ResearchPad - north-america https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[<i>Toxocara</i> species environmental contamination of public spaces in New York City]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14754 Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati are helminth worms that infect dogs and cats, respectively. Infected dogs and cats will defecate thousands of Toxocara eggs into the environment. Humans are incidental hosts and are exposed when consuming contaminated soils via the fecal-oral route. After leaving the gastrointestinal tract, the Toxocara larvae will enter the vasculature and can migrate to any major organ system, including lungs, ocular, and central nervous system. Symptoms can range from mild muscle aches to severe asthma, blindness, and encephalitis. Humans are not definitive hosts of the parasite and cannot transmit Toxocara eggs to the environment or other humans. There is a need for research on the sanitary impact of Toxocara for both humans and animals, especially in large urban cities such as New York City. Poverty is also associated with higher rates of toxocariasis, with more contamination in poorer neighborhoods where animal control, deworming of pets, and less sanitary conditions exist. This study aims to understand further the disparity of lower socioeconomic areas having higher rates of contaminated parks and playgrounds, comparing the five boroughs of New York City.

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<![CDATA[Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13850 Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled in the United States annually since 2008.Per the Immigration and Nationality Act, SIVH, like other immigrants and refugees, must be examined by a physician before arriving in the US. Results of these overseas examinations are transmitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to US state and local health departments via CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN).Increasing provider knowledge about the health conditions most commonly encountered in SIVH as well as any differences in health conditions between SIVH from Iraq and Afghanistan may facilitate diagnostic screening, examination, and referrals to additional healthcare providers in the US.Information about the health of SIV populations is limited and would be beneficial for US clinicians who see SIVH in their clinics.What did the researchers do and find?In this cross-sectional analysis, we analyzed overseas medical exam data in CDC’s EDN for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the United States from April 2009 through December 2017.Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use.In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH.What do these findings mean?State public health agencies and clinicians screening SIVH should consider screening for diabetes among those with risk factors and prompt referral and management of obesity, hypertension, and smoking.Behavioral risk factor counseling and referral to culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention programs can be initiated at screening visits and subsequently reemphasized with primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams. ]]> <![CDATA[Adaptive genetic diversity and evidence of population genetic structure in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (<i>Xenospiza baileyi</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11235 The magnitude and distribution of genetic diversity through space and time can provide useful information relating to evolutionary potential and conservation status in threatened species. In assessing genetic diversity in species that are of conservation concern, several studies have focused on the use of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs are innate immune genes related to pathogen resistance, and polymorphisms may reflect not only levels of functional diversity, but may also be used to assess genetic diversity within and among populations. Here, we combined four potentially adaptive markers (TLRs) with one mitochondrial (COI) marker to evaluate genetic variation in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi). This species offers an ideal model to investigate population and evolutionary genetic processes that may be occurring in a habitat restricted endangered species with disjunct populations (Mexico City and Durango), the census sizes of which differ by an order of magnitude. TLRs diversity in the Sierra Madre Sparrow was relatively high, which was not expected given its two small, geographically isolated populations. Genetic diversity was different (but not significantly so) between the two populations, with less diversity seen in the smaller Durango population. Population genetic structure between populations was due to isolation and different selective forces acting on different TLRs; population structure was also evident in COI. Reduction of genetic diversity in COI was observed over 20 years in the Durango population, a result likely caused by habitat loss, a factor which may be the main cause of diversity decline generally. Our results provide information related to the ways in which adaptive variation can be altered by demographic changes due to human-mediated habitat alterations. Furthermore, our findings may help to guide conservation schemes for both populations and their restricted habitat.

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<![CDATA[Cicinnus chambersi: a new species of sack-bearer moth (Lepidoptera, Mimallonidae, Cicinninae) from southeastern Arizona, USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf3656480-0784-433f-84f8-cc546362da7c

Abstract

A new species of cicinnine Mimallonidae, Cicinnus chambersisp. nov., is described from the Sky Islands Region of southern Arizona, USA. The new species is closely related to C. mexicana (Druce), type locality Veracruz, Mexico, based on morphology and genetics. The other Cicinnus species known from the United States, the common C. melsheimeri (type locality Pennsylvania, USA) is morphologically and genetically distinct from both C. chambersi and C. mexicana. The new species is compared to C. mexicana and C. melsheimeri, as well as other Mexican Cicinnus. The life history of C. chambersi is unknown, but its description should facilitate future studies on this rarely reported North American mimallonid, a species which may have only recently become established in the United States. Cicinnus chambersi is the fifth known Mimallonidae species from the United States, and the first described from the country in nearly half a century.

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<![CDATA[Barriers to linking high-risk jail detainees to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6cdd8894-eb56-44cf-b406-5a297c3ac14c

Individuals involved in the criminal justice (CJ) system continue to be at disproportionate risk for HIV infection, and often have a greater prevalence of substance use and sexual related risk behaviors relative to their non-CJ involved peers. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once daily antiretroviral medicine, is an evidence-based approach for reducing the risk of contracting HIV but limited data exist regarding the use of PrEP among CJ populations, especially in the U.S. South. This study was conducted at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF) in Little Rock, Arkansas (AR), the largest county jail in the state. We explored knowledge about PrEP and HIV, perceptions about PrEP feasibility in both the jail and community settings and barriers to PrEP program implementation, through in-depth qualitative interviews with 21 jail detainees. We purposively sampled individuals based on specific self-reported risk behavior, including sexual risk (both heterosexual and same-sex) and drug related risk (e.g. IDU), among all eligible individuals. We identified five primary themes from the interviews: 1) accessing healthcare during community reentry was a low priority; 2) perception of risk and interaction with people with HIV was low; 3) there are many barriers to disclosing HIV risk behaviors in jail settings; 4) knowledge of PrEP is low but willingness to use is high; and 5) multiple barriers exist to PrEP uptake post-release. Our findings are contextually unique and therefore have important implications for future implementation of PrEP access either within jail settings or linkage to PrEP post release.

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<![CDATA[Nosocomial transmission of extensively drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains in a tertiary level hospital]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9f3b656c-39ce-49ef-bced-db8369f1110d

Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic infectious agent that affects primarily immunocompromised individuals. A. baumannii is highly prevalent in hospital settings being commonly associated with nosocomial transmission and drug resistance. Here, we report the identification and genetic characterization of A. baumannii strains among patients in a tertiary level hospital in Mexico. Whole genome sequencing analysis was performed to establish their genetic relationship and drug resistance mutations profile. Ten genetically different, extensively drug resistant strains were identified circulating among seven wards. The genetic profiles showed resistance primarily against aminoglycosides and beta-lactam antibiotics. Importantly, no mutants conferring resistance to colistin were observed. The results highlight the importance of implementing robust classification schemes for advanced genetic characterization of A. baumannii clinical isolates and simultaneous detection of drug resistance markers for adequate patient’s management in clinical settings.

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<![CDATA[Perceptions of the adult US population regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N553f4024-2f4a-46cb-88f1-f6e3510ba4a4

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is spreading globally. Although COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic and risk for infection in the United States (US) is currently high, at the time of survey administration the risk of infection in the US was low. It is important to understand the public perception of risk and trust in sources of information to better inform public health messaging. In this study, we surveyed the adult US population to understand their risk perceptions about the COVID-19 outbreak. We used an online platform to survey 718 adults in the US in early February 2020 using a questionnaire that we developed. Our sample was fairly similar to the general adult US population in terms of age, gender, race, ethnicity and education. We found that 69% of the respondents wanted the scientific/public health leadership (either the CDC Director or NIH Director) to lead the US response to COVID-19 outbreak as compared to 14% who wanted the political leadership (either the president or Congress) to lead the response. Risk perception was low (median score of 5 out of 10) with the respondents trusting health professionals and health officials for information on COVID-19. The majority of respondents were in favor of strict infection prevention policies to control the outbreak. Given our results, the public health/scientific leadership should be at the forefront of the COVID-19 response to promote trust.

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<![CDATA[Two new species of socially parasitic Nylanderia ants from the southeastern United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N34910d0d-2101-4b69-b85c-d3ba32a79da9

Abstract

In ants, social parasitism is an umbrella term describing a variety of life-history strategies, where a parasitic species depends entirely on a free-living species, for part of or its entire life-cycle, for either colony founding, survival, and/or reproduction. The highly specialized inquiline social parasites are fully dependent on their hosts for their entire lifecycles. Most inquiline species are tolerant of the host queen in the parasitized colony, forgo producing a worker caste, and invest solely in the production of sexual offspring. In general, inquilines are rare, and their geographic distribution is limited, making it difficult to study them. Inquiline populations appear to be small, cryptic, and they are perhaps ephemeral. Thus, information about their natural history is often fragmentary or non-existent but is necessary for understanding the socially parasitic life history syndrome in more detail. Here, we describe two new species of inquiline social parasites, Nylanderia deyrupisp. nov. and Nylanderia parasiticasp. nov., from the southeastern United States, parasitizing Nylanderia wojciki and Nylanderia faisonensis, respectively. The formicine genus Nylanderia is large and globally distributed, but until the recent description of Nylanderia deceptrix, social parasites were unknown from this genus. In addition to describing the new social parasite species, we summarize the fragmentary information known about their biology, present a key to both the queens and the males of the Nylanderia social parasites, and discuss the morphology of the social parasites in the context of the inquiline syndrome.

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<![CDATA[Vascular plants of Victoria Island (Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada): a specimen-based study of an Arctic flora]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N437ccf97-61eb-45b5-921f-807daa17038e
Abstract

Victoria Island in Canada’s western Arctic is the eighth largest island in the world and the second largest in Canada. Here, we report the results of a floristic study of vascular plant diversity of Victoria Island. The study is based on a specimen-based dataset comprising 7031 unique collections from the island, including some 2870 new collections gathered between 2008 and 2019 by the authors and nearly 1000 specimens variously gathered by N. Polunin (in 1947), M. Oldenburg (1940s–1950s) and S. Edlund (1980s) that, until recently, were part of the unprocessed backlog of the National Herbarium of Canada and unavailable to researchers. Results are presented in an annotated checklist, including keys and distribution maps for all taxa, citation of specimens, comments on taxonomy, distribution and the history of documentation of taxa across the island, and photographs for a subset of taxa. The vascular plant flora of Victoria Island comprises 38 families, 108 genera, 272 species, and 17 additional taxa. Of the 289 taxa known on the island, 237 are recorded from the Northwest Territories portion of the island and 277 from the Nunavut part. Thirty-nine taxa are known on the island from a single collection, seven from two collections and three from three collections. Twenty-one taxa in eight families are newly recorded for the flora of Victoria Island: Artemisia tilesii, Senecio lugens, Taraxacum scopulorum (Asteraceae); Crucihimalaya bursifolia, Draba fladnizensis, D. juvenilis, D. pilosa, D. simmonsii (Brassicaceae); Carex bigelowii subsp. bigelowii, Eriophorum russeolum subsp. albidum (Cyperaceae); Anthoxanthum monticola subsp. monticola, Bromus pumpellianus, Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa, D. sukatschewii, Festuca rubra subsp. rubra, Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis subsp. pratensis (Poaceae); Stuckenia filiformis (Potamogetonaceae); Potentilla × prostrata (Rosaceae); Galium aparine (Rubiaceae); and Salix ovalifolia var. ovalifolia (Salicaceae). Eight of these are new to the flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Senecio lugens, Draba juvenilis, D. pilosa, Anthoxanthum monticola subsp. monticola, Bromus pumpellianus, Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. cespitosa, Poa pratensis subsp. pratensis and Salix ovalifolia var. ovalifolia. One of these, Galium aparine, is newly recorded for the flora of Nunavut. Four first records for Victoria Island are introduced plants discovered in Cambridge Bay in 2017: three grasses (Festuca rubra subsp. rubra, Lolium perenne, and Poa pratensis subsp. pratensis) and Galium aparine. One taxon, Juncus arcticus subsp. arcticus, is newly recorded from the Northwest Territories. Of the general areas on Victoria Island that have been botanically explored the most, the greatest diversity of vascular plants is recorded in Ulukhaktok (194 taxa) and the next most diverse area is Cambridge Bay (183 taxa). The floristic data presented here represent a new baseline on which continued exploration of the vascular flora of Victoria Island – particularly the numerous areas of the island that remain unexplored or poorly explored botanically – will build.

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<![CDATA[A new petrophilous tiger beetle from the Trans-Pecos region of Texas and revised key to the genus Amblycheila (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Cicindelinae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N835a88ec-8c4b-4cf6-93dc-99111874e3c3
Abstract

A new rock-dwelling (petrophilous) tiger beetle, Amblycheila katzi Duran & Roman, sp. nov. is described from calcareous canyons and steep hillsides in the Trans-Pecos region of western Texas. It is distinguished from all other Amblycheila based on multiple morphological characters, biogeography, and ecology. A revised key to the genus Amblycheila is provided.

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<![CDATA[The burden of Staphylococcus aureus among Native Americans on the Navajo Nation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e9d5eed0c4846392b2

Introduction

Native Americans in the southwestern United States have a higher risk for many infectious diseases and may be at higher risk for Staphylococcus aureus due to the high prevalence of risk factors for S. aureus. Recent data on invasive S. aureus infections among Native Americans are limited.

Methods

Active population- and laboratory-based surveillance was conducted in 2016–2017 on the Navajo Nation to document the rate of invasive S. aureus. A case of invasive S.aureus infection was defined as a Native American individual with S. aureus isolated from a normally sterile body site whose reported community of residence was on or around the Navajo Nation.

Results

One hundred and fifty-nine cases of invasive S. aureus from 152 individuals were identified. The median age of cases was 56.3 years and 35% were female. Thirty-five percent of cases had community-acquired infections. Ninety-three percent of cases had underlying medical conditions, including diabetes (60%) and obesity (42%), 28% of cases had a documented prior S. aureus infection, and 33% were infected with methicillin-resistant S. aureus. The annual incidence of invasive S. aureus and of invasive methicillin-resistant S. aureus was 64.9/100,000 persons and 21.2/100,000 persons, respectively.

Conclusions

This community has a high burden of invasive S. aureus infections. Further research is needed to identify prevention strategies and opportunities for intervention.

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<![CDATA[Latent influence networks in global environmental politics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc3cd5eed0c48498f26a

International environmental treaties are the key means by which states overcome collective action problems and make specific commitments to address environmental issues. However, systematically assessing states’ influence in promoting global environmental protection has proven difficult. Analyzing newly compiled data with a purpose-built statistical model, we provide a novel measurement of state influence within the scope of environmental politics and find strong influences among states and treaties. Specifically, we report evidence that states are less likely to ratify when states within their region ratify, and results suggesting that countries positively influence other countries at similar levels of economic development. By examining several prominent treaties, we illustrate the complex nature of influence: a single act of ratification can dramatically reshape global environmental politics. More generally, our findings and approach provide an innovative means to understand the evolution and complexity of international environmental protection.

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<![CDATA[Is there a fundamental flaw in Canada’s post-arrival immigrant surveillance system for tuberculosis?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1957d5eed0c484b4d464

Background

New immigrants to Canada with a history of tuberculosis or evidence of old healed tuberculosis on chest radiograph are referred to public health authorities for medical surveillance. This ostensible public health protection measure identifies a subgroup of patients (referrals) who are at very low risk (compared to non-referrals) of transmission.

Methods

To assess whether earlier diagnosis or a different phenotypic expression of disease explains this difference, we systematically reconstructed the immigration and transmission histories from a well-defined cohort of recently-arrived referral and non-referral pulmonary tuberculosis cases in Canada. Incident case chest radiographs in all cases and sequential past radiographs in referrals were re-read by three experts. Change in disease severity from pre-immigration radiograph to incident radiograph was the primary, and transmission of tuberculosis, the secondary, outcome.

Results

There were 174 cohort cases; 61 (35.1%) referrals and 113 (64.9%) non-referrals. Compared to non-referrals, referrals were less likely to be symptomatic (26% vs. 80%), smear-positive (15% vs. 50%), or to have cavitation (0% vs. 35%) or extensive disease (15% vs. 59%) on chest radiograph. After adjustment for referral status, time between films, country-of-birth, age and co-morbidities, referrals were less likely to have substantial changes on chest radiograph; OR 0.058 (95% CI 0.018–0.199). All secondary cases and 82% of tuberculin skin test conversions occurred in contacts of non-referrals.

Conclusions

Phenotypically different disease, and not earlier diagnosis, explains the difference in transmission risk between referrals and non-referrals. Screening, and treating high-risk non-referrals for latent tuberculosis is necessary to eliminate tuberculosis in Canada.

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<![CDATA[Molecular analyses and phylogeny of the herpes simplex virus 2 US9 and glycoproteins gE/gI obtained from infected subjects during the Herpevac Trial for Women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c193cd5eed0c484b4d241

Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is a large double-stranded DNA virus that causes genital sores when spread by sexual contact and is a principal cause of viral encephalitis in newborns and infants. Viral glycoproteins enable virion entry into and spread between cells, making glycoproteins a prime target for vaccine development. A truncated glycoprotein D2 (gD2) vaccine candidate, recently tested in the phase 3 Herpevac Trial for Women, did not prevent HSV-2 infection in initially seronegative women. Some women who became infected experienced multiple recurrences during the trial. The HSV US7, US8, and US9 genes encode glycoprotein I (gI), glycoprotein E (gE), and the US9 type II membrane protein, respectively. These proteins participate in viral spread across cell junctions and facilitate anterograde transport of virion components in neurons, prompting us to investigate whether sequence variants in these genes could be associated with frequent recurrence. The nucleotide sequences and dN/dS ratios of the US7-US9 region from viral isolates of individuals who experienced multiple recurrences were compared with those who had had a single episode of disease. No consistent polymorphism(s) distinguished the recurrent isolates. In frequently recurring isolates, the dN/dS ratio of US7 was low while greater variation (higher dN/dS ratio) occurred in US8, suggesting conserved function of the former during reactivation. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the US7-US9 region revealed eight strongly supported clusters within the 55 U.S. HSV-2 strains sampled, which were preserved in a second global phylogeny. Thus, although we have demonstrated evolutionary diversity in the US7-US9 complex, we found no molecular evidence of sequence variation in US7-US9 that distinguishes isolates from subjects with frequently recurrent episodes of disease.

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<![CDATA[Single-center retrospective study of the effectiveness and toxicity of the oral iron chelating drugs deferiprone and deferasirox]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9900fdd5eed0c484b95e7f

Background

Iron overload, resulting from blood transfusions in patients with chronic anemias, has historically been controlled with regular deferoxamine, but its parenteral requirement encouraged studies of orally-active agents, including deferasirox and deferiprone. Deferasirox, licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2005 based upon the results of randomized controlled trials, is now first-line therapy worldwide. In contrast, early investigator-initiated trials of deferiprone were prematurely terminated after investigators raised safety concerns. The FDA declined market approval of deferiprone; years later, it licensed the drug as “last resort” therapy, to be prescribed only if first-line drugs had failed. We undertook to evaluate the long-term effectiveness and toxicities of deferiprone and deferasirox in one transfusion clinic.

Methods and findings

Under an IRB-approved study, we retrospectively inspected the electronic medical records of consented iron-loaded patients managed between 2009 and 2015 at The University Health Network (UHN), Toronto. We compared changes in liver and heart iron, adverse effects and other outcomes, in patients treated with deferiprone or deferasirox.

Results

Although deferiprone was unlicensed in Canada, one-third (n = 41) of locally-transfused patients had been switched from first-line, licensed therapies (deferoxamine or deferasirox) to regimens of unlicensed deferiprone. The primary endpoint of monitoring in iron overload, hepatic iron concentration (HIC), increased (worsened) during deferiprone monotherapy (mean 10±2–18±2 mg/g; p < 0.0003), exceeding the threshold for life-threatening complications (15 mg iron/g liver) in 50% patients. During deferasirox monotherapy, mean HIC decreased (improved) (11±1–6±1 mg/g; p < 0.0001). Follow-up HICs were significantly different following deferiprone and deferasirox monotherapies (p < 0.0000002). Addition of low-dose deferoxamine (<40 mg/kg/day) to deferiprone did not result in reductions of HIC to <15 mg/g (baseline 20±4 mg/g; follow-up, 18±4 mg/g; p < 0.2) or in reduction in the proportion of patients with HIC exceeding 15 mg/g (p < 0.2). During deferiprone exposure, new diabetes mellitus, a recognized consequence of inadequate iron control, was diagnosed in 17% patients, most of whom had sustained HICs exceeding 15 mg/g for years; one woman died after 13 months of a regimen of deferiprone and low-dose deferasirox. During deferiprone exposure, serum ALT increased over baseline in 65% patients. Mean serum ALT increased 6.6-fold (p < 0.001) often persisting for years. During deferasirox exposure, mean ALT was unchanged (p < 0.84). No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in the proportions of patients estimated to have elevated cardiac iron.

Conclusions

Deferiprone showed ineffectiveness and significant toxicity in most patients. Combination with low doses of first-line therapies did not improve the effectiveness of deferiprone. Exposure to deferiprone, over six years while the drug was unlicensed, in the face of ineffectiveness and serious toxicities, demands review of the standards of local medical practice. The limited scope of regulatory approval of deferiprone, worldwide, should restrict its exposure to the few patients genuinely unable to tolerate the two effective, first-line therapies.

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<![CDATA[Human traffic and habitat complexity are strong predictors for the distribution of a declining amphibian]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acce2d5eed0c484990222

Invasive species and habitat modification threaten California's native pond-breeding amphibians, including the federally threatened California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii). The relative contributions of invasive species, including the American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), and of habitat changes to these declines are disputed. I conducted a field study over several years in central California to examine the presence/absence of these two species at 79 breeding ponds to determine the predictive role for occupancy of factors including vegetation, pond characteristics, and measures of human activity. I used a boosted regression tree approach to determine the relative value of each predictor variable. Increased measures of human activity, especially proximity to trails and roads, were the best predictors for the absence of California Red-legged Frogs and California Newts. Historical factors and habitat conditions were associated with the extent and spread of the American Bullfrog. The extent and complexity of aquatic macrophytes and pond surface area were good predictors for the presence of these and other amphibian species. Surprisingly, invasive species played a relatively small role in predicting pond occupancy by the native species. These findings can inform conservation and restoration efforts for California Red-legged Frogs, which apparently persist best in small vegetated ponds in areas of low human disturbance.

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<![CDATA[Prescription medication use during pregnancies that resulted in births and abortions (2001-2013): A retrospective population-based study in a Canadian population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897711d5eed0c4847d23a9

We aimed to describe medication use in pregnancies that resulted in births and abortions, as well as use after a pregnancy-related visit to characterize the receipt of medication after knowledge of pregnancy. Abortions included both spontaneous and induced abortions. Rates of medication use among women with a pregnancy outcome (2001–2013) were described using the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Use was determined as ≥ 1 prescription filled during pregnancies that resulted in births (livebirth/stillbirth) and abortions. Rates were calculated at any time during pregnancy and after a pregnancy-related visit. Rates were additionally characterized by risk in pregnancy using Briggs classification (2017). Of 174,848 birth pregnancies, overall 64.9% filled ≥ 1 prescription during pregnancy (a significant increase from 62.3% to 68.8% from 2001–2013, p<0.0001); 55.4% filled ≥ 1 prescription after a pregnancy-related visit. Of 71,967 abortions, 44.7% filled ≥ 1 prescription (a significant increase from 42.6% to 46.8% from 2001–2013, p<0.0001). Only 3.7% of birth pregnancies had at least one prescription for a contraindicated medication (according to Briggs classification), whereas 10.8% of abortions filled a prescription for a contraindicated medication. The most common drugs used in pregnancy were amoxicillin, doxylamine, codeine combinations, nitrofurantoin, cephalexin, salbutamol and ranitidine. Fewer women filled prescriptions for undesirable medications according to Briggs classification during pregnancy after a pregnancy-related visit.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the role of transmission chains in the spread of HIV-1 among men who have sex with men in Quebec, Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89773dd5eed0c4847d27bf

Background

Phylogenetics has been used to investigate HIV transmission among men who have sex with men. This study compares several methodologies to elucidate the role of transmission chains in the dynamics of HIV spread in Quebec, Canada.

Methods

The Quebec Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) genotyping program database now includes viral sequences from close to 4,000 HIV-positive individuals classified as Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs), collected between 1996 and early 2016. Assessment of chain expansion may depend on the partitioning scheme used, and so, we produce estimates from several methods: the conventional Bayesian and maximum likelihood-bootstrap methods, in combination with a variety of schemes for applying a maximum distance criterion, and two other algorithms, DM-PhyClus, a Bayesian algorithm that produces a measure of uncertainty for proposed partitions, and the Gap Procedure, a fast non-phylogenetic approach. Sequences obtained from individuals in the Primary HIV Infection (PHI) stage serve to identify incident cases. We focus on the period ranging from January 1st 2012 to February 1st 2016.

Results and conclusion

The analyses reveal considerable overlap between chain estimates obtained from conventional methods, thus leading to similar estimates of recent temporal expansion. The Gap Procedure and DM-PhyClus suggest however moderately different chains. Nevertheless, all estimates stress that longer older chains are responsible for a sizeable proportion of the sampled incident cases among MSMs. Curbing the HIV epidemic will require strategies aimed specifically at preventing such growth.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiological situation of yaws in the Americas: A systematic review in the context of a regional elimination goal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95e4d5eed0c484734ee2

Background

Yaws is targeted for eradication by 2020 in the WHA66.12 resolution of the World Health Assembly. The objective of this study was to describe the occurrence of yaws in the Americas and to contribute to the compilation of evidence based on published data to undertake the certification of yaws eradication.

Methodology

A systematic review of the epidemiological situation of yaws in the Americas was performed by searching in MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, SCOPUS, Web of Science, DARE and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Experts on the topic were consulted, and institutional WHO/PAHO library databases were reviewed.

Principal findings

Seventy-five full-text articles published between 1839 and 2012 met the inclusion criteria. Haiti and Jamaica were the two countries with the highest number of papers (14.7% and 12.0%, respectively). Three-quarters of the studies were conducted before 1970. Thirty-three countries reported yaws case count or prevalence data. The largest foci in the history were described in Brazil and Haiti. The most recent cases reported were recorded in eight countries: Suriname, Guyana, Colombia, Haiti, Martinique, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil. Gaps in information and heterogeneity were detected in the methodologies used and outcome reporting, making cross-national and chronological comparisons difficult.

Conclusions

The lack of recent yaws publications may reflect, in the best-case scenario, the interruption of yaws transmission. It should be possible to reach the eradication goal in the region of the Americas, but it is necessary to collect more information. We suggest updating the epidemiological status of yaws, especially in two countries that need to assess ongoing transmission. Twenty-four countries need to demonstrate the interruption of transmission and declare its status of yaws endemicity, and sixteen countries should declare if they are yaws-free. It is necessary to formally verify the achievement of this goal in Ecuador.

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<![CDATA[Analysis on urban densification dynamics and future modes in southeastern Wisconsin, USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89775dd5eed0c4847d2b08

Urban change (urbanization) has dominated land change science for several decades. However, few studies have focused on what many scholars call the urban densification process (i.e., urban intensity expansion) despite its importance to both planning and subsequent impacts to the environment and local economies. This paper documents past urban densification patterns and uses this information to predict future densification trends in southeastern Wisconsin (SEWI) by using a rich dataset from the United States and by adapting the well-known Land Transformation Model (LTM) for this purpose. Urban densification is a significant and progressive process that often accompanies urbanization more generally. The increasing proportion of lower density areas, rather than higher density areas, was the main characteristic of the urban densification in SEWI from 2001 to 2011. We believe that improving urban land use efficiency to maintain rational densification are effective means toward a sustainable urban landscape. Multiple goodness-of-fit metrics demonstrated that the reconfigured LTM performed relatively well to simulate urban densification patterns in 2006 and 2011, enabling us to forecast densification to 2016 and 2021. The predicted future urban densification patterns are likely to be characterized by higher densities continue to increase at the expense of lower densities. We argue that detailed categories of urban density and specific relevant predictor variables are indispensable for densification prediction. Our study provides researchers working in land change science with important insights into urban densification process modeling. The outcome of this model can help planners to identify the current trajectory of urban development, enabling them to take informed action to promote planning objectives, which could benefit sustainable urbanization definitely.

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