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1.  Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Tick-Borne Disease Cases among Humans and Canines in Illinois (2000–2009) 
Environmental Health Insights  2014;8(Suppl 2):15-27.
Four tick-borne diseases (TBDs), anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease (LD), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), are endemic in Illinois. The prevalence of human and canine cases of all four TBDs rose over the study period with significant differences in geographic distribution within the state. Among human cases, there were associations between cases of RMSF and LD and total forest cover, seasonal precipitation, average mean temperature, racial-ethnic groups, and gender. Estimated annual prevalence of three canine TBDs exceeded human TBD cases significantly in each region. There was concordance in the number of human and canine cases by county of residence, in annual prevalence trends, and in time of year at which they were diagnosed. To account for multiple environmental risk factors and to facilitate early diagnosis of cases, integrated surveillance systems must be developed and communication between veterinarians, physicians, and public health agencies must be improved.
doi:10.4137/EHI.S16017
PMCID: PMC4227629  PMID: 25452696
human and canine tick-borne diseases; demographics; environmental risk factors; surveillance
2.  Dispersal of Adult Culex Mosquitoes in an Urban West Nile Virus Hotspot: A Mark-Capture Study Incorporating Stable Isotope Enrichment of Natural Larval Habitats 
Dispersal is a critical life history behavior for mosquitoes and is important for the spread of mosquito-borne disease. We implemented the first stable isotope mark-capture study to measure mosquito dispersal, focusing on Culex pipiens in southwest suburban Chicago, Illinois, a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. We enriched nine catch basins in 2010 and 2011 with 15N-potassium nitrate and detected dispersal of enriched adult females emerging from these catch basins using CDC light and gravid traps to distances as far as 3 km. We detected 12 isotopically enriched pools of mosquitoes out of 2,442 tested during the two years and calculated a mean dispersal distance of 1.15 km and maximum flight range of 2.48 km. According to a logistic distribution function, 90% of the female Culex mosquitoes stayed within 3 km of their larval habitat, which corresponds with the distance-limited genetic variation of WNV observed in this study region. This study provides new insights on the dispersal of the most important vector of WNV in the eastern United States and demonstrates the utility of stable isotope enrichment for studying the biology of mosquitoes in other disease systems.
Author Summary
The distance and direction of adult mosquitoes movement on the landscape are important processes in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, and are critical to understand to the development of effective intervention programs. Here we present a novel approach to study adult mosquito dispersal by using stable isotope enrichment of natural larval habitats. We apply this technique in a focal hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission in suburban, Chicago, USA to measure dispersal of Culex spp. mosquitoes. We enriched larval mosquitoes in residential catch basins using 15N-potassium nitrate and captured adult mosquitoes in traps surrounding these catch basins. Of 10,817 adult female Culex mosquitoes trapped and tested for stable isotopes, 12 individuals were enriched with 15N, indicating they originated from the catch basins receiving stable isotope amendments. The mean dispersal distance was 1.15 km and maximum flight range was 2.48 km. Ninety percent of the female Culex mosquitoes stayed within 3 km of their larval habitat, which corresponds with the distance-limited genetic variation of WNV observed in this study region. This study provides new insights on the dispersal of the most important vector of WNV in the eastern United States and demonstrates the utility of stable isotope enrichment for studying the biology of mosquitoes in other disease systems.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002768
PMCID: PMC3967984  PMID: 24676212
3.  Treating COPD with PDE 4 inhibitors 
While the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is incompletely understood, chronic inflammation is a major factor. In fact, the inflammatory response is abnormal, with CD8+ T-cells, CD68+ macrophages, and neutrophils predominating in the conducting airways, lung parenchyma, and pulmonary vasculature. Elevated levels of the second messenger cAMP can inhibit some inflammatory processes. Theophylline has long been used in treating asthma; it causes bronchodilation by inhibiting cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE), which inactivates cAMP. By inhibiting PDE, theophylline increases cAMP, inhibiting inflammation and relaxing airway smooth muscle. Rather than one PDE, there are now known to be more than 50, with differing activities, substrate preferences, and tissue distributions. Thus, the possibility exists of selectively inhibiting only the enzyme(s) in the tissue(s) of interest. PDE 4 is the primary cAMP-hydrolyzing enzyme in inflammatory and immune cells (macrophages, eosinophils, neutrophils). Inhibiting PDE 4 in these cells leads to increased cAMP levels, down-regulating the inflammatory response. Because PDE 4 is also expressed in airway smooth muscle and, in vitro, PDE 4 inhibitors relax lung smooth muscle, selective PDE 4 inhibitors are being developed for treating COPD. Clinical studies have been conducted with PDE 4 inhibitors; this review concerns those reported to date.
PMCID: PMC2699952  PMID: 18268925
COPD; asthma; phosphodiesterase IV inhibitor
4.  Local impact of temperature and precipitation on West Nile virus infection in Culex species mosquitoes in northeast Illinois, USA 
Parasites & Vectors  2010;3:19.
Background
Models of the effects of environmental factors on West Nile virus disease risk have yielded conflicting outcomes. The role of precipitation has been especially difficult to discern from existing studies, due in part to habitat and behavior characteristics of specific vector species and because of differences in the temporal and spatial scales of the published studies. We used spatial and statistical modeling techniques to analyze and forecast fine scale spatial (2000 m grid) and temporal (weekly) patterns of West Nile virus mosquito infection relative to changing weather conditions in the urban landscape of the greater Chicago, Illinois, region for the years from 2004 to 2008.
Results
Increased air temperature was the strongest temporal predictor of increased infection in Culex pipiens and Culex restuans mosquitoes, with cumulative high temperature differences being a key factor distinguishing years with higher mosquito infection and higher human illness rates from those with lower rates. Drier conditions in the spring followed by wetter conditions just prior to an increase in infection were factors in some but not all years. Overall, 80% of the weekly variation in mosquito infection was explained by prior weather conditions. Spatially, lower precipitation was the most important variable predicting stronger mosquito infection; precipitation and temperature alone could explain the pattern of spatial variability better than could other environmental variables (79% explained in the best model). Variables related to impervious surfaces and elevation differences were of modest importance in the spatial model.
Conclusion
Finely grained temporal and spatial patterns of precipitation and air temperature have a consistent and significant impact on the timing and location of increased mosquito infection in the northeastern Illinois study area. The use of local weather data at multiple monitoring locations and the integration of mosquito infection data from numerous sources across several years are important to the strength of the models presented. The other spatial environmental factors that tended to be important, including impervious surfaces and elevation measures, would mediate the effect of rainfall on soils and in urban catch basins. Changes in weather patterns with global climate change make it especially important to improve our ability to predict how inter-related local weather and environmental factors affect vectors and vector-borne disease risk.
Local impact of temperature and precipitation on West Nile virus infection in Culex species mosquitoes in northeast Illinois, USA.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-19
PMCID: PMC2856545  PMID: 20302617
5.  Genetic linkage and transmission disequilibrium of marker haplotypes at chromosome 1q41 in human systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research  2001;3(5):299-305.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies to a wide range of self-antigens. Recent genome screens have implicated numerous chromosomal regions as potential SLE susceptibility loci. Among these, the 1q41 locus is of particular interest, because evidence for linkage has been found in several independent SLE family collections. Additionally, the 1q41 locus appears to be syntenic with a susceptibility interval identified in the NZM2410 mouse model for SLE. Here, we report the results of genotyping of 11 microsatellite markers within the 1q41 region in 210 SLE sibpair and 122 SLE trio families. These data confirm the modest evidence for linkage at 1q41 in our family collection (LOD = 1.21 at marker D1S2616). Evidence for significant linkage disequilibrium in this interval was also found. Multiple markers in the region exhibit transmission disequilibrium, with the peak single marker multiallelic linkage disequilibrium noted at D1S490 (pedigree disequilibrium test [PDT] global P value = 0.0091). Two- and three-marker haplotypes from the 1q41 region similarly showed strong transmission distortion in the collection of 332 SLE families. The finding of linkage together with significant transmission disequilibrium provides strong evidence for a susceptibility locus at 1q41 in human SLE.
PMCID: PMC64842  PMID: 11549371
1q41; autoimmunity; linkage; systemic lupus erythematosus; transmission disequilibrium

Results 1-5 (5)