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Guillain-Barré syndrome after SARS-CoV-2 infection in an international prospective cohort study.

Brain 2021 Sep 23. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Department of Neurology, St. Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital, 5022 GC, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

In the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, an increasing number of patients with neurological disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), have been reported following this infection. It remains unclear, however, if these cases are coincidental or not, as most publications were case reports or small regional retrospective cohort studies. The International GBS Outcome Study is an ongoing prospective observational cohort study enrolling patients with GBS within 2 weeks from onset of weakness. Read More

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September 2021

From pyroptosis, apoptosis and necroptosis to PANoptosis: A mechanistic compendium of programmed cell death pathways.

Comput Struct Biotechnol J 2021 3;19:4641-4657. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

Pyroptosis, apoptosis and necroptosis are the most genetically well-defined programmed cell death (PCD) pathways, and they are intricately involved in both homeostasis and disease. Although the identification of key initiators, effectors and executioners in each of these three PCD pathways has historically delineated them as distinct, growing evidence has highlighted extensive crosstalk among them. These observations have led to the establishment of the concept of PANoptosis, defined as an inflammatory PCD pathway regulated by the PANoptosome complex with key features of pyroptosis, apoptosis and/or necroptosis that cannot be accounted for by any of these PCD pathways alone. Read More

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Patchy signals: capturing women's voices in mobile phone surveys of rural India.

BMJ Glob Health 2021 09;6(Suppl 5)

ID Insight Private Limited, New Delhi, Delhi, India.

Phone surveys are a rapid and cost-effective way to collect primary data for research, monitoring and evaluation purposes. But for these data to be precise, reliable and unbiased, women's perspectives must be accurately represented. Throughout 2020, we conducted seven household surveys in rural India to understand households' experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and contemporaneous relief programmes. Read More

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September 2021

Real-world Safety of Bevacizumab with First-line Combination Chemotherapy in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Population-based Retrospective Cohort Studies in Three Canadian Provinces.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2021 Aug 26. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Aims: To examine the real-world safety of adding bevacizumab to first-line irinotecan-based chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Materials And Methods: Patients diagnosed with CRC in three Canadian provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia) who received publicly funded bevacizumab and/or irinotecan from 2000 to 2016 were identified from cancer registries. Propensity score 1:1 matching (PSM) and inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) were performed to contemporaneous and historical controls, adjusting for baseline demographic and clinical characteristics. Read More

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Synchronous presentation of acute cholecystitis and acute appendicitis successful treatment in one step laparoscopic procedure. A case series and literature review.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2021 Sep 10;86:106296. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Department of Surgery, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brooklyn, 11237, NY, USA.

Introduction: Hundreds of thousands of cholecystectomies and appendectomies are performed in the United States annually. Due to the prevalence of cholecystitis and appendicitis, a subset of patients will require both operations. The limited literature describing these patients supports a laparoscopic approach over open surgery; consistent with the advantages of laparotomy over open surgery in the treatment of each condition individually. Read More

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September 2021

Study Designs to Assess Real-World Interventions to Prevent COVID-19.

Front Public Health 2021 27;9:657976. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States.

In the face of the novel virus SARS-CoV-2, scientists and the public are eager for evidence about what measures are effective at slowing its spread and preventing morbidity and mortality. Other than mathematical modeling, studies thus far evaluating public health and behavioral interventions at scale have largely been observational and ecologic, focusing on aggregate summaries. Conclusions from these studies are susceptible to bias from threats to validity such as unmeasured confounding, concurrent policy changes, and trends over time. Read More

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Outbreak or pseudo-outbreak? Integrating SARS-CoV-2 sequencing to validate infection control practices in a dialysis facility.

Am J Infect Control 2021 Aug 8. Epub 2021 Aug 8.

Kabara Cancer Research Institute, Gundersen Medical Foundation, La Crosse, WI. Electronic address:

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a particularly high risk for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients so rapid identification of case clusters in ESRD facilities is essential. Nevertheless, with high community prevalence, a series of ESRD patients may test positive contemporaneously for reasons unrelated to their shared ESRD facility. Here we describe a series of 5 cases detected within 11 days in November 2020 in a hospital-based 32-station ESRD facility in Southwest Wisconsin, the subsequent facility-wide testing, and the use of genetic sequence analysis to evaluate links between cases. Read More

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Ancient DNA Study in Medieval Europeans Shows an Association Between HLA-DRB1*03 and Paratyphoid Fever.

Front Immunol 2021 15;12:691475. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany.

Outbreaks of infectious diseases repeatedly affected medieval Europe, leaving behind a large number of dead often inhumed in mass graves. Human remains interred in two burial pits from 14 century CE Germany exhibited molecular evidence of Paratyphi C ( Paratyphi C) infection. The pathogen is responsible for paratyphoid fever, which was likely the cause of death for the buried individuals. Read More

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The 2 nd Annual Symposium of the Midwest Aging Consortium: The Future of Aging Research in the Midwestern United States.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

School of Public Health, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, USA.

While the average human lifespan continues to increase, there is little evidence that this is leading to a contemporaneous increase in "healthy years" experienced by our aging population. Consequently, many scientists focus their research on understanding the process of aging and trialing interventions that can promote healthspan. The 2021 Midwest Aging Consortium (MAC) consensus statement is to develop and further the understanding of aging and age-related disease using the wealth of expertise across universities in the Midwestern United States. Read More

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Neutralizing activity of Sputnik V vaccine sera against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Nat Commun 2021 07 26;12(1):4598. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected at least 180 million people since its identification as the cause of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of vaccine development has resulted in multiple vaccines already in use worldwide. The contemporaneous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 'variants of concern' (VOC) across diverse geographic locales underscores the need to monitor the efficacy of vaccines being administered globally. Read More

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Blood transcriptional biomarkers of acute viral infection for detection of pre-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection: a nested, case-control diagnostic accuracy study.

Lancet Microbe 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, UK.

Background: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing.

Methods: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. Read More

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Efficacy and Safety of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Chronic Antibody-Mediated Rejection After Kidney Transplantation- A Single-Arm, Two-Dosing-Regimen, Phase I/II Study.

Front Immunol 2021 25;12:662441. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Organ Transplant Center, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) on chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (cABMR) in the kidney allograft.

Methods: Kidney recipients with biopsy-proven cABMR were treated with allogeneic third-party BM-MSCs in this open-label, single-arm, single-center, two-dosing-regimen phase I/II clinical trial. In Regimen 1 (n=8), BM-MSCs were administered intravenously at a dose of 1. Read More

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Case-based audit and feedback around a decision aid improved antibiotic choice and duration for uncomplicated cystitis in primary care clinics.

Fam Med Community Health 2021 07;9(3)

Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Objectives: The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of a multifaceted stewardship intervention on adherence to the evidence-based practice guidelines on treatment of uncomplicated cystitis in primary care. We hypothesised that our intervention would increase guideline adherence in terms of antibiotic choice and duration of treatment.

Design: A preintervention and postintervention comparison with a contemporaneous control group was performed. Read More

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Antimicrobial resistance and COVID-19 syndemic: Impact on public health.

Drug Discov Ther 2021 ;15(3):124-129

Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delh, India.

The COVID -19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the global economy and the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the scientific community still hasn't discovered a definite cure for this virus. Also, owing to the unscrupulous use of antibiotics in wake of the current situation, another ongoing pandemic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been entirely eclipsed. Read More

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The concerns of oncology professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from the ESMO Resilience Task Force survey II.

ESMO Open 2021 08 1;6(4):100199. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Gynaecology Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to professional and personal lives of oncology professionals globally. The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Resilience Task Force collaboration aimed to provide contemporaneous reports on the impact of COVID-19 on the lived experiences and well-being in oncology.

Methods: This online anonymous survey (July-August 2020) is the second of a series of global surveys launched during the course of the pandemic. Read More

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May Bacterial Infections Trigger Bullous Pemphigoid? Case Report and Review of Literature.

Microorganisms 2021 Jun 7;9(6). Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Molecolare, Sapienza, Università di Roma, AOU S. Andrea, 00189 Roma, Italy.

Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering skin disease, mainly observed in the elderly. Infections have been suggested as possible disease triggers. However, infections may even heavily influence the disease clinical course and mortality. Read More

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Reduction of HPV16/18 prevalence in young women after eight years of three- and two-dose vaccination schemes.

Vaccine 2021 07 25;39(32):4419-4422. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Escuela de Salud Pública de México, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Av. Universidad 655, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62100, México. Electronic address:

Background: Recommendations for human papillomavirus vaccination have relied on immunogenicity studies and efficacy results derived from adult women. Insufficient information exists regarding HPV effectiveness in vaccinated girls as they become sexually active, regardless of dose scheme. We aimed to compare the prevalence of high-risk HPV between unvaccinated and vaccinated young women eight years after immunization. Read More

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Pandemic catch-22: The role of mobility restrictions and institutional inequalities in halting the spread of COVID-19.

PLoS One 2021 28;16(6):e0253348. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Economics Department, University of Western Australia Business School, Perth, Australia.

Countries across the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with what might well be the set of biggest state-led mobility and activity restrictions in the history of humankind. But how effective were these measures across countries? Compared to multiple recent studies that document an association between such restrictions and the control of the contagion, we use an instrumental variable approach to estimate the causal effect of these restrictions on mobility, and the growth rate of confirmed cases and deaths during the first wave of the pandemic. Using the level of stringency in the rest of the world to predict the level of stringency of the restriction measures in a country, we show while stricter contemporaneous measures affected mobility, stringency in seven to fourteen days mattered most for containing the contagion. Read More

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Variants of concern are overrepresented among post-vaccination breakthrough infections of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Across 20 vaccine breakthrough cases detected at our institution, all 20 (100%) infections were due to variants of concern (VOC) and had a median Ct of 20.2 (IQR=17.1-23. Read More

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Characteristics and outcomes among lung transplant patients with respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Transpl Infect Dis 2021 Aug 22;23(4):e13661. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: To describe characteristics and outcomes among lung transplantation (LT) patients with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and elucidate the predictors of 1-year survival after RSV infection.

Methods: This was a retrospective chart review study among LT patients with RSV infection between 2013 and 2018 (90 episodes among 87 patients; mean age 56.3 ± 13. Read More

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Circulation of multi-drug-resistant Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri among men who have sex with men in Barcelona, Spain, 2015-2019.

Int J Antimicrob Agents 2021 Sep 23;58(3):106378. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca, Vall d'Hebron Hospital Universitari, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Clinical Microbiology, Vall d'Hebron Hospital Universitari, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: In high-income countries, shigellosis is mainly found in travellers to high-risk regions or in men who have sex with men (MSM). This study investigated the genomic characteristics and the features of antimicrobial resistance of MSM-associated Shigella flexneri and Shigella sonnei circulating in Barcelona, Spain, elucidating their connectivity with contemporaneous Shigella spp. from other countries. Read More

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September 2021

COVID-19 and a Window into Healthcare Providers' Resiliency.

Healthc Policy 2021 05;16(4):6-15


As contemporaneous data emerge from publicly funded healthcare providers, the COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to measure their resiliency. Resiliency matters because it connotes a higher level of confidence in being able to provide needed healthcare during times of health, social or environmental stress or calamity. At the beginning of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there were warnings regarding hospitals' ability to successfully manage large surges of critically ill COVID-19 patients who were expected to soon be presenting at hospitals in every province and territory. Read More

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Virologic features of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children.

medRxiv 2021 Aug 17. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Data on pediatric COVID-19 has lagged behind adults throughout the pandemic. An understanding of SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in children would enable data-driven public health guidance.

Methods: Respiratory swabs were collected from children with COVID-19. Read More

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Advanced Practice Provider-inclusive Staffing Models and Patient Outcomes in Pediatric Critical Care.

Med Care 2021 Jul;59(7):597-603

Department of Critical Care Medicine, CRISMA Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.

Background: Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) are increasingly staffed with advanced practice providers (APPs), supplementing traditional physician staffing models.

Objectives: We evaluate the effect of APP-inclusive staffing models on clinical outcomes and resource utilization in US PICUs.

Research Design: Retrospective cohort study of children admitted to PICUs in 9 states in 2016 using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's State Inpatient Databases. Read More

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Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in municipal wastewater to evaluate the success of lockdown measures for controlling COVID-19 in the UK.

Water Res 2021 Jul 8;200:117214. Epub 2021 May 8.

School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, United Kingdom; UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.

SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest recent threats to human health, wellbeing and economic growth. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) of human viruses can be a useful tool for population-scale monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence and epidemiology to help prevent further spread of the disease, particularly within urban centres. Here, we present a longitudinal analysis (March-July 2020) of SARS-CoV-2 RNA prevalence in sewage across six major urban centres in the UK (total population equivalent 3 million) by q(RT-)PCR and viral genome sequencing. Read More

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Community-based molecular and serological surveillance of subclinical malaria in Myanmar.

BMC Med 2021 05 28;19(1):121. Epub 2021 May 28.

Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Melbourne, Australia.

Background: In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), current malaria surveillance strategies rely on a network of village health volunteers (VHVs) reporting the results of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), known to miss many asymptomatic infections. Integration of more sensitive diagnostic molecular and serological measures into the VHV network may improve surveillance of residual malaria transmission in hard-to-reach areas in the region and inform targeted interventions and elimination responses. However, data on residual malaria transmission that would be captured by these measures in the VHV-led testing and treatment surveillance network in the GMS is unknown. Read More

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Peripheral and lung resident memory T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2.

Nat Commun 2021 05 21;12(1):3010. Epub 2021 May 21.

Infectious Diseases Department, Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR), Vall d'Hebron Hospital Universitari, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Barcelona, Spain.

Resident memory T cells (T) positioned within the respiratory tract are probably required to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread and COVID-19. Importantly, T are mostly non-recirculating, which reduces the window of opportunity to examine these cells in the blood as they move to the lung parenchyma. Here, we identify circulating virus-specific T cell responses during acute infection with functional, migratory and apoptotic patterns modulated by viral proteins and associated with clinical outcome. Read More

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Mosquito surveillance of West Nile and Usutu viruses in four territorial units of Slovakia and description of a confirmed autochthonous human case of West Nile fever, 2018 to 2019.

Euro Surveill 2021 May;26(19)

The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Brno, Czech Republic.

BackgroundDespite the known circulation of West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) in Slovakia, no formal entomological surveillance programme has been established there thus far.AimTo conduct contemporaneous surveillance of WNV and USUV in different areas of Slovakia and to assess the geographical spread of these viruses through mosquito vectors. The first autochthonous human WNV infection in the country is also described. Read More

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Outcomes and costs of publicly funded patient navigation interventions to enhance HIV care continuum outcomes in the United States: A before-and-after study.

PLoS Med 2021 05 13;18(5):e1003418. Epub 2021 May 13.

Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Background: In the United States, patients with HIV face significant barriers to linkage to and retention in care which impede the necessary steps toward achieving the desired clinical outcome of viral suppression. Individual-level interventions, such as patient navigation, are evidence based, effective strategies for improving care engagement. In addition, use of surveillance and clinical data to identify patients who are not fully engaged in care may improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these programs. Read More

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Biological Properties and Genetic Characterization of Novel Low Pathogenic H7N3 Avian Influenza Viruses Isolated from Mallard Ducks in the Caspian Region, Dagestan, Russia.

Microorganisms 2021 Apr 17;9(4). Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Federal State Budget Scientific Institution, Federal Research Center of Fundamental and Translational Medicine, 630117 Novosibirsk, Russia.

Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are maintained in wild bird reservoirs, particularly in mallard ducks and other waterfowl. Novel evolutionary lineages of AIV that arise through genetic drift or reassortment can spread with wild bird migrations to new regions, infect a wide variety of resident bird species, and spillover to domestic poultry. The vast continental reservoir of AIVs in Eurasia harbors a wide diversity of influenza subtypes, including both highly pathogenic (HP) and low pathogenic (LP) H7 AIV. Read More

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