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1.  Comparative analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae transmission in Portuguese and Finnish day-care centres 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:180.
Day-care centre (DCC) attendees play a central role in maintaining the circulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) in the population. The prevalence of pneumococcal carriage is highest in DCC attendees but varies across countries and is found to be consistently lower in Finland than in Portugal. We compared key parameters underlying pneumococcal transmission in DCCs to understand which of these contributed to the observed differences in carriage prevalence.
Longitudinal data about serotype-specific carriage in DCC attendees in Portugal (47 children in three rooms; mean age 2 years; range 1–3 years) and Finland (91 children in seven rooms; mean age 4 years; range 1–7 years) were analysed with a continuous-time event history model in a Bayesian framework. The monthly rates of within-room transmission, community acquisition and clearing carriage were estimated.
The posterior mean of within-room transmission rate was 1.05 per month (Portugal) vs. 0.63 per month (Finland). The smaller rate of clearance in Portugal (0.57 vs. 0.73 per month) is in accordance with the children being younger. The overall community rate of acquisition was larger in the Portuguese setting (0.25 vs. 0.11 per month), in agreement with that the groups belonged to a larger DCC. The model adequately predicted the observed levels of carriage prevalence and longitudinal patterns in carriage acquisition and clearance.
The difference in prevalence of carriage (61% in Portuguese vs. 26% among Finnish DCC attendees) was assigned to the longer duration of carriage in younger attendees and a significantly higher rate of within-room transmission and community acquisition in the Portuguese setting.
PMCID: PMC3652738  PMID: 23597389
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Pneumococcus; Day care; Child; Transmission; Carriage; Prevalence; Longitudinal studies; Portugal; Finland; Statistical models; Bayesian inference; Data augmentation
2.  Metagenes Associated with Survival in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Cancer Informatics  2011;10:175-183.
NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) comprises about 80% of all lung cancer cases worldwide. Surgery is most effective treatment for patients with early-stage disease. However, 30%–55% of these patients develop recurrence within 5 years. Therefore, markers that can be used to accurately classify early-stage NSCLC patients into different prognostic groups may be helpful in selecting patients who should receive specific therapies.
A previously published dataset was used to evaluate gene expression profiles of different NSCLC subtypes. A moderated two-sample t-test was used to identify differentially expressed genes between all tumor samples and cancer-free control tissue, between SCC samples and AC/BC samples and between stage I tumor samples and all other tumor samples. Gene expression microarray measurements were validated using qRT-PCR.
Bayesian regression analysis and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were performed to determine metagenes associated with survival. We identified 599 genes which were down-regulated and 402 genes which were up-regulated in NSCLC compared to the normal lung tissue and 112 genes which were up-regulated and 101 genes which were down-regulated in AC/BC compared to the SCC. Further, for stage Ib patients the metagenes potentially associated with survival were identified.
Genes that expressed differently between normal lung tissue and cancer showed enrichment in gene ontology terms which were associated with mitosis and proliferation. Bayesian regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that gene-expression patterns and metagene profiles can be applied to predict the probability of different survival outcomes in NSCLC patients.
PMCID: PMC3118451  PMID: 21695068
non-small cell lung cancer; microarray; gene expression pattern; Kaplan-Meier curve; TNM stage; metagenes
3.  Outbreaks of Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage in day care cohorts in Finland – implications for elimination of transmission 
Day care centre (DCC) attendees play a central role in maintaining the circulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) in the population. Exposure within families and within DCCs are the main risk factors for colonisation with pneumococcal serotypes in DCC attendees.
Transmission of serotype specific carriage was analysed with a continuous time event history model, based on longitudinal data from day care attendees and their family members. Rates of acquisition, conditional on exposure, were estimated in a Bayesian framework utilising latent processes of carriage. To ensure a correct level of exposure, non-participating day care attendees and their family members were included in the analysis. Posterior predictive simulations were used to quantify transmission patterns within day care cohorts, to estimate the basic reproduction number for pneumococcal carriage in a population of day care cohorts, and to assess the critical vaccine efficacy against carriage to eliminate pneumococcal transmission.
The model, validated by posterior predictive sampling, was successful in capturing the strong temporal clustering of pneumococcal serotypes in the day care cohorts. In average 2.7 new outbreaks of pneumococcal carriage initiate in a day care cohort each month. While 39% of outbreaks were of size one, the mean outbreak size was 7.6 individuals and the mean length of an outbreak was 2.8 months. The role of families in creating and maintaining transmission was minimal, as only 10% of acquisitions in day care attendees were from family members. Considering a population of day care cohorts, a child-to-child basic reproduction number was estimated as 1.4 and the critical vaccine efficacy against acquisition of carriage as 0.3.
Pneumococcal transmission occurs in serotype specific outbreaks of carriage, driven by within-day-care transmission and between-serotype competition. An amplifying effect of the day care cohorts enhances the spread of pneumococcal serotypes within the population. The effect of vaccination, in addition to reducing susceptibility to pneumococcal carriage in the vaccinated, induces a herd effect, thus creating a counter-effect to the amplifying effect of the cohort. Consequently, the critical vaccine efficacy against carriage, required for elimination of transmission, is relatively low. Use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is expected to induce a notable herd protection against pneumococcal disease.
PMCID: PMC2717096  PMID: 19558701
4.  Clustering of serotypes in a longitudinal study of Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage in three day care centres 
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) causes a wide range of clinical manifestations that together constitute a major burden of disease worldwide. The main route of pneumococcal transmission is through asymptomatic colonisation of the nasopharynx. Studies of transmission are currently of general interest because of the impact of the new conjugate-polysaccharide vaccines on nasopharyngeal colonisation (carriage). Here we report the first longitudinal study of pneumococcal carriage that records serotype specific exposure to pneumococci simultaneously within the two most important mixing groups, families and day care facilities.
We followed attendees (N = 59) with their family members (N = 117) and the employees (N = 37) in three Finnish day care centres for 9 months with monthly sampling of nasopharyngeal carriage. Pneumococci were cultured, identified and serotyped by standard methods.
Children in day care constitute a core group of pneumococcal carriage: of the 36 acquisitions of carriage with documented exposure to homologous pneumococci, the attendee had been exposed in her/his day care centre in 35 cases and in the family in 9 cases. Day care children introduce pneumococci to the family: 66% of acquisitions of a new serotype in a family were associated with simultaneous or previous carriage of the same type in the child attending day care. Consequently, pneumococcal transmission was found to take place as micro-epidemics driven by the day care centres. Each of the three day care centres was dominated by a serotype of its own, accounting for 100% of the isolates of that serotype among all samples from the day care attendees.
The transmission of pneumococci is more intense within than across clusters defined by day care facilities. The ensuing micro-epidemic behaviour enhances pneumococcal transmission.
PMCID: PMC2639357  PMID: 19116005
5.  Family-based clusters of cognitive test performance in familial schizophrenia 
BMC Psychiatry  2004;4:20.
Cognitive traits derived from neuropsychological test data are considered to be potential endophenotypes of schizophrenia. Previously, these traits have been found to form a valid basis for clustering samples of schizophrenia patients into homogeneous subgroups. We set out to identify such clusters, but apart from previous studies, we included both schizophrenia patients and family members into the cluster analysis. The aim of the study was to detect family clusters with similar cognitive test performance.
Test scores from 54 randomly selected families comprising at least two siblings with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and at least two unaffected family members were included in a complete-linkage cluster analysis with interactive data visualization.
A well-performing, an impaired, and an intermediate family cluster emerged from the analysis. While the neuropsychological test scores differed significantly between the clusters, only minor differences were observed in the clinical variables.
The visually aided clustering algorithm was successful in identifying family clusters comprising both schizophrenia patients and their relatives. The present classification method may serve as a basis for selecting phenotypically more homogeneous groups of families in subsequent genetic analyses.
PMCID: PMC512293  PMID: 15271222
6.  Evaluation of the incidence and risk of hypoglycemic coma associated with selection of basal insulin in the treatment of diabetes: a Finnish register linkage study† 
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety  2013;22(12):1326-1335.
Long-acting basal insulin analogs have demonstrated positive effects on the balance between effective glycemic control and risk of hypoglycemia versus neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in randomized controlled trials. Evidence of severe hypoglycemic risk with insulin detemir, insulin glargine, or NPH insulin is presented from a nationwide retrospective database study.
Research design and methods
Data from hospital and secondary healthcare visits due to hypoglycemic coma from 75 682 insulin-naïve type 1 or 2 diabetes patients initiating therapy with NPH insulin, insulin glargine, or insulin detemir in Finland between 2000 and 2009 were analyzed. Incidence rates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Poisson regression. Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox's regression with adjustments for relevant background variables.
The adjusted risk of hospital/secondary healthcare visits due to the first severe hypoglycemic event was 21.7% (95% CI 9.6–32.1%, p < 0.001) lower for insulin detemir and 9.9% (95% CI 1.5–17.6%, p = 0.022) lower for insulin glargine versus NPH insulin. Risk of hypoglycemic coma recurrence was 36.3% (95% CI 8.9–55.5%, p = 0.014) lower for detemir and 9.5% but not significantly (95% CI −10.2 to 25.7%, p = 0.318) lower for glargine versus NPH insulin. Risk of all hypoglycemic coma events was 30.8% (95% CI 16.2–42.8%, p-value <0.001) lower for detemir and 15.6% (95% CI 5.1–25.0%, p-value 0.005) lower for glargine versus NPH. Insulin detemir had a significantly lower risk for first (13.1% lower [p = 0.034]), recurrent (29.6% lower [p = 0.021]), and all (17.9% lower [p = 0.016]) severe hypoglycemic events than insulin glargine.
There were considerable differences in risk of hospitalization or secondary healthcare visits due to hypoglycemic coma between basal insulin treatments in real-life clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4265848  PMID: 24150837
hypoglycemia; basal insulin; register linkage study; pharmacoepidemiology

Results 1-6 (6)