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1.  Do the Effects of Head Start Vary by Parental Preacademic Stimulation? 
Child development  2014;85(4):1385-1400.
Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N=3,185, age = 3–4 years) were used to determine whether one year of Head Start differentially benefited children from homes with high, middle, and low levels of parental preacademic stimulation on three academic outcome domains – early math, early literacy, and receptive vocabulary. Results from residualized growth models showed positive impacts of random assignment to Head Start on all three outcomes, and positive associations between parental preacademic stimulation and academic performance. Two moderated effects were also found. Head Start boosted early math skills the most for children receiving low parental preacademic stimulation. Effects of Head Start on early literacy skills were largest for children receiving moderate levels of parental preacademic stimulation. Implications for Head Start are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4107068  PMID: 24597729
Head Start; parenting; preacademic stimulation; differential effects
2.  The Potential for Reducing the Number of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Doses While Sustaining Herd Immunity in High-Income Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(6):e1001839.
Stefan Flasche and colleagues consider whether the number of PCV doses in the infant schedule could be reduced without compromising its public health benefit in high-income settings.
PMCID: PMC4461163  PMID: 26057994
3.  Protein sorting to intracellular compartments 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2015;26(6):1014.
PMCID: PMC4357502  PMID: 25767203
4.  Why are pediatric primary care providers reluctant to prescribe antidepressants to teens? 
PMCID: PMC4279860  PMID: 25558351
adolescent; antidepressant agents; depressive disorder; physician's practice patterns; primary healthcare
6.  Parental Report of Receipt of Adolescent Preventive Health Counseling Services from Pediatric Providers 
Patient education and counseling  2013;94(2):269-275.
Little is known about prevention-focused counseling health providers deliver to parents of adolescents. This study compared parental report of discussions with their adolescents’ providers about a range of adolescent prevention topics.
Between June and November 2009, a questionnaire was provided to parents accompanying adolescents aged 11-18 on outpatient clinic visits. Parents indicated, anonymouslym which of 22 prevention topics they remembered discussing with their adolescent's provider. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used to identify correlates of parental recall.
Among the 358 participants, 83% reported discussing at least one prevention topic. More parents reported discussing general prevention topics than mental health or high-risk topics (e.g. sex). Adolescent gender, visit type, having a usual source of care, and parental beliefs about their adolescents’ risk behaviors correlated with parental report of discussions about high-risk and mental health topics.
Most parents recalled discussing one or more topics with their adolescent's health provider. However, parental report of discussions about topics linked to significant adolescent morbidity was low.
Practice implications
Strategies to improve the frequency, timeliness and appropriateness of counseling services delivered to parents about adolescent preventive health are needed. Strategies that utilize decision support tools or patient education tools may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC4382670  PMID: 24238626
Adolescent; health services; primary prevention; counseling; communication
7.  Rapid Inactivation of Mycobacterium and Nocardia Species before Identification Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization–Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(10):3654-3659.
The identification of mycobacteria outside biocontainment facilities requires that the organisms first be rendered inactive. Exposure to 70% ethanol (EtOH) either before or after mechanical disruption was evaluated in order to establish a safe, effective, and rapid inactivation protocol that is compatible with identification of Mycobacterium and Nocardia species using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). A combination of 5 min of bead beating in 70% EtOH followed by a 10-min room temperature incubation period was found to be rapidly bactericidal and provided high-quality spectra compared to spectra obtained directly from growth on solid media. The age of the culture, the stability of the refrigerated or frozen lysates, and freeze-thaw cycles did not adversely impact the quality of the spectra or the identification obtained.
PMCID: PMC4187772  PMID: 25078917
8.  Patient Preferences for Attributes of Multiple Sclerosis Disease-Modifying Therapies 
Background: Timely individualized treatment is essential to improving relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patient health outcomes, yet little is known about how patients make treatment decisions. We sought to evaluate RRMS patient preferences for risks and benefits of treatment.
Methods: Fifty patients with RRMS completed conjoint analysis surveys with 16 hypothetical disease-modifying therapy (DMT) medication profiles developed using a fractional factorial design. Medication profiles were assigned preference ratings from 0 (not acceptable) to 10 (most favorable). Medication attributes included a range of benefits, adverse effects, administration routes, and market durations. Analytical models used linear mixed-effects regression.
Results: Participants showed the highest preference for medication profiles that would improve their symptoms (β = 0.81–1.03, P < .001), not a proven DMT outcome. Preventing relapses, the main clinical trial outcome, was not associated with significant preferences (P = .35). Each year of preventing magnetic resonance imaging changes and disease symptom progression showed DMT preferences of 0.17 point (β = 0.17, P = .002) and 0.12 point (β = 0.12, P < .001), respectively. Daily oral administration was preferred over all parenteral routes (P < .001). A 1% increase in death or severe disability decreased relative DMT preference by 1.15 points (P < .001).
Conclusions: Patient preference focused on symptoms and prevention of progression but not on relapse prevention, the proven drug outcome. Patients were willing to accept some level of serious risk for certain types and amounts of benefits, and they strongly preferred daily oral administration over all other options.
PMCID: PMC4399770  PMID: 25892977
9.  Comparison of media literacy and usual education to prevent tobacco use: a cluster randomized trial 
The Journal of school health  2014;84(2):106-115.
Media literacy programs have shown potential for reduction of adolescent tobacco use. We aimed to determine if an anti-smoking media literacy curriculum improves students’ media literacy and affects factors related to adolescent smoking.
We recruited 1170 9th grade students from 64 classrooms in 3 public urban high schools. Students were randomized by classroom to a media literacy curriculum versus a standard educational program. In an intent-to-treat analysis, we used multi-level modeling to determine if changes in study outcomes were associated with the curricular intervention, controlling for baseline student covariates and the clustering of students within classrooms.
Among participants, mean age was 14.5 years and 51% were male, with no significant differences in baseline characteristics between groups. Smoking media literacy changed more among intervention participants compared with control participants (0.24 vs. 0.08, p < .001). Compared with controls, intervention students exhibited a greater reduction in the perceived prevalence of smoking (−14.0% vs. −4.6%, p < .001). Among those initially susceptible to smoking, intervention participants more commonly reverted to being non-susceptible post-intervention (24% vs. 16%, p = .08).
A school-based media literacy curriculum is more effective than a standard educational program in teaching media literacy and improving perceptions of the true prevalence of smoking among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4126196  PMID: 25099425
media literacy; media education; smoking; tobacco; school-based; social influences; attitudes; normative beliefs; youth; adolescents
10.  Recent partner violence and sexual and drug-related STI/HIV risk among adolescent and young adult women attending family planning clinics 
Sexually transmitted infections  2013;90(2):145-149.
Adolescent and young adult women are at high risk for both STI/HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV). We evaluate the prevalence of IPV in the past three months and its associations with STI/HIV risk, STI, and related care-seeking over the same time period.
Female family planning clinic patients ages 16–29 (n=3,504) participated in a cross-sectional survey in 2011–2012 as a baseline assessment for an intervention study. We examined associations of recent IPV with sexual and drug-related STI/HIV risk behavior, self-reported STI, and STI-related clinical care seeking via logistic regression.
Recent physical or sexual IPV (prevalence 11%) was associated with recent sexual and drug-related STI/HIV risk, specifically unprotected vaginal sex (AOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.52, 2.44), unprotected anal sex (AOR 2.22, 95% CI 1.51, 3.27) and injection drug use, both their own (AOR 3.39, 95% CI 1.47, 7.79) and their partner’s (AOR 3.85, 1.91, 7.75). IPV was also linked with coercive sexual risk: involuntary condom non-use (AOR 1.87, 95% CI 1.51, 2.33), and fears of requesting condoms (AOR 4.15, 95% CI 2.73, 6.30) and refusing sex (AOR 11.84, 95% CI 7.59, 18.45). STI-related care-seeking was also more common among those abused (AOR 2.49, 95% CI 1.87, 3.31).
Recent IPV is concurrent with sexual and drug-related STI/HIV risk, including coercive sexual risk, thus compromising women’s agency in STI/HIV risk reduction. Clinical risk assessments should broaden to include unprotected heterosexual anal sex, coercive sexual risk, and IPV, and should promote safety and harm reduction.
PMCID: PMC4305329  PMID: 24234072
intimate partner violence; sexual risk; injection drug use; STI/HIV risk; adolescent
11.  The Role of Access to Head Start and Quality Ratings for Spanish-Speaking Dual Language Learners’ (DLLs) Participation in Early Childhood Education 
Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 4,442) were used to test for differences between Spanish-speaking Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and monolingual English-speaking children in: (1) Head Start attendance rates when randomly assigned admission; and (2) quality ratings of other early childhood education (ECE) programs attended when not randomly assigned admission to Head Start. Logistic regressions showed that Spanish-speaking DLL children randomly assigned a spot in Head Start were more likely than monolingual-English learners to attend. Further, Spanish-speaking DLLs not randomly assigned a spot in Head Start were more likely to attend higher-quality ECE centers than non-DLL children. Policy implications are discussed, suggesting that, if given access, Spanish-speaking DLL families will take advantage of quality ECE programs.
PMCID: PMC4088314  PMID: 25018585
Dual Language Learners; English language learners; Hispanic children; early childhood education; participation in Head Start; quality ratings
12.  Primary Care Providers’ Initial Treatment Decisions and Antidepressant Prescribing for Adolescent Depression 
Adolescent depression is a serious and undertreated public health problem. Nonetheless, pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) may have low rates of antidepressant prescribing due to structural and training barriers. We examined the impact of symptom severity and provider characteristics on initial depression treatment decisions in a setting with fewer structural barriers, an integrated behavioral health network.
We administered a cross sectional survey to 58 PCPs within a large pediatric practice network. We compared PCP reports of initial treatment decisions in response to two vignettes describing depressed adolescents with either moderate or severe symptoms. We measured PCP depression knowledge, attitudes toward addressing psychosocial concerns, demographics, and practice characteristics.
Few PCPs (25% for moderate, 32% for severe) recommended an antidepressant. Compared with treatment recommendations for moderate depression, severe depression was associated with a greater likelihood of child psychiatry referral (OR 5.50[95% CI 2.47-12.2] p<.001). Depression severity did not affect the likelihood of antidepressant recommendation (OR 1.58[95% CI 0.80-3.11] p=.19). Antidepressants were more likely to be recommended by PCPs with greater depression knowledge (OR 1.72[95% CI 1.14-2.59] p=.009) and access to an on-site mental health provider (OR 5.13[95% CI 1.24-21.2] p=.02) and less likely to be recommended by PCPs who reported higher provider burden when addressing psychosocial concerns (OR 0.85[95% CI 0.75-0.98] p=.02).
PCPs infrequently recommended antidepressants for adolescents, regardless of depression severity. Continued PCP support through experiential training, accounting for provider burden when addressing psychosocial concerns, and co-management with mental health providers may increase PCPs’ antidepressant prescribing.
PMCID: PMC4105359  PMID: 24336091
primary health care; depressive disorder; adolescent; antidepressant agents; physician's practice patterns
13.  Racial disparities in human papillomavirus vaccination: Does access matter? 
To examine the association between race/ethnicity and HPV vaccine initiation and to determine how access to healthcare influences this relationship.
We used nationally representative data from the National Survey of Family Growth to assess HPV vaccine initiation in 2,168 females aged 15–24. A series of regression analyses were performed to determine the independent effect of race/ethnicity on HPV vaccine initiation after controlling for socio-demographic variables and healthcare access measures. Age-stratified regression analyses were also performed to assess whether the relationship between race/ethnicity and HPV vaccine initiation differed between females aged 15–18 and 19–24.
There were significant racial/ethnic disparities in HPV vaccination with US-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics, and African-Americans less likely to have initiated vaccination than whites (p<0.001). Adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics attenuated the disparity for both US-born and foreign-born Hispanics (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50–1.16 and AOR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.37–1.19) but not for African-Americans (AOR: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.33–0.66). Adding healthcare access measures further attenuated the disparity for US-born and foreign-born Hispanics (AOR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.54–1.34 and AOR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.45–1.55). African-Americans, however, remained less likely than whites to have initiated vaccination (AOR: 0.49; 95% CI: 0.36–0.68). These racial/ethnic trends were similar for females aged 15–18 and 19–24.
Lower rates of HPV vaccination among African-American females do not appear to be explained by differential access to healthcare. More research is necessary to elucidate factors contributing to HPV vaccination in this population.
PMCID: PMC4058822  PMID: 23992645
race/ethnicity; HPV; NSFG; disparities; vaccination
14.  The Burden of Disease and Health Care Use among Pertussis Cases in School Aged Children and Adults in England and Wales; A Patient Survey 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111807.
In 2011–2012 a large pertussis outbreak occurred in England. This provided an opportunity to estimate the disease burden in those aged 5 years and over. As pertussis is likely to be under reported both laboratory-confirmed and non-confirmed cases were included.
Laboratory-confirmed cases of pertussis, as well as their coughing but non-confirmed household members, were sent a questionnaire that collected information on clinical features and quality of life for the most severe day of disease and the day the patient filled in the questionnaire. The EuroQol-5 dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D) was used to evaluate quality of life. The duration of symptoms was obtained by contacting the patient every two weeks until symptoms stopped.
Data for 535 (out of 1262) laboratory confirmed pertussis patients and 44 (out of 140) coughing household contacts was available for analysis. On the most severe day, 56% of laboratory-confirmed cases reported they had 20+ more paroxysms, 58% reported they had a severe cough and 46% reported disruption of sleep for more than 4 hours. For non-confirmed coughing household contacts there were a similar number of coughing spells per day at the height, though the cough was reported to be less severe and to cause less sleep disruption. The main clinical symptoms on the worst day for both were shortness of breath, tiredness, sore ribs and vomiting. The duration of symptoms for both patient groups was around 160 days (162 and 168 days). Under base case assumptions the overall loss of quality of life was 0.097 QALY (0.089–0.106) for confirmed pertussis cases and 0.0365 QALY (0.023–0.054) for coughing household contacts.
Pertussis is a serious disease in those aged 5 years and over, causing disruption of sleep and daily activities over long period of time. The burden of illness due to undiagnosed pertussis is also considerable.
PMCID: PMC4244040  PMID: 25423321
15.  Iron Status and Reproduction in US Women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2006 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112216.
Women experience significant changes in iron status throughout their reproductive lifespans. While this is evident in regions with high rates of malnutrition and infectious disease, the extent of reproductive-related changes is less well known in countries with low rates of iron deficiency anemia, such as the United States. The goal of this study is determine the relationship between women's reproductive variables (pregnancy, parity, currently breastfeeding, regular menstruation, hormonal contraceptive use, and age at menarche) and iron status (hemoglobin, ferritin, transferrin receptor, and % transferrin saturation) using an anthropological framework for interpreting the results. Data from women aged 18–49 were taken from the 1999–2006 US NHANES, a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of US women. Using multiple imputation and complex survey statistics, women's reproductive variables were regressed against indicators of iron status. Pregnant women had significantly poorer iron status, by most indicators, than non-pregnant women. All biomarkers demonstrated significantly lower iron levels with increasing parity. Women who were having regular periods had iron indicators that suggested decreased iron levels, while women who used hormonal contraceptives had iron indicators that suggested increased iron levels. Despite relatively good iron status and widespread availability of iron-rich foods in the US, women still exhibit patterns of iron depletion across several reproductive variables of interest. These results contribute to an ecological approach to iron status that seeks to understand variation in iron status, with the hopes that appropriate, population-specific recommendations can be developed to improve women's health.
PMCID: PMC4223055  PMID: 25375360
16.  Vesicle-mediated export from the ER: COPII coat function and regulation 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1833(11):2464-2472.
Vesicle trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a vital cellular process in all eukaryotes responsible for moving secretory cargoes from the ER to the Golgi apparatus. To accomplish this feat, the cell employs a set of conserved cytoplasmic coat proteins – the coat protein II (COPII) complex – that recruits cargo into nascent buds and deforms the ER membrane to drive vesicle formation. While our understanding of COPII coat mechanics has developed substantially since its discovery, we have only recently begun to appreciate the factors that regulate this complex and, in turn, ER-to-Golgi trafficking. Here, we describe these factors and their influences on COPII vesicle formation. Properties intrinsic to the GTP cycle of the coat, as well as coat structure, have critical implications for COPII vesicle trafficking. Extrinsic factors in the cytosol can modulate COPII activity through direct interaction with the coat or with scaffolding components, or by changing composition of the ER membrane. Further, lumenal and membrane-bound cargoes and cargo receptors can influence COPII-mediated trafficking in equally profound ways. Together, these factors work in concert to ensure proper cargo movement in this first step of the secretory pathway.
PMCID: PMC3676692  PMID: 23419775
COPII; Vesicle; Endoplasmic reticulum; Cargo export; Cargo receptor
17.  Characteristics of Natural Mentoring Relationships from the Perspectives of Homeless Youth 
Homeless youth experience high risks for poor mental health outcomes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the characteristics of natural mentoring relationships among homeless youth and to identify possible mechanisms that can enhance social support for this population.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 homeless youth aged 14 to 21 who had natural mentors. The interviews focused on how youth met their natural mentors, the function of these relationships, and how natural mentoring relationships differed from other relationships in the youth’s social networks.
Main themes that emerged from the interviews included parental absence, natural mentors as surrogate parents, and social support from mentors.
Findings suggest that social supports provided by mentors enhance youth’s adaptive functioning and may promote resilience, thus the use of natural mentors may be an important untapped asset in designing interventions to improve outcomes for homeless youth.
PMCID: PMC3818248  PMID: 24180604
homeless youth; natural mentor; social support
18.  Transformational Leadership Moderates the Relationship between Emotional Exhaustion and Turnover Intention among Community Mental Health Providers 
Community mental health journal  2011;49(4):373-379.
Public sector mental health care providers are at high risk for burnout and emotional exhaustion which negatively affect job performance and client satisfaction with services. Few studies have examined ways to reduce these associations, but transformational leadership may have a positive effect. We examine the relationships between transformational leadership, emotional exhaustion, and turnover intention in a sample of 388 community mental health providers. Emotional exhaustion was positively related to turnover intention, and transformational leadership was negatively related to both emotional exhaustion and turnover intention. Transformational leadership moderated the relationship between emotional exhaustion and turnover intention, indicating that having a transformational leader may buffer the effects of providers’ emotional exhaustion on turnover intention. Investing in transformational leadership development for supervisors could reduce emotional exhaustion and turnover among public sector mental health providers.
PMCID: PMC4209723  PMID: 22052429
emotional exhaustion; burnout; turnover; leadership; mental health services
19.  Development of the preterm infant gut microbiome: a research priority 
Microbiome  2014;2:38.
The very low birth weight (VLBW) infant is at great risk for marked dysbiosis of the gut microbiome due to multiple factors, including physiological immaturity and prenatal/postnatal influences that disrupt the development of a normal gut flora. However, little is known about the developmental succession of the microbiota in preterm infants as they grow and mature. This review provides a synthesis of our understanding of the normal development of the infant gut microbiome and contrasts this with dysbiotic development in the VLBW infant. The role of human milk in normal gut microbial development is emphasized, along with the role of the gut microbiome in immune development and gastroenteric health. Current research provides evidence that the gut microbiome interacts extensively with many physiological systems and metabolic processes in the developing infant. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are currently no studies prospectively mapping the gut microbiome of VLBW infants through early childhood. This knowledge gap must be filled to inform a healthcare system that can provide for the growth, health, and development of VLBW infants. The paper concludes with speculation about how the VLBW infants’ gut microbiome might function through host-microbe interactions to contribute to the sequelae of preterm birth, including its influence on growth, development, and general health of the infant host.
PMCID: PMC4203464  PMID: 25332768
Preterm infants; VLBW; Gut microbiota; Health
20.  A Bloody Mess: Dendritic Cells use hemophagocytosis to regulate viral inflammation 
Immunity  2013;39(3):10.1016/j.immuni.2013.08.024.
Previous studies have highlighted the immune-dampening effects of apoptotic cell uptake by phagocytes.Ohyagi et al. expose a unique mechanism of immune regulation during viral infection, which is mediated throughphagocytosis of apoptotic red cells by dendritic cells.
PMCID: PMC3882075  PMID: 24054326
21.  Current treatment of early breast cancer: adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy 
F1000Research  2014;3:198.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. The latest world cancer statistics calculated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that 1,677,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and 577,000 died. The TNM classification of malignant tumor (TNM) is the most commonly used staging system for breast cancer. Breast cancer is a group of very heterogeneous diseases. The molecular subtype of breast cancer carries important predictive and prognostic values, and thus has been incorporated in the basic initial process of breast cancer assessment/diagnosis. Molecular subtypes of breast cancers are divided into human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2 +), hormone receptor positive (estrogen or progesterone +), both positive, and triple negative breast cancer. By virtue of early detection via mammogram, the majority of breast cancers in developed parts of world are diagnosed in the early stage of the disease. Early stage breast cancers can be completely resected by surgery. Over time however, the disease may come back even after complete resection, which has prompted the development of an adjuvant therapy. Surgery followed by adjuvant treatment has been the gold standard for breast cancer treatment for a long time. More recently, neoadjuvant treatment has been recognized as an important strategy in biomarker and target evaluation. It is clinically indicated for patients with large tumor size, high nodal involvement, an inflammatory component, or for those wish to preserve remnant breast tissue. Here we review the most up to date conventional and developing treatments for different subtypes of early stage breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4224200  PMID: 25400908
22.  Foundations for Literacy: An Early Literacy Intervention for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children 
The present study evaluated the efficacy of a new preschool early literacy intervention created specifically for deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children with functional hearing. Teachers implemented Foundations for Literacy with 25 DHH children in 2 schools (intervention group). One school used only spoken language, and the other used sign with and without spoken language. A “business as usual” comparison group included 33 DHH children who were matched on key characteristics with the intervention children but attended schools that did not implement Foundations for Literacy. Children’s hearing losses ranged from moderate to profound. Approximately half of the children had cochlear implants. All children had sufficient speech perception skills to identify referents of spoken words from closed sets of items. Teachers taught small groups of intervention children an hour a day, 4 days a week for the school year. From fall to spring, intervention children made significantly greater gains on tests of phonological awareness, letter–sound knowledge, and expressive vocabulary than did comparison children. In addition, intervention children showed significant increases in standard scores (based on hearing norms) on phonological awareness and vocabulary tests. This quasi-experimental study suggests that the intervention shows promise for improving early literacy skills of DHH children with functional hearing.
PMCID: PMC4146385  PMID: 25125456
23.  Evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity in United Kingdom laboratory workers of a combined Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal capsular group C conjugate vaccine 
Although a combined Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)/meningococcal capsular group C (MenC) conjugate vaccine with a tetanus toxoid carrier protein (Hib/MenC-TT) is not licensed for use in those above 2 years of age due to lack of data on safety and efficacy, certain patient groups at high risk of MenC and/or Hib disease are recommended to receive it. Laboratory workers working with Hib and/or MenC cultures may be at a potentially increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases and vaccination is therefore an important safety consideration. We undertook a clinical trial to investigate the safety and immunogenicity of Hib/MenC-TT vaccine in this cohort.
A total of 33 subjects were recruited to the trial, all of whom were vaccinated. Serology was completed on samples taken at baseline and four weeks following vaccination to determine MenC specific IgG, MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA), anti-Hib polyribosylribitol phosphate (PRP) IgG and anti-tetanus toxoid IgG responses.
At baseline, high proportions of subjects had protective antibody concentrations against MenC, Hib and tetanus due to previous vaccination and/or natural exposure. Vaccination induced > 3, 10 and 220 fold increases in geometric mean concentrations for MenC SBA, anti-tetanus toxoid IgG and anti-Hib PRP IgG, respectively. Following vaccination, 97% of subjects had putative protective SBA titres ≥ 8, 100% had short term protective anti-Hib PRP IgG concentrations ≥ 0.15 μg/mL and 97% had protective anti-tetanus toxoid concentrations ≥ 0.1 IU/mL. No safety concerns were reported with minor local reactions being reported by 21% of subjects.
Immunological responses determined in this trial are likely a combination of primary and secondary responses due to previous vaccination and natural exposure. Subjects were a representative cross-section of laboratory workers, enabling us to conclude that a single dose of Hib/MenC-TT was safe and immunogenic in healthy adults providing the evidence that this vaccine may be used for providing protection in an occupational setting.
PMCID: PMC4112987  PMID: 25071861
Meningococcal; Haemophilus influenzae type b; Tetanus; Vaccine; Laboratory workers; Occupational immunisation
24.  Early menarche and childhood adversities in a nationally representative sample 
Epidemiological evidence suggests that early menarche, defined as onset of menses at age 11 or earlier, has increased in prevalence in recent birth cohorts and is associated with multiple poor medical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. There is evidence that childhood adversities occurring prior to menarche contribute to early menarche.
Data collected in face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of women age 18 and over (N = 3288), as part of the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication, were analyzed. Associations between pre-menarchal childhood adversities and menarche at age 11 or earlier were estimated in discrete time survival models with statistical adjustment for age at interview, ethnicity, and body mass index. Adversities investigated included physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, biological father absence from the home, other parent loss, parent mental illness, parent substance abuse, parent criminality, inter-parental violence, serious physical illness in childhood, and family economic adversity.
Mean age at menarche varied across decadal birth cohorts (χ2₍₄₎ = 21.41, p < .001) ranging from a high of 12.9 years in the oldest cohort (age 59 or older at the time of interview) to a low of 12.4 in the second youngest cohort (age 28-37). Childhood adversities were also more common in younger than older cohorts. Of the 11 childhood adversities, 5 were associated with menarche at age 11 or earlier, with OR of 1.3 or greater. Each of these five adversities is associated with a 26% increase in the odds of early menarche (OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.14-1.39). The relationship between childhood sexual abuse and early menarche was sustained after adjustment for co-occurring adversities. (OR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.21-2.6).
Evidence from this study is consistent with hypothesized physiological effects of early childhood family environment on endocrine development. Childhood sexual abuse is the adversity most strongly associated with early menarche. However, because of the complex way that childhood adversities cluster within families, the more generalized influence of highly dysfunctional family environments cannot be ruled out.
PMCID: PMC4118267  PMID: 25089128
25.  Oral Fluid Testing for Pertussis, England and Wales, June 2007–August 2009  
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(6):968-975.
Existing pertussis surveillance systems tend to underidentify less severe cases among older children and adults. For routine follow-up of notified, nonconfirmed, clinically diagnosed pertussis cases, use of an oral fluid test was pilot tested in England and Wales during June 2007–August 2009. During that period, 1,852 cases of pertussis were confirmed by established laboratory methods and another 591 by oral fluid testing only. Although introduction of serologic testing in 2002 led to the greatest increase in ascertainment of pertussis, oral fluid testing increased laboratory ascertainment by 32% overall; maximal increase (124%) occurred among children 5–9 years of age. Patients whose pertussis was confirmed by oral fluid testing were least likely to be hospitalized, suggesting that milder community cases were being confirmed by this method. Oral fluid testing is an easily administered, noninvasive surveillance tool that could further our understanding of pertussis epidemiology and thereby contribute to decisions on vaccination strategies.
PMCID: PMC4036755  PMID: 24856627

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