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1.  A Geographically-Restricted but Prevalent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strain Identified in the West Midlands Region of the UK between 1995 and 2008 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17930.
We describe the identification of, and risk factors for, the single most prevalent Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain in the West Midlands region of the UK.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Prospective 15-locus MIRU-VNTR genotyping of all M. tuberculosis isolates in the West Midlands between 2004 and 2008 was undertaken. Two retrospective epidemiological investigations were also undertaken using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis. The first study of all TB patients in the West Midlands between 2004 and 2008 identified a single prevalent strain in each of the study years (total 155/3,056 (5%) isolates). This prevalent MIRU-VNTR profile (32333 2432515314 434443183) remained clustered after typing with an additional 9-loci MIRU-VNTR and spoligotyping. The majority of these patients (122/155, 79%) resided in three major cities located within a 40 km radius. From the apparent geographical restriction, we have named this the “Mercian” strain. A multivariate analysis of all TB patients in the West Midlands identified that infection with a Mercian strain was significantly associated with being UK-born (OR = 9.03, 95%CI = 4.56–17.87, p<0.01), Black Caribbean (OR = 5.68, 95%CI = 2.96–10.91, p<0.01) resident in Wolverhampton (OR = 9.29, 95%CI = 5.69–15.19, p<0.01) and negatively associated with age >65 years old (OR = 0.25, 95%CI = 0.09–0.67, p<0.01). A second more detailed investigation analyzed a cohort of 82 patients resident in Wolverhampton between 2003 and 2006. A significant association with being born in the UK remained after a multivariate analysis (OR = 9.68, 95%CI = 2.00–46.78, p<0.01) and excess alcohol intake and cannabis use (OR = 6.26, 95%CI = 1.45–27.02, p = .01) were observed as social risk factors for infection.
The continued consistent presence of the Mercian strain suggests ongoing community transmission. Whilst significant associations have been found, there may be other common risk factors yet to be identified. Future investigations should focus on targeting the relevant risk groups and elucidating the biological factors that mediate continued transmission of this strain.
PMCID: PMC3064665  PMID: 21464965
2.  Changing dental caries and periodontal disease patterns among a cohort of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel: 1999–2005 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:345.
Dental epidemiology has indicated that immigrants and minority ethnic groups should be regarded as high risk populations on the verge of oral health deterioration. The objectives of this study were to measure the changing pattern of dental caries, periodontal health status and tooth cleaning behaviour among a cohort of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel between the years 1999–2005.
Increment of dental caries and periodontal health status was recorded among a cohort of 672 Ethiopian immigrants, utilizing the DMFT and CPI indices. Data were gathered during 1999–2000 and five years later, during 2004–2005. Participants were asked about their oral hygiene habits in Ethiopia and in Israel five years since their immigration.
Regarding dental caries, at baseline 70.1% of the examinees were caries-free, as compared to 57.3% after five years. DMFT had increased from 1.48 to 2.31. For periodontal health status, at baseline, 94.7% demonstrated no periodontal pockets (CPI scores 0–2) and 5.3% revealed periodontal pockets (CPI scores 3&4), compared to 75.6% and 24.4%, respectively after five years. At baseline, 74% reported cleaning their teeth exclusively utilizing chewing and cleaning sticks common in Ethiopia. After five years, 97% reported cleaning their teeth exclusively utilizing toothbrushes.
The deterioration in the oral health status, especially the alarming and significant worsening of periodontal health status, among this immigrant group, emphasizes the need for health promotion and maintenance among immigrants and minority groups in changing societies. An "acclimatizing and integrating" model of oral health promotion among minority and immigrant groups is suggested.
PMCID: PMC2565680  PMID: 18828927
3.  Dental profile of patients with Gaucher disease 
BMC Oral Health  2003;3:4.
This study was conducted to determine whether patients with Gaucher disease had significant dental pathology because of abnormal bone structure, pancytopenia, and coagulation abnormalities.
Each patient received a complete oral and periodontal examination in addition to a routine hematological evaluation.
Gaucher patients had significantly fewer carious lesions than otherwise healthy carriers. Despite prevalence of anemia, there was no increase in gingival disease; despite the high incidence of thrombocytopenia, gingival bleeding was not noted; and despite radiological evidence of bone involvement, there was no greater incidence loss of teeth or clinical tooth mobility.
These data represent the first survey of the oral health of a large cohort of patients with Gaucher disease. It is a pilot study of a unique population and the results of the investigation are indications for further research. Based on our findings, we recommend regular oral examinations with appropriate dental treatment for patients with Gaucher disease as for other individuals. Consultation between the dentist and physician, preferably one with experience with Gaucher disease, should be considered when surgical procedures are planned.
PMCID: PMC183852  PMID: 12875661
5.  The World Health Organization's Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of AIDS 
Western Journal of Medicine  1987;147(6):732-734.
The magnitude of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic and its broad impact have been seriously underestimated and underappreciated. The Special Programme on AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) of the World Health Organization (WHO) was created on February 1, 1987, as the architect and keystone of the global AIDS plan. The Special Programme on AIDS has designed the global strategy, has raised sufficient funds to begin implementing the strategy and, for this effort, has marshalled the support of every nation in the world. AIDS affects both the developing and the industrialized worlds; therefore, every country will need a national AIDS program. This is vital not only for national interests but also because ultimately AIDS cannot be stopped in any one country unless it is stopped in all countries. National AIDS programs are being rapidly established throughout the world with the technical and financial support of WHO's Special Programme on AIDS. At the global level, the Special Programme is responsible for strategic leadership, developing consensus, coordinating scientific research, exchanging information, assuring technical cooperation and mobilizing and coordinating resources. National AIDS committees have already been established in more than 150 countries and, by the end of 1988, the Special Programme will support every country in the world that requests collaboration.
PMCID: PMC1025996  PMID: 3433760
6.  Global Epidemiology 
Western Journal of Medicine  1987;147(6):694-701.
A total of 62,811 cases of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been reported to the World Health Organization from throughout the world. Extensive epidemiologic studies have shown that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are transmitted by three routes: sexual, parenteral and perinatal. Three geographic patterns of transmission have been defined. In pattern I, transmission occurs predominantly among homosexual and bisexual men and urban intravenous drug abusers; transmission via blood products has been controlled; the male:female sex ratio is 10:1 or more; population HIV seroprevalence is low, and perinatal transmission is uncommon (for instance, United States, western Europe). In pattern II, transmission is predominantly heterosexual and perinatal; transmission via blood products exists but is being reduced; unsterile needles and other skin-piercing instruments cause some parenteral transmission (magnitude not known); the male:female sex ratio is 1:1, and population seroprevalence often exceeds 1% (central Africa, Haiti). In pattern III, AIDS cases are just being documented and are generally due to sexual exposure abroad or imported blood products (Middle East, Asia).
PMCID: PMC1025987  PMID: 3433752
7.  Plague Meningitis—A Retrospective Analysis of Cases Reported in the United States, 1970-1979 
Western Journal of Medicine  1987;147(5):554-557.
Meningitis caused by Yersinia pestis developed in 6 (6%) of a total of 105 patients with plague reported to the Centers for Disease Control from 1970 to 1979. Five of the six cases occurred in children aged 10 to 15 years. All six patients received antibiotic therapy before meningitis developed, which appeared between the 9th and 14th days after the onset of acute illness in five of the six patients. There were no neurologic sequelae. The antigenic and biochemical profiles of the Y pestis strains isolated from cerebrospinal fluid in the meningitis cases did not differ from those of the Y pestis strains obtained from blood and bubo aspirates in the other 99 patients, and neither did in vitro studies suggest antibiotic resistance. While plague meningitis is an uncommon complication of acute plague infection, physicians in the western United States should be aware that it may develop as much as 14 days after antibiotic therapy for the acute plague infection has been initiated.
PMCID: PMC1025943  PMID: 3424819
8.  Plague Masquerading as Gastrointestinal Illness 
Western Journal of Medicine  1986;145(4):485-487.
In clinical descriptions of human plague, fever and tender lymphadenitis are emphasized and gastrointestinal manifestations are rarely mentioned. A review of 71 human plague cases showed that gastrointestinal symptoms occurred commonly (57%). Vomiting (39%) was the most frequent symptom, with nausea (34%), diarrhea (28%) and abdominal pain (17%) occurring less often. Physicians treating patients who reside in or have recently visited plague-endemic areas should include plague in the differential diagnosis in the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms and fever.
PMCID: PMC1306978  PMID: 3788132
9.  Low Prevalence of Hepatitis B Infections Among Residents of an Institution for the Mentally Retarded in New Mexico 
Western Journal of Medicine  1984;141(3):339-341.
Residential institutions for the mentally retarded are considered high-risk settings for hepatitis B (HB) infection. Accordingly, HB vaccine is recommended for susceptible clients and selected staff of such facilities. However, a serologic screening program among 364 residents of Los Lunas Hospital and Training School (LLHTS) in New Mexico found only 11 residents to be anti-HBc positive (3%) and only one of these residents was also HBsAg-positive (0.3%). The unexpectedly low prevalence of HB infections at LLHTS probably reflects infrequent HB introductions into the institution. Using these serologic data, a vaccination program was instituted to prevent HB infection among LLHTS residents, thereby eliminating the need for mass screening and HB vaccination of LLHTS employees. Serologic screening among residents of other smaller institutions for the mentally retarded is recommended before design of HB prevention programs for clients and staff.
PMCID: PMC1021822  PMID: 6506672
10.  New Mexico's First Case of Plague 
Western Journal of Medicine  1983;139(1):114-115.
PMCID: PMC1010915  PMID: 18749400
12.  Pneumococcal Pneumonia: Experience in a Community Hospital 
Western Journal of Medicine  1982;136(1):1-5.
Cases of patients admitted to hospital with community-acquired pneumonia over a three-year period were reviewed to determine whether pneumococcal pneumonia and pneumococcal bacteremia occurred as frequently as reported in urban and university-based studies. Pneumococcus was isolated in only 25 of 202 patients (12 percent) in whom adequate attempts at culture were made, only one patient had documented pneumococcal bacteremia and no patients died of pneumococcal pneumonia proved by culture. Prospective studies in community hospitals should be considered to define more clearly the epidemiology of pneumococcal pneumonia in the nonurban United States population. These studies would also contribute to a rational policy for use of pneumococcal vaccine in this country.
PMCID: PMC1273366  PMID: 7072235

Results 1-12 (12)