Recent Submissions

  • Havens of Risks or Resources? A Study of Two Latino Neighborhoods in New York City

    Martins, Mariana C.; Diaz, José E.; Valiño, Raziel; Kwate, Naa Oyo A.; Abraido-Lanza, Ana F. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-04-18)
    Research has been mixed on the potential risks and resources that ethnic enclaves may confer upon residents: whereas some authors characterize racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods through the lens of segregation and risk, others argue that these minority neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves that can improve the availability of resources to residents. In this study, we sought to assess two predominantly Latino New York City neighborhoods (one enclave neighborhood and one comparison) in the areas of structural resources (e.g., grocers, parks), cultural resources (e.g., botanicas, hair salons), and risks (e.g., empty lots, bars) by street-level coding in 20 census tracts (streets N = 202). We used Poisson generalized linear models to assess whether enclave status of a neighborhood predicted the numbers of risks and resources on streets within those neighborhoods. Enclave status did not predict the number of risks (Rate ratio = 1.08(0.83, 1.42), χ (2)(1, N = 202) = 0.35, p = n. s.) or cultural resources (Rate ratio = 0.87(0.54, 1.40), χ (2)(1, N = 202) = 0.34, p = n. s.), yet it was associated with a higher number of structural resources (Rate ratio = 1.90(1.48, 2.43), χ (2)(1, N = 202) = 25.74, p < 0.001). The results suggest that while living in an ethnic enclave may not reduce risks, it may help residents cope with those risks through an increased number of structural resources. These findings support theories that conceptualize ethnic enclaves as neighborhoods where greater resources are available to residents. The focus on resources within this work was instrumental, as no difference would have been found if a solely risk-focused approach had been employed.
  • Acculturation as a Moderator of HIV Risk Behavior Correlates Among Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men

    Diaz, José E.; Schrimshaw, Eric W.; Tieu, Hong-Van; Nandi, Vijay; Koblin, Beryl A.; Frye, Victoria (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-12-19)
    Acculturation is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors among heterosexual Latinos, but its influence among Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) remains less clear. Elements of acculturation may create distinct lived experiences among sexual minority Latinos, moderating how beneficial and adverse influences contribute to their sexual risk behaviors. Latino MSM living in New York City (n = 412) were recruited using a modified time-space venue- and web-based sampling method. Negative binomial regression models estimated associations between indicators of acculturation (i.e., language use, nativity status, ethnic identification), sexual minority stressors (i.e., internalized homophobia, sexual orientation-based discrimination), peer condom use norms, and the number of serodiscordant condomless anal intercourse (SDCAI) encounters. Acculturation indicators were then tested as simultaneous moderators of the influence of each predictor variable on the outcome. The association between internalized homophobia and SDCAI was significant only among English language speakers (aIRR = 3.05 [2.13, 4.37]) and those born outside of the U.S. (foreign-born = 0, aIRR = 0.17 [0.08, 0.36]). Sexual orientation-based discrimination and SDCAI were also positively associated among both English-speaking (aIRR = 1.82 [1.22, 2.72]) and foreign-born men (aIRR = 0.34 [0.14, 0.84]). Stronger ethnic identification also moderated the protective effects of peer condom use norms on SDCAI (aIRR = 0.28 [0.15, 0.52]). Results suggest that different dimensions of acculturation help shape how both stressors and protective factors influence HIV risk among Latino MSM. Future research is needed to examine the mechanisms through which these differences in acculturation may act on sexual risk behaviors among Latino MSM.
  • Deterrents and motivators of HIV testing among young Black men who have sex with men in North Carolina

    Threats, Megan; Boyd, Donte T.; Diaz, José E.; Adebayo, Oluwamuyiwa Winifred (Informa UK Limited, 2020-11-27)
    In the United States (US), young, Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV. Delayed and infrequent HIV testing has been associated with the increased likelihood of YBMSM to be infected, yet unaware. Despite increased efforts to provide HIV testing to YBMSM in the US, HIV testing remains underutilized by YBMSM in the South. To develop strategies to increase HIV testing, this study sought to understand the factors that affect HIV testing utilization among YBMSM. Twenty-two HIV-positive and HIV-negative YBMSM aged 22-33 in North Carolina participated in semistructured interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed that deterrents and motivators to HIV testing spanned individual, social, and structural levels. Deterrents included a low perceived risk of HIV, fear of receiving an HIV-positive test result, lack of HIV testing locations, healthcare provider mistreatment and privacy concerns due to intersectional stigma. Motivators of HIV testing included health maintenance, social support, and increased access to HIV testing. The findings from this study contribute to ongoing research that aims to address inconsistent HIV testing and late HIV diagnosis among YBMSM. Interventions to address intersectional stigma in community and healthcare settings can enhance utilization of HIV prevention services .
  • Disparities in substance use disorder treatment use and perceived need by sexual identity and gender among adults in the United States

    Krasnova, Anna; Diaz, José E.; Philbin, Morgan M.; Mauro, Pia M. (Elsevier BV, 2021-09-01)
    Background: Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment use is low in the United States. We assessed differences in treatment use and perceived need by sexual identity (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual) and gender among adults with a past-year SUD. Methods: We pooled data from the 2015-2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health for adults (18+) who met past-year DSM-IV SUD criteria and self-reported sexual identity (n = 21,926). Weighted multivariable logistic regressions estimated odds of past-year: 1) any SUD treatment; 2) specialty SUD treatment; 3) perceived SUD treatment need by sexual identity, stratified by gender and adjusted for socio-demographics. Results: Any past-year SUD treatment use was low among adult men (heterosexual [10.4 %], gay [15.5 %], and bisexual [7.1 %]) and women (heterosexual [9.9 %], gay/lesbian [11.9 %], and bisexual [13.2 %]). Patterns were similar for specialty SUD treatment and perceived treatment need. Adjusted odds of any SUD treatment use were higher among gay men (aOR = 1.65 [95 % Confidence Interval 1.10-2.46]) and bisexual women (aOR = 1.31 [1.01-1.69]) than their heterosexual peers. Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, adjusted odds of perceived SUD treatment need were higher among bisexual women (aOR = 1.65 [1.22-2.25]), gay men (aOR = 1.76 [1.09-2.84]), and bisexual men (aOR = 2.39 [1.35-4.24]). Conclusions: Most adults with SUD did not receive treatment. Gay men and bisexual women were more likely to receive treatment and reported higher perceived SUD treatment need than heterosexual peers. Facilitating treatment access and engagement is needed to reduce unmet needs among marginalized people who perceive SUD treatment need.
  • Daily cannabis use, cannabis use disorder, and any medical cannabis use among US adults: Associations within racial, ethnic, and sexual minoritized identities in a changing policy context

    Mauro, Pia M.; Philbin, Morgan M.; Greene, Emily R.; Diaz, José E.; Askari, Melanie S.; Martins, Silvia S. (Elsevier BV, 2022-08)
    Differences in cannabis use patterns among racial, ethnic and sexual minoritized identity subgroups have been attributed to marginalized identity stressors. However, associations at the intersection of these minoritized identities remain underexplored in a changing medical cannabis law (MCL) context. We estimated medical cannabis and daily cannabis use, and cannabis use disorder (CUD) by intersecting racial, ethnic and sexual minoritized identity subgroups. We included 189,800 adults in the 2015-2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health identifying as non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, or Hispanic and self-reported heterosexual, gay/lesbian, or bisexual sexual identity. We estimated the adjusted odds of past-year: (a) any medical cannabis, (b) daily cannabis use (i.e., 300 + days/year), and (c) DSM-5-proxy CUD by sexual identity, stratified by race and ethnicity. Cannabis measures were higher among sexual minoritized groups than heterosexual adults across racial and ethnic subgroups. Bisexual adults had higher odds of any medical cannabis use than their heterosexual counterparts: non-Hispanic white (6.4% vs. 1.8%; aOR = 2.6, 95% CI = [2.5-3.5]), non-Hispanic Black (4.1% vs. 1.7%; aOR = 2.7, 95% CI = [1.6-4.5]), and Hispanic adults (5.3% vs. 1.8 %; aOR = 2.6, 95% CI = [1.9-3.3]). We found heterogeneous associations with state MCL status across subgroups stratified by race and ethnicity. Bisexual adults in MCL states had higher odds of any medical cannabis use among non-Hispanic white (aOR = 2.0, 95% CI = [1.4-2.9]) and Hispanic (aOR = 3.6, 95% CI = [1.2-10.2]) adults compared to their non-MCL counterparts, but this was marginal among non-Hispanic Black bisexual adults (aOR = 1.6, 95% CI = [1.0-2.6]). Studies should assess intended and unintended cannabis policy effects among racial, ethnic, and sexual identity subgroups.
  • Predictors of Past-Year Health Care Utilization Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men Using Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Service Use

    Diaz, José E.; Sandh, Simon; Schnall, Rebecca; Garofalo, Robert; Kuhns, Lisa M.; Pearson, Cynthia R.; Bruce, Josh; Batey, D. Scott; Radix, Asa; Belkind, Uri; et al. (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2022-10-01)
    Purpose: This study examined factors associated with past-year health care utilization among young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM) using Andersen's behavioral model of health service use. Methods: From 2018 to 2020, 751 YMSM (aged 13-18) recruited online and offline for the MyPEEPS mHealth HIV prevention study completed an online survey. Hierarchical logistic regression models assessed associations between past-year health care utilization (i.e., routine checkup) and predisposing (parental education, race/ethnicity, age, and internalized homonegativity), enabling (health literacy, health care facility type, U.S. Census Divisions), and need factors (ever testing for HIV). Results: The sample included 31.8% Hispanic, 23.9% White, and 14.6% Black YMSM; median age was 16. Most (75%) reported past-year health care utilization, often from private doctor's offices (29.1%); 6% reported no regular source of care. In the final regression model, higher odds of past-year health care utilization were found for younger participants (age 13-14, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-3.43; age 15-16 AOR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.04-2.30; reference: 17-18) and those with increasing health literacy (AOR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.36-2.16). YMSM with lower parental education had lower odds of past-year health care utilization (AOR = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.38-0.84), as did those relying on urgent care facilities (AOR = 0.60; 95% CI: 0.41-0.87; reference: routine care facilities) and those who identified as Mixed/Other race (AOR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.28-0.91; reference: White). Conclusions: Findings highlight opportunities to intervene in YMSM's health risk trajectory before age 17 to reduce drop-off in routine health care utilization. Interventions to improve routine health care utilization among YMSM may be strengthened by building resilience (e.g., health literacy) while removing barriers maintained through structural disadvantage, including equity in education. Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT03167606.
  • Knowledge Assessment of Diabetic Patients: A Cross Sectional Study

    Chowdhury, Md. S; Ahmed, T; Rahman, Md. Z; Nasreen, S (Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College, 2005-07-01)
    Two hundred and sixteen diabetic patients were interviewed using a purpose made questionnaire ro assess their knowledge on diabetes mellitus (DM. The mean age of the subjects was 47.06 * 13.28 years. and they were Ahosn to have diabetes for 5.74 g 4.68 years. Family history f DM was found in 44.44% and 87.50% were members of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB). A considerable number of the patients interviewed were quire unaware about the symptoms of DM (20.37%). prohibited foods (5.55%). restricted foods (13.88%). non-restricted foods (53.70%). ideal body weight (59.72%), relationship benceen body weight and diabetes control (56.01%), importance of exercise in diabetes control (4.16%) and Itypoglwaenda (82.87%). They were equally unaware of the fact that diabetes can affect eve 137.68%). kidney (51.85%). bean (64.81%), brain (93.51%)and skin (leg ulcer) (59.25%1. About 81.94% did not know lion' to control DM. Out of 216 cases. 72.22% attended basic information session in large group once during their enrollment in DAB. The difference in knowledge between the groups who attended the ...ion and those vita did not was found to be insignificant with the exception of knowledge about non-restricted food and kidney and heart complications (p..0511. p=.036 and p=.010 respectively). A sub-group of 106 (49.07%) cases were on insulin: among then, 2830% lacked the skill to inject insulin and 44.33% did not have the knowledge about when and how to change doses of insulin. Among the study group. SMBG was very poor (7.87%). This study found that the blo•ledge attained by the diabetic patients regarding their disease is not satisfactory and needs Pother improwntent by more effective methods of continuous education.
  • Pneumococcal disease burden and vaccination coverage in older adults: where does Canada stand?

    Nasreen, Sharifa; Gebretekle, Gebremedhin (2022-04)
    Prevention of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in aging adult population is imperative for healthy aging. Here we reflect on where Canada stands with regard to vaccine-preventable pneumococcal diseases in older adults, specifically the continuing high disease burden, current evidence on effectiveness and observed impact of pneumococcal vaccines, and suboptimal vaccine uptake in older adults. The need for ongoing strong disease surveillance is emphasized, and the implications of a lack of adult vaccine registry are also discussed.
  • A multiprovincial retrospective analysis of the incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis after mRNA vaccination compared to the incidence after SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Naveed, Zaeema; Chu, Cherry; Tadrous, Mina; Veroniki, Areti-Angeliki; Li, Julia; Rouleau, Isabelle; Febriani, Yossi; Calzavara, Andrew; Buchan, Sarah A.; Nasreen, Sharifa; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2024-03)
    Objective: To compare myocarditis/pericarditis risk after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination versus SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to assess if myocarditis/pericarditis risk varies by vaccine dosing interval. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used linked databases in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia between January 26, 2020, and September 9, 2021. We included individuals aged 12 or above who received an mRNA vaccine as the second dose or were SARS-CoV-2-positive by RT-PCR. The outcome was hospitalization/emergency department visit for myocarditis/pericarditis within 21 days of exposure. We calculated age- and sex-stratified incidence ratios (IRs) of myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccination versus SARS-CoV-2 infection. We also calculated myocarditis/pericarditis incidence by vaccine type, homologous/heterologous schedule, and dosing interval. We pooled province-specific estimates using meta-analysis. Results: Following 18,860,817 mRNA vaccinations and 860,335 SARS-CoV-2 infections, we observed 686 and 160 myocarditis/pericarditis cases, respectively. Myocarditis/pericarditis incidence was lower after vaccination than infection (IR [BNT162b2/SARS-CoV-2], 0.14; 95%CI, 0.07-0.29; IR [mRNA-1273/SARS-CoV-2], 0.28; 95%CI, 0.20-0.39). Within the vaccinated cohort, myocarditis/pericarditis incidence was lower with longer dosing intervals; IR (56 or more days/15-30 days) was 0.28 (95%CI, 0.19-0.41) for BNT162b2 and 0.26 (95%CI, 0.18-0.38) for mRNA-1273. Conclusion: Myocarditis/pericarditis risk was lower after mRNA vaccination than SARS-CoV-2 infection, and with longer intervals between primary vaccine doses.
  • Infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during the first wave of the 2009 pandemic: Evidence from a longitudinal seroepidemiologic study in Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Nasreen, Sharifa; Rahman, Mustafizur; Hancock, Kathy; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Goswami, Doli; Sturm‐Ramirez, Katharine; Holiday, Crystal; Jefferson, Stacie; Branch, Alicia; Wang, David; et al. (Wiley, 2017-07-26)
    Background: We determined influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 antibody levels before and after the first wave of the pandemic in an urban community in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Methods: We identified a cohort of households by stratified random sampling. We collected baseline serum specimens during July-August 2009, just prior to the initial wave of the 2009 pandemic in this community and a second specimen during November 2009, after the pandemic peak. Paired sera were tested for antibodies against A(H1N1)pdm09 virus using microneutralization assay and hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) assay. A fourfold increase in antibody titer by either assay with a titer of ≥40 in the convalescent sera was considered a seroconversion. At baseline, an HI titer of ≥40 was considered seropositive. We collected information on clinical illness from weekly home visits. Results: We tested 779 paired sera from the participants. At baseline, before the pandemic wave, 1% overall and 3% of persons >60 years old were seropositive. After the first wave of the pandemic, 211 (27%) individuals seroconverted against A(H1N1)pdm09. Children aged 5-17 years had the highest proportion (37%) of seroconversion. Among 264 (34%) persons with information on clinical illness, 191 (72%) had illness >3 weeks prior to collection of the follow-up sera and 73 (38%) seroconverted. Sixteen (22%) of these 73 seroconverted participants reported no clinical illness. Conclusion: After the first pandemic wave in Dhaka, one in four persons were infected by A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and the highest burden of infection was among the school-aged children. Seroprevalence studies supplement traditional surveillance systems to estimate infection burden.
  • Protection Conferred by COVID-19 Vaccination, Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection, or Hybrid Immunity Against Omicron-Associated Severe Outcomes Among Community-Dwelling Adults

    Lee, Nelson; Nguyen, Lena; Austin, Peter C; Brown, Kevin A; Grewal, Ramandip; Buchan, Sarah A; Nasreen, Sharifa; Gubbay, Jonathan; Schwartz, Kevin L; Tadrous, Mina; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2023-11-24)
    Introduction: We assessed protection from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and/or prior severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection against Omicron-associated severe outcomes during successive sublineage-predominant periods. Methods: We used a test-negative design to estimate protection by vaccines and/or prior infection against hospitalization/death among community-dwelling, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-tested adults aged ≥50 years in Ontario, Canada, between 2 January 2022 and 30 June 2023. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the relative change in the odds of hospitalization/death with each vaccine dose (2-5) and/or prior PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (compared with unvaccinated, uninfected subjects) up to 15 months since the last vaccination or infection. Results: We included 18 526 cases with Omicron-associated severe outcomes and 90 778 test-negative controls. Vaccine protection was high during BA.1/BA.2 predominance but was generally <50% during periods of BA.4/BA.5 and BQ/XBB predominance without boosters. A third/fourth dose transiently increased protection during BA.4/BA.5 predominance (third-dose, 6-month: 68%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 63%-72%; fourth-dose, 6-month: 80%, 95% CI 77%-83%) but was lower and waned quickly during BQ/XBB predominance (third-dose, 6-month: 59%, 95% CI 48%-67%; 12-month: 49%, 95% CI 41%-56%; fourth-dose, 6-month: 62%, 95% CI 56%-68%, 12-months: 51%, 95% CI 41%-56%). Hybrid immunity conferred nearly 90% protection throughout BA.1/BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 predominance but was reduced during BQ/XBB predominance (third-dose, 6-month: 60%, 95% CI 36%-75%; fourth-dose, 6-month: 63%, 95% CI 42%-76%). Protection was restored with a fifth dose (bivalent; 6-month: 91%, 95% CI 79%-96%). Prior infection alone did not confer lasting protection. Conclusions: Protection from COVID-19 vaccines and/or prior SARS-CoV-2 infections against severe outcomes is reduced when immune-evasive variants/subvariants emerge and may also wane over time. Our findings support a variant-adapted booster vaccination strategy with periodic review.
  • Myocarditis or Pericarditis Events After BNT162b2 Vaccination in Individuals Aged 12 to 17 Years in Ontario, Canada

    Buchan, Sarah A.; Alley, Sarah; Seo, Chi Yon; Johnson, Caitlin; Kwong, Jeffrey C.; Nasreen, Sharifa; Thampi, Nisha; Lu, Diane; Harris, Tara M.; Calzavara, Andrew; et al. (American Medical Association (AMA), 2023-04-01)
    Importance: The risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines varies by age and sex, and there is some evidence to suggest increasing risk with shorter intervals between dose 1 and 2 (ie, interdose interval). Objective: To estimate the incidence of reported myocarditis or pericarditis after BNT162b2 vaccine among adolescents and to describe the clinical information associated with these events. Design, setting, and participants: This was a population-based cohort study using passive vaccine safety surveillance data linked to the provincial COVID-19 vaccine registry. Included in the study were all adolescents aged 12 to 17 years in Ontario, Canada, who received 1 or more doses of BNT162b2 vaccine between December 14, 2020, and November 21, 2021, and reported an episode of myocarditis or pericarditis. Data were analyzed from December 15, 2021, to April 22, 2022. Exposure: Receipt of BNT162b2 (Comirnaty [Pfizer-BioNTech]) vaccine. Main outcomes and measure: Reported incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis meeting level 1 to 3 of the Brighton Collaboration case definition per 100 000 doses of BNT162b2 administered by age group (12-15 years vs 16-17 years), sex, dose number, and interdose interval. All clinical information associated with symptoms, health care usage, diagnostic test results, and treatment at the time of the acute event were summarized. Results: There were approximately 1.65 million doses of BNT162b2 administered and 77 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis among those aged 12 to 17 years, which met the inclusion criteria during the study period. Of the 77 adolescents (mean [SD] age, 15.0 [1.7] years; 63 male individuals [81.8%]), 51 (66.2%) developed myocarditis or pericarditis after dose 2 of BNT162b2. Overall, 74 individuals (96.1%) with an event were assessed in the emergency department, and 34 (44.2%) were hospitalized (median [IQR] length of stay, 1 [1-2] day). The majority of adolescents (57 [74.0%]) were treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs only, and 11 (14.3%) required no treatment. The highest reported incidence was observed among male adolescents aged 16 to 17 years after dose 2 (15.7 per 100 000; 95% CI, 9.7-23.9). Among those aged 16 to 17 years, the reporting rate was highest in those with a short (ie, ≤30 days) interdose interval (21.3 per 100 000; 95% CI, 11.0-37.2). Conclusions and relevance: Results of this cohort study suggest that there was variation in the reported incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis after BNT162b2 vaccine among adolescent age groups. However, the risk of these events after vaccination remains very rare and should be considered in relation to the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Interpretation of molecular detection of avian influenza A virus in respiratory specimens collected from live bird market workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh: infection or contamination?

    Hassan, Md Zakiul; Sturm-Ramirez, Katharine; Islam, Md Saiful; Afreen, Sadia; Rahman, Mohammed Ziaur; Kafi, Mohammad Abdullah Heel; Chowdhury, Sukanta; Khan, Salah Uddin; Rahman, Mustafizur; Nasreen, Sharifa; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2023-11)
    Objectives: Interpreting real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) results for human avian influenza A virus (AIV) detection in contaminated settings like live bird markets (LBMs) without serology or viral culture poses a challenge. Methods: During February-March 2012 and November 2012-February 2013, we screened workers at nine LBMs in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to confirm molecular detections of AIV RNA in respiratory specimens with serology. We tested nasopharyngeal (NP) and throat swabs from workers with influenza-like illness (ILI) and NP, throat, and arm swabs from asymptomatic workers for influenza virus by rRT-PCR and sera for seroconversion and antibodies against HPAI A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) viruses. Results: Among 1273 ILI cases, 34 (2.6%) had A(H5), 56 (4%) had A(H9), and six (0.4%) had both A(H5) and A(H9) detected by rRT-PCR. Of 192 asymptomatic workers, A(H5) was detected in eight (4%) NP and 38 (20%) arm swabs. Of 28 ILI cases with A(H5) or A(H9) detected, none had evidence of seroconversion, but one (3.5%) and 12 (43%) were seropositive for A(H5) and A(H9), respectively. Conclusion: Detection of AIV RNA in respiratory specimens from symptomatic and asymptomatic LBM workers without evidence of seroconversion or virus isolation suggests environmental contamination, emphasizing caution in interpreting rRT-PCR results in high viral load settings.
  • Waterless Hand Cleansing with Chlorhexidine during the Neonatal Period by Mothers and Other Household Members: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Ram, Pavani K.; Begum, Farzana; Crabtree-Ide, Christina; Uddin, Mohammad Rofi; Weaver, Anne M.; Dostogir Harun, Md. Golam; Allen, Jelena V.; Kumar, Swapna; Nasreen, Sharifa; Luby, Stephen P.; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2020-11-04)
    Observational data suggest maternal handwashing with soap prevents neonatal mortality. We tested the impact of a chlorhexidine-based waterless hand cleansing promotion on the behavior of mothers and other household members. In rural Bangladesh in 2014, we randomized consenting pregnant women to chlorhexidine provision and hand cleansing promotion or standard practices. We compared hand cleansing with chlorhexidine or handwashing with soap before baby care, among mothers and household members in the two groups, and measured chlorhexidine use in the intervention arm. Chlorhexidine was observed in the baby's sleep space in 97% of 130 intervention homes, versus soap in 59% of 128 control homes. Hand cleansing before baby care was observed 5.6 times more frequently among mothers in the intervention arm than in the controls (95% CI = 4.0-7.7). Hand cleansing was significantly more frequently observed in the intervention arm among women other than the mother (RR = 10.9) and girls (RR = 37.0). Men and boys in the intervention arm cleansed hands before 29% and 44% of baby care events, respectively, compared with 0% in the control arm. The median number of grams consumed during the neonatal period was 176 (IQR = 95-305 g), about 7.8 g/day (IQR = 4.2-13.8 g). Promotion of waterless chlorhexidine increased hand cleansing behavior among mothers and other household members. Discrepancy between observed use and measured chlorhexidine consumption suggested courtesy bias in structured observations. A waterless hand cleanser may represent one component of the multimodal strategies to prevent neonatal infections in low-resource settings.
  • Background incidence rates of hospitalisations and emergency department visits for thromboembolic and coagulation disorders in Ontario, Canada for COVID-19 vaccine safety assessment: a population-based retrospective observational study

    Nasreen, Sharifa; Calzavara, Andrew J; Sundaram, Maria E; MacDonald, Shannon E; Righolt, Christiaan H; Pai, Menaka; Field, Thalia S; Zhou, Lily W; Wilson, Sarah E; Kwong, Jeffrey C (BMJ, 2021-12-17)
    Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate background rates of selected thromboembolic and coagulation disorders in Ontario, Canada. Design: Population-based retrospective observational study using linked health administrative databases. Records of hospitalisations and emergency department visits were searched to identify cases using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Canada diagnostic codes. Participants: All Ontario residents. Primary outcome measures: Incidence rates of ischaemic stroke, intracerebral haemorrhage, subarachnoid haemorrhage, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, idiopathic thrombocytopaenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation and cerebral venous thrombosis during five prepandemic years (2015-2019) and 2020. Results: The average annual population was 14 million with 51% female. The mean annual rates per 100 000 population during 2015-2019 were 127.1 (95% CI 126.2 to 127.9) for ischaemic stroke, 22.0 (95% CI 21.6 to 22.3) for intracerebral haemorrhage, 9.4 (95% CI 9.2 to 9.7) for subarachnoid haemorrhage, 86.8 (95% CI 86.1 to 87.5) for deep vein thrombosis, 63.7 (95% CI 63.1 to 64.3) for pulmonary embolism, 6.1 (95% CI 5.9 to 6.3) for idiopathic thrombocytopaenia, 1.6 (95% CI 1.5 to 1.7) for disseminated intravascular coagulation, and 1.5 (95% CI 1.4 to 1.6) for cerebral venous thrombosis. Rates were lower in 2020 than during the prepandemic years for ischaemic stroke, deep vein thrombosis and idiopathic thrombocytopaenia. Rates were generally consistent over time, except for pulmonary embolism, which increased from 57.1 to 68.5 per 100 000 between 2015 and 2019. Rates were higher for females than males for subarachnoid haemorrhage, pulmonary embolism and cerebral venous thrombosis, and vice versa for ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage. Rates increased with age for most of these conditions, but idiopathic thrombocytopaenia demonstrated a bimodal distribution with incidence peaks at 0-19 years and ≥60 years. Conclusions: Our estimated background rates help contextualise observed events of these potential adverse events of special interest and to detect potential safety signals related to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Background rates of all-cause mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits among nursing home residents in Ontario, Canada to inform COVID-19 vaccine safety assessments

    Sundaram, Maria; Nasreen, Sharifa; Calzavara, Andrew; He, Siyi; Chung, Hannah; Bronskill, Susan E.; Buchan, Sarah A.; Tadrous, Mina; Tanuseputro, Peter; Wilson, Kumanan; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-08)
    Background: Nursing home (NH) residents are prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. We report monthly mortality, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visit incidence rates (IRs) during 2010-2020 to provide context for COVID-19 vaccine safety assessments. Methods: We observed outcomes among all NH residents in Ontario using administrative databases. IRs were calculated by month, sex, and age group. Comparisons between months were assessed using one-sample t-tests; comparisons by age and sex were assessed using chi-squared tests. Results: From 2010 to 2019, there were 83,453 (SD: 652.4) NH residents per month, with an average of 2.3 (SD: 0.28) deaths, 3.1 (SD: 0.16) hospitalizations, and 3.6 (SD: 0.17) ED visits per 100 residents per month. From March to December 2020, mortality IRs were increased, but hospitalization and ED visit IRs were reduced (p < 0.05). Conclusion: We identified consistent monthly mortality, hospitalization, and ED visit IRs during 2010-2019. Marked differences in these rates were observed during 2020, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Population-based incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children and adults in Ontario and British Columbia, 2002–2018: A Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) study

    Nasreen, Sharifa; Wang, Jun; Kwong, Jeffrey C.; Crowcroft, Natasha S.; Sadarangani, Manish; Wilson, Sarah E.; McGeer, Allison; Kellner, James D.; Quach, Caroline; Morris, Shaun K.; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-12)
    Background: Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) burden, evaluated in Canada using reported confirmed cases in surveillance systems, is likely underestimated due to underreporting. We estimated the burden of IPD in Ontario and British Columbia (BC) by combining surveillance data with health administrative databases. Methods: We established a cohort of 27,525 individuals in Ontario and BC. Laboratory-confirmed IPD cases were identified from Ontario's integrated Public Health Information System and the BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory. Possible IPD cases were identified from hospitalization data in both provinces, and from emergency department visit data in Ontario. We estimated the age and sex adjusted annual incidence of IPD and pneumococcal conjugate/polysaccharide vaccine (PCV/PPV) serotype-specific IPD using Poisson regression models. Results: In Ontario, 20,205 overall IPD cases, including 15,299 laboratory-confirmed cases, were identified with relatively stable age- and sex-adjusted annual incidence rates ranging from 13.7/100,000 (2005) to 13.6/100,000 (2018). In BC, 7,320 overall IPD cases, including 5,932 laboratory-confirmed cases were identified; annual incidence rates increased from 10.9/100,000 (2002) to 13.2/100,000 (2018). Older adults aged ≥ 85 years had the highest incidence rates. During 2007-2018 the incidence of PCV7 serotypes and additional PCV13 serotypes decreased while the incidence of unique PPV23 and non-vaccine serotypes increased in both provinces. Conclusions: IPD continues to cause a substantial public health burden in Canada despite publicly funded pneumococcal vaccination programs, resulting in part from an increase in unique PPV23 and non-vaccine serotypes.
  • Increasing pneumococcal vaccine uptake in older adults: a scoping review of interventions in high-income countries

    Kirubarajan, Abirami; Lynch, Meghan; Nasreen, Sharifa; Gebretekle, Gebremedhin B.; Fadel, Shaza A.; Crowcroft, Natasha S.; Allin, Sara (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-01-02)
    Background: There is low uptake of the pneumococcal vaccination in eligible older adults, even in high-income countries that offer routine and universal vaccination programs. Objective: To systematically characterize interventions aimed at improving pneumococcal vaccine uptake in older adults. Design: We conducted a scoping review following PRISMA-SCr guidelines of five interdisciplinary databases: Medline-Ovid, Embase, CINAHL, PsychInfo, and Cochrane Library. Databases were searched from January 2015 until April 2020. The interventions were summarized into three pillars according to the European Union Conceptional Framework for Action: information campaigns, prioritization of vaccination schemes, and primary care interventions. Results: Our scoping review included 39 studies that summarized interventions related to pneumococcal vaccine uptake for older adults, encompassing 2,481,887 study participants (945 healthcare providers and 2,480,942 older adults) across seven countries. Examples of interventions that were associated with increased pneumococcal vaccination rate included periodic health examinations, reminders and decision-making tools built into electronic medical records, inpatient vaccination protocols, preventative health checklists, and multimodal educational interventions. When comparing the three pillars, prioiritization of vaccination schemes had the highest evidence for improved rates of vaccination (n = 14 studies), followed by primary care interventions (n = 8 studies), then information campaigns (n = 5 studies). Conclusion: Several promising interventions were associated with improved outcomes related to vaccine uptake, although controlled study designs are needed to determine which interventions are most effective.
  • Is pregnancy a teachable moment to promote handwashing with soap among primiparous women in rural Bangladesh? Follow‐up of a randomised controlled trial

    Kamm, Kelly B.; Vujcic, Jelena; Nasreen, Sharifa; Luby, Stephen P.; Zaman, K.; El Arifeen, Shams; Ram, Pavani K. (Wiley, 2016-10-10)
    Objective: Promoting handwashing with soap to mothers of young children can significantly reduce diarrhoea and pneumonia morbidity among children, but studies that measured long-term behaviour after interventions rarely found improvements in handwashing habits. Expecting mothers may experience emotional and social changes that create a unique environment that may encourage adoption of improved handwashing habits. The objective of this study was to determine whether exposure to an intensive handwashing intervention in the perinatal period (perinatal arm) was associated with improved maternal handwashing behaviour vs. exposure to the same intervention after the end of the perinatal period (post-neonatal arm). Methods: We identified primiparous women previously enrolled a randomised controlled handwashing intervention trial (November 2010-December 2011) and observed handwashing behaviours at the home 1-14 months after completion of the RCT (January-May 2012). We observed maternal handwashing and estimated the prevalence ratio (PR) of maternal handwashing using log-binomial regression. Results: We enrolled 107 mothers in the perinatal arm and 105 mothers in the post-neonatal arm. Handwashing with soap at recommended times was low overall (4.6%) and comparable between arms (PR = 0.9, 95% CI 0.5, 1.5). Conclusions: This handwashing intervention was unable to develop and establish improved handwashing practices in primiparous women in rural Bangladesh. While pregnancy may present an opportunity and motivation to do so, further studies should assess whether social, individual and environmental influences overcome this motivation and prevent handwashing with soap among new mothers.

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