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1.  PRION-1 scales analysis supports use of functional outcome measures in prion disease 
Neurology  2011;77(18):1674-1683.
Human prion diseases are heterogeneous but invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders with no known effective therapy. PRION-1, the largest clinical trial in prion disease to date, showed no effect of the potential therapeutic quinacrine on survival. Although there are several limitations to the usefulness of survival as an outcome measure, there have been no comprehensive studies of alternatives.
To address this we did comparative analyses of neurocognitive, psychiatric, global, clinician-rated, and functional scales, focusing on validity, variability, and impact on statistical power over 77 person-years follow-up in 101 symptomatic patients in PRION-1.
Quinacrine had no demonstrable benefit on any of the 8 scales (p > 0.4). All scales had substantial numbers of patients with the worst possible score at enrollment (Glasgow Coma Scale score being least affected) and were impacted by missing data due to disease progression. These effects were more significant for cognitive/psychiatric scales than global, clinician-rated, or functional scales. The Barthel and Clinical Dementia Rating scales were the most valid and powerful in simulated clinical trials of an effective therapeutic. A combination of selected subcomponents from these 2 scales gave somewhat increased power, compared to use of survival, to detect clinically relevant effects in future clinical trials of feasible size.
Our findings have implications for the choice of primary outcome measure in prion disease clinical trials. Prion disease presents the unusual opportunity to follow patients with a neurodegenerative disease through their entire clinical course, and this provides insights relevant to designing outcome measures in related conditions.
PMCID: PMC3208955  PMID: 22013183
2.  Comparative complement-fixation studies with subtype strains of foot-and-mouth disease virus 
The Journal of Hygiene  1972;70(1):171-180.
A comparison was made between a macrotechnique in tubes and a microtechnique in plastic plates for complement-fixation tests, using strains of three subtypes of the Asia 1 type of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus. The results obtained with these techniques were found to be comparable and delineated the antigenic relationships of the three strains employed. The microtechnique was considered to be both economical with reagents and capable of similar accuracy and reproducibility to that of the standard method in tubes. It was concluded that the antigenic analysis of subtype strains of FMD virus can be conveniently carried out by the use of the microtechnique as described.
PMCID: PMC2130023  PMID: 4335339
4.  Tuberculosis and HIV: estimates of the overlap in England and Wales. 
Thorax  1993;48(3):199-203.
BACKGROUND: A study was designed to determine the extent of the interaction between tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus infection in England and Wales. METHODS: Data were obtained from the United Kingdom national AIDS surveillance and the Medical Research Council tuberculosis notification surveys in England and Wales (1983 and 1988). The proportion of patients reported with AIDS known to have had tuberculosis and the proportion of patients notified with tuberculosis known to have HIV infection were estimated. RESULTS: Of the 4360 patients with AIDS reported by 30 June 1991, 200 (4.6%) were in patients reported to have had tuberculosis. Only one of the 3002 patients (0.03%) reported in the 1983 survey of tuberculosis notifications in England and Wales was known to be infected with HIV compared with nine of 2163 patients (0.42%) in the 1988 survey. CONCLUSION: Although the reported number of cases of HIV infection with tuberculosis in this country is increasing it remains small. Complete reporting of cases of AIDS and notification of cases of tuberculosis are essential to enable the two infections to be monitored as the HIV epidemic develops. Special studies, such as those reported here, will need to be undertaken regularly to assess the future extent of the interaction.
PMCID: PMC464352  PMID: 8497815
5.  Controlled trial of natamycin in the treatment of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. 
Thorax  1990;45(6):447-450.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis often requires treatment with oral corticosteroids to control the host response to Aspergillus fumigatus. In a double blind study 25 patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis taking maintenance oral corticosteroids were randomly allocated to receive 5 mg natamycin or placebo by nebuliser twice daily for one year. The primary aim of the study was to assess the steroid sparing potential of natamycin. Standardised reductions in corticosteroid dosage were therefore undertaken every five weeks, unless clinically contraindicated. Five patients were withdrawn in the first four months: two (1 natamycin, 1 placebo) died, two (1 natamycin, 1 placebo) had suspected drug reactions, and one (natamycin) was non-compliant. The pretreatment characteristics of the 20 patients (10 in each group) who completed the study were similar, 17 (9 natamycin, 8 placebo) having evidence of recent disease activity. At the end of the study prednisolone dose had been reduced by a similar amount in each group (median natamycin 2.25 mg, placebo 2.5 mg). Evidence of disease activity during the study year (transient shadowing on the chest radiograph, blood eosinophilia, or increases in antibodies to A fumigatus, or any combination of these) was observed in similar numbers of patients in each group (5 natamycin, 7 placebo). There was no evidence that natamycin conferred benefit on these patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
PMCID: PMC462527  PMID: 2203181
6.  Six year follow up of lung function in men occupationally exposed to formaldehyde. 
The long term effects of formaldehyde on the respiratory tract have been investigated in a group of 164 workers exposed daily to the chemical during the production of urea formaldehyde resin, together with 129 workers not exposed to free formaldehyde. Exposure was classified as high (corresponding to an eight hour time weighted exposure of more than 2.0 ppm), medium (0.6 to 2.0 ppm), or low (0.1 to 0.5 ppm). Twenty five per cent of workers had had high exposure at some time and 17% moderate exposure. Both the exposed and unexposed groups had an annual assessment that included lung function. The proportion with self reported respiratory symptoms was similar in the two groups, 12% and 16% reporting breathlessness on hurrying and 26% and 20% wheezing. The initial forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was within 0.5 l (approximately one standard deviation (SD)) of the predicted value (by age and height) in 65% of the exposed and 59% of unexposed workers and more than 0.5 l below the predicted value in 9% of exposed and 11% of unexposed workers. The mean decline in FEV1 was 42 ml a year (SD 45) in the exposed group and 41 ml a year in the unexposed group (SD 40 ml a year). The rate of decline showed the expected association with smoking in the unexposed group, but in the exposed group the mean rate of decline in the never smokers was similar to that in current smokers. There were, however, relatively few never smokers and considerable variation in the rates of decline. In the exposed group no association was found between the rate of decline and indices of exposure to formaldehyde. Thus there is no evidence from this study of an excess of respiratory symptoms or decline in lung function in the workers exposed to formaldehyde. The similar rate of decline of FEV1 however in never smokers and smokers of the exposed group is consistent with findings of other studies for workers exposed to formaldehyde and to toluene di-isocyanate.
PMCID: PMC1035265  PMID: 2245186
7.  Tuberculosis in England and Wales in 1993: results of a national survey. Public Health Laboratory Service/British Thoracic Society/Department of Health Collaborative Group 
Thorax  1997;52(12):1060-1067.
BACKGROUND: A national survey of tuberculosis notifications in England and Wales was carried out in 1993 to determine the notification rate of tuberculosis and the trends in the occurrence of disease by ethnic group in comparison with the findings of similar surveys in 1978/79, 1983, and 1988. The prevalence of HIV infection in adults notified with tuberculosis in the survey period was also estimated. METHODS: Clinical, bacteriological, and sociodemographic information was obtained on all newly notified cases of tuberculosis in England and Wales during the six months from 2 January to 2 July 1993. The prevalence of HIV infection in 16-54 year old patients with tuberculosis notified throughout 1993 was assessed using "unlinked anonymous" testing supplemented by matching of the register of patients with tuberculosis with that of patients with AIDS reported to the PHLS AIDS centre. Annual notification rates were calculated using population estimates from the 1993 Labour Force Survey. RESULTS: A total of 2706 newly notified patients was eligible for inclusion in the survey of whom 2458 were previously untreated the comparable figures for 1988 were 2408 and 2163. The number of patients of white ethnic origin decreased from 1142 (53%) in 1988 to 1088 (44%) in 1993 whereas those of patients of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi (Indian subcontinent (ISC)) ethnic origin increased from 843 (39%) in 1988 to 1014 (41%) and those of "other" (non-white, non-ISC) ethnic origins increased from 178 (8%) to 356 (14%). The largest increase was seen in the black African ethnic group from 37 in 1988 to 171 in 1993. Forty nine per cent of patients had been born abroad and the highest rates were seen in those who had recently arrived in this country. The overall annual notification rate for previously untreated tuberculosis in England and Wales increased between 1988 and 1993 from 8.4 to 9.2 per 100,000 population. The rate declined in the white, Indian, and black Caribbean ethnic groups and increased in all other groups. In the white group the rate of decline has slowed since the last survey: in several age groups the rates were higher in 1993 than 1988 but the numbers in these groups were small. Thirty six (4.1%) of the 882 previously untreated respiratory cases were resistant to isoniazid and three (0.3%) to isoniazid and rifampicin. Sixty two (2.3%) adults aged 16-54 years were estimated to be HIV-infected. Evidence of under-reporting of HIV positive tuberculosis patients was found. CONCLUSIONS: The number of cases and annual notification rate for previously untreated tuberculosis increased between 1988 and 1993. Although the decline in rates in the white population has continued, the rate of decline has slowed. The high rates in the ISC ethnic group population have continued to decline since 1988 whereas rates in the black African group have increased. An increased proportion of cases were found among people born abroad, particularly those recently arrived in this country. In previously untreated cases the level of drug resistance remains low and multi-drug resistance is rare. A small proportion of adults with tuberculosis were infected with HIV but there may be selective undernotification of tuberculosis in these patients. 

PMCID: PMC1758462  PMID: 9516900
8.  Tuberculosis: old reasons for a new increase? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1995;310(6985):954-955.
PMCID: PMC2549354  PMID: 7728020
9.  Tuberculosis in prisons. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1989;299(6704):874.
PMCID: PMC1837772  PMID: 2510876
10.  Randomised controlled trial comparing prednisolone alone with cyclophosphamide and low dose prednisolone in combination in cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis. 
Thorax  1989;44(4):280-288.
In a randomised, controlled study alternate day prednisolone with an initial high dose phase ("prednisolone only series") has been compared with cyclophosphamide plus alternate day low dose prednisolone ("cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series") in 43 patients with previously untreated fibrosing alveolitis (five patients had received prednisolone in minimal dosage). In the prednisolone only series prednisolone 60 mg daily was given for one month and then reduced by 5 mg a week to 20 mg on alternate days or the minimum dose to maintain early improvement. Patients in the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series received 100, 110, or 120 mg cyclophosphamide daily (depending on body weight) plus 20 mg prednisolone on alternate days. Treatment was continued indefinitely, or changed to the alternative regimen if the patient deteriorated, failed to improve, or developed drug toxicity. For response to treatment (as judged by change in breathlessness score, radiographic appearance, and lung function) patients were classified as improved, stable, or deteriorating. Deaths from cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis were also analysed. Improvement had occurred at one or more assessments in seven of the 22 patients in the prednisolone only series and in five of the 21 patients in the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series. At three years, however, only two of the 22 patients in the prednisolone only series were still improved and three stable, compared with one and seven of the 21 patients in the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series (three of the seven had stopped treatment because of toxicity). Life table analysis suggested better survival in patients in the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series but this was not significant. At three years 10 of 22 patients in the prednisolone only series had died compared with three of 21 patients in the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone series. With death or failure of first treatment regimen as outcome there was a significant advantage to the patients having cyclophosphamide-prednisolone. This advantage was explained in part by the better lung volumes in this group on admission. After allowance had been made for total lung capacity (TLC), no other factor was predictive of outcome. Analyses of subgroups according to TLC on admission showed that patients with a TLC below 60% predicted did badly and those with a TLC of 80% or more predicted did well with both regimens. Patients with an initial TLC of 60-79% predicted did better with the cyclophosphamide-prednisolone regimen. Side effects were uncommon in both series and those due to cyclophosphamide resolved when treatment was stopped. The combination of cyclophosphamide with prednisolone may be an alternative to prednisolone alone with an initial high dose phase. Many patients, however, failed to respond to either treatment.
PMCID: PMC461792  PMID: 2669218
11.  Are healthcare workers in England and Wales at increased risk of tuberculosis? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1996;313(7056):522-525.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether healthcare workers in England and Wales are at increased risk of tuberculosis and to examine the frequency of drug resistance in this population. DESIGN: Comparison of notification rates by occupation obtained from national tuberculosis notification surveys in 1988 and 1993, with denominators from the 1991 census. SUBJECTS: People with notified tuberculosis in professional and associate professional occupations from the two surveys. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of notified tuberculosis in health professionals (mainly doctors) and health associate professionals (mainly nurses) compared with rates in other professional and associate professional occupations, adjusted for ethnic group, sex, and age. RESULTS: 119 cases of tuberculosis were identified in healthcare workers, including 61 nurses and 42 doctors. The crude notification rate in healthcare workers was 11.8 per 100,000 per year (95% confidence interval 9.8 to 14.1) compared with 3.3 per 100,000 per year (2.9 to 3.6) in other professional and associate professional occupations; rate ratios were higher (range 1.7 to 3.2) in all ethnic groups. The relative risk adjusted for ethnic group, sex, and age was 2.4 (95% confidence interval 2.0 to 3.0), slightly higher for health professionals (2.7 (1.9 to 3.8)) than for associate professionals (2.0 (1.5 to 2.6)). No multiple drug resistant strains of tuberculosis were identified in healthcare workers. CONCLUSIONS: Better detection and notification of cases of tuberculosis in healthcare workers may account for some of the apparent increased risk, but these findings imply that tuberculosis remains a hazard for healthcare workers and highlight the importance of ensuring that occupational health monitoring and protection workers are not neglected.
PMCID: PMC2351896  PMID: 8789976
12.  Early HIV infection: to treat or not to treat? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1990;301(6756):825-826.
PMCID: PMC1663958  PMID: 2282416
13.  Changes in tuberculosis notification rates in the white ethnic group in England and Wales between 1953 and 1983. 
Since the early 1960s notification rates for tuberculosis in England and Wales for the whole population have been influenced by high rates in certain ethnic groups. Using data based on country of birth from the British (Thoracic and) Tuberculosis Association surveys of 1965 and 1971, and based on ethnic origin from the Medical Research Council surveys in 1978/79 and 1983, rates for the white ethnic group have been estimated at those four times, and compared with the published rates for the whole population in 1953, when only a very small proportion was of non-white ethnic origin. Between 1953 and 1983 the notification rate for the white ethnic group fell from 122.2 to 11.3 per 100,000 for males, an annual decline of 7.7%, the corresponding rates for females being 90.1 and 5.8, an annual decline of 8.8%. The greatest annual declines occurred between 1953 and 1965, 9.4% for males and 11.2% for females. The annual declines in the most recent period, 1978/79 to 1983, were 6.9% for males and 7.3% for females. In both sexes the decline was greatest in the 15-24 year age group and least in the oldest age group, and this has led to a change in the age pattern of annual notification rates. The highest rates in both sexes occurred in young adults in 1953 but in the oldest age groups in 1983. There is however no evidence of any cohort experiencing an increase in notification rate with increasing age.
PMCID: PMC1052767  PMID: 3256580
14.  Changes in annual tuberculosis notification rates between 1978/79 and 1983 for the population of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin resident in England. 
In two national surveys of tuberculosis notifications in England conducted in 1978/79 and 1983 the estimated annual notification rates for the Indian subcontinent (Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi) ethnic groups were considerably higher than the rate for the white ethnic group. The mean annual decline in rates between the surveys appeared to be greater for the Indian and the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, 15% and 16% respectively, than for the white ethnic group (7%). Data from two small sample population surveys, the National Dwelling and Housing Survey in 1978 and the Labour Force Survey in 1983, were used to calculate the rates. However, comparison of the estimates for the population of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin in England from these surveys revealed discrepancies between them. Additional information from the Labour Force Survey on the year of first entry to the United Kingdom (UK) permitted the calculation of new estimates for the 1978 population, and based on these estimates the annual notification rates for 1978/79 were 287 per 100,000 for the Indian and 286 per 100,000 for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. The rates for 1983 were 178 and 169 respectively, and the mean annual decline between the surveys was 11% for the Indian and 12% for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. There were important changes in the characteristics of the population of Indian subcontinent ethnic origin in England between 1978 and 1983, and therefore the rates for both surveys have been standardised by the method of direct standardisation to a common reference population. Standardizing for year of entry to the UK, place of birth (UK or abroad), age, and sex reduced the mean annual decline in the notification rate to 4% for the Indian and 9% for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. The much greater reduction in the rate of decline in the Indian ethnic group is due to the substantial decline between the surveys in the proportion of recent immigrants, the group with the highest annual notification rate, in that population. Future trends will continue to be influenced by immigration patterns, but it will also be important to monitor the rates among the increasing proportion of the population born in the UK or resident in England for more than five years.
PMCID: PMC1052560  PMID: 3655629

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