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Medical and Research Library News - August 2021

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Training opportunities
Websites and reports on trending topics
Journal articles of note

August 2021

Training opportunities

Note: The following webinars and online classes are not affiliated with DSHS or the DSHS Library. They are presented here as opportunities to learn more information of interest to public health personnel. All times listed are in Central Daylight Time.

August 4, 2021; 2-3 p.m. Addressing latent tuberculosis infection and tuberculosis in Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities: The role of health centers for testing and treatment. Join this webinar to learn more about a TB survivor's experience, and the role of community health centers around latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and tuberculosis (TB) disease testing and treatment. Presented by the TB Elimination Alliance. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_V5mvF5pKSXaCd9lI9ar3gg?timezone_id=America%2FChicago

August 4, 2021; 10-11 a.m. Keeping COVID-19 at bay: Existing and induced antibody immunity to SARS-CoV-2. This webinar will provide an overview of serology tests, what they detect, and how this information can be used. It will also discuss the difference between existing and induced antibody immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and why antibody response rates differ among patients, and highlight differences in immune responses to vaccines in individuals with a history of prior COVID-19 infection. Presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. https://view6.workcast.net/register?cpak=7181709025812592&referrer=ScienceWebsite

August 12, 2021; 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Finding rare diseases in common places: The role of primary care in detection and diagnosis. To improve treatment of rare diseases, it is critical that rare disease detection approaches be improved, particularly in primary care settings and in public health testing places such as health centers. These environments constitute the front line for disease detection and play an outsized role in protecting the public, particularly children. Normally, emphasis is placed on testing for common diseases, which are allocated most of the resources. But it could be argued that when considered as a group, rare diseases are in fact common, and that putting more resources toward their detection in primary health care systems is a valid approach for improving diagnosis. In this webinar, our experts will discuss strategies for implementing broad rare disease detection across all doctor–patient interactions. Presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. https://view6.workcast.net/register?cpak=2189372956282331&referrer=ScienceWebsite

August 24, 2021; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Expanding work-based learning and transition opportunities: Lessons from Vermont. State vocational rehabilitation agencies and their partners across the country have been striving to better serve youth and young adults with disabilities in their transitions to adulthood. These transitions present vital opportunities to offer youth with disabilities tools to continue their education, gain necessary skills, and develop career paths to achieve independence and economic well-being. Join Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy for a webinar on lessons learned from Vermont’s Linking Learning to Careers initiative that can inform how other programs enhance their transition programs. https://www.mathematica.org/events/expanding-work-based-learning-and-transition-opportunities

Websites and reports on trending topics

Learning Express Library – This TexShare resource offers interactive training modules. It covers topics like math and writing skills, but also includes training on computer software like the Microsoft Office programs, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop.  https://texshare.net/

Reducing the impact of dementia in America: A decadal survey of the behavioral and social sciences – This report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a blueprint for the next decade of behavioral and social science research to reduce the negative impact of dementia for America's diverse population. Reducing the Impact of Dementia in America calls for research that addresses the causes and solutions for disparities in both developing dementia and receiving adequate treatment and support. It calls for research that sets goals meaningful not just for scientists but for people living with dementia and those who support them as well. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/26175/reducing-the-impact-of-dementia-in-america-a-decadal-survey

Special collection: Genetic control of mosquitoes - The Journal of Medical Entomology has published a special collection of Forum articles that review active research on how manipulation of the mosquito genome or microbial biome may be utilized to address current issues with controlling mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. All the papers in the collection are made freely available to read and download until July 7, 2022. https://academic.oup.com/jme/pages/genetic-control-of-mosquitoes

Topic-specific PubMed queries - Some search topics are so broad or complicated, it can be hard to come up with a search strategy on your own. Try one of the pre-defined filters from the National Library of Medicine. The queries include many pre-filtered search options designed to quickly find subject matter specific to certain topics such as AIDS, bioethics, cancer, population health, and more. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/psd/special_queries.html

Journal articles of note

Benjamin RH, Scheuerle AE, Scott DA, et al. Birth defect co-occurrence patterns in the Texas Birth Defects Registry [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 30]. Pediatr Res. 2021. doi:10.1038/s41390-021-01629-w
Background: The population-level landscape of co-occurring birth defects among infants without a syndromic diagnosis is not well understood.
Methods: We analyzed data from 40,771 infants with two or more major birth defects in the Texas Birth Defects Registry (TBDR; 1999-2014). We calculated adjusted observed-to-expected (O/E) ratios for all two, three, four, and five-way combinations of 138 major defects.
Results: Among 530 patterns with the highest adjusted O/E ratios (top 5% of 10,595 patterns), 66% included only defects co-occurring within one organ system and 28% were suggestive of known patterns (e.g., midline developmental defects). Of the remaining patterns, the combination of defects with the highest O/E ratio (193.8) encompassed the diaphragm, spine, spleen, and heart defects. Fourteen patterns involved heart and spine defects with or without rib defects. Ten additional patterns primarily involved two hallmark components of VACTERL association (specifically, vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, renal, or limb defects, but not tracheoesophageal fistula).
Conclusions: Our analyses provide a description of the birth defect co-occurrence patterns in a multi-ethnic, population-based sample, and revealed several patterns of interest. This work complements prior work that has suggested etiologic connections between select defects (e.g., diaphragmatic hernia and heart and spleen anomalies; heart and spine defects).
Impact: In this large-scale, population-based study of birth defect co-occurrence patterns, we found several birth defect combinations of potential interest that warrant further investigation: congenital diaphragmatic hernia, heart, spine, and spleen defects and scimitar syndrome with vertebral defects. The majority of patterns of co-occurring defects observed more frequently than expected involved multiple defects within the same system and combinations suggestive of known associations. Nearly all of the top patterns (beyond the same system and those suggestive of known associations) involved organ systems that are components of the VACTERL association, with heart, spine, and rib defect patterns being the most common.

Morens DM, Tauberger JK, Fauci AS. A centenary tale of two pandemics: The 1918 in?uenza pandemic and COVID-19, part II [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 10]. Am J Public Health. 2021;e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2021.306326
Both the 1918 in?uenza pandemic and the 2019?2021 COVID-19 pandemic are among the most disastrous infectious disease emergences of modern times. In addition to similarities in their clinical, pathological, and epidemiological features, the two pandemics, separated by more than a century, were each met with essentially the same, or very similar, public health responses, and elicited research efforts to control them with vaccines, therapeutics, and other medical approaches. Both pandemics had lasting, if at times invisible, psychosocial effects related to loss and hardship. In considering these two deadly pandemics, we ask: what lessons have we learned over the span of a century, and how are we applying those lessons to the challenges of COVID-19?

Olsen RJ, Christensen PA, Long SW, et al. Trajectory of growth of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Houston, Texas, January through May 2021 based on 12,476 genome sequences [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jul 22]. Am J Pathol. 2021. doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2021.07.002
Certain genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 are of substantial concern because they may be more transmissible or detrimentally alter the pandemic course and disease features in individual patients. We report SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from 12,476 patients in the Houston Methodist healthcare system diagnosed from January 1 through May 31, 2021. Prevalence of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant increased rapidly and caused 63%-90% of new cases in the latter half of May. Eleven B.1.1.7 genomes had an E484K replacement in spike protein, a change also identified in other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Compared with non-B.1.1.7-infected patients, individuals with B.1.1.7 had a significantly lower cycle threshold (a proxy for higher virus load) and significantly higher hospitalization rate. Other variants (e.g., B.1.429 and B.1.427 (Epsilon), P.1 (Gamma), P.2 (Zeta), and R.1) also increased rapidly, although the magnitude was less than B.1.1.7. We identified 22 patients infected with B.1.617.1 (Kappa) or B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants; these patients had a high rate of hospitalization. Breakthrough cases (n=207) in fully vaccinated patients were caused by a heterogeneous array of virus genotypes, including many that are not currently designated variants of interest or concern. In the aggregate, our study delineates the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in a major metropolitan area, documents B.1.1.7 as the major cause of new cases in Houston, and heralds the arrival of B.1.617 variants in the metroplex.

Peprah S, Engels EA, Horner MJ, et al. Kaposi sarcoma incidence, burden, and prevalence in United States People with HIV, 2000-2015 [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 23]. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0008.
Background: The introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to a significant reduction in Kaposi sarcoma (KS) incidence among people with HIV (PWH). However, it is unclear if incidence has declined similarly across key demographic and HIV transmission groups and the annual number of incident and prevalent KS cases remains unquantified.
Methods: Using population-based registry linkage data, we evaluated temporal trends in KS incidence using adjusted Poisson regression. Incidence and prevalence estimates were applied to CDC HIV surveillance data, to obtain the number of incident (2008-2015) and prevalent (2015) cases in the United States.
Results: Among PWH, KS rates were elevated 521-fold [95% confidence intervals (CI), 498-536] compared with the general population and declined from 109 per 100,000 person-years in 2000 to 47 per 100,000 person-years in 2015, at an annual percentage change of -6%. Rates declined substantially (P trend < 0.005) across all demographic and HIV transmission groups. Of the 5,306 new cases estimated between 2008 and 2015, 89% occurred among men who have sex with men. At the end of 2015, 1,904 PWH (0.20%) had been diagnosed with KS in the previous 5 years.
Conclusions: A consistent gradual decline in KS incidence has occurred among PWH in the United States during the current cART era. This decrease is uniform across key demographic and HIV transmission groups, though rates remain elevated relative to the general population.
Impact: Continued efforts to control HIV through early cART initiation and retention in care need to be maintained and possibly expanded to sustain declines.

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Last updated October 7, 2021