Publications by authors named "Don E Low"

9 Publications

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Have changing pneumococcal vaccination programmes impacted disease in Ontario?

Vaccine 2013 May 16;31(24):2680-5. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Immunization and Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Public Health Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Publicly funded infant 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced in Ontario, Canada in 2005 and was replaced by 10- and 13-valent vaccines (PCV10, PCV13) in October 2009 and November 2010, respectively. Among adults ≥ 65 years, a 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) has been universally available since 1996. In January 2012, PCV13 was approved for adults ≥ 50 years. This study examines the impact of publicly funded vaccination programmes on invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).

Methods: Laboratory data from population-based surveillance for IPD conducted at the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Disease Network and from Public Health Ontario Laboratories between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010 were analyzed.

Results: Between 2008 and 2010 there were 3259 cases of IPD; overall incidence was 7.4/9.3/8.3 per 100,000 in 2008/9/10, respectively. Incidence increased significantly among adults 65+ years during the period; this group had the highest incidence (21.5-25.6/100,000). The second highest incidence in 2008 and 2009 was in infants <1 year, whereas in 2010 it was in children 1-4 years. Among children <5 years, 68% and 19% of serotypes were covered by PCV13 and PCV10, respectively, between 2008 and 2010. In 2009, 6 cases with the 3 additional PCV10 serotypes were reported in infants compared with 2 in 2010. Among persons eligible for PCV7 (born≥2004), there was a 77% decrease in the rate of IPD due to PCV7 serotypes between 2008 and 2010 and a 60% decrease in PCV7 serotypes among persons not vaccine-eligible (born<2004). There was a 15% difference in serotype coverage between PCV13 and the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine in adults≥50 years.

Conclusions: During Ontario's PCV7 programme, serotype-specific decreases in IPD were observed, suggesting vaccine programme success, including herd immunity. Our results also suggest some early impact among infants from PCV10 introduction. A substantial burden of disease was also observed among older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.04.007DOI Listing
May 2013

Effect of patterns of transferring patients among healthcare institutions on rates of nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus transmission: a Monte Carlo simulation.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011 Feb;32(2):136-47

Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: To determine the effect of the rate and pattern of patient transfers among institutions within a single metropolitan area on the rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission among patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

Methods: A stochastic, discrete-time, Monte Carlo simulation was used to model the rate and spread of MRSA transmission among patients in medical institutions within a single metropolitan area. Admission, discharges, transfers, and nosocomial transmission were simulated with respect to different interinstitutional transfer strategies and various situational scenarios, such as outlier institutions with high transmission rates.

Results: The simulation results indicated that transfer patterns and transfer rate changes do not affect nosocomial MRSA transmission. Outlier institutions with high transmission rates affect the system wide rate of nosocomial infections differently, depending on institution type.

Conclusion: It is worth effort to understanding disease-transmission dynamics and interinstitutional transfer patterns for the management of recently introduced diseases or strains. Once endemic in a system, other strategies for transmission control need to be implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/657945DOI Listing
February 2011

Antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli outpatient urinary isolates: final results from the North American Urinary Tract Infection Collaborative Alliance (NAUTICA).

Int J Antimicrob Agents 2006 Jun 18;27(6):468-75. Epub 2006 May 18.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, and Department of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Man., Canada.

The North American Urinary Tract Infection Collaborative Alliance (NAUTICA) study determined the antibiotic susceptibility to commonly used agents for urinary tract infections of outpatient Escherichia coli urinary isolates obtained from various geographic regions in the USA and Canada. NAUTICA involved 40 medical centres (30 from the USA and 10 from Canada). From April 2003 to June 2004 inclusive, each centre submitted up to 50 consecutive outpatient midstream urine isolates. All isolates were identified to species level by each laboratory's existing protocol. Susceptibility testing was determined using the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) microdilution method. Ampicillin (resistant>or=32 microg/mL), sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim (SMX/TMP) (resistant>or=4 microg/mL), nitrofurantoin (resistant>or=128 microg/mL), ciprofloxacin (resistant>or=4 microg/mL) and levofloxacin (resistant>or=8 microg/mL) resistance breakpoints used were those published by the CLSI. Of the 1142 E. coli collected, 75.5% (862) were collected from the USA and 280 (24.5%) were from Canada. Patient demographics revealed a mean age of 48.1 years (range, 2 months to 99 years), with female patients representing 79.4% of patients and males representing 20.6%. Overall, resistance to ampicillin was 37.7%, followed by SMX/TMP (21.3%), nitrofurantoin (1.1%), ciprofloxacin (5.5%) and levofloxacin (5.1%). Resistance rates for all antimicrobials were higher in US medical centres compared with Canadian centres (P<0.05). Fluoroquinolone resistance was highest in patients>or=65 years of age (P<0.05). Resistance rates demonstrated considerable geographic variability both in the USA and Canada. This study reports higher rates of antibiotic resistance in US versus Canadian outpatient urinary isolates of E. coli and demonstrates the continuing evolution of resistance to antimicrobial agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2006.02.009DOI Listing
June 2006

Use of a selective enrichment broth to recover Clostridium difficile from stool swabs stored under different conditions.

J Clin Microbiol 2005 Oct;43(10):5341-3

Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.

The recovery of Clostridium difficile from the stools of patients with C. difficile-associated diarrhea was evaluated by use of an enrichment broth (cycloserine-cefoxitin fructose broth supplemented with 0.1% sodium taurocholate [TCCFB]) and was compared to that from selective agar (cycloserine-cefoxitin fructose agar [CCFA]) and alcohol shock followed by inoculation onto blood agar (AS-BA). TCCFB was superior to CCFA and AS-BA, and neither the storage time nor the storage temperature affected the recovery rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.43.10.5341-5343.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1248507PMC
October 2005

Modeling transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among patients admitted to a hospital.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2005 Jul;26(7):607-15

Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, and University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: To determine the impact of the screening test, nursing workload, handwashing rates, and dependence of handwashing on risk level of patient visit on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission among hospitalized patients.

Setting: General medical ward.

Methods: Monte Carlo simulation was used to model MRSA transmission (median rate per 1,000 patient-days). Visits by healthcare workers (HCWs) to patients were simulated, and MRSA was assumed to be transmitted among patients via HCWs.

Results: The transmission rate was reduced from 0.89 to 0.56 by the combination of increasing the sensitivity of the screening test from 80% to 99% and being able to report results in 1 day instead of 4 days. Reducing the patient-to-nurse ratio from 4.3 in the day and 6.8 at night to 3.8 and 5.7, respectively, reduced the number of nosocomial infections from 0.89 to 0.85; reducing the ratio to 1 and 1, respectively, further reduced the number of nosocomial infections to 0.32. Increases in handwashing rates by 0%, 10%, and 20% for high-risk visits yielded reductions in nosocomial infections similar to those yielded by increases in handwashing rates for all visits (0.89, 0.36, and 0.24, respectively). Screening all patients for MRSA at admission reduced the transmission rate to 0.81 per 1,000 patient-days from 1.37 if no patients were screened.

Conclusion: Within the ranges of parameters studied, the most effective strategies for reducing the rate of MRSA transmission were increasing the handwashing rates for visits involving contact with skin or bodily fluid and screening patients for MRSA at admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/502589DOI Listing
July 2005

PCR ribotyping of Clostridium difficile isolates originating from human and animal sources.

J Med Microbiol 2005 Feb;54(Pt 2):163-166

Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1 2Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Molecular typing of Clostridium difficile isolates from animals and humans may be useful for evaluation of the possibility for interspecies transmission. The objective of this study was to evaluate C. difficile isolates from domestic animals and humans using PCR ribotyping. Isolates were also tested using PCR for the presence of genes encoding toxins A and B. One hundred and thirty-three isolates of C. difficile from dogs (n = 92), horses (n = 21) and humans (n = 20), plus one each from a cat and a calf, were evaluated. Overall, 23 ribotypes were identified. Of these, nine were identified from dogs, 12 from horses, seven from humans and one each from the cat and calf. In dogs, humans and horses, one or two different ribotypes predominated. Overall, 25 % of isolates from humans were indistinguishable from isolates from one or more animal species. Genes encoding C. difficile toxins A and B were detected in all human, equine and bovine isolates, and in 69 % of canine isolates. While different ribotypes appear to predominate in different mammalian species, several indistinguishable strains may be found in multiple species. This suggests that there is a potential for interspecies transmission of C. difficile and epidemiological studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.45805-0DOI Listing
February 2005

Hospital preparedness and SARS.

Emerg Infect Dis 2004 May;10(5):771-6

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

On May 23, 2003, Toronto experienced the second phase of a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. Ninety cases were confirmed, and >620 potential cases were managed. More than 9,000 persons had contact with confirmed or potential case-patients; many required quarantine. The main hospital involved during the second outbreak was North York General Hospital. We review this hospital's response to, and management of, this outbreak, including such factors as building preparation and engineering, personnel, departmental workload, policies and documentation, infection control, personal protective equipment, training and education, public health, management and administration, follow-up of SARS patients, and psychological and psychosocial management and research. We also make recommendations for other institutions to prepare for future outbreaks, regardless of their origin.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323236PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1005.030717DOI Listing
May 2004

Antimicrobial resistance in Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis respiratory tract isolates: results of the Canadian Respiratory Organism Susceptibility Study, 1997 to 2002.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2003 Jun;47(6):1875-81

Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

A total of 7,566 unique patient isolates of Haemophilus influenzae and 2,314 unique patient isolates of Moraxella catarrhalis were collected between October 1997 and June 2002 from 25 medical centers in 9 of the 10 Canadian provinces. Among the 7,566 H. influenzae isolates, 22.5% produced beta-lactamase, while 92.4% of the 2,314 M. catarrhalis isolates produced beta-lactamase. The incidence of beta-lactamase-producing H. influenzae isolates decreased significantly over the 5-year study period, from 24.2% in 1997-1998 to 18.6% in 2001-2002 (P < 0.01). The incidence of beta-lactamase-producing M. catarrhalis isolates did not change over the study period. The overall rates of resistance to amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanate for H. influenzae were 19.3 and 0.1%, respectively. The rank order of cephalosporin activity based on the MICs at which 90% of isolates were inhibited (MIC(90)s) was cefotaxime > cefixime > cefuroxime > cefprozil > cefaclor. On the basis of the MICs, azithromycin was more active than clarithromycin (14-OH clarithromycin was not tested); however, on the basis of the NCCLS breakpoints, resistance rates were 2.1 and 1.6%, respectively. Rates of resistance to other agents were as follows: doxycycline, 1.5%; trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 14.2%; and chloramphenicol, 0.2%. All fluoroquinolones tested, including the investigational fluoroquinolones BMS284756 (garenoxacin) and ABT-492, displayed potent activities against H. influenzae, with MIC(90)s of < or = 0.03 microg/ml. The MIC(90)s of the investigational ketolides telithromycin and ABT-773 were 2 and 4 microg/ml, respectively, and the MIC(90) of the investigational glycylcycline GAR-936 (tigecycline) was 4 microg/ml. Among the M. catarrhalis isolates tested, the resistance rates derived by using the NCCLS breakpoint criteria for H. influenzae were <1% for all antibiotics tested except trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (1.5%). In summary, the incidence of beta-lactamase-positive H. influenzae strains in Canada is decreasing (18.6% in 2001-2002), while the incidence of beta-lactamase-positive M. catarrhalis strains has remained constant (90.0% in 2001-2002).
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155833PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.47.6.1875-1881.2003DOI Listing
June 2003

Antimicrobial resistance in respiratory tract Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates: results of the Canadian Respiratory Organism Susceptibility Study, 1997 to 2002.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2003 Jun;47(6):1867-74

Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

A total of 6,991 unique patient isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected from October 1997 to June 2002 from 25 medical centers in 9 of the 10 Canadian provinces. Among these isolates, 20.2% were penicillin nonsusceptible, with 14.6% being penicillin intermediate (MIC, 0.12 to 1 microg/ml) and 5.6% being penicillin resistant (MIC, > or =2 microg/ml). The proportion of high-level penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae isolates increased from 2.4 to 13.8% over the last 3 years of the study, and the proportion of multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae isolates increased from 2.7 to 8.8% over the 5-year period. Resistant rates (intermediate and resistant) among non-beta-lactam agents were as follows: macrolides, 9.6 to 9.9%; clindamycin, 3.8%; doxycycline, 5.5%; chloramphenicol, 3.9%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 19.0%. Rates of resistance to non-beta-lactam agents were higher among penicillin-resistant strains than among penicillin-susceptible strains. No resistance to vancomycin or linezolid was observed; however, 0.1% intermediate resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin was observed. The rate of macrolide resistance (intermediate and resistant) increased from 7.9 to 11.1% over the 5 years. For the fluoroquinolones, the order of activity based on the MICs at which 50% of isolates are inhibited (MIC(50)s) and the MIC(90)s was gemifloxacin > clinafloxacin > trovafloxacin > moxifloxacin > grepafloxacin > gatifloxacin > levofloxacin > ciprofloxacin. The investigational compounds ABT-773 (MIC(90), 0.008 microg/ml), ABT-492 (MIC(90), 0.015 microg/ml), GAR-936 (tigecycline; MIC(90), 0.06 microg/ml), and BMS284756 (garenoxacin; MIC(90), 0.06 micro g/ml) displayed excellent activities. Despite decreases in the rates of antibiotic consumption in Canada over the 5-year period, the rates of both high-level penicillin-resistant and multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae isolates are increasing in Canada.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155828PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.47.6.1867-1874.2003DOI Listing
June 2003
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