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1.  The impact of childhood acute rotavirus gastroenteritis on the parents’ quality of life: prospective observational study in European primary care medical practices 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:58.
Rotavirus (RV) is the commonest cause of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. A Quality of Life study was conducted in primary care in three European countries as part of a larger epidemiological study (SPRIK) to investigate the impact of paediatric rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) on affected children and their parents.
A self-administered questionnaire was linguistically validated in Spanish, Italian and Polish. The questionnaire was included in an observational multicentre prospective study of 302 children aged <5 years presenting to a general practitioner or paediatrician for RVGE at centres in Spain, Italy or Poland. RV infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing (n = 264). The questionnaire was validated and used to assess the emotional impact of paediatric RVGE on the parents.
Questionnaire responses showed that acute RVGE in a child adversely affects the parents’ daily life as well as the child. Parents of children with RVGE experience worry, distress and impact on their daily activities. RVGE of greater clinical severity (assessed by the Vesikari scale) was associated with higher parental worries due to symptoms and greater changes in the child’s behaviour, and a trend to higher impact on parents’ daily activities and higher parental distress, together with a higher score on the symptom severity scale of the questionnaire.
Parents of a child with acute RVGE presenting to primary care experience worry, distress and disruptions to daily life as a result of the child’s illness. Prevention of this disease through prophylactic vaccination will improve the daily lives of parents and children.
PMCID: PMC3495402  PMID: 22650611
Rotavirus; Gastroenteritis; Paediatric; Quality of life
2.  Antimicrobial Postexposure Prophylaxis for Anthrax: Adverse Events and Adherence 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(10):1124-1132.
We collected data during postexposure antimicrobial prophylaxis campaigns and from a prophylaxis program evaluation 60 days after start of antimicrobial prophylaxis involving persons from six U.S. sites where Bacillus anthracis exposures occurred. Adverse events associated with antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent anthrax were commonly reported, but hospitalizations and serious adverse events as defined by Food and Drug Administration criteria were rare. Overall adherence during 60 days of antimicrobial prophylaxis was poor (44%), ranging from 21% of persons exposed in the Morgan postal facility in New York City to 64% of persons exposed at the Brentwood postal facility in Washington, D.C. Adherence was highest among participants in an investigational new drug protocol to receive additional antibiotics with or without anthrax vaccine—a likely surrogate for anthrax risk perception. Adherence of <60 days was not consistently associated with adverse events.
PMCID: PMC2730317  PMID: 12396927
Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; antimicrobial prophylaxis; adverse events; adherence
3.  Development and Evaluation of Real-Time PCR-Based Fluorescence Assays for Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(2):575-583.
Chlamydia pneumoniae is an important respiratory pathogen recently associated with atherosclerosis and several other chronic diseases. Detection of C. pneumoniae is inconsistent, and standardized PCR assays are needed. Two real-time PCR assays specific for C. pneumoniae were developed by using the fluorescent dye-labeled TaqMan probe-based system. Oligonucleotide primers and probes were designed to target two variable domains of the ompA gene, VD2 and VD4. The limit of detection for each of the two PCR assays was 0.001 inclusion-forming unit. Thirty-nine C. pneumoniae isolates obtained from widely distributed geographical areas were amplified by the VD2 and VD4 assays, producing the expected 108- and 125-bp amplification products, respectively. None of the C. trachomatis serovars, C. psittaci strains, other organisms, or human DNAs tested were amplified. The amplification results of the newly developed assays were compared to the results of culturing and two nested PCR assays, targeting the 16S rRNA and ompA genes. The assays were compared by testing C. pneumoniae purified elementary bodies, animal tissues, 228 peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) specimens, and 179 oropharyngeal (OP) swab specimens obtained from ischemic stroke patients or matched controls. The real-time VD4 assay and one nested PCR each detected C. pneumoniae in a single, but different, PBMC specimen. Eleven of 179 OP specimens (6.1%) showed evidence of the presence of C. pneumoniae in one or more tests. The real-time VD4 assay detected the most positive results of the five assays. We believe that this real-time PCR assay offers advantages over nested PCR assays and may improve the detection of C. pneumoniae in clinical specimens.
PMCID: PMC153405  PMID: 11825973

Results 1-3 (3)