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1.  Infant morbidity in an Indian slum birth cohort 
Archives of disease in childhood  2007;93(6):479-484.
To establish incidence rates, clinic referrals, hospitalisations, mortality rates and baseline determinants of morbidity among infants in an Indian slum.
A community-based birth cohort with twice-weekly surveillance.
Vellore, South India.
452 newborns recruited over 18 months, followed through infancy.
Main outcome measures
Incidence rates of gastrointestinal illness, respiratory illness, undifferentiated fever, other infections and non-infectious morbidity; rates of community-based diagnoses, clinic visits and hospitalisation; and rate ratios of baseline factors for morbidity.
Infants experienced 12 episodes (95% confidence interval (CI) 11 to 13) of illness, spending about one fifth of their infancy with an illness. Respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms were most common with incidence rates (95% CI) of 7.4 (6.9 to 7.9) and 3.6 (3.3 to 3.9) episodes per child-year. Factors independently associated with a higher incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal illness were age (3-5 months), male sex, cold/wet season and household involved in beedi work. The rate (95% CI) of hospitalisation, mainly for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, was 0.28 (0.22 to 0.35) per child-year.
The morbidity burden due to respiratory and gastrointestinal illness is high in a South Indian urban slum, with children ill for approximately one fifth of infancy, mainly with respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. The risk factors identified were younger age, male sex, cold/wet season and household involvement in beedi work.
PMCID: PMC2682775  PMID: 17916587
2.  Antibiotic use and the development of Crohn’s disease 
Gut  2004;53(2):246-250.
Background: Few environmental determinants of Crohn’s disease are well established. Some observational data exist to implicate antibiotic use as a risk factor but these are derived from studies using questionnaires to assess reported antibiotic use that were susceptible to recall bias. We have therefore explored this relationship in prospectively gathered data.
Methods: We selected incident cases of Crohn’s disease from the General Practice Research Database with at least five years of data prior to diagnosis. Controls with five years of complete data were randomly selected. Data were extracted on smoking, drug prescriptions, age, sex, and a variety of symptoms and diagnoses that might be indicative of occult Crohn’s disease. Logistic regression was used to investigate the relationship between antibiotic use and Crohn’s disease.
Results: A total of 587 Crohn’s disease cases and 1460 controls were available for analysis. We found that antibiotic use 2–5 years pre-diagnosis occurred in 71% of cases compared with 58% of controls (p<0.001), and the median number of courses was two in the cases and one in the controls (p<0.001). Adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and use of other drugs, antibiotic use had an odds ratio of 1.32 (1.05–1.65). We were unable to show specificity to any subgroup of antibacterials. Associations similar to that with antibiotics were also found with oral contraceptive, cardiovascular, and neurological drugs.
Conclusions: We found a statistically significant association between Crohn’s disease and prior antibiotic use. This cannot be explained by recall bias, but due to lack of specificity it is unclear whether it is causal.
PMCID: PMC1774910  PMID: 14724158
antibiotics; Crohn’s disease; epidemiology; inflammatory bowel disease
3.  Case-control study of the effect of mechanical trauma on the risk of herpes zoster 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7437):439.
PMCID: PMC344263  PMID: 14742350
4.  Lack of Association between Maternal Antibody and Protection of African Infants from Malaria Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(10):5856-5863.
Maternally derived antibodies are believed to protect infants against infection, but there is little direct evidence for a protective role of passively acquired antibodies against malaria. A longitudinal study of malaria infection in 143 infants was conducted in a region of southern Ghana where Plasmodium falciparum is endemic. Infants born in the high-transmission season were less likely to become infected in the first 20 weeks of life than children born in the low-transmission season. Plasma, obtained at birth, was tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG subclasses to P. falciparum schizonts and recombinant circumsporozoite antigen, MSP-119, MSP-2, AMA-1, and Pf155 (also called ring-infected erytrocyte surface antigen). Antibody levels at birth were not associated with resistance to malaria infection. On the contrary, antibodies at birth were positively associated with infection, indicating that high levels of maternally derived antibodies represent a marker for intensity of exposure to malaria infection in infants. However, all five children who experienced high-density infections (>100 parasites/μl of blood) were seronegative for MSP-119 at the time of infection.
PMCID: PMC101547  PMID: 10992495
5.  Pathogenesis of the impaired gall bladder contraction of coeliac disease. 
Gut  1987;28(11):1426-1432.
We have investigated the possibility that the abnormally decreased gall bladder contraction after meals in patients with coeliac disease might result in part from an abnormality in the gall bladder response to endogenous cholecystokinetic hormones--for example, cholecystokinin and motilin--rather than solely from decreased secretion of such hormones. Eight patients with untreated coeliac disease and nine controls received intravenous infusions of the pure synthetic cholecystokinin analogue caerulein, 2-16 ng/kg/hour. Gall bladder emptying was measured on a minute-by-minute basis using 99mTc-HIDA scans. In the patients with coeliac disease, gall bladder emptying was greatly decreased (34.6 +/- 9.9 v 61.5 +/- 7.5% at 60 minutes, p less than 0.02), and a much greater dose of caerulein was needed to initiate gall bladder contraction (3.80 +/- 1.08 v 1.49 +/- 0.56 ng/kg, p less than 0.02). These results suggest that the abnormal gall bladder contraction in coeliac disease is not simply because of impaired release of cholecystokinin. Although mechanical factors secondary to the increased gall bladder size in patients with coeliac disease might to some extent account for the findings, the alternative explanation is that the gall bladder muscle is for some reason resistant to the action of cholecystokinetic agents. A similar phenomenon affecting the pancreas might contribute to the abnormally decreased pancreatic secretion found in coeliac disease.
PMCID: PMC1433691  PMID: 3428667

Results 1-5 (5)