Publications by authors named "Hector Velasquez"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The impact of current opioid agonist therapy on hepatitis C virus treatment initiation among people who use drugs from in the DAA era: A population-based study.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Background: Evidence that opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is associated with increased odds of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment initiation among people who use drugs (PWUD) is emerging. The objective of this study was to determine the association between current OAT and HCV treatment initiation among PWUD in a population-level linked administrative dataset.

Methods: The British Columbia (BC) Hepatitis Testers Cohort was used for this study, which includes all people tested for or diagnosed with HCV in BC, linked to medical visits, hospitalizations, laboratory, prescription drug, and mortality data from 1992 until 2019. PWUD with injecting drug use or opioid use disorder and chronic HCV infection were identified for inclusion in this study. HCV treatment initiation was the main outcome, and subdistribution proportional hazards modeling was used to assess the relationship with current OAT.

Results: 13,803 PWUD with chronic HCV were included in this study. Among those currently on OAT at the end of the study period, 47% (2,704/5,770) had started HCV treatment, whereas 22% (1778/8033) of those not currently on OAT has started HCV treatment .. Among PWUD with chronic HCV infection, current OAT was associated with higher likelihood of HCV treatment initiation in time to event analysis (adjusted hazard ratio 1.84 [95%CI, 1.50, 2.26]).

Conclusions: Current OAT was associated with a higher likelihood of HCV treatment initiation. However, many PWUD with HCV currently receiving OAT have yet to receive HCV treatment. Enhanced integration between substance use care and HCV treatment is needed to improve the overall health of PWUD.
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June 2021

Efficacy of a dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003) in healthy children and adolescents two years after vaccination.

J Infect Dis 2020 Dec 15. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG., Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Takeda's dengue vaccine is under evaluation in an ongoing Phase 3 efficacy study; we present an update after 2 years.

Methods: 20,099 children (4-16 years old) were randomized to receive two doses of TAK-003 or placebo three months apart and are under long-term febrile surveillance to detect dengue by serotype-specific RT-PCR. (NCT02747927).

Results: Cumulative efficacy against dengue over ~27 months since first dose was 72.7% (95% CI: 67.1 - 77.3), which included efficacy of 67.0% (95% CI: 53.6 - 76.5) in dengue-naïve and 89.2% (82.4 - 93.3) against hospitalized dengue. In the second year after vaccination, a decline in efficacy was observed [56.2% (42.3 - 66.8)] with the largest decline in 4 - 5 year-old children [24.5% (-34.2 - 57.5)]; efficacy was 60.6% (43.8 - 72.4) in 6 - 11 year and 71.2% (41.0 - 85.9) in 12 - 16 year age groups. As TAK-003 efficacy varies by serotype, changes in serotype dominance partially contributed to the efficacy differences in year by year analysis. No related serious adverse events occurred during the second year.

Conclusion: TAK-003 demonstrated continued benefit independent of baseline serostatus in reducing dengue with some decline in efficacy during the second year. Three-year data will be important to see if efficacy stabilizes or declines further.
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December 2020

Efficacy of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in healthy children aged 4-16 years: a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2020 05 17;395(10234):1423-1433. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Takeda Vaccines, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: A substantial unmet need remains for safe and effective vaccines against dengue virus disease, particularly for individuals who are dengue-naive and those younger than 9 years. We aimed to assess the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of a live attenuated tetravalent dengue vaccine (TAK-003) in healthy children aged 4-16 years.

Methods: We present data up to 18 months post-vaccination from an ongoing phase 3, randomised, double-blind trial of TAK-003 in endemic regions of Asia and Latin America (26 medical and research centres across Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand). Healthy children aged 4-16 years were randomly assigned 2:1 (stratified by age and region) to receive two doses of TAK-003 or two doses of placebo, 3 months apart. Investigators, participants and their parents or guardians, and sponsor representatives advising on trial conduct were masked to trial group assignments. Participants presenting with febrile illness were tested for virologically confirmed dengue (VCD) by serotype-specific RT-PCR. In timeframes beginning 30 days post-second dose, the primary endpoint (overall vaccine efficacy) was assessed in the first 11 months, and the secondary endpoints (efficacy by baseline serostatus, serotype, hospitalised dengue, and severe dengue) in the first 17 months. This study is registered with, NCT02747927.

Findings: 20 099 participants were randomly assigned and vaccinated between Sept 7, 2016, and Aug 18, 2017; 19 021 (94·6%) were included in the per protocol analysis, and 20 071 (99·9%) in the safety set. The primary endpoint was achieved with an overall vaccine efficacy of 80·2% (95% CI 73·3 to 85·3; 61 cases of VCD in the TAK-003 group vs 149 cases of VCD in the placebo group). In the secondary endpoint assessment timeframe, an overall vaccine efficacy of 73·3% (95% CI 66·5 to 78·8) was observed. Analysis of secondary endpoints showed efficacies of 76·1% (95% CI 68·5 to 81·9) in individuals who were seropositive at baseline, 66·2% (49·1 to 77·5) in individuals who were seronegative at baseline, 90·4% (82·6 to 94·7) against hospitalised dengue, and 85·9% (31·9 to 97·1) against dengue haemorrhagic fever. Efficacy varied by individual serotypes (DENV 1, 69·8% [95% CI 54·8 to 79·9]; DENV 2, 95·1% [89·9 to 97·6]; DENV 3, 48·9% [27·2 to 64·1]; DENV 4, 51·0% [-69·4 to 85·8]). Cumulative rates of serious adverse events were similar in TAK-003 (4·0%) and placebo (4·8%) recipients, and were consistent with expected medical disorders in the study population. Infection was the most frequent reason leading to serious adverse events. 20 participants (<0·1% of the safety set) were withdrawn from the trial due to 21 adverse events by the end of part two; 14 of these participants received TAK-003 and six received placebo.

Interpretation: TAK-003 was well tolerated and efficacious against symptomatic dengue in children regardless of serostatus before immunisation. Vaccine efficacy varied by serotype, warranting continued follow-up to assess longer-term vaccine performance.

Funding: Takeda Vaccines.
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May 2020

Emergy Analysis for the Sustainable Utilization of Biosolids Generated in a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant.

J Clean Prod 2017 Jan;141:182-193

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA. (G.R.M).

This contribution describes the application of an emergy-based methodology for comparing two management alternatives of biosolids produced in a wastewater treatment plant. The current management practice of using biosolids as soil fertilizers was evaluated and compared to another alternative, the recovery of energy from the biosolid gasification process. This emergy assessment and comparison approach identifies more sustainable processes which achieve economic and social benefits with a minimal environmental impact. In addition, emergy-based sustainability indicators and the GREENSCOPE methodology were used to compare the two biosolid management alternatives. According to the sustainability assessment results, the energy production from biosolid gasification is energetically profitable, economically viable, and environmentally suitable. Furthermore, it was found that the current use of biosolids as soil fertilizer does not generate any considerable environmental stress, has the potential to achieve more economic benefits, and a post-processing of biosolids prior to its use as soil fertilizer improves its sustainability performance. In conclusion, this emergy analysis provides a sustainability assessment of both alternatives of biosolid management and helps decision-makers to identify opportunities for improvement during the current process of biosolid management.
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January 2017