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1.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of Trans-Dermal Nicotine Replacement in Pregnant African-American Smokers 
Maternal and child health journal  2013;17(5):897-906.
We compared acceptability, adherence and efficacy of trans-dermal nicotine patches and cognitive behavioral therapy (Group 1) to cognitive behavioral therapy alone (Group 2) in minority pregnant smokers. This is a randomized controlled trial. 52 women were recruited during pregnancy with a mean gestational age 18.5 ± 5.0 weeks and followed through delivery. Randomization was by site and initial cotinine levels. Interventionists and interviewers were blinded to group assignment. Two different nicotine replacement therapy dosing regiments were administered according to the baseline salivary cotinine level. A process evaluation model summarized patient adherence. The main outcome measure was self-report of cessation since last visit, confirmed by exhaled carbon monoxide. Analyses of categorical and continuous measures were conducted as well as linear trend tests of salivary cotinine levels. Women lost to follow-up were considered treatment failures. Participants were on average 27.5 ± 5.4 years old, 81 % were single, 69 % unemployed and 96 % were Medicaid eligible. A process evaluation indicated patients in both groups were adherent to scheduled program procedures through Visit 4, but not for Visits 5 and 6. Confirmed quit rates were: at visit 3, 23 (Group 1) and 0 % (Group 2) (p = 0.02); at visits 4 and 5, no difference; at visit 6, 19 (Group 1) and 0 % (Group 2) (p = 0.05). Group 1 delivered infants with a mean gestational age of 39.4 weeks versus 38.4 weeks in Group 2 (p = 0.02). 73 % (52/71) of the eligible smokers agreed to participate and 65 % (17/26) of Group 1 completed the protocol (i.e. attended 6 visits). A comparison of Group 1 and 2 quit rates confirmed a non-significant difference.
PMCID: PMC3679235  PMID: 22761006
Pregnancy; African-Americans; Smoking; Nicotine replacement therapy
2.  Epidemiology of Undiagnosed Trichomoniasis in a Probability Sample of Urban Young Adults 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90548.
T. vaginalis infection (trichomoniasis) is the most common curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. It is associated with increased HIV risk and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Trichomoniasis surveillance data do not exist for either national or local populations. The Monitoring STIs Survey Program (MSSP) collected survey data and specimens which were tested using nucleic acid amplification tests to monitor trichomoniasis and other STIs in 2006–09 among a probability sample of young adults (N = 2,936) in Baltimore, Maryland — an urban area with high rates of reported STIs. The estimated prevalence of trichomoniasis was 7.5% (95% CI 6.3, 9.1) in the overall population and 16.1% (95% CI 13.0, 19.8) among Black women. The overwhelming majority of infected men (98.5%) and women (73.3%) were asymptomatic. Infections were more common in both women (OR = 3.6, 95% CI 1.6, 8.2) and men (OR = 9.0, 95% CI 1.8, 44.3) with concurrent chlamydial infection. Trichomoniasis did not vary significantly by age for either men or women. Women with two or more partners in the past year and women with a history of personal or partner incarceration were more likely to have an infection. Overall, these results suggest that routine T vaginalis screening in populations at elevated risk of infection should be considered.
PMCID: PMC3953116  PMID: 24626058
3.  Gender-Based Screening for Chlamydial Infection and Divergent Infection Trends in Men and Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89035.
To assess the potential impact of chlamydial screening policy that recommends routine screening of women but not men.
Population surveys of probability samples of Baltimore adults aged 18 to 35 years in 1997–1998 and 2006–2009 collected biospecimens to estimate trends in undiagnosed chlamydial infection. Survey estimates are compared to surveillance data on diagnosed chlamydial infections reported to the Health Department.
Prevalence of undiagnosed chlamydial infection among men increased from 1.6% to 4.0%, but it declined from 4.3% to 3.1% among women (p = 0.028 for test of interaction). The annual (average) number of diagnosed infections was substantially higher among women than men in both time periods and increased among both men and women. Undiagnosed infection prevalence was substantially higher among black than non-black adults (4.0% vs 1.2%, p = 0.042 in 1997–98 and 5.5% vs 0.7%, p<0.001 in 2006–09).
Divergent trends in undiagnosed chlamydial infection by gender parallel divergent screening recommendations that encourage chlamydial testing for women but not for men.
PMCID: PMC3929759  PMID: 24586491
4.  Candida Virulence Properties and Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Neonatal Candidiasis 
The Journal of pediatrics  2012;161(3):441-447.e2.
To determine if premature infants with invasive Candida infection caused by strains with increased virulence properties have worse clinical outcomes than those infected with less virulent strains.
Study design
Clinical isolates were studied from 2 populations; premature infants colonized with Candida (commensal, n=27), and those with invasive candidiasis (n=81). Individual isolates of C. albicans and C. parapsilosis were tested for virulence in each of 3 assays: phenotypic switching, adhesion, and cytotoxicity. Invasive isolates were considered to have enhanced virulence if they measured more than 1 SD above the mean for the commensal isolates in at least 1 assay. Outcomes of patients with invasive isolates with enhanced virulence were compared with those with invasive isolates lacking enhanced virulence characteristics.
61% of invasive isolates of C. albicans and 42% of invasive isolates of C. parapsilosis had enhanced virulence. All C. albicans cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isolates (n=6) and 90% of urine isolates (n=10) had enhanced virulence, compared with 48% of blood isolates (n=40). Infants with more virulent isolates were younger at the time of positive culture and had higher serum creatinine.
Individual isolates of Candida species vary in their virulence properties. Strains with higher virulence are associated with certain clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3419788  PMID: 22504098
C. albicans; C. parapsilosis; mortality; neurodevelopmental impairment; phenotypic switch; adhesion; cytotoxicity
5.  Outcomes Following Candiduria in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with candiduria are at substantial risk for death or neurodevelopmental impairment. Therefore, identification of candiduria should prompt a systemic evaluation for disseminated Candida infection and initiation of treatment in all ELBW infants.
Background. Candidiasis carries a significant risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW; <1000 g). We sought to determine the impact of candiduria in ELBW preterm infants.
Methods. Our study was a secondary analysis of the Neonatal Research Network study Early Diagnosis of Nosocomial Candidiasis. Follow-up assessments included Bayley Scales of Infant Development examinations at 18–22 months of corrected age. Risk factors were compared between groups using exact tests and general linear modeling. Death, NDI, and death or NDI were compared using generalized linear mixed modeling.
Results. Of 1515 infants enrolled, 34 (2.2%) had candiduria only. Candida was isolated from blood only (69 of 1515 [4.6%]), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) only (2 of 1515 [0.1%]), other sterile site only (not urine, blood, or CSF; 4 of 1515 [0.3%]), or multiple sources (28 of 1515 [2%]). Eleven infants had the same Candida species isolated in blood and urine within 3 days; 3 (27%) had a positive urine culture result first. Most urine isolates were Candida albicans (21 of 34 [62%]) or Candida parapsilosis (7 of 34 [29%]). Rate of death or NDI was greater among those with candiduria (50%) than among those with suspected but not proven infection (32%; odds ratio, 2.5 [95% confidence interval, 1.2–5.3]) after adjustment. No difference in death and death or NDI was noted between infants with candiduria and those with candidemia.
Conclusions. These findings provide compelling evidence that ELBW infants with candiduria are at substantial risk of death or NDI. Candiduria in ELBW preterm infants should prompt a systemic evaluation (blood, CSF, and abdominal ultrasound) for disseminated Candida infection and warrants treatment.
PMCID: PMC3258271  PMID: 22144537
6.  ‘What’s in the NIDDK CDR?’—public query tools for the NIDDK central data repository 
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Disease (NIDDK) Central Data Repository (CDR) is a web-enabled resource available to researchers and the general public. The CDR warehouses clinical data and study documentation from NIDDK funded research, including such landmark studies as The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT, 1983–93) and the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC, 1994–present) follow-up study which has been ongoing for more than 20 years. The CDR also houses data from over 7 million biospecimens representing 2 million subjects. To help users explore the vast amount of data stored in the NIDDK CDR, we developed a suite of search mechanisms called the public query tools (PQTs). Five individual tools are available to search data from multiple perspectives: study search, basic search, ontology search, variable summary and sample by condition. PQT enables users to search for information across studies. Users can search for data such as number of subjects, types of biospecimens and disease outcome variables without prior knowledge of the individual studies. This suite of tools will increase the use and maximize the value of the NIDDK data and biospecimen repositories as important resources for the research community.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3625049  PMID: 23396299
7.  Chlamydia trachomatis infection among 15-35 year-olds in Baltimore, MD, USA 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2011;38(8):743-749.
Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the most frequently reported infectious disease in the U.S. This article reports population and subpopulation prevalence estimates of Ct and correlates of infection among 15-35 year-olds in Baltimore, MD, USA.
The Monitoring STIs Survey Program (MSSP) monitored STI prevalence among probability samples of residents of Baltimore, a city with high STI rates. MSSP respondents completed telephone audio computer-assisted self-interviews and provided biospecimens for STI testing.
Among 2120 Baltimore residents aged 15 to 35 years, the estimated prevalence of chlamydia was 3.9% (95% Cl: 2.8, 5.0). Prevalence was 5.8% (95% Cl: 4.1, 7.6) among black MSSP respondents versus 0.7% (95% Cl: 0.0, 1.4) among nonblack respondents; all but four infections detected were among black respondents. Sexual behaviors and other factors associated with infection were far more prevalent among black than nonblack Baltimore residents. Racial disparities persisted after adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioral and health factors.
The MSSP highlights a higher Ct prevalence among young people in Baltimore than in the U.S. overall, with notable racial disparities in infection and associated risk behaviors. Public health efforts are needed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of asymptomatic infections in this population.
PMCID: PMC3190190  PMID: 21844726
8.  Preadolescent behavior problems after prenatal cocaine exposure: Relationship between teacher and caretaker ratings (Maternal Lifestyle Study) 
Neurotoxicology and teratology  2010;33(1):78-87.
We previously reported an association between prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) and childhood behavior problems as observed by the parent or caretaker. However, these behavior problems may not manifest in a structured environment, such as a school setting.
We determined whether there is an association between PCE and school behavior problems and whether ratings of behavior problems from the teacher differ from those noted by the parent or caretaker.
The Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multicenter study, enrolled 1388 children with and without PCE at one month of age for longitudinal assessment. Teachers masked to prenatal drug exposure status completed the Teacher Report Form (TRF/6-18) when children were 7, 9, and 11 years old. We also administered the Child Behavior Checklist-parent report (CBCL) to the parent/caretaker at same ages and then at 13 years. We performed latent growth curve modeling to determine whether high PCE will predict externalizing, internalizing, total behavior, and attention problems at 7 years of age and whether changes in problems' scores over time differ between those exposed and non-exposed from both teacher and parent report. Besides levels of PCE as predictors, we controlled for the following covariates, namely: site, child characteristics (gender and other prenatal drug exposures), family level influences (maternal age, depression and psychological symptomatology, continuing drug use, exposure to domestic violence, home environment, and socioeconomic status), and community level factors (neighborhood and community violence).
The mean behavior problem T scores from the teacher report were significantly higher than ratings by the parent or caretaker. Latent growth curve modeling revealed a significant relationship between intercepts of problem T scores from teacher and parent ratings; i.e., children that were rated poorly by teachers were also rated poorly by their parent/caretaker or vice versa. After controlling for covariates, we found high PCE to be a significant predictor of with higher externalizing behavior problem T scores from both parent and teacher report at 7 years (p=0.034 and p=0.021, respectively) in comparison to non-PCE children. These differences in scores from either teacher or caregiver were stable through subsequent years or did not change significantly over time. Boys had higher T scores than girls on internalizing and total problems by caretaker report; they also had significantly higher T scores for internalizing, total, and attention problems by teacher ratings; the difference was marginally significant for externalizing behavior (p=0.070). Caretaker postnatal use of tobacco, depression, and community violence were significant predictors of all behavior problems rated by parent/caretaker, while lower scores on the home environment predicted all behavior outcomes by the teacher report.
Children with high PCE are likely to manifest externalizing behavior problems; their behavior problem scores at 7 years from either report of teacher or parent remained higher than scores of non-exposed children on subsequent years. Screening and identification of behavior problems at earlier ages could make possible initiation of intervention, while considering the likely effects of other confounders.
PMCID: PMC3011027  PMID: 20600844
9.  The NIDDK Central Repository at 8 years—Ambition, Revision, Use and Impact 
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Central Repository makes data and biospecimens from NIDDK-funded research available to the broader scientific community. It thereby facilitates: the testing of new hypotheses without new data or biospecimen collection; pooling data across several studies to increase statistical power; and informative genetic analyses using the Repository’s well-curated phenotypic data. This article describes the initial database plan for the Repository and its revision using a simpler model. Among the lessons learned were the trade-offs between the complexity of a database design and the costs in time and money of implementation; the importance of integrating consent documents into the basic design; the crucial need for linkage files that associate biospecimen IDs with the masked subject IDs used in deposited data sets; and the importance of standardized procedures to test the integrity data sets prior to distribution. The Repository is currently tracking 111 ongoing NIDDK-funded studies many of which include genotype data, and it houses over 5 million biospecimens of more than 25 types including serum, plasma, stool, urine, DNA, red blood cells, buffy coat and tissue. Repository resources have supported a range of biochemical, clinical, statistical and genetic research (188 external requests for clinical data and 31 for biospecimens have been approved or are pending). Genetic research has included GWAS, validation studies, development of methods to improve statistical power of GWAS and testing of new statistical methods for genetic research. We anticipate that the future impact of the Repository’s resources on biomedical research will be enhanced by (i) cross-listing of Repository biospecimens in additional searchable databases and biobank catalogs; (ii) ongoing deployment of new applications for querying the contents of the Repository; and (iii) increased harmonization of procedures, data collection strategies, questionnaires etc. across both research studies and within the vocabularies used by different repositories.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3243603  PMID: 21959867
10.  Prevalence of High Risk Indications for Influenza Vaccine Varies by Age, Race, and Income 
Vaccine  2010;28(39):6470-6477.
Estimates of the proportions of the population who are at high risk of influenza complications because of prior health status or who are likely to have decreased vaccination response because of immunocompromising conditions would enhance public health planning and model-based projections. We estimate these proportions and how they vary by population subgroups using national data systems for 2006-2008. The proportion of individuals at increased risk of influenza complications because of health conditions varied 10-fold by age (4.2% of children <2 years to 47% of individuals >64 years). Age-specific prevalence differed substantially by gender, by racial/ethnic groups (with African Americans highest in all age groups) and by income. Individuals living in families with less than 200% of federal poverty level (FPL) were significantly more likely to have at least one of these health conditions, compared to individuals with 400% FPL or more (3-fold greater among <2 and 30% greater among >64 years). Among children, there were significantly elevated proportions in all regions compared to the West. The estimated prevalence of immunocompromising conditions ranged from 0.02% in young children to 6.14% older adults. However, national data on race/ethnicity and income are not available for most immunocompromising conditions, nor is it possible to fully identify the degree of overlap between persons with high-risk health conditions and with immunocompromising conditions. Modifications to current national data collection systems would enhance the value of these data for public health programs and influenza modeling.
PMCID: PMC2939262  PMID: 20674882
Influenza; vaccination; subpopulations
11.  Accurate MALDI-TOF/TOF Sequencing of One-Bead-One-Compound Peptide Libraries with Application to the Identification of Multi-ligand Protein Affinity Agents Using In Situ Click Chemistry Screening 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(2):672-679.
Combinatorial one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) peptide libraries are widely used for affinity screening, and the sequencing of peptides from hit beads is a key step in the process. For rapid sequencing, CNBr cleavage of the peptides from the beads, followed by de novo sequencing by MALDI-TOF/TOF is explored. We report on a semi-automated sequencing algorithm, and validate it through comparison against Edman degradation sequencing. The initial 44% sequencing success rate of the standard de novo sequencing software was improved to nearly 100%. The sequencing algorithm incorporates existing knowledge of amino acid chemistry, and a new strategy for differentiating isobaric amino acids. We tested the algorithm by using MALDI-TOF/TOF to identify a peptide biligand affinity agent against the protein bovine carbonic anhydrase II, starting from comprehensive one-bead-one-compound peptide libraries comprised of non-natural and artificial amino acid components, and using the strategy of in situ click/OBOC library screening.
PMCID: PMC2829877  PMID: 20000699

Results 1-12 (12)