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1.  Microbiological Aspects of the Investigation That Traced the 1998 Outbreak of Listeriosis in the United States to Contaminated Hot Dogs and Establishment of Molecular Subtyping-Based Surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes in the PulseNet Network 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(5):2350-2355.
A multistate outbreak of listeriosis occurred in the United States in 1998 with illness onset dates between August and December. The outbreak caused illness in 108 persons residing in 24 states and caused 14 deaths and four miscarriages or stillbirths. This outbreak was detected by public health officials in Tennessee and New York who observed significant increases over expected listeriosis cases in their states. Subsequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began laboratory characterization of clinical isolates of Listeria monocytogenes by serotyping and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). For the purpose of this investigation, outbreak-related isolates were defined as those that had a specific AscI-PFGE pattern and indistinguishable or highly similar (no more than 2 band difference in 26 bands) ApaI-PFGE patterns when their DNA was restricted by AscI and ApaI restriction enzymes. Timely availability of molecular subtyping results enabled epidemiologists to separate outbreak cases from temporally associated sporadic cases in the same geographic areas and facilitated the identification of contaminated hot dogs manufactured at a single commercial facility as the source of the outbreak. During the investigation of this outbreak, a standardized protocol for subtyping L. monocytogenes by PFGE was developed and disseminated to public health laboratories participating with CDC's PulseNet network; these laboratories were requested to begin routine PFGE subtyping of L. monocytogenes.
PMCID: PMC1153764  PMID: 15872265
2.  Population implications of lipid lowering for prevention of coronary heart disease: data from the 1995 Scottish health survey 
Heart  2001;86(3):289-295.
OBJECTIVE—To determine the proportion of the population, firstly, with cholesterol ⩾ 5.0 mmol/l and, secondly, with any cholesterol concentration, who might benefit from statin treatment for the following: secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD); primary prevention at CHD risk 30%, 20%, 15%, and 6% over 10 years; and primary prevention at projected CHD risk 20% over 10 years (CHD risk at age 60 years if actual age < 60 years).
SUBJECTS—Random stratified sample of 3963 subjects aged 35-64 years from the Scottish health survey 1995.
RESULTS—For secondary prevention 7.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.9% to 8.6%) of the population with cholesterol ⩾ 5.0 mmol/l would benefit from statins. For primary prevention, the prevalence of people at CHD risk 30%, 20%, 15%, and 6% over 10 years is 1.5% (95% CI 1.2% to 1.9%), 5.4% (95% CI 4.7% to 6.1%), 9.7% (95% CI 8.8% to 10.6%), and 32.9% (95% CI 31.5% to 34.4%), respectively. At projected CHD risk 20% over 10 years, 12.4% (95% CI 11.4% to 13.5%) would be treated with statins. Removing the 5.0 mmol/l cholesterol threshold makes little difference to population prevalence at high CHD risk.
CONCLUSIONS—Statin treatment would be required for 7.8% of the population for secondary prevention. For primary prevention, among other factors, guidelines should take into account the number of patients needing treatment at different levels of CHD risk when choosing the CHD risk to target. The analysis supports a policy of targeting treatment at CHD risk 30% over 10 years as a minimum, as recommended in current British guidelines, with a move to treating at CHD risk 15% over 10 years as resources permit.

Keywords: statins; coronary risk; secondary prevention; primary prevention
PMCID: PMC1729888  PMID: 11514481
3.  Aspirin for primary prevention of coronary heart disease: safety and absolute benefit related to coronary risk derived from meta-analysis of randomised trials 
Heart  2001;85(3):265-271.
OBJECTIVE—To determine the cardiovascular and coronary risk thresholds at which aspirin for primary prevention of coronary heart disease is safe and worthwhile.
DESIGN—Meta-analysis of four randomised controlled trials of aspirin for primary prevention. The benefit and harm from aspirin treatment were examined to determine: (1) the cardiovascular and coronary risk threshold at which benefit in prevention of myocardial infarction exceeds harm from significant bleeding; and (2) the absolute benefit expressed as number needed to treat (NNT) for aspirin net of cerebral haemorrhage and other bleeding complications at different levels of coronary risk.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Benefit from aspirin, expressed as reduction in cardiovascular events, myocardial infarctions, strokes, and total mortality; harm caused by aspirin in relation to significant bleeds and major haemorrhages.
RESULTS—Aspirin for primary prevention significantly reduced all cardiovascular events by 15% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6% to 22%) and myocardial infarctions by 30% (95% CI 21% to 38%), and non-significantly reduced all deaths by 6% (95% CI −4% to 15%). Aspirin non-significantly increased strokes by 6% (95% CI −24% to 9%) and significantly increased bleeding complications by 69% (95% CI 38% to 107%). The risk of major bleeding balanced the reduction in cardiovascular events when cardiovascular event risk was 0.22%/year. The upper 95% CI for this estimate suggests that harm from aspirin is unlikely to outweigh benefit provided the cardiovascular event risk is 0.8%/year, equivalent to a coronary risk of 0.6%/year. At coronary event risk 1.5%/year, the five year NNT was 44 to prevent a myocardial infarction, and 77 to prevent a myocardial infarction net of any important bleeding complication. At coronary event risk 1%/year the NNT was 67 to prevent a myocardial infarction, and 182 to prevent a myocardial infarction net of important bleeding.
CONCLUSIONS—Aspirin treatment for primary prevention is safe and worthwhile at coronary event risk ⩾ 1.5%/year; safe but of limited value at coronary risk 1%/year; and unsafe at coronary event risk 0.5%/year. Advice on aspirin for primary prevention requires formal accurate estimation of absolute coronary event risk.

Keywords: aspirin; coronary heart disease; primary prevention; meta-analysis
PMCID: PMC1729640  PMID: 11179262
4.  Is the Framingham risk function valid for northern European populations? A comparison of methods for estimating absolute coronary risk in high risk men 
Heart  1999;81(1):40-46.
Objective—To examine the validity of estimates of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk by the Framingham risk function, for European populations.
Design—Comparison of CHD risk estimates for individuals derived from the Framingham, prospective cardiovascular Münster (PROCAM), Dundee, and British regional heart (BRHS) risk functions.
Setting—Sheffield Hypertension Clinic. 
 Patients—206 consecutive hypertensive men aged 35-75 years without preexisting vascular disease. 
Results—There was close agreement among the Framingham, PROCAM, and Dundee risk functions for average CHD risk. For individuals the best correlation was between Framingham and PROCAM, both of which use high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. When Framingham was used to target a CHD event rate > 3% per year, it identified men with mean CHD risk by PROCAM of 4.6% per year and all had CHD event risks > 1.5% per year. Men at lower risk by Framingham had a mean CHD risk by PROCAM of 1.5% per year, with 16% having a CHD event risk > 3.0% per year. BRHS risk function estimates of CHD risk were fourfold lower than those for the other three risk functions, but with moderate correlations, suggesting an important systematic error.
Conclusion—There is close agreement between the Framingham, PROCAM, and Dundee risk functions as regards average CHD risk, and moderate agreement for estimates within individuals. Taking PROCAM as the external standard, the Framingham function separates high and low CHD risk groups and is acceptably accurate for northern European populations, at least in men. 

 Keywords: ischaemic heart disease;  prevention;  risk factors
PMCID: PMC1728900  PMID: 10220543
6.  Use of statins 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;317(7156):473.
PMCID: PMC1113724  PMID: 9703541
8.  Titration of Cholera Antitoxin in Human Sera by Microhemagglutination with Formalinized Erythrocytes 1 
Applied Microbiology  1970;19(5):742-745.
Microtiter hemagglutination tests employing formalinized sheep erythrocytes sensitized with either crude or purified cholera toxin were used to assay the cholera antitoxin content of human sera. Comparable results were obtained with either crude or purified toxin-sensitized cells with the exception of two sera that gave unusually high hemagglutination titers with the crude toxin. Sera from 13 convalescent cholera patients showed a high degree of correlation between antitoxin levels as determined in vitro by the hemagglutination test and in vivo by the skin permeability factor neutralization test. Fourfold or greater rises in antitoxin levels between acute and convalescent sera were detected in 9 of 15 patients with bacteriologically proven cholera. No significant increases in titer were observed in 14 cases of noncholera diarrhea. Cholera antitoxin was detected by hemagglutination in only 1 of 33 sera, obtained from eight countries, containing vibriocidal antibodies. Formalinized sheep erythrocytes sensitized with toxin and stored at 4 C in the presence of 1:10,000 thimerosal were stable and sensitive for at least 6 months (the longest time tested).
PMCID: PMC376780  PMID: 5463574
British Medical Journal  1902;1(2155):999.
PMCID: PMC2511850

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