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2.  Full Genome of Phialocephala scopiformis DAOMC 229536, a Fungal Endophyte of Spruce Producing the Potent Anti-Insectan Compound Rugulosin 
Genome Announcements  2016;4(1):e01768-15.
We present the full genome of Phialocephala scopiformis DAOMC 229536 (Helotiales, Ascomycota), a foliar endophyte of white spruce from eastern Quebec. DAOMC 229536 produces the anti-insectan compound rugulosin, which inhibits a devastating forestry pest, the spruce budworm. This genome will enable fungal genotyping and host-endophyte evolutionary genomics in inoculated trees.
PMCID: PMC4767923  PMID: 26950333
4.  Environmental assessment and exposure reduction of cockroaches: A practice parameter 
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology  2013;132(4):10.1016/j.jaci.2013.04.061.
This parameter was developed by the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters, representing the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI); the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI); and the joint Council of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. The AAAAI and the ACAAI have jointly accepted responsibility for establishing “Environmental assessment and remediation: a practice parameter.” This is a complete and comprehensive document at the current time. The medical environment is a changing environment, and not all recommendations will be appropriate for all patients. Because this document incorporated the efforts of many participants, no single person, including those who served on the Joint Task Force, is authorized to provide an official AAAAI or ACAAI interpretation of these practice parameters. Any request for information about or an interpretation of these practice parameters by the AAAAI or ACAAI should be directed to the Executive Offices of the AAAAI, the ACAAI, and the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. These parameters are not designed for use by pharmaceutical companies in drug promotion. The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
PMCID: PMC3864888  PMID: 23938214
Allergy; cockroach; sensitization; disease; morbidity
6.  Housing Interventions and Control of Asthma-Related Indoor Biologic Agents: A Review of the Evidence 
Subject matter experts systematically reviewed evidence on the effectiveness of housing interventions that affect health outcomes, primarily asthma, associated with exposure to moisture, mold, and allergens. Three of the 11 interventions reviewed had sufficient evidence for implementation: multifaceted, in-home, tailored interventions for reducing asthma morbidity; integrated pest management to reduce cockroach allergen; and combined elimination of moisture intrusion and leaks and removal of moldy items to reduce mold and respiratory symptoms. Four interventions needed more field evaluation, one needed formative research, and three either had no evidence of effectiveness or were ineffective. The three interventions with sufficient evidence all applied multiple, integrated strategies. This evidence review shows that selected interventions that improve housing conditions will reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
PMCID: PMC3934496  PMID: 20689369
asthma; moisture; allergens; dust; mites; cockroaches; rats; mice; prevention; housing
8.  Exposure Assessment in Cohort Studies of Childhood Asthma 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2010;119(5):591-597.
The environment is suspected to play an important role in the development of childhood asthma. Cohort studies are a powerful observational design for studying exposure–response relationships, but their power depends in part upon the accuracy of the exposure assessment.
The purpose of this paper is to summarize and discuss issues that make accurate exposure assessment a challenge and to suggest strategies for improving exposure assessment in longitudinal cohort studies of childhood asthma and allergies.
Data synthesis
Exposures of interest need to be prioritized, because a single study cannot measure all potentially relevant exposures. Hypotheses need to be based on proposed mechanisms, critical time windows for effects, prior knowledge of physical, physiologic, and immunologic development, as well as genetic pathways potentially influenced by the exposures. Modifiable exposures are most important from the public health perspective. Given the interest in evaluating gene–environment interactions, large cohort sizes are required, and planning for data pooling across independent studies is critical. Collection of additional samples, possibly through subject participation, will permit secondary analyses. Models combining air quality, environmental, and dose data provide exposure estimates across large cohorts but can still be improved.
Exposure is best characterized through a combination of information sources. Improving exposure assessment is critical for reducing measurement error and increasing power, which increase confidence in characterization of children at risk, leading to improved health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3094407  PMID: 21081299
childhood asthma; cohort studies; exposure assessment
9.  Do Questions Reflecting Indoor Air Pollutant Exposure from a Questionnaire Predict Direct Measure of Exposure in Owner-Occupied Houses? 
Home characteristic questions are used in epidemiological studies and clinical settings to assess potentially harmful exposures in the home. The objective of this study was to determine whether questionnaire-reported home characteristics can predict directly measured pollutants. Sixty home inspections were conducted on a subsample of the 2006 population-based Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire. Indoor/outdoor air and settled dust samples were analyzed. Mean Fel d 1 was higher (p < 0.0001) in homes with a cat (450.58 μg/g) versus without (22.28 μg/g). Mean indoor NO2 was higher (p = 0.003) in homes with gas stoves (14.98 ppb) versus without (8.31 ppb). Self-reported musty odours predicted higher glucan levels (10554.37 μg/g versus 6308.58 μg/g, p = 0.0077). Der f 1 was predicted by the home’s age, but not by reports of carpets, and was higher in homes with mean relative humidity > 50% (61.30 μg/g, versus 6.24 μg/g, p = 0.002). Self-reported presence of a cat, a gas stove, musty odours, mice, and the home’s age and indoor relative humidity over 50% predicted measured indoor levels of cat allergens, NO2, fungal glucan, mouse allergens and dust mite allergens, respectively. These results are helpful for understanding the significance of indoor exposures ascertained by self-reporting in large epidemiological studies and also in the clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC2954581  PMID: 20948960
allergens; environmental exposure; house dust; indoor air pollution; questionnaire
10.  Screening and Initial Binding Assessment of Fumonisin B1 Aptamers 
Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum, fungi that are ubiquitous in corn (maize). Insect damage and some other environmental conditions result in the accumulation of fumonisins in corn-based products worldwide. Current methods of fumonisin detection rely on the use of immunoaffinity columns and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The use of aptamers offers a good alternative to the use of antibodies in fumonisin cleanup and detection due to lower costs and improved stability. Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that are selected using Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) for their ability to bind to targets with high affinity and specificity. Sequences obtained after 18 rounds of SELEX were screened for their ability to bind to fumonisin B1. Six unique sequences were obtained, each showing improved binding to fumonisin B1 compared to controls. Sequence FB1 39 binds to fumonisin with a dissociation constant of 100 ± 30 nM and shows potential for use in fumonisin biosensors and solid phase extraction columns.
PMCID: PMC3100853  PMID: 21614178
aptamer; fumonisin B1; mycotoxins; DNA; SELEX; toxins; maize; corn; binding affinity; molecular recognition
11.  Toxigenic Potential of Some Fusarium Isolates from Southeast Asia † 
The isolation and characterization of 10 isolates of six Fusarium spp. from plant and soil samples collected in Southeast Asia is reported. The ability of these isolates to produce trichothecenes both in liquid cultures (CZ, GYEP, and MYRO) and on rice was assessed, and their toxigenic potential was examined by skin assay and gavage studies with culture filtrates. Although culture filtrates of all the isolates caused minor damage to test animals, only that of F. equiseti DAOM 189762 produced trichothecenes.
PMCID: PMC238662  PMID: 16346873
12.  Indoor air quality and the risk of lower respiratory tract infections in young Canadian Inuit children 
Inuit infants have the highest reported rate of hospital admissions because of lower respiratory tract infections in the world. We evaluated the prevalence of reduced ventilation in houses in Nunavut, Canada, and whether this was associated with an increased risk of these infections among young Inuit children.
We measured ventilation in 49 homes of Inuit children less than 5 years of age in Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin) Region, Nunavut. We identified the occurrence of lower respiratory tract infections using a standardized questionnaire. Associations between ventilation measures and lower respiratory tract infection were evaluated using multiple logistic regression models.
The mean number of occupants per house was 6.1 people. The mean ventilation rate per person was 5.6 L/s (standard deviation [SD] 3.7); 80% (37/46) of the houses had ventilation rates below the recommended rate of 7.5 L/s per person. The mean indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of 1358 (SD 531) ppm was higher than the recommended target level of 1000 ppm. Smokers were present in 46 homes (94%). Of the 49 children, 27 (55%) had a reported history of lower respiratory tract infection. Reported respiratory infection was significantly associated with mean CO2 levels (odds ratio [OR] 2.85 per 500-ppm increase in mean indoor CO2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23–6.59) and occupancy (OR 1.81 for each additional occupant, 95% CI 1.14–2.86).
Reduced ventilation and crowding may contribute to the observed excess of lower respiratory tract infection among young Inuit children. The benefits of measures to reduce indoor smoking and occupancy rates and to increase ventilation should be studied.
PMCID: PMC1913116  PMID: 17638953

Results 1-12 (12)