There has been limited research addressing whether behavioural change in relation to smoking is maintained throughout pregnancy and the effect on perinatal outcomes. A cohort study addressed lifestyle behaviours of 907 women who booked for antenatal care and delivered in a large urban teaching hospital in 2010–2011. Adverse perinatal outcomes were compared for “non-smokers”, “ex-smokers” and “current smokers”. Of the 907 women, 270 (30%) reported smoking in the six months prior to pregnancy, and of those 160 (59%) had stopped smoking and 110 (41%) continued to smoke at the time of the first antenatal visit. There was virtually no change in smoking behaviour between the first antenatal visit and the third trimester of pregnancy. Factors associated with continuing to smoke included unplanned pregnancy (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3, 2.9), alcohol use (OR 3.4; 95% CI 2.1, 6.0) and previous illicit drug use (OR 3.6; 95% CI 2.1, 6.0). Ex-smokers had similar perinatal outcomes to non-smokers. Current smoking was associated with an average reduction in birth weight of 191g (95% CI −294, −88) and an increased incidence of intrauterine growth restriction (24% versus 13%, adjusted OR 1.39 (95% CI 1.06, 1.84). Public Health campaigns emphasise the health benefits of quitting smoking in pregnancy. The greatest success appears to be pre-pregnancy and during the first trimester where women are largely self-motivated to quit.
smoking cessation; prospective cohort study; pregnancy; perinatal outcomes
Background: While previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of tobacco control interventions in reducing tobacco use among youth overall, there have been very few studies that examine the potential differential impact of tobacco control policies on various youth subgroups, defined by socio-economic status (SES), race/ethnicity, and gender. Objective: We examined the relationship between state-level cigarette prices and smoke-free air laws and youth smoking prevalence and intensity for various youth sub-populations in the United States. Methods: We estimated a 2-part model of cigarette demand using data from the 1991 through 2010 nationally representative surveys of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students as part of the Monitoring the Future project. Findings: We found that real cigarette prices are strong determinants of youth smoking. Blacks, females, Hispanics, and low-SES subpopulations are found to have a larger price response with respect to smoking prevalence than the full sample. Smoke-free air laws are found to have a negative effect on smoking prevalence for the full sample and for the male, white, and high-SES sub-populations. Conclusions: This research concludes that higher cigarette prices will reduce smoking prevalence rates of Blacks, Hispanics, females, and low-SES subpopulations faster than the overall youth population and other youth sub-populations. Moreover, this research concludes that smoke-free air laws will reduce smoking prevalence for the overall youth population with the largest reductions in high SES and male subpopulations.
price; smoke-free air laws; youth; smoking; sub-populations
Background: A high prevalence of sickness absence in many countries, at a substantial societal cost, underlines the importance to understand its determining mechanisms. This study focuses on the link between relative deprivation and the probability of sickness absence. Methods: 184,000 men and women in Sweden were followed between 1982 and 2001. The sample consists of working individuals between the ages of 19 and 65. The outcome is defined as experiencing more than 14 days of sickness absence during a year. Based on the complete Swedish population, an individual’s degree of relative deprivation is measured through income compared to individuals of the same age, sex, educational level and type. In accounting for the possibility that sickness absence and socioeconomic status are determined by common factors, discrete-time duration models were estimated, accounting for unobserved heterogeneity through random effects. Results: The results confirm that the failure to account for the dynamics of the individual’s career biases the influence from socioeconomic characteristics. Results consistently suggest a major influence from relative deprivation, with a consistently lower risk of sickness absence among the highly educated. Conclusions: Altering individual’s health behavior through education appears more efficient in reducing the reliance on sickness absence, rather than redistributive policies.
sickness absence; Sweden; relative deprivation; duration analysis
Child Sexual Assault (CSA) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is a complex issue that cannot be understood in isolation from the ongoing impacts of colonial invasion, genocide, assimilation, institutionalised racism and severe socio-economic deprivation. Service responses to CSA are often experienced as racist, culturally, financially and/or geographically inaccessible. A two-day forum, National Yarn Up: Sharing the Wisdoms and Challenges of Young People and Sexual Abuse, was convened by sexual assault services to identify the main practice and policy concerns regarding working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people (C&YP), families and communities in the context of CSA. The forum also aimed to explore how services can become more accountable and better engaged with the communities they are designed to support. The forum was attended by eighty invited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal youth sexual assault managers and workers representing both “victim” and “those who sexually harm others” services. In keeping with Aboriginal Community-Based Research methods forum participants largely directed discussions and contributed to the analysis of key themes and recommendations reported in this article. The need for sexual assault services to prioritise cultural safety by meaningfully integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Worldviews emerged as a key recommendation. It was also identified that collaboration between “victims” and “those who sexually harm” services are essential given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander C&YP who sexually harm others may have also been victims of sexual assault or physical violence and intergenerational trauma. By working with the whole family and community, a collaborative approach is more likely than the current service model to develop cultural safety and thus increase the accessibility of sexual assault services.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; children and young people; child sexual assault; those who sexually harm others; trauma; gender; cultural safety; aboriginal worldviews; aboriginal community-based participation research methods
Scant information is available on determinants of smoking prevalence in the vulnerable population of the elderly, particularly in Europe. Therefore, we analyzed smoking patterns among older adults (≥65 years old), using data from a representative survey based on 3,071 elderly, conducted in 17 European countries in 2010, within the Pricing Policies And Control of Tobacco in Europe (PPACTE) project. Overall smoking prevalence in 17 European countries was 11.5% (15.3% in men and 8.6% in women). An inverse relation with level of education was observed among men, while no specific pattern was evident among women. Smoking prevalence was highest in eastern/central Europe for men (20.3%) and northern Europe for women (13.1%). In both sexes combined, smokers were more frequent in countries with low implementation of tobacco control activities (14.9%). Anti-tobacco campaigns and smoking cessation interventions specifically targeted to the elderly are urgently needed in Europe.
smoking prevalence; vulnerable population; elderly; cross-sectional study
This study aimed at exploring patients’ perceptions regarding telerehabilitation services received post total knee replacement. In this qualitative embedded single case study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five patients who had previously received in-home telerehabilitation post total knee arthroplasty. Participants were asked to reflect on their 8-week rehabilitation process and on their experience with the home telerehabilitation program. Interviews were transcribed and a qualitative thematic analysis was conducted. Six overarching themes emerged from the patients’ perceptions: (1) improving access to services with reduced need for transportation; (2) developing a strong therapeutic relationship with therapist while maintaining a sense of personal space; (3) complementing telerehabilitation with in-person visits; (4) providing standardized yet tailored and challenging exercise programs using telerehabilitation; (5) perceived ease-of-use of telerehabilitation equipment; and (6) feeling an ongoing sense of support. Gaining a better understating of the patient’s experience in telerehabilitation will be essential as programs continue to be developed and implemented.
satisfaction; telerehabilitation; patients; semi-structured interview; qualitative
Formally evaluating how specific policy measures influence environmental justice is challenging, especially in the context of regulatory analyses in which quantitative comparisons are the norm. However, there is a large literature on developing and applying quantitative measures of health inequality in other settings, and these measures may be applicable to environmental regulatory analyses. In this paper, we provide information to assist policy decision makers in determining the viability of using measures of health inequality in the context of environmental regulatory analyses. We conclude that quantification of the distribution of inequalities in health outcomes across social groups of concern, considering both within-group and between-group comparisons, would be consistent with both the structure of regulatory analysis and the core definition of environmental justice. Appropriate application of inequality indicators requires thorough characterization of the baseline distribution of exposures and risks, leveraging data generally available within regulatory analyses. Multiple inequality indicators may be applicable to regulatory analyses, and the choice among indicators should be based on explicit value judgments regarding the dimensions of environmental justice of greatest interest.
regulatory analysis; health inequalities; environmental justice
During October, November and December 2011 (when highest sales of Agri-Hub fresh produce are observed), irrigation water, compost, lettuce and spinach sampled from four different farmer cooperatives supplying the local Agri-Hub in uMbumbulu (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analyzed monthly for the presence of total and fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli using the most probable number (MPN) technique. The pH values for all irrigation water samples analyzed were within the acceptable range of 6.5–8.5 for agricultural use. Fecal coliform levels were <1,000 MPN per 100 mL irrigation water and <1,000 MPN per g of compost. The vegetables produced by Agri-Hub small-scale farmers met the requirements for total coliforms of <200/g set by the South African Department of Health at the time of sampling. E. coli MPN values for irrigation water and vegetables were below the limit of detection. In addition, the farming practices of 73 farmers were assessed via a survey. The results revealed that more than 40% of farmers used microbiologically safe tap water for irrigation and that trained farmers have a significantly better understanding of the importance of production hygiene than untrained farmers. These results reiterate the importance of interventions that build capacity in the area of food safety and hygiene of small-scale farmers for market access of formal value chains.
small-scale farmers; organic farming; food security; food safety; hygiene indicator organisms; coliforms; irrigation
The aim of the study was to investigate early executive functioning in young children from 6–35 months of age. The study involved 319 randomly selected children from the community, 17 HIV exposed but uninfected children and 31 HIV infected ARV-naive children. A variation of the A-not-B task was used. While there were no group differences in total correct, perseverative errors, nor maximum error run, a significant percentage of children were unable to complete the task as a consequence of the children becoming overtly distressed or refusing to continue. In a multivariate analysis we observed that the significant predictors of non-completion were HIV exposure (both infected and exposed) and being under 24 months of age. These patterns of results indicate that future work with a broader array of tasks need to look at the association of HIV and EF tasks and potential contribution of factors such as emotion regulation, persistence and motivation on performance on EF tasks.
HIV; executive functions; A-not-B task; Kenya; children
Acrylamide (ACR) is a water-soluble chemical used in different industrial and laboratory processes. ACR monomer is neurotoxic in humans and laboratory animals. Subchronic exposure to this chemical causes neuropathies, hands and feet numbness, gait abnormalities, muscle weakness, ataxia, skin and in some cases, cerebellar alterations. ACR neurotoxicity involves mostly the peripheral but also the central nervous system, because of damage to the nerve terminal through membrane fusion mechanisms and tubulovescicular alterations. Nevertheless, the exact action mechanism is not completely elucidated. In this paper we have reviewed the current literature on its neurotoxicity connected to work-related ACR exposure. We have analyzed not only the different pathogenetic hypotheses focusing on possible neuropathological targets, but also the critical behavior of ACR poisoning. In addition we have evaluated the ACR-exposed workers case studies. Despite all the amount of work which have being carried out on this topic more studies are necessary to fully understand the pathogenetic mechanisms, in order to propose suitable therapies.
acrylamide; workers; neurotoxicity; neuropathy
The predominant microorganisms in samples taken from shower heads in residences in the Korean city “N” were Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Sphingomonas paucimobilis, Acidovorax temperans, and Microbacterium lacticum. Legionella was not detected in this case. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) vinylacetate, NN-DMA, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, epichlorohydrin, and styrene were measured in five types of plastic pipes: PVC, PB, PP, PE, and cPVC. The rate of multiplication of the heterotrophic plate count (HPC) attached on the copper pipe in contact with hot tap water was higher than the rate for the copper pipe in contact with cold tap water. Biofilm accumulation on stainless steel pipes with added acetate (3 mg/L) was 2.56 times higher than the non-supplemented condition. Therefore, the growth of HPC in the pipe system was affected by the type and availability of nutrients and depended on variables such as heating during the hot water supply.
drinking water; biofilm; volatile organic compounds; water supply systems; household plumbing
Background: High-intensity smoking cessation programs generally lead to more continuous abstinence, however, lower rates of success have been reported among heavy smokers. The aim was to evaluate continuous abstinence among heavy smokers during the intensive 6-week Gold Standard Program (GSP) and to identify modifiable factors associated with continuous abstinence. Methods: In this nationwide clinical study based on 36,550 smokers attending an intensive cessation program in Denmark. Heavy smoking was defined as ≥7 points in the Fagerström Nicotine Dependency Test, smoking ≥20 cigarettes daily or ≥20 pack-years. Results: Overall, 28% had a Fagerström score ≥7 points, 58% smoked ≥20 cigarettes daily and 68% smoked ≥20 pack-years. Continuous abstinence was 33% in responders (6-months response rate: 78%); however, abstinence was approximately 1–6% lower in the heavy smokers than the overall population. Attending GSP with an individual format (vs. group/other, OR 1.23–1.44); in a hospital setting (vs. pharmacy/municipality services, OR 1.05–1.11); and being compliant (attending the planned meetings OR 4.36–4.89) were associated with abstinence. Abstinence decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing smoking severity. Conclusions: Abstinence after GSP was 1–6% lower in the heavy smokers than in the overall study population. Modifiable factors may be used for small improvements in continued abstinence. However attempts to improve compliance seemed especially promising.
smoking cessation; abstinence; heavy smokers; intensive program; nationwide database; group program; individual program; Denmark
In 2011 an unprecedented epidemic of equine encephalitis occurred in south-eastern (SE) Australia following heavy rainfall and severe flooding in the preceding 2–4 months. Less than 6% of the documented cases occurred in Queensland, prompting the question of pre-existing immunity in Queensland horses. A small-scale serological survey was conducted on horses residing in one of the severely flood-affected areas of SE-Queensland. Using a flavivirus-specific blocking-ELISA we found that 63% (39/62) of horses older than 3 years were positive for flavivirus antibodies, and of these 18% (7/38) had neutralizing antibodies to Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV), Kunjin virus (WNVKUN) and/or Alfuy virus (ALFV). The remainder had serum-neutralizing antibodies to viruses in the Kokobera virus (KOKV) complex or antibodies to unknown/untested flaviviruses. Amongst eight yearlings one presented with clinical MVEV-encephalomyelitis, while another, clinically normal, had MVEV-neutralizing antibodies. The remaining six yearlings were flavivirus antibody negative. Of 19 foals born between August and November 2011 all were flavivirus antibody negative in January 2012. This suggests that horses in the area acquire over time active immunity to a range of flaviviruses. Nevertheless, the relatively infrequent seropositivity to MVEV, WNVKUN and ALFV (15%) suggests that factors other than pre-existing immunity may have contributed to the low incidence of arboviral disease in SE-Queensland horses during the 2011 epidemic.
flavivirus; equine; antibody response; mosquito-borne; encephalitis
The pharmaceutical industry’s profitability depends on identifying and successfully developing new drug candidates while trying to contain the increasing costs of drug development. It is actively searching for new sources of innovative compounds and for mechanisms to reduce the enormous costs of developing new drug candidates. There is an opportunity for academia to further develop as a source of drug discovery. The rising levels of industry outsourcing also provide prospects for organisations that can reduce the costs of drug development. We explored the potential returns to New Zealand (NZ) from its drug discovery expertise by assuming a drug development candidate is out-licensed without clinical data and has anticipated peak global sales of $350 million. We also estimated the revenue from NZ’s clinical research industry based on a standard per participant payment to study sites and the number of industry-sponsored clinical trials approved each year. Our analyses found that NZ’s clinical research industry has generated increasing foreign revenue and appropriate policy support could ensure that this continues to grow. In addition the probability-based revenue from the out-licensing of a drug development candidate could be important for NZ if provided with appropriate policy and financial support.
drug development; economic benefits; New Zealand; clinical research; drug discovery
The West Nile virus (WNC) first appeared in North America in 1999. The North American lineages of WNV were characterized by the presence of neuroinvasive and neurovirulent strains causing disease and death in humans, birds and horses. The 2012 WNV season in the United States saw a massive spike in the number of neuroinvasive cases and deaths similar to what was seen in the 2002–2003 season, according to the West Nile virus disease cases and deaths reported to the CDC by year and clinical presentation, 1999–2012, by ArboNET (Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In addition, the establishment and recent spread of lineage II WNV virus strains into Western Europe and the presence of neurovirulent and neuroinvasive strains among them is a cause of major concern. This review discusses the advances in the development of vaccines and biologicals to combat human and veterinary West Nile disease.
West Nile Virus; vaccine; flaviviruses; envelope glycoprotein; WNV lineage; veterinary vaccine
This study investigated sex and gender differences in cardinal symptoms of exposure to a mixture of ambient pollutants. A cross sectional population-based study design was utilized in Sarnia, ON, Canada. Stratified random sampling in census tracts of residents aged 18 and over recruited 804 respondents. Respondents completed a community health survey of chronic disease, general health, and socioeconomic indicators. Residential concentrations of NO2, SO2, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and o/m/p-xylene were estimated by land use regression on data collected through environmental monitoring. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis was used to identify variables that interacted with sex and cardinal symptoms of exposure, and a series of logistic regression models were built to predict the reporting of five or more cardinal symptoms (5+ CS). Without controlling for confounders, higher pollution ranks increased the odds ratio (OR) of reporting 5+ CS by 28% (p < 0.01; Confidence Interval (CI): 1.07–1.54). Females were 1.52 (p < 0.05; CI: 1.03–2.26) times more likely more likely to report 5+ CS after controlling for income, age and chronic diseases. The CART analysis showed that allergies and occupational exposure classified the sample into the most homogenous groups of males and females. The likelihood of reporting 5+ CS among females was higher after stratifying the sample based on occupational exposure. However, stratifying by allergic disease resulted in no significant sex difference in symptom reporting. The results confirmed previous research that found pre-existing health conditions to increase susceptibility to ambient air pollution, but additionally indicated that stronger effects on females is partly due to autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, gender differences in occupational exposure confound the effect size of exposure in studies based on residential levels of air pollution.
gender; sex; air pollution; environmental health; occupational exposure; allergic disease; LUR; CART
The purpose of the study was to explore the association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in perimenopausal women. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Zhuhai from June to October 2012. Perimenopausal women (n = 685) were included in the study. All participants were divided into three subgroups: Group 1, 40 years old ≤ Age < 50 years old; Group 2, 50 years old ≤ Age < 60 years old; Group 3, 60 years old ≤ Age ≤ 65 years old. MetS was associated with CKD (p < 0.01) in the unadjusted analyses in total subjects. After adjusting the potential confounders, the odd ratios of CKD for MetS was 2.66 (95% CI 1.56 to 4.49, p < 0.001). There was no relationship between MetS and CKD in both Group 1 and Group 3. MetS was associated with CKD (p < 0.001) in the unadjusted analyses in Group 2. After adjusting for potential confounders, MetS was significantly associated with CKD. The odd ratios for MetS was 6.79 (95% CI 2.30 to 20.09, p < 0.001). There was no relationship between elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting glucose, abdominal obesity, Low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and CKD in both Group 1 and Group 3. Elevated blood pressure was associated with CKD in Group 2 (unadjusted Odds ratio: 4.52 (1.28–16.02), p = 0.02). After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no relationship between elevated blood pressure and CKD (p = 0.78). Elevated fasting glucose was associated with CKD in Group 2 (unadjusted Odds ratio: 3.69 (1.10–12.38), p = 0.03). After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no relationship between elevated fasting glucose and CKD (p = 0.15). There was no relationship between abdominal obesity, Low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and CKD in Group 2. These findings suggest that in perimenopausal women aged from 50 or older to 60 MetS was associated with CKD. There is no relationship between MetS and CKD in perimenopausal women aged from 40 or older to 50 and aged from 60 or older to 65.
metabolic syndrome; chronic kidney disease; perimenopausal women
Background: Limited by data availability, most disease maps in the literature are for relatively large and subjectively-defined areal units, which are subject to problems associated with polygon maps. High resolution maps based on objective spatial units are needed to more precisely detect associations between disease and environmental factors. Method: We propose to use a Restricted and Controlled Monte Carlo (RCMC) process to disaggregate polygon-level location data to achieve mapping aggregate data at an approximated individual level. RCMC assigns a random point location to a polygon-level location, in which the randomization is restricted by the polygon and controlled by the background (e.g., population at risk). RCMC allows analytical processes designed for individual data to be applied, and generates high-resolution raster maps. Results: We applied RCMC to the town-level birth defect data for New Hampshire and generated raster maps at the resolution of 100 m. Besides the map of significance of birth defect risk represented by p-value, the output also includes a map of spatial uncertainty and a map of hot spots. Conclusions: RCMC is an effective method to disaggregate aggregate data. An RCMC-based disease mapping maximizes the use of available spatial information, and explicitly estimates the spatial uncertainty resulting from aggregation.
birth defects; aggregate data; disaggregation; Monte Carlo; disease mapping; New Hampshire
Activation of lymphocytes can effectively produce a large amount of cytokines. The types of cytokines produced may depend on stimulating reagents and treatments. To find an optimal method to stimulate cytokine production and evaluate its effect on immunotoxicity assessments, the authors analyzed production of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, TNF-α, GM-CSF, RANTES and TGF-β in undiluted rat whole blood culture (incubation for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 h) with different concentrations of PMA/ionomycin, PHA, Con A, LPS and PWM. We also evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A and azathioprine on cytokine production. The results revealed a rapid increase of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, RANTES and TGF-β secretion within 6 h after stimulation with 25 ng/mL PMA and 1 μg/mL ionomycin. The inhibition of these cytokine profiles reflected the effects of immunosuppressants on the immune system. Therefore, the results of this is study recommend the detection of cytokine profiles in undiluted whole blood stimulated 6 h with 25 ng/mL PMA and 1 μg/mL ionomycin as a powerful immunotoxicity assessment method.
immunotoxicity assessment; cytokines; whole blood; immunosuppressant
Reactive oxygen or nitrogen species (ROS, RNS) and oxidative stress in the respiratory system increase the production of mediators of pulmonary inflammation and initiate or promote mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The lungs are exposed daily to oxidants generated either endogenously or exogenously (air pollutants, cigarette smoke, etc.). Cells in aerobic organisms are protected against oxidative damage by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant systems. Recent epidemiologic investigations have shown associations between increased incidence of respiratory diseases and lung cancer from exposure to low levels of various forms of respirable fibers and particulate matter (PM), at occupational or urban air polluting environments. Lung cancer increases substantially for tobacco smokers due to the synergistic effects in the generation of ROS, leading to oxidative stress and inflammation with high DNA damage potential. Physical and chemical characteristics of particles (size, transition metal content, speciation, stable free radicals, etc.) play an important role in oxidative stress. In turn, oxidative stress initiates the synthesis of mediators of pulmonary inflammation in lung epithelial cells and initiation of carcinogenic mechanisms. Inhalable quartz, metal powders, mineral asbestos fibers, ozone, soot from gasoline and diesel engines, tobacco smoke and PM from ambient air pollution (PM10 and PM2.5) are involved in various oxidative stress mechanisms. Pulmonary cancer initiation and promotion has been linked to a series of biochemical pathways of oxidative stress, DNA oxidative damage, macrophage stimulation, telomere shortening, modulation of gene expression and activation of transcription factors with important role in carcinogenesis. In this review we are presenting the role of ROS and oxidative stress in the production of mediators of pulmonary inflammation and mechanisms of carcinogenesis.
reactive oxygen species; oxidative stress; inflammation; mechanisms of carcinogenesis; respirable particulate matter; ozone; tobacco smoke
West Nile virus (WNV) appeared in the U.S. in 1999 and has since become endemic, with yearly summer epidemics causing tens of thousands of cases of serious disease over the past 14 years. Analysis of WNV strains isolated during the 2006–2007 epidemic seasons demonstrates that a new genetic variant had emerged coincidentally with an intense outbreak in Idaho during 2006. The isolates belonging to the new variant carry a 13 nt deletion, termed ID-Δ13, located at the variable region of the 3′UTR, and are genetically related. The analysis of deletions and insertions in the 3′UTR of two major lineages of WNV revealed the presence of conserved repeats and two indel motifs in the variable region of the 3′UTR. One human and two bird isolates from the Idaho 2006–2007 outbreaks were sequenced using Illumina technology and within-host variability was analyzed. Continued monitoring of new genetic variants is important for public health as WNV continues to evolve.
Flavivirus; West Nile virus; genetic variation; WNV evolution; indel motifs; next generation sequencing
The Board of Parks and Recreation in Vancouver, BC approved a smoke-free bylaw in the city’s parks, beaches and recreational facilities, effective 1 September 2010. We analyzed local news coverage and portrayal of the bylaw to understand the potential influence of news media on public perception of the bylaw in order to inform the media advocacy work of public health interest groups. We compiled a data set of newspaper articles (n = 90) and conducted a quantitative content analysis to examine content related to the outdoor smoke-free policy, including article slant, topics related to smoking and tobacco control, and any equity-related concerns raised. Newspaper coverage in Vancouver was largely supportive of the outdoor smoke-free bylaw. However, concerns over rights were frequently discussed in letters to the editor. Such equity concerns were rarely discussed in news articles, showing a potential disconnect between the concerns expressed in the media by members of the public and the coverage provided by print media.
smoke-free policy; equity; content analysis; media
This study was conducted during February-March 2012 to determine the perception and support regarding smoke-free policy among tourists at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand. In this cross-sectional study, 200 tourists (n = 200) were enrolled by convenience sampling and interviewed by structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and multinomial logistic regression were adopted in the study. Results revealed that half (50%) of the tourists were current smokers and 55% had visited Thailand twice or more. Three quarter (76%) of tourists indicated that they would visit Thailand again even if it had a 100% smoke-free regulation. Almost all (99%) of the tourists had supported for the smoke-free policy (partial ban and total ban), and current smokers had higher percentage of support than non-smokers. Two factors, current smoking status and knowledge level, were significantly associated with perception level. After analysis with Multinomial Logistic Regression, it was found that perception, country group, and presence of designated smoking room (DSR) were associated with smoke-free policy. Recommendation is that, at institution level effective monitoring system is needed at the airport. At policy level, the recommendation is that effective comprehensive policy needed to be emphasized to ensure smoke-free airport environment.
tourists; smoke-free policy; smoke-free airport; perception; Thailand
Mycobacterium avium (MA) is a potential food safety hazard in pigs. Blood samples of slaughtered pigs in the Netherlands and Germany were tested for the presence of MA antibodies to estimate the serological prevalence in the tested population. In the Dutch and German population 1.0% and 1.7% samples were positive, and 0.5% and 17.4% of the herds were at risk for having a MA infection respectively. The validity of the applied MA-ELISA was evaluated under field conditions. The specificity of the MA-ELISA was high (>98.4%). The average herd sensitivity was 18%. In the affected herds on average 50% of the animals were tested bacteriological positive for MA. It can be concluded that serological screening for the presence of MA antibodies is capable of identifying pig populations that are at risk for a MA infection.
Mycobacterium avium; pig; serology; ELISA; supply chain meat inspection
Brazilian freshwater fish caught from large drainages like the River Amazon represent a million ton market in expansion, which is of enormous importance for export to other continents as exotic seafood. A guarantee of bacteriological safety is required for international exports that comprise a set of different bacteria but not any Pseudomonas. However, diarrhoea, infections and even septicaemia caused by some Pseudomonas species have been reported, especially in immune-depressed patients. In this work we have employed PCR-based methodology for identifying Pseudomonas species in commercial fish caught from two different areas within the Amazon basin. Most fish caught from the downstream tributary River Tapajòs were contaminated by five different Pseudomonas species. All fish samples obtained from the River Negro tributary (Manaus markets) contained Pseudomonas, but a less diverse community with only two species. The most dangerous Pseudomonas species for human health, P. aeruginosa, was not found and consumption of these fish (from their Pseudomonas content) can be considered safe for healthy consumers. As a precautionary approach we suggest considering Pseudomonas in routine bacteriological surveys of imported seafood.
Amazon River; Pseudomonas; molecular tests; commercial fish; food safety