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Ahead of Print -Mapping Disease Transmission Risk: Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology - Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Ahead of Print -Mapping Disease Transmission Risk: Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology - Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC







Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015

Books and Media

Mapping Disease Transmission Risk: Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology
Mapping Disease Transmission Risk: Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology

A. Townsend Peterson
Johns Hopkins University PressBaltimore, Maryland, USA2014
ISBN 13978-1-4214-1473-7
ISBN 101-4214-1473-2
Pages: 210; Price: US $79.95 (hardcover)
Global human population density is increasing, as are our abilities to assemble large ecologic datasets and perform surveillance for and respond to diseases as they emerge. Consequently, multidimensional ecologic data may help us improve public health locally and globally. This engaging book empowers disease modelers and public health policy makers by introducing them to ecologic niche models as predictors of disease transmission risk.
Part I describes distributional ecology, contrasting the ecologic approach that takes into account multiple layers of distributional data with an approach that only plots disease cases or absences. Part II elaborates on the kinds of data necessary to develop ecologic models rather than arbitrarily complex “black box” models. Part III critiques poor study design and data assembly and demonstrates how not to construct a dataset. Part IV summarizes approaches to calibrating, processing, and evaluating models and the production of risk maps, warning readers about the complex factors that are associated with human society.
Peterson presents examples where models calibrated for one dataset are used to transfer rules to another dataset to assess risk. By contrasting these models with models that incorporate only disease cases, Peterson shows how to define the niche of vectors of disease where occurrence data are rich, then evaluate the potential presence of the niche in novel locales or across changing environments, yielding the risk of emergence.
In this book, Peterson has put together an easy read that demonstrates his expertise and persuasively frames disease transmission risk in terms of niche models. A reader already convinced that understanding the geography of ecologic interactions is essential to public health disease modeling may want to pick up a more technical book that addresses ecologic niche modeling in detail. For readers interested in mechanistic models, Mapping Disease Transmission Risk is not the right book. Peterson could have handled some of the issues about the relative value and weighting of presence and absence data by using appropriate likelihood models of the observation process itself. Bayesian analyses could obviate many of the issues of uncertainty associated with low counts and zero-observation cells. However, for readers who would like to move into the geographic mapping of disease emergence and aren’t sure where to start, this book provides many dos and don’ts and references that could jump-start a project.
Peterson concludes by noting the historical link between public health and geographic mapping. As we begins to view and quantify every foot of the Earth we depend on, it becomes increasingly possible and necessary to incorporate many layers of knowledge to guide policy for human—and ecologic—health. To quote Martin Luther King, Jr., “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” (1).
Jeffrey TownsendComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

References

  1. King ML Jr. A Christmas sermon on peace (1967). In: Washington JM, editor. A testament of hope: the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: HarperCollins; 1986. p. 253–8.
Suggested citation for this article: Townsend J. Mapping disease transmission risk: enriching models using biogeography and ecology [book review]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Aug [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2108.150665


DOI: 10.3201/eid2108.150665

Ahead of Print -The Role of Scientific Collections in Scientific Preparedness - Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Ahead of Print -The Role of Scientific Collections in Scientific Preparedness - Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC



CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People.

Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015

Conference Summary

The Role of Scientific Collections in Scientific Preparedness

Diane DiEuliisComments to Author 
Author affiliation: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Washington, DC, USA

Abstract

Building on the findings and recommendations of the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, Scientific Collections International (SciColl) aims to improve the rapid access to science collections across disciplines within the federal government and globally, between government agencies and private research institutions. SciColl offered a novel opportunity for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to explore the value of scientific research collections under the science preparedness initiative and integrate it as a research resource at each stage in the emergence of the infectious diseases cycle. Under the leadership of SciColl’s executive secretariat at the Smithsonian Institution, and with multiple federal and international partners, a workshop during October 2014 fully explored the intersections of the infectious disease cycle and the role scientific collections could play as an evidentiary scientific resource to mitigate risks associated with emerging infectious diseases.
During the past decade, public health emergencies have challenged the preparedness and response of government agencies, hospitals and clinics, public health professionals, and academic researchers in the United States and abroad. Several devastating infectious diseases have been transmitted to human populations from different animal species, including severe acute respiratory syndrome, pandemic influenza A(H1N1), and, most recently, Ebola virus disease in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 60% of emerging infectious diseases originated in animals (1), and another 17% originated from insects or other types of vectors (2,3).
Thumbnail of Cycle of tasks for public health investigation of infectious disease outbreaks.
Figure. Cycle of tasks for public health investigation of infectious disease outbreaks.
When such outbreaks occur, epidemiologists, public health workers, researchers, and clinicians begin research that is tied to the infectious disease outbreak cycle (Figure). When they isolate and identify the infectious agent, they perform genetic analyses, use diagnostic methods, develop and use potential medical countermeasures, and guide practices for best medical treatment. Even though the infectious disease outbreak lifecycle (Figure) might seem routine, each outbreak is different and presents unique research challenges to the mitigation of the spread of disease and to the protection of human lives.
With this understanding, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has undertaken a science preparedness initiative. ASPR’s experiences have emphasized the importance of the ability to perform rapid scientific research during a limited timeframe when responding to emerging infectious disease outbreaks or other public health emergencies (4). This office has to be prepared to answer timely questions during a response, and research results can enable a more educated and informed response to similar future events, maximizing recovery. The science preparedness effort is designed to ensure that such research needs are prioritized and to support needed infrastructure for such research.
Knowing what tools and resources are available at any given point during a response and making them available to researchers is one of the goals of science preparedness. Scientific collections span a wide range of scientific study and disciplines and include various objects from lunar rocks to bacteria. Collections are widely distributed across federal agencies and throughout the country at state and local levels. These collections form a base of support for scientific study that informs regulatory, management, and policy decisions. In fact, the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the department of the Executive Office of the President created the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections to facilitate policy development and identify a systematic approach to safeguarding these valuable scientific resources, making them more readily available and accessible to the research community (5).
Building on the findings and recommendations of the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, Scientific Collections International (SciColl;http://www.scicoll.org) aims to improve the rapid access to science collections across disciplines, not just within the federal government but also globally, between government ministries and private research institutions. Through a joint partnership, the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, SciColl offered a novel opportunity for ASPR to explore the value of scientific research collections under the science preparedness initiative and integrate it as a research resource at each stage in the emergence of infectious diseases cycle.
Under the leadership of the SciColl executive secretariat at the Smithsonian Institution, and with multiple federal and international partners, attendees of a workshop held on October 23 and 24, 2014, fully explored the intersections of the infectious disease cycle and the role scientific collections could play as an evidentiary scientific resource to mitigate the risks associated with emerging infectious diseases. During this dynamic and collaborative forum, the case studies presented exemplified how specific collections of mammals, parasites, and other vectors and reservoirs of pathogens provide evidence and understanding of disease emergence in human populations. Participants articulated needs and possible methods to capitalize on the use of collections, including their practical research applications and also policy issues surrounding their use, during outbreaks. As highlighted in the published workshop report (6), specific recommendations for data management, innovative approaches to cross-disciplinary research, and communication and sample sharing were identified. The achievement of these critical milestones will maximize the use of scientific collections to their greatest benefit.
The findings from the workshop highlight the importance of management practices, access, and use of scientific collections in detecting, characterizing, mitigating, and predicting emerging infectious diseases. These findings were identified in the midst of one of the most severe Ebola outbreaks in history, and applying their utility will benefit future efforts to respond to public health emergencies and save lives. Employees of ASPR will continue to work toward the greater collaboration and integration of scientific collections in mitigating, preventing, responding to, and preparing for emerging infectious diseases. By emphasizing the importance of science-supported research and strengthening initiatives like science preparedness, we can develop policies and systems that fully realize the practical application of scientific collections.
We encourage private and public research institutions to get involved with SciColl and engage in the global effort to work toward a more systematic approach for sharing, managing, and using scientific collections. Similar to that of the work of the recently launched Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance, many initiatives all over the world are being created where scientists and researchers have articulated a need for greater collaboration in digitally capturing and sharing scientific specimens (http://www.niballiance.org/). For this growing movement to be successful, it needs to be one that incorporates a whole of community strategy, where every institution, agency, and scientific discipline is vested in the improvement and development of this vast network. The staff of ASPR look forward to our continued collaboration with SciColl and other partners in the future to strengthen engagement with the stewards of scientific collections at home and abroad.
Dr. DiEuliis is Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Acting Director, ASPR Office of Policy and Planning, US Department of Health and Human Services. Her research interests include research in the aftermath of disasters and outbreaks, neuroscience, socio-behavioral sciences, and scientific research collections.

Acknowledgment


We thank Franco Ciammachilli for support at the workshop and for valuable input to the workshop report and this article, and we thank Elleen Kane for editorial assistance.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC and zoonotic diseases [cited 2015 Mar 12]. http://www.cdc.gov/24-7/pdf/zoonotic-disease-factsheet.pdf
  2. World Health Organization. Vector-borne disease [cited 2015 Mar 6]. http://www.who.int/heli/risks/vectors/vector/en/
  3. World Health Organization. Vector-borne diseases. Fact sheet no. 387. 2014 March [cited 2015 Mar 6].http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs387/en/
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public health emergency: science preparedness. 2015 May 13 [cited 2015 May 15]. http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/science/Pages/default.aspx
  5. Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections. Scientific Collections: mission-critical infrastructure for federal science agencies. Washington: Office of Science and Technology Policy; 2009 [cited 2015 May 15]. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/sci-collections-report-2009-rev2.pdf
  6. Scientific Collections International. Scientific collections and emerging infectious diseases: report of an interdisciplinary workshop. 2015 March [cited 2015 Mar 11]. http://www.scicoll.org/scicollpubs/EID_2015March.pdf

Figure

Suggested citation for this article: DiEuliis D. The role of scientific collections in scientific preparedness. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Aug [date cited].http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2108.150423


DOI: 10.3201/eid2108.150423

To Your Health: NLM update transcript - NLM MedlinePlus Magazine Spring 2015

To Your Health: NLM update transcript - NLM MedlinePlus Magazine Spring 2015



MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

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To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

NLM MedlinePlus Magazine Spring 2015: 06/29/2015

Cover of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine Spring 2015 Issue



Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov
Regards to all our listeners!
I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
The new edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine covers vaccinations, hearing loss, as well as celiac disease.
The cover features actress and New York City bakery owner Jennifer Esposito who explains she was diagnosed with celiac disease two decades after experiencing some symptoms. Celiac disease, which is an immune disorder caused by the protein gluten in some foods, damages the small intestine.
Esposito says (and we quote): 'It wasn't until I was 15 that my journey to be diagnosed began. Although I never knew what I was looking for during the next 20 years, I did know the way I was feeling' (end of quote).
Esposito raises awareness about celiac disease through Jennifer's Way, a popular bakery in New York City, where all products are gluten free.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports celiac disease can be diagnosed through blood tests, an intestinal biopsy, a blistery skin rash (that impacts about 15-25 percent of patients), and screening for specific antibodies in a person's blood.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes some of celiac disease's symptoms include: stomach pain; gas; diarrhea, extreme fatigue; change in mood; weight loss, a very itchy skin rash with blisters; and slowed growth.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains celiac disease currently is treated by a strict gluten free diet. Foods to avoid include: wheat; rye; durum flour; enriched flour; candy; potato chips; cold cuts; soups; and soy sauce. NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases currently is assessing new drug treatments for celiac disease.
In a separate section, NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains the symptoms, causes, assistive devices, and prevention of hearing loss. NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains about 15 percent of American adults after age 18 (or about 37.5 million persons) report hearing challenges.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes some assistive devices for hearing impairment include: hearing aids; cochlear implants; and assisted listening devices.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine adds sounds at or above 85 decibels can damage your ears. A normal conversation is about 60 decibels, while a chainsaw produces 100 decibels. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes persons who are exposed to sustained, excessive noise should wear ear plugs or special earmuffs to prevent hearing loss.
More positively, NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports about 98 percent of newborns are screened today for hearing loss — thanks to discoveries by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
In a clip and save section, NIH MedlinePlus magazine lists the diseases and conditions that can be prevented by vaccinations. One page explains the current immunizations for children from birth through age six. Another page lists the recommended immunizations for children from ages seven to 18.
A third page lists 14 of the diseases immunizations can prevent including: chickenpox; flu; mumps; measles; polio; rotavirus; and tetanus. The impact of vaccination on measles and public health received national publicity at the start of 2015 after a measles outbreak briefly was traced to non-vaccinated persons who visited Disneyland in Southern California.
As always, NIH MedlinePlus magazine provides a helpful list of phone numbers (many of them a free call) to contact NIH's array of institutes and centers.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine is distributed to physicians' offices nationwide by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine. You can subscribe or find the latest edition online by clicking on 'Magazine,' which is on the bottom right side of MedlinePlus.gov's home page.
Previous editions of NIH MedlinePlus magazine are available at the same site. A link to NIH MedlinePlus Salud, which provides other health information and resources in Spanish, is available there as well (see the top right of the page). The web version of NIH MedlinePlus magazine includes links that visually supplement the information in some articles.
Before I go, this reminder… MedlinePlus.gov is authoritative. It's free. We do not accept advertising ... and is written to help you.
To find MedlinePlus.gov, just type 'MedlinePlus.gov' in any web browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Explorer. To find Mobile MedlinePlus.gov, just type 'Mobile MedlinePlus' in the same web browsers.
We encourage you to use MedlinePlus and please recommend it to your friends. MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish. Some medical information is available in 43 other languages.
Your comments about this or any of our podcasts are always welcome. We welcome suggestions about future topics too!
Please email the podcast staff anytime at: NLMDirector@nlm.nih.gov
A written transcript of recent podcasts is available by typing 'Director's comments' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.
The National Library of Medicine is one of 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.
It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!

Hodgkin Disease Update

Hodgkin Disease Update



Hodgkin Disease Update


New on the MedlinePlus Hodgkin Disease page:
07/01/2015 03:34 PM EDT

Source: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Menopausal Women at Lower Heart Risk Than Men of Similar Age: MedlinePlus

Menopausal Women at Lower Heart Risk Than Men of Similar Age: MedlinePlus



MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You


Menopausal Women at Lower Heart Risk Than Men of Similar Age

Study found little difference between menopause types, but black women had less advantage than white
     
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
HealthDay news image
WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Menopause is commonly considered a risk factor for heart disease, as the protective effect of estrogen declines. However, in a new study, researchers found that postmenopausal women had a lower risk of dying from heart attack than did men of similar ages.
"Women have lower cardiovascular disease risk than men, even after menopause," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Catherine Kim, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "But the advantage is seen primarily in white women compared to white men; black women have less of an advantage compared to black men."
Although some research has suggested that natural menopause does not boost heart disease risk but surgically induced (after hysterectomy and ovary removal) menopause does, Kim did not find much difference in risk between menopause types.
Her long-term study found: White women who went through natural menopause had a 55 percent reduced risk of nonfatal heart attacks and other heart events compared to white men. White women who had surgically induced menopause had a 35 percent reduced risk. Black women who had natural menopause had a 31 percent reduced risk of nonfatal heart attacks compared to black men, while black women who had surgically induced menopause had a 19 percent reduced risk.
The study, published July 1 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, is believed to be the first to compare men and women and how menopause type affects heart disease risk, according to Kim.
Her team looked at more than 23,000 men and women, all older than 45, who were enrolled in a study between 2003 and 2007 and had no heart disease at the study start. The researchers followed them until the end of 2011.
Kim can't fully explain the findings on postmenopausal women. "It is unknown why their risk remains low,'' she said. "It is possible it is a residual effect of the estrogen, but estrogen therapy studies have shown no benefit for cardiovascular risk to date." Nor can she explain the racial differences, she added.
She also found that the risk of heart attack does not seem to increase for women the further they are from menopause.
Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, noted, "These findings suggest that other factors besides menopause status and established coronary heart disease risk factors may account for sex differences in midlife."
Fonarow, who was not involved in the research, added, "While prior studies have suggested a rapid rise in risk in women after 50, the risk observed in this study was more gradual. Additional studies are needed to better understand what may account for the differences observed."
All women should try to reduce risks as they can, Kim said. "Although we all grow older, we can continue to exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and ensure that our blood pressures are controlled."
Fonarow agreed. "These findings highlight that women should focus on achieving and maintaining heart health irrespective of their age and menopausal status," he said. "This includes regular physical activity, not smoking, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body weight."
SOURCES: Catherine Kim, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor of cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine; July 1, 2015, Journal of the American Heart Association
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Promise From a New Weight-Loss Drug: MedlinePlus

Promise From a New Weight-Loss Drug: MedlinePlus

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Promise From a New Weight-Loss Drug

Two-thirds who took Saxenda lost 5 percent of body weight, study shows
     
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
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WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The injectable drug Saxenda may be a helpful tool in the battle against excess weight and obesity, a new study suggests.
People who injected Saxenda (liraglutide) every day for a year lost an average of 18.5 pounds, compared with an average of 6 pounds for those taking a placebo, researchers found.
Saxenda "can lower weight, improve cardiovascular risk factors and improve quality of life," said lead researcher Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
"It can also reduce the progression to type 2 diabetes from prediabetes," he said.
In a lower-dose version called Victoza, liraglutide is approved for diabetes treatment.
For the study, funded by the maker of Saxenda, Novo Nordisk, researchers recruited more than 3,700 overweight or obese people without diabetes . Participants were assigned to daily injections of Saxenda or placebo for 56 weeks. Both groups also received lifestyle counseling. More than half had prediabetes.
Sixty-three percent of patients taking Saxenda lost at least 5 percent of their initial body weight, and one-third lost more than 10 percent of body weight, the researchers found. Among those receiving placebo, 27 percent lost 5 percent of their body weight, and one in 10 lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.
Losing 5 percent of body weight -- 14 pounds for someone at 280 -- can have a significant positive effect on the risk for diabetes and heart disease, Pi-Sunyer said.
In the United States, more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, according to a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
"This medication adds to the options physicians will have in helping overweight and obese patients lose weight and keep it off," Pi-Sunyer said.
The study was published July 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Other drugs approved for weight loss in the United States include Orlistat (Xenical), lorcaserin (Belviq), phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia) and naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave). But many users complain of side effects.
The most common side effects with Saxenda were mild or moderate nausea and diarrhea. Serious side effects occurred in 6.2 percent of patients taking Saxenda and in 5 percent of those receiving the placebo, the researchers report.
However, the drug is expensive, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Although covered by most of the insurance plans and Medicare, "it has a high co-pay of $20 to $100, as it is not generic," Zonszein said. "The price in the U.S. is between $1,000 and $1,800 for a three-month supply."
Dr. Elias Siraj, director of the diabetes program at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital in Philadelphia, said it's important to remember that obesity is a lifestyle condition.
"We should not lose sight of the need to adjust lifestyle -- diet and exercise," he said. "Medications, too, can be helpful."
The unanswered question about Saxenda is whether people can maintain their weight loss over time, especially when the medication is discontinued, said Siraj, co-author of an editorial accompanying the study.
Because the drug is injectable and costly, Siraj doesn't think it's for everybody. "But for some patients I think it is going to be a significant tool, but we have to wait for longer studies," he said.
"We are dealing with an obesity epidemic and it hasn't been easy to tackle obesity," he said. "We need a lot of tools. This medication, hopefully, will be one of the tools."
SOURCES: F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., professor, medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Elias S. Siraj, M.D., director, diabetes program, Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital, Philadelphia; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, clinical diabetes center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; July 2, 2105, New England Journal of Medicine
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