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1.  IPD—the Immuno Polymorphism Database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D1234-D1240.
The Immuno Polymorphism Database (IPD), is a set of specialist databases related to the study of polymorphic genes in the immune system. The IPD project works with specialist groups or nomenclature committees who provide and curate individual sections before they are submitted to IPD for online publication. The IPD project stores all the data in a set of related databases. IPD currently consists of four databases: IPD-KIR, contains the allelic sequences of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors, IPD-MHC, a database of sequences of the major histocompatibility complex of different species; IPD-HPA, alloantigens expressed only on platelets; and IPD-ESTDAB, which provides access to the European Searchable Tumour Cell-Line Database, a cell bank of immunologically characterized melanoma cell lines. The data is currently available online from the website and FTP directory. This article describes the latest updates and additional tools added to the IPD project.
PMCID: PMC3531162  PMID: 23180793
2.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
3.  Evaluation of Coseasonality of Influenza and Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: Results from Prospective Surveillance 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1001042.
Using a combination of modeling and statistical analyses, David Fisman and colleagues show that influenza likely influences the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease by enhancing risk of invasion in colonized individuals.
The wintertime co-occurrence of peaks in influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is well documented, but how and whether wintertime peaks caused by these two pathogens are causally related is still uncertain. We aimed to investigate the relationship between influenza infection and IPD in Ontario, Canada, using several complementary methodological tools.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated a total number of 38,501 positive influenza tests in Central Ontario and 6,191 episodes of IPD in the Toronto/Peel area, Ontario, Canada, between 1 January 1995 and 3 October 2009, reported through population-based surveillance. We assessed the relationship between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD using fast Fourier transforms in order to examine the relationship between these two pathogens over yearly timescales. We also used three complementary statistical methods (time-series methods, negative binomial regression, and case-crossover methods) to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on pneumococcal risk. Annual periodicity with wintertime peaks could be demonstrated for IPD, whereas periodicity for influenza was less regular. As for long-term effects, phase and amplitude terms of pneumococcal and influenza seasonal sine waves were not correlated and meta-analysis confirmed significant heterogeneity of influenza, but not pneumococcal phase terms. In contrast, influenza was shown to Granger-cause pneumococcal disease. A short-term association between IPD and influenza could be demonstrated for 1-week lags in both case-crossover (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.10 [1.02–1.18]) and negative binomial regression analysis (incidence rate ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.09 [1.05–1.14]).
Our data support the hypothesis that influenza influences bacterial disease incidence by enhancing short-term risk of invasion in colonized individuals. The absence of correlation between seasonal waveforms, on the other hand, suggests that bacterial disease transmission is affected to a lesser extent.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Although some pathogens (disease-causing organisms) cause illness all year round, others are responsible for seasonal peaks of illness. These peaks occur because of a complex interplay of factors such as the loss of immunity to the pathogen over time and seasonal changes in the pathogen's ability to infect new individuals. Thus, in temperate countries in the northern hemisphere, illness caused by influenza viruses (pathogens that infect the nose, throat, and airways) usually peaks between December and March, perhaps because weather conditions during these months favor the survival of influenza virus in the environment and thus increase its chances of being transferred among people. Another illness that peaks during the winter months in temperate regions is pneumonia, a severe lung infection that is often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. These bacteria can colonize the back of the throat without causing disease but occasionally spread into the lungs and other organs where they cause potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the co-occurrence of seasonal peaks of influenza and IPD is well documented, it is unclear whether (or how) these peaks are causally related. For example, do the peaks of influenza and IPD both occur in the winter because influenza enhances person-to-person transmission of S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 1)? Alternatively, do the diseases co-occur because influenza infection increases the risk of IPD in individuals who are already colonized with S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 2)? Healthcare professionals need to know whether there is a causal relationship between influenza and IPD so that they can target vaccination for both diseases to those individuals most at risk of developing the potentially serious complications of these diseases. In this study, the researchers use several mathematical and statistical methods and data on influenza and IPD collected in Ontario, Canada to investigate the relationship between these seasonal illnesses.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between January 1995 and October 2009, 38,501 positive influenza tests were recorded in Ontario by the Canadian national influenza surveillance network. Over the same time period, the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network (a group of hospitals, laboratories, and doctors that undertakes population-based surveillance for serious bacterial infections in the Toronto and Peel Regions of Ontario) recorded 6,191 IPD episodes. The researchers used a mathematical method called fast Fourier transforms that compares the shape of wave forms to look for any relationship between infections with the two pathogens over yearly timescales (a test of hypothesis 1) and three statistical methods to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on IPD risk (tests of hypothesis 2). Although they found wintertime peaks for infections with both pathogens, there was no correlation between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD. That is, there was no relationship between the seasonal patterns of the two infections. By contrast, two of the statistical methods used to test hypothesis 2 revealed a short-term association between infections with influenza and with IPD. Moreover, the third statistical method (the Granger causality Wald test, a type of time-series analysis) provided evidence that data collected at intervals on influenza can be used to predict peaks in IPD infections.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support (but do not prove) the hypothesis that influenza influences IPD incidence by enhancing the short-term risk of bacterial invasion in individuals already colonized with S. pneumoniae, possibly by increasing the permeability of the lining of the airways to bacteria. By contrast, the lack of correlation between the seasonal wave forms for the two diseases suggests that person-to-person transfer of S. pneumoniae is affected by influenza infections to a lesser extent. These findings have important implications for disease control policy. First, they suggest that the increased number of influenza infections in pandemic years may not necessarily be accompanied by a marked surge in IPD. Second, because the findings suggest that some cases of IPD may be influenza-attributable, the extension of influenza vaccination to school-age children and young adults (a group of people at particular risk of IPD who are not normally vaccinated against influenza) could reduce the incidence of IPD as well as the incidence of influenza.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
A related research article by the same authors evaluating links between respiratory viruses and invasive meningococcal disease can be found in PLoS One (e0015493)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of seasonal influenza and pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients about seasonal influenza and pneumococcal infection
MedlinePlus has links to further information about influenza and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
FluWatch is the Canadian national surveillance system for influenza
More information about the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Network is available
The International Association for Ecology and Health provides information on the physical environment and its influence on health
PMCID: PMC3110256  PMID: 21687693
4.  Pneumococcal Serotypes and Mortality following Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(5):e1000081.
Analyzing population-based data collected over 30 years in more than 18,000 patients with invasive pneumococcal infection, Zitta Harboe and colleagues find specific pneumococcal serotypes to be associated with increased mortality.
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and mortality from invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Methods and Findings
In a nationwide population-based cohort study of IPD in Denmark during 1977–2007, 30-d mortality associated with pneumococcal serotypes was examined by multivariate logistic regression analysis after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 18,858 IPD patients were included. Overall 30-d mortality was 18%, and 3% in children younger than age 5 y. Age, male sex, meningitis, high comorbidity level, alcoholism, and early decade of diagnosis were significantly associated with mortality. Among individuals aged 5 y and older, serotypes 31, 11A, 35F, 17F, 3, 16F, 19F, 15B, and 10A were associated with highly increased mortality as compared with serotype 1 (all: adjusted odds ratio ≥3, p<0.001). In children younger than 5 y, associations between serotypes and mortality were different than in adults but statistical precision was limited because of low overall childhood-related mortality.
Specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly and independently affect IPD associated mortality.
Editors' Summary
Pneumococcal diseases—illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria—are leading causes of illness and death around the world. S. pneumoniae is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions and usually causes noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and bronchitis. Sometimes, however, the bacteria invade the lungs (where they cause pneumonia), the bloodstream (where they cause bacteremia), or the covering of the brain (where they cause meningitis). These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) are often fatal. One million children die annually from pneumococcal disease, many of them in developing countries. In the developed world, however, IPDs mainly affect elderly people and patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism. Although pneumococcal diseases can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics, many patients die or develop long-term complications. Consequently, vaccination with “pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine” (PPV) is recommended for everyone over 65 years old and for people between 2 and 65 years old who are at high risk of developing IPD; vaccination with “pneumococcal conjugate vaccine” (PCV) is recommended for children younger than 2 years old who are at high risk of IPDs.
Why Was This Study Done?
S. pneumoniae is not a single organism. There are actually more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes.” These variants are coated with different polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) that are, in part, responsible for the deleterious effects of S. pneumonia infections. The same molecules also trigger the human immune response that kills the bacteria. Consequently, pneumococcal vaccines contain polysaccharide mixtures isolated from the S. pneumoniae serotypes responsible for most pneumococcal disease. But are these serotypes also responsible for most of the deaths caused by IPD? Until now, the few studies that have investigated the association between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death from IPD have yielded conflicting results. Here, therefore, the researchers undertook a large population-based study to discover whether there is an association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and death following IPD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers linked data on the serotype of S. pneumoniae isolates sent to the Danish National Neisseria and Streptococcus Reference Center between 1977 and 2007 with clinical data from national medical databases. After allowing for other factors that might affect a person's likelihood of dying from IPD (for example, age and other illnesses), the researchers used multivariate logistic regression analysis (a statistical approach) to look for associations between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death within 30 days of admission to hospital for pneumococcal bacteremia or meningitis. Overall, 18% of the nearly 19,000 people included in this analysis died within 30 days of hospital admission; among the children younger than 5 years included in the study, the death rate was 3%. Among patients 5 years old or older, nine S. pneumoniae serotypes were associated with a more than 3-fold higher death rate (mostly from bacteremia) than serotype 1, the most common serotype isolated during the study. Interestingly, in young children, a different set of serotypes seemed to be associated with death. However, because so few children died from IPD, this result is statistically uncertain. The researchers' results also show that age, gender, having meningitis, having other illnesses, and alcoholism all affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly affect the likelihood that a person aged 5 years or over will die within 30 days of admission to hospital with IPD. Importantly, unlike previous studies, this study was large and comprehensive—the Danish surveillance center covers more than 90% of the Danish population—and the researchers carefully took other factors into account that might have affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD. Thus, these new insights into which pneumococcal serotypes are most deadly could help in the design of new pneumococcal vaccines, at least for people aged 5 years or older. For younger children, however, the results are not as informative and a similar study now needs to be done in developing countries, where more young people die from IPD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal disease
The UK Health Protection Agency also provides background information on pneumococcal disease
The GAVI's Pneumococcal Vaccines Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan focuses on pneumococcal vaccines for children
PMCID: PMC2680036  PMID: 19468297
5.  Sharing Individual Participant Data from Clinical Trials: An Opinion Survey Regarding the Establishment of a Central Repository 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97886.
Calls have been made for increased access to individual participant data (IPD) from clinical trials, to ensure that complete evidence is available. However, despite the obvious benefits, progress towards this is frustratingly slow. In the meantime, many systematic reviews have already collected IPD from clinical trials. We propose that a central repository for these IPD should be established to ensure that these datasets are safeguarded and made available for use by others, building on the strengths and advantages of the collaborative groups that have been brought together in developing the datasets.
Evaluate the level of support, and identify major issues, for establishing a central repository of IPD.
On-line survey with email reminders.
71 reviewers affiliated with the Cochrane Collaboration's IPD Meta-analysis Methods Group were invited to participate.
30 (42%) invitees responded: 28 (93%) had been involved in an IPD review and 24 (80%) had been involved in a randomised trial. 25 (83%) agreed that a central repository was a good idea and 25 (83%) agreed that they would provide their IPD for central storage. Several benefits of a central repository were noted: safeguarding and standardisation of data, increased efficiency of IPD meta-analyses, knowledge advancement, and facilitating future clinical, and methodological research. The main concerns were gaining permission from trial data owners, uncertainty about the purpose of the repository, potential resource implications, and increased workload for IPD reviewers. Restricted access requiring approval, data security, anonymisation of data, and oversight committees were highlighted as issues under governance of the repository.
There is support in this community of IPD reviewers, many of whom are also involved in clinical trials, for storing IPD in a central repository. Results from this survey are informing further work on developing a repository of IPD which is currently underway by our group.
PMCID: PMC4038514  PMID: 24874700
6.  Intermittent Peritoneal Dialysis: Urea Kinetic Modeling and Implications of Residual Kidney Function 
♦ Background: Intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD) is an old strategy that has generally been eclipsed, in the home setting, by daily peritoneal therapies. However, for a select group of patients with exhausted vascular access or inability to receive PD at home, in-center IPD may remain an option or may serve as an incremental strategy before initiation of full-dose PD. We investigated the residual kidney clearance requirements necessary to allow thrice-weekly IPD regimens to meet current adequacy targets.
♦ Methods: The 3-pore model of peritoneal transport was used to examine 2 thrice-weekly IPD dialysis modalities: 5 – 6 dwells with 10 – 12 L total volume (low-dose IPD), and 50% tidal with 20 – 24 L total volume (high-dose IPD). We assumed an 8-hour dialysis duration and 1.5% dextrose solution, with a 2-L fill volume, except in tidal mode. The PD Adequest application (version 2.0: Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Deerfield, IL, USA) and typical patient kinetic parameters derived from a large dataset [data on file from Treatment Adequacy Review for Gaining Enhanced Therapy (Baxter Healthcare Corporation)] were used to model urea clearances. The minimum glomerular filtration rate (GFR) required to achieve a total weekly urea Kt/V of 1.7 was calculated.
♦ Results: In the absence of any dialysis, the minimum residual GFR necessary to achieve a weekly urea Kt/V of 1.7 was 9.7 mL/min/1.73 m2. Depending on membrane transport type, the low-dose IPD modality met urea clearance targets for patients with a GFR between 6.0 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 7.6 mL/min/1.73 m2. Similarly, the high-dose IPD modality met the urea clearance target for patients with a GFR between 4.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 6.5 mL/min/1.73 m2.
♦ Conclusions: In patients with residual GFR of at least 7.6 mL/min/1.73 m2, thrice-weekly low-dose IPD (10 L) achieved a Kt/V urea of 1.7 across all transport types. Increasing the IPD volume resulted in a decreased residual GFR requirement of 4.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 (24 L, 50% tidal). In patients with residual kidney function and dietary compliance, IPD may be a viable strategy in certain clinical situations.
PMCID: PMC3525398  PMID: 22135316
Residual kidney function; assisted; intermittent; congestive heart failure; urea clearance; IPD
7.  Biomechanical Characterization of an Annulus Sparing Spinal Disc Prosthesis 
Background Context
Current spine arthroplasty devices, require disruption of the annulus fibrosus for implantation. Preliminary studies of a unique annulus sparing intervertebral prosthetic disc (IPD), found that preservation of the annulus resulted in load sharing of the annulus with the prosthesis.
Determine flexibility of the IPD versus fusion constructs in normal and degenerated human spines.
Study design/Setting
Biomechanical comparison of motion segments in the intact, fusion and mechanical nucleus replacement states for normal and degenerated states.
Patient setting
Thirty lumbar motion segments.
Outcomes Measures
Intervertebral height; motion segment range-of-motion (ROM), neutral zone (NZ), stiffness.
Motion segments had multi-directional flexibility testing to 7.5 Nm for intact discs, discs reconstructed using the IPD (n=12), or after anterior/posterior fusions (n=18). Interbody height and axial compression stiffness changes were determined for the reconstructed discs by applying axial compression to 1500 N. Analysis included stratifying results to normal mobile vs. rigid degenerated intact motion segments.
The mean interbody height increase was 1.5 mm for IPD reconstructed discs. vs 3.0 mm for fused segments. Axial compression stiffness was 3.0 ± 0.9 kN/mm for intact compared to 1.2 ± 0.4 kN/mm for IPD reconstructed segments. Reconstructed disc ROM was 9.0° ± 3.7° in flexion-extension, 10.6° ± 3.4° in lateral bending and 2.8° ± 1.4° in axial torsion which was similar to intact values and significantly greater than respective fusion values (p<0.001). Mobile intact segments exhibited significantly greater rotation after fusion vs. their more rigid counterparts (p<0.05), however, intact motion was not related to motion after IPD reconstruction. The NZ and rotational stiffness followed similar trends. Differences in NZ between mobile and rigid intact specimens tended to decrease in the IPD reconstructed state.
The annulus sparing IPD generally reproduced the intact segment biomechanics in terms of ROM, NZ, and stiffness. Furthermore, the IPD reconstructed discs imparted stability by maintaining a small neutral zone. The IPD reconstructed discs were significantly less rigid than the fusion constructs and may be an attractive alternative for the treatment of DDD.
PMCID: PMC2730998  PMID: 19540816
Annulus sparing; Axial compression; Artificial spinal disc; Biomechanics; Flexibility; Fusion
8.  Functional and molecular characterization of inherited platelet disorders in the Iberian Peninsula: results from a collaborative study 
The diagnostic evaluation of inherited platelet disorders (IPDs) is complicated and time-consuming, resulting in a relevant number of undiagnosed and incorrectly classified patients. In order to evaluate the spectrum of IPDs in individuals with clinical suspicion of these disorders, and to provide a diagnostic tool to centers not having access to specific platelets studies, we established the project “Functional and Molecular Characterization of Patients with Inherited Platelet Disorders” under the scientific sponsorship of the Spanish Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
Subjects were patients from a prospective cohort of individuals referred for clinical suspicion of IPDs as well as healthy controls. Functional studies included light transmission aggregation, flow cytometry, and when indicated, Western-blot analysis of platelet glycoproteins, and clot retraction analysis. Genetic analysis was mainly performed by sequencing of coding regions and proximal regulatory regions of the genes of interest.
Of the 70 cases referred for study, we functionally and molecularly characterized 12 patients with Glanzmann Thrombasthenia, 8 patients with Bernard Soulier syndrome, and 8 with other forms of IPDs. Twelve novel mutations were identified among these patients. The systematic study of patients revealed that almost one-third of patients had been previously misdiagnosed.
Our study provides a global picture of the current limitations and access to the diagnosis of IPDs, identifies and confirms new genetic variants that cause these disorders, and emphasizes the need of creating reference centers that can help health care providers in the recognition of these defects.
PMCID: PMC4302577  PMID: 25539746
Bernard Soulier syndrome; Glanzmann thrombasthenia; Inherited platelet disorders; Chediak-Higashi syndrome; Hermansky Pudlak syndrome; ANKRD26; Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia
9.  Systematic Evaluation of Serotypes Causing Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children Under Five: The Pneumococcal Global Serotype Project 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000348.
Hope Johnson and colleagues calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five.
Approximately 800,000 children die each year due to pneumococcal disease and >90% of these deaths occur in developing countries where few children have access to life-saving serotype-based vaccines. Understanding the serotype epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children is necessary for vaccine development and introduction policies. The aim of this study was to systematically estimate the global and regional distributions of serotypes causing IPD in children <5 years of age.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed studies with IPD serotype data among children <5 years of age from the published literature and unpublished data provided by researchers. Studies conducted prior to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction, from 1980 to 2007, with ≥12 months of surveillance, and reporting ≥20 serotyped isolates were included. Serotype-specific proportions were pooled in a random effects meta-analysis and combined with PD incidence and mortality estimates to infer global and regional serotype-specific PD burden. Of 1,292, studies reviewed, 169 were included comprising 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. Globally and regionally, six to 11 serotypes accounted for ≥70% of IPD. Seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, 23F) were the most common globally; and based on year 2000 incidence and mortality estimates these seven serotypes accounted for >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia. Serotypes included in both the 10- and 13-valent PCVs accounted for 10 million cases and 600,000 deaths worldwide.
A limited number of serotypes cause most IPD worldwide. The serotypes included in existing PCV formulations account for 49%–88% of deaths in Africa and Asia where PD morbidity and mortality are the highest, but few children have access to these life-saving vaccines.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Despite all the international attention on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4—to reduce deaths in children under 5 years by two thirds by 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together comprise >25% of the 10 million deaths occurring annually in children <5 years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease. Three pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes most commonly causing invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease have introduced the vaccines into their national immunization programs. Not only is it important to introduce a vaccine, but also to use a vaccine covering the appropriate serotypes prevalent in a susceptible region.
Why Was This Study Done?
Over the past few years, data on serotyping in many high burden countries has become available. The authors conducted this study (a systematic review and meta-analysis) to quantify the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in children <5 years of age in order to estimate the global and regional serotype distribution and serotype-specific disease burden. This information can then be used to estimate the potential public health impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations and help to inform decision making for both pneumococcal vaccine development and the introduction of a vaccine into a specific region.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using published studies and unpublished data provided by researchers, the researchers systematically reviewed studies that included data on invasive pneumococcal disease serotype among children <5 years of age. The researchers then used statistical tools to pool the serotype-specific proportions and combined this information with pneumococcal disease incidence and mortality estimates to calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease.
The researchers reviewed 1,292 studies and included 169 suitable studies in their analysis, which included information on 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. The researchers produced regional estimates of the serotypes that caused invasive pneumococcal disease among under five-year-olds in different regions: six serotypes were identified as causing most invasive pneumococcal disease in North America; nine serotypes were identified in Africa; and 11 serotypes were identified in Asia. The researchers also found that seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F) were the most common globally and that these seven serotypes accounted for 58%–66% of invasive pneumococcal disease in every region. On the basis of incidence and mortality estimates of invasive pneumococcal disease for the year 2000 (before pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced), the researchers found that these serotypes represented >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that a limited number of serotypes cause most invasive pneumococcal disease worldwide. This finding contradicts the conventional supposition that the most common serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease vary greatly across geographic regions. Crucially, the findings of this study also show that the serotypes currently included in existing pneumococcal conjugate formulations account for 49%–74% of deaths in Africa and Asia where the morbidity and mortality of pneumococcal disease are the highest and where most children do not have access to current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Although the authors do not provide country-level estimates of serotype distribution, country-specific vaccine impact estimates can be made using country-level pneumococcal disease burden numbers combined with the regional serotype estimates provided in this study. This means that national policy makers can assess the potential impact of serotypes included in different conjugate vaccines, which should contribute to their decision-making process. In addition, manufacturers can now work from a consensus set of serotype coverage estimates to plan and design future serotype-based vaccine formulations to target the pneumococcal disease burden.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization provides information about pneumococcus
The PneumoACTION provides information about pneumonia and pneumococcal disease
The Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation has information on all aspects of vaccination and immunization
The US Centers for Disease Control provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
The Word Pneumonia Day coalition provides information about pneumonia
PMCID: PMC2950132  PMID: 20957191
10.  Hospitalization for Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in a National Sample of Children with Sickle Cell Disease Before and After PCV7 Licensure 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2011;58(6):945-949.
To estimate national hospitalization rates for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) before and after the 2000 licensure of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7).
We performed a retrospective trend analysis of the 1994-2007 Nationwide Inpatient Sample databases. Hospitalizations involving children with SCD and IPD were identified by ICD-9CM code. The primary outcomes, the annual hospitalization rate for IPD in children with SCD and the proportion of hospitalizations for IPD per 100 total SCD hospitalizations, were analyzed using multivariable linear regression and contingency analysis, respectively.
A total of 1,242 hospitalizations for IPD in SCD patients were identified from 1994-2007, with a mortality rate of 2.4%. The national mean annual rate of IPD hospitalization decreased by 65%, from 131.8 cases/year from 1994-2000 to 45.5 cases/year from 2001-2007 (p=0.001). The national proportion of hospitalizations for IPD per 100 total SCD hospitalizations decreased from 0.4 to 0.15 (p<0.0001) over the same interval. Following PCV7 licensure, the mean annual cumulative hospital days and cumulative hospital charges decreased nationally by 53% and 36%, respectively.
In a national sample, PCV7 licensure is temporally associated with a nearly three fold reduction in IPD hospitalizations in children with SCD.
PMCID: PMC4248562  PMID: 21793185
sickle cell disease; PCV7; Streptococcus pneumoniae; infection; hospitalization
11.  Individual participant data meta-analysis of prognostic factor studies: state of the art? 
Prognostic factors are associated with the risk of a subsequent outcome in people with a given disease or health condition. Meta-analysis using individual participant data (IPD), where the raw data are synthesised from multiple studies, has been championed as the gold-standard for synthesising prognostic factor studies. We assessed the feasibility and conduct of this approach.
A systematic review to identify published IPD meta-analyses of prognostic factors studies, followed by detailed assessment of a random sample of 20 articles published from 2006. Six of these 20 articles were from the IMPACT (International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials in traumatic brain injury) collaboration, for which additional information was also used from simultaneously published companion papers.
Forty-eight published IPD meta-analyses of prognostic factors were identified up to March 2009. Only three were published before 2000 but thereafter a median of four articles exist per year, with traumatic brain injury the most active research field. Availability of IPD offered many advantages, such as checking modelling assumptions; analysing variables on their continuous scale with the possibility of assessing for non-linear relationships; and obtaining results adjusted for other variables. However, researchers also faced many challenges, such as large cost and time required to obtain and clean IPD; unavailable IPD for some studies; different sets of prognostic factors in each study; and variability in study methods of measurement. The IMPACT initiative is a leading example, and had generally strong design, methodological and statistical standards. Elsewhere, standards are not always as high and improvements in the conduct of IPD meta-analyses of prognostic factor studies are often needed; in particular, continuous variables are often categorised without reason; publication bias and availability bias are rarely examined; and important methodological details and summary results are often inadequately reported.
IPD meta-analyses of prognostic factors are achievable and offer many advantages, as displayed most expertly by the IMPACT initiative. However such projects face numerous logistical and methodological obstacles, and their conduct and reporting can often be substantially improved.
PMCID: PMC3413577  PMID: 22530717
Meta-analysis; Prognostic factor; Prognosis; Individual participant (patient) data; Systematic review; Reporting
12.  How many individuals with asthma need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of invasive pneumococcal disease? 
Several conditions have been recognized to predispose individuals to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) (ie, the isolation of Streptococcus pneumoniae from a normally sterile site). Currently, individuals belonging to the groups known to be at high risk for IPD are vaccinated with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Advisory committees in other countries have recommended adding asthma to the list of conditions that should require immunization for IPD; however, Canada has not. Accordingly, the authors of this article performed an analysis of the number of asthmatic individuals needed to vaccinate against IPD to prevent a single case, and compared the results with those for a condition already classified as high risk.
The American Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the inclusion of adults with asthma in the high-risk category for pneumococcal vaccination based on a twofold increase in risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
To determine whether, among individuals with asthma, the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) using pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)-13 or 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23) warrants its addition to the high-risk category for pneumococcal vaccination in Canada.
Using IPD incidence (per 10,000 individuals) figures from published articles (4.2 in high-risk asthmatics, 2.3 in low-risk asthmatics and 1.2 in healthy individuals), the NNV to prevent one case of IPD in asthmatics five to 17 years of age and 18 to 50 years of age was calculated, factoring in the proportion of pneumococcal serotypes included in vaccines (based on data from Quebec) and accounting for the possibility of waning vaccine efficacy (VE) using four scenarios.
Assuming a VE of 65% for PCV-13 in asthmatics, the NNV would be 704 to 820 in low-risk and 386 to 449 in high-risk children; and 355 to 1532 in low-risk and 195 to 839 in high-risk adults (range depends on waning scenario). Assuming a VE of 65% for PPV-23 in asthmatics, the NNV would be 581 to 677 in low-risk and 318 to 371 in high-risk children; and 246 to 1059 in low-risk and 135 to 580 in high-risk adults.
The NNV with both PCV-13 and PPV-23 in asthmatic children and adults is comparable with that of other high-risk conditions such as age ≥65 years. Therefore, the addition of asthma to the list of high-risk conditions for pneumococcal vaccination is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4173976  PMID: 25285110
Asthma; Pneumococcal; Vaccine
13.  Serum antibodies from Parkinson's disease patients react with neuronal membrane proteins from a mouse dopaminergic cell line and affect its dopamine expression 
Evidence exists suggesting that the immune system may contribute to the severity of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). The data presented here demonstrates that antibodies in the sera of patients with IPD have increased binding affinity to dopaminergic (DA) neuronal (MN9D cell line) membrane antigens in comparison to antibodies in sera from healthy controls. In general, the degree of antibody reactivity to these antigens of the mouse MN9D cell line appears to correlate well with the disease severity of the IPD patients contributing sera, based on the total UPDRS scores. Surprisingly, the sera from IPD patients enhanced the DA content of MN9D cells differentiated with n-butyrate; the n-butyrate-differentiated MN9D cells had a greater concentration of DA (DA/mg total protein) than undifferentiated MN9D cells, especially early in culture. Although the IPD sera did not directly harm MN9D cellular viability or DA production, in the presence of the N9 microglial cell line, the amount of DA present in cultures of untreated or n-butyrate-treated MN9D cells was lowered by the IPD sera. The results suggest the involvement of antibodies in the decline of dopamine production and, thus, the potential of immune system participation in IPD.
PMCID: PMC1388197  PMID: 16426448
14.  Survey finds that most meta-analysts do not attempt to collect individual patient data 
Journal of clinical epidemiology  2012;65(12):1296-1299.
To characterize current efforts and outcomes of individual patient data (IPD) collection among meta-analysts of randomized controlled clinical trials.
Study Design and Setting
Corresponding authors of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials in general medicine with a binary endpoint were sent an e-mail survey inquiring about their efforts to obtain IPD. Descriptive statistics of each meta-analysis were extracted to evaluate their association with data-seeking.
Only 22 (4.2%) of the sampled meta-analyses included IPD. Out of 360 authors surveyed, 256 (71%) reported not seeking IPD: 48% thought the undertaking would be too difficult, 30% thought it was not necessary for their main analysis, 25% did not have sufficient time or resources, and 22% never considered it. Seeking IPD was not significantly associated with any trial characteristic examined, including whether subgroup analyses were performed.
Authors who sought IPD obtained a median of 2 datasets (IQR = 0 to 5). Unsuccessful contact (43%), refusal without explanation (21%), and lost or inaccessible data (20%) were the most common reasons why trial data could not be obtained.
The infrequency of attempts made by meta-analysts to obtain participant data is an important contributor to the rarity of IPD meta-analyses.
PMCID: PMC3478473  PMID: 22981246
effect modification; individual patient data; meta-analysis; meta-regression; randomized controlled trial; subgroup analysis
15.  Association of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(7):e1001680.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Giovanni Musso and colleagues examine the association between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and chronic kidney disease.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a frequent, under-recognized condition and a risk factor for renal failure and cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence connects non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to CKD. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether the presence and severity of NAFLD are associated with the presence and severity of CKD.
Methods and Findings
English and non-English articles from international online databases from 1980 through January 31, 2014 were searched. Observational studies assessing NAFLD by histology, imaging, or biochemistry and defining CKD as either estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 or proteinuria were included. Two reviewers extracted studies independently and in duplicate. Individual participant data (IPD) were solicited from all selected studies. Studies providing IPD were combined with studies providing only aggregate data with the two-stage method. Main outcomes were pooled using random-effects models. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were used to explore sources of heterogeneity and the effect of potential confounders. The influences of age, whole-body/abdominal obesity, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and duration of follow-up on effect estimates were assessed by meta-regression. Thirty-three studies (63,902 participants, 16 population-based and 17 hospital-based, 20 cross-sectional, and 13 longitudinal) were included. For 20 studies (61% of included studies, 11 cross-sectional and nine longitudinal, 29,282 participants), we obtained IPD. NAFLD was associated with an increased risk of prevalent (odds ratio [OR] 2.12, 95% CI 1.69–2.66) and incident (hazard ratio [HR] 1.79, 95% CI 1.65–1.95) CKD. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) was associated with a higher prevalence (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.58–4.05) and incidence (HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.42–3.17) of CKD than simple steatosis. Advanced fibrosis was associated with a higher prevalence (OR 5.20, 95% CI 3.14–8.61) and incidence (HR 3.29, 95% CI 2.30–4.71) of CKD than non-advanced fibrosis. In all analyses, the magnitude and direction of effects remained unaffected by diabetes status, after adjustment for other risk factors, and in other subgroup and meta-regression analyses. In cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, the severity of NAFLD was positively associated with CKD stages. Limitations of analysis are the relatively small size of studies utilizing liver histology and the suboptimal sensitivity of ultrasound and biochemistry for NAFLD detection in population-based studies.
The presence and severity of NAFLD are associated with an increased risk and severity of CKD.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Chronic kidney disease (CKD)—the gradual loss of kidney function—is becoming increasingly common. In the US, for example, more than 10% of the adult population (about 26 million people) and more than 25% of individuals older than 65 years have CKD. Throughout life, the kidneys perform the essential task of filtering waste products (from the normal breakdown of tissues and from food) and excess water from the blood to make urine. CKD gradually destroys the kidneys' filtration units, the rate of blood filtration decreases, and dangerous amounts of waste products build up in the blood. Symptoms of CKD, which rarely occur until the disease is very advanced, include tiredness, swollen feet, and frequent urination, particularly at night. There is no cure for CKD, but progression of the disease can be slowed by controlling high blood pressure and diabetes (two risk factors for CKD), and by adopting a healthy lifestyle. The same interventions also reduce the chances of CKD developing in the first place.
Why Was This Study Done?
CKD is associated with an increased risk of end-stage renal (kidney) disease and of cardiovascular disease. These life-threatening complications are potentially preventable through early identification and treatment of CKD. Because early recognition of CKD has the potential to reduce its health-related burden, the search is on for new modifiable risk factors for CKD. One possible new risk factor is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which, like CKD is becoming increasingly common. Healthy livers contain little or no fat but, in the US, 30% of the general adult population and up to 70% of patients who are obese or have diabetes have some degree of NAFLD, which ranges in severity from simple fatty liver (steatosis), through non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), to NASH with fibrosis (scarring of the liver) and finally cirrhosis (extensive scarring). In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers investigate whether NAFLD is a risk factor for CKD by looking for an association between the two conditions. A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria, meta-analysis uses statistical methods to combine the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 33 studies that assessed NAFLD and CKD in nearly 64,000 participants, including 20 cross-sectional studies in which participants were assessed for NAFLD and CKD at a single time point and 13 longitudinal studies in which participants were assessed for NAFLD and then followed up to see whether they subsequently developed CKD. Meta-analysis of the data from the cross-sectional studies indicated that NAFLD was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of prevalent (pre-existing) CKD (an odds ratio [OR]of 2.12; an OR indicates the chance that an outcome will occur given a particular exposure, compared to the chance of the outcome occurring in the absence of that exposure). Meta-analysis of data from the longitudinal studies indicated that NAFLD was associated with a nearly 2-fold increased risk of incident (new) CKD (a hazard ratio [HR] of 1.79; an HR indicates often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time). NASH was associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of CKD than simple steatosis. Similarly, advanced fibrosis was associated with a higher prevalence and incidence of CKD than non-advanced fibrosis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that NAFLD is associated with an increased prevalence and incidence of CKD and that increased severity of liver disease is associated with an increased risk and severity of CKD. Because these associations persist after allowing for established risk factors for CKD, these findings identify NAFLD as an independent CKD risk factor. Certain aspects of the studies included in this meta-analysis (for example, only a few studies used biopsies to diagnose NAFLD; most used less sensitive tests that may have misclassified some individuals with NAFLD as normal) and the methods used in the meta-analysis may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that individuals with NAFLD should be screened for CKD even in the absence of other risk factors for the disease, and that better treatment of NAFLD may help to prevent CKD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse provides information about all aspects of kidney disease; the US National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse provides information about non-alcoholic liver disease
The US National Kidney Disease Education Program provides resources to help improve the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients on chronic kidney disease, including some personal stories, and information on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
The US National Kidney Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about chronic kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
The not-for-profit UK National Kidney Federation provides support and information for patients with kidney disease and for their carers
The British Liver Trust, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, including a patient story
PMCID: PMC4106719  PMID: 25050550
16.  5-iodo-2-pyrimidinone-2′-deoxyribose (IPdR)-mediated cytotoxicity and radiosensitization in U87 human glioblastoma xenografts 
5-iodo-2-pyrimidinone-2′-deoxyribose (IPdR) is a novel orally administered (po) prodrug of 5-iododeoxyuridine (IUdR). As po IPdR is being considered for clinical testing as a radiosensitizer in patients with high grade gliomas, we performed this in vivo study of IPdR-mediated cytotoxicity and radiosensitization in a human glioblastoma xenograft model, U87.
Methods and Materials
Groups of 8–9 athymic male nude mice (6–8 weeks old) were implanted with sc U87 xenograft tumors (4 × 106 cells) and then randomized to 10 treatment groups receiving increasing doses of po IPdR (0, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/d) administered once daily (qd) × 14 d with or without radiation therapy (RT) (0 or 2 Gy/d × 4 d) on days 11–14 of IPdR treatment. Systemic toxicity was determined by body weight measurements during and following IPdR treatment. Tumor response was assessed by changes in tumor volumes.
IPdR alone at doses of ≥500 mg/kg/d results in moderate inhibition of tumor growth. The combination of IPdR + RT results in a significant IPdR dose-dependent tumor growth delay with the maximum radiosensitization using ≥500 mg/kg/d. IPdR doses of 500 and 1000 mg/kg/d did result in transient 5–15% body weight loss during treatment.
In U87 human glioblastoma sc xenografts, po IPdR given qd × 14 d and RT given 2 Gy/d × 4 d (days 11–14 of IPdR treatment) results in a significant tumor growth delay in an IPdR dose-dependent pattern. The use of po IPdR + RT holds promise for phase I/II testing in patients with high grade gliomas.
PMCID: PMC2128756  PMID: 17967315
IpdR; U87 xenografts; radiosensitization
17.  Molecularly Cloned SHIV-1157ipd3N4: a Highly Replication- Competent, Mucosally Transmissible R5 Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Encoding HIV Clade C env 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(17):8729-8738.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) clade C causes >50% of all HIV infections worldwide, and an estimated 90% of all transmissions occur mucosally with R5 strains. A pathogenic R5 simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) encoding HIV clade C env is highly desirable to evaluate candidate AIDS vaccines in nonhuman primates. To this end, we generated SHIV-1157i, a molecular clone from a Zambian infant isolate that carries HIV clade C env. SHIV-1157i was adapted by serial passage in five monkeys, three of which developed peripheral CD4+ T-cell depletion. After the first inoculated monkey developed AIDS at week 137 postinoculation, transfer of its infected blood to a naïve animal induced memory T-cell depletion and thrombocytopenia within 3 months in the recipient. In parallel, genomic DNA from the blood donor was amplified to generate the late proviral clone SHIV-1157ipd3. To increase the replicative capacity of SHIV-1157ipd3, an extra NF-κB binding site was engineered into its 3′ long terminal repeat, giving rise to SHIV-1157ipd3N4. This virus was exclusively R5 tropic and replicated more potently in rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cells than SHIV-1157ipd3 in the presence of tumor necrosis factor alpha. Rhesus macaques of Indian and Chinese origin were next inoculated intrarectally with SHIV-1157ipd3N4; this virus replicated vigorously in both sets of monkeys. We conclude that SHIV-1157ipd3N4 is a highly replication-competent, mucosally transmissible R5 SHIV that represents a valuable tool to test candidate AIDS vaccines targeting HIV-1 clade C Env.
PMCID: PMC1563858  PMID: 16912320
18.  Do pneumococcal conjugate vaccines provide any cross-protection against serotype 19A? 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:4.
Introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vCRM) in several countries has led to a rapid, significant drop in vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in immunized children. In the United States and some other countries with high antibiotic use, a subsequent rise in serotype 19A IPD has been taken to indicate that the 19F conjugate in the vaccine provides no cross-protection against the immunologically related 19A.
We systematically assessed the clinical efficacy and effectiveness of 19F-containing vaccines against 19A disease or nasopharyngeal carriage by searching English-language articles in the electronic databases PubMed, Current contents, Scopus, and Embase from 1985 to 2008. The vaccine efficacy and effectiveness point estimates were consistently positive for modest protection against 19A IPD and acute otitis media (AOM). However, statistical significance was not reached in any individual study. No consistent impact of 7vCRM on 19A nasopharyngeal colonization could be detected. These findings are discussed in context of immunogenicity analyses indicating that 7vCRM induces functionally active anti-19A antibodies after the booster dose, and that other 19F-containing vaccine formulations may elicit higher levels of such antibodies after both primary and booster doses.
Taken together, these results suggest that 19F-conjugates can provide some protection against 19A disease. The magnitude of this protection in a given setting will likely depend on several factors. These include the anti-19A immunogenicity of the specific vaccine formulation, the number of doses of that formulation needed to elicit the response, and the burden of 19A disease that occurs after those doses. It is possible that a modest protective effect may be obscured by the presence of countervailing selection pressures (such as high antibiotic use) that favor an increase in colonization with antibiotic-non-susceptible strains of 19A.
PMCID: PMC2829470  PMID: 20122261
19.  Burden of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in Children Aged 1 Month to 12 Years Living in South Asia: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96282.
The primary objective was to estimate the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children aged 1 month to 12 years in South Asian countries.
We searched three electronic databases (PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library) using a comprehensive search strategy, we manually searched published databases (Index Medicus and Current Contents) and we also searched the bibliographies of the included studies and retrieved reviews. The searches were current through June 2013. Eligible studies (community-based and hospital-based) were pooled and a separate analysis for India was also completed. A meta-regression analysis and heterogeneity analysis were performed. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO registration number CRD42013004483.
A total of 22 studies surveying 36,714 children were included in the systematic review. Hospital-based prospective studies from South Asia showed that 3.57% of children had IPD, and 15% of all bacterial pneumonia cases were due to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Indian studies showed that the incidence of IPD was 10.58% in children admitted to hospitals with suspected invasive bacterial diseases, and 24% of all bacterial pneumonia cases were due to S. pneumonia. Population-based studies from South Asian countries showed that 12.8% of confirmed invasive bacterial diseases were caused by S. pneumonia whereas retrospective hospital-based studies showed that 28% of invasive bacterial diseases were due to S. pneumoniae. Meta-regression showed that there was a significant influence of the antigen testing method for diagnosing IPD on IPD prevalence.
S. pneumoniae is responsible for a substantial bacterial disease burden in children of South Asian countries including India despite the presence of high heterogeneity in this meta-analysis. Treatment guidelines must be formulated, and preventive measures like vaccines must also be considered.
PMCID: PMC4010478  PMID: 24798424
20.  Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination of Infants on Pneumonia and Influenza Hospitalization and Mortality in All Age Groups in the United States 
mBio  2011;2(1):e00309-10.
A seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) introduced in the United States in 2000 has been shown to reduce invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in both vaccinated children and adults through induction of herd immunity. We assessed the impact of infant immunization on pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and mortality in all age groups using Health Care Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (SID) for 1996 to 2006 from 10 states; SID contain 100% samples of ICD9-coded hospitalization data for the selected states. Compared to a 1996–1997 through 1998–1999 baseline, by the 2005–2006 season, both IPD and pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths had decreased substantially in all age groups, including a 47% (95% confidence interval [CI], 38 to 54%) reduction in nonbacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia (ICD9 code 481 with no codes indicating IPD) in infants <2 years old and a 54% reduction (CI, 53 to 56%) in adults ≥65 years of age. A model developed to calculate the total burden of pneumococcal pneumonia prevented by infant PCV7 vaccination in the United States from 2000 to 2006 estimated a reduction of 788,838 (CI, 695,406 to 875,476) hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia. Ninety percent of the reduction in model-attributed pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations occurred through herd immunity among adults 18 years old and older; similar proportions were found in pneumococcal disease mortality prevented by the vaccine. In the first seasons after PCV introduction, when there were substantial state differences in coverage among <5-year-olds, states with greater coverage had significantly fewer influenza-associated pneumonia hospitalizations among children, suggesting that PCV7 use also reduces influenza-attributable pneumonia hospitalizations.
Pneumonia is the world’s leading cause of death in children and the leading infectious cause of death among U.S. adults 65 years old and older. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination of infants has previously been shown to reduce invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among seniors through prevention of pneumococcal transmission from infants to adults (herd immunity). Our analysis documents a significant vaccine-associated reduction not only in IPD but also in pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and inpatient mortality rates among both vaccinated children and unvaccinated adults. We estimate that fully 90% of the reduction in the pneumonia hospitalization burden occurred among adults. Moreover, states that more rapidly introduced their infant pneumococcal immunization programs had greater reductions in influenza-associated pneumonia hospitalization of children, presumably because the vaccine acts to prevent the pneumococcal pneumonia that frequently follows influenza virus infection. Our results indicate that seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine use has yielded far greater benefits through herd immunity than have previously been recognized.
PMCID: PMC3025524  PMID: 21264063
21.  Platelet mitochondrial membrane potential in Parkinson's disease 
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD), which has been reported not to be restricted to striatal neurons. However, studies that analyzed mitochondrial function at the level of selected enzymatic activities in peripheral tissues have produced conflicting data. We considered the electron transport chain as a complex system with mitochondrial membrane potential as an integrative indicator for mitochondrial fitness.
Twenty-five IPD patients (nine females; mean disease duration, 6.2 years) and 16 healthy age-matched controls (12 females) were recruited. Live platelets were purified using magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) and single-cell data on mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ) were measured by cytometry and challenged with a protonophore agent.
Functional mitochondrial membrane potential was detected in all participants. The challenge test reduced the membrane potential in all IPD patients and controls (P < 0.001). However, the response to the challenge was not significantly different between patients and controls.
While the reported protonophore challenge assay is a valid marker of overall mitochondrial function in live platelets, intact mitochondrial membrane potential in platelets derived from IPD patients suggests that presumed mitochondrial enzymatic deficiencies are compensable in this cell type. In consequence, mitochondrial membrane potential in platelets cannot be used as a diagnostic biomarker for nonstratified IPD but should be further explored in potential Parkinson's disease subtypes and tissues with higher energy demands.
PMCID: PMC4301676  PMID: 25642436
22.  Hospital at home admission avoidance 
Admission avoidance hospital at home is a service that provides active treatment by health care professionals in the patient’s home for a condition that otherwise would require acute hospital in-patient care, and always for a limited time period. In particular, hospital at home has to offer a specific service to patients in their home requiring health care professionals to take an active part in the patients’ care. If hospital at home were not available then the patient would be admitted to an acute hospital ward. Many countries are adopting this type of care in an attempt to reduce the demand for acute hospital admission.
To determine, in the context of a systematic review and meta analysis, the effectiveness and cost of managing patients with admission avoidance hospital at home compared with in-patient hospital care.
Search methods
The following databases were searched through to January 2008: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, EconLit and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) register. We checked the reference lists of articles identified electronically for evaluations of hospital at home and obtained potentially relevant articles. Unpublished studies were sought by contacting providers and researchers who were known to be involved in this field.
Selection criteria
Randomised controlled trials recruiting patients aged 18 years and over. Studies comparing admission avoidance hospital at home with acute hospital in-patient care. The admission avoidance hospital at home interventions may admit patients directly from the community thereby avoiding physical contact with the hospital, or may admit from the emergency room.
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Our statistical analyses sought to include all randomised patients and were done on an intention to treat basis. We requested individual patient data (IPD) from trialists, and relied on published data when we did not receive trial data sets or the IPD did not include the relevant outcomes. When combining outcome data was not possible because of differences in the reporting of outcomes we have presented the data in narrative summary tables.
For the IPD meta-analysis, where at least one event was reported in both study groups in a trial, Cox regression models were used to calculate the log hazard ratio and its standard error for mortality and readmission separately for each data set (where both outcomes were available). We included randomisation group (admission avoidance hospital at home versus control), age (above or below the median), and gender in the models. The calculated log hazard ratios were combined using fixed effects inverse variance meta analysis. If there were no events in one group we used the Peto odds ratio method to calculate a log odds ratio from the sum of the log-rank test ‘O-E’ statistics from a Kaplan Meier survival analysis. Statistical significance throughout was taken at the two-sided 5% level (p<0.05) and data are presented as the estimated effect with 95% confidence intervals. For each comparison using published data for dichotomous outcomes we calculated risk ratios using a fixed effects model to combine data.
Main results
We included 10 RCTs (n=1333), seven of which were eligible for the IPD. Five out of these seven trials contributed to the IPD meta-analysis (n=850/975; 87%). There was a non significant reduction in mortality at three months for the admission avoidance hospital at home group (adjusted HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.09; p=0.15), which reached significance at six months follow-up (adjusted HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.87; p=0.005). A non significant increase in admissions was observed for patients allocated to hospital at home (adjusted HR 1.49, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.33; p=0.08). Few differences were reported for functional ability, quality of life or cognitive ability. Patients reported increased satisfaction with admission avoidance hospital at home. Two trials conducted a full economic analysis, when the costs of informal care were excluded admission avoidance hospital at home was less expensive than admission to an acute hospital ward.
Authors’ conclusions
We performed meta-analyses where there was sufficient similarity among the trials and where common outcomes had been measured. There is no evidence from the analysis to suggest that admission avoidance hospital at home leads to outcomes that differ from inpatient hospital care.
PMCID: PMC4033791  PMID: 18843751
Home Care Services [economics; *organization & administration]; Home Care Services, Hospital-Based [economics; *organization & administration]; Hospitalization; Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care); Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Humans
23.  Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age: Recommendations and expected benefits 
Streptococcus pneumoniae infection may result in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia, meningitis and bacteremic pneumonia, or in non-IPD, such as pneumonia, sinusitis and otitis media. In June 2001, a heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) (Prevnar, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Canada) was approved for use in children in Canada. The objective of the present paper is to review S pneumoniae-induced disease incidence and vaccine recommendations in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age. Particular attention is given to the expected benefits of vaccination in Canada based on postmarketing data and economic modelling.
Searches were performed on PubMed and Web of Science databases and specific Canadian journals using the key words 'pneumococc*', 'vaccine', 'conjugate', 'infant' and 'Canadian'.
Results and Discussion
PCV7 appears to be safe and effective against IPD and non-IPD in children younger than five years of age and, more importantly, in children younger than two years of age (who are at highest risk for IPD). An examination of postmarketing data showed a reduction in incidence of pneumococcal disease in age groups that were vaccinated and in older age groups, indicating the likelihood of herd protection. Concurrently, there was a reduction in the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant isolates.
The results from the present review suggest that PCV7 is currently benefiting Canadian children and society by lowering S pneumoniae-associated disease. Additional gains from herd protection and further reductions in antimicrobial resistance will be achieved as more Canadian children younger than five years of age are routinely vaccinated with PCV7.
PMCID: PMC2095050  PMID: 18418479
Conjugate; Economic; Infant; Pneumococcus; Post-marketing; Prevnar; Streptococcus pneumoniae
24.  The IMGT/HLA database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(Database issue):D1222-D1227.
It is 14 years since the IMGT/HLA database was first released, providing the HLA community with a searchable repository of highly curated HLA sequences. The HLA complex is located within the 6p21.3 region of human chromosome 6 and contains more than 220 genes of diverse function. Of these, 21 genes encode proteins of the immune system that are highly polymorphic. The naming of these HLA genes and alleles and their quality control is the responsibility of the World Health Organization Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. Through the work of the HLA Informatics Group and in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute, we are able to provide public access to these data through the website Regular updates to the website ensure that new and confirmatory sequences are dispersed to the HLA community and the wider research and clinical communities. This article describes the latest updates and additional tools added to the IMGT/HLA project.
PMCID: PMC3531221  PMID: 23080122
25.  IMGT/HLA Database—a sequence database for the human major histocompatibility complex 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(1):210-213.
The IMGT/HLA Database ( specialises in sequences of polymorphic genes of the HLA system, the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The HLA complex is located within the 6p21.3 region on the short arm of human chromosome 6 and contains more than 220 genes of diverse function. Many of the genes encode proteins of the immune system and these include the 21 highly polymorphic HLA genes, which influence the outcome of clinical transplantation and confer susceptibility to a wide range of non-infectious diseases. The database contains sequences for all HLA alleles officially recognised by the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System and provides users with online tools and facilities for their retrieval and analysis. These include allele reports, alignment tools and detailed descriptions of the source cells. The online IMGT/HLA submission tool allows both new and confirmatory sequences to be submitted directly to the WHO Nomenclature Committee. The latest version (release 1.7.0 July 2000) contains 1220 HLA alleles derived from over 2700 component sequences from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ databases. The HLA database provides a model which will be extended to provide specialist databases for polymorphic MHC genes of other species.
PMCID: PMC29780  PMID: 11125094

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