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1.  Seasonal Incidence of Medically Attended Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in a Community Cohort of Adults ≥50 Years Old 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102586.
Background
Diagnostic testing for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is not routinely performed in adults. We estimated medically attended RSV seasonal incidence in a community cohort of adults ≥50 years old during four influenza seasons (2006–07 through 2009–10).
Methods
Patients seeking care for acute respiratory illness (ARI) were prospectively enrolled and tested for RSV by multiplex RT-PCR. Results from enrolled patients were used to estimate projected cases among non-enrolled patients with ARI. The seasonal incidence of medically attended RSV was the sum of actual and projected cases divided by the community cohort denominator. Since each enrollment period did not include the entire RSV season, incidence estimates were adjusted to account for the statewide proportion of RSV occurring outside the study enrollment period.
Results
There were 16,088 to 17,694 adults in the cohort each season and 164 RSV cases in all 4 seasons. The overall seasonal incidence of medically attended RSV was 154 episodes (95% CI, 132–180) per 10,000 persons; the incidence was highest in 2007–08 (179) and lowest in 2006–07 (110). Among persons 50–59, 60–69, and ≥70 years old, RSV incidence was 124 (95% CI, 99–156), 147 (95% CI, 110–196), and 199 (95% CI, 153–258), respectively.
Conclusions
The incidence of medically attended RSV increased with age and was similar during four seasons.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102586
PMCID: PMC4099308  PMID: 25025344
2.  A cross-sectional analysis of symptom severity in adults with influenza and other acute respiratory illness in the outpatient setting 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:231.
Background
Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are common in outpatient practice, and the severity of symptoms contributes to the overall burden of illness. We examined the association between a subjective symptom severity score, demographic and clinical characteristics, and presence of laboratory-confirmed influenza among central Wisconsin adults who sought care for ARI during four influenza seasons. We hypothesized that adults with laboratory-confirmed influenza would rate their symptoms as more severe relative to adults without influenza, and vaccinated adults with influenza would rate symptoms as less severe than those who were not vaccinated.
Methods
Patients with acute respiratory illness, including feverishness or cough symptoms ≤ 7 days duration, were prospectively enrolled and tested for influenza by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during influenza seasons 2007–08 through 2010–11. Perceived severity was self-rated during the enrollment interview for eight symptoms, on a scale of 0 (absent) to 3 (severe). Scores for each symptom were summed to generate a combined severity score ranging from 1 to 24 for each individual. The association between influenza test result and severity score was examined using linear regression.
Results
There were 2,374 individuals included in the analysis, including 324 with RT-PCR confirmed influenza. The mean symptom severity score was 12.3 (±4.1) points, and the most common symptoms were cough (92%), fatigue (91%), and nasal congestion (84%). In the final adjusted model, influenza infection was the strongest independent predictor of higher severity score, with a mean increase of 1.7 points compared to those who were influenza negative (p < 0.001). Among adults with influenza, the association between influenza vaccination and symptom severity was modified by age (p < 0.001). In adults ≥ 65 years old with RT-PCR confirmed influenza, symptom severity was 31% lower in those who were vaccinated as compared to those who were not vaccinated.
Conclusions
Influenza is associated with more severe symptoms of acute respiratory illness. The association between influenza vaccination and reduced symptom severity in older adults should be confirmed and explored further in other populations and seasons.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-231
PMCID: PMC4013802  PMID: 24884932
Acute respiratory illness; Symptom severity; Influenza
3.  Effectiveness of Seasonal Influenza Vaccines in the United States During a Season With Circulation of All Three Vaccine Strains 
In a case-control study at 4 US centers, the effectiveness of influenza vaccine against medically attended polymerase chain reaction–confirmed influenza was 60% (95% confidence interval, 53%–66%). Significant effectiveness was demonstrated in young children, adolescents, and adults, with a lower estimate for those aged ≥65.
Background. Influenza vaccines may be reformulated annually because of antigenic drift in influenza viruses. However, the relationship between antigenic characteristics of circulating viruses and vaccine effectiveness (VE) is not well understood. We conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of US influenza vaccines during the 2010–2011 season.
Methods. We performed a case–control study comparing vaccination histories between subjects with acute respiratory illness with positive real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for influenza and influenza test-negative controls. Subjects with acute respiratory illness of ≤7 days duration were enrolled in hospitals, emergency departments, or outpatient clinics in communities in 4 states. History of immunization with the 2010–2011 vaccine was ascertained from vaccine registries or medical records. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated in logistic regression models adjusted for study community, age, race, insurance status, enrollment site, and presence of a high-risk medical condition.
Results. A total of 1040 influenza-positive cases and 3717 influenza-negative controls were included from the influenza season, including 373 cases of influenza A(H1N1), 334 cases of influenza A(H3N2), and 333 cases of influenza B. Overall adjusted VE was 60% (95% confidence interval [CI], 53%–66%). Age-specific VE estimates ranged from 69% (95% CI, 56%–77%) in children aged 6 months–8 years to 38% (95% CI, −16% to 67%) in adults aged ≥65 years.
Conclusions. The US 2010–2011 influenza vaccines were moderately effective in preventing medically attended influenza during a season when all 3 vaccine strains were antigenically similar to circulating viruses. Continued monitoring of influenza vaccines in all age groups is important, particularly as new vaccines are introduced.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis574
PMCID: PMC3657521  PMID: 22843783
4.  A sero-survey of toxoplasmosis in farm and non-farm children from Wisconsin, United States, 1997–1999 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:837.
Background
Toxoplasmosis is among the most widespread and prevalent zoonosis in the world. People can become infected through ingestion of oocysts shed by felids or of tissue cysts contained in meat from infected animals. Acute infection can result in a wide spectrum of consequences, including flu-like illness and retinitis, as well as congenital infection in pregnant women. Severe disease can occur, especially if people are immunocompromised. Frequency of human infection varies substantially by region due to ecological, social, and cultural factors. The most recent nationwide prevalence estimates in children from United States were 3.6% in 6–11 year olds and 5.8% in 12–19 year olds. Because of the limited knowledge of the occurrence of common zoonotic pathogens in children in the United States, the objective of this study was to estimate the sero-prevalence of T. gondii-specific antibodies in children from the Marshfield area in Wisconsin and to examine the association between sero-positivity and farm living.
Methods
Banked sera from 342 Wisconsin children collected in 1997–1999, aged 2 to 18 years, were tested for Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgG antibodies using ELISA. Recorded information included age, sex, and whether the child resided on a farm. Impact of assay accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, on sero-prevalence was examined using Bayesian methods.
Results
Observed prevalence of T. gondii-specific antibodies was 10.8% (37/347). Adjusting for sensitivity and specificity of the assays yielded a prevalence estimate of 8.0% (95% probability interval: 4% - 12.4%). Children living on a farm had a 5 times higher odds of T. gondii-specific antibodies than children not living on a farm (OR=5.08, 95% CI: 2.2 – 11.6).
Conclusion
Results suggest that even in apparently low-risk populations, the true extent of the infection in children is significant. In this study population, children living on farms were differentially exposed, with earlier and higher infection risk than children not living on farms. Findings highlight the need to increase awareness about toxoplasmosis acquired early in life and to improve our understanding of the ecology of T. gondii in rural environments from developed and developing countries.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-837
PMCID: PMC3847651  PMID: 24025220
Toxoplasma gondii; Zoonosis; Children; Rural; Urban; Sero-survey; Prevalence
5.  Elementary School-Based Influenza Vaccination: Evaluating Impact on Respiratory Illness Absenteeism and Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72243.
Background
Studies of influenza vaccine effectiveness in schools have assessed all-cause absenteeism rather than laboratory-confirmed influenza. We conducted an observational pilot study to identify absences due to respiratory illness and laboratory-confirmed influenza in schools with and without school-based vaccination.
Methods
A local public health agency initiated school-based influenza vaccination in two Wisconsin elementary schools during October 2010 (exposed schools); two nearby schools served as a comparison group (non-exposed schools). Absences due to fever or cough illness were monitored for 12 weeks. During the 4 weeks of peak influenza activity, parents of absent children with fever/cough illness were contacted and offered influenza testing.
Results
Parental consent for sharing absenteeism data was obtained for 937 (57%) of 1,640 students. Fifty-two percent and 28%, respectively, of all students in exposed and non-exposed schools were vaccinated. Absences due to fever or cough illness were significantly lower in the exposed schools during seven of 12 surveillance weeks. Twenty-seven percent of students at exposed schools and 39% at unexposed schools had one or more days of absence due to fever/cough illness (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of students absent for other reasons (p = 0.23). During the 4 week period of influenza testing, respiratory samples were obtained for 68 (42%) of 163 episodes of absence due to fever or cough illness. Influenza was detected in 6 students; 3 attended exposed schools.
Conclusions
Detection of laboratory-confirmed influenza in schools was challenging due to multiple consent requirements, difficulty obtaining samples from absent children, and a mild influenza season. School-based influenza vaccination was associated with reduced absenteeism due to fever or cough illness, but not absenteeism for other reasons. Although nonspecific, absence due to fever or cough illness may be a useful surrogate endpoint in school-based studies if identification of laboratory confirmed influenza is not feasible.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072243
PMCID: PMC3753312  PMID: 23991071
6.  Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Influenza Vaccination, and Antecedent Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Infections: A Case-Centered Analysis in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, 2009–2011 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67185.
Background
Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) can be triggered by gastrointestinal or respiratory infections, including influenza. During the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in the United States, monovalent inactivated influenza vaccine (MIV) availability coincided with high rates of wildtype influenza infections. Several prior studies suggested an elevated GBS risk following MIV, but adjustment for antecedent infection was limited.
Methods
We identified patients enrolled in health plans participating in the Vaccine Safety Datalink and diagnosed with GBS from July 2009 through June 2011. Medical records of GBS cases with 2009–10 MIV, 2010–11 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV), and/or a medically-attended respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in the 1 through 141 days prior to GBS diagnosis were reviewed and classified according to Brighton Collaboration criteria for diagnostic certainty. Using a case-centered design, logistic regression models adjusted for patient-level time-varying sources of confounding, including seasonal vaccinations and infections in GBS cases and population-level controls.
Results
Eighteen confirmed GBS cases received vaccination in the 6 weeks preceding onset, among 1.27 million 2009–10 MIV recipients and 2.80 million 2010–11 TIV recipients. Forty-four confirmed GBS cases had infection in the 6 weeks preceding onset, among 3.77 million patients diagnosed with medically-attended infection. The observed-versus-expected odds that 2009–10 MIV/2010–11 TIV was received in the 6 weeks preceding GBS onset was odds ratio = 1.54, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.59–3.99; risk difference = 0.93 per million doses, 95% CI, −0.71–5.16. The association between GBS and medically-attended infection was: odds ratio = 7.73, 95% CI, 3.60–16.61; risk difference = 11.62 per million infected patients, 95% CI, 4.49–26.94. These findings were consistent in sensitivity analyses using alternative infection definitions and risk intervals for prior vaccination shorter than 6 weeks.
Conclusions
After adjusting for antecedent infections, we found no evidence for an elevated GBS risk following 2009–10 MIV/2010–11 TIV influenza vaccines. However, the association between GBS and antecedent infection was strongly elevated.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067185
PMCID: PMC3694016  PMID: 23840621
7.  Antigenic and Genetic Characteristics of the Early Isolates of Swine-Origin 2009 A(H1N1) Influenza Viruses Circulating in Humans* 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2009;325(5937):197-201.
Since its identification in April 2009 an A(H1N1) virus containing a unique combination of gene segments from both North American and Eurasian swine lineages has continued to circulate in humans. The 2009 A(H1N1) virus is distantly related to its nearest relatives, indicating that its gene segments have been circulating undetected for an extended period. Low genetic diversity among the viruses suggests the introduction into humans was a single event or multiple events of similar viruses. Molecular markers predicted for adaptation to humans are not currently present in 2009 A(H1N1) viruses, suggesting previously unrecognized molecular determinants could be responsible for the transmission among humans. Antigenically the viruses are homogeneous and similar to North American swine A(H1N1) viruses but distinct from seasonal human A(H1N1).
doi:10.1126/science.1176225
PMCID: PMC3250984  PMID: 19465683
8.  Effectiveness of Non-Adjuvanted Pandemic Influenza A Vaccines for Preventing Pandemic Influenza Acute Respiratory Illness Visits in 4 U.S. Communities 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23085.
We estimated the effectiveness of four monovalent pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccines (three unadjuvanted inactivated, one live attenuated) available in the U.S. during the pandemic. Patients with acute respiratory illness presenting to inpatient and outpatient facilities affiliated with four collaborating institutions were prospectively recruited, consented, and tested for influenza. Analyses were restricted to October 2009 through April 2010, when pandemic vaccine was available. Patients testing positive for pandemic influenza by real-time RT-PCR were cases; those testing negative were controls. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated in logistic regression models adjusted for study community, patient age, timing of illness, insurance status, enrollment site, and presence of high-risk medical conditions. Pandemic virus was detected in 1,011 (15%) of 6,757 enrolled patients. Fifteen (1%) of 1,011 influenza positive cases and 1,042 (18%) of 5,746 test-negative controls had record-verified pandemic vaccination >14 days prior to illness onset. Adjusted effectiveness (95% confidence interval) for pandemic vaccines combined was 56% (23%, 75%). Adjusted effectiveness for inactivated vaccines alone (79% of total) was 62% (25%, 81%) overall and 32% (−92%, 76%), 89% (15%, 99%), and −6% (−231%, 66%) in those aged 0.5 to 9, 10 to 49, and 50+ years, respectively. Effectiveness for the live attenuated vaccine in those aged 2 to 49 years was only demonstrated if vaccination >7 rather than >14 days prior to illness onset was considered (61%∶ 12%, 82%). Inactivated non-adjuvanted pandemic vaccines offered significant protection against confirmed pandemic influenza-associated medical care visits in young adults.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023085
PMCID: PMC3155536  PMID: 21857999
9.  Frequency of medically attended adverse events following tetanus and diphtheria toxoid vaccine in adolescents and young adults: a Vaccine Safety Datalink study 
Background
Local reactions are the most commonly reported adverse events following tetanus and diphtheria toxoid (Td) vaccine and the risk of local reactions may increase with number of prior Td vaccinations.
Methods
To estimate the risk of medically attended local reactions following Td vaccination in adolescents and young adults we conducted a six-year retrospective cohort study assessing 436,828 Td vaccinations given to persons 9 through 25 years of age in the Vaccine Safety Datalink population from 1999 through 2004.
Results
Overall, the estimated risk of a medically attended local reaction was 3.6 events per 10,000 Td vaccinations. The lowest risk (2.8 events per 10,000 vaccinations) was found in the 11 to 15 year old age group. In comparison with that group, the event risks were significantly higher in both the 9 to 10 and 21 to 25 year old age groups. The risk of a local reaction was significantly higher in persons who had received another tetanus and diphtheria toxoid containing vaccine (TDCV) in the previous five years (incidence rate ratio, 2.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 7.2). Twenty-eight percent of persons with a local reaction to Td vaccine were prescribed antibiotics.
Conclusion
Medically attended local reactions were uncommon following Td vaccination. The risk of those reactions varied by age and by prior receipt of TDCVs. These findings provide a point of reference for future evaluations of the safety profile of newer vaccines containing tetanus or diphtheria toxoid.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-165
PMCID: PMC2765445  PMID: 19804643
10.  Patterns of pneumococcal vaccination and revaccination in elderly and non-elderly adults: a Vaccine Safety Datalink study 
Background
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and for younger adults with high-risk conditions. While data from national surveys provide information on the proportion of adults 65 years of age and older reporting ever receipt of PPV they do not collect more detailed information, such as age at vaccination or the total number of vaccinations received. In addition, there is relatively little information available on PPV coverage in younger adults with chronic conditions. To assess contemporary patterns of pneumococcal vaccination and revaccination of adults, we conducted a cross-sectional study of adults enrolled in medical care organizations (MCOs) participating in the Vaccine Safety Datalink project.
Methods
The study population included 1.5 million adults 25 years of age and older enrolled in the four participating MCOs on December 1, 2006. PPVs administered to members of the study population prior to that date were identified from computerized immunization registries maintained by the MCOs.
Results
Among the general population of adults 25 through 64 years of age, vaccine coverage increased from 2% in the 25–29 year old age-group to 26% in the 60–64 year old age-group. In all age-groups, coverage was substantially higher in persons defined as having a chronic high risk condition. This was particularly true for diabetes mellitus, with vaccine coverage of over 50% in the lower age-groups and 75% in those 60–64 years of age. Among adults 65 years of age and older, 82% had received at least one PPV and 18% had received two or more PPVs.
Conclusion
We found higher levels of PPV coverage among adults 65 years of age and older and among younger adults with diabetes mellitus than reported by national surveys and for those groups PPV coverage approached the Healthy People 2010 national objectives. These results suggest that achieving those objectives for PPV is possible and that high vaccination coverage may be facilitated by vaccine tracking and reminder systems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-37
PMCID: PMC2670847  PMID: 19321001
11.  Adamantane-Resistant Influenza Infection During the 2004–05 Season 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2008;14(1):173-176.
Adamantane-resistant influenza A is an emerging problem, but infections caused by resistant and susceptible viruses have not been compared. We identified adamantane resistance in 47% of 152 influenza A virus (H3N2) isolates collected during 2005. Resistant and susceptible viruses caused similar symptoms and illness duration. The prevalence of resistance was highest in children.
doi:10.3201/eid1401.070460
PMCID: PMC2600142  PMID: 18258102
Adamantane resistance; influenza; clinical feature; dispatch
12.  Coinfections Acquired from Ixodes Ticks 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  2006;19(4):708-727.
The pathogens that cause Lyme disease (LD), human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis can coexist in Ixodes ticks and cause human coinfections. Although the risk of human coinfection differs by geographic location, the true prevalence of coinfecting pathogens among Ixodes ticks remains largely unknown for the majority of geographic locations. The prevalence of dually infected Ixodes ticks appears highest among ticks from regions of North America and Europe where LD is endemic, with reported prevalences of ≤28%. In North America and Europe, the majority of tick-borne coinfections occur among humans with diagnosed LD. Humans coinfected with LD and babesiosis appear to have more intense, prolonged symptoms than those with LD alone. Coinfected persons can also manifest diverse, influenza-like symptoms, and abnormal laboratory test results are frequently observed. Coinfecting pathogens might alter the efficiency of transmission, cause cooperative or competitive pathogen interactions, and alter disease severity among hosts. No prospective studies to assess the immunologic effects of coinfection among humans have been conducted, but animal models demonstrate that certain coinfections can modulate the immune response. Clinicians should consider the likelihood of coinfection when pursuing laboratory testing or selecting therapy for patients with tick-borne illness.
doi:10.1128/CMR.00011-06
PMCID: PMC1592693  PMID: 17041141
13.  Antimicrobial Drug–Resistant Escherichia coli from Humans and Poultry Products, Minnesota and Wisconsin, 2002–2004 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(6):838-846.
Similarities were found between drug-resistant E. coli from humans and poultry products.
The food supply, including poultry products, may transmit antimicrobial drug–resistant Escherichia coli to humans. To assess this hypothesis, 931 geographically and temporally matched E. coli isolates from human volunteers (hospital inpatients and healthy vegetarians) and commercial poultry products (conventionally raised or raised without antimicrobial drugs) were tested by PCR for phylogenetic group (A, B1, B2, D) and 60 virulence genes associated with extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. Isolates resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, quinolones, and extended-spectrum cephalosporins (n = 331) were compared with drug-susceptible isolates (n = 600) stratified by source. Phylogenetic and virulence markers of drug-susceptible human isolates differed considerably from those of human and poultry isolates. In contrast, drug-resistant human isolates were similar to poultry isolates, and drug-susceptible and drug-resistant poultry isolates were largely indistinguishable. Many drug-resistant human fecal E. coli isolates may originate from poultry, whereas drug-resistant poultry-source E. coli isolates likely originate from susceptible poultry-source precursors.
doi:10.3201/eid1306.061576
PMCID: PMC2792839  PMID: 17553221
Escherichia coli infections; antimicrobial drug resistance; virulence; phylogenetics; PCR; molecular fingerprinting; foodborne disease; poultry; zoonoses; research
14.  Impact of Statewide Program To Promote Appropriate Antimicrobial Drug Use 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(6):912-920.
The Wisconsin Antibiotic Resistance Network (WARN) was launched in 1999 to educate physicians and the public about judicious antimicrobial drug use. Public education included radio and television advertisements, posters, pamphlets, and presentations at childcare centers. Physician education included mailings, susceptibility reports, practice guidelines, satellite conferences, and presentations. We analyzed antimicrobial prescribing data for primary care physicians in Wisconsin and Minnesota (control state). Antimicrobial prescribing declined 19.8% in Minnesota and 20.4% in Wisconsin from 1998 to 2003. Prescribing by internists declined significantly more in Wisconsin than Minnesota, but the opposite was true for pediatricians. We conclude that the secular trend of declining antimicrobial drug use continued through 2003, but a large-scale educational program did not generate greater reductions in Wisconsin despite improved knowledge. State and local organizations should consider a balanced approach that includes limited statewide educational activities with increasing emphasis on local, provider-level interventions and policy development to promote careful antimicrobial drug use.
doi:10.3201/eid1106.050118
PMCID: PMC3367605  PMID: 15963287
Keywords: Drug resistance; drug utilization/trends; health education; outcome and process assessment; respiratory tract infections/drug therapy; physician
15.  Clinician Knowledge and Beliefs after Statewide Program to Promote Appropriate Antimicrobial Drug Use 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(6):904-911.
In 1999, Wisconsin initiated an educational campaign for primary care clinicians and the public to promote judicious antimicrobial drug use. We evaluated its impact on clinician knowledge and beliefs; Minnesota served as a control state. Results of pre- (1999) and post- (2002) campaign questionnaires indicated that Wisconsin clinicians perceived a significant decline in the proportion of patients requesting antimicrobial drugs (50% in 1999 to 30% in 2002; p<0.001) and in antimicrobial drug requests from parents for children (25% in 1999 to 20% in 2002; p = 0.004). Wisconsin clinicians were less influenced by nonpredictive clinical findings (purulent nasal discharge [p = 0.044], productive cough [p = 0.010]) in terms of antimicrobial drug prescribing. In 2002, clinicians from both states were less likely to recommend antimicrobial agent treatment for the adult case scenarios of viral respiratory illness. For the comparable pediatric case scenarios, only Wisconsin clinicians improved significantly from 1999 to 2002. Although clinicians in both states improved on several survey responses, greater overall improvement occurred in Wisconsin.
doi:10.3201/eid1106.050144
PMCID: PMC3367606  PMID: 15963286
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; reducing antimicrobial resistance; Drug resistance
16.  Demand for Prophylaxis after Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax Cases, 2001 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(1):42-47.
In 1991, most physicians in Minnesota and Wisconsin managed patients concerns about anthrax without dispensing prophylactic antimicrobial agents.
Media reports suggested increased public demand for anthrax prophylaxis after the intentional anthrax cases in 2001, but the magnitude of anthrax-related prescribing in unaffected regions was not assessed. We surveyed a random sample of 400 primary care clinicians in Minnesota and Wisconsin to assess requests for and provision of anthrax-related antimicrobial agents. The survey was returned by 239 (60%) of clinicians, including 210 in outpatient practice. Fifty-eight (28%) of those in outpatient practice received requests for anthrax-related antimicrobial agents, and 9 (4%) dispensed them. Outpatient fluoroquinolone use in both states was also analyzed with regression models to compare predicted and actual use in October and November 2001. Fluoroquinolone use as a proportion of total antimicrobial use was not elevated, and anthrax concerns accounted for an estimated 0.3% of all fluoroquinolone prescriptions. Most physicians in Minnesota and Wisconsin managed anthrax-related requests without dispensing antimicrobial agents.
doi:10.3201/eid1101.040272
PMCID: PMC3294341  PMID: 15705321
research, anthrax, fluoroquinolone, prophylaxis; drug resistance; bioterrorism
18.  Septic system density and infectious diarrhea in a defined population of children. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2003;111(5):742-748.
One-quarter of U.S. households use a septic system for wastewater disposal. In this study we investigated whether septic system density was associated with endemic diarrheal illness in children. Cases--children 1 to < 19 years old seeking medical care for acute diarrhea--and controls resided in the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area, a population-based cohort in central Wisconsin. Enrollment was from February 1997 through September 1998. Study participants completed a structured interview, and septic system density was determined from county sanitary permits. Household wells were sampled for bacterial pathogens and indicators of water sanitary quality. Risk factors were assessed for cases grouped by diarrhea etiology. In multivariate analyses, viral diarrhea was associated with the number of holding tank septic systems in the 640-acre section surrounding the case residence [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.15; p = 0.008], and bacterial diarrhea was associated with the number of holding tanks per 40-acre quarter-quarter section (AOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.02-1.46; p = 0.026). Diarrhea of unknown etiology was independently associated with drinking from a household well contaminated with fecal enterococci (AOR, 6.18; 95% CI, 1.22-31.46; p = 0.028). Septic system densities were associated with endemic diarrheal illness in central Wisconsin. The association should be investigated in other regions, and standards for septic systems should be evaluated to ensure that the public health is protected.
PMCID: PMC1241485  PMID: 12727604
19.  Outcomes of Treated Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Cases 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(4):398-401.
We conducted a case-control study in Wisconsin to determine whether some patients have long-term adverse health outcomes after antibiotic treatment for human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). A standardized health status questionnaire was administered to patients and controls matched by age group and sex. Consenting patients provided blood samples for serologic testing. Among the 85 previously treated patients, the median interval since onset of illness was 24 months. Compared with 102 controls, patients were more likely to report recurrent or continuous fevers, chills, fatigue, and sweats. Patients had lower health status scores than controls for bodily pain and health relative to 1 year earlier, but there was no significant difference in physical functioning, role limitations, general health, or vitality measures. The HGE antibody titer remained elevated in one patient; two had elevated aspartate aminotransferase levels. HGE may cause a postinfectious syndrome characterized by constitutional symptoms without functional disability or serologic evidence of persistent infection.
doi:10.3201/eid0804.010222
PMCID: PMC2730236  PMID: 11971774
ehrlichiosis; granulocytes; tick-borne diseases; human; health status; treatment outcome

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