- Evaluation of the influenza-like illness surveillance system in Tunisia, 2012-2015. [Journal Article]BMC Public Health 2019; 19(1):694BP
- CONCLUSIONS: The influenza surveillance system in Tunisia provided pertinent evidence for public health interventions related to influenza situational awareness. To better monitor influenza, we propose that ILI surveillance should be limited to sites that are currently performing well and the quality of data collected should be closely monitored and improved.
- The prevention of severe pertussis and pertussis deaths in young infants. [Journal Article]Expert Rev Vaccines 2019; 18(3):205-208ER
- Today, in the developed world, virtually all deaths due to Bordetella pertussis illnesses occur in young infants. Areas Covered: Pertussis in young infants is characterized by an afebrile cough illness with coryza, apnea, seizures, cyanosis, and emesis. Severe illness is associated with high leukocyte and lymphocyte counts, rapid respiratory and cardiac rates and pneumonia. Many routine intensive…
Today, in the developed world, virtually all deaths due to Bordetella pertussis illnesses occur in young infants. Areas Covered: Pertussis in young infants is characterized by an afebrile cough illness with coryza, apnea, seizures, cyanosis, and emesis. Severe illness is associated with high leukocyte and lymphocyte counts, rapid respiratory and cardiac rates and pneumonia. Many routine intensive care treatment procedures are detrimental: these include steroids and nitric oxide. Preventative measures include: quarantine, prophylactic antimicrobial agents and immunizations of the mother to be with Tdap between 27 and 36 weeks gestation. Expert Opinion: Infants deaths are due to the irreversible pulmonary hypertension which is caused by aggregates of leukocytes in the small vessels in the lung. The leukocytosis with lymphocytosis is due to pertussis toxin. It can be treated by exchange blood transfusions. However for this to be successful it needs to be started before shock or organ failure has occurred. To prevent pertussis in young infants, attention needs to be directed to the diagnosis and treatment of pertussis in adolescents and adults. Also important are antimicrobial prophylaxis in the infant and the immunization of mothers to be with Tdap vaccine during all pregnancies.
- The impact of childhood varicella vaccination on the incidence of herpes zoster in the general population: modelling the effect of exogenous and endogenous varicella-zoster virus immunity boosting. [Journal Article]BMC Infect Dis 2019; 19(1):126BI
- CONCLUSIONS: Assuming modest levels of endogenous boosting, the increase in HZ incidence following childhood varicella vaccination was smaller and lasted for a shorter period compared with 100%Exo-0%Endo boosting assumption. Endogenous boosting mechanism could partly explain the divergence between previous HZ-incidence projections and real-world evidence.
- Factors associated with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine recommendation by physicians in Lebanon, a cross-sectional study. [Journal Article]Vaccine 2018; 36(49):7562-7567V
- Persistent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is associated with the development of cervical cancer, a leading cause of female death worldwide. In Lebanon, cervical cancer is the 6th most common cancer amongst girls and women aged 14-44 years. Cervical cancer is preventable through HPV vaccination; however, Lebanon does not include HPV vaccination in its national routine vaccination schedule. …
Persistent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is associated with the development of cervical cancer, a leading cause of female death worldwide. In Lebanon, cervical cancer is the 6th most common cancer amongst girls and women aged 14-44 years. Cervical cancer is preventable through HPV vaccination; however, Lebanon does not include HPV vaccination in its national routine vaccination schedule. Hence, physician recommendation is key for patient vaccine uptake. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Beirut, Lebanon to assess factors affecting physician recommendation regarding HPV vaccination. Physicians practicing in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN), Pediatrics, Family Medicine and Infectious Diseases were included in the study. In total, 228 physicians completed the survey (28.79% response rate). The survey consisted of a set of demographic and HPV knowledge questions along with clinical vignettes. The vignettes presented theoretical patients who differed in gender, age, sexual activity, social background and whether the patient presented with his mother or not. The results show that physicians tend to recommend the vaccine more commonly for vignettes presenting female patients, with an Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) of 6.8. Also, physicians were more likely to recommend the vaccine for vignettes with patients coming from a non-conservative background (AOR = 2.1), vignettes where patients claim to be sexually active (AOR = 2.7) and vignettes where patients presented with their mother (AOR = 1.4). Physicians tend to recommend the vaccine less in vignettes with married patients (AOR = 0.5). Physicians with higher knowledge scores recommended the vaccine more often (AOR = 3.4). Overall, OBGYN physicians recommended the vaccine less than pediatricians (AOR = 0.5). These results show that Lebanese physicians' recommendations rely on factors external to international guidelines. The results also highlight the importance of knowledge in adequate patient consultation. Thus, improved physician awareness towards international guidelines and physician education regarding HPV vaccination is essential in order to improve patient care in Lebanon.
- Study of Healthcare Personnel with Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses in Israel (SHIRI): study protocol. [Clinical Trial]BMC Infect Dis 2018; 18(1):550BI
- CONCLUSIONS: SHIRI will expand our knowledge of the burden of respiratory viral infections among HCP and the effectiveness of current and repeated annual influenza vaccination in preventing influenza illness, medical utilization, and missed workdays among HCP who are in direct contact with patients.
- The attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge of healthcare professionals towards the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of bacterial meningitis in Turkey. [Journal Article]Hum Vaccin Immunother 2019; 15(1):134-140HV
- CONCLUSIONS: In this large convenient sample of physicians in Turkey, we showed that there are heterogenous approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis, also differences between pediatricians and non-pediatricians regarding their beliefs and attitudes, which may be due to differences in the epidemiology and clinical presentation between children and adults. We observed appropriate but unnecessary extended courses of antibiotics for meningitis. Most of the participants thought that children are a vulnerable risk group that should potentially be immunized and that meningococcal vaccines should be included in the National Immunization Program. Our results imply that more awareness is needed regarding diagnosis, treatment, and further recommendations for meningitis at the country level in Turkey.
- Descriptive epidemiology of varicella based on national surveillance data before and after the introduction of routine varicella vaccination with two doses in Japan, 2000-2017. [Journal Article]Vaccine 2018; 36(40):5977-5982V
- Routine childhood immunization using two doses of the varicella vaccine was introduced in Japan in October 2014. In this study, we analyzed the data extracted from national varicella surveillance, including pediatric sentinel surveillance from 2000 to 2017 and hospitalized varicella surveillance from the 38th week of 2014 to the 37th week of 2017. Compared with the 2000-2011 baseline data, the nu…
Routine childhood immunization using two doses of the varicella vaccine was introduced in Japan in October 2014. In this study, we analyzed the data extracted from national varicella surveillance, including pediatric sentinel surveillance from 2000 to 2017 and hospitalized varicella surveillance from the 38th week of 2014 to the 37th week of 2017. Compared with the 2000-2011 baseline data, the number of varicella cases per sentinel decreased substantially by 76.6% overall and by 88.2% among children aged 1-4 years in 2017. Of 997 hospitalized patients, we found a decreasing trend in the number of cases among children aged <5 years. We also found a decreasing trend in the number of cases with complications among children aged 1-4 years. Data on the self-reported transmission sites in 35.5% (354/997) of the hospitalized varicella patients showed that transmission of varicella zoster virus (VZV) occurred frequently in household, at school for young children, in the workplace for adults, and at hospital for all age groups. Data from 29.0% (289/997) of the hospitalized patients with a self-reported source of infection showed that transmission of VZV occurred from a patient with herpes zoster (HZ) in 30.4% (88/289) of cases. Our data demonstrate a substantial decrease in the number of varicella cases in young children following introduction of routine childhood vaccination program with two-dose varicella vaccination in Japan. These data highlight the unique aspects of transmission sites across age groups and the important role of HZ cases in disease circulation.
- Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices-United States, 2018-19 Influenza Season. [Practice Guideline]MMWR Recomm Rep 2018; 67(3):1-20MR
- This report updates the 2017-18 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in the United States (MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66[No. RR-2]). Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used…
This report updates the 2017-18 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in the United States (MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66[No. RR-2]). Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used. Inactivated influenza vaccines (IIVs), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) are expected to be available for the 2018-19 season. Standard-dose, unadjuvanted, inactivated influenza vaccines will be available in quadrivalent (IIV4) and trivalent (IIV3) formulations. Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) will be available in quadrivalent formulations. High-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (HD-IIV3) and adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine (aIIV3) will be available in trivalent formulations.Updates to the recommendations described in this report reflect discussions during public meetings of ACIP held on October 25, 2017; February 21, 2018; and June 20, 2018. New and updated information in this report includes the following four items. First, vaccine viruses included in the 2018-19 U.S. trivalent influenza vaccines will be an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these three viruses and an additional influenza B vaccine virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage). Second, recommendations for the use of LAIV4 (FluMist Quadrivalent) have been updated. Following two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) during which ACIP recommended that LAIV4 not be used, for the 2018-19 season, vaccination providers may choose to administer any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4). LAIV4 is an option for those for whom it is appropriate. Third, persons with a history of egg allergy of any severity may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4). Additional recommendations concerning vaccination of egg-allergic persons are discussed. Finally, information on recent licensures and labeling changes is discussed, including expansion of the age indication for Afluria Quadrivalent (IIV4) from ≥18 years to ≥5 years and expansion of the age indication for Fluarix Quadrivalent (IIV4), previously licensed for ≥3 years, to ≥6 months.This report focuses on the recommendations for use of vaccines for the prevention and control of influenza during the 2018-19 season in the United States. A Background Document containing further information and a brief summary of these recommendations are available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/vacc-specific/flu.html.These recommendations apply to U.S.-licensed influenza vaccines used within Food and Drug Administration-licensed indications. Updates and other information are available at CDC's influenza website (https://www.cdc.gov/flu). Vaccination and health care providers should check CDC's influenza website periodically for additional information.
- Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations. [Journal Article]Pediatrics 2018; 142(3)Ped
- CONCLUSIONS: Primary care physicians have significant gaps in knowledge about MenB disease and the MenB vaccine, and this appears to be a major driver of the decision not to discuss the vaccines.
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- Systematic Evaluation of Neurotoxicity in Children and Young Adults Undergoing CD22 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy. [Clinical Trial, Phase I]J Immunother 2018; 41(7):350-358JI
- Neurotoxicity associated with CAR-T cell therapy can be life-threatening. With rapid development of CAR-T therapies, a systematic method is needed to identify and monitor symptoms of neurotoxicity, elucidate potential etiologies, and compare toxicity across trials. This paper presents a systematic evaluation developed and used to prospectively assess neurotoxicity in our phase I anti-CD22 CAR-T-c…
Neurotoxicity associated with CAR-T cell therapy can be life-threatening. With rapid development of CAR-T therapies, a systematic method is needed to identify and monitor symptoms of neurotoxicity, elucidate potential etiologies, and compare toxicity across trials. This paper presents a systematic evaluation developed and used to prospectively assess neurotoxicity in our phase I anti-CD22 CAR-T-cell trial and describes the symptoms of neurotoxicity identified using this methodology. Central nervous system (CNS) studies included routine lumbar punctures performed for disease evaluation pretherapy and posttherapy and a baseline brain MRI. Brief cognitive evaluations, assessing 4 domains (attention, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and processing speed), were administered preinfusion and postinfusion. A newly developed CAR-T-specific neurological symptom checklist (NSC) was completed by caregivers at 3 designated time-points. Serial serum cytokine levels were compared with neurotoxicity symptoms and severity. The majority of the first 22 consecutively treated subjects (ages, 7-30) demonstrated stable or improved cognitive test scores following therapy and no irreversible neurotoxicity, despite CAR-T-related antileukemic response, cytokine release syndrome, and trafficking of CAR-T cells to the CSF. The NSC allowed us to document the type and timing of symptoms and explore the etiology of neurotoxicity associated with CD22 CAR-T therapy. Cytokine profiling demonstrated that more concerning symptoms of neurotoxicity, such as hallucination and disorientation, were significantly associated with higher serum cytokine levels, supporting the hypothesis of inflammation-driven neurotoxicity. Systematic assessments of neurotoxicity were feasible in acutely ill children and young adults and served to characterize and monitor the symptoms associated with CAR-T therapy. We recommend these evaluations be incorporated into future immunotherapy protocols.