work-related stress, and family caregiving were related to participation in a longitudinal US community-based health study of black and white men and women aged >/=45 years. METHODS: Prevalence ratios and confidence intervals were estimated for completion of the second stage (S2) of a two-stage enrollment process by employment (status, type), and stress (perceived stress, work-related stress, caregiving), adjusting for age, sex, race, region, income, and education. Eligibility and consent for a follow-up occupational survey were similarly evaluated. RESULTS: Wage- but not self-employed participants were less likely than the unemployed to complete S2. Among the employed, S2 completion did not vary by stress; however, family caregivers with a short time burden of care (<2 hour/d) were more likely to complete S2, compared to noncaregivers. Eligibility and participation in the follow-up occupational survey were higher among those employed (vs. unemployed) at enrollment but were not associated with enrollment stress levels. CONCLUSIONS: Limited evidence of selection bias was seen by employment and stress within a large US community-based cohort, but findings suggest the need for enrollment procedures to consider possible barriers to participation among wage-employed individuals.

      3. Infectious disease prediction with kernel conditional density estimationExternal
        Ray EL, Sakrejda K, Lauer SA, Johansson MA, Reich NG.
        Stat Med. 2017 Sep 14.

        Creating statistical models that generate accurate predictions of infectious disease incidence is a challenging problem whose solution could benefit public health decision makers. We develop a new approach to this problem using kernel conditional density estimation (KCDE) and copulas. We obtain predictive distributions for incidence in individual weeks using KCDE and tie those distributions together into joint distributions using copulas. This strategy enables us to create predictions for the timing of and incidence in the peak week of the season. Our implementation of KCDE incorporates 2 novel kernel components: a periodic component that captures seasonality in disease incidence and a component that allows for a full parameterization of the bandwidth matrix with discrete variables. We demonstrate via simulation that a fully parameterized bandwidth matrix can be beneficial for estimating conditional densities. We apply the method to predicting dengue fever and influenza and compare to a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average model and HHH4, a previously published extension to the generalized linear model framework developed for infectious disease incidence. The KCDE outperforms the baseline methods for predictions of dengue incidence in individual weeks. The KCDE also offers more consistent performance than the baseline models for predictions of incidence in the peak week and is comparable to the baseline models on the other prediction targets. Using the periodic kernel function led to better predictions of incidence. Our approach and extensions of it could yield improved predictions for public health decision makers, particularly in diseases with heterogeneous seasonal dynamics such as dengue fever.

    • Food Safety
      1. Notes from the Field: Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1, Serotype Inaba – Minnesota, August 2016External
        Hall V, Medus C, Wahl G, Sorenson A, Orth M, Santovenia M, Burdette E, Smith K.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Sep 15;66(36):961-962.

        [No abstract]

      2. Attribution of global foodborne disease to specific foods: Findings from a World Health Organization structured expert elicitationExternal
        Hoffmann S, Devleesschauwer B, Aspinall W, Cooke R, Corrigan T, Havelaar A, Angulo F, Gibb H, Kirk M, Lake R, Speybroeck N, Torgerson P, Hald T.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(9):e0183641.

        BACKGROUND: Recently the World Health Organization, Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) estimated that 31 foodborne diseases (FBDs) resulted in over 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths worldwide in 2010. Knowing the relative role importance of different foods as exposure routes for key hazards is critical to preventing illness. This study reports the findings of a structured expert elicitation providing globally comparable food source attribution estimates for 11 major FBDs in each of 14 world subregions. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used Cooke’s Classical Model to elicit and aggregate judgments of 73 international experts. Judgments were elicited from each expert individually and aggregated using both equal and performance weights. Performance weighted results are reported as they increased the informativeness of estimates, while retaining accuracy. We report measures of central tendency and uncertainty bounds on food source attribution estimate. For some pathogens we see relatively consistent food source attribution estimates across subregions of the world; for others there is substantial regional variation. For example, for non-typhoidal salmonellosis, pork was of minor importance compared to eggs and poultry meat in the American and African subregions, whereas in the European and Western Pacific subregions the importance of these three food sources were quite similar. Our regional results broadly agree with estimates from earlier European and North American food source attribution research. As in prior food source attribution research, we find relatively wide uncertainty bounds around our median estimates. CONCLUSIONS: We present the first worldwide estimates of the proportion of specific foodborne diseases attributable to specific food exposure routes. While we find substantial uncertainty around central tendency estimates, we believe these estimates provide the best currently available basis on which to link FBDs and specific foods in many parts of the world, providing guidance for policy actions to control FBDs.

      3. Outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States, 1998-2015External
        Self JL, Luna-Gierke RE, Fothergill A, Holt KG, Vieira AR.
        Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Sep 14:1-11.

        Each year in the United States, an estimated 525 000 infections, 2900 hospitalizations, and 82 deaths are attributed to consumption of pork. We analyzed the epidemiology of outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1998-2015. During that period, 288 outbreaks were attributed to pork, resulting in 6372 illnesses, 443 hospitalizations, and four deaths. The frequency of outbreaks attributed to pork decreased by 37% during this period, consistent with a decline in total foodborne outbreaks. However, outbreaks attributed to pork increased by 73% in 2015 (19 outbreaks) compared with the previous 3 years (average of 11 outbreaks per year), without a similar increase in total foodborne outbreaks. Most (>99%) of these outbreaks occurred among people exposed in the same state. The most frequent etiology shifted from Staphylococcus aureus toxin during 1998-2001 (19%) to Salmonella during 2012-2015 (46%). Outbreaks associated with ham decreased from eight outbreaks per year during 1998-2001, to one per year during 2012-2015 (P < 0.01). Additional efforts are necessary to reduce outbreaks and sporadic illnesses associated with pork products.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. ICTV virus taxonomy profile: PicornaviridaeExternal
        Zell R, Delwart E, Gorbalenya AE, Hovi T, King AM, Knowles NJ, Lindberg AM, Pallansch MA, Palmenberg AC, Reuter G, Simmonds P, Skern T, Stanway G, Yamashita T, Ictv Report C.
        J Gen Virol. 2017 Sep 08.

        The family Picornaviridae comprises small non-enveloped viruses with RNA genomes of 6.7 to 10.1 kb, and contains >30 genera and >75 species. Most of the known picornaviruses infect mammals and birds, but some have also been detected in reptiles, amphibians and fish. Many picornaviruses are important human and veterinary pathogens and may cause diseases of the central nervous system, heart, liver, skin, gastrointestinal tract or upper respiratory tract. Most picornaviruses are transmitted by the faecal-oral or respiratory routes. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the Picornaviridae, which is available at

    • Health Behavior and Risk
      1. Connectedness to family, school, peers, and community in socially vulnerable adolescentsExternal
        Foster CE, Horwitz A, Thomas A, Opperman K, Gipson P, Burnside A, Stone DM, King CA.
        Child Youth Serv Rev. 2017 ;81:321-331.

        Youth who feel connected to people and institutions in their communities may be buffered from other risk factors in their lives. As a result, increasing connectedness has been recommended as a prevention strategy. In this study, we examined connectedness among 224 youth (ages 12-15), recruited from an urban medical emergency department, who were at elevated risk due to bullying perpetration or victimization, or low social connectedness. Regression analyses examined multiple domains of connectedness (family, school, peer, community) in relation to adjustment. Youth who felt more connected to parents reported lower levels of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self-injury, and conduct problems, higher self-esteem and more adaptive use of free time. Youth who felt more connected to their school reported lower levels of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, social anxiety, and sexual activity, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and more adaptive use of free time. Community connectedness was associated with less social anxiety but more sexual activity, and peer connectedness was not related to youth adjustment in this unique sample. Findings suggest that family and school connectedness may buffer youth on a trajectory of risk, and may therefore be important potential targets for early intervention services.

      2. Surveillance for certain health behaviors and conditions among states and selected local areas – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2013 and 2014External
        Gamble S, Mawokomatanda T, Xu F, Chowdhury PP, Pierannunzi C, Flegel D, Garvin W, Town M.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 Sep 15;66(16):1-144.

        PROBLEM: Chronic diseases and conditions (e.g., heart diseases, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes) are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. These conditions are costly to the U.S. economy, yet they are often preventable or controllable. Behavioral risk factors (e.g., excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, poor diet, frequent mental distress, and insufficient sleep) are linked to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Adopting positive health behaviors (e.g., staying physically active, quitting tobacco use, obtaining routine physical checkups, and checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels) can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and conditions. Monitoring the health risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services at multilevel public health points (states, territories, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas [MMSA]) can provide important information for development and evaluation of health intervention programs. REPORTING PERIOD: 2013 and 2014. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged >/=18 years residing in the United States. BRFSS collects data on health risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services and practices related to the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and participating territories. This is the first BRFSS report to include age-adjusted prevalence estimates. For 2013 and 2014, these age-adjusted prevalence estimates are presented for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and selected MMSA. RESULTS: Age-adjusted prevalence estimates of health status indicators, health care access and preventive practices, health risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, and cardiovascular conditions vary by state, territory, and MMSA. Each set of proportions presented refers to the range of age-adjusted prevalence estimates of selected BRFSS measures as reported by survey respondents. The following are estimates for 2013. Adults reporting frequent mental distress: 7.7%-15.2% in states and territories and 6.3%-19.4% in MMSA. Adults with inadequate sleep: 27.6%-49.2% in states and territories and 26.5%-44.4% in MMSA. Adults aged 18-64 years having health care coverage: 66.9%-92.4% in states and territories and 60.5%-97.6% in MMSA. Adults identifying as current cigarette smokers: 10.1%-28.8% in states and territories and 6.1%-33.6% in MMSA. Adults reporting binge drinking during the past month: 10.5%-25.2% in states and territories and 7.2%-25.3% in MMSA. Adults with obesity: 21.0%-35.2% in states and territories and 12.1%-37.1% in MMSA. Adults aged >/=45 years with some form of arthritis: 30.6%-51.0% in states and territories and 27.6%-52.4% in MMSA. Adults aged >/=45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 7.4%-17.5% in states and territories and 6.2%-20.9% in MMSA. Adults aged >/=45 years who have had a stroke: 3.1%-7.5% in states and territories and 2.3%-9.4% in MMSA. Adults with high blood pressure: 25.2%-40.1% in states and territories and 22.2%-42.2% in MMSA. Adults with high blood cholesterol: 28.8%-38.4% in states and territories and 26.3%-39.6% in MMSA. The following are estimates for 2014. Adults reporting frequent physical distress: 7.8%-16.0% in states and territories and 6.2%-18.5% in MMSA. Women aged 21-65 years who had a Papanicolaou test during the past 3 years: 67.7%-87.8% in states and territories and 68.0%-94.3% in MMSA. Adults aged 50-75 years who received colorectal cancer screening on the basis of the 2008 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation: 42.8%-76.7% in states and territories and 49.1%-79.6% in MMSA. Adults with inadequate sleep: 28.4%-48.6% in states and territories and 25.4%-45.3% in MMSA. Adults reporting binge drinking during the past month: 10.7%-25.1% in states and territories and 6.7%-26.3% in MMSA. Adults aged >/=45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 8.0%-17.1% in states and territories and 7.6%-19.2% in MMSA. Adults aged >/=45 years with some form of arthritis: 31.2%-54.7% in states and territories and 28.4%-54.7% in MMSA. Adults with obesity: 21.0%-35.9% in states and territories and 19.7%-42.5% in MMSA. INTERPRETATION: Prevalence of certain chronic diseases and conditions, health risk behaviors, and use of preventive health services varies among states, territories, and MMSA. The findings of this report highlight the need for continued monitoring of health status, health care access, health behaviors, and chronic diseases and conditions at state and local levels. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: State and local health departments and agencies can continue to use BRFSS data to identify populations at risk for certain unhealthy behaviors and chronic diseases and conditions. Data also can be used to design, monitor, and evaluate public health programs at state and local levels.

    • Health Economics
      1. Cost of a measles outbreak in a remote island economy: 2014 Federated States of Micronesia measles outbreakExternal
        Pike J, Tippins A, Nyaku M, Eckert M, Helgenberger L, Underwood JM.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 05.

        After 20 years with no reported measles cases, on May 15, 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified of two cases testing positive for measles-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Under the Compact of Free Association, FSM receives immunization funding and technical support from the United States (US) domestic vaccination program managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a collaborative effort, public health officials and volunteers from FSM and the US government worked to respond and contain the measles outbreak through an emergency mass vaccination campaign, contact tracing, and other outbreak investigation activities. Contributions were also made by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO). Total costs incurred as a result of the outbreak were nearly $4,000,000; approximately $10,000 per case. Direct medical costs ( approximately $141,000) were incurred in the treatment of those individuals infected, as well as lost productivity of the infected and informal caregivers ( approximately $250,000) and costs to contain the outbreak ( approximately $3.5 million). We assessed the economic burden of the 2014 measles outbreak to FSM, as well as the economic responsibilities of the US. Although the US paid the majority of total costs of the outbreak ( approximately 67%), examining each country’s costs relative to their respective economy illustrates a far greater burden to FSM. We demonstrate that while FSM was heavily assisted by the US in responding to the 2014 Measles Outbreak, the outbreak significantly impacted their economy. FSM’s economic burden from the outbreak is approximately equivalent to their entire 2016 Fiscal Year budget dedicated to education.

      2. BACKGROUND: Unintentional non-fire-related (UNFR) carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning has been among the leading causes of poisoning in the United States. Current estimation of its economic burden is important for an optimal allocation of resources for UNFR CO poisoning prevention. OBJECTIVE: This study was to estimate the morbidity costs of UNFR CO poisoning. We also compared the costs and benefits of installing CO detectors in residences. METHODS: We used 2010-2014 charges and cost data from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), and Truven(c) Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicare Supplemental data. We directly measured the morbidity cost as the summation of costs for different healthcare services. Benefit of installing CO detector was estimated by summing up the avoidable morbidity cost and mortality cost (value of life). Cost of CO detectors was calculated using the average market price of CO detectors. We also calculated the benefit-to-cost ratio by dividing the benefit by its cost. All expenditures were converted into 2013 U.S. dollars. RESULTS: For UNFR CO poisoning, total annual medical cost ranged from $33.6 to $37.7 million. Annual non-health-sector costs varied from $3.7 to almost $4.4 million. The benefit-to-cost ratio can be as high as 7.2 to 1. CONCLUSION: UNFR CO poisoning causes substantial economic burden in the U.S. The benefit of using CO detectors in homes to prevent UNFR CO poisoning can considerably exceed the cost of installation. Public health programs could use these findings to promote broad installation of CO detectors in homes.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection, 2017External
        Berrios-Torres SI, Umscheid CA, Bratzler DW, Leas B, Stone EC, Kelz RR, Reinke CE, Morgan S, Solomkin JS, Mazuski JE, Dellinger EP, Itani KM, Berbari EF, Segreti J, Parvizi J, Blanchard J, Allen G, Kluytmans J, Donlan R, Schecter WP.
        JAMA Surg. 2017 Aug 01;152(8):784-791.

        Importance: The human and financial costs of treating surgical site infections (SSIs) are increasing. The number of surgical procedures performed in the United States continues to rise, and surgical patients are initially seen with increasingly complex comorbidities. It is estimated that approximately half of SSIs are deemed preventable using evidence-based strategies. Objective: To provide new and updated evidence-based recommendations for the prevention of SSI. Evidence Review: A targeted systematic review of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from 1998 through April 2014. A modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to assess the quality of evidence and the strength of the resulting recommendation and to provide explicit links between them. Of 5759 titles and abstracts screened, 896 underwent full-text review by 2 independent reviewers. After exclusions, 170 studies were extracted into evidence tables, appraised, and synthesized. Findings: Before surgery, patients should shower or bathe (full body) with soap (antimicrobial or nonantimicrobial) or an antiseptic agent on at least the night before the operative day. Antimicrobial prophylaxis should be administered only when indicated based on published clinical practice guidelines and timed such that a bactericidal concentration of the agents is established in the serum and tissues when the incision is made. In cesarean section procedures, antimicrobial prophylaxis should be administered before skin incision. Skin preparation in the operating room should be performed using an alcohol-based agent unless contraindicated. For clean and clean-contaminated procedures, additional prophylactic antimicrobial agent doses should not be administered after the surgical incision is closed in the operating room, even in the presence of a drain. Topical antimicrobial agents should not be applied to the surgical incision. During surgery, glycemic control should be implemented using blood glucose target levels less than 200 mg/dL, and normothermia should be maintained in all patients. Increased fraction of inspired oxygen should be administered during surgery and after extubation in the immediate postoperative period for patients with normal pulmonary function undergoing general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. Transfusion of blood products should not be withheld from surgical patients as a means to prevent SSI. Conclusions and Relevance: This guideline is intended to provide new and updated evidence-based recommendations for the prevention of SSI and should be incorporated into comprehensive surgical quality improvement programs to improve patient safety.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Quantifying and explaining accessibility with application to the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaignExternal
        Heier Stamm JL, Serban N, Swann J, Wortley P.
        Health Care Manag Sci. 2017 Mar;20(1):76-93.

        Accessibility and equity across populations are important measures in public health. This paper is specifically concerned with potential spatial accessibility, or the opportunity to receive care as moderated by geographic factors, and with horizontal equity, or fairness across populations regardless of need. Both accessibility and equity were goals of the 2009 vaccination campaign for the novel H1N1a influenza virus, including during the period when demand for vaccine exceeded supply. Distribution system design can influence equity and accessibility at the local level. We develop a general methodology that integrates optimization, game theory, and spatial statistics to measure potential spatial accessibility across a network, where we quantify spatial accessibility by travel distance and scarcity. We estimate and make inference on local (census-tract level) associations between accessibility and geographic, socioeconomic, and health care infrastructure factors to identify potential inequities in vaccine accessibility during the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign in the U.S. We find that there were inequities in access to vaccine at the local level and that these were associated with factors including population density and health care infrastructure. Our methodology for measuring and explaining accessibility leads to policy recommendations for federal, state, and local public health officials. The spatial-specific results inform the development of equitable distribution plans for future public health efforts.

      2. Human papillomavirus vaccination coverage using two-dose or three-dose schedule criteriaExternal
        Lin X, Rodgers L, Zhu L, Stokley S, Meites E, Markowitz LE.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 07.

        In October 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendation to include a 2-dose schedule for U.S. adolescents initiating the vaccine series before their 15th birthday. We analyzed records for >4million persons aged 9-17years receiving any HPV vaccine by the end of each quarter during January 1, 2014-September 30, 2016 from six Immunization Information Systems Sentinel Sites, and reclassified HPV vaccination up-to-date coverage according to the updated recommendations. Compared with HPV vaccination up-to-date coverage by the 3-dose schedule only, including criteria for either a 2-dose or 3-dose schedule increased up-to-date coverage in 11-12, 13-14, and 15-17 year-olds by 4.5-8.5 percentage points. The difference between 3-dose up-to-date coverage and 2- or 3-dose up-to-date coverage was greatest in late 2016. These data provide baseline HPV vaccination coverage using current ACIP recommendations.

      3. In 2017, WHO convened a working group of global experts to develop the Preferred Product Characteristics (PPC) for Next-Generation Influenza Vaccines. PPCs are intended to encourage innovation in vaccine development. They describe WHO preferences for parameters of vaccines, in particular their indications, target groups, implementation strategies, and clinical data needed for assessment of safety and efficacy. PPCs are shaped by the global unmet public health need in a priority disease area for which WHO encourages vaccine development. These preferences reflect WHO’s mandate to promote the development of vaccines with high public health impact and suitability in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). The target audience is all entities intending to develop or to achieve widespread adoption of a specific influenza vaccine product in these settings. The working group determined that existing influenza vaccines are not well suited for LMIC use. While many developed country manufactures and research funders prioritize influenza vaccine products for use in adults and the elderly, most LMICs do not have sufficiently strong health systems to deliver vaccines to these groups. Policy makers from LMICs are expected to place higher value on vaccines indicated for prevention of severe illness, however the clinical development of influenza vaccines focuses on demonstrating prevention of any influenza illness. Many influenza vaccine products do not meet WHO standards for programmatic suitability of vaccines, which introduces challenges when vaccines are used in low-resource settings. And finally, current vaccines do not integrate well with routine immunization programs in LMICs, given age of vaccine licensure, arbitrary expiration dates timed for temperate country markets, and the need for year-round immunization in countries with prolonged influenza seasonality. While all interested parties should refer to the full PPC document for details, in this article we highlight data needs for new influenza vaccines to better demonstrate the value proposition in LMICs.

      4. Risk of venous thromboembolism following influenza vaccination in adults aged 50 years and older in the Vaccine Safety DatalinkExternal
        Vickers ER, McClure DL, Naleway AL, Jacobsen SJ, Klein NP, Glanz JM, Weintraub ES, Belongia EA.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 06.

        BACKGROUND: Influenza-like illness and inflammation are known risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). However, few studies have characterized the risk of VTE following influenza vaccination. We examined VTE risk after vaccination in adults 50years old and older within the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). METHODS: We used the self-controlled case series method to determine the risk of VTE among age-eligible adults who received influenza vaccine (with or without pandemic H1N1) and experienced a VTE during the months of September through December in 2007 through 2012. Presumptive VTE cases were identified among VSD participants using diagnostic codes, diagnostic tests, and oral anticoagulant prescription. Potential cases were validated by medical record review. The VTE incidence rate ratio was calculated among confirmed cases for the risk window 1 to 10 days after vaccination relative to all other person-time from September through December. RESULTS: Of the 1,488 presumptive cases identified, 508 were reviewed, of which 492 (97%) were confirmed cases of VTE. The analysis included 396 incident, confirmed cases. Overall, there was no increased risk of VTE in the 1 to 10days after influenza vaccination (IRR=0.89, 95% CI 0.69-1.17) compared to the control period. Results were similar when all person-time was censored before vaccination. A post hoc analysis showed an increased risk among current tobacco smokers (IRR=2.57, 95% CI 1.06-6.23). No clustering of VTE was observed in the 1-42days after vaccination. DISCUSSION: Overall, there was no evidence that inactivated influenza vaccine was associated with VTE in adults >/=50years old. An increased risk was found among current smokers in a post hoc analysis. These findings are consistent with previous research and support the safety of annual vaccination in this population.

      5. Polio immunity and the impact of mass immunization campaigns in the Democratic Republic of the CongoExternal
        Voorman A, Hoff NA, Doshi RH, Alfonso V, Mukadi P, Muyembe-Tamfum JJ, Wemakoy EO, Bwaka A, Weldon W, Gerber S, Rimoin AW.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 04.

        BACKGROUND: In order to prevent outbreaks from wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus, maintenance of population immunity in non-endemic countries is critical. METHODS: We estimated population seroprevalence using dried blood spots collected from 4893 children 6-59months olds in the 2013-2014 Demographic and Health Survey in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). RESULTS: Population immunity was 81%, 90%, and 70% for poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Among 6-59-month-old children, 78% reported at least one dose of polio in routine immunization, while only 15% had three doses documented on vaccination cards. All children in the study had been eligible for at least two trivalent oral polio vaccine campaigns at the time of enrollment; additional immunization campaigns seroconverted 5.0%, 14%, and 5.5% of non-immune children per-campaign for types 1, 2, and 3, respectively, averaged over relevant campaigns for each serotype. CONCLUSIONS: Overall polio immunity was high at the time of the study, though pockets of low immunity cannot be ruled out. The DRC still relies on supplementary immunization campaigns, and this report stresses the importance of the quality and coverage of those campaigns over their quantity, as well as the importance of routine immunization.

      6. Considerations for use of Ebola vaccine during an emergency responseExternal
        Walldorf JA, Cloessner EA, Hyde TB, MacNeil A.
        Vaccine. 2017 Sep 07.

        Vaccination against Ebola virus disease is a tool that may limit disease transmission and deaths in future outbreaks, integrated within traditional Ebola outbreak prevention and control measures. Although a licensed Ebolavirus vaccine (EV) is not yet available, the 2014-2016 West African Ebola outbreak has accelerated EV clinical trials and given public health authorities in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone experience with implementation of emergency ring vaccination. As evidence supporting the use of EV during an outbreak response has become available, public health authorities in at-risk countries are considering how to integrate EV into future emergency Ebola responses and for prevention in high-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and frontline workers (HCW/FLWs), even before an EV is licensed. This review provides an overview of Ebola epidemiology, immunology, and evidence to inform regional and country-level decisions regarding EV delivery during an emergency response and to at-risk populations before a licensed vaccine is available and beyond. Countries or regions planning to use EV will need to assess factors such as the likelihood of a future Ebolavirus outbreak, the most likely species to cause an outbreak, the availability of a safe and effective EV (unlicensed or licensed) for the affected population, capacity to implement Ebola vaccination in conjunction with standard Ebola outbreak control measures, and availability of minimum essential resources and regulatory requirements to implement emergency Ebola vaccination. Potential emergency vaccination strategies for consideration include ring or geographically targeted community vaccination, HCW/FLW vaccination, and mass vaccination. The development of guidelines and protocols for Ebola vaccination will help ensure that activities are standardized, evidence-based, and well-coordinated with overall Ebola outbreak response efforts in the future.

      7. On January 16, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved recombinant hemagglutinin influenza vaccine (RIV3) (Spodoptera frugiperda cell line; Flublok), which is the first completely egg-free flu vaccine licensed in the United States. To improve our understanding of the safety profile of this vaccine, we reviewed and summarized reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following RIV3. Through June 30, 2016, VAERS received 88 reports. Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, were the most common type of adverse event. Based on medical review, 10 cases met the Brighton Collaboration case definition of anaphylaxis, 21 reports described allergic reactions other than anaphylaxis, and 11 reports described signs and symptoms that suggested hypersensitivity. Other adverse events included injection site reactions, fatigue, myalgia, headache, and fever. The occurrence of anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions in some individuals may reflect an underlying predisposition to atopy that may manifest itself after an exposure to any drug or vaccine, and it does not necessarily suggest a causal relationship with the unique constituents that are specific to the vaccine product administered. Further research may elucidate the mechanism of allergic reactions following influenza vaccination: it is possible that egg proteins and influenza hemagglutinin play little or no role. Vaccination remains the single best defense against influenza and its complications. The information summarized here may enable policy makers, health officials, clinicians, and patients to make a more informed decision regarding vaccination strategies.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Can a parenting intervention to prevent early conduct problems interrupt girls’ risk for intimate partner violence 10 years later?External
        Ehrensaft MK, Westfall HK, Niolon PH, Lopez T, Kamboukos D, Huang KY, Brotman LM.
        Prev Sci. 2017 Sep 07.

        This study tests whether a parenting intervention for families of preschoolers at risk for conduct problems can prevent later risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). Ninety-nine preschoolers at familial risk for conduct problems were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Ten years later, 45 preschoolers and 43 of their siblings completed an assessment of their romantic relationships, including measures of physical and psychological IPV. The study focuses on the 54 females, including targets (n = 27) and siblings (n = 27) who participated in a 10-year follow-up (M age = 16.5, SD = 5.2, range = 10-28). Using an intent-to-treat (ITT) design, multivariate regressions suggest that females from families randomly assigned to intervention in early childhood scored lower than those in the control condition on perceptions of dating violence as normative, beliefs about IPV prevalence, exposure to IPV in their own peer group, and expected sanction behaviors for IPV perpetration and victimization. Findings suggest that early parenting intervention may reduce association of high-risk females with aggressive peers and partners in adolescence.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Differences in staining intensities affects reported occurrences and concentrations of Giardia spp. in surface drinking water sourcesExternal
        Alderisio KA, Villegas LF, Ware MW, McDonald LA, Xiao L, Villegas EN.
        J Appl Microbiol. 2017 Sep 14.

        AIM: USEPA Method 1623, or its equivalent, is currently used to monitor for protozoan contamination of surface drinking water sources worldwide. At least three approved staining kits used for detecting Cryptosporidium and Giardia are commercially available. This study focuses on understanding the differences among staining kits used for Method 1623. METHODS AND RESULTS: Merifluor and EasyStain labeling kits were used to monitor Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst densities in New York City’s raw surface water sources. In the year following a change to the approved staining kits for use with Method 1623, an anomaly was noted in the occurrence of Giardia cysts in New York City’s raw surface water. Specifically, Merifluor-stained samples had higher Giardia cyst densities as compared with those stained with EasyStain. Side by side comparison revealed significantly lower fluorescence intensities of Giardia muris as compared with G. duodenalis cysts when labeled with EasyStain. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed very poor fluorescence intensity signals by EasyStain on G. muris cysts results in lower cyst counts, while Merifluor, with its broader Giardia cyst staining specificity, results in higher cyst counts, when using Methods 1623. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY: These results suggest that detected Giardia cyst concentrations are dependent on the staining kits used, which can result in a more or less conservative estimation of occurrences and densities of zoonotic Giardia cysts by detecting a broader range of Giardia species/Assemblages.

      2. Comparison of three multiplex gastrointestinal platforms for the detection of gastroenteritis virusesExternal
        Chhabra P, Gregoricus N, Weinberg GA, Halasa N, Chappell J, Hassan F, Selvarangan R, Mijatovic-Rustempasic S, Ward ML, Bowen M, Payne DC, Vinje J.
        J Clin Virol. 2017 Sep 01;95:66-71.

        BACKGROUND: Viruses are major etiological agents of childhood gastroenteritis. In recent years, several molecular platforms for the detection of viral enteric pathogens have become available. OBJECTIVE/STUDY DESIGN: We evaluated the performance of three multiplex platforms including Biofire’s Gastrointestinal Panel (FilmArray), Luminex xTAG(R) Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel (GPP), and the TaqMan Array Card (TAC) for the detection of five gastroenteritis viruses using a coded panel of 300 archived stool samples. RESULTS: The FilmArray detected a virus in 199 (96.1%) and the TAC in 172 (83.1%) of the 207 samples (187 samples positive for a single virus and 20 samples positive for more than one virus) whereas the GPP detected a virus in 100 (78.7%) of the 127 (97 positive for one virus and three positive for more than one virus) samples. Overall the clinical accuracy was highest for the FilmArray (98%) followed by TAC (97.2%) and GPP (96.9%). The sensitivity of the FilmArray, GPP and TAC platforms was highest for rotavirus (100%, 95.8%, and 89.6%, respectively) and lowest for adenovirus type 40/41 (97.4%, 57.9% and 68.4%). The specificity of the three platforms ranged from 95.6% (rotavirus) to 99.6% (norovirus/sapovirus) for the FilmArray, 99.6% (norovirus) to 100% (rotavirus/adenovirus) for GPP, and 98.9% (astrovirus) to 100% (rotavirus/sapovirus) for TAC. CONCLUSION: The FilmArray demonstrated the best analytical performance followed by TAC. In recent years, the availability of multi-enteric molecular testing platforms has increased significantly and our data highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these platforms.

      3. Application of MALDI-TOF MS systems in the rapid identification of Campylobacter spp. of public health importanceExternal
        Hsieh YH, Wang YF, Moura H, Miranda N, Simpson S, Gowrishankar R, Barr J, Kerdahi K, Sulaiman IM.
        J AOAC Int. 2017 Sep 12.

        Campylobacteriosis is an infectious gastrointestinal disease caused by Campylobacter spp.In most cases, it is either underdiagnosed or underreported due to poor diagnostics and limited databases. Several DNA-based molecular diagnostic techniques, including 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequence typing, have been widely used in the species identification of Campylobacter. Nevertheless, these assays are time-consuming and require a high quality of bacterial DNA. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) MS is an emerging diagnostic technology that can provide the rapid identification of microorganisms by using their intact cells without extraction or purification. In this study, we analyzed 24 American Type Culture Collection reference isolates of 16 Campylobacter spp. and five unknown clinical bacterial isolates for rapid identification utilizing two commercially available MADI-TOF MS platforms, namely the bioM&#233;rieux VITEK&#174; MS and Bruker Biotyper systems. In addition, 16S rRNA sequencing was performed to confirm the species-level identification of the unknown clinical isolates. Both MALDI-TOF MS systems identified the isolates of C. jejuni, C. coli, C. lari, and C. fetus. The results of this study suggest that the MALDI-TOF MS technique can be used in the identification of Campylobacter spp. of public health importance.

      4. LMOf2365_0442 encoding for a fructose specific PTS permease IIA may be required for virulence in L. monocytogenes strain F2365External
        Liu Y, Yoo BB, Hwang CA, Suo Y, Sheen S, Khosravi P, Huang L.
        Front Microbiol. 2017 ;8:1611.

        Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis, which is a major public health concern due to the high fatality rate. LMOf2365_0442, 0443, and 0444 encode for fructose-specific EIIABC components of phosphotransferase transport system (PTS) permease that is responsible for sugar transport. In previous studies, in-frame deletion mutants of a putative fructose-specific PTS permease (LMOf2365_0442, 0443, and 0444) were constructed and analyzed. However, the virulence potential of these deletion mutants has not been studied. In this study, two in vitro methods were used to analyze the virulence potential of these L. monocytogenes deletion mutants. First, invasion assays were used to measure the invasion efficiencies to host cells using the human HT-29 cell line. Second, plaque forming assays were used to measure cell-to-cell spread in host cells. Our results showed that the deletion mutant DeltaLMOf2365_0442 had reduced invasion and cell-to-cell spread efficiencies in human cell line compared to the parental strain LMOf2365, indicating that LMOf2365_0442 encoding for a fructose specific PTS permease IIA may be required for virulence in L. monocytogenes strain F2365. In addition, the gene expression levels of 15 virulence and stress-related genes were analyzed in the stationary phase cells of the deletion mutants using RT-PCR assays. Virulence-related gene expression levels were elevated in the deletion mutants DeltaLMOf2365_0442-0444 compared to the wild type parental strain LMOf2365, indicating the down-regulation of virulence genes by this PTS permease in L. monocytogenes. Finally, stress-related gene clpC expression levels were also increased in all of the deletion mutants, suggesting the involvement of this PTS permease in stress response. Furthermore, these deletion mutants displayed the same pressure tolerance and the same capacity for biofilm formation compared to the wild-type parental strain LMOf2365. In summary, our findings suggest that the LMOf2365_0442 gene can be used as a potential target to develop inhibitors for new therapeutic and pathogen control strategies for public health.

      5. An influenza A virus (H7N9) anti-neuraminidase monoclonal antibody protects mice from morbidity without interfering with the development of protective immunity to subsequent homologous challengeExternal
        Wilson JR, Belser JA, DaSilva J, Guo Z, Sun X, Gansebom S, Bai Y, Stark TJ, Chang J, Carney P, Levine MZ, Barnes J, Stevens J, Maines TR, Tumpey TM, York IA.
        Virology. 2017 Sep 06;511:214-221.

        The emergence of A(H7N9) virus strains with resistance to neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors highlights a critical need to discover new countermeasures for treatment of A(H7N9) virus-infected patients. We previously described an anti-NA mAb (3c10-3) that has prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy in mice lethally challenged with A(H7N9) virus when delivered intraperitoneally (i.p.). Here we show that intrananasal (i.n.) administration of 3c10-3 protects 100% of mice from mortality when treated 24h post-challenge and further characterize the protective efficacy of 3c10-3 using a nonlethal A(H7N9) challenge model. Administration of 3c10-3 i.p. 24h prior to challenge resulted in a significant decrease in viral lung titers and deep sequencing analysis indicated that treatment did not consistently select for viral variants in NA. Furthermore, prophylactic administration of 3c10-3 did not inhibit the development of protective immunity to subsequent homologous virus re-challenge. Taken together, 3c10-3 highlights the potential use of anti-NA mAb to mitigate influenza virus infection.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Children are the most prevalent vulnerable population in US society and have unique needs during the response to and recovery from public health emergencies. The physiological, behavioral, developmental, social, and mental health differences of children require specific attention in preparedness efforts. Despite often being more severely affected in disasters, children’s needs are historically underrepresented in preparedness. Since 2001, much progress has been made in addressing this disparity through better pediatric incorporation in preparedness planning from national to local levels. Innovative approaches, policies, and collaborations contribute to these advances. However, many gaps remain in the appropriate and proportional inclusion of children in planning for public health emergencies. Successful models of pediatric planning can be developed, evaluated, and widely disseminated to ensure that further progress can be achieved.

      2. Making decisions about medication use during pregnancy: Implications for communication strategiesExternal
        Lynch MM, Squiers LB, Kosa KM, Dolina S, Read JG, Broussard CS, Frey MT, Polen KN, Lind JN, Gilboa SM, Biermann J.
        Matern Child Health J. 2017 Sep 12.

        Objective To explore women’s perceptions of the risks and benefits associated with medication use during pregnancy and to better understand how women make decisions related to medication use in pregnancy. Methods We conducted online focus groups with 48 women who used medication during pregnancy or while planning a pregnancy, and 12 in-depth follow-up interviews with a subset of these women. Results We found that women were aware of general risks associated with medication use but were often unable to articulate specific negative outcomes. Women were concerned most about medications’ impact on fetal development but were also concerned about how either continuing or discontinuing medication during pregnancy could affect their own health. Women indicated that if the risk of a given medication were unknown, they would not take that medication during pregnancy. Conclusion This formative research found that women face difficult decisions about medication use during pregnancy and need specific information to help them make decisions. Enhanced communication between patients and their providers regarding medication use would help address this need. We suggest that public health practitioners develop messages to (1) encourage, remind, and prompt women to proactively talk with their healthcare providers about the risks of taking, not taking, stopping, or altering the dosage of a medication while trying to become pregnant and/or while pregnant; and (2) encourage all women of childbearing age to ask their healthcare providers about medication use.

      3. Maternal and paternal infertility disorders and treatments and autism spectrum disorder: Findings from the Study to Explore Early DevelopmentExternal
        Schieve LA, Drews-Botsch C, Harris S, Newschaffer C, Daniels J, DiGuiseppi C, Croen LA, Windham GC.
        J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Sep 12.

        Previous studies of associations between ASD and conception using assisted reproductive technology (ART) are inconsistent and few studies have examined associations with other infertility treatments or infertility disorders. We examined associations between ASD and maternal/paternal infertility disorders and numerous maternal treatments among 1538 mother-child pairs in the Study to Explore Early Development, a population-based case-control study. ASD was associated with any female infertility diagnosis and several specific diagnoses: blocked tubes, endometriosis, uterine-factor infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Stratified analyses suggested associations were limited to/much stronger among second or later births. The findings were not explained by sociodemographic factors such as maternal age or education or multiple or preterm birth. ASD was not associated with ART or non-ART infertility treatments.

      4. Disparities in gestational age-specific fetal mortality rates in the United States, 2009-2013External
        Wingate MS, Smith RA, Petrini JR, Barfield WD.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2017 Aug 24.

        PURPOSE: Although studies have examined overall temporal changes in gestational age-specific fetal mortality rates, there is little information on the current status of racial/ethnic differences. We hypothesize that differences exist between racial/ethnic groups across gestational age and that these differences are not equally distributed. METHODS: Using the 2009-2013 data from US fetal death and live birth files for non-Hispanic white (NHW); non-Hispanic black (NHB); Hispanic; and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) women, we conducted analyses to examine fetal mortality rates and estimate adjusted prevalence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: There were lower risks of fetal mortality among NHB women (aPRR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.71-0.81) and Hispanic women (aPRR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.83-0.96) compared with NHWs at 22-23 weeks’ gestation. For NHB women, the risk was higher starting at 32-33 weeks (aPRR = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.04-1.18) and continued to increase as gestational age increased. Hispanic and AIAN women had lower risks of fetal mortality compared with NHW women until 38-39 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Further examination is needed to identify causes of fetal death within the later pregnancy period and how those causes and their antecedents might differ by race and ethnicity.

      5. Latent class analysis of ADHD neurodevelopmental and mental health comorbiditiesExternal
        Zablotsky B, Bramlett MD, Visser SN, Danielson ML, Blumberg SJ.
        J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Sep 08.

        OBJECTIVE: Many children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience co-occurring neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, and those who do often exhibit higher levels of impairment than children with ADHD alone. This study provides a latent class analysis (LCA) approach to categorizing children with ADHD into comorbidity groups, evaluating condition expression and treatment patterns in each group. METHODS: Parent-reported data from a large probability-based national sample of children diagnosed with ADHD (2014 National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome) were used for an LCA to identify groups of children with similar groupings of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric comorbidities among children with current ADHD (n = 2495). Differences between classes were compared using multivariate logistic regressions. RESULTS: LCA placed children who were indicated to have ADHD into 4 classes: (low comorbidity [LCM] [64.5%], predominantly developmental disorders [PDD] [13.7%], predominantly internalizing disorders [PID] [18.5%], and high comorbidity [HCM] [3.3%]). Children belonging to the HCM class were most likely to have a combined ADHD subtype and the highest number of impaired domains. Children belonging to the PDD class were most likely to be receiving school services, whereas children in the PID class were more likely to be taking medication than those belonging to the LCM class who were least likely to receive psychosocial treatments. CONCLUSION: Latent classes based on co-occurring psychiatric conditions predicted use of varied. These findings contribute to the characterization of the ADHD phenotype and may help clinicians identify how services could be best organized and coordinated in treating ADHD.

    • Mining
      1. Opto-dielectrometric sensor for measuring total incombustible content in underground coal minesExternal
        Mahdavipour O, Jain A, Sabino J, Wright P, White RM, Shahan MR, Seaman CE, Patts LD, Paprotny I.
        IEEE Sensors Journal. 2017 .

        Coal dust produced during underground coalmining, i.e. float dust, which deposits throughout the coal mine can be feedstock for coal dust explosions. To prevent these explosions, inert rock dust (limestone dust) is applied to roof, floor, and ribs areas of a coal mine. The ratio of incombustible mass (rock dust + incombustible content of coal dust) divided by total mass of the deposited dust is defined as the Total Incombustible Content (TIC) of the deposited dust within the mine. Regulations require that a minimum TIC ratio (80%;) to be maintained for safe working conditions inside the mine. This paper presents design, fabrication and experimental results for a real-time sensing module which uses continuous optical and dielectrometry methods to measure the TIC of the deposited float dust/rock dust. The optical sensor determines the TIC of the deposited dust based on optical reflection which is described by modified Beer Law. We present an extension of the Bouguer-Beer-Lambert Law to find the relation between the reflectivity of a layer of known thickness (obtained by interdigital dielectrometry sensor) of a dust mixture to the ratio of each constituent. We also present the experimental results from testing the sensor prototypes in a realistic laboratory test bed that is subjected to the deposition of the coal dust/rock dust mixture. The sensor performance and stability at different humidity levels is evaluated and the accuracy of the results are compared to the currently established best practices for measuring TIC in underground coal mines.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Association between serum unmetabolized folic acid concentrations and folic acid from fortified foodsExternal
        Palchetti CZ, Paniz C, de Carli E, Marchioni DM, Colli C, Steluti J, Pfeiffer CM, Fazili Z, Guerra-Shinohara EM.
        J Am Coll Nutr. 2017 Sep 12:1-7.

        OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between serum unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA) concentrations and folic acid from fortified foods and nutrients known as dietary methyl-group donors (folate, methionine, choline, betaine and vitamins B2, B6 and B12) in participants exposed to mandatory fortification of wheat and maize flours with folic acid. METHODS: Cross-sectional study carried out with 144 healthy Brazilian participants, both sexes, supplement nonusers. Serum folate, UMFA, vitamin B12 and total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) were biochemically measured. Dietary intake was assessed by 2 non-consecutive 24-hour dietary recalls (24-HRs) and deattenuated energy-adjusted nutrient data were used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: Ninety eight (68.1%) participants were women. Median (interquartile range) age was 35.5 (28.0-52.0) years. Elevated serum folate concentrations (>45 nmol/L) were found in 17 (11.8%), while folate deficiency (<7 nmol/L) in 10 (6.9%) participants. No one had vitamin B12 deficiency (<148 pmol/L). An elevated serum UMFA concentration was defined as > 1 nmol/L (90th percentile). UMFA concentrations were positively correlated with folic acid intake and negatively correlated to choline, methionine and vitamin B6 intakes. Participants in the lowest quartile of UMFA concentrations had lower dietary intake of total folate (DFEs) and folic acid, and higher dietary intake of methionine, choline and vitamin B6 than participants in the highest quartile of UMFA. Folic acid intake (OR [95% CI] = 1.02 [1.01-1.04)] and being a male (OR [95% CI] = 0.40 [0.19-0.87) were associated with increased and reduced odds for UMFA concentrations > 0.55 nmol/L (median values), respectively. CONCLUSION: UMFA concentrations were directly influenced by folic acid intake from fortified foods in a healthy convenience sample of adult Brazilians exposed to mandatory flour fortification with folic acid.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Promotion of alternative-sized personal protective equipmentExternal
        Flynn MA, Keller B, DeLaney SC.
        J Safety Res. 2017 ;63:43-46.

        Introduction With more diversity in the workforce, companies are producing PPE such as hard hats, safety glasses, coveralls, foot protection, and safety harnesses for a larger range of body shapes and sizes. However, gray literature reports suggest that barriers exist to getting alternate sized PPE from the manufacturer to the workers who need it. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which alternative-sized PPE is marketed. Method A web-based review of seven major manufacturers of PPE was conducted to determine: (a) whether or not they offer alternative-sized products, (b) if these products are clearly labeled, and (c) if images used to display PPE are representative of a diverse workforce. Results Of the seven PPE manufacturers investigated, six had at least one product that was marketed as gender and/or size alternatives however, alternative sizes were more common for larger body types. Alternative-sized products rarely included size charts, and the models used to display PPE were overwhelmingly white males of average size. Conclusions Despite the growing availability of alternative-sized PPE, it can be difficult to find these products, which suggests that they are rarely promoted or labeled as alternative-sized. Our study indicates that companies should expand their product lines and more aggressively market and promote these items. Guidance on how to properly fit their products would also be extremely helpful to the end-user. Practical applications Manufacturers could improve the availability of alternative-sized PPE and increase their promotion of these products on their websites and in their catalogs. Individual companies and safety professionals may assist in this process by demonstrating demand for alternative-sized PPE.

      2. Occupational animal exposure among persons with campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis – Nebraska, 2005-2015External
        Su CP, Stover DT, Buss BF, Carlson AV, Luckhaupt SE.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Sep 15;66(36):955-958.

        Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium are two common causes of gastroenteritis in the United States. National incidence rates measured for these pathogens in 2015 were 17.7 and 3.0 per 100,000 population, respectively; Nebraska was among the states with the highest incidence for both campylobacteriosis (26.6) and cryptosporidiosis (>/=6.01) (1). Although campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis are primarily transmitted via consumption of contaminated food or water, they can also be acquired through contact with live animals or animal products, including through occupational exposure (2). This exposure route is of particular interest in Nebraska, where animal agriculture and associated industries are an important part of the state’s economy. To estimate the percentage of disease that might be related to occupational animal exposure in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and CDC reviewed deidentified investigation reports from 2005 to 2015 of cases of campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis among Nebraska residents aged >/=14 years. Case investigation notes were searched for evidence of occupational animal exposures, which were classified into discrete categories based on industry, animal/meat, and specific work activity/exposure. Occupational animal exposure was identified in 16.6% of 3,352 campylobacteriosis and 8.7% of 1,070 cryptosporidiosis cases, among which animal production (e.g., farming or ranching) was the most commonly mentioned industry type (68.2% and 78.5%, respectively), followed by employment in animal slaughter and processing facilities (16.3% and 5.4%, respectively). Among animal/meat occupational exposures, cattle/beef was most commonly mentioned, with exposure to feedlots (concentrated animal feeding operations in which animals are fed on stored feeds) reported in 29.9% of campylobacteriosis and 7.9% of cryptosporidiosis cases. Close contact with animals and manure in feedlots and other farm settings might place workers in these areas at increased risk for infection. It is important to educate workers with occupational animal exposure about the symptoms of enteric diseases and prevention measures. Targeting prevention strategies to high-risk workplaces and activities could help reduce disease.

      3. An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Presentations and Discussion of the Sixth Jack Pepys Workshop on Asthma in the WorkplaceExternal
        Tarlo SM, Malo JL, de Blay F, Le Moual N, Henneberger P, Heederik D, Raulf M, Carlsten C, Cartier A.
        Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017 Sep;14(9):1361-1372.

        The Sixth Jack Pepys Workshop on Asthma in the Workplace focused on six key themes regarding the recognition and assessment of work-related asthma and airway diseases: (1) cleaning agents and disinfectants (including in swimming pools) as irritants and sensitizers: how to evaluate types of bronchial reactions and reduce risks; (2) population-based studies of occupational obstructive diseases: use of databanks, advantages and pitfalls, what strategies to deal with biases and confounding?; (3) damp environments, dilapidated buildings, recycling processes, and molds, an increasing problem: mechanisms, how to assess causality and diagnosis; (4) diagnosis of occupational asthma and rhinitis: how useful are recombinant allergens (component-resolved diagnosis), metabolomics, and other new tests?; (5) how does exposure to gas, dust, and fumes enhance sensitization and asthma?; and (6) how to determine probability of occupational causality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: epidemiological and clinical, confirmation, and compensation aspects. A summary of the presentations and discussion is provided in this proceedings document. Increased knowledge has been gained in each topic over the past few years, but there remain aspects of controversy and uncertainty requiring further research.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Factors associated with malaria microscopy diagnostic performance following a pilot quality-assurance programme in health facilities in malaria low-transmission areas of Kenya, 2014External
        Odhiambo F, Buff AM, Moranga C, Moseti CM, Wesongah JO, Lowther SA, Arvelo W, Galgalo T, Achia TO, Roka ZG, Boru W, Chepkurui L, Ogutu B, Wanja E.
        Malar J. 2017 Sep 13;16(1):371.

        BACKGROUND: Malaria accounts for ~21% of outpatient visits annually in Kenya; prompt and accurate malaria diagnosis is critical to ensure proper treatment. In 2013, formal malaria microscopy refresher training for microscopists and a pilot quality-assurance (QA) programme for malaria diagnostics were independently implemented to improve malaria microscopy diagnosis in malaria low-transmission areas of Kenya. A study was conducted to identify factors associated with malaria microscopy performance in the same areas. METHODS: From March to April 2014, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in 42 public health facilities; 21 were QA-pilot facilities. In each facility, 18 malaria thick blood slides archived during January-February 2014 were selected by simple random sampling. Each malaria slide was re-examined by two expert microscopists masked to health-facility results. Expert results were used as the reference for microscopy performance measures. Logistic regression with specific random effects modelling was performed to identify factors associated with accurate malaria microscopy diagnosis. RESULTS: Of 756 malaria slides collected, 204 (27%) were read as positive by health-facility microscopists and 103 (14%) as positive by experts. Overall, 93% of slide results from QA-pilot facilities were concordant with expert reference compared to 77% in non-QA pilot facilities (p < 0.001). Recently trained microscopists in QA-pilot facilities performed better on microscopy performance measures with 97% sensitivity and 100% specificity compared to those in non-QA pilot facilities (69% sensitivity; 93% specificity; p < 0.01). The overall inter-reader agreement between QA-pilot facilities and experts was kappa = 0.80 (95% CI 0.74-0.88) compared to kappa = 0.35 (95% CI 0.24-0.46) between non-QA pilot facilities and experts (p < 0.001). In adjusted multivariable logistic regression analysis, recent microscopy refresher training (prevalence ratio [PR] = 13.8; 95% CI 4.6-41.4), >/=5 years of work experience (PR = 3.8; 95% CI 1.5-9.9), and pilot QA programme participation (PR = 4.3; 95% CI 1.0-11.0) were significantly associated with accurate malaria diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Microscopists who had recently completed refresher training and worked in a QA-pilot facility performed the best overall. The QA programme and formal microscopy refresher training should be systematically implemented together to improve parasitological diagnosis of malaria by microscopy in Kenya.

    • Public Health Leadership and Management
      1. Doing more with more: How “early” evidence can inform public policiesExternal
        Barbero C, Gilchrist S, Shantharam S, Fulmer E, Schooley MW.
        Public Adm Rev. 2017 ;77(5):646-649.

        [No abstract]

    • Reproductive Health
      1. OBJECTIVE: National guidelines advise providers to counsel patients about contraception and condom use during sexual and reproductive health care visits. This study assesses provider communication with adolescent and young women about birth control, emergency contraception, and condoms during such visits. STUDY DESIGN: Using data from sexually active 15-24year old women participating in the 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth, we examined prevalence of provider communication about birth control, emergency contraception and condoms when receiving other sexual and reproductive health services in the past year. We used chi-square statistics and logistic models to assess differences by demographics, sexual behavior, and source of care. RESULTS: Approximately two-thirds of women received provider communication about condoms during a visit for STD testing (65.0%) and birth control during a visit for pregnancy testing (64.0%) or a visit for a pelvic exam or Pap test (66.8%). Communication about condoms was lower among private providers (58.8%) vs. Title X (80.0%) or non-Title X (72.7%) public clinics (p=.<.001). Communication about birth control during pregnancy test visits was higher among Title X funded clinic (81.8%) vs. private providers (63.6%) and non-Title X public clinics (54.8%) (p=<.001). Differences by age, race/ethnicity, mother’s education, number of partners, and condom use were also found. CONCLUSION: Although a majority of sexually active young women attending sexual and reproductive health visits received provider communication about condoms and birth control, communication about these topics is not universal and varies by source of care as well as demographic and sexual behavior factors. IMPLICATIONS: Considering the fundamental role of communication in provider counseling, instances when providers are not communicating at sexual and reproductive health visits may indicate missed opportunities for prevention.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Evaluation of three commercially-available chikungunya virus immunoglobulin G immunoassaysExternal
        De Salazar PM, Valadere AM, Goodman CH, Johnson BW.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2017 Aug 21;41:e62.

        The emergence of chikungunya virus in the Americas means the affected population is at risk of developing severe, chronic, rheumatologic disease, even months after acute infection. Accurate diagnostic methods for past infections are essential for differential diagnosis and consequence management. This study evaluated three commercially-available chikungunya Immunoglobulin G immunoassays by comparing them to an in-house Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Georgia, United States). Results showed sensitivity and specificity values ranging from 92.8% – 100% and 81.8% – 90.9%, respectively, with a significant number of false-positives ranging from 12.5% – 22%. These findings demonstrate the importance of evaluating commercial kits, especially regarding emerging infectious diseases whose medium and long-term impact on the population is unclear.

      2. Knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus diseases in Uganda using quantitative and participatory epidemiology techniquesExternal
        Nyakarahuka L, Skjerve E, Nabadda D, Sitali DC, Mumba C, Mwiine FN, Lutwama JJ, Balinandi S, Shoemaker T, Kankya C.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep 11;11(9):e0005907.

        BACKGROUND: Uganda has reported five (5) Ebola virus disease outbreaks and three (3) Marburg virus disease outbreaks from 2000 to 2016. Peoples’ knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus disease impact on control and prevention measures especially during outbreaks. We describe knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks in two affected communities in Uganda to inform future outbreak responses and help in the design of health education and communication messages. METHODS: The study was a community survey done in Luweero, Ibanda and Kamwenge districts that have experienced outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg virus diseases. Quantitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire and triangulated with qualitative participatory epidemiology techniques to gain a communities’ knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus disease. RESULTS: Out of 740 respondents, 48.5% (359/740) were categorized as being knowledgeable about Ebola and Marburg virus diseases, whereas 60.5% (448/740) were having a positive attitude towards control and prevention of Ebola and Marburg virus diseases. The mean knowledge and attitude percentage scores were 54.3 (SD = 23.5, 95%CI = 52.6-56.0) and 69.9 (SD = 16.9, 95%CI = 68.9-71.1) respectively. People educated beyond primary school were more likely to be knowledgeable about Ebola and Marburg virus disease than those who did not attain any formal education (OR = 3.6, 95%CI = 2.1-6.1). Qualitative data revealed that communities describe Ebola and Marburg virus diseases as very severe diseases with no cure and they believe the diseases spread so fast. Respondents reported fear and stigma suffered by survivors, their families and the broader community due to these diseases. CONCLUSION: Communities in Uganda affected by filovirus outbreaks have moderate knowledge about these diseases and have a positive attitude towards practices to prevent and control Ebola and Marburg viral diseases. The public health sector should enhance this community knowledge gap to empower them more by supplying educational materials for epidemic preparedness in future using appropriate communication channels as proposed by the communities.

      3. Enhancing case definitions for surveillance of human monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of CongoExternal
        Osadebe L, Hughes CM, Shongo Lushima R, Kabamba J, Nguete B, Malekani J, Pukuta E, Karhemere S, Muyembe Tamfum JJ, Wemakoy Okitolonda E, Reynolds MG, McCollum AM.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep;11(9):e0005857.

        BACKGROUND: Human monkeypox (MPX) occurs at appreciable rates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) has a similar presentation to that of MPX, and in areas where MPX is endemic these two illnesses are commonly mistaken. This study evaluated the diagnostic utility of two surveillance case definitions for MPX and specific clinical characteristics associated with laboratory-confirmed MPX cases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Data from a cohort of suspect MPX cases (identified by surveillance over the course of a 42 month period during 2009-2014) from DRC were used; real-time PCR diagnostic test results were used to establish MPX and VZV diagnoses. A total of 333 laboratory-confirmed MPX cases, 383 laboratory-confirmed VZV cases, and 36 cases that were determined to not be either MPX or VZV were included in the analyses. Significant (p<0.05) differences between laboratory-confirmed MPX and VZV cases were noted for several signs/symptoms including key rash characteristics. Both surveillance case definitions had high sensitivity and low specificities for individuals that had suspected MPX virus infections. Using 12 signs/symptoms with high sensitivity and/or specificity values, a receiver operator characteristic analysis showed that models for MPX cases that had the presence of ‘fever before rash’ plus at least 7 or 8 of the 12 signs/symptoms demonstrated a more balanced performance between sensitivity and specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Laboratory-confirmed MPX and VZV cases presented with many of the same signs and symptoms, and the analysis here emphasized the utility of including 12 specific signs/symptoms when investigating MPX cases. In order to document and detect endemic human MPX cases, a surveillance case definition with more specificity is needed for accurate case detection. In the absence of a more specific case definition, continued emphasis on confirmatory laboratory-based diagnostics is warranted.

      4. Towards Chagas disease elimination: Neonatal screening for congenital transmission in rural communitiesExternal
        Pennington PM, Juarez JG, Arrivillaga MR, De Urioste-Stone SM, Doktor K, Bryan JP, Escobar CY, Cordon-Rosales C.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep 11;11(9):e0005783.

        Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease that continues to affect populations living in extreme poverty in Latin America. After successful vector control programs, congenital transmission remains as a challenge to disease elimination. We used the PRECEDE-PROCEED planning model to develop strategies for neonatal screening of congenital Chagas disease in rural communities of Guatemala. These communities have persistent high triatomine infestations and low access to healthcare. We used mixed methods with multiple stakeholders to identify and address maternal-infant health behaviors through semi-structured interviews, participatory group meetings, archival reviews and a cross-sectional survey in high risk communities. From December 2015 to April 2016, we jointly developed a strategy to illustratively advertise newborn screening at the Health Center. The strategy included socioculturally appropriate promotional and educational material, in collaboration with midwives, nurses and nongovernmental organizations. By March 2016, eight of 228 (3.9%) pregnant women had been diagnosed with T. cruzi at the Health Center. Up to this date, no neonatal screening had been performed. By August 2016, seven of eight newborns born to Chagas seropositive women had been parasitologically screened at the Health Center, according to international standards. Thus, we implemented a successful community-based neonatal screening strategy to promote congenital Chagas disease healthcare in a rural setting. The success of the health promotion strategies developed will depend on local access to maternal-infant services, integration with detection of other congenital diseases and reliance on community participation in problem and solution definition.

      5. Clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of dengue and other etiologic agents among patients with acute febrile illness, Puerto Rico, 2012-2015External
        Tomashek KM, Lorenzi OD, Andujar-Perez DA, Torres-Velasquez BC, Hunsperger EA, Munoz-Jordan JL, Perez-Padilla J, Rivera A, Gonzalez-Zeno GE, Sharp TM, Galloway RL, Glass Elrod M, Mathis DL, Oberste MS, Nix WA, Henderson E, McQuiston J, Singleton J, Kato C, Garcia Gubern C, Santiago-Rivera W, Cruz-Correa J, Muns-Sosa R, Ortiz-Rivera JD, Jimenez G, Galarza IE, Horiuchi K, Margolis HS, Alvarado LI.
        PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Sep;11(9):e0005859.

        Identifying etiologies of acute febrile illnesses (AFI) is challenging due to non-specific presentation and limited availability of diagnostics. Prospective AFI studies provide a methodology to describe the syndrome by age and etiology, findings that can be used to develop case definitions and multiplexed diagnostics to optimize management. We conducted a 3-year prospective AFI study in Puerto Rico. Patients with fever </=7 days were offered enrollment, and clinical data and specimens were collected at enrollment and upon discharge or follow-up. Blood and oro-nasopharyngeal specimens were tested by RT-PCR and immunodiagnostic methods for infection with dengue viruses (DENV) 1-4, chikungunya virus (CHIKV), influenza A and B viruses (FLU A/B), 12 other respiratory viruses (ORV), enterovirus, Leptospira spp., and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Clinical presentation and laboratory findings of participants infected with DENV were compared to those infected with CHIKV, FLU A/B, and ORV. Clinical predictors of laboratory-positive dengue compared to all other AFI etiologies were determined by age and day post-illness onset (DPO) at presentation. Of 8,996 participants enrolled from May 7, 2012 through May 6, 2015, more than half (54.8%, 4,930) had a pathogen detected. Pathogens most frequently detected were CHIKV (1,635, 18.2%), FLU A/B (1,074, 11.9%), DENV 1-4 (970, 10.8%), and ORV (904, 10.3%). Participants with DENV infection presented later and a higher proportion were hospitalized than those with other diagnoses (46.7% versus 27.3% with ORV, 18.8% with FLU A/B, and 11.2% with CHIKV). Predictors of dengue in participants presenting <3 DPO included leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, headache, eye pain, nausea, and dizziness, while negative predictors were irritability and rhinorrhea. Predictors of dengue in participants presenting 3-5 DPO were leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, facial/neck erythema, nausea, eye pain, signs of poor circulation, and diarrhea; presence of rhinorrhea, cough, and red conjunctiva predicted non-dengue AFI. By enrolling febrile patients at clinical presentation, we identified unbiased predictors of laboratory-positive dengue as compared to other common causes of AFI. These findings can be used to assist in early identification of dengue patients, as well as direct anticipatory guidance and timely initiation of correct clinical management.

      6. St. Louis encephalitis virus possibly transmitted through blood transfusion – Arizona, 2015External
        Venkat H, Adams L, Sunenshine R, Krow-Lucal E, Levy C, Kafenbaum T, Sylvester T, Smith K, Townsend J, Dosmann M, Kamel H, Patron R, Kuehnert M, Annambhotla P, Basavaraju SV, Rabe IB.
        Transfusion. 2017 Sep 14.

        BACKGROUND: St. Louis encephalitis virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that infrequently causes epidemic central nervous system infections. In the United States, blood donors are not screened for St. Louis encephalitis virus infection, and transmission through blood transfusion has not been reported. During September 2015, St. Louis encephalitis virus infection was confirmed in an Arizona kidney transplant recipient. An investigation was initiated to determine the infection source. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The patient was interviewed, and medical records were reviewed. To determine the likelihood of mosquito-borne infection, mosquito surveillance data collected at patient and blood donor residences in timeframes consistent with their possible exposure periods were reviewed. To investigate other routes of exposure, organ and blood donor and recipient specimens were obtained and tested for evidence of St. Louis encephalitis virus infection. RESULTS: The patient presented with symptoms of central nervous system infection. Recent St. Louis encephalitis virus infection was serologically confirmed. The organ donor and three other organ recipients showed no laboratory or clinical evidence of St. Louis encephalitis virus infection. Among four donors of blood products received by the patient via transfusion, one donor had a serologically confirmed, recent St. Louis encephalitis virus infection. Exposure to an infected mosquito was unlikely based on the patient’s minimal outdoor exposure. In addition, no St. Louis encephalitis virus-infected mosquito pools were identified around the patient’s residence. CONCLUSION: This investigation provides evidence of the first reported possible case of St. Louis encephalitis virus transmission through blood product transfusion. Health care providers and public health professionals should maintain heightened awareness for St. Louis encephalitis virus transmission through blood transfusion in settings where outbreaks are identified.

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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